Thursday, January 6, 2011

Something Warm for your Tummy:Chowder!

Well, here it is the 6th of January and I am posting for the second time this week! It's going to snow here tomorrow and I love a good soup on those blistery days and one of my favorites is my Manhattan Clam Chowder. I make it spicy! There's nothing like a little spice to warm you on a cold day.

Now when I make a soup I like to use my pressure cooker. You can make your soup with or without one. In a tradition pot such as a dutch oven, you will just have to cook it longer until the veges are softened. I just like to do things fast because I'm always running late and I've got to make up the time somewhere!

This is a simple recipe. I use canned clams and bottled clam juice. You can go out and get your fresh seafood and do it the hard way, but I like this simple and quick method. I hope you get a chance to try this recipe. Enjoy and have a great day.

Manhattan Clam Chowder

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large green pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes
1 teaspoon hot sauce- my favorite is a habanero pepper sauce from the Tropical Pepper Co.
28 oz. whole tomatoes, chopped
2 medium potatoes, diced
1/2 to 1 cup red wine
1 8 oz. bottle clam juice
1 cup water
2 6.5 oz cans of minced clams with reserved juice
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper

Saute the bacon in a large soup pot such as a dutch oven or pressure cooker until it has rendered its fat. Add the onion, celery and green pepper and cook until softened. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in flour, then add potatoes, tomatoes with juice, clam juice (bottled and reserved juice from canned clams), wine, water, hot sauce and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.

Traditional soup pot: bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Discard bay leaf. Stir in chopped clams and serve.

Pressure Cooker: close lid and bring to pressure. I cook mine for 5 minutes once it gets to pressure in position 2. Check you brand of cooker for average cooking time for soups and settings. Let out pressure and add the chopped clams and serve.

I like a nice crusty bread to serve with the chowder.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Resolution: Blog!!!!!

I can't believe I haven't posted a blog since late September! Some how the kids, school, the house and everything else seemed to get in the way of me posting. Actually I think it was plain laziness on my part but it makes me feel better to share the blame.

Anyways, what have I been up to you ask? Well, I did so some sewing, some picture taking and tons of cooking. Here are some of the items I sewed and will soon post to Etsy to sell. I have got to pay off all that Christmas shopping!

I purchased some Amy Butler laminates a year ago and I finally got to make some totes. I had made a backpack last spring for someone on Etsy, but I really wanted to make these totes. They're fun and bright.

I did a ton of bodysuits with burp cloths. The fabrics are son cute you can't stop yourself from making things.

I'll be posting more to come, I hope. I can't break my New Year's resolution yet.