Chicken and Corn Chowder ~ Saturday Blog Showcase

It's my pick for Saturday Blog Showcase ~ this week hosted by
All That Splatters.
(Click logo below to learn more about it and find links for this weeks' participants.)

When TWO of my favored cooks featured this recipe and recommended it I knew it was a must try!

Lori on her blog
All That Splatters posted about the recipe she found on sweet Geri's blog Heart N Soul Cooking, and I completely agree this is a fabulous recipe.

It's with great thanks to Geri and Lori for introducing me to this recipe ~
It's a keeper, and the garnishes put it over the top with flavor.

You can find Geri's recipe on her blog (use the link listed above) or on my recipe blog
The only changes I made were ~I substituted Russet potatoes because I didn't have Yukon Golds on hand (but don't overcook them, they will fall apart) I used frozen white kernel corn, and I poached boneless chicken breast and cubed it instead of using shredded.

If it sounds good to you, I hope you'll try this one ~ I'm quite sure you'll love it as much as we did.

Thank you for stopping by to visit today.


EZ Peasy Vanilla Cream Pots with Meringue

It's Foodie Friday!
When Pam on her blog The Gypsy Chef shared this dessert,
I knew I wanted to make it. And thank you to Barb at Moveable Feasts for sharing the real deal in the first place. :)
I needed a fast and easy dessert so I took some LIBERTIES by using instant pudding, instead of straight milk I used half milk and half cream (you can use half & half, I didn't have it on hand.)
You've probably noticed I usually don't use instant or boxed mixes, but I was in a hurry and this fit my schedule perfectly.
Here are the necessary ingredients:

Gee, I'm glad Mr. OUaP picked up "Reduced Fat" Nilla wafers when I told him I needed a box of vanilla wafers. (Ha! Don't be fooled this is not a low calorie recipe.)

A slice of banana in each little cup is optional, and you could easily top with whipped cream or dessert topping if you want to skip the meringue step.

Place one vanilla wafer in the bottom of each container. If you don't have little containers like these, (they hold about 2 ounces) ~ use any tiny bowls you have. (oven-proof, if you're going to top with meringue.) Espresso cups work perfectly.

Mix the pudding according to the package directions, substituting half & half for the milk (or make your own; half milk and half cream)
Spoon the pudding into the containers to within 1/3-inch of the top. (1/2-inch if you are adding a slice of banana to each one.)

Place in refrigerator to chill while you make your favorite meringue recipe. When meringue is ready, pipe or spoon over vanilla cream. Bake in 325*(F) oven for about 8 to 10 minutes until meringue is lightly browned. Alternately, top with whipped cream or creamy dessert topping.

Serve right away while still warm, or cool and refrigerate to chill before serving.

So little effort for such delicious results ~ and if you only eat one, good for you.
Feel smug! ...:D

Thank you for stopping by ~
If you try this little dessert I hope you enjoy.

And thank you to Michael at Designs by Gollum for hosting Foodie Friday.

Click the logo to visit Michael's Blog and see all of this weeks participants.

And just a reminder!
If you want a chance to win the BLUE WILLOW Hatbox Teaset DRAWING the deadline is 9:00 PM TOMORROW Saturday (January 30th).
Click link to see details.


Tablescape ~ A Bright Winter Brunch

Hello ~ it's such a pleasure to have you stop by for a visit!

Welcome to Tablescape Thursday, hosted by our lovely host Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch!

This week I'm hosting a Bright Winter Brunch for Tablescape Thursday.

I started with this table cloth by April Cornell, bright, deep pink in a jacquard pattern.

It happens to pick up a couple of the colors in these Martha Stewart dishes.

I don't have the matching napkins, so I used these from Williams-Sonoma (several years ago.) The napkin rings are a few years old, I'm sure they are still available, but I forgot where I got them. You can probably find them by doing an internet search if you are interested in them.

The little pressed glass bowls are actually vintage candy/bon bon dishes ~ perhaps your mom or grandmother had some? My mom did, I think they were very inexpensive in their day and most likely bought at the dime store (I hope some of you know what kind of store I'm talking about. *grin*)
My mother only had one or two, the rest I found at tag and estate sales. Mom would serve nuts, candy and her special homemade fudge in them ~ but I serve fruit, soup and small salads in them. I love the sparkle they add to the table, and the happy memories they evoke.

I use this flatware everyday ~ it's from Neiman-Marcus/Horchow.

The pattern is called "Hotel Silver", but it is actually stainless, thank goodness because I love the convenience of everyday flatware that can go right into the dishwasher.

I bought it a couple of years ago, but I believe it is still available at their online store.

Here are a few more shots of the pieces so you can take a better look.

I love the pattern on the plates. I believe these were from Martha Stewart's Everyday line from several years ago. I got them on ebay about 4 or 5 years ago.

The centerpiece is a vintage milkglass cake pedestal, with a garden pot which is the same color as the tablecloth. I received a florist's arrangement of Gerbera Daisies in it a couple of years ago and thought I could reuse it someday... and here it is!

As you probably guessed the hydrangea bloom is fake, and I've had the tall, narrow glass cloche for many years.

The little shabby bird is a "no name", from a local gift store.

The juice glasses are vintage ~ from the 40's and 50's, sometimes called "boopies".

Thank you so much for stopping by to visit today ~ it always makes me so happy to read any comments you would like to leave!

Please click the logo above to visit our host Susan on her blog to see her incredible tablescape and links to everyone who is participating this week.

Happy Tablescape Thursday!


Carnitas ~ Little Pieces of Browned Pork

Here it is, my all-time favorite Mexican dish. If I could choose only one Mexican dish to eat, this would be it ~ hands down.

I first tasted Carnitas over 30 (!) years ago at a little roadside restaurant in Mexico. On a very warm summer afternoon we pulled into the dusty parking lot where an enormous cauldron was bubbling furiously, suspended over an open wood fire.
We quickly walked past the heat of the fire into the cool, darkened dining room.

I had no idea what treats would be in store for us as we took our seats against the wall. The specialty of the house was Carnitas, we were urged to order them...
but just what they were I did not know.

First our icy cold beverages arrived and soon after a large basket of hot, handmade flour tortillas were delivered to our table with a huge platter of little pieces of browned pork. Generous piles of cilantro, sliced avocados, thinly sliced radishes, scallions and sliced onions were arranged at one end of the platter.
A large bowl of the best fresh (uncooked salsa) I had ever tasted was set beside the platter. A warm tortilla, succulent little pieces of browned pork and whatever condiments desired wrapped in a fresh, warm homemade tortilla? Heaven! :)
I was determined to recreate this delicious meal at home... but how to prepare the meat?

Was it roasted? Fried? Did that enormous cauldron out in front of the cantina play a part in producing these delicious morsels? How was it seasoned??
At the time it was mystery to me, but I knew I HAD to have that recipe.
I was on a mission to find out, my Spanish was abysmal so it was futile to ask the proprietors of the cafe.
Keep in mind that this was years and years ago, before PCs were household fixtures, so I scoured the library's cookbooks... and learned about a British woman, Diana Kennedy. A remarkable person who embraced the culture and foods Mexico with great passion. She had moved there years before and had made it her life's work to delve into all of the varied cuisines of Mexico and share them with the rest of us.
There it was... in her book "The Cuisines of Mexico" THE recipe for Carnitas.
And I was so surprised to learn how simple the recipe actually is.
Small pieces of pork (not too lean), simmered in lightly salted water until the water evaporates and the pork just tender. The pork is allowed to brown gently in the accumulated juices until slightly crisp on the outside and fall apart tender.

Sometimes I use pork shoulder, but recently country-style pork ribs were on sale so I used those ~ and actually prefer them, instead of dealing with a huge hunk of pork.
The ribs are easy to cut into the proper size for this dish, without a lot of handling of raw pork ~ if that sort of thing makes you queasy.
I have made carnitas countless times over the years for family and friends, they make a wonderful dish for a casual party. I keep the meat on a warming plate (or you could use a slow cooker, with the lid askew so the meat doesn't steam), and warm flour tortillas alongside. I offer a few of bowls of fresh salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and plates of sliced radishes, cilantro, sliced avocado, and shredded cabbage or lettuce, so each person can assemble their own ~ it's a fun food to serve (and eat!)
I have a few of her books, but if I could have only one of hers, I would choose either this one...
Or this one, (her most recent):

From My Mexican Kitchen: Techniques and Ingredients, by Diana Kennedy

Diana's are the most authentic, concise and comprehensive Mexican cookbooks written in the English language that I have found. I've given them as gifts to several cooks I know through the years and they have the same feelings about her cookbooks.
The recipes are clearly written, and easy to follow. They are packed with essential information on making your own authentic Mexican food; ingredient explanations & descriptions, recipes for appetizers, soups, salsas, guacamole, beans, rice, seafood, meats, chicken, desserts, breads, and desserts, etc.
If you would like a printable copy of Diana's recipe for Carnitas, please click HERE to find it on my recipe blog.
Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have a wonderful day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


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