Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Quick Corn and Chicken Chowder and a Triple Play!

It's a Triple Play!!  The San Francisco Giants, my home team, won the World Series, my dad had a birthday and I have been honored with an award!! 

81 years ago the world became a better place with the birth of my dad.  Born in Red Wing, Minnesota to German immigrants, he met and married my mom while in the Air Force in California and had my sister and I in the years following.  My foodie roots may have been established as I was treated like royalty at his restaurant, The Windjammer, in Tiburon, CA in my younger years.  I can still taste the Heath Bar Sundae that the waiters would make special for me if I ate all my dinner, and I have fond memories of peering out of his upper floor office window at the twinkling Ghirardelli sign across the San Francisco Bay.

I'm extraordinarily lucky to have my parents living only 10 minutes east of me and to have them be a such big part of my family's life.  They have dutifully attended numerous soccer matches, football games, dance recitals and even elementary school Open Houses.  Holidays were a special treat to have the grandparents here to help put together a few of those "some assembly required" Santa projects and then to be here smiling as the kids woke up to see what Santa brought.  Today, with the kids beyond that stage, we enjoy leisurely Thanksgiving and Christmas afternoons as the Turkey cooks away.

Last night we celebrated Dad's 81 years with a heart-healthy Corn and Chicken Chowder that was quick to put together and perfect for a busy school night.  With the farmers market corn dwindling, a bag of Trader Joe's frozen white corn made for easy prep of this body warming soup.  I had thought ahead and made extra chicken from our dinner the prior evening which only need a quick chopping to round out the meal.  Flavored with onion, chilies and celery and then then rounded out with a dose of dried thyme and a fresh grind of pepper this soup was the perfect birthday meal.

Quick Chicken and Corn Chowder
adapted from Cooking Light

1 Tbs butter
generous 1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 jalaneño, seeded and minced
2 1/2 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups roasted chicken, shredded
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1/4 tsp dried thyme
dash of cayenne
salt to taste
avocado for garnish

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, celery and jalapeño and cook for about 3 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in the milk and remaining ingredients, simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Serve with avocado and freshly ground pepper if desired.

Happy Birthday Dad!!


I have been remiss in acknowledging the honor of receiving the One Lovely Blog Award!  As a fairly new food blogger, I can't tell you all how much receiving any sort of recognition means to me.  The fact that I have been honored with this award 4 times in the last 2 weeks absolutely floors me.  A hearty thank you to Gina from What's for Dinner Across State Lines, Wendy form the Weekend Gourmet, Gerard from Bistro Gerard and Elisabeth from Food and Thrift Finds.  

New friends are one of the most rewarding things that I have found from food blogging.  These 4 bloggers have truly become a part of my life as I have followed them for months.  

I feel as though I have met Gina's cousin Robyn while she was in Texas and have also frequently wished that I lived next door to her so we could share that cup of coffee along with some of the wonderful dishes coming from her kitchen.  I look forward to Gina's sense of humor and am so disappointed that I am not able to actually meet her in person as she attends the Food Blog Convention this weekend.  I'm looking forward to hearing all about it though!

And then there is Gerard... oh how I wish I could meet him in person as well!  His comments always bring a smile to my face as he follows the cooking in his kitchen.  I'm with him... I really do wonder what happens to the food after the "use by" date??!!  Good question Gerard!

I remember reading Wendy's first blog post and she had me hooked right away.  She was a challenger in Foodbuzz's Project Food blog and produced some wonderful dishes.  Wonderful recipes are always being shared on her blog with a side dish of real life that I look forward to reading about.

And lastly, Elisabeth.  Elisabeth give us wonderful recipes and some amazingly thrifty finds.  Both sides appeal to me.  I'm always on the lookout for that special deal as well.  Her recent Heart Shaped Carrot Cake has been one of my favorite posts.  

Gina's award came also with a tag and a few questions:

1)  If you could turn back time, who would you spend it with and what would you eat with them?  I would turn the time back to visit with my grandmother.  I didn't meet her many times in my life as she lived so far away, but I can still taste the preserved raspberries that she always had for me.  She also made the most wonderful Peanut Butter Cookies.  I would love to sit and chat with her about cooking now that I'm older.

2)  Do you cook for others, or just the sheer pleasure of it, which would you prefer?  I definitely do both!  Basically I find it a pleasure to cook for others!  ;)

3)  What item do you consider a must have in the kitchen?  My garlic press... it's a cheap, years old little thing, but it works wonders. 

4)  If I told you your secret ingredients in your chopped basket were tomatoes, pears, & anchovies, what would you make?   Oohh... that's a tough one.  As I talked about in our prior post, I'm a little picky.  I would most likely make some sort of salad with a balsamic vinaigrette and blue cheese.  

5)  Have you even traveled a long distance, just to go eat?  Not a real long distance, maybe an hour or so?  When both kids finally went all day to school my husband and I would take long drives and find a lovely little out of the way place for lunch.

6)  If you had all day in the kitchen, what would you make?  I've always wanted to make fresh croissants. 

7)  What is your favorite part of blogging?  I love the people!  I never expected to "meet" so many people when I started blogging.  I feel like I have friends all over the world and thousands of delicious recipes with recommendations at my fingertips!

8)  Are there blogging skills you are working on?  Photography!!  I had NO idea how hard it is to photograph food.  My designing skills are definitely not up to Martha Stewart's either, but I hope to be able to put together a nice table setting one day.

Thanks Gina!  

This post is submitted to Kahakai Kitchen's Souper Sundays!



  1. Congratulations on your awards, you have a beautiful blog and deserve them. GO GIANTS!! Wow, growing up in the Bay Area makes this World Series win sooo big. I'm going to the parade tomorrow, can't resist. Thanks for sharing some family history and your dad's birthday meal, it sounds like a wonderful simple and light soup, my favorite.

  2. Happy 81st to your dad! And this soup looks delicious. And always nice to know more about fellow foodies! By the way, thanks Kim for all your support, it really means a lot to me (=

  3. Thanks for the blog love...you know that I love your blog too! Are you in NoCal or SoCal? I live in Texas, but was pulling for the Giants...I'm an NL gal, so I've never been a Rangers fan. I'm an Astros lover!

  4. the chowder looks soooo good! i will have to try this recipe!

    also, i love my garlic press too! the best tool in the kitchen!

  5. Looks delicious!! And happy birthday to your dad :)

  6. Happy birthday to your dad! That sounds like a delicious birthday meal. And congrats on your awards!

  7. Congrats on the award - I love it!

    This soup looks so great - loving the avocado topper. Yum.

  8. Happy 81st Birthday to your dad! How wonderful that you have your parents living close by and you can celebrate holidays and special occasions with them!

    Certainly a great looking birthday meal :o)

  9. What a sweet photo of the three of you. Happy Birthday to your dad. I love the story about your dad.
    Congratulations Kim...4 awards in a row, tells you, that you are quite amazing! Thank you for the mention.

  10. Yeah Giants!!! Happy Birthday to your Dad! Living in the Bay Area, I love Marin and lucky I have several friends who live there, so I pop over often. Your chowder looks divine - a must try!

  11. Thanks Patty! Oh! I can't wait to hear about the parade! The last parade I went to was in SF, but I got to see my favorite guy, Joe Montana!!!

    Thanks Lisa, you are more than welcome! We are behind you all the way!!

    Wendy, the feeling is mutual! I am originally from San Francisco, actually, San Rafael, just north of the GG Bridge. Now I'm living in San Diego, but still a SF fan.

    Nicely said Maren! And Emily too!

    Thanks Kimberly, Kare and Lynn!

    Thanks Susi!

    And thanks to you too Elisabeth. I really appreciate your kind thoughts as well!

  12. Such a gorgeous soup--I was just looking a a southwestern-style corn chowder recipe and thinking how good it looked. This one looks especially creamy and delicious. Congrats on the award too--very well deserved!

  13. Love the avocado on top of the soup! A chowder is such a comforting soup for the colder fall days...and a perfect birthday dinner!

  14. Congats on your awards...well deserved...BTW...you photography is pretty darn good too...Great post!

  15. Congrats on your awards and The GIANTS! As a cub Fan, we're still waiting and waiting and waiting..., unfortunately:( Your chowder looks like a keeper for me.

    You are very lucky that your Dad is in good health. My Dad will be 91 next week, but I'll be going to see him at the nursing home. Very sad, but I'll be making him cupcakes:)and bringing him Mc Donald's coffee, which he loves.

  16. hello!
    I have just passed you an award! Please check my blog post ( http://eatgreek.net/2010/11/my-first-award/ ) for rules.
    Thanks, eatgreek.net

  17. What a great chowder recipe, and looks so good. Love the avocado garnish, really adds a nice burst of color.

  18. Please wish your Dad a very happy birthday from me! How wonderful to have them so close by. Yes to the Giants Win, we were so excited over here!

    So glad to have met you too and so many other wonderful bloggers, I think your photos are great and you should keep doing what you are doing!

    If I make it down your way, we will be sure and have a meet up.

  19. Congratulations Kim, on the Top 9 #1 spot, award for your amazing brownies!
    You seem to be getting award, after award lately. No wonder I made the right choice for the Lovely Blog Award...make no mistake about it. Just Lovely!

  20. OMG, one of my best friends is from Red Wing. Her dad still lives there. How long did your father live there?

  21. That looks great with the avocado! Thanks for sharing! :)

  22. Congrats on the Top 9, again:)

  23. That looks soooo good. Congrats on the Top 9!

  24. Your soup looks and sounds really good. Thanks for sharing!

  25. This chowder looks delicious! I love the fresh avocado on top too. Congrats on your award as well :-)

  26. This soup looks wonderful. I'd love it for the avocado garnish, and my husband would love it for the inclusion of celery. Winner all around! Happy birthday to your dad, the photos of him as a child and as a grown man are adorable.

  27. Congrats on your dad's 81st birthday, the GIants win, your gorgeous chowder making the Top 9 and your bloggie awards! The planets are aligned for you :) Oh, and back in the day, Joe Montana was my favorite guy, too!

  28. Looks delicious! Can't wait to try. Congratulations on your award.

  29. The avocado is a great addition--never would have thought of it if I hadn't seen this!

  30. Happy Birthday to your fahter. I wish to you to have both your parents as many years as possible. My parents live next door and they are such a comfort for me. The soup is absolutely perfect.

  31. What a great post! Congratulations on your awards:)

    How awesome your parents live so close and ran a restaurant! Now wonder you're such an amazing cook. It's genetic.
    The chowder looks soooooo darn good!! Such a lucky birthday boy!!!

    Congrats on the awards!

  33. Love the chowder recipes. I am going to have to make this the next time I am digging soup.


  34. Lovely tribute to your dad!
    The chowder recipe is not bad, either. :D


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