Corn Chowder with Bacon

It's finally here!!  This week is the first day of fall and I am so ready.  What better way to celebrate than with a warm and delicious chowder?  The weather man is promising it will feel like fall by the end of the week even though it's been 90° for the last couple of days.  But hey, that's how we roll here in Utah!

This soup is thick and creamy with a very fresh flavor of corn, potatoes, onions, and of course bacon!  It makes a lot which is great to freeze for another meal.  My only suggestion is if you don't like soggy bacon don't throw it all in.  I add a little of the bacon for flavor, but keep the rest for garnish because the bacon will get soggy sitting in the soup for too long.  If you don't care about that though, be my guest and toss all that bacon goodness in there.


Corn Chowder with Bacon

8 slices of bacon, chopped
1 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream or half and half
2 cans (14.75 oz) cream style corn
2 cans (15 oz) white corn, drained
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced new potatoes, drained
1-2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)
chives for garnish

Directions
In a large pot on medium-high heat, place chopped bacon and cook until crisp
Remove bacon from pot and drain on a plate lined with paper towels
Drain all but one tablespoon of bacon grease from the pot
Place diced onion in tablespoon of bacon grease and saute until translucent and soft
Add butter and allow to melt
Sprinkle in flour and stir until flour, butter, and onions are combined
Pour in chicken stock and stir until thickened
Add remainder of ingredients to the pot and simmer on low for 20 minutes
Serve with reserved bacon and chives on top

Cupbop

I FINALLY got to eat at my first food truck!  I know, I know...your saying what took you so long?  I don't know really, but now I am hooked!

We went to a food truck rally and got to sample the offerings of several of the trucks (more reviews to follow).  One of our favorites was CUPBOP Korean BBQ in a cup.  First off the environment of their truck was so different than all the others. You can tell a lot about someones food by the passion they put into it and these guys didn't disappoint. They had music playing and you could tell the guys in the truck were having fun and loved what they did and it was reflected in their food.
  


With so many tempting choices, we decided to try the B Bop.  It was a bowel of Korean style beef with rice and lettuce.  Now I've had Korean beef with rice but having lettuce mixed in was new and quite frankly it was surprisingly good.  The lettuce added some good crunchy texture to the dish.  We added some Mandu or Korean dumplings on top and they were so good.  The bowel was topped off with some of their secret sauce drizzled over it all.


The beef was cooked perfectly and they didn't skimp on portion size.  The combination of rice and lettuce was a great compliment to the beef and there was the perfect amount of sauce.  Not too much to make things soggy, but just enough to get some in every bite.  The dumplings were a tad chewy, but packed with flavor.  Overall it was great!  Reasonably priced and enough that I had some leftovers.  I would highly recommend looking them up to check them out! Thanks @cupbop.

Crockpot Smothered Pork Chops

This is what it's all about!  A few months ago a friend of mine shared one of her family's favorite dinners.  I was really excited to check it out, especially since pork chops are one of the things I don't usually have a lot of recipes for.

They were AMAZING!  So easy (like fail proof easy!) and fall apart tender!  My favorite way to serve them is with a big scoop of homemade mashed potatoes to go with all the gravy.

Thank you Katie for sharing, because now it's one of my family's favorite dinners too!


Crockpot Smothered Pork Chops
Adapted from {Katie Gee}

8 boneless pork chops
1 (10.75 oz) can Campell's Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic soup
(OR 1 can cream of mushroom and 2 tsp minced garlic)
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of celery
1 cup onion, diced
1 Tbl beef bullion

Directions
Place pork chops in crockpot and add soups, onion, and bullion
Cook on high for 4 hours OR low for 6 hours


Cowboy Caviar

A fresh and healthy snack you can eat like a salad or with tortilla chips.  It is also great to have at an end of the summer cookout.


Cowboy Caviar
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 dozen cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup red onion, petite diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 Tbl red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Directions
In a medium size bowl combine beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro
In a small bowl whisk olive oil, juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper
Pour dressing over vegetables and fold together to coat
Place in refrigerator for at least an hour for flavors to combine

Crockpot Dr Pepper Pulled Pork

I am a big fan of pulled pork and Dr Pepper.  Together they are delicious, and I really love that I put this in the crockpot and let it go for a few hours and not worry about it.  You can feed a group of people or just a few and have leftovers to freeze.  My favorite way to eat them is with coleslaw on top.  I'll have to post that recipe the next time I make them.



Crockpot Dr Pepper Pulled Pork
3-5 lb pork roast

celery salt
onion salt
Lawry's season salt
pepper
garlic powder
liquid smoke
12 oz Dr Pepper
1 cup bbq sauce, your choice
(I use Sweet Baby Rays)

Directions
Place meat in the crockpot
Sprinkle liquid smoke and cover meat thoroughly
Sprinkle seasonings over meat
Turn over meat and repeat
Pour in can of Dr Pepper
Cook roast 4 hours on high OR 6 hours on low
Reserve 1/4 cup of liquid and drain the rest
Shred roast by pulling apart with two forks
Stir in the reserved liquid and bbq sauce until desired consistency
(I use very little bbq sauce to begin with so others can decide how much they want later)
Serve with extra bbq sauce if desired

Giant Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

So here is my so long to summer!  For fun I decided to take my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and split it in half and bake two large cookies on pizza pans.  Then we put a whole gallon of our favorite ice cream between.  It was epic!  The kids loved it.



Giant Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

1 chocolate chip cookie recipe, homemade or store bought
(*my favorite is at the bottom)
1 gallon ice cream of your choice, softened
ice cream toppings, optional

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F
Split chocolate chip cookie batter in half
Spread one half of the mixture into a large circle on a pizza pan
Spread the other half of the batter into a large circle on the other pizza pan
Bake for approx 15 minutes
Cool completely
Turn over one of your large cookies onto the pizza pan
Spread softened ice cream over the cookie
Place second cookie on top
Cut into pie shaped pieces and decorate with ice cream toppings of your choice

*Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from {365ish days of pinterest}

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F
In a large bowl beat butter until smooth
Add both sugars and combine completely until light in color
Stir in the egg and vanilla
Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt
Fold in chocolate chips
Using a cookie scoop drop onto cookie sheets about an inch apart
Bake for 8-10 minutes until just set but not brown
Remove and cool on wire rack

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Caramel Apple Salad

I love the combination of caramel and apples, but it's usually thought of as a treat for the fall.  Well not anymore!  The combination of the caramel candy and  crunchy apples pairs perfectly with the light and tangy cream cheese caramel filling.  So good!


Caramel Apple Salad

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup thick caramel topping
2 Tbl sugar
pinch of salt
1 ctn cool whip
3 fuji apples
1 Tbl lemon juice
1/2 cup water
12 fun size milky way bars, chopped

Directions
In a large bowl use a mixer to combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup of caramel, sugar, and salt
Gently fold in cool whip
Core apples and cut into desired size chunks
In a small bowl mix water and lemon juice together and add apples
Drain off water and blot apples dry with a towel
(This will keep the apples from turning brown)
Fold apples and candy into cream cheese mixture
Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup of caramel on top
If desired reserve some of the candy for a garnish on top
Refrigerate until ready to serve

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

A simple but delicious weeknight casserole the whole family will like!  I am a big believer that food doesn't have to be fancy to taste good.



Chicken Parmesan Casserole

2 heaping cups rotini pasta
2 boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
salt and pepper to taste
1 (24oz) jar favorite tomato pasta sauce
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 Tbl unsalted butter
1/4 tsp garlic salt (or to taste)

Directions
Boil pasta according to package directions
In a large pan cook chicken with salt and pepper until no longer pink
Add jar of tomato pasta sauce
In an 8x8 baking dish layer half the noodles with half the sauce/chicken and half the cheese
Then pour in remaining pasta, remaining sauce/chicken, and cheese
In a small bowl melt butter in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds and slightly cool
Add bread crumbs into zipper plastic bag
Add garlic salt to crumbs
Poor in butter and zip the bag shut
Shake and massage the bag until crumbs are coated
Spread crumbs evenly over cheese on top
Bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and crumbs start to brown