Categories
cooking & recipes eats

Recipe: Andrea’s Clam Chowder

clam chowder

Lately my favorite place to store recipes is on Pinterest. I have a board for recipes I want to try – and another one for recipes that are all kinds of tried and true. It’s nice to be able to scroll through a bunch of meals that are known favorites in my family as I’m planning my menu for the week.

But some of my favorite recipes aren’t online and thus are un-pinnable! I’m trying to rectify this and I thought an easy solution would be to share some of them here.

Today I want to share with you a clam chowder recipe that I got from my my bestie, Andrea. She shared it with me awhile back and my life hasn’t been the same since. Sometimes I’ll call her in the grocery store to ask what kind of clams to buy again and what brands does she like and have I told her how much I love her lately.

me & andrea

Me and Andrea wayyyyy back when!

Ange and I go way back – we met at a bowling party for a mutual friend back in high school and were basically inseparable from that day forward. Though we live 1,500 miles apart now – we have one of those super easy friendships where we always pick up where we left off whenever we do get to see each other as if no time has passed at all. Love that.

In our hometown back in MA we have an annual Chowder Fest every year where restaurants and chefs from all over compete to make the best clam chowder. It’s a major summer event and before moving to Wisconsin I went basically every year – so although I’m probably not a clam chowder expert, I do like to think I have pretty high standards when it comes to my chowder. Seasoning and consistency are pretty important to me and I consider myself kind of a chowder purist – I like it simple and this recipe is simply delicious.

andrea's clam chowder

Andrea’s Clam Chowder

Makes 8-10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 celery sticks
  • 1 1/4 lb potatoes
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1.5 tsp thyme (fresh use a little less than bottled)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 cans clam (1 minced, 2 chopped or whatever sounds good to you)
  • 8 oz clam juice
  • 1 quart heavy cream

Directions

  1. Slice 1/2 pound of bacon into small pieces, and fry in a large pot until crispy. Once crispy to the touch add in celery and onion (cut into small pieces so they will fit on a spoon.) Cook down until celery is looking translucent and is soft to the touch.
  2. Add seasoning to pot, more can be added if flavor is lacking at the end of all cooking. Stir mixture together until thoroughly seasoned. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until flour is coating all items in pan.
  3. Add 2-3 cans of clams (I usually do 1 minced and 2 chopped) and clam juice to pot.
  4. Concoction so far can be frozen for future preparation!
  5. In separate pot cook cubed potatoes (again, bite sized) until they are soft enough to eat, but not too soft that they will fall apart.
  6. Add potatoes (drained of all water) and heavy cream to large pot and cook until thoroughly warm. If chowder is thin then you can cook it for longer (it will thicken as it stands) or create a roux using melted butter and flour and adding it to the chowder which will help it thicken. To really make the flavor complete add 3 drops of hot sauce!

I love this clam chowder recipe – I hope you will, too!

Categories
family fun

Bragging rights: My handy husband is at it again!

2 Quick & Easy (And Frugal!) Laundry Room Fixes

laundry room before and after

My laundry room is in a sad, dark corner of our unfinished basement which is unlikely to be finished any time soon. When we moved in, it was pretty much just the giant industrial looking washer and dryer and a dingy looking set tub next to it. There was nowhere to actually do anything except wash and dry which meant lugging everything upstairs to fold on the couch.

Over time, I’ve tried to make the corner my own by adding small touches to make it more functional and also better looking.  I dream of a gorgeous laundry area with fresh paint, good lighting and smart storage – but until miracles happen, I’m trying to make do with what I have.

Luckily, one thing I have is a very handy husband! In the past two years he has been hard at work slowly turning our Starter Home into a Dream Home.

Not long after moving in, he built me a floating counter to fold laundry on using re-purposed wood from other projects. We always seem to have spare lumber lying about and that counter top was from an old piece of furniture we had disassembled at some point! So the counter was essentially free.

Just this weekend he built me a little shelf above the counter to keep all our laundry supplies on. They were previously all being stored on top of the dryer or sometimes on my folding counter- meaning I had nowhere to fold!

The shelf was unbelievably easy to build – we went to a hardware store and bought two pieces of wood (8 inches wide I think) and then cut one in half to form the basic shelf. Using the other piece of wood and a little saw thingy (I’m very technical, I know), he was able to cut rounded corners to put on the ends to give it more of a finished look.

He sanded the ends quickly and then nailed it all into place above the counter using a stud finder to make sure it’s secure. At the hardware store I picked out a couple of cute hooks to hang on the shelf – you could also hang a towel rod or nobs – whatever you think would be most useful basically!

Now my laundry room may not be a beautiful and relaxing  retreat but it’s much nicer looking than before and more functional, too!