Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Aunt Rae’s Catchy Clam Chowder

We had family over this past weekend and bought a bushel (300) clams to steam on the cooker outside with corn on the cob, hot dogs, relish tray stuff, potato salad, chips, pretzels, etc…. and ice cream cake.  With only six adults actually eating the clams we ended up with quite a few leftover clams.

I couldn’t let them go to waste… so my lovely mother did me the favor of plucking all of the leftover clams out of the shells and popping them in the fridge for me.

I heard that my husband’s Aunt Rae makes the best clam chowder so I got a hold of the recipe and made some up today.

I had to make a few minor changes to use what I had, but followed the recipe pretty closely.  It turned out super yummy and I will definitely make it again!!!


Here is the recipe!

Aunt Rae’s Catchy Clam Chowder—


1/4 lb bacon cut into small pieces

1 lg onion chopped

1/2 sliced carrots

1/2 head chopped celery

3 to 4 medium size Idaho baking potatoes, skinned and cubed

2 tbsp butter

1 c. dry sherry

salt and pepper

2 (24 oz.) cans clams in juice

1/2 qt. light cream

1/2 qt. half & half

1 qt. milk

1 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning


Melt butter in heavy, large kettle.  Add bacon.  Layer on top of bacon: onion, carrots, celery and potatoes.  Cover and simmer for about 1/2 hour.  Stir and continue to cook until tender, then add sherry, salt, pepper, clams, light cream, half & half, and milk.  Simmer about 20 minutes.  Add Old Bay.  Increase heat to medium.  Thicken with butter/flour paste (1/4 cup melted butter and 1/4 cup flour, blended).


* I used fresh clams chopped with a super sharp knife and heated in a saucepan with a bit of unsalted butter instead of the canned clams in juice.  I used some white cooking wine that I had in the fridge instead of the dry sherry.  I also didn’t have cream or half & half so I just used the 2 qts of milk.  I am sure it would be a bit nicer and creamier with the cream, but it came out just delicious the way I made it. (just in case you are thinking you have to run out and get cream just to make this…)



Do you steam clams over the summer?  Or don’t you do shellfish?


5 Cheese Mac n Cheese Yumminess!

It finally cooled down enough for me to want to cook this on the stove today.  We have been having some super warm unusual northern NY weather the last few days.  I am not complaining… but I certainly wasn’t about to stand over a hot stove when it was 90 something outside.

Anyway… I first came across this original recipe online somewhere (sorry… hand wrote it down.. and have no idea where it originally came from) after I threw a wine and cheese pairing party and had a bunch of yummy more expensive cheeses to use up.  So…. I took this recipe but used different main cheeses.  The first few times I made this I used Jarlsberg, Gouda, extreme sharp aged NY cheddar, Camembert, and Parmesan I believe.  It was soooooo creamy and delicious!!!

This is the original recipe—


1- 16 oz. elbow macaroni

1/4 lb. bacon

1 med onion diced

5 tbsp unsalted butter

6 tbsp flour

1 tbsp dijon

2 1/2 c milk

2 c heavy cream (I didn’t have heavy cream and don’t today either…. I just used about four c milk total and it came out great still.)

1 sprig thyme

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 c grated fontina

1/2 c crumbled blue cheese

3/4 c gruyere

3/4 c parmesan

3/4 c white cheddar

3 tbsp parsley

1/4 c bread crumbs


450 F oven and butter a 9×13 glass pan

boil mac with salt

In dutch oven- saute bacon- remove and reserve

saute onion in bacon drippings

add 5 tbsp butter to onion and melt

stir with wooden spoon


using whisk- add flour and stir consistently with fat to make a roux

whisk mustard in

gradually add milk and cream


add thyme, bay leaf, and salt

let come to simmer and stir frequently for 15 min


strain the hot milk mix into metal bowl and discard solids


work quick and mix 1 c fontina and blue and 1/2 c gruyere, 1/2 c cheddar and 1/2 c parm into milk mixture with bacon and parsley

continue to stir until cheese is melted


add cooked noodles to cheese

mix to coat

add mix to glass dish

mix remaining cheese and bread crumbs together and sprinkle on top


bake for 15-20 min or until bubbling and golden brown

rest for 5 min



28 Muffin Recipes

My kids absolutely LOVE muffins… of all sorts… I make the little mini ones and they gobble them up like crazy.  So… I had to share this link to Eat At Home Cooks where they list 28 muffin recipes.  They go from Snickerdoodle to Poppy Seed to White Chocolate Pineapple.  I can’t wait to try a few of these babies!!!


Snickerdoodle Muffin from Eat At Home Cooks


Poppy Seed Muffin from Eat At Home Cooks


White Chocolate Pineapple Muffins from Mommy Hates Cooking


Father’s Day Finds

I am still not sure that I will be committing as I should to this blog, but I had a few things that I would like to post about and might actually have the time to post a few things.  I am not sure how religious I will be about it…. hasn’t been great lately…. but here goes.

Father’s Day is approaching… June 19th this year for those of you who haven’t checked into that yet.  I usually do some simple gifts for hubby that are homemade from the kids and/or include cute photos of the kids.  With our first child…. a son…. I started a thing where I take his picture in one of Daddy’s shirts, a tie, and standing in his work shoes.  I have done this same thing each year and plan to do it again this year.  When we had more kids…. two girls…. I didn’t think I should do the same work shirt thing.  I take some cute pics of the kids together and usually do the mug/ mouse pad thing for work and still do the shirt thing because it has become a bit of a tradition.

I have been looking around on some blogs today and found a few cute things to share.  I love the homemade gifts for father’s day especially if the kids help to make them.  I had to share a few….

*Update- I had a cute hamburger cake on here…. I am sure you could just google it and find a picture to copy and make.  It is basically a stacked round cake pan cake that is frosted to look like a burger.  It uses light brown for the bun, dark brown for the burger, a ring of yellow for cheese, red for ketchup, and then little leaves of green lettuce poking out here and there.  I had to update this and remove it after the person that I was trying to compliment by putting it in my post tweaked out and left me several messages that I needed to immediately remove it.  I notified them after posting that I posted it, but I guess I was supposed to get prior approval.  Whoops.  I never mean to offend anyone… just to compliment them by sharing their awesome ideas.  I tried to at least notify everyone that I included in this post…. and didn’t take the time to find each blogs personal sharing policy.  Oops…


Anywho….    Hopefully it is still okay that I shared these others.



Nothing But Country has a free printable for the AWesome Dad printable to attach to a pack of root beer.  Too cute.

My husband would LOVE this Daddy’s Six Pack idea from While He Was Napping.  He is a junk food junkie big time (and still has the totally hard stomach rocking body as when I married him… sooo not fair!!!).


And… if you want to go all sorts of talented and time consuming… these are SUPER cute, but would take me forever….. from Somewhat Simple.

Yes… that remote is a cookie!!!  omg….

So.. the kids are already getting squirmy.  I got a short post done.  I would like to post a few other ideas today… recipes… and a Summer Bucket List idea that I am working on.  Maybe….. I will get to it.

Menu Plan 4/11-4/17/11

This week’s menu is based mainly off of things we already have in the stockpile with very little needed at the store.  I may not even go grocery shopping this week- just send the hubby to get the bread, milk, bananas type stuff instead.

It is starting to warm up here in the north country a bit, too, so I will be trying to include some spring/summer grilling and salads type meals in the next few weeks because it makes me feel like I am cheering on the warmer weather.


For this week- (oh.. and one of these meals might be pushed back because I won a free dinner of pizza and wings from the John Hoover Inn in Evans Mills, NY on the radio so we might be trying them out this week.)

Monday-  Tilapia with steamed veggies and brown rice

Tuesday-  Sloppy Joes and coleslaw

Wednesday-  Leftovers

Thursday-  chicken stir fry over brown rice

Friday-  Homemade Pizzas with the kiddos

Saturday-  Roasted Chicken with cauliflower and chick peas (Everyday Food current issue)

Sunday-  Leftovers

Artichoke Mushroom Lasagna

I finally got a chance to run grocery shopping last night (Thanks, Mom!) so I was able to get the one more can of artichoke that I needed for this recipe.  I will make it tonight instead of the planned Monday night on the menu for the week.  I got this recipe out of the April/May 2011 Taste of Home magazine and it looks and sounds super!


(They even give the nutritional info. so that I can plug it in to figure out that one slice (1/12th of the whole thing) is 10 points plus for Weight Watchers!   ouch… but it looks so good!)


Artichoke Mushroom Lasagna Recipe(photo from Taste of Home also)


  • 12 Servings
  • Prep: 30 min. Bake: 1 hour + standing



  • 1 pound sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup chardonnay or other white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 2-1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup chardonnay or other white wine
  • 9 no-cook lasagna noodles
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided


  • In a large skillet, saute mushrooms in butter until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the artichokes, wine, salt and pepper; cook over medium heat until liquid is evaporated.
  • For the sauce, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in Parmesan cheese and wine.
  • Spread 1 cup sauce into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Layer with three noodles, 1-2/3 cups sauce, 1 cup mozzarella and 1-1/3 cups artichoke mixture. Repeat layers twice.
  • Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, 15-20 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Yield: 12 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 piece equals 383 calories, 18 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 54 mg cholesterol, 751 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 24 g protein.


Pasta e Fagioli

I made this recipe tonight instead of Thursday because I need to get groceries for the Artichoke Mushroom Lasagna that I was supposed to make.  It is a Weight Watchers recipe and turned out really yummy.  It ends up being six points plus for a generous one cup serving.


Pasta e Fagioli


1 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion(s), chopped
1 medium carrot(s), chopped
1 stalk(s) (medium) celery, chopped
2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced
1/2 pound(s) 90% lean/10% fat raw ground beef
1 tsp chili powder
14 1/2 oz canned diced tomatoes
4 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 oz uncooked pasta, small shell variety about 1/2 cup
15 1/2 oz canned great northern beans, rinsed and drained
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground


  • Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder; cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are softened and the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the broth and pasta; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the pasta is tender and the soup thickens slightly, about 8 minutes. Add the beans and heat though. Remove from the heat, then sprinkle with the cheese and pepper. Yields generous 1 cup per serving.