Need more vegetables in your diet? Try this hearty corn chowder

For my friends in the Mountain West, Midwest and East; is it still cold where you are? We had ice on the grass this morning.

Staying home with a steaming mug of corn chowder may be just the thing you need on cold nights. This hearty chowder is chock-full of veggies, comes together quickly and can be made with low-fat ingredients, although true connoisseurs love the bacon version. This recipe serves 12.

1 pound bacon or turkey bacon
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped coarsely
1 red bell pepper, chopped coarsely
10 russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ¾-inch pieces, diced
14 baby carrots, shredded
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1 ½ cups spinach or power greens, chopped
1 can corn, drained
1 can cream-style corn
2 cans mushroom soup
3 cans milk
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
In a large pot, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove, drain on paper towels and crumble when cool. Reserve 1 cup for garnish. Pour out the bacon grease, reserving about ¼ cup in the pot.
In the grease, saute the bell peppers, onion and celery until just tender. Remove vegetables, drain and set aside. Place the potatoes in the pot, add water until barely covered, bring to boil and cook about 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender but not mushy.
During the last 3 minutes add the carrots and zucchini. Drain the water, add the sauteed vegetables, greens, corn, mushroom soup, milk, salt and pepper. Simmer covered 5 minutes or until hot. Add crumbled bacon and additional salt and pepper, if desired.
Thank you to the following media sources for sharing this recipe:

The Deseret News – Utah
Deseret News Service (syndicated)
Bloomington Herald – Indiana
Bedford Times-Mail – Indiana
Daily American – Pennsylvania
Central Kentucky News – Kentucky
Aberdeen News – South Dakota
DNS (English channel 2)

Easter Memories

Happy Easter to you, may your celebration of the atonement and resurrection of our Lord bring you peace. My Mom recently gave me Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Jesus to read. If you really want to appreciate the horror of Christ’s experience the last few days of his mortal life and be truly thankful for his gift to us, please read this book. O’Reilly and his co-author are Catholics who did extensive historical research to write a compelling account, which at times, is difficult to read.

The thoughts of Christ are a treasured part of my canon of knowledge. I especially enjoy holidays that were based on the traditions of Christianity; Easter and Christmas. These Miracle Eggs teach children the story of Jesus’ triumph over death.

The instructions for Easter Miracles Eggs are here:

 Here’s an Easter Menu for your celebration

Spinach and strawberry salad with Gorgonzola and berry vinaigrette
Glazed baked ham
Au gratin potatoes
Onion-baked potatoes
Green peas
Croissants with butter and berry jam
 Cream cheese-filled bunny carrot cakelets

This corn chowder recipe will help you enjoy your 3 – 5 servings of vegetables this weekend – thanks Deseret News!

Seussical, you are musical!

For their musical production, my school, Kay’s Creek Elementary in Kaysville, put on a production of Seussical Junior. I volunteered to help and was given the opportunity to create decorations for the proscenium, costumes and a chalkboard advertisement. 

This 4′ x 7′ (?) chalkboard greeted theater patrons as they entered the lobby of the school.

As you enter the office you are welcomed by a SCHOOL of fish made by about 400 students

My 5th and 6th graders made 50 fish costumes

And here’s the proscenium  ( a new word to me that means the front of the stage.) Our intrepid Miss Hunt and her father used a lift to hang the paper 20 feet plus high to attach the Seuss-themed paper cut-outs Newell and I made to compliment the great onstage decor made by one of our stage moms. 

So here’s to Miss Hunt and the talented students and parents of Kay’s Creek – thank for inviting me to help with Seussical Jr.!