Pages

Creamy Chicken Chowder Recipe


Do you love good, warm, comfort food on a cold winter's day? I sure do! In fact, adding soups, stews, chowders, and comforting casseroles to the menu is one of my favorite parts of winter. My absolute favorite recipes to warm us up are those that combine great flavor with affordability. This creamy chicken chowder recipe was thrown together by raiding my pantry and turned out to be a bowl of rich, delicious comfort food. Not only is it tasty, but it comes together rather quickly, making it a great choice for a weeknight dinner. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does!

Ingredients

1 lb boneless skinless chicken, cooked and shredded - Thighs, breasts, whatever you want to use works!
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 large white onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic - I use the refrigerated stuff in the jar.
1/4 cup all purpose flour
6 small potatoes, peeled and diced
1 can no salt added whole kernel corn, drained
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
6 cups chicken broth - I've used broth reserved after boiling chicken, store bought broth, and even water with chicken bouillon successfully. 
2 cups half and half - You can sub milk with no problem, your chowder just won't be as rich.
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

In a large pot, stir butter over medium heat until melted.Toss in onion and garlic, stirring and cooking until tender. Add in flour, stirring constantly until slightly browned, to make a roux. Pour in broth and continue stirring until well blended. 

Add carrots, potatoes, and seasoning, let the pot come to a boil. Lower heat to medium low, cooking about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender, giving the pot an occasional stir. 

Stir in corn, half and half, cooked chicken, and corn. Reduce heat to simmer and cook another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This is one of those recipes that you can add to and/or take away from depending on your tastes and what ingredients you have on hand. 

Inspired by and adapted from CookingClassy.com

Saving Cents



With the New Year comes a whole new set of goals, or if you are like me, old goals you didn't quite meet in the previous year. High on the list of most of my friends is saving more money in the new year. There are no shortage of suggested savings plans out there: the 52 week challenge, putting all your dimes away in a two liter bottle, squirreling away every five dollar bill that ends up in your hands. I have tried numerous savings methods over the years and none that I followed really worked for me. A few weeks would pass with me successfully saving, then something would derail me. Not dealing in cash, making very little money, unexpected emergencies, all those things and more would throw a hitch in my plans and my saving would stop or my stash of cash would have to be used for something. Many families are low income like we are and I am sure, also like me, think long term substantial saving is a near impossible goal.

This way of thinking was getting me nowhere, so I decided to change things up in 2017. Enter my newest saving strategy, the pickle jar. This thing is big, a glass pickle jar I picked up months ago at a yard sale with the intention of using it as a kitchen utensil holder. The mouth of the jar was a little narrower than I needed for the purpose I intended, so it ended up sitting on the counter a few days. During that time something magical happened, loose change started to accumulate. It happened without much effort or thought on our part, we'd just empty our pockets into the jar before tossing clothes into the laundry hamper. Once money appeared in there, none of us touched it. In my case it started as a matter of curiosity, wanting to see how much could accumulate before life threw a curve-ball necessitating raiding our jar. There's no thinking about it, counting out a certain amount of money to hide away, which is why I think this works for us. The jar has moved from the counter to the bookcase, but location doesn't seem to have hindered our habit of tossing coins there daily.

What's the point of this ramble about a change jar? Don't overthink it. Any savings is progress, even a small change can lead to a good habit. Don't stress that you aren't putting away $50 a week, especially if you truly cannot afford to do so. All you need to do is save SOMETHING. Change adds up and positive habits are positive habits despite the amount you sock away. Don't stress it, just do it. So far it's working for us.

Saving in the New Year: Getting Started With Coupons



As the New Year approaches, I've heard many folks say that saving is one of their top resolutions. Couponing is one way to save your family some cold, hard cash. You would be amazed at what some planning and coupon inserts can do to change your life. To give you some inspiration and get you pointed in the right direction, I've rounded up some of my posts from way back on how to get started clipping your way to savings. It is something I intend to embrace at full force once again in 2017. Good luck and happy shopping!

How Do You Save That Much?

I Don't Know Where To Start!

Know When To Hold 'Em, Know When To Shop

Thinking Out Loud



I've found myself discussing this blog often in the past week, so much so that is has me reminiscing. I started blogging so many years ago because I had figured out how to do something that was helping my family survive on a very meager income. We were barely getting by and I was doing anything I could to help better our circumstances. I learned to coupon, stockpile, shop smarter and cook smarter. Everything about how I ran our household changed. I wanted to share my knowledge with others like us, those who were living well beyond the poverty line. Those who could use skills like couponing to keep their families from going hungry. It worked. I helped people. It was an incredibly rewarding experience and I can honestly say looking back that I am proud of what I accomplished.

I fell off the wagon. My marriage imploded. Life completely turned on it's head. I made some not great choices, but I made my share of good ones as well. Like many who find their lives taking a completely new turn, I struggled. Sometimes I feel like I barely survived drowning. Somehow, I got my head on straight, pulled myself up by the bootstraps, and moved forward.

Here I am now. I am a single mom. A full time nanny. A full time college student. I've accomplished a lifelong dream of becoming a published author. Things are by no means easy, perfect, or constant sunshine and rainbows. After years, I am finally making my own life, on my own terms, and loving every moment. Each up and down teaches me something. It can be scary. Overwhelming. So stressful. It's also an amazing ride.

What I have decided is that I want to share this journey. It's not the vision I had when I began writing here all those years ago, but it's my life, and that was always sort of the point. Plus, I know their are others like me; single parents who work, struggle, laugh, cry, and just hang on when they find themselves starting over. So, I am going to share, try to help, and hopefully empower. If I help even one person realize they aren't alone, then my heart is happy.

20 Years Ago



Twenty years ago today I was a seventeen year old bride, scared to death but excited for the future. At this point exactly 20 years ago I was in a hotel with my new husband having a mental freak out because all of a sudden I wasn't supposed to be a kid anymore. We had a baby on the way and out of nowhere it slammed into me that we were now supposed to be adults and our own unit. We were expected to raise someone else. It was a lot to absorb. Even though I was worried about the future and how exactly life was going to work, I was happy because I had this person who loved me. I thought that's what happiness was supposed to look like. 

Fifteen years ago today I was in tears most of the day. The marriage this day commemorated was in trouble and I knew it. I had learned a lot in the years since "I do". I was the mother to two absolutely amazing children. Life was a struggle, but we sort of got by. I tried to count my blessings, but I was not the wife I was expected to be. My heart hurt because happiness was a concept I didn't grasp anymore. I wasn't a great mom. I was depressed and lost, all because I thought the only way to be happy was to be loved by a man, to be living some sort of fairy tale that eluded me. I knew life was not that way for me, for us, and I was miserable for so many reasons. 

I had it all wrong. 

Tonight there are a few tears as I type, not from sadness for where I am now, but from relief the person I was five years ago is long gone.Why has past me a memory and something I will never be again? It's because the power of I. 

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” ~ Groucho Marx
I figured out happiness isn't about a man loving you. It's not about a big house, having all the money in the world, or raising perfect kids. Those things don't make you happy, it comes from within us. Figuring that out was a game changer for me. Guess what happened? I became someone I am proud of. I am an amazing mother. Have a job I love. Am finally going to college after years of believing it was impossible. I accomplished a dream by becoming an author. I am strong, so much stronger than I ever believed. I am smart. Funny. Kind. I am blessed with the most incredible family and friends who support and love me unconditionally. I found myself and guess what? I. Am. Happy. Life still throws curve balls. Depression still sucks. Not every day is perfect, most are far from it. Even so, I am happy. It's a life changer. So, on a day I once dreaded and viewed all about loss, I now celebrate. I am no longer a sad, scared girl. Twenty years later I am a fierce, strong, HAPPY woman. I really doesn't get better than that.