a neighborly gift is my fave

October 25, 2012

Today’s post is from Joy of Frock Files. She’ll be dropping in now and again to share her ideas for simple, just because gifts inspired by the book 29 Gifts by Cami Walker (which now I must read).

My neighborhood has been a flurry of activity recently, with neighbors going through big life changes –you know, the kind that don’t allow for a lot of time in the kitchen. Whipping up a quick, hot meal for your neighbors doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort, but the unexpected gesture will definitely be appreciated and remembered long into the future. This healthy corn chowder is a crowd pleaser — and so is the cute packaging.

In less time than it takes to watch a cooking show, you’ll have finished this simple soup. It’s literally a matter of mashing a potato, sautéing a few ingredients, then adding a few more. Surprisingly, the complexity of flavor makes it taste like it took hours to make (you can pretend it did).

You’ll need:

1 medium uncooked yukon gold potato(es)
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup thawed frozen corn (or fresh)
1/2 cup sweet red pepper(s), diced
3 strips uncooked bacon, diced
2 cups milk (skim, 1%, or 2%)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp Sriracha or other hot sauce

Pierce the potato with a fork at either end and around the middle. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, turn the potato over, then microwave for another three minutes. Alternately, you can boil the potato. Allow it to cool, then peel and mash well with a fork. In a large saucepan, saute onion, bacon, red pepper, and corn in olive oil over medium heat until vegetables are tender.

Stir the milk and mashed potato into the saucepan. Season with salt, pepper, and Sriracha. Stir to combine, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes being careful not to boil.

Since glass jars make me happy and they’re prettier than plastic containers, I use them to hold everything from paper clips to cookies. These quart sized jars are perfect for the corn chowder. To dress them up, trace the removable part of the lid on a piece of spare wrapping paper and cut it out, then simply place the circle of paper on top of the lid before screwing the rim back on. And who can resist some red satin ribbon?

Giving small gifts can mean the difference between a rough day and a great one — for both the giver and the recipient. What’s the last little gift you gave?

This recipe was adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe. Find the original recipe here, download the adapted recipe here. The recipe for the cornbread pictured above can be found at Joy’s blog.



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