New England Fish Chowder

One of the best things about a nor’easter is that it’s a perfect time to make fish chowder (assuming the storm doesn’t shut down your electricity!).  This weekend we had our second – or maybe it’s the third – storm so far this season and it’s looking like we’re in for a bad winter, so we officially welcomed the cold weather by chowing down on chowder.  This dish is a blend of two authentic New England recipes – my husband’s grandmother’s recipe and John F. Kennedy’s recipe that was published in a newspaper years ago.  It’s definitely a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs meal that will warm and fill you up with delicious, real, ingredients.  Enjoy!

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New England Fish Chowder
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs firm white fish (Pollock, haddock, etc.)
  • 2 cups fish stock
  • 4 large potatoes - peeled and cubed (Yukon Gold are good)
  • 1 vidalia onion - chopped
  • 1 celery stalk - finely diced
  • 4 slices bacon cut into ¼" pieces
  • 2½ T flour (I use white whole wheat)
  • ¼ c white wine
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups half and half
  • 2 T butter
Instructions
  1. In a large pot simmer the fish in the fish stock for about 15 minutes, or until just under done.
  2. Remove fish to a plate and cut into bite sized pieces, removing any bones at the same time.
  3. Transfer stock to a separate bowl.
  4. In the same pot add the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  5. Add diced onion to the bacon grease in the pot and sauté until translucent - about 5 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and stir to make a roux. Stir constantly to slightly cook, but not burn, the flour.
  7. Stir the stock back into the pot, stirring constantly until the flour mixture and stock are well combined.
  8. Add the celery, salt, pepper and bay leaf.
  9. Bring to a boil and add the wine.
  10. Reduce heat to medium and add the potatoes.
  11. Cook at a low boil for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
  12. Add half and half and stir to combine.
  13. Add butter and stir while melting.
  14. Add fish and slowly heat until all is warm.
  15. Crumble reserved bacon on top and serve with crusty bread and salad.

 

 

Halloween Snack Attack

Unfortunately my kids will never open their lunch boxes and find a replica of Fenway Park somehow artfully created out of a sandwich, or a teddy bear made out of fruit salad, or even a puppy made out of rice balls.  ( Sorry kids, mommy is lacking both the talent and time to create edible lunch art.)  BUT these two easy snacks are right up my alley — healthy, cute and quick!

A couple of spooky little surprises for their school snack:  pumpkin muffins and clementine “spiders”.

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Detox Dinner

This weekend the kids were invited to two birthday parties in one day which meant lots of games, lots of fun, and lots of birthday food (cake, candy, pizza, etc.).  This always lead to lots of anxiety for me as I try to balance being the “junk free mommy” (who wants her kids to eat healthy) and the “mean mommy” (who doesn’t let her kids eat the birthday food).   So, this past weekend I sat back and let them eat what they wanted, but as they rode a sugar high from one party to the next I started planning out a special “detox” dinner for that night.

The hysterical masks at Henry's "Presidential Party"

The hysterical masks at Henry’s “Presidential Party”

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The Mac n’ Cheese Challenge

Did you know that 3 out of 4 kids prefer homemade mac n’cheese instead of Kraft?  Well, at least 3 out of 4 of my kids do! I recently decided to do a little investigating and taste testing on one of the food staples of every kid’s life: macaroni and cheese.  Here’s what I turned up in my investigation – Kraft macaroni and cheese is chock full of some crazy ingredients!  sodium tripolyphosphate, yellow #5, yellow #6, and many others!  How can such a simple dish contain so many items that I don’t recognize?

But here’s the good news, making your own mac n’cheese only requires a few ingredients and takes about the same amount of time as the boxed version.  The most time consuming part?  shredding the cheese.  If you can spare two minutes to do that, then there is really no reason to ever grab that blue box again.  Just look at the comparison:

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Happy Mother’s Day!

I just walked home from my next door neighbor, Megan’s,  house where I watched her rehearse a speech she’ll be giving next week in NYC about the relationship between health and food.  As I listened to her I was riveted by the statistics:  1 in 3 children born since 2000 will develop Type 2 Diabetes, childhood allergies have increased 400%, nearly 1 in 67 children are diagnosed with Autism.  There will always be a debate as to the relationship between food and some of the health problems we’re now seeing in our children, but what really struck me listening to her is how the changes in our food supply have changed our concerns as mothers.

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