Once again, inn keepers Kaptain Krunch (maker of Korner Kottage Krunch, our home made, gourmet granola) and Cinderella (that's my nickname) have returned from a wonderful month spent in warm and sunny Florida. It is our pattern now, to take some much needed time away from our bed and breakfast to restore and nurture ourselves, surrounded by family and friends at the beach.
Having been back to Michigan for only a week now, I'm sorely missing the warm sunshine, the crashing ocean surf outside my window and the sand between my toes. It feels like a distant memory already, but wonderful memories indeed.
Family gathered from Boulder, Breckenridge and Chicago for reminiscing, cooking together, eating out, shopping, going to movies, playing banana grams, (a family favorite) walking on the beach and numerous, numerous laughter to sustain us until our next reunion. Ages range from the youngest at 18 months to the wisest at a young 91......and many ages in between. Regardless of age differences we were all entertained every single day. We are so blessed to have family and friends who live in such awesome places for us to gather. But then they all think Suttons Bay, Michigan where we live at the Korner Kottage Bed and Breakfast is a perfect place to visit as well.
On this snowy, winter day when much of our nation is in the grips of a winter snow storm that the weather channel has nicknamed "The Beast", Suttons Bay is enjoying a rather calm, normal wintry day. We received a couple of inches of new snow overnight and some howling winds, but we have escaped the real brunt of the storm's fury. In fact the skies are blue and the sun is shining brightly......but it is cold. Not the 70+ degrees we enjoyed just a week ago.
Last night in preparation for the storm, I made a new soup recipe that I found in a new vegetarian cookbook I scored, on sale, in Florida. As I do every year about this time, I make an effort to be more conscious and thoughtful of what I put into my body.
This recipe turned out to be an easy and very yummy soup for a winter day. Easy is the operative word, along with healthy. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Vegetable & Corn Chowder (serves 4)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red onion
1 red bell pepper, seeded + diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 3/4 potatoes....I used a few more
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk ...I used 2 %
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock...I added a bit more
1/2 cup broccoli florets
3 cups frozen corn
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, plus extra to garnish
salt + pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and potato and saute over low heat, stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes.
Stir in flour and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Gradually in milk and vegetable stock.
Add broccoli and corn. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and stir until it melts.
Season to taste.....(can add some spices if you like a bit of heat) and ladle into warm bowls. Garnish with the remaining cheese. Serve with a small salad and some crusty bread and you have a healthy, complete meal for a cold winter evening. Yum.