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  • Friday, July 17, 2009

    Recipes From Marilyn Kalenda

    Every year, right around Thanksgiving, when pumpkins abound, I have a dinner party which I affectionately call the “Chowder Fest”. It started out as a small group potluck and grew into an annual event that my close friends and family anxiously await their invitation to. Nothing is better than good food, friends, family, fellowship and fun so if you’re looking for an inexpensive and easy way to party with family just before that huge Thanksgiving Dinner, this is the way to go!

    Pumpkin Corn Chowder

    3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
    1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
    2-3 garlic cloves, minced
    ½ cup well scrubbed sweet potato, cut into ½ inch chunks
    6 cups vegetable broth
    1 cup pumpkin puree
    1 cup corn, frozen or cut from the cob
    ½ teaspoon dried thyme
    ½ teaspoon crumbled dried sage
    ½ cup light cream or half and half (you can also use low fat yogurt)
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    1. Heat butter or olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat; add onion, garlic and sweet potato. Sauté stirring to coat the vegetables with the butter until onion is translucent, just a few minutes.
    2. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered 30 minutes, until sweet potato is tender.
    3. Add pumpkin puree, corn and herbs. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat again and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in cream and remove soup from the heat.
    4. Puree half the soup in a blender and return it to the pot, stirring well to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Serves 6

    I serve this with Winter Salad, fresh baked bread and for those carnivores out there (of which I am unabashedly one) Trader Joe’s chicken and spinach sausage is a great compliment to the chowder.

    Winter Salad

    1 head of Romaine lettuce
    ½ cup dried cranberries (you can sub or add Craisins, blueberries and/or cherries if you like)
    1 pear, cubed
    1 apple, cubed
    1 cup slivered almonds (you can sub candied pecans – yum!)
    1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

    Poppy Seed dressing

    ½ cup of sugar
    1/3 cup lemon juice
    1 tsp Dijon mustard
    ½ small onion, diced (you can also use tsp dried onion)
    2/3 cup of light olive oil
    1 Tbsp poppy seeds

    Combine salad ingredients
    Combine dressing ingredients and toss with salad just before serving

    Olive oil has a tendency to get stiff or solidify so if you prepare your dressing in advance and refrigerate it, make sure you give it some room temperature time prior to serving.