Thursday, November 19, 2009

Denise before she could cook

Ode To Denise

Did I ever mention how awesome my sister-in-law is with spatula in hand? Denise wasn't always the gourmet chef we see before us today. She's come a long way since her newlywed days of running out of the house crying over her dry roast beef dinners and coffee gravy (okay, I was her partner in crime with the coffee gravy).

So this page is a tribute to Denise. For all the meals she fed me and my brothers when we were hungry, we applaud you. There is never a day or night (no matter the hour) she won't whip out her frying pan and rustle up some grub for friends, neighbours or in-laws. Her culinary creations have blossomed and flourished and we all reap the benefits of her talents. I won't go into detail about how she beat me at the fair this year with her pickled beans, nor will I rub it into my mother about Denise's blue ribbon Salsa (squeezing Ma Lynne into a cool, second place).

Here is one of my fave's. Anything that cooks while I'm at work will always hit the top of my list. Great for a crispy, cold day! Cheers to Denise - we love you!

Harvest Corn Chowder with Bacon & Cheddar
photo courtesy of Mark and Andrea Busse

1 lb bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium potatoes , diced
1 sweet potato, diced
1 large can cream corn
4 cups frozen corn kernels
3 ½ cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 can (13oz) evaporated milk
1 cup grated cheddar

1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, onions and celery for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. With slotted spoon, transfer mixture to slow cooker.

2. Add potatoes, corn, stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper to slow cooker; stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours, until vegetables are tender and soup is bubbling. Remove bay leaf and discard.

3. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add flour and stir to make smooth paste. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly to combine. Bring mixture to boil, whisking constantly until thickened. Remove form heat and stir in cheese until completely melted. Gradually stir mixture into slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 20 minutes. Serve garnished with additional cheddar and chopped fresh parsley, if desired.


  1. How nice to have a great relationship with your sister-in-law! Her cooking has evolved, Yay! And she does it with love, all the better! xo

  2. *sniff sniff sniff*
    Certainly a hard one to read through the mist in my eyes!
    Tracey, you are much too kind!
    I love you too!
    We've come a long way baby! The two of us have certainly come up with some winners over the years (and a few flops too)!!!
    Or flip flops if you include the bunny slipper soup presentation!
    This blog of yours is the greatest....and any time you want to dedicate a little blurb to me...go right ahead! My head could still stand to grow a bit more. (Just watch what you write about your kids....if you know what I mean) Bwahahaha!!!
    Cheers my love!

  3. Aw, Trace this is such a cute post:-)
    Makes me want to fly out there just to eat some of Denise's food!
    Love the blog by the way

  4. Love your writting and the recipes you are posting! This recipe may just replace Curtis' Corn chowder one, hmmm maybe I won't tell him ;D

    I think Denise is going to have to cook something for us when she comes to Silver Bay next time so we can also enjoy her cooking!

  5. Wow! Got a lump in my throat on that one! How we all love Denise (and her cooking)!It warms my heart that Denise loves to cook for my son, Brad. And I do forgive her for beating me up in the fair competitions...but I'm working on next year. Just watch me!
    I've made this corn chowder many times now and I prefer it baked.

  6. Actually, yeah. When my Mom bakes it, it gets nice and thick. So, Lynne, what you're saying is that YOUR corn chowder is BETTER than Denise's original recipe???? The war begins...


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