Hi there! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas full of friends, family and food. We had our first road trip with Baby E to spend Christmas with my husband’s family in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan. It’s a 3.5 hour drive from Regina so I was a little nervous about the trek, considering Baby E nurses every 3 hours. But I nursed her right before we left the house and she slept for the entire car ride!
Christmas was fun and chaotic. My in-laws have 7 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. Baby E is the youngest granddaughter at 2.5 months, and the oldest granddaughter is 16. The 7 grandsons range in age from 3 to 14, and the little toddlers make for quite a noisy environment.
Poor Baby E, who is used to quiet days at home with me with political TV shows droning in the background, was clearly overstimulated most of the time. At home with me, she usually stays awake for 1.5 hours before needing a nap, but over Christmas she would last about an hour being doted on by everyone before she started fussing and needed a nap. Side note: I recently put Baby E on a schedule and it has been a lifesaver. My days are easier to plan and manage and she is a much happier baby. I realized that prior to discovering this schedule, I was keeping her awake for way too long and she was not napping enough. But that will be a post for another day where I will provide some details of her schedule and give you “A Day in the Life of Baby E”.
I wish I would have taken a picture of the Christmas dinner that my mother in law made. Let me tell you, no one makes a turkey dinner better than a small town mother. Her stuffing is to die for, and although she’s shared the recipe with me, I can never seem to get it just right. I couldn’t get a decent shot of the meal because 1) I was busy nursing Ella when dinner was ready and 2) with 22 family members for dinner, there wasn’t really a plated, sit down dinner that I could capture. Everyone just dished up and found a spot to sit and eat and socialize.
We are back home in Regina now and my husband still has a few days off from work. He’s currently watching TV and cuddling the baby while she naps, so I have some time to myself to relax on the couch and blog. Today’s recipe is a hearty and satisfying seafood chowder. I love clam chowders and seafood chowders (especially from Earl’s), so I am quite proud of this recipe that I’ve honed to make my own. This chowder can be served with some pan bread for a heartier meal, but I usually just eat a huge bowl by itself.
The recipe below is pretty straightforward, but I wanted to make note of the type of shrimp that is used. My mom has drilled it into my head that black tiger shrimp is the only type of shrimp that is worth using in Vietnamese cooking. It’s the shrimp that she uses in her spring rolls and fresh rolls, and they are bigger and juicier than Pacific White shrimp. And they are also more expensive, around $20-ish for bag of a 26-30 shrimp. I happened to buy the bag of shrimp for this recipe when Sobeys had a coupon in their flyer for 20% off an item of your choosing. The bag of shrimp was the most expensive individual item in my cart that day, so I chose to get a 20% discount on it!
Anyway, Baby E should be waking from her nap anywhere between 15-45 minutes from now and will need to nurse, so I’m going to try to catch up on some reading. I’m currently reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and it is taking me forever to finish. I was so naive prior to having Baby E, thinking that I could just devour tons of books on my maternity leave. What I didn’t realize is 1) it’s impossible to focus on a book while she is awake and playing because you’re always looking at her or engaging with her 2) it’s impossible to read while she’s napping because you either need a nap yourself or there’s housework to be done and 3) when she’s in bed for the night and you have a choice of reading or going to bed yourself, you’ll choose to go to bed every single time!
Enjoy this seafood chowder recipe everyone, and enjoy the rest of your holidays!
Satisfying Seafood ChowderPrint Recipe
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1tbsp butter
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 6 celery sticks, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 4 small red potatoes, cubed
- 6 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1 tsp dill flakes
- 2 cans baby clams
- 12 large shrimp, pan fried and chopped
- 1 can of crabmeat
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 cups corn niblets (I like a lot of corn in my chowder, so I use 2 cups)
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh parsley to garnish
Fry up your bacon strips, chop, and set aside.
Fry up your shrimp in some butter until they are pink, chop, and set aside.
In a large soup pot on medium heat, add your oil and butter. Toss in the white onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add in the celery and garlic and continue to saute for another 5 minutes.
Add the flour slowly and coat the contents of the pot. Add in the potatoes, cooked bacon, salt and pepper, sugar and dill flakes.
Stir in all the seafood, including the seafood juices. Add the chicken broth and continue to stir on medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Add the milk, cream, Worcestershire sauce and corn niblets. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes.
Garnish with some chopped fresh parsley and enjoy!