Shrimp Corn Chowder


I have had several requests to share this recipe, so I thought I would make a little blog post for it. I started making “Sweet Corn Soup” when Wade and I got married. The original recipe came from a sort of ‘cooking for dummies’ kind of book. I made it just like the book said for quite a while before realizing that adding potatoes would make it a sort of chowder. Yum! I continued with “Corn Chowder” until I visited Georgia a couple of years ago and had an amazing Shrimp Corn Chowder at Taqueria del Sol in Decatur. I sincerely wished that I could replicate that recipe, but didn’t know how! A happy accident this past fall showed me the way. I believe that the recipe that I am about to share with you comes very close to the deliciousness that is the Shrimp Corn Chowder at Taqueria.

Shrimp Corn Chowder

Ingredients:4-5 medium potatoes
1 sm onion, finely chopped
1 jalepeno pepper, finely chopped
3-4 medium carrots, grated
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 bag frozen corn (12-16 oz.)
4 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 cups cream or half and half or some combination of the two
milk (I use 2%)
1-2 cups cooked medium shrimp, chopped

1. Peel and cube potatoes. Boil in salted water until fork tender. (I prefer to use red potatoes and not peel them, but I didn’t have any to use tonight, so I had to use russets.)

2. Heat butter in soup pot until melted. Add onion, jalepeno, and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add frozen corn and grated carrots and cook until corn is tender.

4. Add sugar and stir.

5. (for this next part, I find that it is best to have the heat on Medium so that the roux does not burn) Sprinkle half of the flour over the mixture and stir lightly. Add the other half of the flour and stir until well incorporated. Mixture will be thick, but be careful not to create big, mushy flour lumps.

6. Add cream while stirring until completely incorporated. Add the potatoes.

7. Add milk until you reach your desired consistency. (The chowder will thicken a bit as it continues to cook.)

8. Add salt and pepper to taste and turn heat up no higher than med-high. Bring to a boil.

9. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add shrimp and cook for 5-10 more minutes.

10. Garnish and serve! (I love to put a little bit of Chipotle Tabasco, cheese, and bacon on mine. Corona Light provides a refreshing beverage balance. ;-) )

I hope that is everything! Of course, if you have questions don’t hesitate to ask. Enjoy!!

41 pounds gone a.k.a. reaching my weight loss goal

I felt the need to post today, as I have finally reached my weight loss goal!

I started my journey in January at 166 pounds. I am 5’1″. I was feeling uncomfortable in my skin. I was feeling uncomfortable at my job teaching Jazzercise. I felt that it was a time for a change. We started eliminating many processed foods from our diet. And the biggest change…we started eating appropriate portion sizes. (I say ‘we’ because I eventually convinced Wade to join me on this journey.) I have not denied myself any foods. I knew from experience that would be a big failure for me. But I know now that I can have 1 1/2 cups of my favorite corn chowder not the 4-5 cups that I was having previously.

Yes, seriously, that’s what I was eating. I would justify it. “I’m teaching an extra class this week, I can afford to eat…” whatever it was I was trying to justify. The more I exercised, the more I justified eating whatever the heck I wanted to. While I am not counting calories in the traditional sense, I now know generally what is going in and what is being expended (exercise, daily life) each day.

This lifestyle change (because that’s really what it is…) didn’t happen overnight. I took my time and did it slowly because I knew that’s what it would take for it to stick. 41 pounds in 9 months is grueling. Some weeks I saw little to no change at all. And there were weeks where I gained back a pound or two. I’m not going to lie…those weeks were disappointing. I felt very grateful in those weeks for my support system and all of my friends and family that kept me going. Support and encouragement are so important. My heartfelt thanks to all who helped and encouraged me. <3

I am sure there is more that I should say, but sometimes a picture *is* worth a thousand words…

February 9, at 161 lbs having already lost 5 pounds on my journey, and October 5, at 125 lbs. 41 lbs gone.

Now…bring on my 20 year high school reunion! ;-)

Update on projects!

I got a poke from a friend and realized I guess I should post an update on how the project process was going. See this post for where I was a little less than six months ago.

Good news….I’m all done!! And way ahead of schedule. I even had a bit of a detour and got it all done. *wink*

Project #2: my mini-album scrapbook of my time at the Art Institute. Pictures, design, and journaling. All done.

Project #3–knitting project 1 of 3

My toe-up socks. I am so glad these are done. I like the idea of knitting two socks at a time and knitting them from the toe up, but I wasn’t crazy with the heel of this pattern and how they turned out in general. I will keep looking for the perfect pattern. In the meantime, these are great ‘snuggling up on the couch’ socks.

Project #4–knitting project 2 of 3

A shrug made out of some bamboo yarn from Paris. I changed the pattern a couple of more times before I found the perfect one for this yarn. I love it and have worn it several times since finishing!

Project #5–knitting project 3 of 3

STOCKINGS!! Knitted, names embroidered, cuffs sewn on. Done. I love them! And the boys love that they have more room for Santa to put things in.

And the day after Thanksgiving…we hung our new stockings. Just love….

Project #6–cross-stitching.

Even *I* was doubtful that I would get this one done. I am thrilled! I haven’t gotten it framed yet, but it will be. After the holidays, I think I’m going to start on one of the other horses. I am so motivated.


Oh right…that detour…I made these little guys.

Avery took some in to his class for his birthday goodies, and Benji took the others in to his class for Halloween goodies. So cute, and so quick.

Since finishing all of my projects, I have done a few others, but most of them are Christmas gifts, so I can’t post them just yet. Next up on my list…Christmas cards. Yikes! How did it get to be December already?!?!?!

Crafty projects…finished and unfinished.

Somehow I doubt that I am the *queen* of unfinished crafty projects, but I can guarantee that I am at least a princess. I finished a project today, and it felt good! The sad thing is, there are at the *very* least 5 crafty projects that immediately come to mind that are in some stage of unfinished-ness. (I cannot even begin counting the myriad of sewing projects and scrapbook pages that have been begun, but are sitting unfinished upstairs in my craft room. I am too ashamed to even think of those right now…) When I finished my project today, I realized that even though it is so exciting to start something new, it actually feels really great to *finish* a project.

So, in hopes that accountability will give me the boost I need, I want to share with you all my finished project and the 5 projects that are on my radar to get finished by the end of the year. (Yes, I did it. I set a deadline. Eeeeeks!)

Project#1–the finished one!

I knitted myself a vest! I really didn’t realize how crazy the colors/pattern would be on this vest, but I like it!

a little close-up…


Project #2–no pictures of this one. I am doing a mini-album scrapbook of my year and a half at the Art Institute of Colorado. I have everything packed up in my scrapbook bags so that when I actually get the time to go scrapping, all I have to do is grab and go. Hopefully I’ll have some pictures soon.


Project #3–knitting project 1 of 3

This will probably be the first of the knitting projects to be finished. I’m knitting two socks at a time, toe up. They’re coming along nicely.


Project #4–knitting project 2 of 3

I haven’t technically started this one, yet. Actually, that’s a lie. I’ve *started* it three times and ripped it out three times. I need a different set of needles, and I haven’t found the right ones. I’m headed to Michael’s tomorrow to see if they have what I need. The yarn is the last two skeins of yarn that I bought in Paris. I wanted to do something fun and special with it. I found this pattern for a cute little shrug and thought it would be perfect. If I get the right needles, it should be a fast knit. (Might even be done faster than the socks…)


Project #5–knitting project 3 of 3

This is the only one that has a hard and fast deadline. Last Christmas I realized that the boys really needed new stockings. They all have “baby-ish” stockings (according to them). We went shopping at after Christmas sales, but really didn’t find what we wanted. Then the inspiration struck! I could knit stockings! I had a year, no problem…. hahahahahahahahahahahahaha….oh, sorry. Moment of insanity. I have one done. ONE. It’s June 20th. *sigh* I need to get my butt in gear. Oh…did I mention that I was going to embroider our names on the cuffs that I am going to make out of fleece and sew on? Yeah. I’m that crazy.


Project #6–cross-stitching.

I miss cross-stitching. I used to do it before I found scrapbooking and knitting. I finished this carousel horse and had it framed just after Wade and I were married (14 years ago…). I found out that it was one in a series of four. This one is the Winter horse.

When I found out that there were patterns for the Fall, Spring, and Summer horses, I found them all on Ebay and they became mine.

I started on the Fall horse on September 1, 2003. No, that is not a typo. Almost 8 years ago. Here it is…

It is so close to being done, I can taste it. Sadly, this will probably be the last project for me to work on. If it gets done before the end of the year, I will be totally surprised. But I really wanted to put it on the list because I *want* to do it. I don’t want it to be an unfinished project forever.


So there you have it. My 5 projects to finish before the end of the year. (Or close…) Help me out. Hold me accountable. Remind me how good it feels to be done. And if you hear of me starting another project that is not on this list….knock some sense into me. Seriously.

Do not adjust your monitors!

It’s really me. Blogging. A really great friend suggested blogging today, and I realized that it has been almost a year since I’ve written a post. That’s a little shameful. Super busy doesn’t even begin to describe the past year. There is no way that I’d ever attempt a re-cap, so I’m just starting at today.

–Is Friday. Thank goodness.
–I have 3 weeks until I walk at graduation. It’s my second degree, but first time that I will be walking. I am *so* excited!
–I have 12 days until all of my work is due for final grades.
–I have 13 days until the first sitting of my next tattoo. (My artist thinks that it will be at least two sittings for a total of 5 hours. My last tattoo was only one hour…hoping I can get through this one!)
–I had to pull my oldest out of his extra-curricular activities so that he can focus on getting back on track academically. He seemed to take it ok. And things *seem* to be looking up a little already. This whole experience has made me realize how much I am really grateful that we have the boys in the school that they are in.
–I was supposed to finish up my business plan that is due in 11 days. This did not happen. But I did get all kinds of other photography work done.
–I bought ingredients for rice krispy treats, but I also bought Breyers coffee ice cream. The ice cream is winning….
–I am looking forward to the photoshoots that I have this weekend. The final shoot with Annie for my advertising final…this assignment has turned out to be one of the most fun that I’ve ever had. And a family photoshoot with a friend of a friend. Mom and her two little boys in the studio. It’s going to be a great one!
–Benji brought home a note telling us that his artwork is going to be in a public display at the school district’s main office building. We will need to go and check it out!
–I am not so very patiently waiting for my new business cards and writing pens that I’ve ordered for portfolio review (and also for the business in general).
–Wade and I will be trying to work out the details of the party that will be happening here after graduation.
–I worked out that the thing that my really great friend wants to happen at my graduation party might actually be do-able and could be some serious fun. (hahaha! Does that make you want to show up just to find out what it is????)

And because I know her mom has been waiting patiently (and she has too…), a quick look at one of the pictures from my first shoot with Annie. There were so many great shots from this location, I am going to have a hard time picking one for the assignment.

Hopefully you’ll be seeing me around here a little more often… Until next time!

Another video!

Wade and I are still working out the video process that will work best for us. The last video was shot with my 5D and edited (title and credits) in Windows Movie Maker, then prepped for the internet through some round-about process that Wade worked out. This one I shot in 5 different clips, spliced together (not so well) in QuickTimePro, edited in Windows Movie Maker, and prepped for the internet in QuickTimePro. I’m really looking for something that will do the whole shebang. I’ll have a little more time next week when my school is out to do a little research. In the meantime, I give you The Harrell House Players in The Cursed Coffee House!

Do you even remember me?

Hey everyone! School is really kicking my behind this quarter. As a matter of fact, I have to go in today (on my day off) and work on projects. Good news…only three more weeks. Then it’s spring break!! A week off then back to the grind.

I’m trying out something new with this post. Video! (Everybody’s doing it…) Wade got me the Canon 5D Mark II for Valentine’s Day and it takes amazing videos…really, I’ve seen them on the internet! We tried it out a little to see if we could put something together, and after three days I finally got a final product. Hopefully the next round will go a little more smoothly.

Disclaimers… Please ignore the mechanical clicking…that’s the camera motor. We got an external mic to try out for the next go around. Please ignore the children in their jammies…I couldn’t wait for the daytime to try out the video stuff. Please ignore my weird facial tics…why didn’t somebody tell me I do that?!?!?!

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Christmas was lovely!

We all had a lovely Christmas day and we are still enjoying having Grandma and Grandpa here to spend some time with us. Just thought I would put a few pictures up here for those waiting so patiently…

Benji on christmas morning with his razor scooter and new lego indiana jones 2 wii game. He was a happy boy.

Tyler with his new bike. He’s a happy boy, but he hasn’t gotten to go out and ride it yet. (too much snow and too cold!)

Santa brought Avery a terrarium and a book about White’s tree frogs. He got right to reading about his (about to be) new pet.

So, without further adieu… We introduce our new family member… Fern the frog. Isn’t she the cutest thing?!?!?

The boys got to take turns holding her for the first time tonight… (she looks like she’s smiling…)

Benji was tickled…literally!

Avery is too happy. He just loves her! He’s already fed her a cricket…now *that’s* love, for real…

No…I did not photoshop this…she changes color! I am sure there will be more of Fern’s adventures to come…

Time for bed…we’re taking down the Christmas decorations tomorrow. xoxo

I am so proud of this boy.


A few weeks ago, Tyler came to us and told us that they were holding auditions for the middle school musical production of Twinderella, and they were opening up the auditions to the fifth graders as well. He told us that he wanted to audition and the following week signed up for a spot. Last Thursday he auditioned by singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and reciting from memory the Robert Frost poem Dust of Snow. For that alone, I was extremely proud. Today he learned that he has a part in the play!! More details are forthcoming, but in the meantime, we are basking in the glow of his middle school musical stardom.

In other news, I know that it has been a long time since I have updated the old blog, and for that I do apologize. I have been extremely busy with school and keeping straight A’s in all five of my classes. I hope you will forgive me. I’ll try to find some time to do a more complete update sometime this week. For now, I must go type up my final paper for my last Fundamentals of Design class tomorrow.