Monday, September 7, 2009

Fashion shows, seafood and family!

Tonight was our 3rd annual "back to school dinner". Because we just got back from the coast, we had fresh clams and oysters to eat! Ashley, Brian and Grandma Marcia came over- Ashley brought an amazing dessert, by the way! Sure is nice to have Dusty around today. We love vacation time!

After dinner, the boys got to do their fashion show. Because I am a super mean mom who keeps all their new school clothes tucked away until school, this was huge. They got to show off their new goods and choose their 1st day outfits. Alex is thrilled- he gets to wear a t-shirt tomorrow with "TWO TARS" (a.k.a. guitars) and an orange sweater- his favorite color. Skyler, as always, is going a bit more formal- cords, a button up collared shirt and and argyle sweater vest. Both boys enjoyed the cheers and compliments that Ashley, Brian, Dusty and Grandma were happy to shower them with (I was the behind the scenes cheerleader).

I am so excited! They are so excited! We'll be out the door by 7:50 tomorrow morning, and hopefully it all goes as smooth as I envision it.

Here is the chowder recipe I used, a hybrid of this one:, the recipe used by Pacific Coast Seafood, and the realities of not having all that was called for!

1/4 cup butter
6 oz. pancetta
4 cloves garlic
1/2 sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh fennel

I sauteed these ingredients for about 5-10 minutes at medium heat.

When the fennel was cooked a bit, I added:
2 cups heavy cream
6 cups clam juice
7 diced potatoes (skins ON! Don't remove the nutrition)
5 sprigs thyme
3 lbs steamer clams, steamed in garlic and butter, shelled & chopped
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
freshly cracked pepper
4 Tbsp. corn starch dissolved in 4 Tbsp. cold water

I brought those ingredients to a boil, reduced heat to low, covered and let simmer for 25 minutes. YUMMY!

To go with the chowder, I made gluten free bread with Bob's Red Mill's gluten free bread mix, a salad with some amazing tomatoes from my neighbor's garden (and freshly ground parmesan, as always!) and oysters in wine sauce for an appetizer.

The best part of the evening was for sure when my mom did the clean-up! Thanks, Mom!

Happy school year, everyone!

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