Cheesy Potato Chowder with Roasted Red Peppers

Hello friends!  Happy Wednesday to you all.  With the fall weather finally among us, I decided it would be a good time to share one of our family dinner staples!  Once the cooler weather hits, I’m constantly making all kinds of soup, chowder, and chili.  This particular recipe is a combination of part of a recipe from Eat Live Run and my own pinch of this, dash of that, mix it up dance that I always tend to do with recipes.  It’s more fun that way to put your own spin on it!  I like to live on the edge in my mid 30’s, as you can tell. 😉

So here goes!  The ingredients are listed first followed by the directions.  Let me know how you like it!  In my opinion, the cumin and the roasted red peppers are what bring this chowder to life.  If you come up with more ideas, please please share!!

Ingredients:

Jar of diced roasted red peppers

1 large yellow onion, small diced

1 green bell pepper, small diced

4 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed {you can use 3 but my family needs 4}

Pre-packaged diced celery

6 slices bacon {you will use it to crumble as a topping}

2 tsp minced garlic {I buy the jar!}

1 quart chicken broth

2 tsp salt {plus more to taste once it’s done}

2 tsp allspice

1 tbsp of cumin

2 cups milk

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup of Mexican blend cheese {plus additional for toppings}

Thinly sliced green onions {for topping}

Jar of jalapeno’s {for toppings}

 

Directions:

Wash and dice all veggies.

In a large pot, fry up 2 slices of the bacon.  Once the bacon is cooked, take it out and pat off grease.  Save for toppings.  The bacon oil/drippings left in the pot will be what you cook your veggies in!

In the meantime, pop the rest of your bacon {4 slices that are left} on a sheet pan and bake in the oven on 350 for about 15 mins {check often and turn once halfway thru or it can burn quickly!}  I do it this way to make less of a mess in the kitchen and it turns out just as crispy in the oven!

Add your diced bell pepper, onion, and garlic, all your spices to the pot with the bacon grease and cook until they are almost fork tender.  The onion should be pretty translucent by this stage.

Add in the diced potatoes and stir to coat the entire mixture with all that yummy bacon grease and spices!  Did I mention this is not a low-calorie dish?!  Ha.

Let the veggies continue to cook for about 5 mins stirring often.  Add in the chicken broth.

Cover and let the veggies simmer in the chicken broth for 30 mins {or until potatoes are tender but not mushy}.

Add in drained and diced roasted red peppers {the entire jar!} and stir well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and your milk.  Slowly pour this into the pot.  I mean slooooooowwwwwly!!!!  If you do it fast, you will end up with dumplings.  The mixture should gradually go in.

Stir stir stir!  Continue to simmer for about 15 mins.

Lastly, turn off the heat and add in your cheese! Stir again.

Put your toppings {diced green onion, cheese, crumbled bacon, and jalapeno} into little serving bowls for everyone to help themselves.  Enjoy with a glass of good ole southern sweet tea!

Bon Appétit!!
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Summertime Supper

Last week, my longtime friend came into town for a visit!  We always have a blast together and share so many wonderful memories.  We could laugh and talk literally all night long!  I wanted her to be well fed when she arrived so I served a cheesy potato chowder and a big farm fresh salad!

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Salad Recipe:

Mixed greens

1 hot house cucumber

Carton of blueberries

Carton of strawberries sliced

Crumbled feta

Toasted maple glazed pecans

Balsamic dressing {I love the Panera brand}

I served the salad on a white rectangular platter so that all the gorgeous colors from the salad ingredients would pop!

 

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Flowers are always important to me on a dinner table {and all around my home for that matter!}.  These beauties came from Whole Foods.  I placed them in a clear bubble vase and then onto a tray along with the toppings for the potato chowder.  Other than the hot chowder, I prefer this meal to be served family style with the toppings and the salad right on the table for guests to help themselves.  For the chowder {or any hot soup}, I take each person’s bowl to the kitchen to spoon out the chowder and serve it back to them on their place setting.

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The Potato Chowder Recipe is via {here}, however, I use jarred roasted red pepper instead of the poblano pepper the recipe calls for {for a quick yet yummy substitute} and I add in a ton of cumin to coat the potatoes when they are first put into the hot dutch oven.  Cumin gives that extra depth of flavor this chowder needs instead of tasting like everyday potato chowder you can get in a restaurant.

This photo isn’t fancy but shows you just how decadent and yummy this recipe is!

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Whitney and I {and my lil fam} enjoyed this yummy meal, playing with the babies and catching up so much! Friends are family! What do you serve for your special friends that come in from out of town? I’d love to hear!

Dessert Party

After a lovely weekend of sunshine and outdoor play, our family had a fun little dessert party this afternoon.  The boys took one look at the cupcakes with wide eyes and big ole smiles and I was already pattin’ mahself on the back.  Sweets for my sweets!

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The cupcakes are courtesy of Roswell Provisions, a favorite of mine and Dylan’s from when we lived just a few miles down from their storefront.  I am not blessed as a baker so I still frequent this shop to take care of the heavy lifting.  As should you!  They have it all….delicious cheese, charcuterie, desserts, soups, sandwiches….you name it.

I chose strawberry, chocolate peanut butter and cookie dough cupcakes.  I picked these out carefully for a variance in flavor, texture and color.  You eat with your eyes first!

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How precious are these little milk glasses?  These came from Target circa 2015 in the dollar section!  Total steal.

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The plates are all straight outta Homegoods {where else} and flowers from Whole Foods.

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A few cream filled pastries set atop a simple white cake stand.  I love to use white dishes when possible to make the food really pop!  Patterned plates with too much going on can take away from the food.  This is an area where less really is more.

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Hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our dessert party!  Don’t worry, no table runners were harmed during the making of this party.  Always.use.washable.fabric. 😉

 

 

 

Easter Décor 2018

This post is quite {okay majorly} tardy but I wanted to get it out there because I have so many fantastic photos to share!  I’ve been social media and blog lazy lately.  Well, I’m back.  Next post, I’ll share a Dessert Party for my sweet little fam!

Here is a look back on my Easter decorations.  Hope you enjoy and save some ideas for next year!

My first tablescape was for the Saturday night before Easter.  I wanted dinner to be festive yet somewhat more casual.

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Easter lunch tablescape was similar but a bit more polished with a quick change of placemats {from Homegoods}, napkins {Mud Pie from Elle B.} and glassware from my late Grandmother’s collection.

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The kitchen island served as a nice resting spot for my custom menu, flowers and little white decorative bunny.  I served the ham, deviled eggs, Carolina caviar from here as well!

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What post is complete without sharing photos of my pride and joys?! My sweet little bunnies, Banks and Brooks!

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Pancakes and Pajamas

We are ringing in the holidays in style!  Comfortable style, that is.  What better way to celebrate this time of year than with good friends, good food and festive pajamas?  Thus, a Pancakes and Pajamas party was in order.  All the babies and kids were included and had a blast running around playing.  It was a joy to spend time with our dear friends and toast the holiday season.

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Our menu consisted of pancakes and toppings, of course!  Keeping with the “breakfast-y” theme, I served smoked sausages, quiche, bacon wrapped potato bites with sriracha dipping sauce and chicken and waffles.

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Banks Turns One

Our precious baby Banks celebrated his first birthday in style! His daddy and I feel so blessed with all our wonderful friends and family who came to make his big day just perfect! I remember so clearly when he was born and hearing that sweet cry that sounded more like a little bird squawking! He is as precious now as the day he was born and that little squawk has turned into coo’s and ma-ma, da-da, na-na, ba-ba sounds that literally make my heart bigger every time I hear him “talk.” He is a spunky little thing….totally spit-fire just like his mommy! I will take credit where credit is due with his personality! 🙂 Looks is all daddy, though!

We planned a  party that suited him! Great food was a must because this baby loves to eat! Can ya tell?! I happily accepted help from my dear friend, Jordan, who is a brilliant party planner in her own right and has that same zest and fervor that I have when it comes to a big, beautiful spread! I can never thank her enough for the months leading up to the event as well as the day of!! To my awesome sister in Christ and angel of a friend, Kippy, who made the most wonderful cake….hats off to you lady! My parents and sister always deserve a huge shout out for not only helping execute this wonderful party but also for all the love they have for sweet Banks.

Banks Wilder Bowden, you are loved so much and your big brother Brooks is your very best friend! He loves you to the moon and is so protective of you! May you two always have this special bond that we already know you will!

Here are some photos from our perfect day! Our brunch menu was complete with Farmhouse Breakfast Casserole, Spinach, Mushroom and Bacon Quiche, Yogurt Parfaits with Balsamic Strawberries, Creamy Cheese Grits, Fresh Fruit with Mint, Assorted Donuts, and even a biscuit bar with glazed ham, jams and jellies and yummy sausage gravy!

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Superhero Birthday Party

Sweet Brooks and his best buddy, Hudson, celebrated a joint birthday party last month.  These two boys just turned FOUR years old!  With our powers combined, Hudson’s mommy and I planned out all the party details.  We had a blast compiling and putting our party ideas into action for these two little Superheroes of ours.

Here are some photos from our fun-filled day.  I think the boys will remember this party for a long time to come.

Upon arrival, all the little guests got to put on superhero capes to get in character!

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We hired a face painter to get the kid’s all masked up and ready to save the world!  Brooks, though he donned a Flash Gordon cape {for like 15 mins of the entire party}, decided that a snake on his face was the best way to save the day.

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Brooks and Hudson loved their giant Spider-Man balloon!  We sent Spidey on a big send off at the end of the party.  He quite literally soared above the trees!

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These two kiddos also enjoyed screaming, dancing, laughing and playing with all their friends!

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We served some yummy food!  Publix and Chick-Fil-A swooped in to feed our hungry superkids.  We served assorted sandwiches, pinwheels, chicken nuggets, a veggie tray, chips and fruit!  And who can forget cake! Every superhero needs cake!

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How perfect are these little Spiderman and Batman flashlights on top?!  So thankful for Sarah’s sweet friend and baker!  She deserves a Super Medal!

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The younger siblings and grandparents of our little Superheroes had a fun time too!  You know, super powers are genetic, after all. 🙂

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Oh, Baby!

A few weeks ago, Bowties & Burlap was lucky enough to style a baby shower for a very sweet mama-to-be.  It was a gorgeous, sunny day and the girls had a great time dining al fresco, painting pumpkins and spoiling Nikki rotten with some great gifts!  It couldn’t have been a better day to celebrate the impending birth of her baby girl.

The hostesses had their theme in mind a few months prior to the event and provided an inspiration cake picture to me as a guide for the décor.  We went with black, white and pink!  Hello, Kate Spade!  What a fun color palette to work with.

For starters, we set up a buffet on built-ins in Kim’s living room.  On the shelving above the built-ins, I alternated white and pink roses and tucked them into greenery.  The mantle was flanked with white hydrangea and I hung some precious white bunting with monogrammed onesies attached.

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The food was amazing.  Kim made a delicious chili that we served out of a porcelain white pumpkin bowl and we had sides of cornbread muffins, Caesar salad, a veggie plate, fruit bowl and toppings for the chili.

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The other side of the buffet held the desserts.  What a fabulous cake!  Cute little cupcakes were also available for the ladies to nibble on!

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The guests dined outdoors on the deck.  The black and white runners were a great pop of color against the white tablecloths.  I used my gold chargers and printed a custom menu that set atop the white napkins on each place setting.  Simple vases with hydrangea were used as centerpieces.

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After lunch, the ladies headed downstairs to paint pumpkins!  I always like outside the box ideas for shower games and since Fall is upon us, what better craft project to do?!

Nikki’s mother, from North Elm Designs, provided these precious paper flowers that I used to decorate the porch with as well as the pink paper leaves scattered on the table.  Check out her Instagram page!  @northelmdesigns

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Upon leaving, the ladies took home party favors of chili spices from Kim’s chili recipe.  I simply measured out her recipe spices and filled little air tight jars and finished them off with a custom thank you label.

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Baby Chloe, we cannot wait to meet you very soon!

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In August, we held a birthday party for a very beautiful young woman!  The supermoms banded together {in secret, shhhhh!} to help this surprise party go off without a hitch.  Chloe is truly one-of-a-kind.  She has a gentle spirit and the sweetest smile.  She’s taught our children to be creative, strong, independent, little people and we all love her dearly!

Here are a few photos from the celebration.  The lovely Mel van Niekerk captured the special day.

Chloe, we hope this is your best year yet! Thank you for all that you do for our families.

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Lavender Bath Soap Party Favors from Serendipity in Roswell! Precious store!

 

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Birthdays are Best {Part III}

As promised, here is a look at our last birthday party for sweet Brooks.  He turned 3 years old and is quickly on the road to 4.  How does the time fly by so fast?!  I remember bringing him home from the hospital and now he’s this smart, funny, growny little boy.  One-of-a-kind.  It was only fitting for my one-of-a-kind little fella to have a special theme for his 3rd birthday.  This boy LOVES to fish with his daddy and Bugga {grandpa}.  He’s over the moon for going down to South Ga to catch some fish.  True southern boy at heart!  Gone Fishin’ was the perfect theme!

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We served the food buffet style in our dining room.  I used the same red burlap from his first little birthday party.  Flanking the white hydrangea were two adorable little toy fishing poles.  We served that yummy Chicken Salad Chick again, of course!

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Have you ever seen a cuter fisherman?  The answer is no 🙂  He looked so cute in his overalls!  I was just 4 weeks away from having Banks!

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We had a “Bait Shop” candy bar set up outside for the kids to nibble on during the party and take home in a baggie.  The blue fish netting was a huge score! I was so excited that I found it online that I bought two!

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The beverages were served outside in mason jars.  I tied little bandanas around the drink dispensers to give them a more outdoor, gone-fishin’ feel.  A basket was placed in the middle of the table with a big wide mouth bass popping out and a cute little fishing pole tucked inside.  The fish netting held pictures of Brooks fishing with our family from the time he was barely big enough to walk!

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Our party game was to use fish nets to catch little blow up fish.  The kids took the fish home to use as bath toys in a pail along with some goldfish crackers and Nemo coloring book.

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We had a fish piñata for the kids to bust upon leaving and get even more sugar fueled for the ride home! Grandma and Bugga helped pass out balloons to the kids as they left!

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Of course, my little buddy is a true daddy’s boy so the best way to end the post on this very special day is a precious picture of the two of them.  Mama and Daddy love you, Brooks!

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