Happy New Year!!

I apologize for having disappeared for so long!  I guess life just ran me over and I needed time to recover.

What are your goals for this wonderful (and very cold!) new year?  I have decided I want to learn to knit, become better at Tunisian crochet, I will finish my certification to become a Childbirth Educator as well as create (I’ve started it) and keep a household manual for all that important homey stuff us moms and dads need to know!  If you are interested in the idea of a household manual, check out this link Home Management Binder.  This is where I’m getting all my ideas from but you could probably find SO many more if you just use google.

Now, on to the yummy stuff!

I don’t know about where you live, but here it is COLD!  Here’s a recipe that will warm the chilliest of tummys!

Brats and Beer Cheddar Chowder

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 medium onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

1 medium carrot, coarsely shredded (1/2 cup)

3 large shallots, chopped

1 14 ounce can vegetable broth or 1-3/4 cups vegetable stock

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole milk, half-and-half or light cream

1 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

10 ounces Wisconsin Aged Cheddar cheese or sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

4 cooked smoked bratwurst, knockwurst or Polish sausage (about 12 ounces total), halved lengthwise and sliced

1 12 ounce can beer or 12-ounce bottle ale

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and shallots; reduce heat to medium low. Cook, stirring frequently, about 10 to 15 minutes or until the onion is very soft and golden.

2. In a large screw-top jar, combine broth and flour. Cover and shake until combined and smooth. Stir into the onion mixture. Add the milk, caraway seeds and black pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Gradually stir in the cheese; reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until cheese melts, but do not boil.

3. Stir in the bratwurst and beer. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through. If you like, serve with rye bread. Makes 4 to 6 main-dish servings (7 cups).