Frozen corn meets creamy cheddar cheese to bring you dinner in no time with this Cheesy Chicken Chowder.
Do you ever come up with a recipe and think “oh I know X would love this!” or “I have to let Y take a taste of this one.” Maybe it’s just me and my weird cooking antics, but when I first made this cheesy chicken chowder I immediately knew I wanted to share the recipe with you all, but then I just had to share it with my new friend: Monica Crandall. I met Monica when I attended a blogger tour hosted by the United Dairy Industry of Michigan last month. One of our tour stops was at her family’s farm, Crandall Dairy Farms. Like most moms, Monica is busy trying to juggle schedules, school, pick-ups, and homework. Unlike most moms, Monica is a dairy farmer. Now if you’ve been reading this blog for a while you probably have realized I’m pro-agriculture. I love partnering with industry and commodity groups for one reason: people like Monica.
Before I get into the recipe I wanted to share a little bit of why I was so taken with Monica and her family. I’ve been on countless farm tours and not that I don’t love the eye candy of a cute rancher or the soft spoken older farmer, I’ve never spoken with the woman of the house— or the woman of the farm. Monica and I instantly connected because to be honest, I just had to know how she does it all. And without a daytime nap like I so often crave [and sometimes get if the hubby comes home early]. Listening to Monica talk about her day to day, her role on the farm, plus the raising of her three children, I was amazed at how this thing called motherhood can really give every mom a run for their money depending on your life situation.
So now I want to turn it over to Monica- and share with you a little Q&A we had together. I hope by the end of this you’ll not only have an appreciation for her family’s farm like I do, but you’ll also realize why I created this recipe with her in mind.
What’s a typical day like for you? The funny thing is that a typical day is not typical. At home, the kids and I all go to school 5 days a week. The alarm goes off at 5:30 for me and my oldest two kids. They are in 8th and 6th grade so the bus comes at 6:30. My youngest one in 4th grade gets up at 6:45 to catch the bus at 7:30. I work in a school so my hours are 7:30-4, so I am gone pretty much the same time as they are. Once we are home, it’s off to sports, 4-H or church activities. For Brad every day begins at 4:30 when he goes in to start feeding the cows. Chores of feeding, milking and taking care of the animals is routine every day. But then during planting or harvest, those responsibilities to the land and our crops are added in.
You are obviously balancing many schedules. What are some tips you have for busy Moms to keep their heads above water? All moms are busy in there own right, it’s what we choose to put in our schedule and whether we can balance it all. I do all of the farm bookwork, have a full-time job as the school secretary, and manage all of the kid’s activities plus are quite involved with 2 different boards for the school. My husband manages the farm and also is quite active in agricultural boards he’s on. I know that our busy schedule is not for everyone and at one time we didn’t have this busy of a schedule because the kids were younger. I think you have to figure out what is most important. When my children were young, it was important for me to stay home and raise them. I even joined a stay-at-home mom’s club for social time for me. Now, my kids are older where I realized they don’t need me as much, so I took on the school secretary job. Always remember that your kids are little for a short time and then they are grown, so enjoy the moment that you are in.One Mom's life on a dairy farm + one easy weeknight, one pot dinner Click To Tweet
You are not only feeding your family but MANY families with the food you produce on the farm. Talk a little about what that means to you and your family. It’s a nice thought that so often goes unacknowledged that we are feeding America through the crops we produce and the milk our cows produce. It goes unnoticed because of the long hours that are invested in producing wholesome, safe products. We do the work and don’t stop to realize what we did. It’s a nice feeling know that we are a part of feeding America.
How do you ensure you are feeding your family healthy meals, all while juggling responsibilities on and off the farm? My husband and I are both conscience about trying to eat right. That doesn’t mean we don’t love our pizza because we sure do. But we raise vegetables in our garden, eat our own beef and try and preserve food by canning and freezing. I have turned to trying to plan meals a little better and maybe doing crockpot dinners or even making a dinner big enough to take us through another meal. We try to eat healthy but more importantly we try to eat together as much as we can.
What’s the biggest takeaway you want people to have after they visit your farm? Our family farm is exactly that – a family farm. Our farm was founded in 1883 and is a 5th generation farm and through hard work and perseverance, it will remain producing wholesome, safe, quality products. We are like any other family where we love and hate, work and play. We have our good days and bad, but through it all, we are in this together. We do things like cover the bunker together after a really long harvest, on a really hot day or help in the parlor or the feeding of calves when our employees can’t. We camp together, all of the kids go to school together and enjoy 4-H with each other. There are days where we love each other and other days when we need a break. But we are a family and we are in this together.
Do you see why I enjoyed visiting with her so much? Now if only Monica and I lived a little closer I would’ve made this cheesy chicken chowder and delivered a pot or two. As Monica said, we are all busy in our own right— and this meal will definitely give all of us enough to go into the next meal!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup celery, diced
- ½ cup onion, diced
- ½ cup carrot, diced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups fingerling potatoes, diced
- 3 cups frozen corn
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
- Black pepper to taste
- Place a large pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, celery, onion, and carrot and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the flour and blend well.
- Next add the potatoes and broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add corn and stir until combined. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Stir in milk and cheese. Continue stirring over low heat until cheese has melted and soup has thickened.
- Just before serving, add chicken to the pot. Once chicken is heated through, serve immediately.
Thank you again to Monica and the Crandall family for opening their farm and shedding some light as to what it’s like as dairy farmer AND mom!
Disclaimer: I am proud to partner with the United Dairy Industry of Michigan to bring you healthy recipes made with cow’s milk. Because of these great partnerships I am able to share delicious and nutritious family-friendly recipes. As always all opinion and ideas are 100% my own. Find out why Milk Means More on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.