Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

Entries Tagged as 'main dishes'

shrimp and corn chowder

March 30th, 2015 · 1 Comment


Spring hit Texas last week, although I know it’s been slow to arrive on other parts of the country!  But this dish is a pretty good compromise — it has the lightness of a summer chowder, but it’s warm and substantial for those last few chilly days.

These last few weeks have been insanely busy, but in a really good way!  Starting my law practice means that when I’m swamped with work, I’m actually happy about it — which is a pretty cool feeling.  However, it means that I have to be extra organized and motivated to make sure I can accomplish what I need to every day.  (Especially with a baby involved, that’s no small feat!) It’s been a huge challenge, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

But, onto this recipe: I wouldn’t say it’s exactly as “easy” as my usual slow cooker staples, although the effort is definitely worth it.  This is the kind of dish that’s great to make on Friday night, so you can have leftovers all weekend.  Chad really liked it, and it’ll be back in our rotation again soon! 

Chowder 8.Final

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

1 16-ounce package of frozen corn
4 slices turkey bacon, diced
8 scallions, thinly sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups 2% milk
1 teaspoon Old Bay
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
Salt and Pepper


In a large stock pot, saute the turkey bacon until fully cooked, and set aside.  Combine 1 tbsp milk with the flour and heat together to create a roux, then add the rest of the milk, potatoes, scallions, seasoning, shrimp, and corn.  Simmer for about 2 hours.

Chowder 4.Final

Chowder 5.Final


Tags: food · main dishes

simple weeknight salmon

February 2nd, 2015 · No Comments


I’m always on the lookout for simple recipes that work for weeknights in our house — the kind of thing you can pick up in five minutes at the grocery store, without roaming the aisles for esoteric ingredients.  Dishes that are healthy and delicious, but above all easy

I love to cook, but once the baby is in bed, I’d rather sit on the couch and have a cup of tea than spend an hour dicing vegetables. 

So, I make a lot of meals in our slow cooker — twice a week at least.  This started before Bear was born, when I made meals ahead of time to freeze for those early weeks.  (Well-intentioned, but ultimately a wasted effort.  We got sick of them fast and wound up eating take-out.  Eh.)

But the slow cooker was a true life-saver was after Bear was born — on rough nights, Chad and I would eat dinner in five-minute shifts and then resume frantically trying to calm the baby down.  Cooking wasn’t a priority, and meals from the slow cooker don’t burn.  So that was all we ate for, oh, about six months. 

But lately… things have gotten a little easier.  Our son is about nine months old now, so this was a long time coming.  But most nights, now, he reliably goes to bed by 7pm, and Chad and I actually have a few hours of calm in the evenings.  We’ve even watched a little TV.  (Yes, this is a big deal.  Watching an uninterrupted television program is something that has been missing from my life for almost a year, and the return is glorious.)

And with that extra time, I’ve been making some slightly more ambitious dinners. 

Emphasis on the slightly.

Like this one.  Four ingredients, one pan.  It takes maybe five minutes of prep and 20 minutes or so of cooking.  Not exactly Julia Child-worthy, but it’s a big step up — and it’s delicious. 

Maybe in a few months I’ll be back up to baking cakes from scratch, but for now, this is easy, healthy, and good.  And that’s pretty much all we need.


Simple Weeknight Salmon

1 lemon
4 salmon fillets
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper


Preheat oven to 400 F.  Spread olive oil over each salmon fillet, and then season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Squeeze the juice from one lemon over the salmon.  Slice the other lemon and place two small slices on each portion.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.


Tags: food · main dishes

slow cooker vegetable stew

October 8th, 2014 · No Comments


Forgive me if I sound a bit intense here.


It really shouldn’t be.  This dish is basically nothing more than a few fresh veggies, a little butter, and some cheese.  No rare and expensive spices.  No fancy cooking techniques.  Just dump it all into the slow cooker, and come back in eight hours.

That’s literally it.

And yet… so good.  So easy, so simple, so delicious — and so mind-blowingly good. 

The slow cooker has become my best friend in the kitchen lately.  No matter how many times the baby cries or the dogs need to go outside or the phone rings — nothing burns.  It has single-handedly saved our family from starvation (or, at least, from take-out) many, many times in the last eight months. 

As a former vegetarian, this stew is light enough for lunch and hearty enough for dinner over brown rice.  But when I cooked it for a guest, I added panko-crusted chicken breast to serve over the top — based on this gem of a recipe.  Totally easy and completely delicious. 

PS — If you look back at the panko-chicken recipe, you’ll notice me spouting off advice about picky-eater kids… I’ll be taking my own advice in just a few months! 


Slow Cooker Veggie Stew

1 pound baby carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 bell peppers, diced
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup white wine
10 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Combine all the ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker; stir to combine.  Cook on high heat for 8 hours.  Serve with additional parmesan cheese and fresh basil.


Tags: food · main dishes