Corn and Chicken Chowder
Corn and Chicken Chowder

This is a delicious, quick meal that could be made within an hour on a weekday, including prepping time*. In place of chicken use any seafood to make shrimp, fish or crab chowder**. Unlike chicken, add the seafood to the pot after the potatoes are cooked to keep the meat tender. Using fresh corn will enhance the sweetness of the cream and the meat. During the off-season months, use organic frozen corn, for it has a better texture and taste than the non-organic and canned versions. If using fingerling potatoes, slice them. Baby potatoes should be quartered or cut in half, depending on their size. Some people like to peel their potatoes, but this is a weekday meal. Such details can be overlooked in place of saving time. Besides, the visual appearance of red-skinned potatoes provides a nice contrast in a creamy soup. A simple, green salad and a Chardonnay will complete a well-meaning meal.

*Clean and cut chicken on a weekend. Place it in a freezer and defrost before using.
** Buy shrimp raw, clean and devein. Fish should be cut into chucks. Use precooked crabmeat sold in the seafood section.

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Pasta with Creamy Pesto Sauce, Peas, Zucchini and Chicken
Pasta with Creamy Pesto Sauce, Peas, Zucchini and Chicken

Promptly exiting the office at 5 p.m., I had to make a choice between two important tasks causing scheduling conflicts: going grocery shopping or working out. The local gym, free to the neighborhood, is open for two hours on three weekdays. Although, I’ve recently discovered running in cold weather is a refreshing activity, the gym is still needed on snowy days when the streets are icy. That free gym saves the budget from a yearly membership expense, because it is not needed in the summer. The recent snowstorm had enough power to close the gym, in which a few days of running were missed. It also delayed grocery shopping, and the fridge is looking bare. The eggs and the flour are gone, the pale bottoms of the drawers in the fridge are visible, and eating out is beginning to take a toll on the budget. Read more