Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Thanksgiving is just a week away! Are you ready? I’m always ready for my favorite holiday, and this last week of anticipation can be brutal. This year I’m trying to focus that energy into making some awesome side dishes to share with my family, and I know just the place to find the perfect recipes – our very own blog! I am thankful for our extremely talented guest bloggers who have shared so many amazing dishes over the past year. Everything I’m bringing to the table this Thanksgiving comes from one of our posts. I bet you can find some inspiration here, too!

Here is a collection of some of our most favorite recipes and tutorials for Thanksgiving. You’re sure to find something to be thankful for in this roundup of delightful dishes!

So, what are you bringing to the table this Thanksgiving? Did we inspire some great ideas? Let us know what you are thankful for this season and share with us your favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

All of us at Butcher Block Co. are thankful for you, our wonderfully supportive customers. Have a happy, relaxing Thanksgiving!

Upcycling – Creative Reuse!

Upcycling – Creative Reuse!

Last year I blogged (Reuse, Reduce, Recycle. Every day.) about how I could do better recycling in my own household. I am happy to say that I implemented nearly all of the action items I identified last year. I still believe that everyone, doing their small part, can truly make a difference and help save our environment. I am very pleased to know that my recycling mentality has rubbed off on my son, Ben. He is an Industrial Design student at ASU and has a love of invention and building things in the workshop. Fortunately his dad taught him a great deal over the years about woodworking. My son decided this summer that he was going to “make all the furniture for my new apartment at college”. Given he qualifies as a starving college student, he set out to design and make furniture on the cheap. He did not know it at the time, but the type of work he was embarking on had a name – Upcycling. Or as I like to call it, Creative Reuse!

Upcycling, or Creative Reuse, is a great way to reuse materials and reduce our carbon footprint.

The phrase, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure” is so apropos. Ben did not have to look far to discover all sorts of valuable materials just lying around our neighborhood and community. Some of the materials were truly just trashed, while others may have found their way to scrap yards. But he certainly created new, high quality furniture from unwanted or useless materials. Here is his summer Upcycling portfolio…

Blog Upcycle
Bar-Height Kitchen Table
Restaurant Bathroom Door found at a local second-hand furniture store.
Iron panels from scrap yard
Black iron plumbing  pipe(new)

Blog Upcycle
Bar Stools
Aluminum Wheels from his old car. No takers on Craig’s list. These aluminum wheels were just too cool to take to the aluminum recycling center.
Steel Pipe from scrap yard
Fishing Boat Seats (new) and very affordable.
Blog Upcycle
Restaurant Bathroom Door from a local second-hand furniture store
Aluminum Panels from scrap yard
Aluminum I-beams from old patio awning
Landscape Lights destined for recycling center
Wood (new)
Blog Upcycle
Coffee Table
Used wood pallet
Stakes (for concrete forms)
Blog Upcycle
Living Room Chair
Beams from our neighbor’s old patio awning, discarded in a bulk trash pile
Sturdy Lawn Chair with new cushions
Thread rod
Blog Upcycle
Cam shaft from his old car
Old transmission gear donated from local mechanic shop
Aluminum drafting lamp (new)
Blog Upcycle
Wall Hangings
Corrugated aluminum sheet
Poster (new)
Wood pallet
Extra Christmas lights

November 15th is America Recycles Day. It takes very little effort to do the right thing, so do your part…  Reuse, Reduce, Recycle and Upcycle!  Do you have a great Upcycling project?  Please share with our readers.

John Boos Introduces Five New Colors

John Boos Introduces Five New Colors

John Boos Kitchen Tables and Butcher Blocks In Five Exciting New Colors

Boos & Co. Adds Five New Colors To Keep Their Iconic Product Line Fresh, Relevant and Appealing

Earlier this year, John Boos & Co. discontinued a number of color options for the bases of their ubiquitous butcher blocks and tables and announced the addition of a new color: Slate Gray. Industry watchers have been eager for the unveiling of other replacement colors. Just announced, they are: Caribbean Blue, Clover Green, French Roast, Spicy Latte and Walnut Stain. All are now available on BBC’s website:

Kathleen Grodsky, BBC’s Vice President of Marketing and Operations, stressed that a significant amount of research goes into the screening and development of furniture colors. “There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye, pun intended,” Grodsky explained. “Psychologists long ago established that the colors around us can profoundly impact our emotions and moods. Furniture manufacturers and interior designers give serious consideration to such factors before implementing product design changes.

“The palette of new hues from John Boos & Co. runs the full spectrum of the color wheel. For instance, new Spicy Latte, a muted orange, generates warmth and energy; whereas Caribbean Blue, a vibrant bluish green, connotes calm and tranquility. Natural greens will forever be popular with designers and homemakers, since they remind us of the outdoors and tend to soothe and relax. New Clover Green is no exception. It has the added benefit of reinforcing the hues found in fresh and healthy herbs and leafy greens.

So many kitchens feature neutral colors that Boos decided to add two new shades of brown to their lineup. Browns signal terra firma and invoke feelings of warmth and belongingness. The new Boos color of Walnut Stain certainly imparts warmth, plus it allows for the natural beauty of wood grain to still show. In contrast, the fifth and final new color – French Roast – delivers an equally rich, but opaque finish.”

“About Butcher Block Co: A leading online seller of kitchen furniture and accessories, BBC specializes in butcher block countertops, islands, tables, carts and work centers. Earlier this year the company expanded its product offerings with the addition of wood cutting boards and knife blocks.

For more information please visit:

Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]
phone: (877) 845-5597

You Fon-don’t Want to Miss This Apple Cider Fondue

You Fon-don’t Want to Miss This Apple Cider Fondue

Fondue is one of my favorite things in the world because it involves melted cheese, and Claire is one of my favorite people in the world because she always has cheese and is always willing to share (I mean, there are plenty more reasons I love Claire, but let’s cut to the chase here).  So it should come as no surprise to you that the following post has me crying at my desk. This combination of cheese plus Claire plus Fall flavors could not possibly equal anything less than spectacular. This is the kind of dish that makes it worth cleaning your house so you can invite people over. You don’t have to invite people over, but maybe cut the recipe down if you plan on keeping this to yourself (two pounds of cheese is a little much, even for me). Also, go ahead and clean your house anyway. I’ll pass this onto Claire now, so she can fill the cheese-shaped void in your heart.

I love cheese. I mean, I really, really love cheese. I know loving cheese is sort of obvious, like loving bacon, but I still feel the need to openly state my affection for cheese. Before I moved to California, I used to be a cheesemonger. My cheese shop was attached to the deli in a local grocery store, and they brought me in to imbue the department with my passion and excitement for cheese and international cuisine. I was always sampling something out, engaging with my loyal customers, and bringing new people into my cheese fandom by virtue of my sincere love for cheese in all its many forms. After the first 6 months or so, I started searching for new ways to sample cheeses to my customers, and it was at that moment that my department started stocking fondue pots. It was autumn. It was miserable outside. It was meant to be.

But there was a problem! Traditional fondues are made with alcohol, and my grocery store most definitely did not grant me permission to open bottles of booze behind the deli counter. I had to craft a new recipe for a fondue that would strip out the alcohol, but still be good enough to boost cheese fandom and sales. After just a couple of tries, I managed to put together a recipe that kept the traditional Swiss cheeses, but eliminated the wine and kirsch, and it was an instant hit. I handed out recipe cards, and sold through entire wheels of Gruyère and Emmentaler cheese in the span of two hours.

Fast forward several years to my kitchen in California. It’s raining outside. The temperature has dropped a full 20° in the last three days, and it is finally starting to feel legitimately autumnal here. It’s making me flash back to those days in the cheese shop, and I am just craving hot, melted cheese.  Luckily, my cheese shop recipe is so etched on my brain, I just throw a couple extra items on my grocery list, and I know I’ll be eating gooey, melty, soul-warming cheese in no time, and you can too.

My Apple Cider Fondue is kid-friendly since it contains no alcohol, but maintains that smooth and creamy texture required to be a great fondue!

Apple Cider Fondue Fondue

  • 1 lb. Emmentaler cheese
  • 1 lb. Gruyère
  • 2 TBS cornstarch
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • juice of 1 lemon

Our base here is going to be Emmentaler cheese. If you’re unfamiliar with it, Emmentaler is what I refer to as the granddaddy of Swiss cheese. It is what all deli cheeses known simply as “Swiss” are trying to be, but they will never be as sweet and buttery as true Emmentaler. On top of that, we need something slightly nuttier to enrich our flavor, so we turn to our best friend Gruyère. I use approximately one pound of each cheese. Start by cutting off the thin rind and coarsely shredding all of the cheese into a big bowl. Next, gently mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into the cheese until it is evenly distributed. Press a clove of garlic and smear the inside of a pot with it so that the pot is completely covered in garlic juices. Pour 1 cup of apple cider and the juice from one lemon into the pot and bring it to a boil. Add in a handful of the cheese mixture and stir until it is melted. Gradually add in the rest of the cheese, stirring until it is a uniform texture.


And that’s it! If you have a fondue pot, warm it before putting the cheese into it. If you don’t have one, a crock pot or electric skillet set on low will work. Serve your fondue with whatever you want covered in hot cheese. I like cubes of bread, veggies, pretzels, apples, or sliced kielbasa, but get creative! Half-way through our pot, we decided that we would like to coat our apple slices in fondue, and then wrap them in a slice of salami, and that was a good choice! Honestly you can’t go wrong here. Fondue does not keep well, so I recommend inviting friends to share it because you have to eat it all in one go, and nothing goes better with cheese than company!


Gruyère a little rich for your blood? You don’t have to miss out on the melty, cheesy fun! I made an adorable and delicious riff on Charles Phoenix’s cheeseball recipe for my office potluck, and he was a total hit. Simply cover a block of Velveeta in cream cheese and set it in an electric skillet with a can of Ro*Tel. I shaped my Velveeta into a ghost for Halloween and named him Ghosty, but with Thanksgiving coming up, a turkey with a carrot and celery stick tail fan might be in order! Velveeta is surprisingly pliable, so again, get creative! This recipe is a great showpiece for a party, because watching the ball melt is half the fun.


Printer friendly recipe: Apple Cider Fondue

Halloween Roundup – Spooky Foods and Superstitions

Halloween Roundup – Spooky Foods and Superstitions

Halloween is more than just costumes and candy – there are tons of spooky foods and stories to share, too! We love trying new recipes and hearing new scary stories, so if you’ve got some to share, send them our way! And, check out our roundup of past Halloween posts, plus a few extra superstitions we’ve come across since last Halloween.

Last Halloween we compiled this fun list of food-related superstitions, and they were so interesting, we decided to dig up some more!

  • Salt sure seems to carry some bad luck. Besides the well-known superstition about spilling salt, in many cultures it is also considered bad luck to pass salt hand-to-hand. So if your dinner guest asks you to pass the salt, make sure you set it on the table in front of them instead of putting it directly in their hand!
  • Chinese legend has it that for every grain of rice left in your bowl, you will get a freckle or mole on your face! I wonder if you can leave one piece strategically behind to get that Marilyn Monroe look.
  • Refrain from eating peanuts at any type of performance – supposedly it gives the performers bad luck. This one has to be completely debunked by now because of circuses, right?
  • Don’t sit at the corner of the dinner table or you will be single FOREVER! Oh, the horror! Too bad the corner seat is the most convenient for sneaking scraps to my cats… (P.S. Today is National Cat Day!)
  • In Italy, if you spill alcohol, you are supposed to dab a bit of the spilled sauce behind your ears to bring good luck. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to keep the booze gods on my side, so I will be adopting this one for sure. Plus, smelling like champagne is never a bad thing.

Speaking of wine, grab a glass of spooky Halloween-themed vino and get ready to carve your pumpkins. We’ve got some handy tips and tricks for making a fabulous jack-o-lantern! Finish off the night with these to-die-for (ooh spooky!) Deep Fried Pumpkin Pie Bites if you’re not too full of candy!

Happy Halloween from all of us at Butcher Block Co.! We hope you have a frightfully good time with many treats and minimal tricks!

Favorite Pumpkin Recipes

Favorite Pumpkin Recipes

I really hope you’re not sick of pumpkin! I love pretty much all pumpkin-related food, so this is my favorite time of year. Last year we shared a pretty spectacular Chocolate-Pumpkin Bundt Cake (which you should seriously make right away), but I realized we had never done a pumpkin pie on the blog. The internet is pretty saturated with pumpkin pie recipes, though, so I’m doing something a little different (plus I am just really bad at making pies)! Since it’s October and the Fair is in town, I see no reason not to deep fry my pumpkin pie.

These Deep Fried Pumpkin Pie Bites are the perfect way to serve up some pumpkin pie flavor with a twist.


  • While searching for my ravioli cutter to make these little treats, I remembered that I actually have a ravioli maker (see pictures below). I’ve had it for probably 12 years and had never taken it out of the box, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you have the smaller one. Mine makes ten 2” raviolis, and they were just a bit too big for this application. If you have the one that makes 1” or 1.5” raviolis, that will work much better. If you don’t have one at all, though, don’t worry! Just mark off your dough in 1.5” squares and put a dollop of filling in the middle of each; place another sheet of dough over the top and gently press down around each side of the filling; cut along the seams with a sharp knife and crimp the edges with a fork. Alternatively, do these however you want (round, square, with a cookie cutter or empanada press)! There’s not really a whole lot that can go wrong as long as you properly seal them.
  • I used premade pie dough because pie scares me, but feel free to make your own favorite recipe. You could even use an empanada or pizza-type dough – whatever you like. The trick is to roll it out thin enough that your pie bites will fry quickly without getting oil-logged. I’m not going to complain about how incredibly flaky mine were, but I probably should have rolled the dough out to about half its original thickness.
  • Refrigerate your pumpkin mixture while getting your dough ready. This will help it set up a bit so it is easier to work with.
  • Test your oil with a scrap of dough before you commit to putting the real thing in the pan! Your oil should react immediately with vigorous bubbling, but you don’t want it so hot that the dough burns before it finishes cooking.

Deep Fried Pumpkin Pie Bites

  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin pie filling
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 recipe pie dough
  • Oil for frying (I used canola)
  • Whipped cream (prepared)
  • Cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar

Using a whisk or electric mixer, combine pumpkin and cream cheese until smooth. Mix in spices and sugars. Refrigerate while preparing the rest of your ingredients.

Pumpkin Pie Bites

Heat about a half inch of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan (a Dutch oven works perfectly for this) over medium to medium-high heat.

On a lightly floured surface, roll your pie dough to about half the thickness you would use for a full-size pie. Using your preferred ravioli-making method, assemble your filling and dough into 1.5” mini pies.

Pumpkin Pie Bites

Test your oil temperature and adjust accordingly. Fry your mini pies in batches, depending on the size of your pan. Do not overcrowd the pan! Flip the pies once the bottoms are golden brown. They’ll take 1-2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

Pumpkin Pie Bites

While your pies are draining and cooling slightly, whip your cream however you like it (or use pre-made…I won’t tell!). Fold in cinnamon to taste.

Arrange your mini pumpkin pies on a serving tray and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with cinnamon-spiced whipped cream. Cry over the deliciousness.

Pumpkin Pie Bites

Printer friendly recipe: Pumpkin Pie Bites

Halloween Wines Are Spooky Good!

Halloween Wines Are Spooky Good!

I feel like Halloween is really sneaking up on us this year. Can you believe we’re halfway through October already?! I haven’t given a single thought to decorating, costumes, or candy (yeah right…I love candy!). I’m not going to be prepared, but Sarah W. is here with something that will at least get me into the right frame of mind: Halloween wines! Themed booze just has a way of setting the mood! Sarah, spook us into the Halloween spirit!

Greetings from the crypt. It’s getting close to Halloween, which means candy, costumes, and limited edition wines, if you are anything like me. The perfect glass of wine helps me plan my costumes, resist that candy, and hopefully tastes good, too!

Halloween has been a lot of fun my whole life. Growing up, my family lived six houses down from the town square, so there were a lot of houses packed closely together, which made for excellent trick-or-treating. My mom used to go through 20+ bags of candy, turn her light out, wait for my brother and me to get home, and then make us go through our buckets for candy we didn’t want so she could keep handing treats out to kids at our doorstep. The first year in my house, I bought 15 bags of candy and hoped it would be enough – I thought Halloween was always the way it was growing up. I barely got through seven bags, and ended up bringing the rest in for my coworkers the following Monday. Lesson learned! Having some grown-up treats helps pass the time during the lulls. That’s where the wine comes in!

I rounded up three Halloween-themed wines and put them to the test.

Some were more trick than treat, but I’d say these three are a fairly well-rounded bunch, with something for every red wine drinker. I’ve found that Halloween wines tend to most often be available as a red, since that’s, you know, blood and guts and Haloween-ish. If you’re hosting the neighborhood parents, whip up a cheese board so you have something to snack on while you’re waiting for the kids to return with your candy (that’s how that works, right?).

Apothic Dark

Apothic has been coming out with limited editions Halloween Wine regularly now – this is a great thing. Apothic is great at blending wines – the original Apothic Red is the go-to wine for my closest friends and me when we get together for a wine night. It’s guaranteed at least half of us will bring the same bottle. Apothic Dark has a heavy, rich taste that is somehow more muted than the original. There’s a smoky undertone at the finish that is almost bitter. There’s a sweetness that is hard to pinpoint, but some kind of dark fruit flavor is involved. I was strongly reminded of a merlot when drinking this, which isn’t my favorite varietal. But it’s certainly smooth and drinkable, with any dryness coming at the end, almost after you swallow. This one won’t give you heartburn. You want to drink Dark with the middle and back of your palate – bringing this forward in your mouth makes it taste more acrid.

Rating: 3 spooky ghosts

Halloween Candy Pairing: 3 Musketeers Strawberry or Raspberry M&Ms – a fruit/chocolate combo balances this out

Rest in Peace

Halloween Wine This wine is a new one to me, and I was possibly most excited for it since red blends are my favorite. This is the most sour of the three, and although the tasting notes on the bottle mention boysenberry and raspberry jam, I didn’t find this very fruity or jammy. Maybe for a moment as this first hits your palate – there’s definitely a brightness to it that sharpens to a spice as you drink. Leather, cedar, tobacco, pepper, and black tea are also mentioned, and these are the flavors I can definitely taste. The taste of pepper and black tea is more noticeable to me in this wine; it lingers on the back of your palate. The consistency is thin, while the flavor is robust, somehow. I understand the notes on leather and cedar, even if they’re hard to explain. There are definite earthy notes, which is surprising for such an acidic wine. This one grows on you the more you drink it.

Rating: 2-1/2 black cats

Halloween Candy Pairing: Dark chocolate – a midnight Milky Way would mellow this one out


This is a Cabernet Sauvignon, not a red blend, Halloween Wine a fact that I noticed when I got home. Vampire has a juiciness to it that is a) extremely appropriate given its name and b) very hard to describe in terms of drinking wine. Maybe it’s best to characterize the juiciness by the absence of smoke, bitterness, or sourness. Tasting notes on the bottle suggest blackberry, dark cherry, and oak. I am not hit over the head with the fruit level, but it’s tangibly there, while the oak doesn’t dry this up to an undrinkable level. This is a wine for storytelling and deep conversations. It’s mellow enough to drink a lot of without noticing how much you’re drinking, with dryness coming right as the wine hits the middle of your mouth. This is another one to taste with the middle and back of your palate. This also finishes with some slight bitterness, but not enough to be off-putting if you’re a regular red wine drinker.

Rating: 5 werewolves

Halloween Candy Pairing: Red Vines licorice


Is your house busy with trick-or-treaters on Halloween? What’s your favorite limited edition anything? Should they make more Halloween-themed white wines? I could only find one, and it didn’t look good to me, so I passed.

Butcher Block Co. To Distribute Unique Chroma Type 301 Kitchen Knives

Butcher Block Co. To Distribute Unique Chroma Type 301 Kitchen Knives

The Popular Online Seller of Kitchen Furniture & Kitchenware Adds Premium Knife and Knife Block Sets in Time for Holidays

Anticipating strong demand for premium housewares during the upcoming holiday selling season, Butcher Block Co. announced expansion of their kitchen furniture and wares product line available exclusively on the company’s website (

Announcing the new line, Butcher Block Co.’s Mark Shook said, “We’re constantly on the lookout for distinctive, high-quality brands that belong in the finest home and commercial kitchens and dining rooms. Customers have repeatedly encouraged us to bring on a line of fine cutlery to complement our other kitchen offerings. When we researched the marketplace the brand name that was most often cited by professional chefs as the cream of the crop and an excellent value was the Chroma Type 301 line. Once we became familiar with the brand’s story, the company’s commitment to quality and the breadth of the product line, we concluded we simply had to secure online distribution rights.”

Expanding on what it is that makes Chroma kitchen knives distinctly different, Kathleen Grodsky, Butcher Block Co.’s Vice President of Marketing and Operations, explained, “Chroma Type 301 knives are not just different; they’re unique. Each knife is made of Japanese stainless steel, and nothing else. Unlike ordinary knives that have plastic or wooden handles riveted onto their shanks, no handles are added onto Chroma knives. When you grasp a Chroma 301, you are holding the same piece of forged steel that comprises the knife’s blade. So this is true ‘one-piece construction,’ making the knife easier to grip and to control. Also, Japanese steel, hand-grinded to a razor-sharp edge, starts out sharper and stays sharper longer.”

“There’s another way in which Chroma knives are different,” Grodsky continued. “The unusual handle on the Type 301 was designed by F.A. Porsche, designer of the first Porsche 911. The transition from blade to handle is seamless. At its forward-most point the handle is a fat triangle, but it flattens out near the knife’s heel. As a result, the knife has a natural feel and is comfortable to hold, so you’re less likely to experience hand fatigue.”

“About Butcher Block Co: BBC sells butcher block kitchen countertops and furniture, including kitchen islands, tables, carts and work centers, in addition to such kitchen accessories as wood cutting boards and knife blocks. The company distributes products made by leading manufacturers of kitchen furniture and equipment, including John Boos and Catskill Craftsmen, among others.

For more information please visit:

Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]
phone: (877) 845-5597

Fall Soup – Cozying Up with Clam Chowder

Fall Soup – Cozying Up with Clam Chowder

There is just nothing quite like a hot bowl of soup on a cold day, and clam chowder is easily in my top three favorites. Oddly enough, I have never made it! Clam chowder has always seemed like one of those soups that will take a ton of time to make; it’s a restaurant meal, not an at-home dish. Well, as usual, Claire Hoenke is blowing my mind. Turns out clam chowder is actually not hard to make at all. I’ll give it a try if you will, too. Claire, teach us your chowdery ways.

Last month, I told you all about my undying love for autumn. For part two of my love song, I have set my sights on dinner. By now, the weather around here has actually started to turn ever so slightly cool. I have switched my air conditioning off, and in the mornings, I wake up and pull my blankets tighter around my chin against the cold night air. By the time I’m ready to leave the house for work, I’m already thinking about soul-warming comfort foods.

But it’s a work day! There’s no time to braise short ribs or a brisket. I need to come up with something I can make inside of an hour; over the course of the morning, my mind has zeroed in on soup. Stews, chowders, and broths start rippling through my brain, and already the thought of a steaming bowl of soup has my mouth watering. I run a mental checklist of recipe components against my pantry’s current inventory, and after work, I make a brief stop at the grocery store.

It’s going to be clam chowder tonight, and I could not be happier.

My clam chowder is adapted from the Culinary Institute of America’s recipe, and both my husband and I count it among our favorite things to eat; at this point I have made it so many times, I can basically do it in my sleep. I also have a tendency to keep bottles of clam juice in the house, just in case of a clam chowder emergency, and tonight is just such an emergency! I pick up some bread and cream and rush home to pull out the rest of my ingredients. Less than an hour later, I am sitting down at the table with my husband and a hot bowl of soup, and we both float off on a chowdery cloud. This recipe is so easy, and so luxuriously comforting, I have decided that I just have to share it.

Clam Chowder

  • 1 to 1 ½ pound canned or frozen baby clams, juices reserved
  • 2 8oz. bottles clam juice
  • 2 or 3 bacon slices, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons dry sherry, or to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Hot sauce (such as Tabasco), to taste
  • Worcestershire sauce, to taste
  • Optional loaf of bread or soup crackers

Start out by draining the juices from the clams. In my case, I did have one 10 oz can of clams, but that’s not really enough, so I also pulled a bag of Trader Joe’s cooked frozen langostino tails out of my freezer and let them thaw in the sink for a few minutes. Really, any seafood will do in a pinch, and if you’re lucky enough to live close to a Trader Joe’s, you can usually find some fun options in their frozen section. Add the bottled clam juice together with the drained juices, and it should equal at least 3 cups. Mince the clams and set them aside for now. At this point in the cooking process in my house, the cats have moved into the kitchen with me and are swirling around my ankles begging for bits of whatever is producing that delightful smell. I do not give in to their demands.

Fall Soup Clam Chowder

Chop up the raw bacon and throw it into a 6 or 8 quart soup pot set over medium heat. You want to let the bacon bits render slowly, for about 8 minutes until they are almost crispy. While the bacon is cooking, chop up the onion. When the bacon is ready, add the onion and cook it, stirring occasionally, until it is translucent. Add in the flour and turn the heat down to low, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes. Then, slowly add in the clam juice. Use your spoon or a whisk to get all the crispy bits up off the bottom of the pan, and then cook the juice at a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

While the juices simmer and thicken, peel and dice your potatoes. I like my soup to be super chunky, so I use 4 medium to large sized Yukon golds. When the clam juice is about the thickness of heavy cream, add the potatoes to your pot, along with the chopped thyme and the bay leaf. Cook the potatoes until they are tender, which should be about 15 minutes, depending on the size of your dice.

Fall Soup Clam Chowder

Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, combine the cream with the minced clams and simmer them together for about 5 minutes to cook the clams. If you have bread to go with the soup, this is the time to put it into the oven to warm up in time for dinner. If you are using any pre-cooked seafood items, chop them to bite size and add them to the soup pot in the last minute or so of the clams’ cooking time.

When the potatoes are tender and the clams are cooked, add the cream mixture to the soup pot and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the sherry, and season to taste with Worcestershire, salt and pepper, and a good couple shakes of your favorite hot sauce. Take the bread out of the oven and get ready to feast. I guess a side salad would be good here, if only to round out the meal, but I just can’t be fussed to bother with it on soup night. Luckily, this recipe yields about 2 quarts, so there is enough for seconds!

Fall Soup Clam Chowder

I think it’s pretty important to have a couple of can’t-fail recipes in your back pocket, and this is one of my favorites. It combines all good things into an even better thing, and it cooks up quickly without much fuss. It’s perfect for a chilly evening, and we’re fixing to get quite a few of those in the near future. Do yourself a favor and just add clam juice and canned clams to your next grocery list and you’ll be a believer too!

Printer friendly recipe: Clam Chowder

Butcher Block Co. Announces blOKTOBERFEST in Celebration of Oktoberfest

Butcher Block Co. Announces blOKTOBERFEST in Celebration of Oktoberfest

E-commerce Company’s Fall Promotion Honors Bavarian Tradition

Butcher Block Co. has announced a fall promotion tied to Bavaria’s Oktoberfest that is nowadays celebrated in cities across the globe. Using a clever play on words, the online retailer whose website ( features butcher block countertops, islands, tables, carts, cutting boards and knife blocks unveiled their blOKTOBERFEST promotion.

Kathleen Grodsky, Butcher Block Co.’s Vice President of Marketing and Operations, explained that the online store will offer a 5% discount to customers who make purchases through October 31st and enter the coupon code “BLOKTOBERFEST” during checkout.

“The Oktoberfest festival is held in Munich, Bavaria, Germany every year from late September through early October. Tens of thousands attend the festivities to sample local beers, enjoy traditional food and enjoy music and parades,” Grodsky explained. “It has become so popular that a number of cities around the world now stage their own Oktoberfests, modeled after the events in Munich,” she continued. Commenting on the event’s origin she shared that, “In 1810, Bavaria’s Prince Ludwig wished to commemorate his betrothal to Princess Therese, so he arranged festivities that included a horse race that drew a crowd estimated at 40,000. It was such a resounding success that it instantly became an annual affair.”

Butcher Block Co.’s President, Mark Shook, offered that, “Oktoberfest fits perfectly with our mission and our audience. It’s all about people coming together to eat, drink, sing and dance. No matter where you go in the world you will see people enjoying good food and drink and the company of one another. That’s what our company is all about as well. The tagline on the Butcher Block Co. blog website ( sums it up succinctly: “For people who love to cook, entertain and gather in the kitchen.”

About Butcher Block Co: The company sells exclusively online. All Its products are made for cooking and/or for kitchens and dining rooms, by such leading manufacturers as John Boos & Company. Priding themselves on their deep knowledge of the market, the company’s slogan is “The Experts in All Things Butcher Block.” Their best-selling products include butcher block countertops, kitchen islands, carts, tables and cutting boards. BBC also recently added knife blocks to their online store. For more information please visit:


Kathleen Grodsky

[email protected]


phone: (877) 845-5597