RECIPE: Corn Chowder

This time of year is made for delicious comfort food and soups, chowders, and stews are comfort in a bowl. This month we are excited to share the Corn Chowder recipe from one of our favorite cookbooks, Feed Your Mind. Bay Magazine has created a cookbook is not only beautiful and packed with delicious recipes, but it is local as well. This cookbook draws inspiration from our state’s very own Long Beach Island (LBI to the natives) highlighting locally-sourced seafood, farm-fresh produce and regional ingredients.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. butter
  • 4 scallions, chopped plus 2 T. reserved for garnish
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 lb. white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from 8 corn ears)
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

Preparation:

In a large and heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.

Add scallions, bell peppers, and celery stirring until hte vegetables start to soften, around 8-10 minutes. Add in the potatoes, two cups of the corn, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occassionally, for 15 minutes.

In a blender, puree the remaining two cups corn with milk and add into the soup. Simmer until the soup thickens slightly, 7-10 minutes.

Serve:

Ladle chowder into bowls or cups and top with chopped scallions and enjoy!

This Corn Chowder is simple yet delicious, making it a perfect recipe for week night dinners. The Feed Your Mind cookbook offers recipes for unique appetizers, side dishes, main courses, desserts, and cocktails, making it a great addition to the kitchen.


We stock the cookbook in our Red Bank shop or click the button below to order your copy!

Holiday Entertaining – Combining the season’s natural beauty with it’s sense of magic.

There is just something about this time of year! Is it the bite in the air, the glow of the lights, the melody of the songs? We can’t say for sure. What we do know is this time of year seems to have a bit of magic in it! With this magical time of year, we are surrounded by a barren nature outdoors and turn inside for holiday entertaining.

Above all the things that make this season special is the overwhelming sense of togetherness. Regardless of your beliefs, this season has a way of uniting; families, friends, communities, and neighbors. That alone can feel magical.

Often gatherings are a big part of this togetherness. This year, as we thought about holiday entertaining, we have found that we are especially drawn to nature when imagining how to highlight this magical season.

Our holiday table is a celebration of nature and the season’s magic.

Keeping things more natural, we opted out of doing a tablecloth, using the wood table as the base for our table-scape. A crisp white linen topped with a rustic burlap runner offer some subtle structure to the décor. From there things get interesting…

Bring the outdoors in!

We love the idea of abundance when it comes to bringing in the natural elements, so we decided that we would go all out with layering the greens. Rather than using a more traditional pine or holly, we chose some of the seasons less celebrated plants for this table. A variety of dried and faux sprigs of eucalyptus create a plentiful bed all along the table. Rather than florals, we chose a variety of potted rosemary plants.

A small potted creeping rosemary is at home on this earthy table

Tip: Rosemary is commonly used in holiday meals, by having these plants on the table it offers a nice semblance to the food you are enjoying at the table. This doesn’t have to be rosemary. Consider personalizing this philosophy to your meal. If there is a particular herb, fruit, or vegetable used in your menu, consider highlighting it on your table-scape.

Black and Brass Accents offer modern touches to the earthy theme.

We chose sleek matte black dishes and paired them with polished brass flatware for a fun juxtaposition of contemporary glam.

Mixing Elements

The Holiday Tables is set.

Rust and Mercury are both elements of nature. Although we wont go too far into the periodic table, the idea of adding items that are reminiscent of nature’s elements has validity when creating an earthy theme. Giant rustic bells and oversized mercury ornaments are perfect accents to adorn the greens. Wooden Block placeholders display personalized cards for guest’s seating locations.

Set the mood

Aged Brass frames around antique glass hurricanes offer a perfect candle glow.

We all know that lighting is so important when creating a mood. Candlelight is among the most romantic and cozy forms of lighting you can use in a space. We chose to place pillar candles in several glass hurricanes along the table to give a soft warm glow.

No matter if your holiday gathering is large or small, we hope you have a wonderfully magical holiday season this year!

Shop the look

Everything you see on our holiday table is available in our T&C Mercantile Shop. We are open daily for shopping and we are happy to offer virtual shopping for those who cannot visit us in person. Visit our shop page for hours.

Follow us on our social media accounts for updates on what is in stock, new arrivals, and shop events. You can shop products through either of our media accounts, just drop us a line or call.

Project Spotlight – Bingham Avenue Project Holiday Edition

This year’s Bingham Avenue Project, holiday edition project spotlight, is one that is near and dear to our hearts. This new construction project was the home of Town & Country Kitchen and Bath owner, Ginny Padula. Ginny and her husband Lou, owner of Padula Builders, designed and built this home with a heavy emphasis on family in mind.

There is no better time than the holidays to celebrate family and enjoy the comforts of home. This may be one of the reasons that Ginny pulls out all the stops when decorating her home for the season. We had the pleasure of capturing the house during one of the ‘most wonderful times of the year’ and chatting with Ginny about her holiday traditions and decorating inspiration.

We will spotlight details on this full home design project at another time. For this edition, we are going to focus on spreading the holiday cheer.

Style Profile

A welcome holiday entrance with boxwood greens and wintery décor

We started out by asking Ginny the obvious question, what is it about Christmas that makes her give full measure to decorating her home? “I have always loved holiday decorations and everything that goes with this time of year, like getting to spend extra time with my family.”

Ginny describes her holiday decorating style as being similar to her personal design style; classic and natural with hints of rustic elements. Evident in these images, the home features deep wood tones paired with warm neutrals. The traditional styling makes it feel tailored yet welcoming. When adding holiday décor she enhances these elements by layering lots of natural greens, which pair so naturally with the wood throughout the home.

Holiday Traditions

The heart of the Padula Home

Ginny is an excellent cook, this time of year the kitchen is especially busy with baking and extra people filling the home for meals. The décor is kept simple in this space to allow for ease of use during meal prep and baking. A small tree or two, some boxwood wreaths over the windows, strategic greens, and of course the highly aromatic and useful rosemary plant. She confides that her favorite holiday tradition is, being in the kitchen, baking cookies with her two sons.

Dining Room is set and ready for holiday guests .

Once the meal is made, it’s time to gather and enjoy! The Padula’s host a family dinner each year on Christmas Eve with the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes theme. “We both grew up celebrating this way. When we got married we took over hosting to continue the custom for our family and friends and pass onto the next generation.” Ginny explains when asked how long they have have hosted these feasts.

This is a meal that requires that the entire family pitch in and takes days to prepare. Lou is the ring leader and head chef of this meal though and he starts planning for the feast weeks in advance. Everything from the homemade manicotti shells that are prepared the Sunday prior until the last salad hits the table is steeped in family tradition.

When asked if the menu varies each year, “Oh no,” Ginny explains, “everything is prepared using Lou’s grandmothers recipes and the menu is just the way she always did it.”

House of Trees

The family room is so cozy with one of the decorated Christmas trees and fireplace.

The most prominent decorative element that Ginny incorporates are trees. Large and small, real and artificial, there is a tree in each room of the home. Each tree is decorated with it’s own thoughtfully unique theme. “Last year there were 11, this year we are adding 5 or 6 more” admits Padula.

“They are all my favorite,” Ginny laughs when asked to pick, “but the family tree is probably my favorite” she decides, of the tree that the whole family decorates together. They fill the tree with ornaments either made by or collected by the group.

Even Bentley, the family’s Brittney Spaniel gets a specially decorated tree.

As in all design, an important element is to be true to your taste and comfort. When decorating for the holidays make it feel personal and purposeful. Small accents in well placed locations can make a big impact. We hope you have enjoyed this special holiday edition project spotlight and have gathered some inspiration for your own home this season.

Happy Holidays from the TCKB Design Team!

Shop The Project Spotlight Look

We rounded up a few items from the shop to help you create your own winter wonderland at home. Our shop is open in Red Bank daily, visit our Shop page for store hours. Please visit us to shop in person, email us: general@tckbdesigns.com , or call: 732-345-1441, we offer curbside pickup, local drop offs, and shipping.

Faux Seedling trees, various sizes and styles available, starting at $40.
Red Stripes Kitchen Linen Dish Cloths $11 and Giant Tin Snowflake Ornaments $12
Preserved Boxwood Wreaths with white ribbon $18

Holiday Entertaining – We are looking to dining outdoors this season

This year, it seems, we are all craving some form of normalcy in an anything but normal time. While holiday entertaining may look different than we would like, there are still ways to make the holiday season special and inviting. We love the idea of hosting an el fresco dinner. The weather may be crisp but this only adds to the enjoyment of the season.

Location is everything

Find a cozy or pretty location like a patio, under a large tree, or in a garden space to set the scene. Consider bringing your dining table and chairs outdoors, the use of furniture that is traditionally used inside the home creates a slightly formal feel in a more casual setting.

Don’t be too concerned with pristine landscape, take advantage of the natural ‘décor’ around you. What could be more fitting than enjoying a meal among the fallen leaves that make the season so beautiful.

Décor for entertaining outdoors

The beauty of this concept is that most of the décor is taken care of by mother nature. For the tabletop, fresh flowers are a must…consider selecting something unexpected. Blooms that offer a contrast against the natural landscape create a focal accent. Here we used various sizes of the same glass vessels for assorted heights while keeping a consistent look. We chose pops of purple wildflower-like flowers. Instead of mixing the flowers in all of the vases, we grouped each flower type in it’s own basin for a more graphic touch.

Mixing Materials

In our design work, we love how mixed materials create interest to a space, this philosophy is true for tablescapes as well. Here we show brass, silver, and mercury metal tones mixed with organic elements like French linens, handmade pottery, and recycled glassware creating a causal yet polished composition.

A collection of vintage brass candlesticks adds a classic elegance and of course the source on an important ambience element. No matter the time of day that your holiday entertaining will take place, a candle glow is a welcome addition to the experience of dining outdoors.

Keep things simple

Stick with a minimal color pallet and use multiples of the same pieces to keep things simple yet interesting. Layer extra dishes to add subtle dimension and substance to each place setting. Forgo any excess of linens, instead stick with simple cloth napkins as the primary textile on the table. An added bonus, less fabric allows for more worry free dining experience. No need to worry about a spill and the makes meal cleanup a breeze.

Toasty Additions

A key to holiday entertaining is making everyone feel at home, this can be achieved even when dining outdoors. Have blankets available for guests to drape over themselves while dining. Light a fire nearby in a fire pit or chimenea to offer elements that have a cozy feel.


Shop the Look

Everything you see in these images is available in the T&C Mercantile shop. We are still working on our online shopping site. In the meantime, our retail shop is open daily through the holiday season for in person and virtual shopping experiences. View Shop Hours

Please follow us on our social media accounts to keep up to date with new products and to purchase remotely.

T&C Mercantile – Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Not sure what to get mom this year? We have you covered with gifts ranging in price points, locally made and pre-designed gift sets. We put together some of our favorite items in the shop that we think any mom would be lucky to receive this Mother’s Day.

Gifts for $25 or less:

Gifts for $50

*Linen tea towel color options below

Sets ready to gift

Chef Mom Gift Set – $75

Chef Mom Set Includes •Linen Dish Towel – Color Choice shown below • Long Beach Island’s Cookbook – Feed Your Mind • Natural Acacia cutting board Burlap fold-able bucket-tote

Gardener Mom Set – $75

Gardener Mom Set Includes •Stainless Steel and Ash Wood Garden Snips •Set of 4 Slate Tags with Chalk to mark your plants •Organic Herb Packet with Biodegradable pot

*Herb choices include: Dark Green Italian Parsley, English Lavender, Chives, Sweet Basil, Arugula, White Scallion, and Thyme

Pamper Mom Set – $100

Oak Moss and Coconut fragrance enamors the senses, with rich notes of Coconut, the earthy essence of Oak Moss and the warm sweetness of ripe Mulberry.

Set Includes Jaboneria Marianella luxurious Candle and Body Cream set in small natural Dough Bowl

Linen Towel Color Options:

A. White with grey multi-size stripes

B. Kahki with black window grid

C. Natural with Black thin stripes

D. White with Black thin stripes

Call the showroom 732-345-1441 or email us at general@tckbdesigns.com to purchase.

We are offering curbside pick up, local doorstep drop offs, and shipping on all purchases. Purchase by Monday, May 4 for shipping orders to be sure it makes it there by Mother’s Day.