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Now that the New Year is here, the husband and I have set a few goals. We try not to call them resolutions, because everyone breaks resolutions. Instead, they are "goals" which means we actually try to make them. The main goal involves meal planning.

Related: 25 Delicious Crockpot Meals for Busy Families.  

We learned, many years ago, that when we don't plan meals, we eat out. And when we eat out, we spend a lot of money that we really shouldn't be spending. Now as a typical, very-busy family with two kids and many activities, I don't only need to plan meals, I also need time to cook them. Enter my crockpot, which is in my top three favorite kitchen appliances. I love putting food on after taking the kids to school, then not having to think about it again until dinnertime.

This crockpot seafood chowder is a favorite of the husband's (and my dad's), and can be changed up by alternating the seafood choices. It's great for a cold winter day, and may be our choice this weekend when we get home from our ski day.

Crockpot Seafood Chowder
Ingredients:
2 cups frozen corn
1 can cream-style corn
2 cups chicken broth
1 large onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 carrots, chopped in rounds
2 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup half & half or whole milk
2 cups seafood--crab meat, shrimp, calamari, etc (we used shrimp and crab)

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Directions:
In slow cooker, combine both corns, chicken broth, onion, celery, carrot, spices, stir to mix. (**I also added a heaping spoonful of garlic.**)

Cover and cook on low about 6 hours.

When ready, remove about half of the chowder from the slow cooker and pulse in the food processor till smooth, return to crockpot.

Add half & half and seafood, turn to high and cook 10-15 minutes more.

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