Monday, November 29, 2010

Pot Pie!

What to do, what to do with all of that left over turkey?! Well, you could make a sandwich every day for a week, but that's boring. My favorite cure for leftovers is to make a pot pie. You can turn this pie into whatever kind of pie you like: chicken pot pie, turkey pot pie, even ham pot pie. I've made them all...many times. This recipe is a no fail and an instant hint. It's my most requested dish at home. Here it goes...

Let's make a roux. First chop some onion.

Melt the butter and lightly cook the onions. Toss in the flour, pepper, and salt.

Stir to combine, and cook it for a little bit to make it taste less floury. This should just take a minute. Then pour in the milk and broth.

This is what your brothy roux should look like. Not too watery and not too thick. Check it with a wooden spoon.

Hooray for frozen veggies! You can put in your favorite veggies. I like the ol' carrot, corn, and green bean mix. Then toss in your meat of choice - precooked!

You can bake it in one big pan (9x13) or in two 8 inch pie plates or mix it up however you want. I like to make one pie plate and then make a few mini pies to freeze and eat later.

"C" is for chicken because I made this batch a while ago. I'll be putting "T"s on this new batch. Oh, you might have noted that I only use a top crust. You can use a top and a bottom crust, but I find that my bottom crust gets soggy. One top crust works for me just fine.

Chicken Pot Pie


· 1/3 cup butter or margarine

· 1/3 cup of flour

· 1/3 cup onion

· ½ tsp. salt

· ¼ tsp. pepper

· 1 1/3 chicken broth

· 2/3 cup milk

· 2 cups chicken

· 1-10 oz. packaged frozen veggies (carrots, broc, cauli, etc.)

· 1 or 2 Pillsbury pie crusts

How to:

· Heat butter over low heat until well blended.

· Add flour, onion, salt, and pepper.

· Cook over low heat stirring constantly until mixture is smooth and bubbly.

· Remove from heat.

· Stir in broth and milk.

· Heat to boiling, stirring constantly – boil and stir 1 minute.

· Stir in chicken pieces and frozen veggies.

· Pour in crust and cover with top crust.

· Bake at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cabbage - it's good for you

Hello! I'm keeping it really short this week. I'm feeling a bit under the weather and having a strange desire to consume cabbage. This is a rare occurrence, craving cabbage, but I hope it doesn't detour you from trying it out. Cabbage gets a bad rap, I think, and it's unfortunate. Tis delicious and easy to fix.

Chop-a-da cabbage.

Lightly cook zee cabbage with carrot and onion. Just wilt them a bit. Don't over to it. Mushy cabbage = ew.

Place the wilted veg in a dish. Whip up the milk, egg, and cheese and pour over zee veg. I advise you to top it off with more cheese. Cheese makes everything even better.

Ta-da. Easy cabbage side dish.

My apologies for the laziness. See you next week! Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Birthday Sweets - part 2

Here is another one of the dessert items that I brought to Aubrey's 30th birthday party. Berry Cobbler; it's great for a carry-in. People love this simple dessert. You can make it with fresh or frozen berries, and it works just fine. Any berry will do. I used mostly blueberry with a few raspberries for extra measure.

This cobbler is sort of upside down. Usually in cobblers the berries are on the bottom and the bread is on top, but not here. I have found that it's best to sprinkle the berries a bit heavier around the edges. The berries tend to wander into the center of the pan, making an uneven ratio of berries to bread. (See last photo.)

A bit of extra sugar on the top makes a nice little crunch. I cut out a LOT of sugar from the original recipe. You can cut out even more to turn this dessert into a breakfast item.

Berry Cobbler adapted from Pioneer Woman

- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups berries, fresh or frozen
- a few teaspoons of sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small baking dish (like an 8x8 or 9x9). Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix melted butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Pour into greased baking dish. Layer the berries on the top of the batter, and sprinkle with a small amount of sugar to finish. Bake for about an hour or until the edges brown. Let cool for a few minutes to set up before serving.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Birthday Sweets - part 1

My crafty friend Bobbie threw a fantastic 30th birthday party for her wonderful sister, Aubrey. Bobbie gave me the honor of baking up the desserts. I happily obliged. I baked up a storm, making pumpkin cake, an apple tart, and a berry cobbler.

Let's start with the apple tart. (Ha, that rhymed.) This dessert looks very impressive, but takes SO little time or effort. The recipe came from Martha again, but I cut out the unnecessary steps/ingredients. Martha, Martha, there's no need for such complexity.

Step one: buy apples and puff pastry. Two: peel and slice apples. Three: roll puff pastry out into a rectangle.

Four: score a 3/4 inch border around the edge. Don't cut all the way through.

Step five: in a large bowl, toss apples in sugar with a dash of cinnamon. Six: arrange the apples on the pastry dough, keeping within the edges.

Step seven: bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. (Optional) step eight: glaze with warmed apricot or apple jelly for a pretty sheen.

Thanks for the recipe, Martha. I'm going to paint my fingernails with the extra time that I saved.

Apple Tart adapted from Martha Stewart

You will need:
  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed, rolled out to about an 8x14 inch rectangle
  • flour for work surface
  • 2-3 tart apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • a few dashes of cinnamon
  • a Tablespoon or two of apricot or apple jelly (optional)
Impress your friends with this fall favorite. Berry Cobbler coming next week.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Slice of heaven: the only quiche you'll ever make again.

Oh, Martha Stewart, why do you make such good things? I think you often over complicate your recipes, but with this quiche, you hit the money.

Quiches are one of those adaptable foods that you can alter to suit your own taste. Basically you can plug in different ingredients like this; pick at least one ingredient from each of the following categories:
Aromatic - onion, shallots, scallions, etc.
Cheese - Parmesan, Gruyere, Romano, Asiago, etc.
Filling(s) - mushroom, zucchini, broccoli, spinach, kale, arugula, shredded carrot, sausage, bacon, prosciutto, chicken, etc. (Precook the meat or use cured meat before adding it to the egg mixture.)

The veggies will have to be at least half cooked otherwise they will be crunchy. Quiches should not be crunchy. And when you see the heavy cream listed among the ingredients, don't freak out. This 1980's non-fat/low-fat fad is outdated garbage. If you're going to take the time to make food, use the best ingredients; and that means using real butter or cream sometimes (for example). I'm not talking about in excess. Paula Dean is a forerunner for heart disease, but in moderate portions, you can eat anything and be perfectly fine.

Here's the recipe. Martha uses morel mushrooms, but obviously you can choose a more affordable mushroom for this quiche. With this quiche base, you could put in whatever filler ingredient you want. I used shiitake mushrooms, red onion, and spinach. You could use zucchini and prosciutto OR shallot, bacon, and arugula OR just broccoli. Try this recipe word for word, ingredient for ingredient to see if you like it. Then experiment, experiment, experiment to make it your own. I found that Martha uses too much salt, so I cut back by half. The cheese adds a lot of salt, too.

This recipe makes one tall quiche or two shorter quiches. I like splitting the filling into two crusts because we like a little more crust in our household. See, it's all about adaptability. Give it a try. This recipe is definitely one to make to impress the in-laws.