Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Simple Whole Wheat Bread

Last week was spring break so I decided to make bread, minus the bread maker. Although I did have a helper...

The bread turned out great and I am making it again today! It makes three loaves so you don't have to constantly be making bread. I took 1/2 of one loaf to make a pizza and the other 1/2 to make a calzone!

Here is the recipe! Simple Whole Wheat

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

I LOVE chicken pot pie but I have never tried my hand at it. My friend Sarah always tells me how she makes pot pie about once a week. So I decided to give it a whirl since I had a fridge full of veggies.

I found a recipe but highly adapted it as I didn't like the ones I found. I have made this several times now with a variety of veggies and it always turns out yummy!

2 pie crusts -I buy the Pillsbury Crust, in the red box.
1 pound (or whatever you have leftover) cooked chicken - cubed
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas or any kind of green veggie. I sometimes throw in broccoli other times green beans.
1/2 cup sliced celery
Sometimes I cube a potato and throw that in too.
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 yellow or red bell pepper or a combination of both
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (I usually use garlic salt)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk (the more fat in the milk the creamier the sauce)

Directions:1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)

2. In a large skillet saute carrots, celery, peppers & other veggies (except broccoli) in olive oil. Cook them until they are tender. Some people boil the veggies but they lose all their vitamins that way so I prefer to saute.

3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, cook onions and garlic in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and other seasonings. Let simmer for about 1 minute. You want your flour/butter mixture to bubble a little or it will taste floury. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick, like gravy. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. While above sauce is thickening...Put bottom pie crust in pie plate. Cover with foil and bake for about 5 minutes. Until it just starts to golden. This will help it hold up to the liquid.

5. Mix veggies with chicken and place mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

It is a good idea to place the pie plate on a cookie sheet or to put foil on the bottom of your stove as pot pie often overflows!

Be creative with the veggies you throw in. I just throw in whatever veggies I have in my freezer and/or fridge. Canned veggies also work but contain salt so be sure to cut back on the salt you add to the sauce or you will get a salty dish. Also, do not saute canned veggies. The main problem with canned is they tend to turn out a little more mushy than fresh or frozen veggies.

My friend Sarah throws in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce to her pot pie.
It adds a yummy Asian type of flavor.

If you make your own pie crust try throwing in some savory herbs for an additional boost in yumminess! (is that a word?)

Don't be afraid to experiment!
Happy Cooking!
I bet you envy my sweet orange countertops! Yeah go ahead, they are sweet & originals from the 70s!