chicken/turkey pot pie

Using up the Thanksgiving turkey, that’s now frozen and diced…but I don’t want to forget about it! This recipe is from SimplyScratch.com. It’s super yummy. If you’re making one large pie like I was, you will have extra filling, but I just stuck that in the freezer for later. Her directions are for six individual pot pies.
1 pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 stick of Butter, divided
2 whole Carrots, peeled and diced small
2 Celery Stalks, diced small
1 cup Diced Cooked Potatoes
1 medium Yellow Onion, peeled and diced small
1 cup Frozen Peas
1/2 cup Frozen Corn
3 cups Chicken Broth, warmed
1-1/2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Flour
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt, more or less to taste
1/2 teaspoons Black Pepper, more or less to taste
1 tablespoon Dried Parsley
1 teaspoon Chopped Fresh Thyme
1 recipe for Homemade Pie Crust {check my blog for the recipe!}
6 (10-ounce) Ramekins

TO MAKE THE POT PIES: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease six 10-ounce ramekins with butter or olive oil.

Roll the pie crust out and use a bowl {slightly larger than the ramekin}, trace and cut out 6 circles, using the scraps to make more if needed. Keep the dough circles in the fridge so they stay cold.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large Dutch oven.

Add in the diced carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the diced onion and celery and season with a teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent and the carrots are soft {but not too soft}.

Now add in the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter and let that melt. Once melted add in the half cup of flour and stir often while it cooks for 2 minutes.

Pour in the 3 cups of hot chicken broth and the 1-1/2 cups of whole milk. Let that simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened 5-8 minutes.

Next add in the frozen peas, corn, cooked chicken, dried parsley and chopped fresh thyme. Stir. Taste add season further with up to a teaspoon more of salt and a little more black pepper if desired.

Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Evenly divide the diced cooked potatoes into each prepared ramekin.

Spoon the pot pie filling evenly over the potatoes, filling the ramekins to the brim. Let them cool down a bit before placing the pie dough over top and crimping the edges. With a sharp knife make slits for ventilation.

Slide the tray of pot pies into a preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Remove and let them cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Monkey Bread

From Pillsbury

1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
4 cans (7.5 oz each) Pillsbury™ refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (sold in a 4-pack)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 package (3 oz) cream cheese

1
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 6-cup fluted tube cake pan with cooking spray.
2
In large food-storage plastic bag, mix granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
3
Separate each can of dough into 10 biscuits. Cut each biscuit into quarters, adding biscuit pieces to bag and shaking as you go. When pieces are coated, arrange in pan. (If you run out of mixture, remove dough pieces from bag and add 1 to 2 more tablespoons granulated sugar to bag.)
4
In 1-quart saucepan, heat brown sugar, butter, pumpkin and cream cheese over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted. Beat mixture with whisk until mostly smooth (there may be some tiny pieces of cream cheese, but that’s okay). Pour mixture over biscuit pieces in pan. Place pan on cookie sheet to catch any spills.
5
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan 2 minutes. Place heatproof plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. Remove pan. Cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Store in refrigerator.

Chocolate cookies with peanut butter frosting

Nathan said these were to die for. They were pretty intense. I used all butter (instead of half shortening and half butter).

For Chocolate Cookie Dough:
½ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup shortening, (butter flavor is best)
1½ cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon almond flavoring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
3½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
For shaping cookies:
¼ cup granulated sugar
cooking spray
*glass with flat bottom, see notes below
For Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting:
½ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup full fat sour cream
3-4 cups powdered sugar (or more to desired consistency)

Preheat oven to 350 or 325 on convection setting.
Cream butter, shortening and sugar together.
Add sour cream and almond flavoring. Mix. Add the cocoa and mix again until smooth. The mixture should be creamy, with no specks of white. Turn the mixer off.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt all at once. Mix just until all of the flour disappears, on the lowest setting. This should take about 20-30 seconds.
Using a 1¾ inch to 2 inch scoop, place the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Lightly spray the bottom of a glass with cooking spray. First press the glass against a cookie, then dip the bottom of glass in sugar to flatten cookie a bit. Continue dipping the bottom of the glass into the sugar after flattening each cookie.
After all of the cookies are flattened a bit, go back and lightly sprinkle sugar on top of each cookie.
Bake for about 9-10 minutes at 325 convection, or about 10-12 minutes at 350.
The cookies should be barely firm on top. Do not over cook!
Let cool completely on cookie sheet. Frost when cool.
Yield about 18 large cookies or 30-32 small to medium cookies.
For Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting:
Cream butter until it lightens in color.
Add peanut butter, vanilla extract, salt and sour cream. Whip until very smooth 2-3 minutes.
Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, then mix on high until very smooth. Continue adding powdered sugar to the desired thickness. If you add too much powdered sugar add a little more sour cream to balance it out.

I got the recipe here and she got it here.

Pineapple angel food cake

This was so easy and everyone loved it. Mix one box of angel food cake mix with one 20 oz can of crushed pineapple, juice and all. Do NOT add the water that is called for on the box, just the dry mix and entire can of pineapple with juice.

Mix well, it will foam. Pour into a 9×13 pan and put into a preheated 350 oven for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy!

Bagels

IMG_0467

We’re in bagel making heaven here. Yesterday morning I saw this post as soon as I woke up and decided I’d try right away. They are SO easy and SO yummy.

In a bread maker, or kitchen aid or Bosch or whatever, combine:

1 cup warm water (I needed a bit more)
3 cups of bread flour
2 TBS white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

If you’re using a breadmaker, set it to dough cycle. If you’re not, I’d knead well for about 10 minutes and let the dough rest about 45 minutes.

Then shape the dough into 8-10 balls, flatten, and poke holes. Let them rest for about 30-60 minutes.

First time making bagels. Seems easy, we'll see how they turn out!

Then you’ll boil a pot of water with 3T sugar to be ready when the bagels are done rising. Boil each bagel for 1 minute; 30 seconds on each side. We fit 3 bagels into our pot at a time.

Put the boiled bagels on an ungreased pan that is either sprinkled with 1T cornmeal, or use a silpat (which I did), and bake at 375 for 20 minutes, or until they look just browned enough.

Nathan and I just split a bagel fresh out of the oven and the verdict is in...they are great!! This is so fun! Tomorrow: raisin and cinnamon version. Oh I'm positively giddy.

They’re not beautiful, but they are delicious!

Our first batch of 8 was gone not long after the kids came home from school, so last night I made a second batch of raisin cinnamon. SO YUMMY! I added maybe 3/4 t cinnamon to the dough mixture at the very beginning, along with about 2 handfuls of raisins. It was perfect!

Tilapia with Cilantro and Ginger

We LOVED this.

4-6 tilapia fillets (about 2 pounds)
1 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons grated ginger (from about a 2-inch piece that has been peeled)
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2/3 cup chopped cilantro
Chopped green onions for garnish
Extra cilantro for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Pat the tilapia fillets dry and season lightly with salt and pepper on both sides. Place the fish in a glass or ceramic baking dish.

Place the jalapenos, garlic, ginger, soy sauce,stock, sesame oil and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse or process until very well blended. Pour the sauce over the fish. Bake for 8-12 minutes until the fish flakes easily and is cooked through. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

The freezer meals post…

So for Shanelle and Lauren the others who asked what meals I made on the marathon cooking morning the other month, here is the info for you, finally.

My favorite freezer cooking books have been Don’t Panic, Dinner’s in the Freezer, and Fix, Freeze, Feast. I am picking up Don’t Panic, More Dinner’s in the Freezer from the library this weekend. Really, though, you don’t have to stick to fancy cookbooks or special pinterest recipes.  I haven’t had good luck freezing recipes with potatoes well, but most of your “go-to” family recipes are likely freezer friendly. Some people say don’t freeze recipes with milk, cream or cream cheese – we’ve usually done just fine with those. Most soups freeze amazingly well and they’re so easy to double and triple.

And also – if a big cooking morning (which means a big kitchen cleaning afternoon for me) is too much for you – one of the other tricks I like to do is once or twice a week, cook two or three of whatever you’re making that night for dinner.  Eat one, freeze the other one (or two). Ta da. Much more manageable than planning a big cooking day.

I usually put each meal in a ziploc, then put that ziploc inside Food Saver bag and sealed it on up. This time I bought super cheap tin pans (18-25 cents) from the restaurant supply store so I could just place each meal in the pan, stick the pan inside a Food Saver bag, and seal it there. On cooking day we cut the bag open and just stick the pan in the oven, then throw the pan away. Sweet.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole x3
Chicken Parmigana x3
Cream cheese salsa chicken x 3 (was supposed to be Mariachi chicken rolls but I forgot to buy two ingredients, so made this instead – was just cream cheese and salsa blended, poured over breasts)
Chicken Satay x3
Buttermilk Herb Chicken Breasts x3
Chicken with Pesto Butter x3
Lemon Glazed Chicken Breasts x3
Loaded Baked Potato Soup x3 (was advertised as a freezer recipe but didn’t do great in the freezer – needed a bunch of work to make good the next day, so I won’t link until I figure out a better freezer version)

This manicotti is another of our freezer faves.  I’ve been bad at adding the new recipes we’ve tried and loved; should get back in the habit again.

We ended up with 23 frozen meals for later (ate one of the potato soups that night). As for cost? I don’t know. I bought all the chicken the night before, on sale for $1.79/lb for the boneless skinless breasts. I spent about $75 on the chicken alone. I tried adding everything together but am guessing – I feel safe saying it was all well under $125 for 24 meals, which averages what…about $5/meal?. Some things like cream cheese were on sale for $1/8 oz, which is a huge sale and really helped – the potato soup and salsa chicken used a bunch of that.

Any questions?