Pioneer Woman's Chicken Pot Pie

I love a good old fashioned comfort meal every now and then and this definitely fit the bill! I made 3 pot pies (I added extra of each ingredient to have extra filling), one for us and two to take to people, so it was a good thing it turned out so yummy :-), but I knew the Pioneer Woman wouldn't let me down! I only wished we'd had more leftovers!

Ingredients:
3 celery stalks
3 medium carrots, peeled
1 large yellow onion
4 T butter
1/2 c frozen peas
2 c cooked chicken (I used canned chicken)
1 c all-purpose flour
2 c chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 c white wine, optional (I did use white cooking wine)
1 c heavy cream
1 t ground thyme
1 t kosher salt, or more to taste
black pepper to taste
1/2 recipe Perfect Pie Crust

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Finely dice celery, carrots and onions.
- Melt butter in a large pot or dutch oven over med heat. Add the onion, carrots, cleery and peas. Saute until the vegetables start to turn translucent, a couple of minutes.
- Add chicken and sprinkle the flour evenly over and stir to combine Cook e for a couple minutes, stirring gently.
- Pour in chicken broth, stirring constantly. Stir in teh bouillon cube and wine. The flour will combine with the chicken to create a gravy.
- Pour in the cream and stir. Allow the mixture to cook over low heat, thickening gradually. Season with the thyme, salt, and pepper. Remove from teh heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
- Pour the chicken mixture into a deep pie pan or small casserole dish.
- Roll out the crust so that it's 1 inch larger that the pan. Place the crust on top of chicken mixture and cut small slits in the top. Press the crust gently into the sides of the dish to seal.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pie Crust

I made the Pioneer Woman's version of chicken pot pie this week from her cookbook, but it's not posted on her website, which means I can't just copy and paste it :-). So, here's the pie crust recipe and I'll get around to the really good part later tonight or tomorrow. I am challenged as a baker and thought the pie crust turned out pretty tasty. It took me a little while to be able to roll it out and lift on top of my pie without it ripping, but eventually I succeeded. I divided this batch into thirds to top 3 pies (because in the book she says it makes think crusts and you can), but I think next time I would just use it for 2 so I have a little more to work with at the edges. It was tasty and I'm sure just as good as the bottom of a sweet pie as well!

Ingredients:


* 1-½ cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
* 3 cups All-purpose Flour
* 1 whole Egg
* 5 Tablespoons Cold Water
* 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
* 1 teaspoon Salt

Directions:

In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.

Separate the dough into thirds. Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)

When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.

With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.

Cowboy Campfire Soup

This is a recipe a picked up at one of our grocery stores, HEB. They always have great taste-testers around and at lunch and dinner time a little cook giving out samples along with recipes trying to get you to buy some of their jarred products. It was actually morning when I picked this up, but we needed salsa anyway and they were buy one get one free, so I decided to give this recipe a try. It was really good and really hearty. I love the chipotle flavor the salsa gave it, but you could use any jar of your favorite salsa in it's place!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lg. ground beef
1 medium yellow onion diced
3 cloves minced garlic
1 jar TOTP Campfire Corn Salsa (16 oz - a tomato based salsa with corn and chipotle peppers in it)
3 cans beef broth
1 can Rotel tomatoes (I used lime and cilantro flavor because that's what was in our pantry)
1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 large baking potato, peeled and diced into small cubes
1/3 c cilantro and diced green onions

Directions:
Brown meat with onions and garlic in a large soup pot.
Add all ingredients except cilantro and green onion.
Simmer soup 15-20 minutes.
Top with cilantro, green onions and chips if desired.

And the Winner...

Well, the odds were in your favor :-), but winner, selected by Random.org was comment #4...
Katie who said,
"My heart belongs to spinach, strawberry, chicken, feta, toasted almond, red onion, salad with poppy seed dressing. Of course I am always the only one in my family who will eat it and so it doesn't get made a ton...but oh so yummy"

Congratulations Katie :-)!!!
Please email me your address and I will send the coupons your way!

(and I am finally caught up on life...I'll post a recipe tomorrow)

Greek Salad (and a Giveaway!)

My sister Kayley posted this recipe and then brought it to a family dinner and it was AWESOME!!! I tend to get stuck in a salad rut, making the same thing over and over and this has been a great salad to throw in the mix.

Ingredients:

* Romanine lettuce (chopped) - 6 cups
* Tomatoes (chopped) - 3 cups
* Red onion (chopped) - 1 cup
* Cucumber (chopped) - 1/2 cup
* Green pepper (chopped) - 1/2 cup
* Feta cheese (crumbled) - 3 oz
* Olives - 16 to 20
* Olive oil - 3 tbsp
* Fresh dill (chopped) - 3 tbsp
* Fresh parsley (chopped) - 1/4 cup
* Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
* Garlic (minced) - 1 clove
* Oregano - 1/2 tsp
* Salt - 1/4 tsp

Directions:
1. Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, parsley, dill, garlic, and salt.
2. Mix the lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, green pepper well.
3. Add the dressing to the salad mix and top off with feta cheese and olives.

Photobucket
 And on to the GIVEAWAY!!! (my first one!)
When I made the salad it was SUPER easy because I used a bag of Fresh Express romaine hearts...all cleaned and chopped up and ready to go! 
Through Food Buzz and Fresh Express, I was given the opportunity to try out some of their new bagged salads. The good news is they are awesome (the Asian salad kit has been my personal favorite) and the great news is that they gave me coupons to share with you!
One lucky reader will win 5 coupons, each good for a FREE bag of Fresh Express!
To enter, follow my blog through Blogger or Networked Blogs (Facebook) and leave a comment here telling me how you are following me AND your favorite salad combo...do you prefer strawberries, feta and spinach or a classic caesar?
I'm always looking for new ways to spruce up my salad and can't wait to see your ideas!
One winner will be selected at random at 9pm CT Wednesday, October 27th.
Good luck :-)!

Beef Kebabs with Roasted Green Beans and Almonds

This is another Rachael Ray recipe and my favorite was the green beans...I LOVED them! I think roasting pretty much anything makes it delicious! The meatballs were good, but mine turned out a little dry, which could have been my own fault. We served the meat and beans with rice and soy sauce and I thought it was a great, and pretty healthy, little dinner. The added bonus was that the girls thought the meat was extra good since it was on a stick :-).

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 c chopped flat leaf parsley
1 T finely chopped garlic
1 t smoked paprika
salt and pepper
1 1/4 lb. green beans
1 1/2 T EVOO
2 T sliced almonds
1/2 lemon, cut into 4 wedges

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl crumble the beef and mix in the parsley, garlic, paprika, 1 t salt and 1/2 t pepper. Form into sixteen 1 1/4-in balls and thread onto 4 skewers.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the green beans with the olive oil and 1/4 t each salt and pepper; spread out in a single layer. Roast for 10 min. then stir in the almonds and roast until the green beans are lightly browned and the almonds are toasted, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat a grill pan to med-high. Grill the meatballs, turning , until just cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Serve with the green beans and lemon wedges.
(I cooked mine in the oven over a grill type pan that still allowed the fat to drip off)

Chicken Salad Piccata

This recipe is another hit from my Rachael Ray magazine. It was flavorful and light but still filling. The chicken was the highlight of the dish, absolutely delicious! I suggest tossing the green beans and potatoes in the sauce right away so they absorb the flavor while you make the chicken (I did them first so I could use the same pan to cook the chicken in and have less dishes to clean up afterwards). I added garlic salt, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to the final product. I can't wait to eat leftovers for lunch today :-)!!!

Ingredients:
* 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
* 1/2 pound green beans, halved crosswise
* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped capers
* 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
* Grated peel and juice of 1/2 lemon
* Salt and pepper
* 1 large egg
* 1/4 cup flour
* Two 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, lightly pounded
* 1/4 cup chicken broth

Directions:
1. In a large saucepan, add the potatoes and enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Drain in the colander with the potatoes; let cool slightly.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon capers, 3 tablespoons parsley, the lemon peel and half of the lemon juice. Add the potatoes and beans and toss; season with salt and pepper.
3. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg. In another shallow bowl, season the flour with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Coat the chicken breasts with the seasoned flour, then dip in the egg, allowing any excess to drip off, and coat with the flour again, shaking off the excess. Add to the skillet and cook, turning once, until golden, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into strips.
4. Add the chicken broth to the skillet; cook over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon capers, 1 tablespoon parsley and lemon juice. Top the salad with the chicken and drizzle with the pan sauce.

Candy Corn Cupcakes

These were super cute and sooo tasty! In fact, I had 3 little plates of them ready to take to friends and they were so good, that I only delivered one of the plates and we ate the rest! I'll have to make more to deliver :-). This recipe was with some Kroger coupons I got in the mail last month.
Ingredients:
1 box plain white cake mix
1 c regular sour cream (I used light)
1/3 c vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
2 eggs
food coloring (yellow and orange...we made our own orange)
whipped topping (I bought a tub of whipped white frosting)
candy corn to top them

Directions:
-Preheat oven to temperature on your cupcake mix box (I think mine was 350 degrees).
-Combine cake mix, sour cream, vegetable oil, milk and eggs in a large bowl. Mix according to package directions.
-Divide batter evenly into 2 separate bowl. Color half of the batter with a few drops of orange food coloring (I just used yellow and red until I like the color it was). Color the other half with yellow food coloring.
-Place cupcake liners into cupcake tins. Fill each cupcake liner with 1/4 cup yellow batter and then top with orange batter until the liner is 1/2 full (I always overfill, but they turned out still,just didn't make as many).
-Bake according to package directions.
-Cool cupcakes completely, frost and top with a piece of candy corn.

Nuevo Cubano

YUM! These were sooo good! I saw these in my Cooking Light magazine this summer and have been really excited to give them a try. What a great twist on a grilled cheese sandwich! The leftover beans have been equally as delicious in quesadillas for lunch too :-)!

Ingredients:
* 4 whole-wheat sub rolls, cut in half lengthwise (I just used our regular whole wheat bread)
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
* 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1/4 pound thinly sliced reduced-sodium deli ham
* 1 peeled mango or 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced (I thought the ones with mango were better!)
* 1/4 pound thinly sliced provolone cheese
* 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Directions:
1. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell; reserve torn bread for another use.
2. Combine cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, garlic, and black beans in a food processor; process until almost smooth and spreadable, adding a few drops of water, if necessary. Spread bean mixture evenly on bottom halves of the prepared rolls. Layer rolls evenly with ham, mango or tomatoes, and provolone cheese; replace top halves of rolls.
3. (I used our George Foreman grill) Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 2 sandwiches to pan; place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; press gently. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until sandwiches are golden brown (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook). Remove sandwiches from pan; repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 2 sandwiches.

Creamy Tomato Soup

Even though the weather has warmed back up in Houston, it still feels like fall in my heart :-) and I was ready for some soup. This is a recipe I had saved from an old issue of Taste of Home and it was super easy and super flavorful. It was a little thicker than I would have preferred, so next time I will use two cans of tomatoes to thin it out and bump up the tomato flavor (which is what I am putting below). Overall it was great though and my kids even ate most of their bowls!

Ingredients:
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
2 cans diced tomatoes (14 1/2 oz), undrained (I used garlic and onion flavor)
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese (I used 1/3 fat)
1/4 c coarsely shopped fresh basil (I skipped)
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan; heat through.

Bean Burritos

I didn't make these exactly as described on My Kitchen Cafe, but it was a great base recipe to give me some inspiration for a meatless meal this week. I was especially excited because Preston actually loved them and I have not been able to get him to eat ANYTHING lately. Definitely a crowd pleaser for us!

Ingredients:
1 cup brown or white rice (or 2 cups already cooked rice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed, finely diced (can substitute 1 can of green chiles)
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cans (15 oz. each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1 (10 oz) package frozen corn or 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
6 green onions, white and green parts finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

16 burrito-sized (10-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:
Cook rice; set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, jalapeno and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and golden, being careful not to let the garlic burn. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Add one can of beans and mash gently in the pan (a potato masher or fork works great here). Add the second can of beans and the water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10-12 minutes, being careful not to let the mixture stick to the bottom of the pot. Add corn; cook to heat through, 2-3 minutes. Stir in onion and garlic powders. Remove from heat; stir in green onions and cooked rice.

Heat tortillas in microwave for about 30-45 seconds or until all are warmed through.

Fill each tortilla with about 2/3 cup bean and rice mixture and 1/4 cup cheese on one side of tortilla. Fold, and hold in sides. Starting from filled end, holding sides in as you work, tightly roll into a bundle. Place on a baking sheet, seam side down, and prepare remaining burritos. (I pressed ours in the George Foreman grill to make them crispy on the outside)

French Toast Casserole

This recipe came along with some coupons from one of my favorite local grocery stores, Kroger. In their description they say it is "perfect for Easter" so I've been hanging on to it for awhile :-). I decided to make it for our breakfast this General Conference Sunday and it was a HUGE hit with the family. I have been doing a lot better at sticking to my gluten-free diet, so I only tried a little bite, but the kids and Mike ate ALL the rest of the 9x13 pan. That definitely says something about how good it is!!! I really loved that you make it they day before you will be serving it and then just pop it in the oven the next day.

Ingredients:
2 t butter, softened
8 slices white bread, cut in 1-inch cubes
7 large eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used our cheap sugar-free syrup)
4 T granulated sugar, divided
3/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t cardamom (I didn't have this)
1/2 c toasted pecans, chopped
maple syrup, for serving

Directions:
Grease a 9x13 baking dish with butter and fill the dish with bread cubes, distributing evenly.
In large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, maple syrup, 2 T sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.
Pour this mixture over the bread cubes, and press down over the surface of the casserole with a spatula to help the bread soak up the liquid.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining sugar.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and place the casserole, still covered with foil, in the oven for 30 minutes.
Uncover, and bake an additional 30-35 minutes, until the casserole if puffy and brown.
Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing into squares and topping with the chopped pecans and warmed maple syrup.
Refrigerate all leftovers.

4 Packet Roast

There is nothing like a roast really...so easy and so delicious! I saw this one recently on The Sister's Cafe and I had to try it. It was unbelievably flavorful and the gravy it made while cooking...YUMMY!!!

Ingredients:
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 packet brown gravy mix
1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 packet onion soup mix
1 roast of choice
1/2-3/4 cup of water
assorted veggies if desired (I threw in some baby carrots)

Directions:
Place roast in crockpot.  Arrange vegetables around the roast if being used.  Sprinkle the mix packets over the roast.  Pour water around the roast.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.