Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Personal Pot Pies!

After attempting large muffin size chicken pot pies, I decided that I wanted to make some that are bigger to enjoy more of the filling!  This is a recipe to make everything from scratch EXCEPT the gravy because I haven't quite perfected that part of it yet!

Chicken Pot Pie

*Makes 2 6" potpies (about 2 inches deep)

2 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 c. crisco or lard
6-7 Tbsp COLD water

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 stalks of celery
1/2 can corn
5 mini carrots
1/2 small onion
1 bell pepper
2 cans chicken gravy

1. Boil all the "insides" ingredients together for 35-40 mins.

2.  Sift flour and salt, add crisco in small lumps. Add water 1 tbsp at a time and use a fork to push against the side of the bowl until it turns into dough.

3.  Lightly flour your counter and roll out, cut to size of your pot pie dish.  Don't forget to cut both the bottom and the top pieces!  Set oven to 400 degrees.

4. Drain the insides and cut or shred the chicken.  Add gravy and put in pot pie, don't be shy with the filling.

5. Cover, making sure to put slits on top.

6. Cook at 400 degrees for 45-50 mins. or until really golden brown. (darker than my picture, the bottom wasn't quite done)

What is Chicken Divan?!

So I'm doing my normal, "browse Pinterest and Allrecipes" because I'm hungry one day and I decide to check my junk email for something else to do.  I must point out that I get a daily email from allrecipes with a featured recipe.  So as I'm deleting emails, I came across one that was "6 ways to use broccoli" and I had to check em out.  The last recipe on the list was chicken divan and I'm like, what?  I've never heard of this dish before and I as usual, tweaked it to my liking, and it was AMAZING!  If you haven't tried it before, give it a shot!

Italian Chicken Divan

*Serves 6

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Large Head of Broccoli
1/3 C. Onion (chopped)
1 Can Cream of Broccoli
1/2 C. Milk (I use skim)
1 C. Mixture of Mozzarella and Parmesan
3 Tbsp. Bread crumbs (mine are from an 8 grain bread)
1 1/2 Tbsp. Light Margarine
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Olive Oil, Italian Seasonings

1. Dice the chicken and onion.  Drizzle olive oil in the pan and add the chicken, onion and seasonings.  Cook until the chicken is done.
 2. While the chicken is cooking, cut up the broccoli and cover with water in a pan.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 mins or until tender and then drain.  Set the oven to 450 degrees.
3. Salt the broccoli and mix together with the chicken and put in a 9X13 pan.
4. Mix the soup with the milk and pour over top of the chicken and broccoli.
5. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.
6. Melt the margarine and mix with the bread crumbs and Italian seasonings.  Sprinkle this on top of the cheese.
7. Cook in the oven for 15 mins or until the cheese starts bubbling.
This is a half recipe for 2 people


I went to Disneyland for Thanksgiving this year and didn't get my turkey dinner!  BUT I did come away with a HAUL of stuff for my kitchen.  Who can say no to Mickey??? I sure can't.

Cravin' Crepes?

My favorite breakfast as a kid was the "crepe bar" we would have occasionally.  We would go all out and make 2-3 different flavors of pudding, 4-5 different kinds of fruits, whipped cream, etc!  I've been terrified to attempt the recipe and finally bit the bullet!  From my breakfast bar to yours!

Crepe Batter

Sugar free Chocolate Fudge and Peaches

*Makes 6-8 depending on your pan size

Heaping 1/2 C. Flour
Dash of Salt
1 1/3 tsp. Sugar
2 Eggs
1 C. Milk
Butter (give or take a Tbsp)

1. Mix it all together (minus the butter, that's to grease the pan).
2. Warm up your pan and keep it at med-high to high.  Butter the pan before each crepe.
3. Pour around 1/4 C. of batter into the pan and rotate to disperse the batter evenly.
4. Cook for 20-30 seconds on the first side, flip it over and cook for about 5 seconds on the second side.
5. Remove from the pan and keep on a plate under a damp paper towel to keep them warm.
6. Fill them as you see fit, using pudding, sweet cheeses, fruits, etc.  Top with whipped cream or more fruit!

*These keep in the fridge for a few days if sealed in a ziploc bag, just pull out and microwave 5-10 seconds on a plate and then fill!

Beef Jerky, What What!

My mother used to make beef jerky whenever a cut of london broil was on sale (which in my hometown is like once a year).  I would dream about it all the time and now that I'm all grown up, I can make my own!  While I don't have a dehydrator, I make use of the most basic thing in my kitchen, the oven!

Beef Jerky

 I made too much and it didn't all fit! O.o

*Marinades 2-3 lbs of meat

Allergen Tips:
Choose a gluten free soy sauce made by Kikkoman or Tamari.
Stay away from the liquid smoke to keep it g-free!

2-3 lbs of Meat (I use flank or london broil because of the low fat content)
1/2 C. Soy Sauce
1/3 C. Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
1 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
2 tsp. Pepper
Here is where you can play with it a bit.
1 tsp. Liquid Smoke or 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar or once you finish a layer, sprinkle it heavy with more pepper for that extra spicy kick!
*You'll need a lot of paper towels for this*

1. Slice your meat against the grain in very small slices and put them in a container or a ziploc gallon size bag. (you might consider splitting this into two bags and either freezing one after you add the marinade because there's not enough room for all the meat in one batch.\
 2. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and pour into or over the meat.
3. Make sure the meat gets covered well by the marinade and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
4. Once it's done marinating, dump the bag into a bowl or just pull out the container.
5. Doing small batches at a time, spread the meat out on paper towels and dab to get the loose marinade off of it.  *Set the oven to the lowest setting, as close to 140 degrees as you can get it!)
6. I use stackable cooling racks and lay the meat out as close together as I can get it.  Other ways to do it would be to use a skewer and thread the top of the meat and hang these from the oven rack on the highest slot in the oven.  Either way, I have a cookie sheet underneath to catch anything that drips.
7. As you get the jerky ready for the oven, you might consider adding seasonings to give it that extra pop (i.e. peppered jerky, or red pepper flakes).
8. Once all the meat is ready to go, put it in the oven and prop the oven open with a wooden spoon for just a little circulation.
9. Depending on how thick your meat was sliced, cook for 5-9 hours.  To tell if it's ready, it should crack a bit when you fold it in half but not snap.
10. Pull the jerky out and let it fully cool before you package it up.  You can freeze it in jars for up to 4 months or keep it in the fridge for 1-2 months depending on how fatty your cut of meat was.
11. ENJOY and don't eat it all in one sitting!!!

(These facts are using london broil not flank!!)
(Serving size is 4-6 pieces depending on how thick or long you cut them)

Reprieve from Mayo Pasta Salads!

I can't stress enough how much I HATE mayo.  I tend to not ever make anything that calls for it because it's not welcome in my house or my fridge.  That being said, I really really love pasta salads and there aren't too many that are mayo free.  So I got a little crazy with some fat free ranch instead!

Crunchy Ranch Shells

*Makes 4 servings

Allergen Tips:

Rice flour noodles are a great g-free option for any pasta dish!
Double check your ranch label to ensure it's a gluten free option.

8 oz. Whole Wheat Shell Pasta
1/4 C. Broccoli (chopped)
1/4 C. Red Bell Pepper (chopped)
1/4 C. Onion (chopped)
1/4 C. Celery (chopped)
1/4 C. Cheese (diced)
1/4 C. Ranch (give or take, I didn't measure. Depends on how ranchy you like it.) (I also used fat free ranch, the veggies mask the "fat free-ness" of it!)

1. Boil the pasta with some salt in the water.
2. While the pasta is cooking, chop all the veggies and cheese and put in a container.
3. Once the pasta is done, drain and rinse with cold water until the shells aren't warm anymore.
4. Lay the pasta out on paper towels to drain some of the water, getting it as dry as possible.
5. Add pasta and ranch to the veggies and mix well.  Refrigerate for at least an hour to make sure the shells get chilled.  Serve as a side dish or a yummy snack!

Smash-ed Tatoes

I have to say, I grew up on a lot of instant mashed potatoes growing up and man did I love them.  As an adult, I find myself loving real potatoes and take immense joy in using them in different ways.  I don't use red potatoes often but I stumbled across a recipe that I tweaked for my own eating pleasure!

Smash-ed Tatoes

Pick 1-2 red potatoes per person
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Basil (or any fresh herbs you like)

1. Boil the potatoes until they're soft.
2. Set the oven to 450 degrees.
3. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spread olive oil over it to prevent sticking.
4. Put potatoes on the cookie sheet, take a potato masher and push them down like a peanut butter cookie.
5. Brush them with more olive oil and liberally season with the above seasonings.
6. Bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown.