Saturday, February 27, 2010

Favorite Chicken Potpie Recipe

We love Chicken Potpie -
especially my eight year old son - he asks
for them about every other day. I probably make a version of this - depending on what ingredients I have on hand once every other week.Adapted from Biscuit Topped Chicken Potpie Recipe from Sunset magazine. I have made the topping per the recipe but sometimes I use a frozen or canned biscuit to top the potpie. Sometimes I use this recipe
from Barefoot Contessa for the topping. This is a really good crust recipe. Hint: Roll out the leftover crust, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, roll up and bake to make tiny
cinnamon rolls. Yum. The point is that potpies are really ad

aptable and I don't really follow the recipe but try to keep it simple by making it all in one pot. Cook the veggies first, add chicken, add liquid and seasonings until combined and seasoned to's a little like cooking without a net...but that's my style.

Here's the version I made this week.

1 medium yellow onion - diced
1/2 cup carrots - diced
1 cup (about 2 medium) potatoes diced
1/2 cup diced mushrooms
1/2 cup broccoli - rough chopped
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup frozen string beans
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas

Olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Salt, pepper, fresh thyme

In a large dutch oven heat 1 Tblsp of olive oil, add the onions and saute slightly. Add the potatoes and carrots and about 1/2 cup of the broth and simmer until slightly tender. Add the rest of the veggies and chicken and thyme. Combine. Salt and pepper and let is simmer a few minutes. Add the broth, simmer until it heats up. Add the flour and stir to coat. Add the milk and simmer until thick. Stir in the cheese. Taste - season as needed.
I pour about a cup of the mixture into greased ramkins and top with pastry. Bake per pastry instructions. Eat them while they are bubbly and delicious right out of the oven.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

This is a recipe I learned how to make at Back of the House Cooking School. This chicken soup is quick to make but delicious enough to serve at a dinner party. I like mine a little more spicy so I add Cajun Seasoning to the chicken/flour mixture.

1 pkg (8.8oz) Trader Joe's Mixed Wild Mushroom Medley, rehydrated
1 lb. chicken breast, diced in 1 inch cubes
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 Tblsp unsalted butter
1 (14.5 oz) Trader Joe's Mirepoux
2 cups water (from rehydrated mushrooms)
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup Trader Joe's Cooked Wild Rice
3 Tblsp chopped slivered almonds
2 cups half n half
2 Tblsp dry sherry
Snipped fresh chives

Rehydrate the Mixed Mushroom Medley per package instructions.
Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and set aside. In a medium bowl combine flour, salt, pepper and cayenne. Mix thoroughly. Add reserved chicken pieces and toss to coat. Set aside.

Melt butter over a medium high heat in a large sauce pan. Add Mirepoix and saute until vegetables are tender. I start with the onion, then celery, then carrots - it takes about 5 minutes. Add the seasoned floured chicken pieces and saute until brown and cooke through.

Drain the rehydrated mushrooms reserving 2 cups of the mushroom water. Gradually add the water to the chicken and vegetable mixture. Cook whisking until the mixture comes to a boil. Whisk in chicken stock. Stir for one minute. Reduce heat and add mushrooms, rice, almonds, half n half and sherry. Heat until the mixture is all at hot serving temp. Taste and add seasoning as needed. Garnish with chives. Enjoy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my sister - wonderful woman, sometimes wonder woman, mom, daughter, wife and friend. Many more sis! Love you more n' my luggage.

And Chili Dog. The best Blue Heeler in all of the Sierra turns two today. He is being showered with dog treats by his favorite eight year old. Lucky dog.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Homemade Pizza on the Grill

I love the grill - even in the winter season. During the summer we grill nearly every day so I had to figure out a way to do one of our favorite outside.

I make my crust - easy recipe - but I've done it with prepared dough from Trader Joe's too. Roll it out into individual pizzas, grill both sides, then top with favorite ingredients. It is perfect for a Friday Night family meal or a party with friends.

Basic Pizza Dough
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 Tblsp honey
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt

Combine 1 1/2 cups warm water, 1 package of active dry yeast and 1 Tblsp honey in large mixing bowl. I use my Kitchen Aid with the dough hook all the way through this recipe. Let the yeast dissolve - about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1/2 semolina flour, 1/3 cup olive oil and 1 tsp salt. Let the mixer combine ingredients until they just come together then add the remaining flour. Let the mixer knead the dough until it comes together in a nice smooth ball. Cover and let rest in a warm place until dough rises to double, punch down and use or if you aren't ready for it. Let it rise again.

I punch the dough down and take about a lemon size chunk out at a time - roll it on a floured surface and lay the rolled rounds on a cookie sheet to transfer to the grill.Prepare a hot grill. I have a gas grill but have done this on a charcoal fire and in a wood fired pizza oven too. Get the grill hot - 500 degrees or so works best. I brush a little olive oil on the dough rounds and place them directly on the grill grates. It takes 2-3 minutes to get the brown grill marks. Flip and repeat. It will only take a minute on the second side.

Once you have the pizzas grilled on each side, top with your favorite sauce and ingredients and either return to the grill briefly to melt the cheese or stick the sheet pan with the pizzas under the broiler for a few minutes.

Enjoy. The crust is light, thin, crispy. Just like we like it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentine Cupcakes

For Valentine's Day we gathered with some good friends (couples and kids) for some afternoon snow play and a great dinner together. We decided on a nod to Julia Child and Bouef Burguignon - delicious! Separate post needed to do it justice. We also wanted to do some kind of pink cupcakes. We used a recipe out of the Martha Stewart Living February magazine. I only had strawberries on hand so substituted those. They turned out moist and delicious. The seven kiddos - age 2 to 10 helped decorate and decorate and decorate. Beautiful.

Raspberry Cupcakes with Pink Buttercream and Lacy Chocolate Hearts
Raspberry Cupcakes with Pink Buttercream and Lacy Chocolate Hearts

Raspberry Cupcakes with Pink Buttercream and Lacy Chocolate Hearts

To make the hearts, see our Chocolate Filigree Hearts how-to.


Makes 2 dozen.

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 containers (6 ounces each) raspberries, 1 container pureed, 1 container coarsely chopped
  • Gel-paste food coloring, in Tulip Red (optional;
  • Pink Buttercream
  • Chocolate Filigree Hearts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with baking cups.
  2. Whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add sugar in a slow, steady stream, and beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl, and beat until smooth.
  3. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Fold in pureed and chopped raspberries and a small drop of food coloring.
  4. Divide batter among baking cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks for 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes, and let cool completely. Decorate with pink buttercream and lacy chocolate hearts.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ski Skate & Scoot Week

Here in Truckee the schools take a week off in February called Ski Skate Week. We are taking advantage of our week off to do just (maybe), skate (yes) and scoot (the snowmobile is a 1987 SnoScoot). My boy loves his snowmobile and will spend hours racing around the track he's made in and around our yard. He is just like his Dad. The snow is deep and the sun is shining. Life is good.

Menu Planning Monday or Tuesday 02-16-10

Monday - Quick Spaghetti and Meatballs - Trader Joe's frozen Turkey Meatballs and Trader Joe's Marinara Sauce
Tuesday - Stuffed Pork Chops and Roasted Cauliflower
Wednesday - Chicken Pot Pies - homemade using up veggies from fridge and freezer
Thursday - 15 Bean Soup in Crock Pot
Friday - Grilled Pizza - Pick your own toppings

What are you fixing in your kitchen this week?

Stuffed Pork Chops

6 bacon slices
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 cup fontina cheese, cubed
6 (1 1/2-inch-thick) center-cut pork loin chops
1 1/8 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon, and set aside.

Sauté apples, shallots, and ginger in hot drippings 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; stir in sage.

Stir together apple mixture, bacon, and cheese in a bowl.

Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each pork chop, cutting to, but not through, other side to form a pocket. Sprinkle both sides and pocket of each pork chop with salt and pepper. Spoon apple mixture evenly into pockets, and secure with wooden picks.

Cook pork chops, in 2 batches, in hot olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Place pork chops in a lightly greased roasting pan or large shallow baking dish.

Bake at 425° for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.

Yield: Makes 6 servings

Southern Living, SEPTEMBER 2002

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow Outside - Baking Inside

I woke up this morning in the mood to bake. So far... Valentine Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing. Banana Cupcakes and Brownies in preparation for tomorrow's Super Bowl party. Yum. I used the recipe from for the cookies. They turned out beautifully.


  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Royal Icing
  • Gel-paste food coloring (such as leaf green, lemon yellow, peach, red, rose, and violet)


  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. With mixer running, add egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture gradually, beating until just incorporated. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in top third and lower third. Let 1 disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to just under 1/4-inch thickness, adding more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Cut out cookies with a 2-inch heart cutter, and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll out scraps once, and repeat. Repeat with remaining disk of dough. Freeze cookies until very firm, about 15 minutes.
  3. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through and switching from top to bottom, until edges turn golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 1 week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cream Puffs filled with Lemon Curd

I love pastry and Cream Puffs are no exception and the fact that they are terribly easy and quick to make - makes them even better. Make a batch of Cream Puffs and fill them with whatever you wish. Sweet or savory. These puffs are great stuffed with Chicken Salad. I made them recently and filled them with a mixture of Lemon Curd (Trader Joe's) folded into 2 cups real whole whipped cream whipped in the Kitchen Aide. A little drizzle of chocolate sauce and heaven....
This recipe is from the classic checkered cookbook - Betty Crocker.
Cream Puffs
1cup water
1/2cup butter or margarine
1cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1.Heat oven to 400ºF. In 2 1/2-quart saucepan, heat water and butter to rolling boil. Stir in flour; reduce heat to low. Stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball; remove from heat. Beat in eggs, all at once; continue beating until smooth.
2.On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by slightly less than 1/4 cupfuls about 3 inches apart. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cool away from draft, about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Comfort Food

I don't know about your community but I suspect it's just like ours - it comes together in the time of need. This week our community lost a well known public servant and leader. As a result we come together. We cook. We're providing meals for a week for the family. I'm up first and decided to take one of my favorite casserole type dishes - King Ranch Chicken from Southern Living. It is hearty. I wonder what you take in when the community calls and comfort food is on the menu?

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Preparation Time: 35 minutes minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes minutes

1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomato and green chiles
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

Sauté onion and bell pepper in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken and next 7 ingredients; remove from heat.

Tear tortillas into 1-inch pieces; layer one-third of tortilla pieces in bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with one-third of chicken mixture and 2/3 cup cheese. Repeat layers twice.

Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes.

Note: Freeze casserole up to 1 month, if desired. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, and bake as directed.

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings

Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2000

Monday, February 1, 2010

Go to Cinnamon Sugar Muffin Recipe

We had house guests over the weekend and enjoyed a leisurely Sunday morning breakfast - including my go to recipe for muffins. It's a great basic recipe that can be altered, added to and updated. This time I added fresh blueberries and lemon zest. It is a one bowl recipe and ready in 30 minutes. The original recipe is from a cookbook called Kitchen Keepsakes by Bonnie Welch and Deanna White. The book was a wedding gift twenty years ago and the person who gave it to me marked her favorite tried and true recipes. Love it. The cover is tattered and burned. I nearly lit the book on fire one day while it lay a little too close to the gas flame on my stove top. Yikes.

Cinnamon Sugar Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
Cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle on tops

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and freshly grated nutmeg. Add milk, beaten egg and melted butter. Mix well. (Here is where I add anything extra...blueberries, lemon zest) Fill greased or lined muffin tins 2/3 full and bake 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Related Posts with Thumbnails