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Yum! Turkey Pot Pie!

29 Nov

Turkey Pot Pie
I’ve always dreaded baking pie.  You always hear how difficult pie crust is.  Just ask anyone, they’ll tell you.  And, I believed it. Well, until a couple of years ago when I decided to bake a pumpkin pie from scratch.  I went to the source.  Martha Stewart.  Her pie dough is exceptionally easy.  I couldn’t believe it

Here’s the recipe for Pate Brisee (Pie Dough):


Makes 1 double-crust or 2 single-crust 9- to 10-inch pies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.
  2. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

From Martha Stewart Living, October/November 1992

My pumpkin pie turned out beautifully.  And, my confidence grew.
Fast forward to this autumn.  I got to taste an amazing chicken pot pie made by my friend, Louise.  So, I decided that’s what I’d do with my leftovers from Thanksgiving.   I went to another favorite cook of mine:  Pioneer Woman.  Here’s my twist on it . . .
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cups leftover turkey, light and dark, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped green beans
  • Fresh thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    1. Melt butter in a cast iron skillet. Add garlic, onion, carrots, mushrooms, and celery, and cook until translucent (a couple of minutes.)
    2. Add turkey and stir. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.
    3. Pour in chicken or turkey broth, stirring constantly. Pour in cream.  Stir in chopped green beans.
    4. Bring to a slow boil and allow mixture to cook and thicken for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste (do not underseason), and fresh or dried thyme to taste. Do one final taste at the end and add what it needs.
    5. In large casserole dish, fit bottom pie pan with pie crust.  Use pie weights and pre-bake the bottom crust for 5 minutes.  When it’s cooked, remove the weights.
    6. Pour mixture into the baked pie crust.
    7. Roll out crust so that it’s about 1 inch larger than the pan you’re using.
    8. Place the crust on top of the pot pie mixture, and press crust into the sides of the dish. Cut vents in the top of the crust.
    9. Bake for 30 minutes or until very golden and bubbly.
    10. Allow to cool for a little bit before serving.

      Serve with a large spoon.


      Any Given Sunday: More Football Munchies!

      1 Nov

      Today’s Menu:  The 9er’s vs the Colts.  And, it’s a game . . . a good game!  We’re still watching it so I don’t know how it comes out yet but . . .  fingers are crossed!

      Oh, yea, the food.  Homemade Chicken Nuggets with sauces and guacamole and chips!  YUM!


      I don’t know why but this was just so pretty.  Gorgeous eggs in a clean white pyrex dish.


      Chicken nuggets (and strips) are just so easy.  Chop up boneless, skinless breast meat.  Coat them in flour, egg, and panko bread crumbs.  That last is the secret ingredient.  Panko bread crumbs are an amazingly dry bread crumb from Japan although Progresso packages them with italian seasoning which is a nice time saver.  I usually add garlic powder and italian seasoning to the panko although today I just kept it simple and added nothing.  Just salt after they cooked.


      Fry them in hot oil until brown, turn them and brown the other side.  Drain them on paper towels and salt while still wet from the oil.  YUM!  Resist the urge to eat them while still crazy hot.  You’ll have that burned mouth thing and that’s no fun!


      I made a homemade garlic aoli sauce which was delicious but I’ll give you the MODIFIED recipe as they were too garlicky (something I didn’t think was possible, honestly).  I put 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic into the food processor with 1 large egg, 1/2 T of salt, and generous fresh ground pepper.  Puree.  Drizzle 1/2 cup of olive oil in while continuing to blend in food processor.  It won’t be really thick but will set up as it sits.  (The recipe I had called for 3 cloves of garlic and I used large ones — too much!).


      I served it with the aoli sauce, barbecue sauce, and ranch dressing.  A big hit!


      I love guacamole.  I make it very simply but you can doctor it up to your will.  I take 2 avocados, 1/4 can of Herdez Salsa Verde, 1 clove of fresh garlic, salt and pepper.  Mix in a bowl with a fork, mashing the avocado until smooth.  Easy and delicious.  Our local market sells homemade tortilla chips although you can always make your own by frying up corn tortillas in oil.  Wonderful!


      Good football.  Good munchies.  Good Sunday!

      Any Given Sunday: Football Munchies!

      26 Oct

      Last week, the 9ers had a buy week (by week?  bye week? buh-bye week?) and we were camping so there were no munchies.  In fact, there were no posts all week.  It was a week.

      This week, we had a game.  The 9ers may have lost to Houston but they made it a game.

      Greg makes an amazing dip.  I’d share the recipe but he holds it a sacred secret.  I don’t know it.  He has shared it with a friend of ours which surprises me greatly. I try not to take things like that personally.  Clearly, I try but may not always succeed.  😀


      Greg’s dip is amazing.  I’ve said that.  Greg’s dip is requested at most parties we go to.  We have been told that if we can’t come to the party, perhaps we could send the dip on by itself.  We’ve been told not to come if we don’t bring dip.  Again, I try (and fail) not to take these things personally.

      To go along with the dip, I delved into one of my favorite blogs.  The Pioneer Woman blogs about life on her family’s ranch in Oklahoma, homeschooling her children, photography, food, and her own inner psyche.  She’s an amazing cook.  I love her recipes.  Our Thanksgiving last year was basically all Pioneer Woman — and it was delish.

      So, I thought about a recipe I’d wanted to try of hers.  Steak Bites.

      And, uhm, they were a hit.  Went nicely with Greg’s Dip.  Adding a necessary touch of protein to the carb fest that is dip and chips.

      The recipe is easy.  Take a sirloin steak.  Trim off the fat.  Cut it into bite sized pieces.  Season with salt and pepper.  I added garlic because, puhlease, can you really cook meat without garlic.  I think not.


      Let it rest with the seasoning while you prepare the pan.


      Take a good pan.  Heat it hot.  Add butter.  Melt and then brown the butter.  Turn the fan on over your stovetop.  Trust me.


      Put in a layer of meat.  Cook it about 40 sec.  Turn it and cook it another 30 sec.


      Remove to a plate.  Add more butter.  Add more meat.  Repeat until you’ve cooked it all.

      Drizzle butter from pan over the meat.


      Enjoy!  I recommend serving it with Greg’s dip . . . only you can’t!  😀


      But, if you come by, I can pretty much assure you that we’ll serve the dip.  Heck, I might even make steak bites, too!

      Football Munchies – Snausages!

      11 Oct

      Today's Football Munchies - Snausages

      Snausages.  Snausages.  Snausages.

      P1210925 P1210926

      The ingredients are simple — lil’ smokies and bread mix.  A bread maker helps, too!

      • Mix the bread dough on the dough setting — don’t bake!
      • Wrap the dough around the smokies – one at a time.
      • Put on greased cookie sheet (or on silpat or baking parchment)
      • Bake for 15 min at 350F.
      • Serve with dipping sauces like Mendocino Mustard


      Playing with bread dough is FUN!  I didn’t get flour out first which certainly would have helped with the stickiness.  I made Greg come and take pictures!


      Arrange them on the cookie sheet (obviously, I went with the silpat sheet).


      Did I mention it was sticky?  Sticky is fun!

      Sharp-eyed observers will notice that those are NOT Lil’ Smokies in the background.  When I originally planned to make these a few weeks ago, I made the bread dough and then realized that I was late for a memorial service.  Oops.  I bolted out the door, changing into appropriate attire as I went.  I ended up using the smokies for another favorite way to use them – add them to ramen soup.  Yummy!  I toss baby carrots in, too.  Easy!  Anyway, when Greg went to the store for me today, our local market let us down — no Lil’ Smokies.  Guys, let this be a lesson to you . . . keep some bread dough in the cupboard and some Lil’Smokies in the freezer.  And, you’ll be ready for some football!

      Today's Football Munchies - Snausages

      The end result is yummy!  My children love these.  Even my daughter who is notoriously picky.  She is even taking the leftovers for lunch tomorrow . . . well, what Gage didn’t take to share with the boys playing soccer across the street!  A neighborhood hit!

      Oh, and we call them Snausages because they vaguely resemble the dog treat and the word makes my sister laugh.

      Snausages.  Snausages.  Snausages.

      Any Given Sunday: Nachos

      4 Oct

      Last week, I missed posting my new Sunday post of a Football Food . . . I was in the middle of making my football munchies and realized I was due at an event like 10 minutes ago.  Oops . . . and off I went.

      This week, I didn’t feel like making what I’d planned for last week.  We spent 2 hours working on the yard so I was tired and hungry when I went shopping.  Nachos were the perfect choice.  Easy, delicious, and loved by all.


      My family likes nachos to be pretty simple.  Lots of chips and lots of cheese.  All the goodies are on the side so you get just what you want.  Spread the chips on a baking sheet — I recommend covering it with tinfoil first (although I forgot that step!) as it makes clean up a LOT easier!  Put on plenty of cheese.  The more, the better.  I recommend doing layers of chips and cheese almost like a lasagna. Heat at 300F for about 10 minutes until cheese is melting.

      For goodies, we like good salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.  Other additions could be sliced jalopenos, black olives, refried beans (which I would layer in with the chips and cheese), shredded beef, chicken, or pork.

      Oh and by the way, the Niners won.  Woo-hoo!

      Are you ready for some football?

      13 Sep

      I am.  Fall is here.  An overcast, cool, damp day.  9ers winning on the TV.  A beautiful, beautiful day.

      Ruthie took this pic with my iPhone!

      But, my day took an unpleasant turn when I put out a call for favorite football munchies and got answers like “pb sandwich,” “delivery pizza,” and “takeout.”  Sigh.

      So, I’m starting a new Sunday Tradition here . . . Football Muchie Sundays.

      Here is my first recipe. My mom invented this recipe and it’s utterly easy and absolutely delish.  Can’t miss!  Feel free to play with the ingredients.

      Wings a la Lee


      • 1 jar Sharwood Mango Chutney
      • 1 bottle bbq sauce (I like Guinness by Bulls Eye)
      • 1 package frozen (or fresh) drumettes (or wing pieces)


      1. Preheat oven to 400F
      2. Spray large jellyroll pan with no-stick spray
      3. In a big plastic bag (possibly the one the wings came in), pour in the chutney and bbq sauce.
      4. Seal the bag and mix the wings around to coat thoroughly with the sauce.
      5. Dump out on the pan and spread out so they are in a single layer.
      6. Bake in oven around 30 minutes (less if frozen) until heated through and getting a bit brown and crispy.
      7. Let cool and enjoy!  Great with a light , flavorful lager.

      May the best team win!  At least you’ll enjoy the game more with great munchies like this!

      Eating Chicken for Days

      25 Jul


      There are a lot of recipes out there for roasting chickens.  Here is what I do.  It’s exceptionally easy and delicious. I tend to make this a lot when we are feeling poor.  It worked better before we had kids as Ruth only eats chicken in nugget form (although she recently discovered that I can make excellent chicken strips and therefore she’s going to let me stay in the family!).

      Roast Chicken

      • 1 whole chicken
      • EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
      • Garlic (fresh or powder)
      • Herbs (fresh if you’ve got ’em, Italian Seasonings if you don’t)
      1. Clean the chicken thoroughly.  Wash it, remove all the innards.  Sometimes I salt it inside, sometimes I don’t.
      2. Put it in the roasting pan.
      3. Cover it with a nice layer of EVOO.  Just pour it on.
      4. If you used fresh garlic, mash it all over the chicken with your hands.  Toss some in the cavity.
        If you are using powder, then just coat the thing in garlic powder.
      5. Cover it with herbs.  Personally, I usually use Italian Seasonings and I again coat it in them.  If I’m using fresh herbs then I am more sparing as they have way more flavor.  I do like to go cut fresh rosemary from my yard and stuff it inside the bird — nummy.
      6. Cook it at 350F for 1.5 hours.
      7. Let it set and then carve and serve.  Utterly delish.

      Variations on the recipe — substitute butter for the EVOO.  Bernsteins Restaurant Style Italian Dressing also works great — skip all the herbs and spices then as it’s very flavorful.

      But, your work is not done.  After dinner, pick the carcass clean.  Get all the good delish meat off and save them for other meals.  I recommend Chicken Quesadillas.  YUM!

      Next, put the chicken carcass and all bones (yes, even the ones from the plates, believe me germs will NOT be a problem) back into the roasting pan with all the drippings and goodies and into a 400F oven for 1 hour.  It will be brown and your house will smell even more amazing than before.  Now, scrape the whole mess into a large pot — be careful and don’t pour hot fat onto the floor (thankfully I didn’t burn myself!).  Cover with water.  Add any vegies you have lying around — celery, onions, carrots, whatever.  If I know I’m making soup, I’ll save peelings and skins from these things in a bag in the freezer.  Put it on high until it boils and then down to low to simmer on your stovetop for 3 hours. Set a timer as you will forget it and finding it at 6 am burnt to a crisp is no treat.  Trust me.

      When it’s done cooking, let it cool.  Then strain out all the bones, meat, vegies.  Save any good meat you can for more of those nummy chicken quesadillas!  If you are really being good, you can then strain it through cheese cloth.  Refrigerate the results.  In the morning, spoon all the fat off the top and you are left with a divine brown chicken broth.  Delish broth that you can use to make all kinds of wonderful dishes with.  For me, I plan to use it as broth to eat the amazing pilmeni that my grandmother makes.  NUM!  I also use it with Top Ramen noodes instead of the crappy packet of flavoring they offer.  Wonderful!  Toss some of those leftover chicken bits in there too.

      I know it would be nice if I had a good picture of my roast chicken — sorry, too busy carving it so we could eat it — or my broth or something but really, I don’t take good pictures of food.  So, just imagine how good it must look.  I know that the smell alone of the roasting chicken reduced my 8 year old to a quivering, whining, mess of “BUT I’M HUNGRY!”-ness.  And, Ruth even allowed as how she didn’t hate it.  🙂

      **EDIT: I made pilmeni for lunch with my chicken broth — it’s a lovely, rich brown broth and utterly delicious.  The pilmeni was so pretty in there that I had to take a picture!  Pilmeni are the Russian version of wanton, ravioli, dumplings, etc.  They are comfort food at it’s finest in a healthy broth.  Delicious.  (And, by the way, I have no idea of that recipe I linked to is any good — it was just easy to find!  🙂 ) **



      Oh, don’t miss the latest I and the Bird at Hawk Owl’s Nest . . . I don’t think there are any recipes but I’m sure there are plenty of great posts about birds!  I plan to spend a big ol’ chunk of my day tomorrow reading every word.

      Memoir Mondays: Comfort Food

      2 Jun

      Comfort can be found in homemade macaroni and cheese. Lots of cheese equals lots of comfort. My mother made the most fantastic macaroni and cheese. Not the kind in a box or from the freezer, homemade, bubbling with browned, wonderful cheese on top. No bread crumbs or anything exotic. Just four ingredients — macaroni, milk, cheese and butter. Put together just so, it makes magic.

      Magic that soothes aches and pains — not physical ones, just those deep, scarring emotional ones.

      My own children used to love macaroni and cheese — but not my homemade kind. The frozen kind — ugh. They stopped liking it that “yesterday, it was my favorite; today, it’s disgusting” way that kids have — note that this only happens the day after you make a trip to Costco so that you’ll never run out again! I hope that someday, they’ll like my homemade macaroni and cheese. Comfort food that gets handed down through generations.

      In the meantime, try it yourself. It’s amazing!

      Mimi’s Macaroni and Cheese

      1 lb macaroni
      1 T butter
      20 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
      1/2 cup of milk

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9 pan. Cook macaroni in boiling water in large pot for least amount of time on the directions (very al dente). Drain. Return to pot and toss with butter. Mix in 1/2 the cheese. Turn into prepared dish. Top with remaining cheese. Pour milk over. Cover with foil. Bake 25 minutes.

      Note: Do not make mistake of covering with casserole lid — the cheese can act like the most amazing glue and you may never get that lid off that casserole dish! Seriously!

      Memoir Mondays are brought to you by Two Writing Teachers. Join in?

      Don’t miss the party!

      1 Jun

      Wanderin’ Weeta is throwing a House Party — it’s a BYOBB* party. Check it out! Someone brought a tasty dip of Australian Ravens and Crows — you’re gonna love that! I brought some birds from Albion. I’m also contributing my famous Killer Millerita recipe. Enjoy! But, sip it — it packs a wallop!

      Fill a blender 3/4 full of ice cubes. To this add,

      • 1 can frozen Lime juice
      • 5 oz good tequila
      • 5 oz Triple Sec
      • 3 oz Blue Curacao
      • 2 oz Roses Lime Juice

      Blend. Serve in glasses rimmed with lime juice and salt and
      garnished with a lime slice.

      (Warning, smaller blenders will need less ice or they’ll overflow!)

      *Bring Your Own Bird Blog!