Winter Wonderland

Well, it’s finally here! Staying home tonight and gonna enjoy this. Stay warm everyone!!





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~Easy Chicken Pot Pie~

I hope everyone is staying warm on this Tuesday. Goodness, I cannot get over just how cold it’s gotten here in the south. I’m definitely not complaining, I actually love it! Anything that will delay the onslaught of mosquitoes is fine by me 🙂 I know many of my friends, however, are longing for spring and warmer temps. They’re tired of having cold noses, stinging cheeks, and their teeth chattering all the time. But hopefully today’s recipe will warm you back up in no time!

In all honesty, I’ve always been intimidated to make a chicken pot pie. Well, perhaps not as intimidated by it as say yeast breads…I’m thinking of my Mom and hearing her words “but it’s so easy now!” My response:

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Alrighty, I never attempted to make a pot pie because I don’t have good luck with doughs. I’ll just be honest, the dough usually comes out over worked, too thin or thick, over baked or under baked…I know practice makes perfect. The more I make doughs the better I’ll get, but this recipe is pretty much fool proof and there’s rolling out and worrying about getting the right thickness. If you’re in another country and cannot find the following ingredients forgive me. Now that I’ve gotten over my initial fear of making this dish I do plan on making it from scratch. Bear with me 🙂

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Chicken Pot Pie

Yields 1 9×13 pan

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Bake Time: 20-22 minutes

Total: 30-37 minutes

Ingredients:
3 cans Pillsbury Crescent Dough(with seams is what I used)

2 tblsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thin
salt and pepper to taste
1 tblsp dried minced garlic
1 pound chicken, cooked and diced**
1 can Le Seur peas, drained
2 cans cream of chicken and mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheese(cheddar is what I used)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*F(176*C).
Prep 9×13 baking pan with a little nonstick spray or butter. You could also use Reynolds Release Foil to line the pan. Pop each can of crescent dough and use about 1 1/2 cans for the bottom and sides. Pressing it together to close up the seams and evening out any thin spots. Set aside.
In a medium pan over medium heat melt butter and add onions and carrots. Season with salt and pepper, letting them cook till tender. Add in dried minced garlic, diced chicken and cook until garlic is softened, chicken is heated through. Pour in drained peas, stirring carefully so as not to mash the peas.
Combine soup and milk and add in to the pan. Fold in shredded cheese carefully. Mixture will be hot, slowly pour into prepared pan smoothing it out evenly. Lay the remaining dough(1 1/2 cans) and press the edges together to seal. No need to worry about the seams, they will act as vents.

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

NOK’s Recipe Tips

  • The chicken I used for this recipe was Tyson’s Grilled Chicken Strips. I guesstimated that I had about a pound of chicken. You can certainly add more if you like or use another brand that you prefer. You can boil chicken for this and chop it up, or use leftover rotisserie chicken if you have it. That would certainly add another layer of yummy flavor!!
  • Turkey may be substituted for chicken.
  • The brand of peas used in the recipe are an old family favorite. They are smaller and a tad sweeter, but you may you use any brand you prefer. Just be sure to drain them well.
  • I used two cans of the same soup, you can use a cream of chicken and mushroom with a can of cream of broccoli. If you have one can of cream of mushroom soup and nothing else, add it to a package of country gravy mix(with 2 cups of milk) and pour into the pot. This would eliminate the need for the 1 1/2 cups of milk in the original recipe.
  • If the filling is too thick after you add in the cheese, add  little extra milk to thin it out. Be careful, you’re not wanting to make this into  soup, although that would be yummy too! A deconstructed chicken pot pie soup with crescent rolls on the side…I’m fairly certain someone has already done that 😉
  • Potatoes may be added as well, just be sure to cook them till they are tender and be careful when adding them into the mix. You’ll want to keep them roughly the same size as the rest of the vegetables. Somewhere close to diced or a tad bigger.

And there you have it! A semi-homemade chicken pot pie and this can be served with salad on the side. Or served alone, which is how we ate it. It’s a filling dish and quite tasty(but I know with a homemade dough it’s going to be even better)!

Stay warm and have a blessed Tuesday!!

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A Childhood Recipe Not Found Anywhere on the Web…

We all have a recipe in the family that has been around for forever and you have fond memories of your Mom, Granny, or Aunt making it often. Well, such is the case for this recipe I’m sharing today. Growing up I was never really a fan of it because of the swiss cheese that my Mom would use with it. Let me just say this, you either love swiss cheese or you don’t. And growing up I hated it! I couldn’t stand it’s strong pungent flavor but I did think the holes were cool. Reminded me of the cheese from Tom and Jerry! But then Mom started making it with baby Swiss cheese and then my love for it grew!

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But I loved the rest of the dish immensely! So how come I couldn’t find it on the web?! After asking my Mom for the recipe she told me it was a recipe that Memaw got from a microwave cookbook.
Oh, well that explains it!

So after giving me the basic instructions on how to put it together I got busy making…Swiss Chicken.

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Swiss Chicken

Yields 1 full baking pan about 10–12 servings*

1–2 pounds of cooked shredded chicken
3–4 tblsp butter, melted
Season with Lawry’s Original Seasoning Salt and black pepper to taste
6 ounces Great Value Fried Onions, crushed
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 package baby Swiss Cheese slices

(The traditional way that my Mom made this was she would cook raw chicken in butter and pour everything on a foil lined baking pan. But since I used boiled shredded chicken, melted butter will need to be poured over this once the chicken is on the baking pan.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
In a large bowl combine cooked shredded chicken with butter and season with Lawry’s salt and black pepper. Pour out on to a foil lined baking pan. Top with chopped mushrooms and place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes.
In the meantime, crush fried onions in their bag and get ready to add them. Sprinkle crushed onions over chicken and mushrooms, put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
Add Swiss Cheese slices and bake until just melted. A couple of minutes tops.

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(Chicken above with first the mushrooms and then the fried onions.)
I mentioned above that it can serve 10–12 servings, that is if you count each square of cheese a serving size. You can also use shredded Swiss cheese instead, I leave that up to you.

Now, what to serve with it? You can have baked potatoes if you like, with a salad on the side. Stuffing and roasted veggies if you prefer. But our favorite was mashed potatoes with country chicken gravy and corn on the side. What can I say? We love southern food! Not to say Swiss Chicken is a southern dish, but it does pair nicely with southern sides! I am also placing this under the low carb category. It’s not appropriate for those who are just starting out, but if you are in maintenance then you should do well with this dish.

Hope you all enjoy this dish, share it with your friends and family! Have a blessed day 🙂

Off to a Great Start!

So far February has been a great month! My parents celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary on the 3rd…

   and my birthday was on the 7th. I was treated the weekend before my birthday to my favorite Chinese restaurant and my fortune cookie was so promising!

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To take a chance…will see about that 😉

And the next day I received a sweet gift from a friend in the mail!

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The Wednesday before my b–day I wasn’t able to go to church since G–Man was sick again(thankfully he’s better now) and yet another friend, who shares a love for reading and is a kindred spirit when it comes to the types of books we love, was so kind to remember me before my birthday!

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I am just loving that little owl and the bookmark is perfect!!!

The morning of my birthday G–Man surprised me with a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY as I came down the stairs 🙂 And allowed me to catch up on my favorite dvr’d tv shows hehe 😀 And an unexpected gift from a friend is on it’s way here(will share that once it arrives), dare I reveal the geeky side of myself?! Ok, don’t judge, but I do enjoy comic hero movies. I grew up liking the original 1960’s Batman(lol yes with Adam West) and eventually Michael Keaton who reprise the role in the 1989 Batman movie! I have always enjoyed the X–Men, Fantastic 4, Silver Surfer, Thor, Incredible Hulk, and recently Deadpool has made a massive blip on my comic radar.  I personally cannot wait to see the movie next year! Ryan Reynolds who will be playing Wade Wilson/Deadpool is just perfect! He was ok as the Green Lantern, but I’m holding out the highest hope for him as Deadpool. Ok, enough geeking out…the character Deadpool was the inspiration for my birthday dinner. Well, his love for tacos was 😀 So my nephew and I made Mexican beef and chicken tacos for the family. They were such a hit.

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I know how he feels…I will spare you all the number of tacos that were consumed that night but trust me if was worth it. So good!! And then there was cake…oh not just any cake. The Country Cook shared a recipe for a Coconut Cream Poke Cake! Now I had every intention on take pictures but I not only forgot to take pictures but it never occurred to me to take any lol I was enjoying it too much to stop for pictures. But thankfully the Country Cook has scrumptious pictures for you all to feast your eyes on and let me just say this cake is out of this world amazing!! This is one of those cakes that you will not regret making and will actually want to make oh I don’t know, two or three…yeah I just typed that…don’t judge lol!!!

(Yeah, it’s even better than it looks!!)

And I did promise I would share the pictures of the Valentines cookies I made for the 3&4 yr olds class I help teach on Wednesday nights.

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G–Man helped with decorating them and he did an excellent job!! I had no idea, but there is actually a recipe for chocolate sugar cookies. I was shocked, over at Joy of Baking there is a tested recipe that turned out perfectly! To me, it tasted like a brownie. You can use their recipe for the frosting or you can whatever recipe you like. These cookies were a hit the kids loved them! I even found a recipe for strawberry sugar cookies. It uses freeze dried strawberries that have to be processed down into a powder, so someone could get really creative and do a Neapolitan sugar cookie platter! 

How has your February been so far?!

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