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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie

Before the days of microwaves, we got a Stouffer's Chicken Pot Pie when a babysitter came over.  It took like an hour to bake and never tasted good.  Now I know REAL Chicken Pot Pie requires a roux and a nice pastry crust.  This is my son's favorite!


  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 or 2 9" pie crusts*


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F 
  • In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  • In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust*. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. I recommend putting a cookie sheet on the shelf below to catch any overflow. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

*I like putting the filling in the pan and using only one pie crust for the top.  Let calories/fat and more filling!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Butternut Squash Stuffing

Growing up, I didn't care for stuffing or squash.  Now that I'm all grown up, I have gained a love for both.  This is a tasty alternative to the "standard" bread stuffing. You can mix up the types of bread as well (or substitute cornbread!)


·        12 c. sourdough bread (about 1 loaf)
·        8 oz. bacon
·        1 butternut squash, cubed
·        3 stalks celery, diced
·        8 oz. shallots
·        2 tbsp. chopped fresh sage leaves
·        Salt and ground black pepper
·        3 c. chicken broth
1.   Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Divide bread between two 15 1/2" by 10 1/2" jelly-roll pans or large cookie sheets. Place pans on 2 oven racks and toast bread 30 to 35 minutes or until golden, stirring bread and rotating pans between upper and lower racks halfway through toasting. Cool bread in pans on wire racks.
2.   Meanwhile, in nonstick 12-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat 15 to 20 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. With slotted spoon, transfer bacon to very large bowl.
3.   Remove all but 3 tablespoons bacon fat from skillet. Add butternut squash, celery, and shallots, and cook over medium-high heat 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and shallots are lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove skillet from heat; stir in sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
4.   To bowl with bacon, add bread and broth; toss to mix well. Add vegetable mixture and toss.

5.   Use squash mixture to stuff 12- to 16-pound turkey, or spoon into greased 13" by 9" glass baking dish. Cover baking dish with foil and bake stuffing in preheated 325 degrees F. oven 20 minutes. Remove foil and stir stuffing. Bake 25 minutes longer or until heated through and lightly browned on top

Monday, August 31, 2015

End of Summer Pasta


2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2 pounds boned, skinned chicken breast halves or thighs, rinsed
1 pound zucchini
2 red bell peppers (12 oz. total)
2 portabella mushroom caps (7 oz. total)
1 red onion (12 oz.)
grape or cherry tomatoes (add to grill near the end)1 package (1 lb.) dried penne pasta
1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and fresh-ground pepper
1/2 cup slivered fresh basil leaves


1. In a bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, mustard, and garlic. 
Reserve 1/2 cup marinade for basting vegetables; pour remaining into a 1-gallon zip-lock
 plastic bag. Cut chicken lengthwise into 1-inch-wide strips and add to bag. Seal bag and 
turn to coat. Chill about 45 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, rinse zucchini, bell peppers, and mushroom caps. Slice zucchini lengthwise 
into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Stem and seed bell peppers; quarter lengthwise. Peel onion and
 slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Brush vegetables with reserved marinade.
3. Cooking in batches if necessary, lay vegetables and chicken (discard marinade) on a
barbecue grill over a solid bed of hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your 
hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning once, until
 vegetables are slightly charred and chicken is no longer pink in center of thickest part 
(cut to test), 6 to 10 minutes total. Let cool a few minutes. Chop vegetables and chicken
 into 1-inch pieces.
4. Meanwhile, in a 6- to 8-quart pan over high heat, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add
 pasta, stir, and cook, uncovered, until barely tender to bite, 9 to 13 minutes. Drain.
5. In a large bowl, mix pasta parmesan cheese, half the chopped vegetables and chicken, 
and salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining vegetables and chicken. Garnish with 
sliced basil and a balsamic glaze (optional).

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

(Healthy!) Chocolate Cupcakes

This is a Weight Watchers recipe, but my kids don't know that and love them!

Chocolate Cupcakes

1 box chocolate cake mix (can be Devil's Food Cake, Extra Super Awesome Chocolate or whatever)
1 15 oz. can pumpkin 
1 c. chocolate chips


Mix cake mix and pumpkin.  Fill the pumpkin can 1/2 full with water, add to mix.  Mix until well blended.  Fill 24 cupcake liners in cupcake tins.  Top with chocolate chips. Bake according to cupcake recipe on the box.

Enjoy 3 points of chocolate yumminess.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Southwestern Chopped Salad

This recipe came from Change Your Health for Life

Large head of Romaine 15 oz.
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large orange bell pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 cups corn (fresh or frozen, thawed)
5 green onions
Optional: avocado

1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 avocado (or 1/2 cup plain vegan yogurt or Greek yogurt)
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt
Making the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  I added a little bit of Yogurt Ranch dressing to thin it out a bit
Making the salad: Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions.Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.Toss with desired dressing.  I added some shredded Mexican blend cheese on top before serving.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Indian Butter Chicken

1 cup butter, divided
1 onion, minced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
3 cups heavy cream (or half and half)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken
breast, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tandoori masala (see recipe below)
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2.Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook slowly until the onion caramelizes to a dark brown, about 15 minutes.
3.Meanwhile melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat along with the tomato sauce, heavy cream, salt, cayenne pepper, and garam masala. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low; cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then stir in caramelized onions.
4.While the sauce is simmering, toss cubed chicken breast with vegetable oil until coated, then season with tandoori masala and spread out onto a baking sheet.
5.Bake chicken in preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 12 minutes. Once done, add the chicken to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes before serving.

Tandoori Masala (this makes more than needed for this recipe)

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek (I've left this out and it still tastes great)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground brown cardamom

  • Serve over basmati rice and with naan

Friday, January 2, 2015

Beef Barley Mushroom Soup

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into small
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
7 1/2 cups beef stock
1 1/2 t. thyme
8 ounces pearl barley
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
Salt & pepper to taste
1.Cook beef stew meat in a large skillet over medium heat until completely browned, 5 to 7 minutes; transfer to a large soup pot.
2.Heat vegetable oil in the same skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion, celery, and carrot in the hot oil until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable mixture to the beef in the pot.
3.Pour beef stock into the pot.
4.Stir pearl barley into the stock; add thyme
5.Place soup over medium-low heat, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is completely tender, about 2 hours.
6.Stir mushrooms through the soup; cook 1 hour more; season with salt and pepper.