Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

What says comfort food more than Chicken Pot Pie? Yeah. Not much. This is one of my favorite comfort food dishes, and I made it tonight just because. The mixture of the spices I put in, along with the chunks of chicken and veggies is just the perfect combo! For whatever reason, I serve my chicken pot pie with rice - I think that's what my mom did, and so I do it, too. Either way, it's good. Some people like to add potatoes in to their chicken pot pies, but I prefer to have my extra starch on the side to soak up the goodness!

Chicken Pot Pie
  • 2 cups cooked, cubed, chicken
  • 3 cups frozen mixed vegetables (I thaw mine just a little)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 can cream of chicken condensed soup
  • Spices to taste (I use a mixture of pepper, basil, and rosemary)
  • 2 pie crusts

    --Mix all ingredients together
    --Place in pie crust and put top crust on, venting
  • --Bake at 400 for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden brown

This is the 'on the plate version' since the top picture looks like any old pie...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Creamy Potato Corn Chowder

Alright, a lot of the recipes on this blog are easy, but this one is even easier than I thought it would be! And thankfully, it was tasty, too! This was a brand new recipe I tried from the cookbook that I actually have a recipe in (The Healthy College Cookbook), the cookbook is geared towards college students who don't have a lot of time or money. Well, we fit into both of those categories some nights, so I will often try to have a quick/cheap meal once a week just to help out the pocket book. I tweaked this recipe a little and was very pleased with the results. This meal is so quick that I told Scot dinner would be ready in 10 minutes, and it was actually ready 5 minutes after I put everything into the pot! I barely had time to set the table!

Creamy Potato Corn Chowder
  • 2 large baked potatoes, skinned, about 3 lbs total (leftover potatoes would be great, but if not, just pop 2 big ones in the microwave. I tweaked the recipe here as I don't care much for white potatoes and did one white and one sweet and the outcome was great!)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cans cream corn
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 t pepper
--Mash peeled potatoes with the milk in pot while heating.
--Add corn, salt and pepper. Heat through.
--Enjoy with hearty bread.

Feeds 4.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Old-fashioned Skillet Cornbread

We had chili and cornbread for dinner tonight in honor of it being the first day of fall. I'm pretty sure everyone has a good chili recipe they like, so I'm not spot-lighting that, but the cornbread! (If you don't have a good chili recipe where everyone always asks for seconds, leave a note and I'll post it) This cornbread recipe has been passed down on my mother's side of the family for I don't know how long. It doesn't really matter though, since it's so good, I just like saying it. Typically, I put this in the cast iron skillet (everything is better in cast iron!), but sometimes I'll just throw it in an 8x8 and toss it in the toaster oven.

Old-fashioned Skillet Cornbread

Serves 6-8
Active time:10 minutes
Bake time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Serving suggestions: Any soup (lentil is fabulous!), chili, or stew.  If there are any leftovers, we like to break it up in a bowl and pour some milk and sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon on top for a breakfast treat.

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil OR applesauce*
  • 1 cup milk** OR ¾ cup almond milk + ¼ cup water
  • 2 eggs OR 2 TBLS flaxseed meal added in with dry ingredients
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (opt)

What you'll do:

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Grease a 2 QT baking dish: 8x8, 8x11, or swirl 1 TBLS oil in a large cast iron skillet (my favorite way!)
  • Combine all dry ingredients in small bowl.
  • Combine all wet ingredients in a larger bowl.
  • Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ones, mixing as you pour. Make sure there aren't any lumps.
  • Pour corn bread mixture into greased baking dish.
  • Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Nutrition Facts (per serving, 1/6 of recipe**):
Calories 311 (Calories from fat 105); Total Fat 12g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 63mg; Sodium 567mg; Potassium 168mg; Total Carbohydrate 46g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Sugars 13g; Protein 7g; Vitamins/Minerals - Vitamin A 217 IU; Vitamin C 0mg; Calcium 244mg; Iron 2mg; Folate 53mcg

*please note that substitution of oil w/ applesauce cuts fat content substantially, but slightly increases carbohydrate & sugar content
**nutrient analysis assumes fat free dairy milk, fortified w/ Vit A & D

Monday, September 21, 2009

Catalina Cranberry Chicken

This chicken and rice dish is like nothing you have ever tasted when it comes to chicken and rice. I don't even know how to really explain the taste to you. It's tangy. It's almost oriental. It's sweet. It's full. Best of all, it's easy. So easy, this is one of the meals Scot knows he can make without messing up. This is a meal I will often times make for new moms because I can just put everything into a gallon plastic bag and deliver. Then all the new mom has to do is dump it all into her baking dish and bake it. Severed over rice with a veggie and salad, this is a very simple and complete dinner. Enjoy!

Catalina Cranberry Chicken
  • 4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Catalina dressing - I always use the light version, you can't tell the difference
  • 1 can whole cranberry sauce (found by the other canned fruit when it's not near Thanksgiving)
  • 1 onion soup packet
--Mix the dressing, cranberry sauce, and onion soup mix in your baking dish.
--Place the chicken in the baking dish. *It is preferable to let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes, and up to a couple days (in the case of the new mom), before baking.
--Bake for 45 minutes at 350.

Newest Favorite Cookbook

I received this cookbook from my friend, Bethany, as part of my bridesmaid's gift this past weekend. She knows I love to cook and she also knows how much I miss my Everyday Food Mag subscription - I had it for 2 or 3 years and it never got renewed. Oh well, now I have the best of the best recipes from it! I love Everyday Food recipes because they are simple, delicious, and most of all, they don't call for funky spices or ingredients that I'll only use once! The cookbook is sectioned off into the four seasons with mini-sections on soups/salads, main dishes, pasta dishes, sides, and then desserts. It's fantastic! I've only gone through the Fall and Winter sections, but already have so many pages ear marked! So look out, I'll be trying new recipes over the next weeks and months!

Keep an eye out for my Catalina Cranberry Chicken recipe - it's what's for dinner tonight!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Apple Pie

Nothing says fall better than an apple pie strait from the oven. And in honor of the crisper weather we've been having - and the apples that needed to be used - I made one of my special apple pies last night. This recipe is one that I 'made up' - meaning, I took two recipes and essentially took the parts from both that I liked, making the best apple pie recipe ever. For me that is. And I say that, because it's a little different than most. It's chunky and sweet. This pie makes the best breakfast, too.

Apple Pie

Serves 8-12 (depending on how large you cut those pieces and how much self control you have)
Active time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hr 20 min

  • 1 bottom crust (home made or store bought) in a 9.5 inch deep dish pie plate
  • 6 cups peeled and chopped (1 inch) Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 cup white sugar OR 1/4 cup if you don't want it too sweet
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 TBLS cinnamon
Crumb Crust:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 TBLS chilled butter OR vegan alternative

    What you'll do:

    • Preheat oven to 350
    • Place apple chunks in a large bowl
    • Mix the sugars and cinnamon together in a small bowl and then add to the apple chunks - stir to coat well
    • Transfer to the pie plate
    • In a smaller bowl, mix together the flour and brown sugar for the crust.  Using a pastry cutter or large fork, cut in the chilled butter until it looks like coarse crumbs
    • Sprinkle the crumb crust on top of the apples
    • Cover the edges of the crust with foil and pop the pie into the oven for 1 hour (take the foil off after 40 minutes)
    • Let cool before you cut

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Turkey Meatloaf

Growing up, my mom always made a special dinner for us on our birthday and I tell you that I always chose one of two meals. It was either Huevos Rancheros or Meatloaf. Jared was always Homemade Mac'n'cheese or Chicken Parmesan. Either way, my mom always had it easier with me. But at the time, I had no idea how easy it was to make meatloaf. And it's even easier when you use this recipe! My mom's meatloaf uses beef, and one day I'll make that and put it on the blog because she's been using it for over 20 years and it always gets rave reviews. But right now, we eat a lot of ground turkey in place of ground beef and this is the best meatloaf recipe I have found for Turkey meatloaf. It's delicious and still, to this day,is one of my favorite dishes. Best with green bean casserole and mashed or sweet potatoes. Oh yeah...my mouth is watering and I just ate it!

Turkey Meatloaf
  • 1 lb ground turkey meat
  • 1 cup chopped onion - sometimes I just use onion powder
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (divided in half)
  • 3 oz. stuffing - I use turkey stuffing
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg white
--Heat onions and dressing in microwave for 30 seconds. Cool slightly. (If you're using onion powder, skip this step)
--Combine everything (except 1/2 of the ketchup)
--Put it all in a loaf pan and spread the remaining ketchup on top. I sprinkle basil or oregano on top.
--Bake at 375 for 55-60 minutes.

Turns out perfect every time. But only use this recipe with Turkey. If you want the beef version, you'll just have to stick around. :)