Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Mother's Chicken (or turkey) Pot Pie

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! If you still have turkey leftovers, this Pot Pie would be a good choice to make. This is similar to my Mother's Pot Pie. I say similar, because she did not use a written recipe, so I've had to write one so that I could pass this on to my kids. This was one of my favorite meals when I was growing up. My brother and I came running to the table when we knew this delicious Pot Pie was on the menu for dinner. Most of the time Mom used chicken for this recipe except at Thanksgiving when we had turkey. She always used Bisquick to make the biscuits on top, which is an easy choice of topping. That's what I used this time because I was lazy! But, of course you can use your homemade biscuit recipe in its place. Or use a pie crust topping, if desired. It will taste delicious either way. Likewise, my husband and kids
love this dish! When my kids were little, this was one of the few meals that everyone would eat. I had a couple of picky eaters, so when the weather is cool, this Pot Pie has been a staple in my recipe rotation. It's hard to pass up such good comfort food! I'm submitting this recipe to Shelby, of The Life and Loves of Grumpey's Honeybunch and Laura, of The Spiced Life, for November's Family Recipes, Memories of Family, Food and Fun. Be sure to check out their blogs for other submissions.

3 cups cooked, shredded chicken or turkey
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour, plus 1 tablespoon
1 cup diced onion
1 stalk diced celery
2 1/2 cups chicken or turkey broth
1/2 cup milk, or you may use more broth, if desired
16 ounces of frozen vegetables, or use an equal amount of leftover veggies
salt and pepper to taste-I used 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp.pepper, but it will depend on whether you use canned broth or your own broth.

TOPPING: Either use your own biscuit recipe, or use about 2 cups of Bisquick and mix according to box directions.

This recipe is easy to adapt to what you have on hand. I used mixed, frozen vegetables, but you could also use peas and carrots or even add mushrooms, if desired.
In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the onion and celery until soft. Stir in the 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon flour until smooth. Pour in the 2 1/2 cups broth; stir until combined and bring to a boil. Simmer until thickened and then cook a couple of minutes. Stir in the milk and bring back to simmer. Now, add the frozen vegetables and turkey. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour mixture into a 3 quart baking dish. Stir up the biscuit topping and place tablespoonfuls on top of potpie. Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until the biscuits are done. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Herb Dip (and a Happy Thanksgiving!)

I was wanting a yummy dip to have on hand this Thanksgiving weekend, one that would be good with veggies. I found this one from Ina Garten and it's delicious! This creamy, flavorful dip is full of fresh herbs and scallions in a smooth cream cheese, mayo and sour cream base. I wouldn't make this without the fresh herbs as I don't think the dried stuff will give it the flavor to be tasty. The fresh dill is fantastic. I love it! If you need a dip for the guys watching football this weekend, or just something besides turkey leftovers to snack on, this dip could be the answer!

HERB DIP - slightly adapted from Ina Garten
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature - I used low fat
1/2 sour cream - I used low fat
1/2 cup mayo
4 scallions, white and green parts, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt - I used 1/2 teaspoon
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
Place the cream cheese, mayo and sour cream in a bowl and blend with electric mixer. Stir in the herbs and refrigerate for several hours so flavors come together. Serve at room temperature with veggies of choice. The herb flavors are amazing, as long as they are fresh. Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I so enjoy all my blogging friends and I'm so thankful that each of you come by to read my blog. And you even leave comments! I also appreciate all of my readers that come quietly here to look for recipes. I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thank you for including me in your lives!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Are you ready for Thanksgiving?

Fruit Salad with Apples and Pomegranate

Do you have your Thanksgiving dinner plans finalized? If not, my Fruit Salad with Apples and Pomegranate is a delicious side dish. Here's some other ideas for the big dinner:
Cranberry Apple Relish




I just started my blog about 1 year ago, so last year I had very few holiday recipes on here. I still have a lot to add, but maybe I can help you out. These are some last minute ideas to check out, along with my Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar, Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad, Apple Cake, and maybe a Four Layer Pudding Dessert. Check through my sides dishes on the side bar for other ideas. I'm doing as much as possible ahead of time so that Thanksgiving won't be stress-out time! The turkey is thawing in the refrigerator, and I'm making rolls and the Cranberry Apple Relish right now. More Later!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar

Do you like Brussels Sprouts? I love the little cabbages, but my husband doesn't and he has turned the kids against them too! All these years of marriage and I haven't been able to convince him otherwise. So, sometimes when I know I'm going to be alone for a meal, I buy Brussels Sprouts and cook them just for me! That's what I did tonight, roasting them in the oven until tender.
After the ends were cut off, I cut each sprout in half, added a few slices of red onion, some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. These were extra delicious and would make a great addition at any meal. Do you need a vegetable for your holiday meals? These sprouts were sweet and delicious and quick to roast. They are best served immediately after cooking.

1 pound of fresh Brussels sprouts
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon toasted walnuts or pine nuts, optional
Wash Brussels sprouts well; cut stem ends off and remove any dry outer leaves. Cut spouts in half. In a bowl add spouts, onion, oil, and vinegar and toss until oil is distributed. Arrange on a baking sheet and and season with sea salt and pepper. Place in a 4oo degree oven and roast for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Test for doneness by piercing with a fork. If they need to roast longer return to oven, but take a spatula and turn them over to brown evenly. The size of the sprouts will determine the length of roasting time. When done, place Brussels Sprouts in a serving bowl and top with toasted nuts, if desired. You can also add some cooked, crumbled bacon, yum! In case you didn't notice, I was out of walnuts, but I really wanted some crunchy nuts with this dish, so I added pecans. Hehe- I guess this would be a southern touch, but hey, they tasted great! Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Filling

I made some delicious pumpkin bread last week. I normally make my mother's delicious recipe, but when I saw this recipe at Joy of Baking, I knew I wanted to try it. This pumpkin bread has a layer of cream cheese filling through it which makes it a little different from the usual. Half of the batter is spooned into the loaf pans and the yummy cream cheese filling is smoothed over the top. Then, the rest of the pumpkin mixture is spooned over the top and spread out evenly. Unfortunately, that part was harder because the filling is rather runny whereas the batter is thicker, which makes it sink into the filling. I got it spread out as well as I could. Even though I do not have a pretty cream cheese layer, the bread is so moist and subtly spiced. The cream cheese layer is a delicious touch. It makes two loaves, one to eat and one to share!

Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Filling

Pumpkin Bread:
1 cup pecans or walnuts ( I didn't use them)
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (my addition)
4 large eggs, beaten
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup water
1 - 15 ounce can pure pumpkin
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling:
8 ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon ( my addition)
Mix all ingredients for the cream cheese layer together.

For the bread:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease and flour 2 9x5x3 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, soda salt and spices. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, butter, water and vanilla together.
Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined.
Divide the batter in half. Take one half and divide it evenly between the two loaf pans. Spread out evenly. Divide the cream cheese mixture between the 2 pans, smoothing it out evenly. Top with the remaining pumpkin batter, smoothing it out as best you can. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Place pans on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans.
I prefer to let it cool before serving. Enjoy!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Butternut Orzo Risotto

Quite a few years ago, my Mother gave me a gift subscription to "Country Woman" magazine, a sister publication of "Taste of Home". I've enjoyed reading each issue from cover to cover, and each time it arrives in my mailbox, I think of my Mom's gift. Since my Mom passed away 3 years ago, I still continue to receive it as many of the stories in it make me think of her. Plus, there are some good recipes, like this Butternut Orzo Risotto, that I tried this week. I love butternut squash, so when I spied this recipe in the October/November issue, I knew I had to try it. It is delicious and not hard to make. The most time consuming part is peeling and cubing the squash. My photos for this step were not great, so please check out A Veggie Venture, for a great tutorial on cutting up this squash. This informative post written by Allana, is quite helpful if you don't know how to wrangle the large squash. So, after you get the squash cubed, it is roasted in the oven in some olive oil until tender. Don't over cook it! While it roasts in the oven, saute onion in a skillet, then add garlic and the orzo along with chicken broth. It is stirred constantly just as if you were making risotto with rice, and then

adding more broth as it absorbed. After broth is absorbed, throw in some herbs and mix in the tender roasted butternut squash. It looks beautiful, smells wonderfully herby

and tastes delicious! I love squash anyway, but it was fantastic prepared this way. My husband gave it a "10", so that means it's good, real good! I hope you'll try it!

BUTTERNUT ORZO RISOTTO (slightly adapted)
3 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash (about 1/2 inch cubes)
2 tsp. olive oil (recipe calls for 1 tsp.)
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper, divided
3 cups lowfat, reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup diced onion ( recipe calls for 1 small onion)
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh thyme (recipe calls for 1/2 tsp.)
1 1/2 tsp. fresh sage. minced ( I used 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley ( 2T. in recipe)
shaved Parmesan cheese, optional
Place cubed squash in a greased baking sheet and drizzle with the 2 tsp. olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and 1/8 tsp. butter. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes til tender, but not mushy. Meanwhile, heat the chicken broth in a small sauce pan or in the microwave. In a large skillet, saute onion in melted butter until tender. Add orzo and garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the warm broth and continue to stir until all the broth is absorbed. Add the remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time. Allow liquid to absorb before adding more. Cook until risotto is creamy and orzo is almost tender, or al dente. Cooking time is about 15-20 minutes. Add the herbs, remaining 1/8 tsp. pepper and the roasted squash. Toss gently. Garnish with shaved Parmesan, if desired.
I loved the mix of flavors in this dish, I only regret that I didn't have fresh sage to use. Next time, I'll definitely buy some. The roasted squash is delicious, of course, but with the fresh thyme mixed in it was heavenly. I'll be making this often, as I couldn't quit eating it! Makes about 4 servings. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Turkey Tetrazzini

I had hoped to post this morning, but it didn't work out. I just want to say a big "Thank you" to all of our veterans and the men and women who are currently serving in our military. Thank you for sacrificing to serve our country and protect our freedoms! My father, father-in-law and my husband all served during war time, and I'm very proud of them. God Bless all of you on this Veterans Day and every day!
And of course, this is a recipe blog, so we must have food! I made this yummy Tetrazzini this week only I used chicken instead of turkey. But of course, left over Thanksgiving turkey is perfect for this dish. I included the mushrooms this time, even though my son protested. He says he does not like "fungi" in his food, but I just didn't listen to him! This is comfort food with the creamy Parmesan sauce, mushrooms and pasta. I found this recipe at Epicurious a few years ago and it has become a staple in our family. I hope you enjoy it.
A white sauce is made with milk, flour and Parmesan cheese, and then mixed with turkey or chicken and some pasta. Add in the mushrooms and peas and top with crumbs. Dot with butter.

Bake until golden and bubbly. It's a comforting casserole that is so good any time of the year, but especially in the colder months. Serve with a veggie or salad and maybe some crusty bread.

TURKEY TETRAZZINI- adapted from Epicurious
2-3 cups cooked turkey or chicken, chopped
8-10 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 T. butter
1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup half and half (recipe calls for white wine)
10 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 more T. butter
Cook the spaghetti to package directions. In a large, heavy saucepan cook the mushrooms in 4 tablespoons of butter, over medium heat, stirring until most of their liquid they give off has evaporated. Stir in the flour over low heat for about 3 minutes. Whisk in the broth, milk and half and half. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened. Stir in 2/3 cup of Parmesan cheese. Add the peas and salt and pepper. Taste and add more salt or pepper, if needed. Mix in the cooked, drained spaghetti and transfer the mixture to a buttered 3 quart casserole dish. A 9x 13 baking dish works for this dish. In a small bow combine the remaining 1/3 cup of Parmesan, the bread crumbs and 1 T. melted butter and sprinkle over the Tetrazzini. Dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden. Dig in!
How do you use left-over turkey?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cranberry Apple Relish

Thanksgiving isn't far away and I'm planning my menu. We will only have a few at the table this year, but I still want it to be special. I love dishes that can be prepared a day or two ahead so that the day of the dinner I don't have so much to do. Cranberry Apple Relish can be made a couple days ahead of when you plan to serve it. This is a very simple relish with only five
ingredients! It can't get much easier, or more flavorful! Tart cranberries are cooked with apples and cinnamon to make a quick but delicious relish. I originally found this recipe in Country Living magazine, but I've changed it some. Hope you enjoy!

CRANBERRY APPLE RELISH- from Lynda's Recipe Box

1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries, picked over
1 1/2 pounds sweet cooking apples, I used Gala (about 4 medium), peeled, halved, cored and sliced
1 1/2 cups apple juice, or water
2 -3inch long cinnamon sticks, or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar, or more (to taste) ;I used close to a cup
In a large sauce pan pour the apple juice or water and the cinnamon sticks. Bring to boiling over high heat. Add the cranberries and cook until most of the berries pop. Stir sugar and apples into cranberry mixture and return to boiling. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon sticks, if using. At this point, it's important to taste the relish to see if you need more sugar. The original recipe was not sweetened, relying upon the apple juice and apples to add enough sweetness. But it needs sugar, so I start with the half cup and go from there. Even with this amount of sugar, the relish will still be on the tart side. Also, the apples will cook just enough to be tender, but not mushy. Cool to room temperature and transfer to a covered container. Refrigerate. This simple, but delicious relish will thicken when refrigerated. My husband and daughter love this relish because it has only a few ingredients. Apples and cranberries, with cinnamon, are just perfect together and are delicious on the holiday table. Do you like cranberry relish?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Barbecue Meatballs (Baked)

This is one of those recipes that could be classified as "comfort food", because it's a very satisfying older recipe. It was given to me by an older lady in our church, who is a great cook. She makes these yummy meatballs for a lot of different occasions, from church and funeral dinners that we ladies cook for families of members who have passed away, to holiday parties. People almost start fights over the last few of these luscious meatballs! The meatballs are tender and covered in a sweet, tangy and easy to make sauce. I made these a bit smaller than a golf ball and had them for dinner with some garlic mashed potatoes. My family loves the tangy sauce!

But, these tasty Barbecued Meatballs are wonderful made a bit smaller and served for all kinds of get togethers. Are the guys coming over to watch football? Serve these. Having a small party and want some easy dishes? Make these! They go together quickly. Here's how.
BARBECUE MEATBALLS- from Lynda's Recipe Box
3 pounds lean ground chuck (the leaner, the better)
2 cups oatmeal (I use quick oats)
1 1/2 cups milk (recipe calls for 12 ounces canned milk)
1/2 garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. chili powder
1 cup diced onion
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Make into balls and place into baking pan. I used a large roasting pan to hold them all. Make sauce.
2 cups ketchup
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup diced onion
2 tsp. liquid smoke
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
Mix all ingredients and pour over the meatballs. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes.
TIP: Use at least 80-20 lean beef, as fatty beef will yield more grease in the sauce. You can also make these the day before you want to serve them, and then reheat before serving.
If you are serving these for a small family, the recipe can easily be halved. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce

One of my family's favorite meals is enchiladas. I've already shared my Shredded Beef Enchiladas with you. It happens to be one of the most popular posts in Lynda's Recipe Box! Today, I'll share my favorite recipe for Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce. I've been experimenting with these for several years now and I'm finally happy with the results. The chicken filling has just the right amount of spiciness to go with the creamy sauce and melted cheese. The addition of Salsa Verde to the white sauce really is a flavor booster! This recipe is easy to adjust to your own tastes and ingredients that you have on hand. I prefer using corn tortillas, but you may substitute the flour tortillas, if you wish. The corn tortillas need to be softened before filling. There are a couple of ways to do this. Some cooks have good luck warming the corn tortillas in the microwave, however, it doesn't work for me. They still fall apart too much, so I always resort to softening them in a skillet with just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Lay the tortilla in the hot pan and let it come to a sizzle and flip it over with tongs. Let the tortilla start to bubble and remove from the skillet and lay on paper towels to drain and cool. You'll need 10-12 corn tortillas for a 9x13 inch pan.
You may use leftover chicken or turkey for these luscious enchiladas. Or, you may use skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Either simmer them in water for about 15-20 minutes or bake in the oven. When done, shred or chop the meat. For a super easy idea, buy a rotisserie chicken from your local deli and take the meat off the bones. I like to cook a whole chicken in the crock pot for the meat because I love the flavor of the white and dark meat together, but any of these suggestions will work. I used the boneless chicken breasts this time, about 1 1/2 pounds, cooked, shredded and then coarsely chopped. To assemble, pour some white sauce in the bottom of baking dish. Fill each tortilla with chicken mixture and wrap up and place in baking pan. Pour more white sauce over enchiladas and top with cheese. Bake and devour! Let's make them!
from Lynda's Recipe Box
For chicken filling;
About 3 cups of cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 cup of sour cream sauce, (recipe below), or just enough to moisten chicken
1 4 ounce can of chopped, green chilies
1/2 cup diced onion, lightly sauteed in small amount of oil (optional)
1 cup of shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese, or cheddar
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
Sour Cream Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth or stock, or 1 can purchased broth
1 -7 ounce can of Salsa Verde, or equivalent from a jar of Salsa Verde (green salsa)
1/2-1 cup of sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and saute just til fragrant. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Pour in the chicken broth and Salsa Verde and whisk until it comes to a simmer. Cook until sauce is thickened. It will be sauce like, not too thick. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sour cream. Taste to see if you want to add more sour cream. Cool.
Other ingredients;
12 corn tortillas
2 cups of shredded Monterrey Jack or cheddar cheese
To assemble enchiladas:
Pour about 1 cup of sour cream sauce in a 9x13 inch baking pan. Soften tortillas in oil or in the microwave. Lay out tortilla and add about 1/3 cup of chicken filling to each tortilla. Wrap it up and lay it in the pan. Repeat with remaining filling and tortillas. It will take 10-12 tortillas.
Pour remaining sour cream sauce over the rolled enchiladas. You may not wish to use it all, go by your own preference here. Sprinkle more cheese over tops of enchiladas. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25- 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Cool a few minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!
NOTE: This dish may be prepared early in day and refrigerated; then bake at dinner time a few minutes longer.
If you prefer some onion and peppers in the sauce, just add some diced jalapenos and onion to the butter and cook until softened, then stir in the flour and broth and finish. We love the Salsa Verde in the white sauce as it gives just enough spicy flavor to this delicious dish. The 1/2 cup of sour cream seems just right, flavorful, but not over powering.
I love serving these Chicken Enchiladas with my Tex-Mex Rice and a simple salad, plus some Guacamole Dip and chips. This is a great meal any time of year!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hamburger Stroganoff - A super quick and easy meal!

Recently I was flipping through the 2009 Cooking Light Cookbook, when I came upon a recipe very similar to one I made waaay back when I was in high school! This was about 1969 or 1970, many years ago when "groovy" was the favorite word, mini skirts and Go-Go Boots were "in" and the Beatles were the most popular singing group! I was taking home Economics in school, with one semester of sewing, and the other semester was cooking. I still have several recipes that we made that year, although I haven't made any of them for ages! Well, I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, so I made it and my husband really liked it, plus, it took less than 30 minutes to make. Even though this dish is made with ground beef, it still has the yummy sour cream sauce and delicious mushrooms that are components of stroganoff. This dish will come in really handy this holiday season when I'm so busy caring for my lovely granddaughter, who is now 4 months old, and trying to keep up with all the extra we do this time of year! Think about it, in less than 30 minutes you can have a delicious and quick meal on the table. Just add a salad or veggie with it and you're good to go! I hope you'll give this delicious Hamburger Stroganoff a try!

HAMBURGER STROGANOFF - slightly adapted from Cooking Light

8 ounces uncooked egg noodles

1 pound lean ground beef

1 cup diced onion

1 tsp. minced, bottled garlic, or 1 clove fresh garlic, minced

1 8 ounce package mushrooms(calls for sliced cremini) I used white mushrooms

2 T. flour

1 cup low fat, low sodium beef broth

1 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

3/4 cup low-fat sour cream

Paprika and chopped parsley for garnish

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
In a skillet over medium- high heat add beef and onion; cook for about 4 minutes, until browned. Add mushrooms and cook another 4 minutes, or so, and stir frequently until most of the liquid evaporates. Sprinkle with the flour; stir and cook 1 minute. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until broth is slightly thick. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta and top with paprika and parsley. Enjoy!