Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chicken or Turkey Pot Pie

This pot pie was FABULOUS! There was hardly any left after dinner. This is my new favorite comfort food. Recipe update 3/2/10:The first time I made this, it was right after Thanksgiving and I used leftover turkey. Today I made it again with leftover chicken I previously roasted. Instead of doing one pie, I used ramekins and made individual pies. I made 4 ramekins, which used about 1/2 - 2/3 of the filling and about 1 pie crust. We enjoyed it as much this time as we did the first!

1 pie crust (homemade or store bought)
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup finely diced celery
2 cups leftover chicken or turkey, light and dark, diced or shredded
1/4 cup flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
splash of white wine (optional)
1 cup milk
Frozen peas (eyeball it-to your liking)
Frozen corn (eyeball it-to your liking)
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a skillet or dutch oven. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until translucent; 4-5 minutes. Add chicken/turkey and stir. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.

Pour in broth, stirring constantly. Splash in wine, if desired. Pour in milk. Add frozen peas and carrots.

Bring to a slow boil and allow mixture to cook and thicken for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste (do not under season), and poultry seasoning, to taste. Do one final taste at the end and season as necessary.

Pour mixture into a casserole dish or deep pie pan. Roll out crust so that it’s about 1 inch larger than the pan you’re using. 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.

Bake for 30 minutes or until very golden and bubbly. Allow to cool for a little bit before serving.

SOURCE:Adapted from Pioneer Woman

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Pumpkin Scones

Breakfasts are so fun for me. You can eat anything from eggs and toast to hot cereal, pancakes, muffins, granola and scones. Really the possibilities are endless and I'm always trying new things. Breakfast is never the same for us. These pumpkin scones are perfect for this time of year. They are great for a holiday gift basket or on Thanksgiving morning for a light breakfast. Even if you want to make them the day after, you can use up some of your leftover pumpkin. The white chips make these scones extra special.

Pumpkin Scones
2 cups flour, white or whole wheat
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the egg wash:
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk or cream

Preheat the oven to 375° and place a rack in the middle of the oven.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the chopped white chocolate. In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla, and then add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches round. Cut the circle into 8 equal triangles. Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 8 scones.

SOURCE:Adapted from Annie's Eats

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chewey Coconut Chocolate Chunk Blondies

Growing up Sundays were always family days. We went to church, came home, rested, and had Sunday dinner together. Usually in the evening either my mom and I or my sister and I would make cookies or brownies. The tradition kind of stuck and I still love to make a sweet treat on Sunday evenings. These blondies remind me of both brownies, but blonde, and chocolate chip cookies; a two for one! Since we have a small family, this was the perfect size batch for us.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

For drizzle and garnish: (optional)
1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
1 tsp. butter or shortening
Sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-X-8-inch square baking dish. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and salt; set aside. In another mixing bowl combine the melted butter and brown sugar and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, and mix until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and coconut extracts until well blended. Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until they have been incorporated.

Add the shredded coconut and chocolate chips to the bowl, and fold in with a rubber spatula until evenly distributed. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until set in the center but still soft. Do not over bake. Let the bars cool slightly before drizzling.

(optional) To make the drizzle, combine the chocolate chunks and butter or shortening in a small, heatproof bowl. Microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted and smooth. Transfer the melted chocolate to a plastic bag with a very tiny piece of the corner cut off and drizzle over the bars. Sprinkle with additional shredded coconut before the chocolate sets, if desired. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

SOURCE:Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread with Crystalized Ginger

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp. yogurt (plain or vanilla)
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup dried cranberries (fresh or frozen are fine too)
1/4 cup crystalized ginger, chopped finely

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugars together. Add yogurt, eggs and pumpkin and mix until just combined. Mix dry ingredients together and add alternately with the milk. Mix until just combined. Toss the cranberries in a little flour so they don't sink to the bottom of the pan while baking. Fold the cranberries and ginger into the batter. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan and bake for 1 hr. 15 minutes, rotating in oven about halfway through. Once the timer reaches 1 hour, watch your bread closely as each oven is different and bread may be done sooner or later. Bread is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

NOTES:This bread is so good warm, perfect for a fall breakfast with some cider or hot cocoa. If you don't have crystalized ginger on hand or can't find it (I found mine at my local Good Earth & not too expensive), you can substitute 3 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger. However, I think the crystalized ginger in this recipe is what makes it that much better!

*For a variation, replace the milk with orange juice in the batterand and glaze with orange spice glaze once out of the oven: 1/2 cup powdered sugar, dash cinnamon & nutmeg & 2-3 Tbsp. orange juice

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/4 cup cinnamon
2 Tbsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground allspice

Mix together and store in airtight container.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pumpkin Oatmeal Scotchies

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup plain or vanilla fat free yogurt
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup pumpkin
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch ground ginger
pinch allspice
1/8-1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups oats
1 bag (1 3/4 cups) butterscotch chips

Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, scraping the sides down as needed. Add yogurt, eggs and vanilla and pumpkin and mix to incorporate. Add dry ingredients through salt and mix to combine. Add the oats and mix then fold in the butterscotch chips.

Bake 375 for 8-10 minutes.

NOTES:I kind of combined a few recipes together to get this one and made it mine. These are delish! They might be one of my new favorites. They are great for fall baking and the best warm right out of the oven. You can also substitute craisins for the butterscotch chips.

Chicken and Garlic-Herb Potato Shepherd’s Pie

2 large (or 3 medium) Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
1 pound chicken breast, cut into half-inch dice
Black pepper
1 cup shredded carrots, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock (or 1 can)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2-3 tbsp. of soft garlic and herb cheese, or garlic and herb cream cheese
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup (a handful) flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup milk or chicken stock, enough to loosen up the potatoes

Place the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, salt the water and cook until tender, 12-15 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with about 1 tablespoon of EVOO. Add the chicken, season it with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 6-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan to a casserole dish, add a drizzle of EVOO to the pan, then add the carrots, peas, and scallions. Season the veggies with salt and pepper and cook until tender, about 2 minutes.

Scoot the vegetables over to one side and melt in the butter. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and cook for about 1 minute, stirring. Whisk 1/2 cup of the chicken stock, cook 1 minute, then whisk in the remaining chicken stock and cook for 1 minute to thicken. Season the sauce with mustard then salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce and vegetables over the chicken in the casserole and combine.

Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot pot, then mash with the herb cheese, egg yolks, parsley, milk or chicken stock, salt and pepper. Spread the potatoes over the chicken in the casserole dish.

Put in 500 F oven for about 3-5 minutes then turn on the broiler for another 3-5 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

NOTES:You just can't go wrong with Rachael Ray. This recipe is modified from her original recipe aired on her show. A really great take on the same old beef, beans and potato pie.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pound chicken sausage
4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons
1 cup white cooking wine (or chicken stock)
1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup (3 turns around the pan) heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
Coarse salt and black pepper
3/4 pound penne rigate, cooked to al dente
Romano or Parmigiano, for grating

Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.

Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.

Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.

NOTES:Another keeper from Rachael Ray with a couple of minor changes. This was delish, even my 2 1/2 year old kept telling me how yummy it was. If you don't want to make the chicken sausage, the original recipe called for 1 lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage. I also like enough sauce to cover my pasta so I reduced it to 3/4 lb. This made a lot of pasta for our little family. I will probably halve the recipe the next time I make it.
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