Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chicken Potpie Soup with Pie Crust Animals

So after exactly one year of not posting to my blog, I finally found inspiration in this recipe which I clipped from the Feb/Mar 2013 issue of Taste of Home - my new favorite cooking magazine.  Whenever I make chicken pot pie, I always find myself slurping spoonfuls of the filling like soup before I cover it with pie crust.  Why didn't I ever think to just serve it like a soup?  This recipe was answer to my dreams!

The recipe suggests using 2 1/2 inch heart-shaped or round cookie cutters, but since I was serving this to my two year old, I thought animal cutouts would be fun.  I also will probably use Pillsbury roll out pie crust next time just to save time.  This homemade crust was delicious, but so is Pillsbury!

Chicken Potpie Soup with Pie Crust Animals

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
5 to 6 Tbsp 2% milk

2 Tbsp butter
1 cup cubed and peeled potatoes
1 cup chopped sweet onion
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn

In a large bowl, mix flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly.  Gradually add milk, tossing with a fork until dough holds together.  Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.

On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness.  Using a floured 2 1/2-inch heart-shaped or round cutter, cut 18 shapes.  Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 425 degrees for 8-11 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a rack.

For soup, in a Dutch over, heat butter over medium-high heat.  Add the potatoes, onion, celery and carrots; cook and stir for 5-7 minutes or until onion is tender.

Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until blended; gradually whisk in broth.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes of until potatoes are tender.  Stir in remaining ingredients; heat through. Serve with pastries.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

I clipped this recipe from Cooking Light over a year ago and finally tried it the other night.  I'm so glad I did...it was amazing!!

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

1/3 cup grated onion, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground sirloin
1 tbsp butter
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 1/4 cups beef broth
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp red wine vinegar

Combine 1/4 cup onion, salt, pepper, garlic, and beef.  Shape into 4 (1/2-inch thick) patties.  Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat with cooking spray.  Add patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned.

Melt butter in pan.  Add mushrooms; saute 4 minutes.  Stir in wine and remaining onion; cook 2 minutes.  Combine broth and flour; add to pan, and bring to a boil.  Cook 5 minutes or until thick.  Add patties and vinegar to pan; cook 2 minutes.

I served this with mashed potatoes and green beans. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Buttermilk Pie - Heaven in a Pie Crust

Not everyone has heard of buttermilk pie.  But it was pretty common where I grew up in the south.  My mom made it on occasion and also called it chess pie or impossible pie (I guess because it's impossible to screw up!)  Seriously, this pie is so simple to make and the most delicious treat you will ever taste in a pie crust. 

I hadn't baked a buttermilk pie in several years and was craving one recently.  I Googled it and came across this amazing recipe from The Homesick Texan blog.  Thank you Homesick Texan for sharing this amazing recipe!!

Buttermilk Pie

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tbsp flour
8 tbsp butter (1 stick) softened
3 large eggs, beaten
pinch of salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp white vinegar
1 pie crust

Preheat the oven to 350.  Bake the pie crust for 10 minutes.

Combine the sugar and the flour.  Cream the butter.  Add the sugar mixture to the butter and then stir in the eggs, salt, buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla, and vinegar.

Pour the mixture into the partially baked pie crust and then bake until brown on top and the custard has set, about 45-50 minutes.

Notes:  Now that I have a 12 month old running around, I no longer make homemade crusts.  I used a store bought Pillsbury crust that was perfection!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Enchilada Casserole

This recipe is in the current issue of Cooking Light (Jan/Feb 2012) and was a homerun at our house!  Seriously, one of the most delicious recipes ever.  I'll definitely be making this one again soon.

1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 cup beef broth
1 tbsp taco seasoning mix
1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add beef and onion to pan and cook until no pink remains.  Drain if necessary.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Sprinkle with flour; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Add broth, taco seasoning, and tomato sauce to pan.  Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add 1 1/2 cups tomato mixture to beef mixture; reserve 1/2 cup tomato mixture.

Place 1 tortilla in a 9-inch pie plate.  Top with 1 cup beef mixture.  Repeat layers, ending with tortilla.  Spread reserved tomato mixture over tortilla.  Top with cheese. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.  Cool slightly.  Cut into 4 wedges.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Roasted Vegetables

Last week I tried a recipe I found online for roasted vegetables that turned out pretty bad.  The recipe said to cook the vegetables for 45 minutes in a 475 degree oven, which didn't work out too well for me.  The potatoes and carrots were okay, but my red onions were burned to a crisp.  The one good thing I took away from the recipe, though, was that it called for balsamic vinegar along with the olive oil for coating the vegetables.  I had never considered using balsamic vinegar, but I must say it was delicious.  So, a few days later, I tried again.  But this time, I decided to lower the heat to 400, cook for 1 hour, and add my onions during the second half of the cooking.  Perfection!!

Roasted Vegetables

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
cajun seasoning
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 large carrots, peeled, cut diagonally and halved
2 cups broccoli, cut in small florets
1 red onion, peeled and cut in wedges

Preheat oven to 400.  In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and balsamic vinegar. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes and carrots, drizzle half the oil and vinegar mixture and stir to coat.  Season with salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning (or seasoning of your choice).  Spread the potatoes and carrots in a rectangular bake dish and bake for 35 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes. 

While the potatoes and carrots are roasting, combine the broccoli and onions in the large bowl and drizzle with the remaining oil and vinegar, stir to coat, and season. After the potatoes and carrots have roasted for 35 minutes, add the broccoli and onions.  Roast for another 25 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes. 

So what I learned is that any lighter vegetables should be added later in the roasting time (like onions and broccoli).  I suppose this would go for zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes as well.  I also learned that balsamic vinegar makes the kitchen smell fantastic while your vegetables are roasting!

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Recipe Binder

I love clipping and saving recipes from Cooking Light, Paula Deen, Semi Homemade with Sandra Lee (my three favorites!) but I don't like to store piles of magazines filled with the recipes I don't want. So I started this recipe binder using page protectors.  I put a sheet of white paper inside each page protector and then either glue clipped recipes to the sheet, or slip them in.  They stay in place really well with the white paper.  I also have dividers in the binder so the recipes can be organized by type of dish.

Then whenever I need a recipe, I pull it's page out of the binder so I can have it near me while I'm cooking without the entire binder taking up space on the kitchen counter.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Beef Barley Soup

This is one of the best things I have cooked in a long time.  It was delicious!  I clipped it from Cooking Light a few years ago, put it in my recipe binder, but never gave it a second look.  The other day I was browsing recipes and noticed that I already had most of the ingredients, except for the beef and the barley - so I tried it and I'm so glad I did!

3/4 lb boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrot
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
4 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
2/3 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Heat a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add beef to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently.  Remove beef from pan.  Add carrot, celery, onion, and mushrooms to pan; cook 6 minutes, or until liquid almost evaporates.  Add beef, beef broth, and bay leaf.  Bring to a simmer over medium high heat.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender, stirring occasionally.  Stir in pearl barley; cover and simmer 30 minutes or until pearl barley is tender.  Stir in salt and pepper.  Discard bay leaf. 

*The smallest cut of roast I could find was 1 1/2 lbs, so I doubled the recipe.  It took about 20 minutes, rather than 6 minutes, for the liquid to evaporate with the vegetables.