Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

      Well, we had another snow day today.  That makes 6 1/2 for the school year so far.  We had 12 to 14 inches of snow last week and missed three days and then 6 more inches fell yesterday.  Most of the area south of us got even more than that.  Needless to say, it was a great day to make something hot and delicious that sticks to your ribs.
      My daughter suggested Chicken Pot Pie since we had some leftover chicken and the broth from a couple of days ago. We also found some scalloped potatoes that Grandma had sent home, so we threw in some of those which helped to thicken up the gravy.  Use whatever vegetables you have, I always keep some frozen mixed vegetables in the freezer just in case I don't have any in the fridge, but you can use whatever you have on hand. We also made our own pie crust, but store bought pie crust will work just as well.

Chicken Pot Pie

Leftover shredded chicken, about 2 cups or so
Chicken broth, we used about 2 cups
Vegetables such as potatoes, green beans, carrots, corn, and peas
Salt and pepper to taste
Pie crust

Pour the broth into a large skillet.  Add a thickening agent such as flour to the broth to create a gravy like sauce.  Add salt and pepper. Stir constantly until it bubbles and thickens and then add the chicken and vegetables until heated through.

Prepare a two crust pie crust.  On the bottom pie crust layer, pour in the chicken and vegetable mixture.  Top with the remaining pie crust layer.  Cut a few slits to allow the steam to escape.  Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbly.  Place aluminum foil around the crust edges for the first 30 minutes and then remove for the last 15 minutes so the edges won't burn.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tiger Butter

Christmas time has come and gone, and because we had a busy schedule this year, we didn't get to make as many cookies and candy as we usually do every year.  However, this week has been quite a week. The Blizzard of 2011 hit us here and we accumulated about 12 inches of snow and three days off of school.  I love to cook, especially when it is cold outside, so I was rummaging through my cabinets looking for something different to try.  I came across a wonderful leftover ingredient from Christmas:  almond bark.  I had a recipe from a fellow teacher who shared this recipe in the teachers' lounge one day.  It was a hit.  If you like peanut butter cups, you will love Tiger Butter.

Tiger Butter

1/2 package vanilla almond bark
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 package chocolate chips

Melt the almond bark and peanut butter in the microwave until smooth and spread in a lightly greased pan. If you want thicker butter, use a smaller pan, and if you want thinner, use a larger pan.  We went for thinner, and used a 9X13 pan. Next, melt the choco chips in the microwave and swirl over the peanut butter mixture.  Put in the fridge until it hardens.  Cut into pieces.

Oh, Those Lovely Leftovers...

      Meals at our house are not only a necessity, they are a way to inspire and practice creativity.  Because there are five of us that live here, which include a husband, two constantly hungry teenagers and one growing preteen, some days it just seems like there is not enough food in the house.  Granted, there is always more than enough to eat, as the refrigerator is always full of leftovers, but sometimes, the kids just do not want to eat them.  And as much as I love my dogs, I really hate to spoil them with all of that good food if I don't have to. Therefore, I have decided to embark on a journey down "Leftover Lane" in order to not waste food and stretch our food budget even further.
      In this blog I will be sharing ways to create meals with items you might already have in your kitchen. Nothing gourmet here, just simple, homemade deliciousness that anybody with basic cooking skills can handle.  Please remember that all recipes are going to be relative to what you have, so actual measurements may or may not be used.  My grandma, who is a wonderful cook, never uses measurements, she just goes by taste.  I try to follow that rule also.  It just depends on what I am making. So feel free to substitute, experiment with, and adjust any recipe or idea to fit your needs.