Saturday, November 12, 2011

Simple Chicken Pot Pie



Chicken Pot Pie


A cool fall evening.
A busy evening.
What to make?
Something warm.
Something tasty.
Something easy! 

Chicken Pot Pie

We found this recipe about eighteen years ago 
in a magazine and it has been a favorite ever since.

Incredibly easy to make.
Some cubed cooked chicken.

Some soup, veggies, and pie crust.

A little milk and salt & pepper...


Ready-made crusts are awesome and so, so easy.


Bake in a 375 degree oven
and...

Dinner is ready!

Comfort food...

doesn't get any better than this.


Chicken Pot Pie

2 cans (10 3/4 oz.) Cream of Potato soup
1 (16oz.) can veg-all mixed vegetables, drained
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
1/3 cup of milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten (optional)
2 - 9 inch pie crust

Put one of the pie crust into the bottom of a pie plate.
Combine the first 6 ingredients.
Spoon into the pie crust.
Cover with second pie crust.
Crimp the edges to seal.
Slit top crust to vent. 
Brush with egg if desired.


Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes.
You can cover the edge of the crust 
with strips of foil if it starts to get too brown
before the pie is done.
Cool for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Magic Cookie Bars


I remember having my very first 
Magic Cookie Bar at 
my Aunt Sharon's house 
many many...many years ago. 
Wow!
I had never tasted butterscotch chips before.
Where had they been hiding?
Dakota has always known these bars.
And loved them. 

For years I remember loving
Magic Cookie Bars.
Then when I was away at college,
I found a recipe that included
butterscotch chips.
Where had they been hiding?
Mom had been leaving them
out of her recipe because
my sisters didn't like them.

Welcome back, butterscotch chips.
 

Magic cookie bars ARE magical.
The graham crackers,
the brown sugar,
the  butter...

Chocolate chips 
and
butterscotch chips.


Don't forget the coconut 
AND
the Sweetened Condensed Milk!
What can we say about that? 
Pure heaven in a can.
(Mom gets angry if I throw it out
before she licks the lid.) 


Binder clips are great to use to 

hold down your parchment paper. 
They can go right in the oven.
When your magic cookie bars are cool,
just unclip them and 
lift the bars out using the paper.
The clips make it much 
easier to cut the bars.


Add a sprinkling of pecans 
and that makes it perfect.
Or hold the pecans...
some of us only eat them candied
or covered in cinnamon and sugar.  


Magic cookie bars

½ cup butter, melted
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs



1 cup of Nestles semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup of  Nestles butterscotch chips 
7 oz. bag of Baker's coconut
1 can Eagles sweetened condensed milk 
3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)


Mix together the butter, brown sugar, 
and graham cracker crumbs. 
Press into the bottom of a 9" x 13" pan 
that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
You can also line the pan with 
parchment paper for easier removal.
Spray that too.

Next sprinkle on 
the chocolate and butterscotch chips.
Then the coconut.
Then pour the sweetened condensed milk 
evenly over the coconut.
Sprinkle with the pecans.

Bake in a 350 degrees preheated oven for 25 minutes.
Until golden brown.

Let cool.
(OK, so let's be real here.  
We don't always let it cool before we eat some.)
Cut.
And ahhhhh...enjoy.
 

 I also enjoy drizzling a 
little warm caramel sauce on it too. 
Although Dakota is a purist and 
likes them just the way they are.
Either way they are delicious.  



Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chicken Broccoli Braid

Flaky crescent roll, tender chicken, 
crunchy broccoli, and gooey cheese.  
Yum.

Now that fall is fast approaching 
it is time to start breaking out
the warm comfort foods.

This comfort food has 
lots of good-for-you
broccoli.

Most of our family like this healthy green stuff.
BUT there are a few 
(who shall remain nameless)
who are anti-"trees".
So we have made this braid,
  which is one half broccoli-filled
and the other half broccoli-lacking
(but equally delicious). 




Mix Cheddar cheese


with some chicken, dill, garlic powder, and broccoli.

Unroll your roll of crescent rolls into a rectangle.
 Line the long sides with cuts.
Load it up with the chicken mixture.


"Braid" it up and bake it.


And then bring it out.
All golden brown on the outside...



 And gooey, cheesy
deliciousness on the inside.



Chicken Broccoli Braid
(adapted from the Pampered Chef recipe)

2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
2 cups chopped broccoli 
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 to 1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. dried dill
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together the chicken, broccoli, cheese, 
mayo, dill, salt, and garlic powder. 

Unroll the crescent rolls on a 
rectangle baking sheet or stone.
Do not separate. Press the seams together.
On the longest sides cut strips into the dough.
About 1 1/2 inches apart and about 3 inches long.

Place the chicken mixture evenly 
down the middle of the rolls.

Bring the strips together over the chicken mixture.
We have overlapped the strips 
but find it better to bring them together 
just until they touch.  

Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes.
Until golden brown.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Ultimate Brownie Recipe

Chocolate Brownies



Need we say anymore?

For the last couple of summers 
we have been on the search for...

"The Ultimate Brownie"
and
I think we found it!


A crunchy top 
 

And a fudgy, moist, chewy center.


We didn't so much find it, 
but after trying
many, many, many
(did I say many?)
different recipes
Dakota came up with this one.

And it is good.
  And moist.
 And chocolate-y.
We started with this.

And added butter,
and sugar,
and vanilla,
and more things.
And came up with this...


  You could also drizzle it with fudge sauce.
and top it with chopped pecans.


Or fudge sauce, walnuts, 
and mini chocolate chips.





The Ultimate Brownie Recipe

1 stick butter
7- 1 oz. squares of semi sweet chocolate
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 & 3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup of flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Melt together the butter and chocolate squares.
You can do this on the stove
in a glass bowl that is 
resting on a pot of boiling water.
Stir until melted.
or
In the microwave at 2 minutes on high
stir and then 1 minute intervals
until melted.
Whisk in the cocoa powder.
Let this cool slightly.

Whisk the eggs until a golden yellow color.
Whisk in the sugar, vanilla, and salt.
Add the cooled chocolate mixture 
and whisk together.

Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until combined.

Pour into a greased 9"x9" pan. 
We like to line our greased pan 
with parchment paper 
and spray the paper 
with cooking spray.
It makes it much easier to remove 
the brownies and cut them into squares.

Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes.
Let cool.
Then enjoy.


Now spotlight!!!
 
THE ULTIMATE BROWNIE

Friday, August 19, 2011

Avocado / Tomato/ Mozzarella Salad

Avocados

Never had them? Don't think you like them?
DON'T LEAVE!
Keep reading.

We were in the same "I don't like avocados" boat
Funny thing was...we had never even tasted one!
Just thought we didn't like them. They are green.  Guacamole was slimy and green. 
No way can that taste good!  But you know what?  
THEY TASTE GOOD! 
No not good.
REALLY GOOD!
And they are good for you.
Try them. 


Dakota came up with this recipe for
Avocado / Tomato /  Mozzarella Salad
It is even better than good.
It is awesome.


Summertime
when there are lots of garden fresh tomatoes
That is a great time to make this salad.



 Besides tasting so great 
did you know that avocados are good for you too?
According to the avocado website www.avocado.org 
they provide nearly 20 essential nutrients,
including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid.



You need fresh mozzarella!
It is a must.
Do not use the bricks of mozzarella.
Not the same.
Not even close.
Get a ball of fresh mozzarella.


No picture of it out of the package because we had to cube it
as soon as we took it out.
(There is a "fresh mozzarella monster" in this house.
He loves to eat it straight out of the package.)
 It IS that good.


Avocados make great food for babies and toddlers too.
The "little spoonful", Dylan, in our family (1 1/2 year old) 
loves a mashed up avocado with a little olive oil and basil mixed in.
He will gobble than down... FAST! 


 Dakota's
Avocado / Tomato /Mozzarella Salad 


2 avocados (peeled, pitted, & cubed)
2 - 3 tomatoes (cubed) 
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese (cubed)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. basil (we used dried, but you could use fresh)
salt & pepper (to taste...I like it saltier than Dakota does)

Put the cubes of avocados, tomatoes, 
and mozzarella in a bowl.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Add basil, salt & pepper.
Mix lightly. 
Enjoy.
(Best to eat it right away.
At room temperature.)

 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies


There is not a better taste in this world than a  chocolate chip cookie straight out of the oven.
  With a tall glass of cold milk...of course. 
  


I started making these cookies in high school. All - of - the - time. 
When Dakota was in pre-school she had to tell her teacher a "recipe" for a Mother's Day cookbook the class was making. She recited it almost word for word.  


These cookies are requested quite frequently by friends and family.
They are the one cookie that is always suppose to be in the cookie jar.



Everyone thinks they are special.  We just think they are cookies. They want the recipe! 
"What is the secret?"  they say. Well, it is just the recipe off the back of the 

Nestles Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip bag...with one substitution.


Yep.  White Crisco instead of butter.  That's it.



Delicious.


 The cookie dough tastes pretty good too. 

 



Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup white Crisco
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
2 cups Nestles Semi-sweet chocolate chips


Cream together the Crisco and sugars about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs and vanilla.

Mix again for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the salt and baking soda.

Mix about 1 minute.

Then stir the flour in by hand.

When thoroughly mixed add the chocolate chips.
Stir.

Scoop tablespoon size dough onto cookie sheet (we prefer AirBake).
Bake about 11 minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven.

Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack or paper towel on the counter.

Enjoy.