Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cooking :: Cranberry Chicken Pot Pie

Well, so far I'm living up to my New Year's resolutions! Tonight I tried another new recipe. I got the idea for this one from Madelyn's blog. A couple years ago she blogged Turkey Pot Pie with Cranberry Biscuit Crust. Her version uses leftover turkey, leftover cranberry sauce, a packet of soup mix, etc. I didn't happen to have any of those ingredients on hand, so I made up my own version inspired by hers. It was such a comforting supper on such a cold winter's night.



Cranberry Chicken Pot Pie

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp black pepper

2 carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 cup flour

4 cups boiling water
4 tsp chicken bouillon powder

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 bag fresh or frozen cranberries

2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cranberry sauce

Heat olive oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in the olive oil. Season with thyme and black pepper. Once completely cooked, remove from frying pan and let rest for 10 minutes on the cutting board. Chop, dice or shred.

Add diced carrots, celery, and onion to frying pan, scraping up all the luscious bits of chicken. Once veggies have softened stir in the flour. Then gradually add the 4 cups of boiling water mixed with bouillon powder. Cook over medium heat until reduced and thickened. Once thickened add the diced chicken into the frying pan. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, make cranberry sauce by boiling 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup sugar. Once boiled add the cranberries. Boil about 5 minutes. Mash. Cool in the freezer for 10 minutes.

To make the biscuit crust combine flour and baking powder then using a pastry blender cut in 1/4 cold butter. With a fork stir in the milk and finally 1/4 cup of the cranberry sauce. Do not overwork the dough or it will be tough.

Pour the chicken pot pie filling into a 9"x13" baking pan. Roll out the cranberry biscuit dough and place over top. Bake at 425° for 20 - 25 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and cooked through. Serve with the extra cranberry sauce.

Yes! We've got snow.
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Cooking :: Spicy Tomato Soup

Happy Snow Day!

Yes, we are "stuck at home" for the second day in a row, but to tell you the truth, I love it! There's no place I'd rather be. I'm sure this snow fall has got to be some sort of record for our area. I'm sure I've never seen this much snow since we've lived here. It's cold, too! The weather network says it "Feels like -24" and I believe it. Chillyyyyyy. brrr

What could be better after shovelling mountains of snow than a nice steaming pot of homemade tomato soup? Mmm

Spicy Tomato Soup


Spicy Tomato Soup

2 cans of whole tomatoes
2 cans of Rotel
1 whole onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder

Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for a couple hours. Remove bay leaf. Use immersion blender to purée. Please note, if you do not have an immersion blender, do not put the steaming hot soup into a regular blender. The steam will pop the lid off, covering you and your kitchen in red hot soup! You may want to cool the soup and then purée it in your blender, or you could possibly use a food processor if there is an adequate place for the steam to escape.

After puréeing, heat the soup through again and serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

PS. If you don't like it spicy or can't get Rotel, this soup is really good without it. Just add another can or two of whole tomatoes.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Recipe Box :: Mango Strawberry Semifreddo

Hello!

For my daughter's birthday party one of her friends presented me with a bit of a dietary challenge. Good thing I was up for the challenge! For health reasons, the types of food she could eat were very limited. I knew she wouldn't be able to have the birthday cake or the regular ice cream, but I didn't want her to feel left out when all the other kids were having dessert!





So, I made this super-de-duper-delicious Mango Strawberry Semifreddo for her. It's not real ice cream, in that I did not use the ice cream maker and did not put it in the freezer, but it is partially frozen... thus the fancy "Semifreddo" word! (You learn a lot watching Food Network while folding laundry.) Here's the recipe!

Mango Strawberry Semifreddo

1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 cup milk or cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp honey (or splenda, or sugar)

Put everything in a food processor with the blade attachment and pulse until everything is puréed and combined. Serve right away. Do not freeze. If you put it in the freezer, it will freeze into a solid block and won't be scoopable like ice cream.

I've made this with many different types of frozen fruit. Blueberry is a favourite in our family.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Home Decorating :: 2012 House Goals

Hello!

When we bought this house a few years ago it was really a dream come true to be in our own home again and to be done with renting. What I didn't really want to realize at the time was how much work would need to be done to get it "nice", how time consuming it would be and how expensive! Let's just say it's been a very gradual process, but at least there is some progress to show for all of our work!

There's still lots more to be done. Here's a list of the things I definitely want to get done this year (and hopefully more, but it depends on $$).

2012 Home Goals
#4 is a little daunting. I may just slipcover the couch instead!

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Saved by Suzy

Cooking :: Mexican Fiesta in a Pan

Hello!

I don't know about you, but I get many of my what-to-make-for-supper ideas and inspiration from Facebook or Twitter. Take today, for example, Eat at Home's Facebook status was "Dinner tonight is ____." To which I replied, "...something with ground beef. Ideas?". One suggestion was Beef and Black Bean Taco Bake. So, we went with it and added a few extra ingredients of our own! This was quick to put together and a really yummy week night supper. It's simple enough that your kids can help make it, too. That's always a good thing!

Mexican Fiesta in a Pan

2 cups cooked rice
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 lb ground beef
1 small green pepper, diced
1 can green chilis
6 oz cream cheese
4 green onions, chopped
2 cups grated old cheddar
4 flour tortillas, cut into bite size pieces
1 can black beans
2 cups salsa

Sour cream
Cilantro, chopped

1. In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup uncooked rice, 2 cups water, 1 tsp salt, and a dash of cumin. Cover. Bring to a boil. Once boiling turn the temperature down to simmer and turn the timer on for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet. Brown the ground beef. Add green peppers, a dash of cumin, a dash of chili powder and sauté until green peppers have started to soften. Add cream cheese and green chilis. Stir until cream cheese is melted. Remove from heat.

3. To the large skillet add the cooked rice, green onions, grated cheddar, cut up flour tortillas, black beans and salsa. Mix everything together and pour into a 9" x 13" pan. Bake at 350° for approximately 30 minutes or until bubbly and hot. Serve with sour cream and fresh chopped cilantro.

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{Primp}


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cooking :: Cheesy Broccoli Potato Bake

Hello!

I was just going through my December photos and came across this dish I wanted to share with you! It's a cross between scalloped potatoes and broccoli with cheese sauce.... Cheesy Broccoli Potato Bake! I served it with ham for a perfectly hearty winter supper.

Cheesy Broccoli Potato Bake

Combine in a 9"x13" pan:

6-8 peeled potatoes, sliced evenly with the food processor
2 heads of broccoli, chopped
Lawry's Seasoning Salt



Cheese Sauce


1/4 cup butter
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup flour
Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
2 cups milk (or cream if you like it rich)
2 cups sharp/old cheddar, grated

Melt butter in a sauce pan. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent. Whisk in flour, thyme, salt and pepper over medium heat. Gradually whisk in milk, stirring until thickened and bubbly. Add cheese and stir until melted. 

Pour cheese sauce over potatoes and broccoli. Stir to combine.

Bake at 350° until done. Sorry, I didn't time it, but it took between 40-60 minutes approximately. Just poke the potatoes and you'll know if it's done!

Serve it up with a nice "bone-in" ham on a cold winter's night and you'll have one very happy family!

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Monday, January 02, 2012

2012 :: 10 Things I Want to Do!

Hello!

Following Edie's example (her amazing blog: Life in Grace), I thought I would be brave and share 10 of my goals for 2012...

For the curious minds... there are already 2 eBooks in the works! The first one is my Chevron Accent Throw pattern.
The  pattern is currently being tested by a fellow blogger (someone I don't even know!! Scary? Exciting?!).
The second eBook is in the draft stage and is a called A Month of Suppers.
It's got meal planning, recipes and grocery lists for one month. I'd like to do one for each season.

I'd love to know a few of the things you'd like to accomplish in 2012! Did you see my favourite projects from 2011? Also, I need book recommendations! What would you suggest?

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Any questions? Please leave me a comment! 
Thanks so much.




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Becolorful

Favorite Projects of 2011

Happy New Year!

Well, it's been a fun, busy, crazy, relaxing, wonderful, sad, nerve racking, exciting past couple of weeks. Now it's time to reflect on the past year and move forward onto bigger and better things! First, here's a look back at a few of my favourite projects from 2011.
Mini Knit Socks and Toques, Music Sheet Rosette Tutorial, Southwest Chicken Salad, Slipcovers,
 Ruffles and Rosettes Ottoman SlipcoverCaramel Apple Trifle, Little Birdies, Crocheted Granny Square Headband, Two Zip Hipster x 5 (not blogged yet!), Faux Corn Husk WreathPopsicle Stick Snowflakes,
 Painted my TV Cabinet, Painted my Grandma's Old Trunk.
Edie's inspiring me to make my New Year's Resolutions (or Revolutions, as she calls them) public... we'll see if I've got the nerve! lol I have pages and pages of things I want to do that I've written over the past week. It's just the idea of putting them out there for everyone and their cat to read that's a little intimidating!!

I hope you've enjoyed this Christmas Season and are ready to embrace this new year!

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