Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Deep-Dish Chicken Pot Pie

This one's for Kathryn. Also - lower in fat than the regular version, especially because it only has one crust!

3 medium leeks or 1 large onion, chopped
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)
1-2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half, light cream, or milk
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, corn, beans, etc.)
1 beaten egg white
Pastry topper (below)

In a large saucepan cook leeks or onion, mushrooms (if using), and chicken pieces in hot butter over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through and vegetables are tender. Stir in flour, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook for another minute or two. Add broth and milk all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in frozen vegetables (as much as you'd like). Pour into a 2-quart baking dish.

Prepare pastry topper and place over chicken mixture in dish. Turn edges under; flute to edges of dish. Brush with beaten egg white. With a sharp knife, cut slits in the top for steam to vent.

Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

Pastry Topper:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
4-5 Tablespoons water

Stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until dough pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle cold water over the mixture, one tablespoon at a time; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to side. Continue sprinkling water and tossing until all dough is moistened. Form into a ball and turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap and roll dough out until it's the size of your baking dish. Use the plastic wrap to help transfer the pastry to top the dish. (Also makes clean-up easier!)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Travis's Famous Snow Cones

Wendi requested the snow cone recipe, so here it is! He makes the syrup (below) and drizzles it over the snow cones along with sweetened condensed milk - yes, straight from the can! Sounds crazy but it's actually good...


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (0.13 ounce) package unsweetened, fruit-flavored soft drink mix


  1. In a saucepan, stir together the sugar and water. Bring to a boil, and boil for about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and stir in the drink mix. Allow to cool, and store in a container for pouring. Pour over shaved ice to flavor.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Carrot Bread

I made this for our pre-school Easter party by modifying a zucchini bread recipe. Get it? Carrots? Bunnies? Right. My original recipe notes that you can try 1 ½ cups grated apple instead of zucchini (or carrots in my case) - and also omit the milk. I haven't tried it that way though!

1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 beaten egg
1 cup sugar
1 cup finely shredded carrots (I just threw them in the food processor)
¼ cup oil
¼ cup milk (this is an estimate – just put in however much it takes to make it more like a thick batter consistency)
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted (optional)

1. Grease the bottom and ½ inch up sides of an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan; set aside. In a medium bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
2. In another medium bowl combine egg, sugar, carrots, oil, and milk. Add carrot mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in nuts, if using. Spoon into prepared pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan, then cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tomato Bisque

I know. I've gone crazy about soup. We literally ate it every day last week. And for lunch too. But this one is fabulous.

2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped,
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup milk
3 cups beef broth
1 (14.5) can tomatoes, whole in juice or diced, seasoned or not, your choice!
1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 bay leaf
Around 1/2-1 tsp. Italian seasoning, basil, or whatever you like to use
Dash nutmeg
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion, celery, carrot, and garlic until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour and cook another minute.
2. Whisk in milk, cooking and stirring until mixture is thickened. Add tomato paste, beef broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, bay leaf, Italian seasoning/basil, nutmeg, and salt & pepper. Bring nearly to boil and simmer 20-30 minutes.
3. Remove bay leaf. Pour soup into a blender in batches and blend until it's the desired consistency. Alternately, use a stick blender to puree the soup in the pan.
4. Return soup to pan and heat through. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and basil as desired.

Serve sprinkled with fresh basil, grated Parmesan, or a swirl of cream, and definitely with a grilled cheese sandwich. (You may or may not already know of my undying love for Cabot's Seriously Sharp cheddar.)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shrimp Bisque

I found this one on Discovery Health, and although I didn't even come close to following it to the letter, it was still delicious. My only advice would be NOT to leave the ingredients from the stock in the soup (specifically the bay leaf & peppercorns; carrots - optional) because you think it will improve the flavor as it finishes cooking and you can just warn your family what not to eat. We all nearly killed ourselves accidentally cracking into those sneaky peppercorns... So probably, just follow the recipe. We served it with buttermilk cornbread, which recipe follows below.

• 12 ounces raw shrimp (30-40 per pound) shell-on
• 1 each onion chopped, divided
• 1 each carrot peeled and sliced
• 1 stalk celery (with leaves) sliced
• ½ cup dry white wine
• ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
• 1 each bay leaf
• 3 cups water
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 ounces mushrooms wiped clean and sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
• ½ each green bell pepper, chopped
• ¼ cup chopped scallions
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
• ¼ cup all-purpose flour
• 1 ½ cups low-fat milk
• ¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
• ¼ cup dry sherry
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• Freshly ground pepper to taste
• Dash of hot sauce

1. Peel and de-vein shrimp, reserving the shells. Cut the shrimp into 3/4-inch pieces; cover and refrigerate.
2. Combine the shrimp shells with about half the onion, all the carrot, celery, wine, peppercorns and bay leaf in a large heavy saucepan. Add water and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve, pressing on the solids to extract all the juices; discard the solids. Measure the shrimp stock and add water, if necessary, to make 1 ½ cups.
3. Heat oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, scallions, parsley and the remaining onion. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to turn golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly stir in milk and the shrimp stock. Cook, stirring to loosen any flour sticking to the bottom of the pot, until the soup returns to a simmer and thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved shrimp and cook until they turn opaque in the center, about 2 minutes more. Add sour cream, sherry and lemon juice; stir over low heat until heated through—do not let it come to a boil. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and hot sauce.

Buttermilk Cornbread

Ever-so-slightly adapted from a classic allrecipes.com find, this one is FABULOUS... IF you like your cornbread sweet. Which of course I do.

• 1/4 cup butter, melted
• 1/4 cup oil
• 2/3 cup white sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup buttermilk
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup cornmeal
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
2. Combine melted butter, oil, and sugar. Add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and immediately stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.