Monthly Archives: January, 2012

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
Recipe adapted from:
6 chicken breasts
5 cups chicken stock
2 chicken bouillon cubes
8 Tbls. (1 stick) butter
2 large yellow onions chopped
3/4 c. flour
1/4 c. heavy cream
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 medium carrots, sliced
2-3 large baking potatoes diced
10 oz. frozen peas
1 package puff pastry thawed
1 egg (slightly beaten, for use on cooking day)
12 pot pie pans (I got disposable ones from the grocery store that worked great)
Bake chicken seasoned with salt and pepper in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until done in center.  Dice and set aside.
In a small bowl, heat chicken stock and add bullion cubes.  Set aside.
In a large pot, melt butter and saute onions until soft (about 5-10 minutes).  Add flour and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
Add hot stock and stir until flour bits have completely dissolved.  Add heavy cream, garlic, carrots, potatoes, peas, and chicken and set aside to cool.
Once cooled slightly, divide chicken and vegetable mixture into 12 pot pie pans.  Roll out puff pastry dough and cut circles to top each pot pie.
If freezer cooking, freeze at this point.  Follow directions below to cook.
Brush each pot pie with egg wash and cut slits in top for venting.  Bake pot pies uncovered, on a cookie sheet to prevent spills from bubbling over, at 375 degrees for 60-90 minutes (depending on if cooking from frozen or fresh).
Makes 12 pot pies.
Food for thought:
The most recent time I made these, I put dough in the bottom of the pans as well before adding the chicken mixture.  We all loved the crust so much we wanted more of it.  I haven’t baked any from this batch yet so I will let you know if it works. 

Stuffed Shells with Italian Sausage

Another great recipe for serving to guests; it looks nice and is easy to make.  And, it is great for freezer cooking!  I tend to do a double batch simply because I really like it.  When I do that, we have four pans of stuffed shells – one for right then, and three for the coming weeks. 

Stuffed Shells with Italian Sausage

Adapted from:

1 lb. jumbo shells
1 12 oz. container cottage cheese
1 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
1 cup (4 oz.) asiago cheese, shredded
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbls. fresh chives
2 Tbls. fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt/pepper to taste
1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of liquid
4 cups marinara sauce (I like Newman’s Own brand)
1 lb. Italian sausage, browned
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Cook shells according to package directions, adding a dash of olive oil to the water to prevent the shells from sticking.  Rinse the shells well and set them out on wax paper to dry.

Combine ricotta cheese and cottage cheese in a food processor or blend and combine until smooth.  Add the asiago cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, chives, garlic, spinach, and salt/pepper.

Fill each shell with the cheese mixture.  Top with marinara sauce combined with browned Italian sausage.  Finish with mozzarella cheese on top. 

If freezer cooking, freeze now. 

To serve, bake at 375 degrees covered for approximately 70 minutes, uncovering in the last 5 minutes allowing top to brown a little.

Cheesy Basil Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes

Unfortunately, this picture is from before the chicken was cooked – we were so excited to eat it, that I forgot to take a picture of the finished product.  Perhaps I will remember next time!

Cheesy Basil Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes

Originally cooked by:

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4-1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbls. heavy cream
1 Tbls. lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbls. mayonnaise
1 cup breadcrumbs (use g/f breadcrumbs to make this meal g/f)
2 Tbls. olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes

In a medium bowl, combine shredded cheese, 2-4 Tbls. basil (depending on your preference), heavy cream, lemon juice, 2 cloves garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cut a pocket in the chicken breast and stuff filling inside.  Use a toothpick to hold opening closed.

Place in baking dish with a small amount of olive oil on the bottom.  Spread mayonnaise on top of each chicken breast.  In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, remaining garlic and basil, and 1 Tbls. olive oil.  Press breading on to the top of each chicken breast.

If freezer cooking, cover with foil and freeze at this point.  To finish cooking, following directions below.

Mix cherry tomatoes with remaining 1 Tbls. olive oil.  Spread around baking dish.

Bake chicken at 425 until crumbs are golden brown and chicken is cooked through (about 25-35 minutes).
Garnish with fresh chopped basil.

Food for thought:
This is one of those meals that is great for entertaining!  It looks beautiful, tastes amazing and is relatively easy to throw together ahead of time!  We served it with spinach and cheese ravioli on the side and everyone in the house liked it – not an easy feat with a picky 2 year old in the house!

Whole Wheat Pancakes Even My Husband Can Love!!!

I am always trying to figure out ways to sneak healthy ingredients into our meals.  (I had definitely been inspired by The Sneaky Chef who has great recipes and tricks to making meals packed with good ingredients).  Both my little guys love pancakes but I just wanted to try to make them packed full of things good for them but still tasty.  Today’s pancakes were a success!  Both my sons and their dad loved them.

Whole Wheat Pancakes


3 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
3 Tbls. flaxseed meal combined with 9 Tbls. warm water
3 3/4 c. buttermilk
3/4 c. sugar
3 heaping tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. cooking oil
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. vanilla
additional milk (whole milk worked well), as needed to thin batter out.

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and using a whisk, mix well.

Heat griddle until water just sizzles upon dropping on.

Scoop batter onto griddle in 1/4-1/3 size scoops.

Flip pancake when bubbles are rising in the middle.

Continue cooking on the other side until lightly golden. 

Makes about 30 mid-sized pancakes.

Food for Thought:
These would be great with blueberries or chocolate chips in them as well.   It is also easy to freeze the extra pancakes by separating each pancake with wax paper and placing them in a baggie.  Then, we just take one or two out for breakfast and either pop them in the toaster or microwave them for about 30 seconds.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup


1 lb. chicken breast
1 15 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small can chopped green chili peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 14.5 oz. can chicken broth
1-2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 10 oz. package frozen corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Optional Ingredients:
tortilla chips
sour cream
shredded cheese
If freezer cooking, place all ingredients except water in Ziploc baggie and freeze.  The chicken does not need to be cooked ahead of time. Then, following cooking instructions below.
Place all ingredients, including the 2 cups water not in freezer bag in a slow cooker.  Cook on low 6-8 hours or 3-4 hours on high.  Shred chicken and return it to soup.
Top with tortilla chips, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese.
Food for Thought:
This recipe is great as it is.  So delicious and the chicken stays very tender.  I tend to add more cumin, as it is one of my favorites!  This would also be good with some chopped zucchini or yellow squash added in for additional vegetables. 

Chocolate Mocha Truffle Cookies

Chocolate Mocha Truffle Cookies

1/4 c. butter, cubed
1/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp. instant coffee granules
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten lightly
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
2 Tbls. + 2 tsp. baking cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 c. toffee bits
1 ounce dark chocolate, for melting

Melt butter and chocolate chips in small pan on the stove over low heat.  Stir until smooth.
Stir in the coffee granules until dissolved and let cool for 5 minutes.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Add brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; add to the chocolate mixture and stir well.  Stir in the toffee bits.

Drop onto cookie sheet in tablespoon size drops.  (I found a melon baller works really well for this job.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Cool cookies 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack.

When completely cool, drizzle with dark chocolate.

Makes 15 cookies.

Our Growing Paynes

A journey about cooking, traveling, gardening, and crafting.

Pastor Dale Jenkins

Encouragement, Faith, and Hope for the Journey

Scissortail SILK | Becky Thompson

Encouragement for Today >>> Hope for Tomorrow

Clare Smith

Or, a way to answer the question, "What's for dinner?"

Eat the cookie!

before the cookie eats you...

Life Shared and Loved

A blog written by Krysta Kemp on all areas of life loved.

Or, a way to answer the question, "What's for dinner?"

Spiritual Table

One girl's quest to learn why food is a matter of faith.

oil-istas - The oil-istas Blog

Or, a way to answer the question, "What's for dinner?"

Bee Baby Blog

Real food, baby stuff and awesomeness

Sugar-Free Mom

Just another site

Keeper of the Home

Or, a way to answer the question, "What's for dinner?"

Proverbs and Pacifiers

Or, a way to answer the question, "What's for dinner?"

The Better Mom

Growing Better Together

Organizing Made Fun

Or, a way to answer the question, "What's for dinner?"

Simple Life Mom

Natural Beauty and Homemade Everything

I'm an Organizing Junkie

Or, a way to answer the question, "What's for dinner?"


Or, a way to answer the question, "What's for dinner?"