Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chickie Potpies

One thing we treat ourselves to during the cooler temperatures of fall is the chicken pot pie. This dish isn't the healthiest thing in the world, so I only make it once or twice between October and January.

I found this recipe in the AWESOME Bride and Groom First and Forever Cookbook by Mary Corpening Barber & Sara Corpening Whiteford my wonderful friend Allison got us for a wedding gift. I have made a many dishes from this book and they are all, without a doubt, some of my favorite recipes.

The ingredients are simple and the result is flavorful, comforting and something my husband raves about. Another great thing is the recipe makes 4 individual pot pies, perfect if you are cooking for two because you can eat 2 now and freeze 2 for later.

For the crust, you can use any recipe you like or store bought if you are in a pinch for time. I highly recommend the foolproof vodka pie crust recipe mention in the previous apple pie post. Let's get on with the recipe shall we?

Chicken Potpies
Adapted from Bride and Groom First and Forever by Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 small yukon gold potato, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsps. chopped fresh thyme
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 16 oz. jar favorite alfredo sauce, I used Classico
3 cups shredded purchased roast chicken, I use white meat only
1 heaping cup, frozen mixed peas and carrots, thawed
1 recipe for flaky piecrust for 9" double crust pie
1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350.
Heat oil over medium heat.
Add onion, potato, garlic, thyme and lightly season with salt and pepper.
Sautee for about 5-7 minutes until onion and potato are tender.
Add wine and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes more.
Sprinkle flour over top and stir until mixed well.
Add the chicken stock and stir until mixed well and slightly thickened.
Remove pan from heat.
Add chicken, peas and carrots and alfredo sauce.
Season as preferred.
Using 1 1/2 cup ramekins or other oven safe bowl.
Line inside of dishes with rolled pie crust.
Fill pie crust with filling.
Top with additional crust and flute edges.
Top with favorite cookie cutter, like letters. I used hearts.
Brush with beaten egg.
Bake 45 minutes.
Let sit 10-15 minutes before serving.

This cookbook is available at Crate and Barrel.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Apple of My Eye

There is no other season I love more than fall and this week temperatures truly dipped for the first time and I am ecstatic! I donned my favorite black tights, an earthy plum cardigan and coordinated patent plum pumps today in honor of the wonderful crisp air. Cute sassy clothes and cool crisp weather are not the only reasons for my love of fall. As a foodie, there is just something exciting about the foods that come with cooler temperatures. As much as I love fresh summery fruits, vine ripened tomatoes, and the amazing avocado...I have to admit my eyes sparkle at the thoughts of soups, stews, chili, cinnamon spiked pies, pumpkin, squash, upcoming holiday meals and more.

This past weekend we headed to Derrick's home town for an early high school reunion. Derrick's mom and I often cook together, but this time I came prepared to bake up a storm. I took with me granny smith apples, a small container of vodka and a container of cinnamon for an apple pie along with peppermint extract, an icing gun, cupcake liners and sprinkles for cupcakes. We had a great time, me baking and my family enjoying the rewards.

I have been dying to try the foolproof pie crust recipe made with vodka I found on Smitten Kitchen's site, but I pretty much winged the rest of the pie. It was the best apple pie I think I have made to date. Tart, not too sweet, filled with cinnamony goodness and just the right about of nutmeg. Swoon! I can't wait to make this again. How was the pie crust, you ask? Let me put it this way. I will never make another pie crust again. This is it for me. It's love.

Apple Pie Filling:
5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/2" wedges
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
2 Tbsp. Corn Starch dissolved in 1 tsp. water
2 heaping Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together and set aside

Fool Proof Pie Dough: Found on Smitten Kitchen from
Cooks Illustrated, November 2007

Makes enough for one 9-inch double-crust pie

2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into small bits
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water

1 egg slightly beaten

1. Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 350.
Roll out one disk of dough and place it into 9" pie pan.
Press firmly around edges to adhere to pan.
Fill pan with apple mixture arranging apples however you please.
Roll out second disk of dough.
Place over apples.
Seal and flute edges.
Trim off remaining dough.
Pierce vents.
Brush top crust with egg.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Cover with foil and bake for additional 20 minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sweet Award

My new friend, Lisa, from Jersey Girl Cooks just left me this sweet award on her blog. The "I'm a Chocoholic" Award.

Thank you, Jersey Girl! Her blog is full of yummy recipes and as always I am amazed how moms find time to do it all. I am not a mother yet, and I have hard finding the time. Please stop by Jersey Girl Cooks for a new fun foodie find.

Now it is my turn to bless other sweet bloggers with this sweet award. Here is my list of honorees:

1) Lorie from Rice and Beans and Other Fine Things is a wonderful, down to earth southern gal whose recipes are creative, comforting and SUPER tasty. She writes from her heart and gives great pointers for ease in the kitchen and being cost conscious. Her blog has quickly become one of my favorites.

2) Gigi Cakes is so very deserving of this award because she just embarked on a monthly cake challenge called "The Cake Slice". Stop by for more information. Gigi is sweet and talented very baker. She is always willing to share tips and valuable information.

3) Mara from Lick the Spatula is one of my good friends. We sort of entered into our food blogging lives around the same time. It's always good to have a real life buddy to bounce ideas off of and to fill in on the latest cool tool you find. She keeps herself busy being a corporate marketing genius by day and a master cupcakestress by night. Check out her amazing Almond Joy Cupcakes. Love you Mara!

4) 3 B's is a new blog I have found. She has some amazingly sweet recipes posted right now-blondies, snickerdoodle bars, smore bars...mmmmm. Check out 3 B's. Her blog is definitely sweet.

5) Emiline of Sugar Plum always has something mouth wateringly sweet and wonderful posted on her blog. Her adventures are a fun read too. You must stop by.