Friday, February 6, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie - Free Recipe Card Download

Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

This recipe is a compilation of a number of recipes I found online for Chicken Pot Pie, plus one I had in my head. All of them have in common that they are "kind of" homemade... although I find that the more I cook homemade, the more I like it! I generally make my pot pie with just a top crust which saves on a lot of calories, and saves the hassle of making sure the bottom crust doesn't get soggy! The version in my head uses a can of cream soup as the gravy, but now that I've had a homemade gravy version, it's so much more tasty!

  • 2-3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 lb bag frozen mixed veggies (carrots, green beans, peas & lima beans)
  • 1 cup diced potatoes
  • 4 Tbsp. Butter, divided in half
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped celery
  • 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic (optional)
  • 1 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1 9-inch refrigerated pie crust
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Defrost vegetables and drain if needed. In a large bowl, combine chicken and vegetables and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, place the potatoes in water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover an simmer for 8-10 minutes until potatoes are tender. Drain, then add to chicken and vegetables.
  • Dry the pan, then over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp of butter and add the garlic, onion and celery. Cook until nicely tender and onions are browned. Add the remaining butter and cook until it melts, then add flour, salt and pepper. Slowly mix in the chicken broth and milk, and stir frequently at a simmer until the mixture thickens. Check the taste to determine if you want to add additional seasoning.
  • Pour the gravy mixture over the chicken and vegetables and stir until all is mixed together. Pour mixture into 9-inch pie plate and cover with crust. Pinch the crust around the edges, and poke several holes in it to allow pie to vent. 
  • Bake for 30-45 minutes until crust is browned, and mixture is bubbling. If edges of pie are brown before pie is ready, cover the edges with foil. Remove and let cook 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • A glass pie plate makes it easy to see if the pie is bubbling.
  • Pie can be made ahead and frozen. Thaw overnight in refrigerator before baking and cooking time may need to be extended to 1 hour - 75 minutes. (If cooking from refrigerator, a metal pan is recommended.
  • Save this file to your computer, print at home, or upload to your favorite photo printing service to print as a 4x6.

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Month of Letters Challenge

I joined a challenge for February to write a letter each day for a month. I decided to write my "letters" on postcards, making my notes short and sweet with the bonus of a pretty picture on the card. Also, I have a HUGE stash of postcards thanks to my PostCrossing habit (more on that in another post maybe)!

I've decided to write postcards in the evening, so I actually wrote my postcard for February 3rd tonight on the 2nd, so then it's ready to go out in the mail first thing tomorrow. So far, it has actually been so fun that I must restrain myself from writing more than one note per day. However, I don't want to burn out on the writing thing, so I will resist. :)

I have an album on my Facebook page where I'm posting photos of each postcard. Click this link to see the album: Rebecca's Month of Letters Challenge on Facebook

Friday, January 23, 2015

Project "Read more in 2015"

At the end of December, I received an email from Goodreads congratulating me on reading 14 books in 2014, and all I could think of was, "That's IT?!???" I consider myself a READER and that just seems like a really small list, and I definitely want to start reading more.

First of all, I had to figure out why I wasn't reading as much, and I have to say - true confessions - that one of the culprits of stealing my time is playing games on my phone. I'm embarrassed to admit that! So to make more time for reading, I deleted nearly all the games off my phone, keeping just two that I play with others, so they aren't huge suckers of my time.

With that distraction eliminated, and a decision to actively spend more of my free time reading, I also set a goal for reading this year: at least 2 books per month, or 24 books this year. I also plan to alternate between fiction and nonfiction, so I get a good mix of titles read.

The alternative name for this reading project is "Project clean off the nightstand" because that is the place I tend to collect books that I want to read or intend to read. My nightstand isn't very big, but it has two lower shelves, and it is literally fully packed with books to read. Alternate project name number two is "Project finish all the books I've started" - my Goodreads "currently reading" list includes 8 books, and I'm actually only currently reading 2 of them!

This morning, I reorganized the piles on the top of the nightstand, and stacked the books in order that I plan to read them. Here's what's on my nightstand:

I'm currently reading Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson, Ph.D., which was a gift from my cousin Ashley for Christmas. I just started it, so no opinions to report yet. :)

The next two books are the selections for my twice-annual girls book weekend. We had actually planned to read these last fall, and then our discussion weekend was postponed to this spring, so I've had plenty of time to postpone putting these on the top of the list, but the time is now! The two titles for book weekend are Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis and Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Next is a classic; I became interested in Hemingway after reading Paula McLain's novel The Paris Wife last year. A Moveable Feast is Hemingway's own writing about his wife Hadley.

Following that: Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road? by Brian D. McLaren - one of last year's book weekend suggestions that I started but didn't finish.

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Our Great Big American God by Matthew Paul Turner

The non-pictured book I will probably also finish soon, as it's already in-progress, is Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequest. I saw the play last year in Pasadena, and it's an easy read, I just set it aside and sort of forgot about it!

I'm also currently listening to the audiobook of Insurgent by Veronica Roth (#2 in the Divergent series.) I'm using audiobooks to bribe myself to exercise, and only listening when I go for a walk. I'm already 25% of the way through it, and find myself wanting to take longer and longer walks so I can keep listening.

I'd say Project "Read More" is off to a good start!

(Want to share your book recommendations and see what else is on my "want to read" list? Friend me on Goodreads!