Archive for November, 2010


Oh My Pot Pie

November 30, 2010

We love pot pie.  Especially chicken pot pie.

When I talked to my younger brother on Thanksgiving he told me that he would be more interested in the holiday if people didn’t serve turkey.  I agree.  I love the holiday and everything that goes with it except for turkey.  I’m actually not a fan of ham either.    Meeshie doesn’t like  turkey either.  

How can we both like chicken but not turkey?  I really can’t answer that.

But I do like pot pie and I made one with the leftover turkey.  I’ll be making turkey and dumplings with the leftovers too.  Oh and hot brown.  Love a good hot brown.

Pot pie is so good.  So simple.  Such a great comfort food.

Pot Pie

  • 2 Pie Crusts
  • 1 lb cooked Chicken or Turkey meat, cubed or shredded ( a mix of white and dark meat)
  • 1/4 C Butter
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 2-3 Celery stalks, diced
  • 1 C Frozen Peas
  • 1/4 C Flour
  • 2 C Chicken Broth
  • 1 C Half and Half
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Add the onion, carrots, and celery, saute until tender.  Stir in flour and cook for one minute.  Slowly add the broth.  Add salt and pepper, chicken or turkey, and peas.  Bring to a slow boil to thicken.  Pour in the half and half.  Taste the mixture to adjust seasoning. 

Center one of the pie crusts on a lightly greased 9″ pie plate.  Add the pot pie mixture evenly over crust.  Cover with the second pie crust, pinching the ends to seal and cut vents in the top of the crust.

Place on a preheated cookie sheet.  (This will insure that the bottom crust browns.)

Bake in a 425 degrees oven for 20 minutes.  Cover the edge of the pie with aluminum foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.

Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

I actually added some broccoli to this dish because it was leftover from Thanksgiving.  I’ve added mushrooms to pot pie before too.


So Much To Do

November 28, 2010

We set up our Christmas decorations yesterday.

The one thing I miss this year is the tree.  We always go and get it the day after Thanksgiving.  Not this year.  This year for Meeshie’s birthday she got a kitten.  Buzia.

Buzia gets into a lot of trouble.  As a result, we decided to hold off on a real tree this year.  I didn’t want to come home from work and discover my tree on its side, water everywhere and broken ornaments all around.  I have a beautiful star for the top of the tree that was my dad’s when he was a boy.  I don’t know what I would do if Buzia broke it.  When I was a girl, we always trimmed the tree on my dad’s birthday which is a week before Christmas.  When my dad passed away, my mom gave me the star.

Today I’m spending the whole day in the kitchen getting my Christmas cookies started.  I normally don’t start this early but I’m going to Wisconsin on Saturday.  My friend Angel moved and I’m going to visit.  I’m really excited.  I haven’t seen her since March. 

I’m hoping to get it all done, along with visiting Santa, finishing Christmas shopping, wrapping and visiting with friends.

I’ll be sharing the cookie list later.  I’m having issues with linking things to my posts.

Here’s hoping everyone’s holiday season is saner than mine.


Lettuce Chicken Wraps

November 26, 2010

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. 

I was supposed to be doing so many things today and instead I went to see Tangled with Meeshie.  I need to put away the Thanksgiving decorations and put up the Christmas ones.  But that’s not going to happen today.  Today I’m taking it easy. 

We have a ton of leftovers in the fridge that I may get to.  I’m still pretty full from yesterday.

I did make this wonderful dish for dinner the night before Thanksgiving.

Have you ever eaten at P F Changs?  Meeshie doesn’t like it.  I think it’s the atmosphere.  We love the lettuce wraps there and I’ve been trying to find a recipe so that I could make that dish at home.

I think I found it.  Meeshie told me this was one of the best dishes I’ve made and my husband has requested this in our weekly rotation.

It’s pretty easy to make.  It just looks daunting because there are so many ingredients and quite a few steps.  Once you’ve started the process, though it moves along very quickly.

It’s totally worth it in the end.  Trust me.

Lettuce Chicken Wraps

  • 8 Shiitake Mushrooms. minced (if you use the dried ones, cover them with boiling water and let stand for 30 minutes.  Drain, trim and mince.)
  • 1 T Hoisin sauce
  • 1 T Soy sauce
  • 1 T  plus 2 t Dry Sherry, divided
  • 2 T Oyster sauce
  • 2 T plus 2 t Water, divided
  • 1 t Oil (I used Olive because that’s what I had.  You can use Sesame)
  • 1 t Sugar
  • 3 t Cornstarch, divided
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1/3 C Vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 t fresh Ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Green Onion, diced
  • 1-8 oz can Water Chestnuts, drained and minced
  • 1 Head Bibb Lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed and drained
  • Dipping Sauce
  • 1/2 C Water
  • 1/4 C Sugar
  • 2 T Soy sauce
  • 2 T Cider Vinegar
  • 2 T Ketchup
  • 1 T Lemon juice
  • 1 t Yellow Mustard
  • 1/8 t Oil (again I used Olive Oil)

Prepare the mushrooms.  I used fresh shiitake but if you can’t find fresh, use the dried and prep them.  Combine the Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, 1 T Sherry, oyster sauce, 2 T water, oil, sugar and 2 t cornstarch in a bowl.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine 1 t cornstarch, 2 t Sherry, 2 t water, salt and pepper, and 1 t vegetable oil.  Place chicken in the bowl making sure to coat it thoroughly.  Let stand for 15 minutes.

While the chicken is marinating, prep the vegetables and the dipping sauce.

Heat the wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.  Stir-fry the chicken in 3 T vegetable oil for 3-4 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat 2 T of vegetable oil in the same pan and add the ginger, garlic, and onions.  Stir-fry for 1 minute.  Add the mushrooms and water chestnuts.  Stir-fry for 2 minutes.  Return the chicken to the pan and pour the reserved sauce made with the Hoisin sauce.  Simmer until thickened and heated through.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared lettuce leaves, rolling them up like a burrito.  Spoon the dipping sauce over the wraps.

You can also add chili paste to the sauce if you like things spicy.  My husband loves it with the chili paste.

This recipe easily serves 6 very hungry people.


Happy Thanksgiving

November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gobble Gobble.


Something Different

November 23, 2010

I don’t know how to pronounce this dish. 

I don’t know how to pronounce this but I love them.

I’m not sure how I came across this either.  I do know that I was intrigued when I saw it.

I’m Polish and I love cabbage.  Generally that is.  Unless it’s golumpki.  I’ve never been a fan of cabbage rolls.

These are nothing like golumpki.

We dip them in mustard and horseradish but you can eat them plain.


  • Filling
  • 1/4 C Onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb Ground Beef
  • 2 C Cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 T Ground Pepper
  • 1 T Celery Seed
  • 1/4 t Salt
  • 1 T Worcestershire
  • Sliced Cheese
  • Dough
  • 1/4 C Sugar
  • 1 package rapid rise yeast
  • 1/2 C Warm Water (110 degrees)
  • 1/2 C Water
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1 T Celery Seed
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 4 C Flour
  • 1 Egg white, for egg wash (optional)

To prepare filling, cook the onion and beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Add cabbage; cook until cabbage wilts, stirring constantly. Stir in salt, pepper, worcestershire and celery seed. Turn off heat and set aside.

To prepare dough, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in milk, salt, and eggs. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour and the celery seed to yeast mixture, and stir to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.

Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 10 1/2 x 7-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut each rectangle into 6 (3 1/2-inch) squares. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep it from drying out), place deli cheese on dough and spoon about 1/4 cup filling into center of each portion, and bring 2 opposite corners to center, pinching points to seal. Bring remaining 2 corners to center, pinching points to seal. Pinch 4 edges together to seal. Place the bierocks, seam sides down, on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Uncover bierocks. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until bierocks are browned on the bottom and sound hollow when tapped. Remove bierocks from pan, and cool on wire racks.

**Optional: for a bakery-type finish, beat 1 egg white and paint egg wash over dough prior to baking. The bread turns a lovely golden brown.

These are easy to freeze. Once they are done baking, cool completely and then wrap individually in foil. Place wrapped bierocks in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator. Place foil-wrapped bierocks in a preheated 350° oven for 15 minutes.

This recipe makes a dozen bierocks.


My Husband’s Favorite Childhood Dish

November 21, 2010

Last weekend we had my father in law over to celebrate his birthday.

My husband made this dish.  My husband doesn’t cook very often, but he loves this dish and when he has a taste for it he makes it.

It’s chicken in a paprika gravy.  His mother made it for him and I think she had it when she was a girl.  It’s a Czech dish.

I’ve grown to love it too.  It’s a pretty easy dish that can be made with your favorite part of the chicken.  My husband says that his mom made it with chicken legs, but he makes it with boneless skinless chicken breasts.  He does that because he knows I’m not a fan of dark meat.

Chicken Paprikash

  • 6-8 Chicken Legs or 4 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, halved
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced
  • 1/4 C Butter
  • 2 T Paprika
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1/2 t Pepper
  • 1 1/2 C Water or Chicken Broth
  • 1 C Sour Cream

In a large frying pan, saute onion in butter until tender.  Add the paprika, salt and pepper.  Add the chicken, browning for about 10 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pan and add the water (or broth-the original recipe calls for water but I added the broth) slowly to deglaze.  Add the chicken back to the pan and cook covered for an hour.  Remove the chicken again and add the sour cream.  If you would prefer to have a thicker gravy you can add 1 T Flour to a small amount of water and slowly stir it into the gravy.  Serve the chicken and gravy with your favorite side. 

We serve it with potato dumplings but this can be paired with mashed potatoes too.


Rice Krispie Treats With A Twist

November 19, 2010

Do you remember Boo Berry Cereal?

They still make it, if you do.  I bought some for Meeshie because she asked me to.  someone got her hooked on Lucky Charms and this cereal is similar.  The problem is she didn’t like it.  Probably because it doesn’t really taste like blueberries.

I, of course, didn’t want to waste the cereal and figured there had to be a way to make something with it.

There is.  Rice krispie treats.

I love rice krispie treats.  I’ve made them with peanut butter.  I’ve made them with white chocolate.  I’ve made them shaped like a wreath with a licorice bow at Christmas.

This time I added almond extract.

So good.

Boo Berry Treats

  • 1/4 C Butter
  • 1-10 oz bag of large Marshmallows or 3 C mini Marshmallows
  • 1 t Almond extract
  • 6 C Cereal

Heat butter in pan until melted on low heat.  Add marshmallows and melt.  Remove from heat and add almond extract.  Stir well and add cereal.  Place in 9×13 greased pan.  Spread with hands.  Let set and cut into squares.

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