Wednesday, November 29, 2006


The temperature dropped today from the mid 60's to 36...which means that Brent is splitting some firewood for tonight...the perfect setting for decorating our new tree and our home for Christmas! We even have a slight hope that the weather forecast will come true and bring a little bit of snow tomorrow. We are thrilled!!!

I have a pot of soup simmering on the stove and I can't wait to enjoy it on this first really cold night! So, in honor of the about a recipe for good comfort food? This is my mom's chicken pot pie...and by far my favorite! She made it for me and a good friend the night after our husbands deployed to the middle east right before the war started. And I have made it so many times since...thankfully with Brent able to enjoy it too!

Chicken Pot Pie

3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1/3 cup butter
1 large can Veg-all
1/2 cup flour
1 cup half and half
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
2 pie crusts (I use Pillsbury)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Saute vegetables in butter, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, half and half, broth, salt, and pepper until slightly thickened. Stir in chicken.
2. Place pie crust in deep dish pie plate. Pour in chicken mixture. Cover with remaining pie crust and seal edge.
3. Bake for 30 minutes.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sour Cream Apple Pie

I found this delicious pie recipe on the Simply Recipes blog. Brent is a huge apple pie I am always game to try one for him! This is a little different than has a creamy filling (hence the sour cream) and has a streusel topping instead of a pie crust...I was a little worried about that, but I think I may actually prefer this one to the typical all-American apple pie! I made this pie twice in one's that good! (And by the way, I like to serve mine with vanilla ice cream, preferably Blue Bell!) And so, I am serving it for Thanksgiving tomorrow, along with a few other treats! (see previous post!)

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Tell me what you are thankful for this year...or what your favorite Thanksgiving food is!

Sour Cream Apple Pie

1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
3 cups peeled, sliced tart apples (about 1 1/4 pounds of slices)
1 9" unbaked pie shell, frozen or chilled in the freezer for at least 30 minutes

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Beat together sour cream, sugar, flour, salt, vanilla and egg (can beat by hand). Add apples, mixing carefully to coat well.

3. Put filling into a pie shell and bake at 400 degrees initially for 25 min.

4. Mix together all topping ingredients until the mixture resembes coarse crumbs.

5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Cinnamon Crumb Topping. Bake for 20 more minutes.

Let cool for an hour before serving. Serves 8.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Getting ready

I just finished putting groceries away after making my big shopping trip to get ready for Thanksgiving. Whew. Not too crowded...and they had everything I needed which I am thankful for! Brent's parents and grandparents arrive on Wednesday evening, so I have lots of cleaning and cooking to do in the next two days!

Here's the menu I have planned...I'd be happy to share recipes if anything interests you...and on Wednesday, I will share one of the dessert recipes...yummy!

Mom's Brown Bag Turkey with Stuffing
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Beans with cranberries, blue cheese, and walnuts
Cranberry Orange Sauce
Chocolate Pecan Pie
Sour Cream Apple Pie
Pumpkin Roll

Off to get some rest...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Last night

We got to see Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood in concert!

So much fun...we had a great time! I think my favorite thing about it (besides the great music, of course) was seeing Brad's paisley guitars...very cool! I don't play guitar but I might learn if I had such colorful guitars!!! And the funniest thing to see was little lights all over the place...all the cell phones people were using to snap pictures!

Off to go with a friend to a Christmas craft show and then to Piece of Picasso...a paint your own ceramics place!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Chocolate Chip Pecan Scones

This is one of my favorite recipes...perfect for breakfast, great for afternoon "tea"...delicious anytime! It's the easiest scone recipe I've made and by far my favorite scones...if I do say so myself! (The picture above has the scones on the plates!) The source of the recipe is The Joy of Cooking, a cookbook that I refer to over and over again...although I've changed the process a little bit. (They call this recipe Cream Scones, if you want to reference it in your own cookbook.)

Chocolate Chip Pecan Scones

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup heavy cream (regular whipping cream can do in a pinch, but heavy is best.)
1/3 cup each of miniature chocolate chips and chopped pecans (or substitute your favorite item, such as raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, etc.)
cinnamon sugar to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together. Add optional items, adjusting amount to suit your taste. Mix. Add cream. Mix until dry ingredients are moistened.
3. Gather dough into a ball and knead it gently against the bowl 5-10 time until all dough is together. Transfer to a lightly floured surface *** and pat dough into an 8-inch round about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into 8 or 12 wedges. Place scones 1/2 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. (I line mine with parchment paper.)
4. Brush tops of scones with additional heavy cream and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
5. Bake until golden, 12-15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.

*** To create more scones, at this point in the recipe, sometimes I cut the ball of dough in half, patting each into a round and cutting each round into 12 wedges, yielding 24 slightly smaller scones from each recipe. You can also use a cookie cutter to create shaped scones after pressing out the dough.

I hope you enjoy these...let me know what you think!!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cooking Time

I love to cook. I especially love to bake. But I really enjoy cooking...and I am notorious for trying out new recipes on dinner guests. Thankfully, the results are usually happy tummies!

I love collecting recipes...and I thought you might too, so I decided that Wednesdays will be recipe-share days! For today:

Chichen Enchilada Soup

1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup chicken base
3 cups diced yellow onions
1 can mild green chiles, diced
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups Masa Harina (corn flour)
4 quarts water
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1/2 pound Velveeta cheese (cubed)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 10 oz. can mild enchilada sauce
5 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed or pulled apart

1. In a large pot (I use my large stockpot), place oil, chicken base, onion, chiles, and spices. Saute until onions are soft and clear, about 5 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, combine Masa Harina with 1 quart water. Stir until all lumps dissolve. Add this to sauteed onions; bring to a boil. Once mixture starts to bubble, continue cooking 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add remaining 3 quarts water to pot.
3. Add tomatoes and enchilada sauce; let mixture return to boiling, stirring constantly.
4. Add cheeses to soup, stirring occasionally until cheese melts. Add chicken and heat through.

Serve hot and garnish with any or all of:
sour cream
corn tortillas, sliced thinly and baked until crisp at 400 degrees
green onions, chopped
diced roma tomatoes

This recipe makes A LOT of soup! Have containers for freezing available...we got three dinners and a couple lunches out of one pot!

Monday, November 06, 2006

These are a few

of my favorite things! (prompted by Kelli)
hydrangeas, especially from Mom's garden.
glowing candles
warm, crackling fires
curling up with a good book
the sprinkle of freckles across Hadleigh's nose and cheeks
autumn color
the Appalachian Mountains
unique coffee shops
the way Nathanael drops his chin to his chest whenever you tickle him
Hayley Westenra music
comfort food
new scrapbooking supplies
the way a child's hand holds mine
cool bookstores and old books
going "home" for Christmas
movie nights
shopping with my mom
a row of half-filled journals
date nights when we get to just catch up and talk
fabric stores
Riquewihr, France
comfy mattresses (we're in the market for a new one!)
talking to my sister
a dinner of bread, French cheeses, fruit, and white wine
the color blue
time spent with dear friends, like these

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