Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Improved Chicken Pot Pie

The Mission:
To flavor up the original Chicken Pot Pie recipe so it wasn't so bland. Since it's an easy dish to throw together, I wanted to have another "in a hurry" meal to add to my menu regime, but was disappointed with my first batch. Adding spices and cheese really flavored up the pie and made it into a dish worth making more often.

The Ingredients:
  • 3 chicken breasts - cubed
  • canola or olive oil
  • salt - to taste
  • pepper - to taste
  • paprika - to taste
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup (or so) milk
  • 2 (or more) cups frozen mixed veggies
  • 1/2 cup (or so) shredded cheese

For the crust:

  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • The Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350*F. In a large skillet, heat the oil and toss in the chicken and as much salt, pepper, and paprika as you want. Cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink. As the chicken browns, mix the two cans of soup, 1/2 cup of milk, frozen veggies and cheese together in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. (You can add more salt and pepper to the mix if you'd like). Stir in the cooked chicken and spread mixture evenly in the pan. In a medium bowl whisk together the Bisquick, eggs, and 1 cup of milk. Pour onto chicken mixture and smooth with a spatula so the mixture is covered. Bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes and serve hot. *If your "pie" is very full, you might want to place a cookie sheet under the baking dish to catch any drips that might occur when chicken mixture bubbles over.

The Results:

Much, much better! This pot pie had a lot of flavor and was definitely not bland. I was very pleased with how it turned out and my husband practically licked his plate clean - haha. Adding the cheese and the spices really perked up the flavor but didn't take away from the simplicity and ease of this comfort-food recipe.

The Reviews:

This was definitely a hit with my husband! I'm sure he'll be requesting this recipe a lot in the future - especially once the weather turns colder. It also has the added benefit of freezing quite nicely - which is why I make such a huge pan for the two of us. By the time he has seconds for dinner, and scoops a big serving into his lunch container I still have at least 2 servings to freeze for later.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hamburger Patties

The Mission:
To make hamburger patties. I realize this sounds ridiculously simple and that most people have done this before. But the truth is that I have never made them. My parents always bought pre-made patties, and for the most part I have too. If handmade patties were ever served at my house, it was because someone else made them. So, since the grocery store didn't seem to have good pre-made patties, I bought some ground beef and made my own :)

The Ingredients:
  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 6 tsp A-1 Steak Sauce
  • 6 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp parsley flakes
The Instructions:
With clean hands, thoroughly mix all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Shape meat mixture into equally sized patties. I made 12. Next time, I will make 8 bigger ones so they won't be so small after shrinking.

The Results:

Besides the fact that the patties shrunk up more that I would've liked, the hamburgers turned out great. The flavor was fantastic, and they were grilled to perfection. Obviously my husband's grilling skills have improved quite a bit over the years.... though he does need to work on his powers of recommendation when it comes to patty size. I was sure they were too small, but he assured me that they would be fine. Oh well. They were definitely edible!

The Reviews:
Everyone at the small dinner party thought they tasted great. There weren't any serious complaints about the size, though it did make for some funny jokes. All in all, I got quite a few compliments on the flavor of the patties, so I'm pretty proud of how they turned out :) with clean hands, thoroughly mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Shape meat into equally sized patties - I made 12. Grill, broil, whatever until hamburgers are done to your liking. My wonderful husband grilled them for me ;)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chocolate No Bake Cookies

The Mission:

Make the chocolate no bake cookies that my husband has been requesting. I checked out numerous recipe websites and this seems to be the classic recipe. I didn't bother hunting through my cookbooks for this one since I was in a hurry :)

The Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats

The Instructions:
In a 4 quart pot combine butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Add the oats. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto wax paper lined cookie sheets. Cool until set.

The Results:
I think they turned out great. Though I probably should have made a double batch.... I doubt these will last long at my house. I really hope that I can refrain from eating all of them until my husband gets home on Monday.... Wish me luck :)

The Reviews:

coming soon!

Meaty Hot Dog Chili

The Mission:

Get out of my blog-less slump by blogging something easy and spur of the moment..... Hot Dog Chili it is! I learned how to make this simple and simply delicious chili from my husband, who learned it from his father. It's easy. It's yummy. It's popular. And it only takes three - yes (3) three! - ingredients.

The Ingredients:
  • Ground Beef - 1 lb
  • Ketchup - start with 3/4 cup
  • Chili Powder - start with 3 Tbsps

The Instructions:

Brown the ground beef. Drain off the fatty grease. Stir in the ketchup - remember that it tastes best if it's Heinz ;). Stir in the Chili Powder. Let simmer for five minutes or so and then taste it. Add more ketchup or chili powder if needed. Repeat until you decide it tastes perfect. Then serve it with hotdogs, burgers, chips, or by itself on a bun - kinda like a sloppy joe ;)

The Results & The Reviews:

I think it turned out yummy as always. I like it best with all of the grease drained off. My husband would prefer some grease left on. But I'm cooking it, so I win. Honestly, most of our friends like it best when it's not drowning in fatty grease, so I figure I win all around :) I've been making this for years for various cookouts, barbecues, and random Wednesday night dinners and it's always gotten good reviews.