Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I blame the baby, but I've been eating a lot of cereal these days!  Special K, Corn Pops, Fruit Loops, Fiber One... I haven't eaten this much cereal since high school.

Of course, I'm concerned about calories, sugar and nutrition, but sometimes the only thing that feels good to my picky stomach is cereal, so I just give in and go for it.  I also figure that I'm not drinking any alcohol, I'm avoiding most fried food and I haven't had a taste for dessert or many other sweet things, so I'm giving in on the cereal craving.

Of course, eating a few boxes of cereal a week doesn't really encourage me to get to creative in the kitchen.  I need to work on that :)  If I'm not posting a new recipe, you can bet I'm at my kitchen table with a bowl of cereal and some 1% milk.

Anybody else ever dealt with a strange craving or temporary food obsession?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

Now that I have my appetite (mostly) back and I'm feeling up to doing some real cooking, I figured I'd make a real dinner.  Valentine's Day weekend, E left for work early Saturday morning and I had high hopes of having a chicken pot pie on the table for an early dinner.  We had a little snow and ice that weekend and I thought it would be the perfect stick-to-your-ribs meal.

Not surprisingly, I got exhausted after grocery shopping and laundry, so by the time he got home I was curled up in bed with the Cooking Channel on the bedroom tv.  Oh well, I tried.  I give myself permission to be lazy on weekends because I get up early and make it to work five days a week.  A pregnant woman deserves a break, right?

It turned out that chicken pot pie is a great collaborative meal.  E is trying to help more with meal preparation in anticipation of the baby's arrival (he already does his share, but cooking isn't his thing).  He washed and chopped the ingredients and I did the cooking.  We started at 3:00 and had dinner on the table by 5:00.  Not bad.

Chopped veggies... perfect job for a sous chef (or a nice husband)

Mixing it all together...

Thick and creamy... check the seasonings before putting it into the pie crust.

Somehow we ended up with enough filling for two pies, so we went ahead and made two.  Of course, that's enough food for about 10 people, so we gave the other pie to my grandmom.  I think she enjoyed it.  :)

I modified this recipe from one found on Short Stop, which isn't necessarily a food blog, but it is written by a woman who is a great home cook.  Of course, I changed some of the ingredients to suit our tastes, but the basic method is Sarah's.

I didn't make a homemade pie crust because I haven't mastered one yet.  Plus, I had tons of leftover frozen pie crusts from my Christmas baking, so I figured I'd clear out the freezer before learning how to make pie crust.  However, I do think that this recipe would be even better with a homemade crust.  It really makes a difference.

Chicken Pot Pie
adapted from Short Stop
yield 2 10-inch deep-dish pies (10 servings)

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 large Russet potato (a white baking potato), peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 cups potato)
1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chicken stock (plus more if, needed)
2 chicken boullion cubes (or you can use a teaspoon or so of concentrated chicken stock)
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
seasoned salt, to taste
top and bottom crust for two a 10-inch pies
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Melt three tablespoons butter in saucepan with olive oil. Add chicken and cook until done. Remove chicken from pan. Set aside.

3. Melt additional 3 TBS butter in pan. Add onions, carrots, and potatoes. Cook 10-12 minutes until onions are translucent and carrots and potatoes are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add flour and cook 1 minute until flour is absorbed. Add chicken broth and milk plus additional bouillon cubes/chicken stock concentrate. Cook until thick and creamy. Add additional chicken broth as needed to make creamy consistency. Add chicken, peas, and nutmeg.

5. Divide evenly between two 10-inch uncooked pie crusts. Top with additional pie crust, remove excess dough and flute edges. Cut out heart shapes from leftover pie dough and place in center of pie. Cut 3 small slits in pie crust to vent.

6. Combine 1 egg and 2 TBS water. Brush egg mixture on pie shell.

7. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Let the pie settle for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Photo Stream Update

I've been pretty quiet lately, but since I'm up early on this cold Saturday morning I'm going to share some photos that have been chilling on my computer since... Christmas.

In December I took Amtrak up to New York with my mom and aunt to see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.  It wasn't my first trip to NYC, but it was my first time seeing the Rockettes!  I loved it.

Of course we had to go around the corner and see the big Christmas tree and ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center... I've seen both before, but I love to go.  Plus, it reminds me of the TODAY Show.  I'm such a nerd.

Just like last year, E and I took about 100 photos to come up with our final image for our Christmas card (this isn't it, but this is typical of the chaos that ensues when you try to get two dogs to look at the camera).

We spent Christmas Eve enjoying a seafood feast at my mom's house...

And we unexpectedly enjoyed our final Christmas with my mom's beloved dog, Jonesie.  She passed away unexpectedly in January.  She was truly a member of our family and we miss her so much...

I didn't grow up with family pets, but my mom adopted Jonesie the same day we adopted Zelda.  All of our dogs are a huge part of our family and now we understand the pain of losing a pet.  She was such a sweet pup and she loved her mama more than anything.  I miss my "little sister".

We took some family photos outside on Christmas...

For Christmas 2012, this photo will have another family member... we're expecting our first baby in August!

To tell you I am excited is an understatement.  I'm feel excited, blessed, thrilled, anxious... all kinds of good stuff.  Of course, this may explain why I haven't been cooking much lately!  Food aversions and exhaustion are in full effect.  It's all worth it, though.  I'm thankful for the prayers from family and friends and we pray for our little one every single day.

And yes, I am going to continue blogging!

How's your weekend?  Anyone else have any big changes for 2012?
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