Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fix Me A Chicken* Pot Pie!

One of the very best things I did for myself before Mia made her entrance into the world was to fill our freezer with food. There were many, many items on my "Things To Do Before Baby Arrives" list that I did not get around to, like finish the baby blanket I started knitting six months ago or get Anna out of diapers. But with about two weeks until her due date, I began stockpiling freezer containers and doubling our favorite recipes. Chili, spaghetti sauce, beef and barley soup - it was such a huge relief those first few weeks to know that my family was going to be eating a healthy meal that didn't require much more than heating up.

The night before my water broke, I tried out a new recipe for chicken pot pie - mostly because it made two and I was excited to hoard even more food for my freezer. I also really, really love all things pie. Chicken pot pie was always on my list of favorites growing up, but for some reason the idea of baking one just seemed like it would be way too difficult. Even after mastering Beef & Cheddar Pie, I assumed chicken pot pie would just be more hassle than it was worth.

I was wrong. It's actually not that hard. And it's so, so good.

I should first admit, though, that this recipe calls for store-bought pie crust. Maybe someday I'll tackle my fear of pie crust, but for now I'm happy to buy it. You can definitely use homemade if you're super talented like that...just stop showing off, would ya?

This is comfort food at its finest, and will always remind me of the last meal I prepared before we became a family of four.

Chicken Pot Pie

What you need:

I apologize in advance for these pictures. They're terrible.

2 cups diced, peeled potatoes
1 3/4 cups sliced carrots
2/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup butter, cubed (the original recipe calls for a full cup, but it's still plenty rich!)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
4 cups cubed cooked chicken (from 3-4 chicken breasts)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
pastry for two double-crust pies

What you do:

1. Place potatoes and carrots in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large skillet, saute' onion in butter until tender. Stir in the flour, salt, thyme, and pepper until blended. Gradually stir in the broth and milk. Bring to a boil, then cook and stir for two minutes, or until thickened. It might start out kind of lumpy, but keep stirring! Add chicken, peas, corn, potatoes, and carrots. Remove from heat.

I know. Doesn't look that appealing. I promise, it gets better.

See? Told ya!

3. Line two pie plates with pastry. Fill with mixture. Top with remaining pastry and seal edges.

4. Bake one potpie at 425 for 35-40 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Cover and freeze remaining pot pie.

Ummmm. Mine got a little overcooked. But still delicious!

To use frozen pie: shield edges with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for 75-80 more minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Mike and I have been known to fight over the leftovers.

What's your favorite comfort food?
Are you as obsessed with freezing meals ahead of time as I am?

Will I ever finish that baby blanket?

Happy Wednesday!

*I realize that the original quote from "The Breakfast Club" is actually turkey pot pie, but it just didn't work. But on that thought, this would be a great recipe to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

So. Many. Things.

It's been awhile since I've shown my face around here.

Mostly because we've been busy just sort of living life.

There have been so many times I have thought to myself, "Oh, I should blog about this!" I used to write out posts in my head at night in bed, before I fell asleep. These days I'm pretty sure that the second I close my eyes I'm out cold. It's not that there hasn't been anything exciting to share, it's that I can't seem to find the time to get it all out.

I also sort of blame "Friday Night Lights". Have you seen this television show? Gah. Any free time I might now have is devoted to watching another episode of this awesomeness. So many people (ahem, Alexia, mom, Kristin, etc.) had told me how great this show was, and I even think that Mike and I started watching it a year or two ago. And then when Mia was born I found myself sitting on the couch a lot more and I was all caught up on my other shows, so I decided to give it another go. I'm not joking here, people. Probably my favorite show of all time. Although if you see me in the next couple of days, please ignore my crying and blubbering. Because I have one episode left. ONE. I've sort of been saving it, trying to find the perfect time to watch, because then it will be over and I will be so, so sad. And I will have much more time for productive things, like writing...

What Would Riggins Do?

So, really, not my fault that I haven't been around much.

In all honesty, though, part of my New Year's resolution was to get back to this space more. Because I enjoy it and because I love having this blog as sort of a scrapbook for my life. (The other part of my resolution was to make our bed everyday. Dream big, my friends.) I have some catch up to do - I want to write about Mia's first few months (spoiler alert: she sleeps!) and discuss the completely insane fact that Anna is now three (spoiler alert: she is equal parts tyrant and angel!). I want to do a better job of documenting our story, so that one day, far in the future, I can read back over everything and be reminded of how damn lucky I've been to live this life.

From Mia's newborn session with the extremely amazing Rachel Vanoven.
I can't even describe to you how much I love this picture.

As those Dillon Panthers would say: Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose.

Hope to see you back here soon.