Cooking

“Homemade” Mini-Chicken Pot Pies

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This super easy version of Chicken Pot Pie is in between the real homemade thing and the frozen version.  It is yummy, simple and of course very satisfying!

  •  TOTAL TIME: 20 MIN Prep/40 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6-8 (cal 265 -198)

Ingredients

  • 1  Pie Shell (Pilsbury or the like)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked cubed Chicken
  • 1 cup of sliced or diced carrots
  • 1 bag of frozen Peas
  • 1 (10 oz) can Cream of Chicken Soup

Instructions

  1. If chicken is not cooked already, pan fry or poach and cut into cubes, cook frozen peas in microwave and cube or slice carrots. Meanwhile thaw out dough if frozen.
  2. Preheat oven to 400degrees F. Meanwhile divide dough into even 6 or 8 parts. In Muffin pan line each cup (6 or 8) with dough leaving enough from each part for some of top.
  3. Evenly distribute part chicken, peas and carrots into each dough lined muffin.
  4. With spoon pour and spread cream of chicken soup over each letting settle.
  5. Spread remainder of pie crust on top and where possible pinch/seal crusts close.  Be careful while baking if your pie crust did not seal that none of the soup boils over.
  6. Bake 25 minutes (original recipe said 40, but that was for 1 large pie not miniatures) or until crust is golden brown.

Nutrition Info

Recipe makes 6-8 mini pies (Nutrition Info approximate)

Calories 265-198, Fat 11g, Cholesterol 36 mg, Carbohydrate 26.7 g, Protein 15.2g

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Easy Healthy Oatmeal Banana Cookies

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  •  TOTAL TIME: 20 MIN Prep/40 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 18-22

Healthy and yummy Oatmeal, chocolate banana cookies. They turned out kind of bread like, not super chewy, but this may vary on how long you leave in stove and type of flour.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp allspice or pumpkin spice
  • 2 tbsps butter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (granulated)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cups oats (used 1 packet of banana flavored oats, rest regular)
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 2 tbsps mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray, or line with parchment paper.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and allspice/pumpkin spice.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together melted butter, applesauce, sugars, egg and vanilla blend well. Mix in mashed banana. Add flour mixture to liquid applesauce mixture. Mix very well then fold in oats.  At this point, you can decide if you’d like to mix in the chocolate chips or save them to sprinkle on op of each scoop of cookie dough. I made half with sprinkle on top then mixed in remainder of chips into second batch.
  4. Drop rounded Tablespoonfuls onto parchment on cookie sheet 2 inches apart, the batter should make about 18- 22 cookies.  Bake 10-12 minutes, or until set, your stove may only need 8 minutes. Remove from oven to wire rack to cool completely.

Nutrition Info

Recipe makes 18-22 cookies (Nutrition Info approximate)

Calories 150, Fat 3g, Cholesterol >5 mg, Carbohydrate 23 g, Protein 3g

Breakfast Egg, Turkey Bacon Pie Cup Recipe

securedownload2Breakfast Cups

  • TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 8

This was a super fast breakfast to make and could be put in the refrigerator or freezer for later. There are similar recipes from South Beach using no bacon or pie crust, and others using no pie crust but the bacon as the bowl.

Ingredients

  1. Olive Oil Cooking Spray (or butter, cooking spray etc)
  2. 4 med/large eggs
  3. .5 cup shredded cheese, used cheddar Mexican mix
  4. 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or trimmed thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  5. 8 slices of cooked turkey bacon
  6. Pie Crust (Pillsbury store bought)
  7. Could add vegetables – potato, chopped onion, pepper- green or red, chopped fresh or frozen (de-thawed and drained spinach), chives, green onion, tomato, different types of meat- sausage, chicken etc..
  1. If necessary thaw pie-crust/follow instructions on box. Pan-fry bacon, set aside to cool.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease/spray a muffin pan, divide pie crust into 8 pieces (16 for mini cups) and press crust gently into each creating a cup.
  3. In a mixing bowl add eggs and cheese and blend. If using more vegetables or other ingredients, may use less eggs, make more cups or use extra mixture for a scramble.
  4. Break 1 slice of bacon into pieces, or cut 1 slice and add to 1 cup; 1 slice per cup.
  5. Pour egg mixture over bacon into each cup filling about 3/4 of the way, almost to the top. Careful not to overfill.
  6. Bake 10 minutes, I actually baked them more like 12 minutes this time, but our stove is a little slow, most similar recipes call for 9 to 11 minutes.
  7. Serve warm with extra green onion, scallion, pico de gallo, sals or sour cream.

Nutrition Info

Recipe makes 8

Calories 201, Fat 13.7g, Cholesterol 114.8 mg, Carbohydrate 12.2g, Protein 7g

Truffles & Trifles Cooking School Orlando

What a blast we had last night learning to cook and then eating probably the best tasting meal I have had in a long time.  It was 5 star without a doubt and we all learned how to cook the food.

This class was held at: http://www.trufflesandtrifles.com/

The menu included:

Garlic Bread

Rosemary and Black Pepper Lamb Chops with Mint Chimichurri

Braised Short Ribs in Wine

Flank Steak filled with Prosciutto, Fontina and Basil with Red Wine Reduction

Western Burger a la Montana

Grilled Flank with a Fig Ginger Glaze

Filet of Beef with Gorgonzola Sauce

Gratin of Pumpkin, Leek and Ham

Garlic Mash Potatoes

Bread Pudding drizzled with Whiskey Sauce

Delicious!!!!

Good Sweet Potato Fries

Today I cooked some delicious sweet potato fries. They are a healthy baked version of the french fries. They have that sweetness of the sweet potato.
Total Time: 45 min
Prep 5 min
  • Yield: 3 to 5 servings
  • Level: Easy
Ingredient:
Olive Oil
1-5 Sweet Potatoes (depending on amount of servings desired)
Salt
Pepper
Desired seasoning: Can use any: Onion, paprika, cumin, up for experimentation
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a sheet tray with foil. Wash and cut sweet potatoes into 1/4″ strips. Toss sweet potatoes in olive oil and seasoning.  In single layer spread sweet potatoes onto baking sheet. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turn once or twice, bake about 40 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Per Serving: Calories: 273; Fat: 9.5g (Saturated Fat: 1g); Protein: 4g; Carbohydrates: 44g; Sugar: 9g; Fiber 7g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 1,670mg

 

 

Eat by the season, eat local, eat healthy

We all know that sometimes it is really hard to eat healthy and can be even harder to eat all your fruits and veggies in a day, and then eat them locally.  However, it can be done! And it feels so healthy! Of course, I won’t lie and say I don’t like McDonald’s french fries, Burger King burger or Dairy Queen Ice Cream. I also like going to the grocery store and sometimes you can only find what you are looking for there. However, we have been going to smaller stores and local markets lately to try and find alternatives to the over processed, over picked and aged produce.

There is an article that I found that gives advice on how to eat local. Why eat local? There are many perks and good sides to eating local- the food is fresher- most produce we get in the grocery store has already been picked for a week.  Also, by eating local you have control of choosing which farm you get your produce from and how they handle their farm (i.e. what pesticides if any they use), and you are giving a local farmer support which we all know can be a tough occupation.  In some sense big farms are necessary to feed the mass populations if you buy into that, but there is nothing like vegetables and fruit straight of the vine or local honey, or local farm made cheeses.  Many local farms also sell eggs and meat.

(The doggies at the Farmers Market)

Some farms sell to individuals on a daily basis, some have pick-your-own where you can go and hand pick what you would like, some farms are at farmers markets and others are community supported agriculture farms. Community Supported Agriculture farms are farms that offer a share of their crop for a season or yearly paid contract.  In exchange for a certain amount of money per week the CSA farms provide the share holder with some veggies and/or fruit, possibly herbs, eggs, meat and more varying by each farm.

(Above the doggies at the Farmers Market)

There are a few good websites recommended to provide this information:

Pickyourown.org   http://www.pickyourown.org/index.htm#states

This website provides information about growing your own food, and about preserving food.  It provides lists by state and by zip code of local pick-your-own farms and popular food stands and produce stores that are of course of the main stream.  This site has local food calendars. I love this site for finding place to go and pick berries in the spring and summer, its fun and inexpensive. The fruit is so fresh and afterwards you can use many recipes.

Local Harvest    http://www.localharvest.org/

LocalHarvest.org is another great website that provides information about doing things green and local. It has listings of local farms that you can get to know and buy produce from. The thing I like best about this site is its online store, with lots of teas, soaps, honeys, herbal cures, farming and growing supplies, cheeses and meats and much more on it.  While not everything you might buy from there would be local you know that it is coming from an independent farm where everything is made carefully with the freshest ingredients in mind. Some things on the store can only be bought locally and you can always get into hunting down the product you see and want from somewhere within state.

About.com’s Local Food Page     http://localfoods.about.com/

This site has lots of easy to understand info about grown local, many good recipes and full lists of food calendars.

The best advice I have heard so far about going green and going local is go slow, take it easy. Try 1 meal a week made from local produce, then later on try two or three, or a whole day at a time. Slowly increase your habit to make an easier more understanding transition.   There are some good movies about growing and shopping local, including “Ingredients” directed by Robert Bates.

We have started our own garden, which is a great resource. It is easy to grow many herbs in a window sill that gets enough sun light. We are growing many plants.  We have been using our basil for dishes and soups and our peppermint and sweet mint for teas and fruit salad.  We use our lavender and sage to scent the house.  They all smell wonderful and we cannot wait for the little plants to continue to grow! The plants have made the house smell wonderful. We have made friends with some of the local farmers at farmers markets and have bought some of our plants from them- including Thai and Chinese ginger, Lemongrass. Cannot wait to use them for recipes and smell them around the house. We are now growing several plants.

Cake- in minutes!- Dangerous!

This can be made in many ways- as a chocolate cake, a coffee cake, a sponge cake, or a cake/muffin type with fruit and more!

Very fun to try.

Dangerous 2 Minute Chocolate Cake
Very Easy to make this Dangerous Chocolate Cake will whip up a cake in a matter of minutes and is a great example of learning cooking measurements.  Ingredients are combined in to a microwave safe dish and cooked in microwave very quickly resulting in a dense chocolate cake that you can alter to your own taste.
Ingredients for
Dangerous 2 Minute Chocolate Cake
1 Microwave safe coffee mug or cups
 4 tablespoons all-purpose self-rising flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa (optional, for coffee cake add cinnamon instead or add chili powder as well and make Mayan/Aztec chocolate cake)
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
Small splash of vanilla extract
3 tablespoons chocolate chips or other topping (optional)
Directions
Add flour, sugar and baking cocoa (optional, for coffee cake add cinnamon instead) to mug and mix together. Add the egg and mix in thoroughly.
Mix in milk and oil. Mix well. No dry ingredients left and mixture is smooth.
Sprinkle topping of choice on top of cake mixture before cooking.
 Place in microwave and cook for 1 ½ to 3 minutes. Suggested 2 minutes.  If separating into smaller bowls cook for less time- 1 ½ minutes.
Allow mug to cool and tip over onto a plate.
Yumm!
Recipe Type: Cake
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 Minutes
Total Time: 7 Minutes
Yield: 1-3 Servings
Tips: Mix cake batter in bowl and separate into smaller microwave-safe bowls for more than one serving.
Add different cake contents such as peanut butter chips, candies, chocolate chips, coconut, give anything a try!