February 26, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie

Making pot pie from scratch is something I will be teaching all 3 of my children once they are old enough..... this is an important recipe to know how to make. I love the smell of the filling while it is cooking and then the combination of the filling and the crust baking in the oven is so comforting.....don't you think??

Don't be intimidated by the LONG directions....once you make this you will see that it really isn't as hard as the LONG list makes it seem!!

If you do not have the time to make the crust from scratch or just don't feel like you have mastered it (and trust me on some days I feel that way too) go right and use a store bought crust, I like the rolls in the refrigerated section. The texture will be a bit different then the crust recipe I provided you with but it will still do the trick.

 If you do like making crust from scratch and have the time then go right ahead or if you want a recipe to practice with use my recipe it is tried and true. Just remember crust is tricky no matter how many times you might have already made crust. If the humidity is too high or your hands are too warm are both reasons for crust sabotage so do not discouraged if your first crust is not magazine worthy....some of my first crusts were not presentable or tasty at all!!

This Silly Girl's Life

Chicken Pot Pie

1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 TBS cold butter
1/3 cup milk ( I use lactose free milk)

***this is enough for one crust, double if you want to top your pie with a crust***

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup chopped onions
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup milk ( I use lactose free milk)
3 cups cooked chicken, either shredded or cut into bite-size cubes
1 bag (16 oz.) frozen mixed veggies or peas & carrots

Lightly grease your baking dish (either deep dish pie pan or a 9x9 square pan work well)
Preheat oven to 425F (if baking right after assembling)


Start with a clean pan or stockpot. Heat pan with your butter until the butter is melted and starting to bubble. Once the butter is bubbling stir in flour, onions, salt and pepper. Cook again until bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in broth and milk. Return over heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until mixture has thickened. Add chicken and veggies; stir to combine and remove from heat.


Combine dry ingredients and cut in butter until it resembles small peas. Add milk all at once and stir just until moisten. Scoop mixture out onto a floured surface and knead about 8 times. The dough should be ready to roll.

**** There are 3 different ways to make and bake a chicken pot pie****
1. Filling with top crust only
2. Bottom crust only
3. Top and bottom crust
If you are baking and serving I suggest pre-baking your crust just for a few minutes, no more then 5 minutes, this will help prevent the bottom from being under baked or soggy when you add the filling. BUT before baking lightly brush the pie crust with butter.

If you are making a top crust I suggest just prepping the dough to the point of rolling it out, then store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to roll it out. When you roll out the dough make sure to roll it a bit larger then the bottom crust, to make sure you are able to seal the edges to the bottom crust.


1. Filling with top crust only: Pour filling into prepared baking pan and top with your rolled out crust. Cut a 2 slits into the top to allow some of the steam to release while baking. Bake 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

2. Bottom crust only: After pre-baking crust; pour filling into crust and bake for another 20 minutes.

3. Top and Bottom crust: After pre-baking crust; pour filling into crust, top with top crust. Seal the edges of the bottom crust together with the top crust by pinching the crust together and then pressing down with a fork. Cut 2 slits into the top to allow steam to release while baking. Baking 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

****This can freezes well too....let the filling cool completely before adding to your baking dish with either of the 3 crust options. Cover in plastic wrap first then add another layer of foil to prevent freezer burn. When you plan on baking and serving DO NOT thaw first, take it out of the freezer while you are preheating the oven to 425F. Unwrap and bake; time will then increase to about 1 hour, give or take depending on how long it was stored in the freezer. I recommend not freezing longer then 3 months though. You will know when the pie is ready once the filling is bubbly and/or the crust is golden brown****

February 25, 2013

Steak Sandwich

I have been working away at my list of recipes that I want to try out of one of my favorite cookbooks. I haven't been buying new cookbooks because I know I have plenty of them and really need to put them to use before I add more to my shelf BUT I did break my promise and buy the second publishing of Ree Drummond AKA The Pioneer Woman. I really enjoy her cookbooks, not only are they filled with family friendly recipes but also with great pictures and stories.

I have to admit I have never used cube steaks before and can't say that I have ever eaten them either but they were called for in this recipe.  Another important thing to mention about this recipe is that it is not really a "diet" friendly recipe.....lots of butter is used..... BUT I will say it was SO worth the calories!! I thought about trying it with less butter but I don't think it would be the same without it and will not cut the butter out of it the next time I make it again. My suggestion try it and decide on your own if those calories are worth it or not ;-)

Steak Sandwich (Marlboro Man Sandwich)

1 whole onion, cut in half and then sliced
2 sticks butter
2-3 lbs cubed steak
Seasoned Salt (such as Lawry's)
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
hot sauce, to taste
4 deli rolls


Slice cube steaks against the grain into 1 inch strips, set aside.

Saute onion in 1/4 stick of butter until soft. Remove the onion and add 2 TBS of butter to hot skillet. Start browning steak in a single layer (you should only need to flip the steak strips once so only about a minute on each side, don't over cook them). Now add 1/2 cup worcestershire sauce, 5-6 dashes of hot sauce and yet again 2 TBS butter as well as the onion; stir to combine. Cover and turn off the heat.

Heat a skillet. Cut your deli rolls in half and butter them. Place into skillet to brown.

Now it is time to assemble your sandwich....don't forget to add some of the pan juices over the steak!! Cut sandwich in half and enjoy!!

**Provolone tastes great on this but is totally optional**

Recipe adapted from "The Pioneer Woman Cooks"

February 22, 2013

Tamale Chicken Bake

Am I the only one that loves tamales but still hasn't figured out how to make them??? I am determined to figure out the best recipe for them and to make them to keep stocked in my freezer. Have you ever had tamales with eggs in the morning? A good friend of mine not only shared some of his AWESOME tamales but also share that suggestion with me.....thank you Andrew!

So since I haven't had the time to actually make tamales I tried my hands at a Tamale Bake since it didn't require corn husks and a steam pot. I need to remember the next time I make this to try eating it with my eggs for breakfast, I am pretty sure this would work too.
Top view of the yummy bake

Chicken Tamale Bake

1 cup shredded cheese ( cheddar or mexican blend)
1/3 cup milk ( I used lactose free milk)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 can of cream-style corn
1 (8.5 oz) box corn muffin mix
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles, drained
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast


Preheat oven 400F. Lightly grease 13x9 baking dish.

Don't ask me why I didn't use a fork....must have been distracted ;-)
Mix together 1/4 cup of cheese, milk, egg, cumin, cayenne, cream-style corn, muffin mix and diced green chiles. Spread into prepped baking dish and bake 20 minutes. 

Poke holes all over the baked corn cake layer. Now you can decide on the next step....either spread your enchilada sauce over the surface then cover with chicken & remaining cheese OR put the chicken on first and top with enchilada sauce & cheese <<< I choose this option because I didn't want my chicken to dry out.

After topping with the chicken, cheese and enchilada sauce return the bake back to the oven to warm the chicken and melt the cheese, 5-10 minutes should be enough. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

February 19, 2013

Almond Biscotti

I really am trying to loose a few extra and unneeded pounds but I just can't help myself with not baking some sweets every so often. Thankfully I can control my cravings and don't eat too many at once. I seem to always eat more if I don't have anything sweet in the house to snack on. Anyone else have this problem??

I was going through my list of "tried and love" looking for a recipe for something that I know will turn out super and that will hit the spot. Have you ever had biscotti? It isn't your typical cookie and they aren't usually too sweet BUT  if you love coffee as much as I do then you probably love biscotti too.

I first made this while I was in Culinary School and am SO glad I saved this recipe. Thank You Chef Rogers for giving us this recipe and getting me hooked on Almond Biscotti!!! I wish you all could meet Chef Rogers....he was such a fun Chef to work with, you either enjoyed his personality or you didn't and if you didn't he knew ;-)

Almond Biscotti

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped almonds


Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Batter is sticky & soft but it is supposed to be this way.
Cream butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Add in one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Slowly add flour and baking powder to the butter mixture, along with the salt. Stir in almonds. Then divide dough in half and spread into two 12-in x 3-in rectangles. Sprinkle with the reserved 1/4 cup sugar before baking.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. ***They are going to be a bit soft in the center still after this first step of baking***

Remove from oven and reduce oven heat to 300F. Lift the rectangles off of the cookie sheet but still on the parchment paper onto a cooling rack. Let cool for 15 minutes. After cooling, cut the rectangles 1/2 inch thick. Place the slices  cut side down onto an ungreased baking sheet. **you won't need parchment paper for this part even though mine are on it** Bake for 10 minutes; turn cookies over and bake for another 10 minutes.

Cool completely on cooling rack before storing in an airtight container.

February 14, 2013

Sausage & Cauliflower Pasta

I have a confession to make....I love steamed cauliflower!! I like to eat it hot with just a little bit of butter, salt & pepper, cauliflower mash and I really enjoy making this pasta dish. Another reason I really like cauliflower is because I don't have to share it with anyone else in my family.....well I haven't tried giving it to our youngest.....maybe next time I will try it out with him since he seems to like everything I make.

This dish is quick and easy to prepare and reheats well too. I like to use spicy ground turkey sausage but it tastes just as great if you use sweet italian sausage or just plain ground sausage.You can also use frozen cauliflower if you don't have fresh cauliflower on hand.

Sausage & Cauliflower Pasta

12 oz. spaghetti noodles
12 oz. ground sausage
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup parmesan cheese
salt & pepper, to taste


Cook pasta as directed. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining noodles. 

Meanwhile brown sausage. Do not drain grease. Push cooked sausage to one side of the pan and add garlic. Cook garlic for 2-3 minutes before adding the cauliflower. Cook until cauliflower is lightly browned. Add 1 cup of reserved pasta water; cover and reduce heat. Cook until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. Uncover, raise temp to high to evaporate most of the liquid. Add pasta and onion, drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Remove from heat and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

February 13, 2013

Homemade Taco Seasoning

I searched the internet high and low for the best homemade taco seasoning mixture AND guess what I have finally found one that my kids like. They didn't notice any difference in flavor and ate all their dinner without a complaint or question. I have to admit though I still haven't told them that I made the flavoring mixture homemade because I don't want them to all of the sudden find something they don't like about it after all. BUT for now I can honestly say no more pre-packaged taco seasoning with unneeded ingredients.  Next on my list.....buy a few mason jars so I have this on hand all the time!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 TBS chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano

(for heat add: 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes)

Combine all ingredients and mix well. I use 2 TBS of the mixture for 1 pound of ground turkey (beef). I DO NOT ADD ANY WATER but I also do not drain the turkey before adding the seasoning.

February 7, 2013

Old Fashioned Muffins

I had the desire to try out a new recipe that I stumbled upon by accident. Doughnuts who doesn't like doughnuts? Honestly I don't because they don't like me ;-) I don't know if its because they are fried or if it is something in them that doesn't sit right with me but I just steer clear of them. SO when I saw the description of these on another fellow bloggers website I thought "heck why not give them a try" maybe this way I can get the taste of eating doughnuts without having to deal with the consequences.

Old Fashioned Muffins

1/4 cup butter, room temp
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups flour
1 cup milk (I used lactose free milk)

Glaze (the best part)
3 TBS butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBS hot water


Preheat oven to 425F. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with nonstick spray.
 **I used muffin liners...it got a bit messy when it came to glazing time and I think next time I will try them without liners**

This picture does not justice to how fluffy the batter is!!

In a large bowl beat butter, oil, sugar and brown sugar until creamy and smooth. Beat in one egg at a time. Turn mixer on low speed and add baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and vanilla extract mix until just combined. Slowly add flour into mixture alternately with milk. Stir just until combined, DO NOT OVERMIX.

I forgot to smooth the tops

Spoon batter into cups, filling them (they rise but not crazy out of control). There is enough batter for exactly 12 filled muffin cups. Smooth batter before baking.
Bake 15-17 mins, rotate halfway through bake time.
Cool muffins 5 minutes in muffin pan before removing to cool. Cool 10 minutes before glazing.
Meanwhile while muffins are cooling prepare the glaze.

To make the glaze whisk glaze ingredients together until the mixture is smooth. 

Dip muffins into glaze, let the first dip set and then re-dip again.

Muffins taste great warm and will be keep at room temp for 1 day.....but I bet you won't even need to keep them that long!

****These could be frozen after cooling and then glazed once thawed****

February 1, 2013

Top 5

February 1st ALREADY?!!? What happened to January?? I was so busy with my last 2 pre-req classes that I completely lost track of time.

I have to say that I am pretty proud of how many different recipes I tried and shared with all my fans in what seemed like such a short period of time. Not only have marked a few "want to try" recipes off of my list but I have also added a few "keepers" as well. I have posted about 45 recipes since I started my blog.....I will make it over 100 before 2013 is over!!!

Here are a few of my recipes that you have made my Top 5 for 2012:

1. Sugar Cookie Squares
These are the perfect substitute if you want yummy sugar cookies but don't have the time to roll & cut out cookies or need a quick and easy cookie.

2. Avocado Ranch Dip with homemade chips
This was my first recipe I submitted to the Crazy Cooking Challenge blog hop. I haven't tried making homemade chips again since I did these but I do love the dip.

3. Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Cookie exchange!! Why do we only do these around Christmas time?? I think I am going to start a new trend and do a spring time cookie exchange!! Who's with me??

4. Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing
I am so glad that I made this stuffing! I might just have to roast a turkey before it gets too hot here in AZ again just so I can have a leftover turkey/stuffing sandwich :-)

5. Chili
Now I know this recipe wasn't posted in 2012 BUT it has had so views since I posted it that I HAVE to share it on this list. It is a family favorite of ours and such an easy go to recipe. Did I mention it is an easy crockpot recipe too?? Just brown up the turkey in your pan then throw all the remaining ingredients into your crockpot and cook it on low until it is completely heat through and all the flavors have been married together nicely.

Top 5 recipes!! A BIG HUGE thank you to all my viewers and followers :-) I hope I have been able to help you add a few new "keeper" recipes to your collection and I promise to keep the recipes and ideas coming!!