Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Turkey Pot Pie - Leftovers 2.0

Our leftovers from Thanksgiving are finally dwindling down I'm happy to say.  Some things we just can't get through, so I have frozen a few items for later.  My husband says he cannot eat one more turkey sandwich for lunch, and I can't really blame him.  I have eaten so many carbs this past week, I swear I'm going to split my jeans at some point.  To add to the fun, I have an insatiable sweet tooth that is about to put me over the edge!

At any rate, because I haven't had yet enough carbs, I made this pot pie with puff pastry, don't you know! I love a good pot pie.  I have fond memories of eating them when I was little.  That small frozen foil bowl of goodness was always a treat, coming fresh out of the oven.  This was the perfect leftover solution for some of our turkey, chicken broth, heavy cream and veggies we had on hand from last week.  As I have reiterated in the past, I am no pastry chef, so it may not be the prettiest pot pie, but it was sooo comforting and good.  Enjoy!

Pot Pie
Adapted from Pioneer Woman

4 Tbl butter
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
3 cups cooked, chicken or turkey, shredded
1/4 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth, plus more if needed
salt and pepper, to taste
chopped fresh thyme to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 sheet puff pastry (thaw according to package directions)
1 whole egg
2 Tbl water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat, then add the onion, carrots and celery.  Stir them around until the onions start to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the chicken or turkey and then sprinkle the flour over the top and stir until it's all combined with the meat and vegetables.  Cook for 1 minute then pour in the chicken broth and stir around to thicken.  Once it starts to thicken, add the sale, pepper and thyme.

Add the heavy cream, then stir the mixture and let it bubble up and thicken, about 3 minutes.  If overly thick, add a little chicken broth.  Turn off the heat.

Pour the filling into a 2 quart baking dish.  Roll out the puff pastry and cut into 1 inch strips. Overlap the strips, making a basket weave design over the filling.

Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of water and brush it over each strip of puff pastry.  (You will have some egg wash left over).

Place the baking dish on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until puff pastry starts to puff up and turn golden brown.

One Year Ago: Wassail
Two Years Ago: Apple Pie Martini
Three Years Ago: Rub With Love

Monday, November 28, 2016

National French Toast Day - Double French Toast

This fall we had an opportunity to finally visit the famous historical Georgetown, Colorado. Such a fun, charming and sweet town to visit.  The weather was perfect for a stroll down "Main Street" and we enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Georgetown Loop train ride.

Main Street, Georgetown, Colorado

I'm always a sucker for the souvenir photo opportunity!

We took in the evening's diner car option and had the best time literally takes you back "into the day".  Charming music, lighting and upholstery.

The views from the train were spectacular and me being not a fan of heights, it took a lot for me to look down, but it was so well worth it.

One of our favorite stops on Main Street was Mountain Girl Bakery.  Mother and daughter owned and the most amazing homemade bakery delicacies I have ever experienced.

We purchased a couple loaves of their cinnamon swirl!!  We decided to make French Toast with it, because you really can't have enough cinnamon and sugar on a Saturday morning to start your weekend!

Double French Toast
Adapted from Trisha Yearwood

4 large eggs
1/2 cup vanilla creamer
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 to 8 thick cut slices cinnamon swirl loaf bread
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 to 8 Tbl butter, for pan frying
Maple syrup, for serving

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, creamer and vanilla until fully combined,.  Pour the mixture on a large plate with edges, such as a pie plate or baking dish.  Dip the bread slices into the mixture, being sure to coat both sides evenly.  In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and pan fry two slices of battered bread at a time until gold brown, about 2 minutes per side.  When the second side is golden brown, generously sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture onto each piece and flip again.  Let the sugar caramelize for 30 seconds to 1 minute; repeat process on the other side.

Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate; repeat process with remaining butter, bread, and cinnamon sugar.  Serve with butter and warmed syrup.

One Year Ago: Wassail
Two Years Ago: Apple Pie Martini
Three Years Ago: Rub With Love

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Turkey Panini - Leftovers 1.0

Let the leftovers begin!!  It's now time to get creative with all our leftovers (since there were only 4 of us), you can only imagine how much food we have to plow through.

We are big panini fans in our house, panini grill maker is always on the ready and we make them all the time.  My daughter made her and I cheese paninis the other day while we were putting up the Christmas lights.  She was also on Pinterest and told me she found a panini with mashed potatoes and turkey...I think I may have gone to Heaven!

I searched around and found an Emeril Lagasse version that I tweaked and added mashed potatoes to (I'm sure he would approve), I know I did!

Roast Turkey Panini with Pesto
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

1/4 cup cup prepared basil pesto
8 slices ciabatta bread or other rustic Italian white bread, thinly sliced
8 ounces thinly sliced roast turkey breast
1 roasted red bell pepper, stemmed, skin and seeds removed, cut into thin strips
6 ounces Fontina or Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced, to cover the bread slices
1/2 cup prepared mashed potatoes
1 Tbl olive oil

Arrange the slices of bread on a flat work surface and , using a small spoon, divide the pesto evenly among 1 side of each of the bread slices.  Do the same with the prepared mashed potatoes on the other bread slice.  Divide the turkey, roasted pepper strips and fontina (or gruyere) cheese equally among 4 of the bread slices.  Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread, pesto sides down, to form 4 sandwiches.

Brush the outside of each sandwich lightly with some of the olive oil.  Heat a large skillet, griddle or grill pan over medium-high heat.  When the skillet is hot, add the sandwiches and cook until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted, pressing occasionally with a large metal spatula, about 4 minutes per side.  Serve immediately.

One Year Ago: Wassail
Two Years Ago: Apple Pie Martini
Three Years Ago: Juicy Apple Popovers

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving (and thankful for) No Boil Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and hope you are having a blessed and relaxed day full of wonderful food, conversations and memories.

The day where a week of guarding your $300 worth of groceries in the refrigerator, pantry and freezer and fending off your children from raiding everything before Thanksgiving, has finally come to an end.

We had the four of us this year.  It always amazes me though, it doesn't matter if I am cooking for 4 or 40, it's always the same amount of food, prep and cooking time.  I just can't bring myself to half or quarter the recipes.  It just wouldn't be the same without all the giant platters of food all over our family style table.

One thing I did try differently this year to keep on schedule was a new method of "no boil" mashed potatoes that cook in your slow cooker all day long.  What a difference!  This new method has changed my world!!

No Boil Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
Adapted from

5 pounds (mashing) potatoes, i.e. Yukon
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbl fresh parsley
2 Tbl cream cheese (optional)
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
salt & pepper to taste

Peel potatoes and cut into chunks.

Place potatoes, broth, garlic powder and onion powder into the slow cooker.

Cook on high 3-4 hours (or low for 6-7 hours).

Using a masher, mash potatoes until smooth.  Stir in butter, sour cream, parsely and cream cheese, if using.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*I added in a little more butter, sour cream, cream cheese and heavy cream for our tastes....who am I kidding??...I added in A LOT of those ingredients!  I also used my electric hand mixer for whipping it all together.

One Year Ago: Wassail
Two Years Ago: Apple Pie Martini
Three Years Ago:  Cranberry Bliss Bars

Other goodies we enjoyed this year....

Seven Generation Dressing

Zens Veggie Platter with Cheese Sauce

Friday, November 18, 2016

Pumpkin Pie Crunch

We are in the final week before our Thanksgiving feast begins.  Well in all honesty ours already began!  I have been in pumpkin overload and making everything under the sun, since all my school events are now over for November.

I have made this Pumpkin Pie Crunch once already and cannot stay out of the sheet pan.  Yes, it really is that good.  I have convinced myself that it is completely suitable for a breakfast pastry as well. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Crunch
Courtesy of

1 can (15.5 ounce) packed pumpkin
1 can (12 ounce) evaporated milk
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbl pumpkin pie spice
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 package yellow cake mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9x13 pan and set aside.

In a bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Pour into the prepared pan.  Gently sprinkle the cake mix powder over the pumpkin mixture, and top with pecans.  Drizzle melted butter over the cake mix and pecans layer.

Bake 25 minutes uncovered.  cover with foil and bake and additional 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and uncover.  (be careful, the steam will be very hot).  Cool completely and cut into squares.

One Year Ago: Bourbon Glazed Salmon
Two Years Ago: Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins
Three Years Ago: Churchill Downs Signature Barbecue Shrimp

Clearly, someone in our family does not like the crusty outer pieces.
(Exhibit A, below)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Surprise Quiche, Silent Auctions and Sad Refrigerator

As I opened my blog this morning, I realized that it has been over two weeks since my last posting, which makes perfect sense as to why my sad refrigerator looks the way that it does inside.  I cannot believe that November is half way over and it just hit me two days ago that Thanksgiving is next week!  How did that happen?  Turkeys, pumpkin pie and stuffing have been the very last thing on my mind well as grocery shopping (obviously).

Well, I can tell you how that happened..the past few months have been crazy busy with a fundraising event that I have been involved in for the past few years..."Dancing With The Silver Creek Stars". It's a silent auction, dinner and dance competition event we do to raise funds for our school's activities and teams.

It takes every bit of 4-6 months of planning for each season's event but it is so well worth the time, sacrifices and efforts.  Always an incredibly fun evening and full of energy!

This year we had 125 attendees for dinner and were able to bring in 44 silent auction baskets donated for our cause!  I had so many cellophane wrapped baskets and gifts in my living room and dining room, it looked like a bridal shower!

The Sunday after our event, I was a couch potato the entire afternoon...I turned on one of my favorite movies, "Julie and Julia".  It made me want to cook and eat all day long and it hit me that I had not really cooked in weeks.  Yes, our family ate and no one has been starving, but I mean really cook!  

So, after looking through my sad refrigerator I was able to scout out 4 mushrooms, 1 green onion stalk, 6 pieces of leftover deli ham, 1/4 bag of shredded cheese, 6 eggs, 1/2 a bottle of heavy whipping cream, and 4 pieces of cooked bacon (from I don't remember when).  I then looked through the freezer for any treasures...frozen pie crust.  This only meant one thing...Quiche!

Now, I don't know if I was just starving after watching the movie, suffering from exhaustion after our event or craving to get back in the kitchen, but I swear...this was one of the best quiches I have ever had!

Surprise Quiche

1 refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
1 cup heavy whipping cream
5 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup chopped ham
1 cup chopped mushrooms
6 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tbl chopped onion
1/4 ts. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place pie crust in a 9-inch glass pie plate as directed on box for One-Crust Filled Pie.

In a medium bowl, mix heavy cream, eggs, salt and pepper; set aside.  Layer ham, mushrooms, bacon, cheeses and onion in crust-lined plate.  Pour egg mixture over top.

Bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.

In the words of Julia Childs..."Bon Appetit"!

One Year Ago: Cioppino
Three Years Ago: Pear Tart