Its been a cold and blustry winter this past month and a half in Michigan. I feel like it is time to share one of my favortie winter meals, Chicken Pot Pie. While I do have a from scratch recipe, its more difficult to do as an after work meal so this version is a little more of a dump and cook recipe. This is also a good recipe for finishing off those half bags of frozen veggies.
To start off I melt a little butter and olive oil in a pan. Once melted I add in the chicken pieces.
I let it go until its browned nicely. I don’t add a whole lot of spices until the cream of chicken is added in. After the chicken has been browned I dump in the veggies.
Tonight I had a few half full bags of frozen corn, peas and carrots, and green beans. I add them to the pan with a little more butter and allow it to cook until tender. Once tender I add in the cream of chicken soup. For my recipe I use the cream of chicken with herbs that way I dont have to go rummaging for too many spices. My family prefers a thicker gravy like consistency so I use 2 cans of cream of chicken and about 1/2 a can of chicken broth.
After the soups have been added I reduce down to a simmer and start on the biscuits. I normally go for a refrigerated tube of whatever is on sale and sounds tasty. While the pan is simmering away I set up the biscuits to bake.
It’s important to not cook these all the way through, because the biscuits will be going back into the oven, but you still want them to look a little golden. Once the biscuits are ready, pour the pot pie mixture into a greased pyrex dish and top with the biscuits. I like to flip my biscuits upside down so that the bottom will get crispy.
Once everything is set, I pop the dish into a 400 degree preheated oven for 10 minutes. Sometimes its more, sometimes its less, it all depends on what level of crispiness you prefer your biscuits.
And here it is fresh out of the oven! After allowing it to cool and thicken up a little bit its ready to be eaten. I like to add a handful of cheese to my bowl before digging in!
My grandmother had made a request for some grape jam so I had to make some for her. I use a very basic recipe of grapes, sugar, pectin, salt, and for a little twist I add lime juice instead of lemon juice/zest.
I begin with getting a bunch of grapes and enlisting some help to cut, peel the skin off, and remove the seeds of every grape. Then put the grape goop in a bowl.
It’s quite the challenge because this took me, my boyfriend, and his son almost 3 hours to complete. So needless to say, after this we put the lid on the bowl of grape goop and called it a night. The goop can stay like this for about 24 hours in the fridge before it tries to freeze or alter the quality of the grapes.
When I was ready to begin making he jam I put all the ingredients except for the sugar into the pot. I let it all break down a little bit before I add in all the sugar (about 10 minutes) and mix everything together. I then usually set it to very low and leave it alone for 10-15 minutes. At this point I do a taste test and add whatever is necessary. Then allow it to simmer until the grapes are mostly dissolved and theres a syrup like consistency.
After the jam is at the perfect syrup consistency, I then strain of the solids and allow the jam to cool a little bit away from the heat. I have just enough time to get my jars together before it cools too much. If it cools too much a small spatula will be needed to transfer the jam into jars.
Once the jam is poured into the jars. I allow it to cool for 30 minutes before I put the lids on.I let the jars sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours to allow it to set perfectly. Then I like to make a bunch of toast and enjoy! ❤
Probably my last ripe tomato harvest for the season. I decided to go with a long term use of turning these tomatoes into a delicious tomato jam.
These guys are pretty big and at various stages or ripe. I somewhat followed a pintrest recipe because time and ingredients were an issue.
General basis of this recipe is chop up the tomatoes, throw the other ingredients into the pot and let it simmer. The original recipe said to simmer for 4-5 hours. I really dont have that kind of time to hover over a pot waiting for liquid to evaporate so I used a higher heat for a longer period of time before switching to a simmer.
This process help evaporate a lot of the liquid quickly in under 30 minutes and without compromising texture too much. In the end I was able to get it done in about 2.5 hours and boy is it tastey!
I started my week by picking a bunch of ripe heirloom tomatoes from my garden. Since there was a lot of them I decided to let them sit for a week to soften up so I could make homemade tomato sauce.
I started by cutting, trimming and peeling all the tomatoes. I then smooshed all the chunks through a wire mesh strainer to make all the seeds and white parts easier to remove from the tomatoes.
Added all my spices and let it simmer for a while. It really smelled wonderful while this was simmering. Even my dog Taco was interested.
The final result! A little thicker than normal but it looked great over the pasta for dinner. ❤