Monday, November 27, 2006

Christmas Comes Early in Columbia

Although this post isn't exactly about food, I'm hoping its contents will help with many dishes to come. My greenhouse!! Craig gave me my Christmas gift a bit early before I lost my fresh herbs and other plants to the cold. I LOVE IT!! (Special thanks to Craig, Scott & Paul Edward for building it)

(I helped a little)

We will eventually get shelving inside, but for now...

Green Bell Peppers

Fresh Herbs (basil, parsley, tarragon, thyme, oregano, sage, peppermint)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006



Pepperoni Bread & Spinach Bread

Italian bread flown in from Philadelphia (thanks PES!)

Thanksgiving Table

Homemade whole grain baguettes and buttermilk biscuits

Stuffed mushrooms (two varieties)

Plate with all the trimmings

We had three pies - Country Apple, Dutch Apple, & Pumpkin

Country Apple

Dutch Apple (shown with Ice Cream & Caramel)

Pumpkin Pie

Although right now I feel like I couldn't eat for a week, I'm sure I'll be the first one sneaking into the left overs tomorrow morning.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Operation Early Bird

I'm happy to say that my Thanksgiving shopping is just about done - yeah! (well, minus a few perishables) For me, fighting the folks in the supermarket is more daunting than actually cooking the meal! Sticking with the basics...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Homemade (sort of) Chicken Pot Pie

I'm never quite sure how many folks will be over on Sundays to watch football and have dinner, so I try and make something that can easily feed a crowd, but isn't too complicated. This week ... Homemade (sort of) Chicken Pot Pie.

Click Here for Printable Version

3 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
1 potato, skinned & diced
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 cups chicken gravy
2 Pie Crusts

Roast Chicken
- Preheat oven to 375° F
- Place the chicken on a sheet pan and rub with olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast for 40 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Once cool enough to handle, remove meat and discard skin. Shred or cut chicken into bite size pieces.

Prepare Vegetables
- Peel and dice potato, carrots, & celery.
- Blanch in salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Assemble Pie & Bake
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- Combine chicken, potatoes, carrots, & celery.
- Spray deep pie pan with non-stick spray and add lower crust.
- Spoon chicken mixture into crust-lined pan and top with gravy.

- Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in top crust.

- Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. (During last 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent crust from burning.)
- Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Butternut Squash Bisque

I was making this recipe up as I went along, so I don't have great measurements for it (sorry).

Click Here for Printable Version

1 butternut squash
1 potato
5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
sage leaves
1/2 red onion, chopped
chicken broth
salt, pepper, paprika, pepper seeds
optional: butter, sour cream

Preheat Oven to 400F.

On a sheetpan covered with foil...
Split the butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, drop the unpeeled garlic and sage into the hollowed squash halves, and then drizzle with olive oil.

On the same pan, place the potato (poked a few times with a fork) and put into the hot oven. After a half hour, add the chopped red onion, drizzled with olive oil, to the pan. Once everything is very soft (another 15-30 minutes), take the pan out of the oven to cool.

Into a large pasta pot (once everything is cool enough to handle), add the red onion, sage leaves, and flesh from the squash, potato, and garlic (discard all skins). Mash and add chicken broth to get desired consistency and then season with salt, pepper, red pepper seeds, and paprika. After that has cooked down for a few minutes, blend the chunky mixture into a smooth one. Add more broth, seasoning, and optional butter or sour cream.

Side Note...
I roasted the butternut squash seeds and they were very tasty! Here they are sprinkled with sea salt and paprika before going into the oven.