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Chicken Pot Pie


Here is a recipe we enjoy at our house often during cooler weather. Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cube chicken bouillon
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
2 medium potatoes, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1 double pie pastry crust
1 egg and 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large saucepan, add first six ingredients. Cook vegetables until tender. In small bowl, mix flour and water to make a paste. Gradually stir into broth to thicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper according to your taste. Divide pie pastry in half. Spread bottom pastry to fit the bottom of the greased 9x11" baking pan and up the sides. Pour chicken mixture over the bottom crust, then add the top pastry spreading to the sides. Poke 6-9 steam holes with your knife to allow sauce to breathe. Whisk egg and water to make egg wash; spread over pastry. Sprinkle crust with salt and pepper. Bake on bottom rack for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Allow to set for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6. Yum!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Carole Brown's Tuna Salad Mix


Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons? Learn more about Carole HERE.

Carole's Latest Book Release: Toby's Troubles 


Everyone loves Toby Gibson. A co-owner of Undiscovered Treasures, a unique shop of antiques, collectibles, and junk, Toby is friendly, generous to a fault, the director of the local plays in Appleton and supports his church's youth functions. But the minute his sister, Caroline and her new husband, take off for their honeymoon, a “ghost” begins to haunt the shop—or maybe it's just an intruder. If so, Toby has no idea for what the thing is looking. To add to his troubles, he suspects Amy, not only is bidding for the property he's wanted forever but is in love with him. And he's not interested.

Amy Sanderson who owns the only flower shop in Appleton—Bloomin' Life—is drawn into capturing Toby's “ghost” when her own business is damaged by a destructive intruder. Having loved Toby since a teenager, she's more than willing to join forces with him. But she has no interest in being his best friend or a sister to him. And if she has to resort to schemes of outbidding him at his frequent auction attendances to get his attention, then so be it. She can be just as stubborn as the man who's determined to ignore her love.

In between the break-ins, destruction of property, thefts and personal competitions against each other, Amy and Toby work together to find the thief who seems so determined to find a valuable item, he'll stop at nothing. Buy the book HERE.


Carole's Tuna Salad Mix

A delicious Tuna Salad from The Coffee Shop in Toby's Troubles that has a light kicky tartness (due to the dip and lemon juice), but is utterly delicious. I like to encourage those who try this recipe to experiment with the ingredients. Start light with some of the ingredients, then add more to satisfy your taste. Or switch an item with a different, special touch you crave.  Be inventive.

Tuna Salad Mix:
Fresh tuna, chopped (or 1 can – 5 oz. – chunk Tuna, light)
2 tablespoons of Spinach dip
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup Mozzarella cheese (or your choice of cheese)
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Lightly mix these ingredients together. Then choose one of the following:

Breads:
Swirled wheat bread, buttered, lightly toasted and sliced in half
Warmed flour tortilla shells
Eat on top of chilled and halved cucumber slices with centers scooped out
Eat as a salad on a plate with crackers or tortilla chips or Fritos

Then add:
One thick slice of tomato
Spinach leaf(s)
A dash of Parmesan cheese on top

Homemade Gnocchi in Creamy Pea Sauce


Here's a recipe for my first try at making homemade Gnocchi. I have since purchased a gnocchi board, which makes this process even more simple. Enjoy!

Gnocchi:
3 large baked potatoes, halved and peeled
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
1-2 cups flour, as needed

Press hot baked potatoes through a potato ricer. (Using a potato ricer when the potatoes are still hot will produce a fluffier, lighter gnocchi.) Spread riced potatoes onto a large work surface, spreading them out to cool completely. 

In a small bowl, whisk together egg, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Gather the cold potatoes into a mound with a well in the center. Pour the egg mixture into the well and begin kneading with both hands, gradually adding the cheese and enough of the flour to make a smooth but slightly sticky dough. It should take 2-3 minutes to form--the longer the dough is kneaded, the heavier it will become. Scrape your fingers and work surface to clean the dough as you knead. 

Lightly dust remaining flour on a clean work surface. Cut the dough into six equal parts and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Roll one piece of dough and shape it into a 1/2" rope, flouring the dough as needed. Slice rope into 1/2" thick rounds. Repeat until all of the ropes have been sliced. Cover the sliced dough to keep it from drying out.

Sprinkle the rounds with flour and roll each piece into a ball. With the tip of your thumb, press the dough lightly against the tines of a fork and roll it downward, making a deep indention on one side and a ridged surface on the other. Set on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Repeat until all rounds are formed. At this point, you may freeze the gnocchi or cook it immediately. 

To cook gnocchi:
In a large stockpot, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a vigorous boil on high heat. Drop half of the gnocchi into the boiling water a few at a time, stirring gently with a wooden spoon. Don't crowd the gnocchi--cook in batches if necessary. Cook until tender, about 1 minute after they rise to the surface. Remove gnocchi from the water with a slotted spoon, draining them well and spread out on a baking sheet coated with butter--or directly into the pea sauce. 

Creamy Pea Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
10 oz. frozen peas, thawed
6 oz. creamed cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare the cream sauce while the salt water is boiling. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. melt the butter, then add the stock and cream. When it begins to boil, add the peas and return to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese. Toss the cooked gnocchi into the sauce just to coat, adding a little pasta water if needed. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan before serving. Serves 6-8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Green Bean Casserole

Here's a delicious recipe to serve at your next potluck or family gathering.

2-16 oz frozen green beans, whole
16 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup sliced almonds

Cook green beans in microwave according to package directions. Transfer to serving dish. Meanwhile in large skillet, heat oil and butter. Add mushrooms and onion and saute until tender 4-6 minutes. Mix in flour, and then slowly add milk, stirring until it thickens 3-5 minutes. Stir in thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour over green beans and top with sliced almonds. Serves 10-12.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cookbook Preview ~ Milk Street Tuesday Nights


From one of Epicurious' Greatest Home Cooks of All Time, deliver creative and delicious weeknight dinners with this quick and easy cookbook for beginners and foodies alike.

At Christopher Kimball's Milk Street, Tuesdays are the new Saturdays. That means every Tuesday Nights recipe delivers big, bold flavors, but the cooking is quick and easy--simple enough for the middle of the week.

Kimball and his team of cooks and editors search the world for straightforward techniques that deliver delicious dinners in less time. Here they present more than 200 solutions that will transform your weeknight cooking, showing how to make simple, healthy, delicious meals using pantry staples and just a few other ingredients. Here are some of the fresh, inventive meals that come together in minutes:

  • Miso-Ginger Chicken Salad
  • Rigatoni Carbonara with Ricotta
  • Vietnamese Meatball Lettuce Wraps
  • Peanut-Sesame Noodles
  • White Balsamic Chicken with Tarragon
  • Seared Strip Steak with Almond-Rosemary Salsa Verde
  • Chocolate-Tahini Pudding

Tuesday Nights is organized by the way you cook. Some chapters focus on time--with recipes that are Fast (under an hour, start to finish), Faster (45 minutes or less), and Fastest (25 minutes or less). Others highlight easy methods or themes, including Supper Salads, Roast and Simmer and Easy Additions. And there's always time for pizza, tacos, "walk-away" recipes, one-pot wonders, ultrafast 20-minute miracles, and dessert. Buy the book HERE.

Indian Fry Bread - Indian Tacos


Here's a recipe based on some Indian tacos we once ate in Oklahoma. Enjoy! 

Indian Fry Bread:
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons shortening
Canola Oil

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small saucepan, heat milk with shortening until shortening starts to melt. Add milk to flour mixture and mix to form a soft dough. Place on a floured surface and pat into 1/4" - 1/2" thickness. Cut into circles or triangles. Fry in 1" of hot oil, turning to brown on both sides. Serve with honey, powdered sugar, or with Indian Tacos (see recipe below).


Indian Tacos:
1 1/2 pounds ground hamburger
14 oz. kidney beans
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water

In a large skillet, brown burger. Add refried beans, tomato paste, onion, and seasonings. Add water and cook on medium heat for 30-45 minutes until water has cooked out. Serve on top of fry bread with lettuce, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and hot sauce. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cinnamon Bread

Here's a delicious yeast bread recipe sure to delight your taste buds!

5 1/2 - 6 cups flour
2 packages active dry yeast
2 cups milk
1/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs, beaten
Cinnamon Mixture:
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 tablespoons cinnamon

In large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups flour and yeast. In small saucepan, heat milk, sugar, butter, and salt until warm (115-120 degrees), stirring until butter almost melts. Add to flour mixture. Add in eggs. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto floured surface and knead for 5-6 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover and let rise for an hour until double. Punch down dough and turn out on a lightly floured surface. Divide in half.


For each half: Roll into 12-14 inch rectangle. Spread with 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Press down into dough. Fold dough in half and pinch edges to seal. Roll once more into 8-10 inch rectangle. Spread with 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Shape into loaf. Place in greased loaf pan. Repeat for second loaf. Cover and let rise for 30-40 minutes until doubled. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 35-45 minutes until top tests done. You may want to cover the tops with tinfoil the last 10-15 minutes of baking to prevent from getting overdone. Remove from pans to cool. Makes 2 loaves.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Ane Mulligan's Best Country Hearty Shepherd's Pie


While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane Mulligan has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction. Ane firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. You can find Ane on her website and blog: http://www.anemulligan.com

Ane's Latest Book Release: A Southern Season, Stories from a Front Porch Swing

A Magnolia Blooms in Winter by Ane Mulligan 


With Broadway stardom within her reach, Morgan James returns home in winter to help an old friend. Maybe it s just nostalgia, but when she sees him again, an old flame rekindles. When she s called back to NYC to take the lead in a new musical, will fame be worth losing the man she loves?

Four seasons. Four stories. Each one set in the enchanting world of the South. These are the kinds of stories your grandmother told you from a front porch swing. Buy the anthology HERE.



Ane Mulligan’s Best Country Hearty Shepherd's Pie

3-4 cross-cut beef shanks
1 small onion (or ½ large one), diced
olive oil
1 – 4 cloves of garlic (depends on tastes. Can one have too much garlic? Nay, say I.)
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
3 – 4 potatoes, cooked and mashed

Pre-cook the cross-cut beef shanks in a crockpot all day, covered in water with a Tblsp of Better Than Bullion brand Beef Base. 

About an hour before you plan to eat, remove the meat from the crockpot, break into small pieces. Set aside. Peel and cut potatoes into 2” pieces and boil. When ready, mash and set aside.

Brown the onion and garlic in some olive oil. When it's slightly caramelized (5 minutes or so) add the mushrooms and cook till brown. Add the mushrooms and peas, and cooked beef. Cook for 5 minutes.

Put the meat mixture in a baking dish, top with the mashed potatoes and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350°

This is an old family staple, a one-dish meal. It's also cheap. Serve it with bread rolls. It's the kind of thing you simply throw together. I guessed at the amounts. You can adjust them to your tastes. Serves 4-6 but can be expanded easily.

Oat Tea Crackers

Some call these cookies, some call them cakes, and some call them crackers. Whatever they are, they are wonderful with a cup of hot tea. Enjoy! 

3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 sticks cold butter
3-4 tablespoons cold water
sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1/2 cups rolled oats on a baking sheet and bake until lightly golden, 8-10 minutes. Cool then transfer to a food processor. Pulse until finely ground. Add flour, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pulse again until combined. Add flakes of cold butter to the flour mixture and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10-12 seconds. Add water as needed until dough comes together. 

Turn dough out onto plastic wrap, shape into a rectangle and cover with more plastic. Chill for 30-40 minutes. Transfer chilled dough to a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle with remaining oats and roll into a 10-12-inch rectangle. Using a fluted pastry wheel, cut into 32 (2 1/2" x 1 1/2") rectangles. Sprinkle with sea salt. Arrange bars an inch apart on two parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until golden, 26-30 minutes. Cool on a wire wrack. Makes 32 crackers.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Spice Pancakes


These are really good if you're looking for a change of pace for breakfast. You'll find this recipe in the back of my second book, Seeds of Summer - Chelsey's Spice Pancakes. Serve with Homemade Pancake Syrup.

2 cups flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup milk
1/4 canola oil
2 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup applesauce

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. Add milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix together with a wooden spoon. Fold in applesauce. Batter will be lumpy. Cook on a hot griddle. Cook until both sides are golden brown. Serve with butter and maple syrup. Makes 12-16 pancakes.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.