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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Recent Days

Here's a little peek into what I've been up to lately.  A few weeks ago I called the butcher shop I dealt with last year to see if they had any pig fat I could pick up.  A week later I was hauling home 74 pounds of leaf lard home to render.  Just a heads up for anybody wanting to do this...don't get 74 pounds.  Period.  Ya know, maybe you could start with like 10 pounds or 15 pounds but don't get 74.  Wish me luck cause I'll still be doing this by next year...haha.  

This is the finished product after making it through about half or the lard. 7 quarts and 5 pints.  I am using this to replace all of the Crisco and canola oil in our house.  Once you render it, it has this gorgeous solid white color that is so rewarding.  My favorite way to use it is in pie crust, but I've also fried chicken fried steaks in it.  The possibiliies are endless!

I made this pallet thing around 3 years ago when we were living in Rhode Island.  It was unfinished and has been holding my wine glasses in my kitchen for the past year and a half or so.  I finally got it down the other day and sanded and stained it because I saw this awesome pin of a pallet cookbook and iron skillet holder.  Long story's my copy of that pin.  Thanks whoever you are!  I'll try and find her site and tag it so you guys can follow her or him.  

That's really about it guys.  Other than trying to plan this darn wedding, I've just been crafting & cooking & being a good house-fiance!

Hope all is well in y'alls neck of the woods!  Til next time...........

Skillet Pot Pie

I found this recipe the other day over at OneHundredDollarsAMonth  & made it that very night.  It's one of those recipes that you see and you say to yourself "I have everything I need and it looks impossible to screw up".  Those are my kind of recipes and they always turn out the best.  

Do you ever notice how things like that happen?  I feel like if I spend hours looking over a recipe and try my best to make it perfect, it's a fail.  But spur of the moment recipes like this?  Piece. of. cake.  It's very versatile and you can add or take out whatever you like or don't like.  ( this is really off topic but that last little reminded me of a scene out of Fried Green Tomatoes...yes I can recite the. entire. movie. Don't knock me!)

Onto the pie:

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees, pop the skillet in while it's heating up.  Take it out after a bit and melt 1/3 cup butter.  Once that's melted and starting to bubble, whisk in 1/4 cup flour.  Slowly incorporate the chicken broth and salt & pepper & other spices until it starts to thicken.  Add in your chicken and veggies and give it a stir.  Top with a homemade pie crust and brush with a yummy egg wash.  Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Finished product!
Skillet Pot Pie:
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper
1 can mixed veggies
2 cups chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
9" pie crust


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cheesin' on Tuesday

As I was cleaning out the fridge today, I spotted some broccoli I bought the other day and a little light bulb went off in my head. Joe LOVES broccoli cheese soup...and I don't.  Well I didn't think I did.  Until today!!

I was hoping and praying I would find a broccoli cheese soup in one of the Pioneer Woman Cookbook's I received for Christmas & I struck gold when I found an awesome recipe in her new Holiday Cookbook.  

Her recipes are so easy to follow and the pictures she shows during the process make any recipe foolproof.  I love you Pioneer Woman!  Now, let's get down to business.

1/2 stick butter
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 cup flour
3 cups heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
broccoli heads, cut into florets
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded

Turn your dutch oven on medium high heat and throw in 1/2 stick of butter to melt.  Toss the diced onion in and let it cook for 3 to 4 minites, stirring occasionally.  Whisk in 1/4 cup of all purpose flour and whisk constantly for about 2 minutes.  Add in your heavy cream and stir until thoroughly combined.  Add salt and pepper to taste and the nutmeg and then the broccoli, then stir to combine.  Pop the lid on it, turn the heat to low and let it simmer for about 25 minutes.  When that's done cooking, add in the 1/4 cup of chicken broth and cheese and stir.  Make sure you taste to see what seasonings need to be added.  I love black pepper so I added more of that.

I am officially a broccoli cheese soup convert.  It will probably be on our weekly menu until spring hits.  Enjoy!

Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to pick up the 40 pounds of pig fat I've been waiting on since last week...more on that later.  ;)

Do y'all have any favorite broccoli cheese soups?  Are you a non broccoli cheese soup lover like I was?!