Chicken Pot Pie using leftovers…

It has been a bit since I have posted. Lots of repeat dinners and friends giving yummy food to our family. Recently we have gotten a KFC feast. Fried chicken and all the fixings? Can’t complain!!! Apparently everyone thinks we are a family of 12 instead of 5… no worries! Just gotta find something to do with the leftovers. Chicken Pot Pie to the rescue! Here is my crazy recipe…

Dice up and cook an onion, along with 2 diced carrots,celery,and 1 container of sliced mushrooms in 3 tablespoons of butter.
Stir the veggies around and cook them for 3 to 4 minutes, until they just start to soften.
Then throw in cooked KFC green beans, mashed potatoes, and 1/2 the gravy, and the chicken. I like to have a mix of white and dark meat shredded or cut into big chunks. I took the meat off the bone and took the skin off. If a little skin stays on, it will not hurt the mixture =) Sprinkle a little flour (2 tablespoons) all over the top. Then pour in 1/2 cup or so white wine…chicken broth if you are all out of wine… add 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper, turmeric… a bit of dried thyme and fresh chopped parsley (optional)
Add a splash of half-and-half or cream for a little creamy richness.
Finally, just let the mixture bubble up until it’s nice and thick; add in frozen peas and cook for 2 minutes. Then set it aside for a sec. (If it gets too thick, just splash in a little more wine or broth.)
Move mixture to a casserole/oven safe dish. Soak biscuits with remaining gravy then crumble on top. Cook at 350 for 20 minutes.
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Spaghetti and Meatballs

Hey guys! Happy Friday! Yesterday I ran to the store after work and picked up the ingredients for spaghetti and meatballs. Lizzie has been asking for this for a few days, so I figured I would honor her request. This was a pretty simple recipe. I usually just make them with just beef, but this time I spied some mild ground Italian sausage, so I thought I might change up my normal recipe and use 2 meats. Perfection! I hope you give it a try next time your family is craving meatballs. It is SO much better than those frozen ones. My family raved about them, and I got 5 sets of thumbs up for this meal!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

For the Meatballs-
1 pound ground sausage
1 pound ground beef (I used sirloin)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
about 2 teaspoons each of onion powder, garlic powder, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper
tablespoon or so of dried Italian Herbs or a good handful of fresh herbs
1 tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Mix all of the above ingredients. Do not over mix. Make into small-medium sized balls. I use a small ice cream scoop to make mine. Brown each side in a bit of oil in a large dutch oven. Take out. You will continue to let them cook in the sauce…

Easy Sauce (this makes tons of sauce…freeze the leftovers or use for a future meal)
1 chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 container mushrooms, sliced (optional)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large can of tomato sauce
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 glass red wine
A couple tablespoons of Worcestershire
1 tablespoon of sugar
Any fresh or dried herbs you have- I added rosemary, thyme, oregano, and marjoram
You could even add in some chopped parsley if you have it.

Start by adding your chopped onion to the pan you cooked your meat in. Cook that for a a few minutes. Then add your garlic,mushrooms, and tomato paste. Mix until combined, about 2 minutes. Then add in your wine. Scrape off all those brown pieces on the bottom of your pan. Add in all your tomatoes, Worcestershire, sugar, and herbs. Mix well. Add your meatballs back in. Cook until meatballs have cooked through and your sauce is hot, about 20-30 more minutes depending on the size of your meatballs. Perfect over spaghetti!

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Cool Fall Fruits- Pomegranates and Persimmons (plus an easy Balsamic Dressing)

If you ever wondered how you cut and eat a pomegranate, here is a helpful guide for you.
I cut the fruit in half down the middle. Then over a large bowl, I break apart the fruit with my fingers and begin to separate the seeds from the pith. It is actually quite easy and very therapeutic. You will be amazed how many little seeds are in a single fruit. Even Lizzie pitched in. She had a great time!
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Fuyu-Persimmon-A-Fruit-From-the-Gods

What is a persimmon? Well, it is an edible fruit that resembles a tomato and has very sweet flesh. I kind of think it tastes like a cross between a peach, apple, and tomato. So yummy! I saw some at the store and picked up a couple. I researched recipes and decided that I wanted to add one of mine to a salad. It was so yummy! I mixed a chopped salad with kale, radicchio, celery, mushrooms, beets, chickpeas, red pepper, and persimmons. I topped it with homemade balsamic dressing (recipe below).

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Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
3 cloves crushed,chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup Olive Oil

Directions
In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper until salt is combined. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until well blended. I made mine in a mason jar for easy mixing.

Strip Steak with Thyme and Butter

Hey, ya’ll! So Friday was my birthday. I have had a great birthday weekend full of great family, friends, and food! Here is one way I spoiled myself this weekend…I bought some strip steak that was on sale. I thought of this recipe when I remembered I had some thyme already in my fridge. SO GOOD!!!!!

Ingredients

2 New York Stip Steaks
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
3 thyme sprigs
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Directions

Try to let steaks stand 30 minutes at room temperature.
Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over steaks. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add oil to pan and coat evenly.
Add steaks to pan; cook about 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Reduce heat to medium-low; add butter, thyme, and garlic to pan. Tilt pan a bit to you so butter collects; cook 1 1/2 minutes, basting steaks with butter constantly. Remove steaks from pan; cover loosely with foil. Let stand 10 minutes.

There may be a bit more butter left in the pan. You can use that to baste the steak even more when you are ready to serve.

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Easy Waffles

Sleep in, eat these waffles, and relax on the couch watching TV equals a perfect Sunday morning!

I doubled this recipe and now have plenty of waffles in the freezer for this week’s breakfast =)

Easy Waffles

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups of milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions

Heat up your waffle iron.
Whisk your eggs. Add the rest of your wet ingredients. Then gently combine and mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Do NOT over mix!!! Lumos are ok!
Spray your waffle iron with Pam or brush with oil.

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Pan Fried Tilapia

You have reached the Wednesday night stretch.  You have had a few easy nights for dinner. Maybe you used the crockpot. You found some pasta and sauce for a quick pasta dish. There is always the favorite taco or quesadilla. Now you need a fast idea. Almost to the weekend…almost to Chinese Takeout and pizza night. You need a quick run to the store for dinner. I propose fresh fish, salad/veggie, rice/couscous, white wine, and a nice loaf of bakery bread. 7 minute store run and you are golden. Under $30 for a dinner for five including a decent wine for mom. Score!

Pan Fried Tilapia

Ingredients
4-5 pieces tilapia (or any white fish… cod, mahi mahi, sole,etc.)
salt and pepper
i cup flour
2 eggs, whisked
1 cup breadcrumbs

Directions
Heat pan to med heat with vegetable or grapeseed oil (low smoking points)
FEB- Order to dunk your fish… salt and pepper each station
Coat each piece of fish in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs
Place in oil about 6 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the second side
Golden brown yumminess should be present on both sides…

Only a chunk of one piece was leftover. I fed it to Brutus after the kitchen was cleaned. He lays perfectly still under the table during dinner and goes and lays down in his unlocked crate after dinner, so he deserved a bit of magic.

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