Monday, March 8, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

Once again, the Pioneer Woman has convinced me to try something new. This time…it is pie crust. Just for the record, I have made pie crust before, and I was not very successful, so I gave it up.

But chicken pot pie is another thing. I love chicken pot pie. I have never made a chicken pot pie…for fear of the crust. But her pie crust recipe looked rather simple and so I tried it. The crust was easy to make and so I continued on with the chicken pot pie. I am sure the butter and heavy cream added to the wonderful taste of this pot pie. If you have this cookbook, you will find the step by step directions/pictures on page 126. I very carefully followed step number 10 which notes that the rustic looking crust is a good thing. Here is her recipe for the perfect pie crust.


1-½ cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
3 cups All-purpose Flour
1 whole Egg
5 Tablespoons Cold Water
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt

Preparation Instructions
In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Separate the dough into halves. Form 2 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. (If you desire a thinner crust, divide dough into thirds.) Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it's still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)
When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it's a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it's about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.
With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.

Family Room Redo

5 Simple Steps to a Room Redo

  1. Find Inspiration – Mine was my birdhouse collection
  2. Choose a color palette – I continued my warm kitchen colors into my family room
  3. Budget – We included new carpet, an entertainment center and a new TV
  4. Shop for D├ęcor – This is the best part for me! It was called a couple of days at the flea market with Kellee
  5. Have a work party – My room needed tall, willing friends

I love my new family room. It is warm and cozy and even in the cold winter, the little touches of outdoor decor makes me feel like I'm sitting on my porch.

Best White Cupcakes from Scratch!

I have multiple cookbooks that are dedicated solely to cupcakes. Is anyone surprised by that? Here is the recipe I made to take to Pastor Burhop's church a few weeks back. They turned out great and the frosting was equally as yummy.

Classic White Cupcakes -         
the notes in italics are the high altitude adjustments I made


1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour      plus 3 tablespoons (I used regular flour and did not actually sift it)

2 teaspoons baking powder      less 1/2 teaspoon

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk                            plus 2 tablespoons

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups sugar                     less 3 tablespoons

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

3 egg whites                             plus 1 egg white


Preheat oven to 350 and prepare the muffin pans with non stick spray and flour or paper cups.

Resift the sifted cake flour with the baking powder and salt.   Combine the milk and vanilla.   Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. 

Alternating the flour mixture with the milk mixture, blend half of one, them the other into the butter mixture.  Mix well after each addition and repeat.  Mix until well blended.


In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry.  Fold them into batter.


Pour the batter into the muffin pans, filling at least halfway.  Bake for 15 to 20 mintues, until the cakes test done.


Remove  the pans and turn out the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool. 


Yeild 24 cupcakes. 



Classic Buttercream Frosting


1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

liquid food coloring

2 tablespoons milk


Place the softened butter in a large bowl.  Gradually add the sugar by sifting a small amount over teh butter and stirring to incorporate.  Continue until all the sugar is blended in .   Beat hard with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer  until the icing is pale and fluffy. 

Beat in the milk.  Add food coloring if desired.

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