Tuesday, November 8, 2011

No Bake Energy Bites

I found this recipe for No Bake Energy Bites and adapted it. These are great for breakfast and a quick snack. They are rich and strong flavored. I listed what I used in red.

* 1/2 c Nut butter (almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter or any other nut or seed butter)
* 1/3 c honey
* 1 c old fashioned rolled oats
* 1 c shredded unsweetened coconut (or wheat bran/germ, oat bran, some ground flax seed, ground nuts or sesame seeds.)
* 2 t vanilla
* pinch of sea salt
* 1-2 t your favorite spices or spice combination (optional - I used 1/2 t cinnamon)
* 1/2 c other add-ins (roughly chopped nuts or seeds, dried fruit, mini chocolate chips, etc)

Mix together the nut butter, honey, vanilla and salt if needed. Then mix in the remaining ingredients. I used
equal parts sesame seeds, coconut and mini chocolate chips. Mix well. Allow to chill slightly and then roll dough into 1-2" balls.

Keep refrigerated or frozen until you are ready to use. Makes approximately 18-24 depending on size.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

I grew up on the Banquet frozen chicken pot pies. I thought that is what a pot pie should taste like. I was wrong. I tried a pot pie at a homestyle restaurant a few years ago which was more like a bland chicken stew with a puff pastry on top. I was getting closer. Then I discovered this mixture... and I have arrived at total comfort food.

This again will fall into my category of "I made it by method rather than by measurement." I know this will drive some of you nuts, but it's just how I cook. I'll give you the best estimates of what I did, but please feel free to adapt this to fit your needs (*see below). This is a great meal for leftovers for a quick fix, or you can cook the ingredients from start to finish.

2 pie crusts (top & bottom)
2-3 c cooked chicken, diced
1-2 c cooked potato, diced*
1 c cooked carrots, diced*
2 c chicken gravy **
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t celery seeds

In a large pan, mix together all ingredients other than the pie crusts. Allow them to simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Meanwhile, lightly sprinkle a pie tin with flour and add the bottom crust. Pour the mixture into the crust and quickly add the top crust and pinch the edges together before the heat starts to soften the dough. If it doesn't seal well due to the softened dough, that's okay, but make sure there something under the pan while cooking to catch any drippings. Make small slits in the crust with a knife to allow the steam to vent. Brush the pie crust with a bit of melted butter (optional) and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes. Cover the edges of the crust with foil or a silicone ring for the first 30 minutes and remove to allow it to brown in the final minutes. I recommend placing the pie tin on a cookie sheet or put tin foil under the pan to catch any of the gravy that may drip out.

* Method - use 2 cups of veggies total - split them however you like. I like a lot of potato in mine because it makes for a hearty pie. I know peas are traditional, but I just don't care for them. Celery would be a good addition, but I didn't have any.

**Depending on what veggies you use, you may need more or less gravy. Start with less and add more as needed. The potatoes tend to absorb more.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Coming Soon...

Made it twice in the last two weeks... homemade chicken pot pie. The second time I was brave enough to make my own pie crust (never done that before).  Sorry, no pictures (eaten way too fast for that), but recipe is coming. This tastes like fall, warmth, and comfort. I may have to make this every week for the rest of fall/winter.

We've been enjoying lots of fall fun and flavors over the past several weeks - apple pie, soups, roasts, and lots of good stuff. I can't wait to share. I just have to leave enough time after cooking to write about it. But first I have to come out of my food coma.