Why this blog??

Why this blog?? I often find myself stressing over what to make for my family for dinner. We live a busy life and some meals need time to prep, cook and let's not forget shopping for everything you need. I love cookbooks and websites, but there are so many recipe's at times it is overwhelming. The recipe's I will be posting are things I actually made. I will tell you if they are easy or more time consuming. I will also tell you if they are good. Most of these are recipe's I have made for years and continue to make because they are easy or quick and my family loves them and i know yours will too! I will also try to at least once in a whlie try a new recipe I've found on line or in a book and honestly rate it. I always encourage others to send me their favorite recipe's as well! I am a mom... not a chef. But I am a mom who enjoys cooking for her family and making a somewhat healthy meal (some days more healthy than others:) ) In each recipe I will share how I recommend serving it, any substitutions I can think of that are also good, or ways to prepare ahead of time to make the cooking part seem quicker! I am not a photographer, as you can see... most of these pictures are taken from my phone camera, so may not be the best! I love to hear from others who have made these recipes and what they have done to change the recipe... please post comments! Thank you! To "like" me on facebook, go to this link... It's What's Cookin

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chicken Mug Pie (Pot Pie Soup)

Thank you Rachael Ray for this awesome recipe! I wasn't sure we'd like this, but it looked quick and easy and I had half a rotisserie chicken I had to use up along with some veggies that needed to be used soon. So I googled recipes and came across this one that had excellent reviews. Here is Rachael's recipe for Chicken Mug Pie. Below I will post her ingredients and I will also show you what I changed about it to make it my own. It is SO hard to get my kids to eat veggies, but they literally picked up their bowls at the end to drink every remaining drop! I was a proud mom!!  

*1 tube Pillsbury Grands biscuits
*sweet paprika for sprinkling (on biscuits)
*1 lb chicken breast pieces, diced  (I shredded half a rotisserie chicken)
*3 T butter
*2 ribs celery and greens from heart, chopped
*1 medium yellow onion, chopped
*1 large carrot, peeled and diced
(I also added 2 garlic cloves, minced)
*salt and pepper to taste (I used a little kosher salt, a little sea salt, some black pepper and some Nature 
     Seasonings as well as a pinch of ground cayenne red pepper and a pinch more of sweet paprika)
*2 tsp poultry seasoning (I used Montreal Chicken seasoning)
*3 T all-purpose flour
*1 cup shredded potatoes, ready to cook hash browns, available in sacks in dairy isle (I used aprox 2 cups
        because we like potatoes)
*1 pint half and half or cream (I used about 7/8 of the pint... next time I may try it with a low fat cream. I 
           wonder if it would taste as good?)
*1 quarter chicken stock, available in boxes on soup aisle
*1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
*1 cup frozen green peas (I used frozen corn instead of peas and put them in the pot the same time as 
        the potatoes)

1. Preheat oven according to package directions on biscuits and arrange them on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle biscuits with a little sweet paprika and bake for 10-12 minutes.

2. In medium pot over medium to medium high heat, cook chicken in butter 2 minutes and then add veggies and season with salt and pepper and poultry seasonings. Cook 5 minutes more. (Since I used rotisserie chicken that was already cooked, I sauteed the carrot, celery, onion and garlic in the butter until it was tender. Then I added the shredded chicken and cooked another minute till chicken was warm.)

3. Add flour and cook another minute while stirring. Add potatoes (and if you use frozen corn). Then wisk in half and half (cream) and chicken stock. Add nutmeg. Bring soup to a boil by raising heat. Once boiling, cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Add peas. Stir in to warm them through for a minute.

4. Serve mugs of soup with biscuits on top to cap the mug. (or you can serve in a bowl and use your biscuit for dipping)  :)

After everything is added, heat to a boil and then simmer.

Baked biscuits with sweet paprika on top

Fill your mugs almost to the top

Serve with a biscuit on top

Full of flavor! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Yams

I actually got this recipe from Whole Foods. They make it there and I love it so I wanted to make it at home. It's a great, simple side dish to make. Healthy and my kids love it. You can use Yams or Sweet Potatoes, or like I do, both!

*2 Potatoes (Sweet or Yam)
*2T canola oil
*1 tsp dry rosemary seasonings
*1 tsp dry italian seasonings
salt and pepper to taste

Peel potatoes and cut into cubes. Boil till soft (fork tender). Don't over cook or they'll be mushy. Drain them and put on a cookie sheet to cool. Pour the canola oil over them (or vegetable oil) and sprinkle with the seasonings. Toss well and toast in oven 425 degrees for 15-20 mins. 

The orange one is actually the yam (although some think sweet potatoes are orange.) The Sweet potato is the white one.

Dice into cubes

Boil till fork tender

Drain well

Spread out on cookie sheet and after they cool a bit, toss with oil and seasonings.  Roast till Crispy.