Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday: Mini Chicken Turnovers

This recipe is from my Best Church Supper Recipes Cookbook.
The sad thing is, my camera broke, so I used our back-up camera. I took a kajillion pictures, and then realized I did not know where the cord was to download the pics onto our computer. sigh! Anyway, no pics. I will try to find it tomorrow and hopefully get my pictures posted. In the meantime, here is the picture in the cookbook, and mine looked exactly like these. ;)
Little note from the peanut gallery:
Can I just forewarn you, DO NOT try making this recipe when you are in a hurry. I am sitting down typing this out after working diligently for about 1-1/2 hours on these. I did double the recipe, knowing I would be freezing some and taking some to a friend tomorrow, so I am sure that factored into why it took so long, but still.

On the flip side, these would make GREAT after-school snacks if your kids are a little older and they have to feed themselves after school. You can just make a huge batch, freeze them, and tell your son/daughter to pop two or three in the microwave for a good 30 seconds, or however long it takes to heat up. Also, I did get a lot of turnovers out of this recipe, so I guess the cooking time was not that bad, considering I was cooking for two or more meals (or several snacks, depending on how you look at it). Plus, your kids will eat these. They're yummy.

3 Tbs. chopped onion (I would use more than 3 Tbs. if I did this one again)
3 Tbs. butter
1-3/4 cups shredded cooked chicken (really shred the chicken good. It will make it easier to scoop later when you go to put the mixture on the dough)
3 Tbs. chicken broth
1/4 tsp each garlic salt, poultry seasoning and pepper
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese cubed

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
4-5 Tbs. cold water

In a large skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in chicken, broth, seasonings and cream cheese; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and paprika; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until a ball forms.

On a floured surface, roll out pastry to a 1/16-inch thickness. Cut with a 2-1/2-in. round cookie cutter. (My opinion: Do a bigger circle than this. The more chicken in the turnover, the yummier it is, plus I had a ton of chicken leftover after using up all the dough) Reroll scraps an cut more circles. Mound a heaping tsp. of filling on half of each circle. (or more, if you are doing bigger circles) Moisten edges with water; fold pastry over filling and press edges with a fork to seal. (I ended up with a lot of the chicken mixture leftover, so I refrigerated it and I am planning on making more dough tomorrow and cooking some more to use up the chicken. I'd hate to waste it all that perfectly good chicken.)

Place on ungreased baking sheets. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling. Prick tops with a fork. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Says it yields 2-1/2 dozen...of course, if you are making yours bigger, you will get less than that.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday: Salmon Patties

1/4 cup each: chopped red bell pepper and green onions (I used green bell pepper and red onion that I already had chopped and frozen...and it worked fabulous. I've done this recipe both ways. Both are yummy)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs. Fresh squeezed lemon juice (I used 1 Tbs. water and a True Lemon packet, because we did not have any lemons or lemon juice)
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt or garlic salt
Cayenne pepper to taste (I left this out)
1 (7.1 oz.) pouch Chicken of the Sea Skinless Boneless Pink Salmon (I used 3 pouches of 3 oz. salmon by Bumble Bee because we already had it in the pantry)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup dry bread crumbs, divided
3 Tbs. Butter

In bowl, combine bell pepper, green onions, mayonnaise, lemon juice, seasoned salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir in Chicken of the Sea Salmon, egg, and 1/4 cup of the breadcrumbs; mix until well blended. (Get your butter into a hot pan to start it melting.) Divide and form mixture into 8 balls. Roll salmon balls in remaining breadcrumbs; flatten into cakes about 1/2" thick. In buttered skillet, over medium heat, fry cakes until golden brown. While they are frying, put a paper towel or two onto a plate, so you can put them on there when they are cooked. This will absorb some of the extra butter, and you can serve them off of this plate. Serve immediately with Lemon-Herb Sauce. (We did not use the Lemon-Herb Sauce, but I will post the recipe, in case if someone else wants to use it)
(We served ours with green beans and apple sauce. For directions on how to cook and freeze green beans, go here.)

In small bowl, combine 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 Tbs. Fresh lemon juice, 1 Tbs. prepared horseradish, 2-1/2 tsp. fresh thyme OR 1 tsp. dried thyme, salt and pepper, to taste. Blend well. Chill until ready to serve. Makes about 1 cup.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How To: Make your Own Trendy Menu Planner


I saw this adorable, decorative and trendy, DO IT YOURSELF Menu Planner and had to share!

I have been very into doing crafty stuff lately, especially making flower rosettes for my hair, my girls hair, as pins, purses etc. Anyway, I was searching around on "Little Birdie Secrets" to see what other great craft ideas she has and came across this fantastic Menu Planner Board.

You make this Menu Planner from scratch using a frame, scrapbook paper, vinyl cut letters, dry erase marker and heavy duty magnets (optional if you want it on your fridge). Not only is this a cute idea for your home, but what a great gift idea for a wedding, birthday or Christmas! You could also include several options of scrapbook paper so your recipient could change the background to their liking or for each holiday!

Check out the tutorial here at Little birdie secrets.

Cooking and Freezing Green beans

I wish I took more pictures, but I didn't, so here's what I've got anyway.

I went to the Farmer's Market the other day and I bought a bag full of green beans. I decided I would buy a big old mass of them now to cook and freeze for later. Here are the directions I got from the man working at our Farmer's Market:

1. Get yourself some fresh green beans.

2. Wash the green beans in a colander.

3. Trim the ends and cut into smaller pieces.
You can use a knife to cut of both ends (about 1/4 of an inch) or you can snap off the ends like I did. Then cut them into pieces of the size you prefer, or you can snap them randomly as I did. :0)

4. Get a nice large pot of hard boiling water going, and set aside a LARGE bowl with ice and cold water.

5. Blanch the green beans.

"All fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria that, over time, break down the destroy nutrients and change the color, flavor, and texture of food during frozen storage. green beans requires a brief heat treatment, called blanching, in boiling water or steam, to destroy the enzymes before freezing. Blanching times for beans is 3 minutes (the duration should be just long enough to stop the action of the enzymes and kill the bacteria)." (Information taken from

Boil the green beans in a covered pot for 3 minutes. Begin counting the 3 minute blanching time as soon as you place the green beans in the boiling water.

6. Cool the green beans immediately in ice water. Drain the green beans thoroughly and stick them in your ice cold water for a couple of minutes. (After vegetables are blanched, putting them in ice immediately after cooking them will prevent overcooking.)

7. Put the green beans on a cookie sheet and freeze them. (this step is so that all the green beans don't stick together as one big clump when they are frozen in the bag) Another option is to skip pat them all dry while they are on the cookie sheet before placing them in the bag.

8. Bag the green beans: FoodSavers, Ziploc, Hefty, whatever. I just used our Ziploc freezer bags.

9. Pop them into the freezer until you need them. They should be good to use for up to 4 months!

Wednesday: Chicken "Pot Pie"

I have made and posted this recipe before. I am making it again for my family today because they loved it and we already have all the ingredients in the house. Here it is...the delicious and filling Chicken Pot Pie.

This yummy, and beautiful, recipe comes from my All You magazine. Again, note that the original recipe is typed in black and my additions are added in red. If you were to do this recipe exactly according to the editor's recommendations, she claims that you can save over 600 calories per serving compared to a typical Pot Pie.

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 celery rib, thinly sliced (left this out because the DH doesn't care much for it)
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups low-sodium, nonfat chicken broth
1 cup nonfat milk
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas (I used green beans because we already had a huge bag in our freezer)
2 carrots, diced (I put green beans and carrots in a bowl and chopped them up with my salad chopper...just an idea that makes this one quick and easy)
Salt and pepper

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. nonfat milk
(I cheated and used refrigerated biscuit dough because I got it on a great sale with my coupons)

1. Make filling: Warm oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Pour in broth and bring to a boil, scraping browned bits from bottom of skillet, until mixture is thick and creamy.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in milk. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until firm and opaque, about 7 minutes. Stir in peas and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a 2-quart baking dish.

3. Make topping: Preheat oven to 425°F. In a food processor, pulse flour, baking powder and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With processor on, add oil and 1 cup milk. Process just until dough forms a ball. Turn out onto floured work surface; knead for 10 seconds. Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Use a 2-inch cookie cutter to form 16 biscuits. Place biscuits on top of filling and brush with remaining milk. (or just use one-two rolls of refrigerated biscuit dough...I used one roll)
4. Bake pot pie until filling is bubbling and biscuits are lightly browned on top, about 25 minutes. Serve hot.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday: Egg Drop Ramen

I've talked before about my Dinner's on a Dime cookbook, when I made my Twistin' Tuna Bake. I pulled it out again this week, because we were trying to buy as few groceries as we possibly could this week.
This Egg Drop Ramen recipe comes from page 77 in my Dinner's on a Dime cookbook. I love that this recipe can be very easily doubled or divided in half, depending on how many you are feeding. It is very cheap to make, and you might already have all the ingredients in your house. I was surprised at how much my kids liked it--my two year old especially.

Here's the recipe:

3 cups water
2 3-oz. pkg. (6 oz. total) chicken-flavored ramen noodles, uncooked and divided
4 eggs, beaten
4 slices American cheese, chopped
1 can of peas, drained

In a saucepan, bring water to a boil over medium heat. Add one of the seasoning packets, reserving the other one for another use. Stir in noodles; cook for 3 minutes.
Add eggs, stirring quickly for 2 minutes to break them up. Add cheese and stir in well. Remover from heat; mix in peas. Serve in soup bowls. Makes 4-6 servings.HOPE YOUR KIDS LOVE THIS AS MUCH AS MY LITTLE KEELY DID!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Penny Pinching Meals in the Hughes house this week.

Mama Hughes here.
I am happy to report that I am feeling much better since my last post, when I was quite under the weather, and was unable to make meals for my family.

This week is a "dig around in the pantry and make it work" week. :)(picture taken from JennyGirl Photography)

I have found a couple of meals from cookbooks that require ingredients that we already have on hand. Due to a lack of funds this week, we are really scraping things together. I am posting my meals this week, in hopes that it may help some moms out there who are really trying to penny pinch along with me.

Here's what's up this week in my house:
Monday: Egg Drop Ramen
Tex Mex Salsa Chicken (a crockpot meal)
Wednesday: Chicken and Dumplins
Salmon Patties
Mini Chicken Turnovers