chicken pot pie goodness

Chicken Pot Pie
From Cooks Illustrated – The New Best Recipe: All-New Edition

Serves 6

I totally cheat and use Trader Joe’s Pre-made Pie Dough – short on time…my mom would never have done this, but it works! Real pie crust is the bomb, this is a good runner up
1 Rotisserie Chicken (Costco for me – again, short on time)
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1 1/2 Tbl Vegetable Oil
1 Medium – Large Onion
3 Medium Carrots, peeled and cut cross wise 1/4 inch thick
Salt & Ground Pepper
4 Tbl Unsalted butter
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Cups Milk
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
3 Tbl Dry Sherry
3/4 Cup Frozen Peas – Optional
3 Tbl Minced Fresh Parsley Leaves


1. Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until just tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.  While vegetables are sauteing, shred the meat into bit size pieces.  Transfer cooked veggies to a bowl with the chicken and set aside.

2. Heat the butter over medium heat in the now empty pan.  When foaming subsides, add the flour, cook about 1 minute.  Whisk in the chicken stock, the milk and the thyme. Bring to a simmer until the sauce fully thickens, about 1 minute.  Season with salt & pepper to taste and stir in the Sherry.

3. Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture and stir to combine.  Stir in the peas and parsley.  Adjust seasonings.  (The mixture can be covered and refrigerated overnight; reheat before topping with pastry.) Pour mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan or shallow baking dish of similar size. (or 6,  1 oven proof ramekins.)  Top with desired pastry.  Bake until pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 30 minutes for the large pot pie, 20-25 for the smaller pies.  Serve hot.

** Note – I like to bake this in individual ramekins for casual dinner parties, but the bowls are too hot for kids – better to make one big on and serve separately.

connie’s killer brisket

(as passed down to her from her Grandma, thankfully so we could all enjoy! Seriously, I love this recipe!! It couldn’t be easier and it is loved by all!)


1 large onion, diced
1 bunch of celery, chopped
3 Jars Chili Sauce –– “Homemade Chili Sauce” (that’s what the jar says)
Lawrys Seasoning Salt
Salt & Pepper

MAKE BRISKET DAY BEFORE YOU WANT TO SERVE – or as Connie says, unless you’re really hungry and just can’t wait and want to pig out on it :-)


Place fat side down in roasting pan

Generously sprinkle Lawrys seasoning salt all over

Generously sprinkle ground pepper & salt (not too much salt since Lawrys is already on)

Cover with chopped celery and diced onion.

Pour 3 jars of chili sauce over everything.  Fill each jar ½ way with water, replace lid and shake to get all remaining sauce from jar and pour over brisket.  (Throw jars away or use with votive candles at dinner).

Cover pan tightly with 2 layers of foil. (I also use a sheet or parchment between the foil and brisket)

Bake for 20min at 425 degrees, Bake for 4 more hours at 325 degrees. (ORRRRR – Connie just tipped me off that she has recently been making it in her crock pot.  She slow cooks it 8-10 hours.  I have yet to try this, but totally trust her.  I use my crock put to reheat it the next day so it would make things a little easier).

Check brisket ½ way through for basting. (I don’t always remember to do this – hasn’t hurt me yet)

Remove from oven and keep tightly sealed, cool and refrigerate.

The next day remove fat, slice across grain, reheat in juices at 350 degrees for an hour (This is where I put mine  in the crock pot for a couple hours before I want to serve)

SERVE WITH YUMMY MASHED POTATOES and green salad!!!  Enjoy!

YUMMY Broccoli Casserole & Sweet Potato Casserole

OK – I had to add these recipes EXACTLY as they came to me.  You have to know my Genius Mom Sister-in-Law, puts moms to shame.  She is always put together, cooks like nobody’s business,  is always smiling, always offering a glass of wine, always helping out, always calm, SUPER laid back, a very fun mom, but definitely appreciates good food!  When you ask her kids (5 and 3) what their favorite pizza is, you’ll likely hear “arugula and mushroom”, and their favorite veggie?  Pepper of some form.  What would you like on your hot dog?….from the 5 year old, “Good mayo please, but I need to wash my hands first, all good chefs do.”  HOW SHE DOES IT, I don’t know!!

Read on and enjoy.  You have to love the part that they cook for the same time at the same temperature.  BONUS!!

Thanks for sharing Genius SIL!

Hey Shanna,

Here are the recipes you asked for. I have been making these for literally over 20 years (boring…and not exactly gourmet, but everyone loves them and asks for them over and over). Anyway what I am getting at is that I didn’t come up with them and don’t remember where they came from…so don’t know whom the credit goes too, but, they are yummy…and I have added a few of my own tips!

Broccoli Casserole:

1 Large Bag Frozen Broccoli (I use florets only)
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup (I try to get the healthy one with no MSG)
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (use decent cheese)
1 Cup Mayonnaise (use good Mayo – no low fat crap)
1/4 Cup Yellow Onion (finely chopped)
2 Eggs (lightly beaten)

Mix it all together and spread in casserole dish. Cover with topping.


A couple of rolls of Ritz Crackers crumbled and mixed with about 1/2 cup melted butter (I only use un-salted butter).

Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tip: If I am taking this dish somewhere, I mix all ingredients except broccoli and topping. Then just before I leave the house I add the “frozen broccoli” (this helps keep it cold…since there are eggs and mayo). Then I sprinkle the topping on just before baking so it doesn’t get soggy.

Sweet Potato Casserole:

3 Cups Cooked Mashed Sweet Potatoes/Yams (I put them through a ricer so the don’t get too gluey)
1/2 to 1 Cup of Sugar (based on how sweet you want it)
2 Eggs (lightly beaten)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/3 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Butter (I only use un-salted)

Mix it all together and spread in casserole dish. Cover with topping.


1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Flour
1/3 Cup Butter (room temperature)
1 Cup Chopped Pecans

Mix it all together.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Note: These two recipes bake at the same temperature and for same time. Helpful for saving oven time when when entertaining.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Love, love, love these pancakes – no reason to make any other recipe!  See the post comments!


Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Recipe courtesy The Cookworks

Prep Time:20 min
Cook Time:15 min
Serves:4 to 6 servings

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
21/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, plus some for frying
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
Serving suggestions: whipped cream and maple syrup
In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat the eggs with the buttermilk and melted butter. Combine the dry and the wet ingredients into a lumpy batter, being careful not to over mix, see Cook’s Note*.

Heat some butter in a skillet over medium heat. Spoon 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet and sprinkle the top with some of the blueberries. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and maple syrup.

*Cook’s Note: Over mixed batter will result in flat, heavy pancakes.

Turkey Burger Sliders

Turkey Burger Sliders:

I adopted this recipe from George Stella’s Livin’ Low Carb, Kinife and Fork Turkey Burgers. We don’t live low carb, plus I really like these as little sliders served on sweet Hawaiian rolls…and Addie loves them served this way.  Feel free to check out the original recipe.  I prepare as below.



2 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon Ketchup
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 large egg, beaten
Hawaiian sweet rolls
Lindberg Snider Porterhouse & Roast Seasoning

Garnish (anything you like on your burgers – but you have to have the bacon!):

ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise
bacon slices (yum!!! makes the burger)
lettuce leaves
tomato slices
onion slices
pickle spears


Make the Burgers: Mix all the ingredients together with your hands, in a bowl.

Divide the meat mixture into equal-sized patties, about 2-3 tablespoons each.

Heat oil/pam in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook the burgers (seasoned heavily with Porterhouse Seasoning), turning once (season again, I like to add a piece of bacon at this point on top of each slider patty with a piece of cheese melted over it), until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes per side. I use a piece of tented foil over my grill pan to help keep the heat even. (A instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the thickest burger should read at least 165 degrees F.)

Serve the burgers on Hawaiian rolls with the garnishes of your preference.  Yum!!

Bandera Clone Cornbread

Bandera Cornbread (Clone) Recipe #291454

A great Southern girlfriend shared this with me from RecipeZaar, and you KNOW you have to trust a girl form the South sharing a corn bread recipe!!!  I have never made myself, but have eaten hers many times and can vouch for its holy goodness!!  She omits the green chilies and then often adds whatever leftover veggies and meat she has in her fridge. They freeze well and her daughter devours!

Moist sweet and amazing cornbread from the Bandera chain of restaurants owned by Houstons. To accurately clone the restaurant’s version, use small (6″) cast iron skillets, however this can just be made in one large 12″ cast iron skillet.

50 min | 10 min prep

SERVES 16 , 16 slices

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 (15 ounce) can creamed corn
2 ounces green chili peppers (1/2 small can, roasted syle)
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese (shredded)
4 eggs

Prehead oven & skillet to 300 degrees.

Mix flour, cornmeal, salt & baking powder and set aside. Melt butter and combine with sugar, creamed corn and chili peppers. Mix to combine. Add eggs one-by one and mix until well blended. Add cheese. Fold-in flour mixture until mixed well, clumps are okay.

Carefully remove cast iron skillet from oven and evenly coat top and sides with canola/vegetable oil. Pour in cornbread batter (be careful, it may splatter).

Bake 30-45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Barefoot Contessa Fillet of Beef

Fillet of Beef:
2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics


1 1/2 to 2 pounds fillet of beef, trimmed and tied
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepperDirections

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. (Be sure your oven is very clean!)

Place the beef on a sheet pan and pat the outside dry with a paper towel. Spread the butter all over the beef with your hands. Sprinkle the beef evenly with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Roast for exactly 22 minutes for rare and 25 minutes for medium-rare.

Remove the beef from the oven, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Remove the strings and slice the fillet about 1/4-inch thick.

beef stroganoff

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen, 2008

4 Servings

I love a good comfort food meal.  This one is super easy.  Paula Deen is a yummy southern cook, not afraid of a little butter! I usually make this to use up any red meat I have left over….filet, flank steak, stew meat, anything.  But you can also prepare as below if you do not have leftovers. My notes are in italics.

1 1/2 pounds cubed round steak, cut into thin strips (I usually use left over steak from earlier in the week)
House Seasoning, recipe follows (I use Lindberg Snider Porterhouse & Roast Seasoning 2.75oz.)
All-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, sliced (I chop so Addie will eat too)
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can beef broth
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
Salt and black pepper
1 cup sour cream
Cooked egg noodles


Season the steak strips with House Seasoning (or Porterhouse), then dust with flour. In a large skillet, quickly brown them on both sides in the olive oil and butter. (If using left over, I cut into bite size strips and do the same as above without the flour) Remove the steak from the pan. Add the onion slices and mushrooms to the pan drippings. Saute for a few minutes, until the onion is tender. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon flour. Put the steak back into the pan with the onion and mushrooms. Add the mushroom soup and beef broth. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, covered. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in the sour cream the last few minutes, right before you serve. Serve over cooked noodles.

House Seasoning:
I have never made, but I’m sure it’s good. I’m just lazy and use the Lindberg Snider Porterhouse & Roast Seasoning 2.75oz. on everything!

1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Yields: 1 1/2 cups

crunchy romaine toss

I great Dallas friend served this YEARS ago when I was back in college.  It’s from Come on in: Recipes from the Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi I’ve always had great success from Southern Junior League cookbooks.  And if you know me, you know I’m not a huge salad eater, UNLESS it has lots of goodness in it.  This is a great one!

1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 pkg Ramen Noodels, uncooked, broken up (discard flavor packet)
4Tbs unsalted butter (I’m lazy and use regular butter)

1 bunch broccoli, coarsely chopped
1 head romaine lettuce, washes, broken into pieces (Can use a spring mix too)
4 green onions, chopped

1 cup Sweet & Sour Dressing (a little goes a long way, use what works for you)


Brown walnuts and noodles in butter; cool on paper towels.  Combine noodles and walnuts and broccoli, romaine, and onions.  Pour Sweet and Sour Dressing over and toss to coat well.

Sweet & Sour Dressing:

Yields 2 1/2 cups

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup wine vinegar (I ran out today and used Champagne Vinegar, just as good)
1 Tbs soy sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients.

turkey chili & trader joe’s corn bread

This is a basic easy recipe.  Not a lot of ingredients and not super spicy, so kids like it.  I tend to season up the turkey quite a bit with the Porterhouse Seasoning, and am also a salt lover, so I’m not shy with the “salt to taste”.

1 lb lean ground turkey, crumbled
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (14 1/2-ounce) can black beans
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can corn kernals
Salt and Pepper to taste
Sour cream, for garnish
Lindberg Snider Porterhouse & Roast Seasoning to taste
Optional garnish – chopped avocados (if nothing else, you MUST use avocados), chopped red onion, shredded cheese, cilantro

1 box Trader Joe’s Cornbread – Bake according to package.  Serve warm with butter and honey, yum!!

In a large ziplock bag, toss turkey with flour until flour is absorbed into meat. Heat oil in a wide 2-quart pot over medium heat. Add turkey and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Place cooked turkey in a crockpot. Add tomatoes and liquid. Add beans. Cook on low for 5 hours. Spoon chili into bowls. Top with toppings of your choice: sour cream, cilantro, avocado, shredded cheese, onion… Serve hot with corn bread.  If you skip toppings, don’t pass up the avocado!  It’s the only one that matters!

** I freeze the leftovers for future dinners.