confessions of a girl that can’t cook- part 1

Baking I can do.  Follow a recipe, measure ingredients and most of the time whatever you’re trying to bake turns out just fine.  After a while of following recipes you can start to improvise variations of a recipe and get a little more creative and usually it will work out in the end.  Cooking… is different.  Some people (my mom, grandma’s, dad, brother) are just born good cooks.  They can open a cupboard, grab a few items they already have and throw together a delicious meal.  Not me.  I need hours of searching for recipes, long grocery lists (that I usually end up forgetting at home, which means I have to guess and fail miserably and end up going to the store twice) and once I finally get started actually cooking I’m panicking the whole time that it will just end up tasting like cat food.  And worse than that, everyone will tell me it’s delicious.  And I’ll continue to make cat food and torture my family.  Oh, and did I mention that 90% of the time I CAN’T TASTE?!  Yeah, blame it on some baaaad sinus issues.  Most of the time I can’t even taste whatever it is I’ve made and have to just take everyone’s word on whether it’s awful or not.  One big shit show I tell ya.

SO, I’ve decided to try 30 new recipes while I’m 30.  Because every 30 year old gal should have her act together in the kitchen, right!? HA!  30 may not seem like a lot, but that’s two-three per month.  I’m talking new recipes- not tacos or spaghetti which we eat on the regular around here.

Here we go, recipe #1.  Chicken Potpies… from scratch.

Chicken Potpie www.thepintopony.com

This recipe will make 8 individual size potpies or two 9″ pies.  Bake however many you want and freeze the rest.  Couple things- if you’re like me and always forget to take the chicken out of the freezer you can boil 3 chicken breasts for an hour and a half or so in chicken broth,you can just buy a roasted chicken, or you can cook chicken breast any way you want and cube it up. Also, you can switch up the amounts and types of veggies you add.  Some people in my house (husband) are very picky when it comes to veggies so we left out onions, added extra potatoes and cut the carrots pretty big so they could be easily picked out.  You can really switch it up however you’d like.  (I started with this Taste of Home recipe for the filling and changed it up)

Here’s what you’ll need:

3 cups chicken

3 cups potatoes, peeled and diced

2 cups carrots, sliced

1 cup butter

2/3 cup onions, chopped (we left the onion out and it still had great flavor)

1 cup all purpose flour (I think I would use a little less flour next time so it’s not quite so thick)

1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1/2 teaspoon(ish) black pepper

3 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups frozen peas

1 1/2 cups frozen corn

Preheat your oven to 425.  Boil the carrots and potatoes until they’re just tender and set aside.  I’m sure there’s a technical term for this but it’s not in my vocab. While the carrots and potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a large (deep) skillet.  I actually used a 5qt dutch oven.  When the butter is melted, add the flour and seasonings (if you’re using onion, cook the onions in the butter until tender before adding the flour and seasonings) stirring constantly until blended.  Gradually add the chicken broth and milk and bring to a boil (which could take a while) stirring constantly.  Boil until thickened.  Once the broth is thickened you can add the chicken, potatoes, carrots, peas and corn.

Take your pie crust and line your mini pie dishes.  I used Pioneer Woman’s pie crust recipe.  It’s SO GOOD and SO FLAKY!  Seriously, it’s amazing.

Fill up your pie!

Chicken Potpie www.thepintopony.com

Add a top crust to your pie, trim the edges and crimp them with a fork. Cut little vents, I got picture happy before this step.

Chicken Potpie www.thepintopony.com

Bake for 40 minutes or so until the crust is lightly browned.

Chicken Potpie www.thepintopony.com

Some seriously good comfort food right there.  Enjoy!!

Chicken Potpie www.thepintopony.com

So, one recipe down, 29 more to go!

xoxo toni 2

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