Reinventing the pot pie!

Anyone who has family member with food allergies knows what a challenge it can be to reinvent new recipes. We have a chicken allergy in our home so I’m always looking for a new twist in all the traditional recipes that have chicken as the main component. With a ton of pork left from my crock pot carnitas I certainly didn’t want to waste it so I went on the hunt to “recycle” it into another recipe.  I also didn’t want to go out for ingredients and so began my quest to make a pot pie completely from scratch! It turned out amazing and I’m happy to share this recipe with you.

Pork Pot Pie

Crust 

2 1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 c vegetable oil
1/3 c + 2 T milk
2 tsp rosemary

In medium bowl mix flour, salt, and rosemary. In separate bowl mix oil and milk. Slowly pour milk/oil mixture into flour mixture and stir. Most people will use their blender with the pastry attachment but I don’t have one so I just mixed with spoon and then finally with hands, kneading the dough until ball is formed. Place in ziploc bag and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. When ready to bake pot pie, remove dough from refrigerator, cut in half and roll 1/2 half flat until it lays flat in pie dish. Roll out second have to place on top of pot pie filling.
**Note-I did have to work the dough out a little by hand before rolling with rolling pin.

Pot Pie Filling

1/4 c butter, melted
1/2 c flour
14 oz beef broth
3/4 c milk
2 c pork
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
2 c mixed veggies (fresh frozen bags works great)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Pre-heat oven to  400°.  Melt butter in large cooking pot then slowly add flour and stir. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly to remove lumps from flour. Once all broth has been added, stir in milk and simmer until thick. Add pork, veggies, cheese, salt, and pepper and cook until heated throughly and veggies are done. Pour into prepared pie crust and top with top crust. Bake for 20-23 minutes. Let the pie “rest” for approximately 10 minutes before cutting.

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“I NEED this recipe!!”

Ah yes, the words every cook loves to hear….I need this recipe! I hosted a Mom’s Night In event last night at my home and true to all things Southern and hospitable I had tons of food and drinks. Every item on the table got rave reviews by the wonderful ladies that attended so I thought it would be easier to just put all the recipes into one blog post for them and for everyone else that would like to try them. I do have to be completely honest, not a one of these recipes are my own. I found a couple on Pinterest and a couple belong to my friends. 

Yummy goodness from front to back!

From left to right, front to back here’s the list!

BLT Bites

BLT bites courtesy of Pinterest. Here’s the link! Also, a little hint…I don’t know about you but as much as I LOVE bacon, I hate that my house smells of bacon for days. I cooked up my bacon the day before the party and stored in the fridge until I was ready to construct my little sandwiches.

http://www.lanascooking.com/2010/04/26/blt-bites/

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip is on the front right corner. This is one of my oldest, dearest friend’s recipe that I have YET to master! Maybe I just like hers better because she’s usually making it for me! Here’s the recipe.

2 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c mayo
1 clove garlic, minced
10 oz pack frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
14 oz can artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
1/2 c Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix together softened cream cheese and mayo until well blended. Add garlic, spinach, artichokes, and cheese and mix well. Pour into pie plate and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve with favorite crackers.

Right smack in the middle of the table is the most delicious dip I’ve ever tried/made! I found that recipe on Pinterest as well and it’s called Mississippi Sin. Here’s the link for that little slice of heaven!
 http://www.plainchicken.com/2010/11/mississippi-sin.html

In the bowl you’ll see some sausage balls. These things got two thumbs up and a trip or two back in the house for more “taste testing” by my husband. Another super easy recipe courtesy of Pinterest. 
 http://www.plainchicken.com/2011/09/cream-cheese-sausage-balls-football.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FwJJTP+%28Plain+Chicken%29

The fruit cake was brought by a friend and I do not have any information on that. Don’t think I’m just skipping over it. 🙂

Strawberry cheesecake bites

In the far back left corner is strawberry cheesecakes. How simple is this?! All you need is the Jello no bake cheesecake mix and strawberries! Mix up the cheesecake mix per package instructions, slice the strawberries in half and scoop out the middles, then pipe in the cheesecake mix. Garnish with the graham cracker crumbs that came in the cheesecake box.  One of my friends took this to a Kentucky Derby party and I loved the idea and the simplicity of it.

Margarita cupcakes

The infamous margarita cupcakes are in the middle backside of the table. I used two different resources for this treat.  I didn’t care for the icing listed in the first link so I found another site for icing that is delish!

For the cupcakes this recipe is the BEST!  http://www.recipegirl.com/2007/05/01/margarita-cupcakes/

For the icing I really liked this one. http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/2011/05/05/margarita-cupcakes-with-tequila-lime-buttercream-frosting/

In the far back right is my final Pinterest inspired recipe, Stuffed Baguettes. This one, although yummy, was time consuming. 
 http://www.bakingobsession.com/2009/10/04/stuffed-baguette/

Pink Punk Cosmo with some Velata caramel chocolate dipping sauce for the strawberries, marshmallows, and pretzels.

For our drinks I made Pink Punk Cosmos…which I was introduced to at TGIFridays. 
 http://thepartyloft.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/cotton-candy/

As for the non-alcoholic drinks, I made a refreshing peach basil iced tea. Another friend had submitted this recipe for our cookbook fundraiser and thought that I would try it out finally!

Peach Basil Iced Tea 

3 Orange pekoe tea bags
1 c loosely packed fresh basil leaves
4 c water
5 cans peach nectar, 5.5 oz size, chilled
1 1/3 c sugar
1 1/4 c water
Peach slices and basil sprigs for garnish

Boil tea bags and basil in 4 cups of water. Let steep 5 minutes and strain through a sieve into pitcher. Cool tea and chill for approximately 1 hour. Stir in nectar and sugar and additional water. Serve over ice and garnish with peach slices and basil sprigs.

Serve all this stuff at your next party and you and I can share the title of “The Hostess With The Mostest”! Enjoy! 

 

Shrimp Sauce Recipe

Back home in Florida one of my favorite restaurants has the most glorious white sauce that is served over their grouper. I often crave that dish and the closest I’ve come to making something similar is buying the Philly cream cheese cooking cremes.

Last night while baking tilapia I decided that I needed some white sauce to add a little extra “love” to the dish. Since I was cooking creme-less, it was time to improvise! I must say, the cook outdid herself with this one and my husband was scraping the pan to get every last drop of it (sauce hog!!) I thought I’d share my recipe with you but keep in mind I didn’t really measure any of the seasonings so when I say a pinch, feel free to add less or more, depending on your preference.

Baked tilapia with shrimp sauce

Shrimp Sauce

2 T butter

1 T flour

1 c milk

1/4 c Parmesan cheese

1 T feta cheese

1 T sauteed onions

Pinch of the following: oregano, garlic powder, basil, parsley, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper

6-8 cooked shrimp, chopped

Melt butter on medium heat and add flour. Mix thoroughly. Add milk and stir until flour is well mixed. Add seasonings and cheeses and continue to stir over low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally so that milk does not burn. Add shrimp and continue to stir. Serve over fish or pasta.

 

Best Steak In San Antonio!

Tejas Steakhouse & Saloon

I’m certainly no food critic (although wouldn’t that be the best job EVER) but I am certainly a food expert! This girl LOVES to eat! I had originally planned to do one post on all my favorite places but this one deserves it’s own spotlight. When we happened upon this little slice of heaven of a steak house we fell in love! The atmosphere is all that cowboy Texas could possibly offer. The service was outstanding, the beer was cold, and the food was beyond the best we had found in San Antonio. Where is this place you ask? Tejas Steakhouse & Saloon! Yee Haw!

 http://www.tejassteakhouse.com/index.php

Although it’s well off the beaten path from the “touristy” type attractions of San Antonio, it’s well worth the drive north out of the hustle and bustle of the city life. Nestled deep in Hill Country, as soon as you pull up on the property you step into cowboy country. Horses and stables, beautiful stone work, picnic tables, wind mill, and even a stage and dance floor are all part of the property!  I give all the credit to my husband for finding our now favorite spot. He had taken our son to Tejas’ on site rodeo arena. When I say arena, I mean the whole kit and caboodle!  Tejas hosts weekly rodeos that draw a large crowd. http://www.tejasrodeo.com/

So what makes the place so special?

Well they must be doing something right for Bravo TV’s “Top Chef Texas” to film an episode there. Or maybe you could be lured in by their recent feature in San Antonio magazine’s Top 10 Best New Restaurants in San Antonio. 

What’s so great about the food?

Where do I start?! Before each meal you get a warm basket full of black pepper biscuits. That’s right…black pepper IN the biscuit! Take one bite and all you’ll be saying is “UMMMMM”!

Black pepper biscuits

Since I am a creature of habit, I always choose the Pan de Tejas as my appetizer. Flat bread with a layer of home made pesto (for real! They have their own herb garden on site!) cheese, greens, and fresh tomatoes to top it off. Yummm…my tummy is grumbling right now as I think about how delicious it is!  

For your main course, you can’t go wrong with ANY of the steak choices! No matter what your steak preference, you HAVE to get the green beans!!! They’ve received awards on their green beans…yes they’re that good!!  I also have a special place in my heart for all things mac n cheese so Tejas’ green pepper mac n cheese always makes me smile.  If you’re not in the mood for a steak, my son has tried the catfish, which of course we had to taste test and it is to die for as well. You seriously can’t and won’t go wrong with anything you pick on this menu!

KC Lite with green beans and green pepper mac n cheese

Oh, and did I mention dessert?!
HO-LY COW! I tried the peach cobbler (with scoop of vanilla ice cream of course). Seriously?! How can life get much better when you have homemade peach cobbler with REAL peaches??? It took all of my mommy strength to not gobble up every last bite but my cute little curly haired boy wanted some ice cream. 

Homemade peach cobbler

Another bonus…brunch! The bartender, Dan, makes the best mimosa I’ve ever had and my husband was pretty fond of their Bloody Mary. So to my friends and family, when you come to visit in San Antonio, plan on a short ride for the best meal you’ll ever have. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to eat some left overs! Yum!

A taste of Tejas!

Pecan Crusted Salmon

A couple of years ago I helped publish a cookbook for my daughter’s cheerleading team, for which many nights were spent either inputting recipes, editing, re-editing, and re-editing some more. This project turned into our baby for myself and  3 board members. Almost 4 months later we were very pleased with the results as well as the profits from this huge fundraiser. I submitted several of my own recipes but this one is by far one of my favorites!

Pecan Crusted Salmon

Pecan Crusted Salmon

2 salmon filets

2 T mayo

1/2 c finely chopped pecans

1/3 c Italian bread crumbs

2 T grated Parmesan cheese

1 T minced parsley

1 T butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425°. Place salmon skin side down in a greased 11×7 baking dish. Spread 1 tablespoon mayo over each filet. In a small bowl, combine pecans, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and butter; spoon over salmon. Bake for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. 

Inexpensive and Quick Shrimp Stir Fry

Quick AND inexpensive?! Say it ain’t so! Don’t get me wrong, I love love love to cook and more often than not, I can spend hours planning, prepping, and cooking a good, wholesome Southern meal. But then there are the OTHER days. You know, those days where nothing seems to go right, your to-do list keeps getting bigger and bigger, and your pocket book is shrinking more and more. Then in walks through the door a bright idea! BAM! 

So here’s my quick and inexpensive, feed everyone in a quickness (and it’s pretty healthy too) recipe for shrimp, or beef, or chicken, whichever you prefer, stir fry. Here’s a little side note on the photo below. I took this photo after I had already served 3 plates full of stir fry so the size of the meal is much bigger than what you see.

Shrimp Stir Fry

1 bag frozen stir fry veggies

2 bags pre-cooked and peeled shrimp, thawed and tails removed

1/3-1/2 bottle Lawry’s Sesame Ginger marinade

2 T low sodium soy sauce

Pour frozen veggies in skillet with marinade and stir until coated. Place heat on low-medium and cover. While veggies are thawing/cooking, remove tails from shrimp. After veggies are thawed thoroughly, add shrimp and soy sauce and stir together. Cook for approximately 5-8 minutes to allow marinade to soak into shrimp for added flavor.  Can be served over rice. 

For a breakdown in cost, the veggies cost approximately $2.00 a bag, the shrimp is $5.00 per bag at Walmart, marinade is around $3.00 (and keep in mind you get at least 2 meals out of it), and soy sauce is super cheap as well. The boil in bag rice is inexpensive and quick as well. For less that $20.00 you can feed a family of four.