Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mini chicken pot pies

One dish that's especially comforting in cold weather is chicken pot pie. I make it year-round but it's even better when the air is bit chilly. The pictures will show when I recently made it using turkey and it's wonderful either way.

Makes one 9-inch pot pie or 3-4 individual pot pies

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked chicken (or turkey) breasts, cubed
1 1/2 to 2 cups carrots, cooked and sliced
1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 egg white
Pie crusts

Preheat your oven to 400 F. In a saucepan, melt the butter and mix in the flour. Add the milk a little at a time, while whisking continually. Add the broth, and salt and pepper.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked chicken, carrots and peas.

Fill in 3-4 individual oven-safe bowls with the chicken mixture.

Brush an egg wash (1 egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon of water) on the rim of each bowl. Top with a pie crust, using a knife to cut off any extra.

Below are the pie crusts I use and due to the size of my bowls, I need one crust for each pot pie. If you prefer to do a traditional pot pie, simply use a crust on the bottom of a regular-size pie plate, fill it with the chicken mixture and top it with another crust. Make a couple of slits on the top and bake it the same way.

Brush some egg wash on the pie crust which will make it a beautiful shiny golden brown when cooked. Using a knife, make a couple of slits in the crust. Instead of slits, I usually put each family member's initial on their pot pie but a heart would be nice too.

Put the bowls on a baking sheet and bake at 400 F for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 and bake another 10 minutes. Be careful that you do not burn your crust! Then take them out of the oven and let them cool on a rack for a minute.

Now dig in and enjoy! :)

Monday, January 19, 2009


Do you consider yourself a joyful person? Are you feeling joyful today? If so, then you may not have heard that today is known as the most depressing day of the year! Oh my.

Yes, apparently there is such a thing and it's based on things such as the cold weather, increasing debt (credit card bills coming in from Christmas purchases), and new year's resolutions that have already been broken.

But could joy be a deliberate choice and not a reaction to various elements in our life? I think it can be. After all, I don't know one single person who has no problems to overcome, no issues to spoil their joy and no difficulties to rob them of their comfort or peace of mind. And yet, for many of them joy has won and fear has lost.

"It really is possible to color a dark canvas golden, even with the tiniest of brushes. You just keep on dabbing the paint, and sooner or later you transform the surface with brightness. In the same way, if you keep on making joy choices, small and large, your heart will eventually display a joyful tint that is more durable than you ever imagined."

- Thomas Kinkade, a.k.a. The Painter of Light

Despite the cold weather and the difficulties you may be facing, may joy warm your heart and be yours today and always!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm a little teapot...

This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

And this is the cute little teapot and teacup set that my husband and son gave me last year for Mothers' Day.

Isn't Wooly the cutest little sheep? And do you suppose she's reading the Word?

While I'm at it, let me show you just a couple of my other favorite teapots. They're actually tea for one sets, with the base serving as the teacup and the top being the the teapot itself.

I like how pretty it is inside and out. :)

And below, here's another one I like very much. The colors are some of my favorites and I find it soothing just to look at it!

Time to put the kettle on and enjoy a cup of tea. Hope you get to do the same!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Share a smile!

A few years ago, I started making a snack for my little boy called "cat smiles". It combines three of his favorite foods: apples, peanut butter and marshmallows.

I found the recipe in this tea party book that I own, which is full of cute tea party ideas and fun themes:

In case you're wondering, the "cat smiles" name has to do with Alice in Wonderland. In the story, the Cheshire cat keeps popping up and then disappearing. When he does disappear, what's the one thing he always leaves behind? His smile, of course!

You can make a cat smile for your little ones today by spreading peanut butter on an apple slice, then lining up mini-marshmallows on it for the cat's teeth, and topping it with another apple slice that was also spread with peanut butter. If you don't care for peanut butter, you could also make it using this:

And what's not to like about Nutella? It's great on everything!

Cat smiles are such a fun after-school snack and they're sure to bring a big smile to your child's face... and yours!

"Take some more tea," the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
"I've had none yet," Alice replied in an offended tone, "so I can't take more."
"You mean you can't take less," said the Hatter: "it's very easy to take more than nothing".

- Lewis Carroll, "Alice in Wonderland"

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A treasure

Today, I came across this verse in the book of Psalms and it really spoke to me:

I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure. Psalm 119:162

How true that the Bible is a great treasure. Yet, it's widely available, affordable, and many people own several of them. In other countries around the world, however, it isn't the case as religious persecution is very real and very serious.

Here in the US, we are truly blessed to be able to openly read the Bible, carry it with us in public, pray wherever and whenever we want, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others without fear. That freedom is something worth treasuring and thanking God for.

The words contained in it bring awe to me each time I open its pages. It's amazing how God's word is indeed every question's answer.

Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death. John 8:51

May each of us let it speak to us today and receive its message of salvation. And that is the most precious thing we could ever rejoice over!

Friday, January 2, 2009

So long, gingerbread house!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and new year celebration! I did, and I started a new Christmas tradition this year: making a gingerbread house with my son. But, since this was our first year making one, I went the easy peasy route and bought a kit from Wal-Mart. Apparently, we have similar gingerbread house-making abilities because it's hard to tell who did what part!

Earlier this afternoon, it became the last of the decorations that I needed to put away. I actually didn't want to save it or simply throw it away. I thought of just leaving it outside for some bird or animal to come feed on it, and hubby suggested that maybe if it was crushed, the ducks in the backyard lake just might enjoy a taste.

"Crushed? Did someone say crushed?". That's all it took for my little guy to be all over that idea!

So, we went in the backyard and he put down the gingerbread house by the lake. Then he had the best time crushing it!

Now, that looks almost done. And, just in time since a few ducks are quickly making their way toward their sweet treat...

Behind them were these two white ibises who tend to be on the shy side.

Click on the picture to enlarge it if you'd like. I'm always amazed at the beauty of God's creation. :)

Oh, and did I mention Lizzy followed us? Of course, she smelled that we were up to something!

Here's my son throwing some pieces into the lake. And Lizzy knows she can't take it much longer...

The water softened up the gingerbread pieces and the ducks seemed to really like it.

At this point Lizzy thought: "All right, the kid's busy with those quacking things in the water and mom's taking their picture, so here's my chance to eat that chimney!"

After she sneaked in a bite, we left the remaining crushed pieces for other ducks and birds. The two white ibises came over after we had gone back toward the house but they ate none of it. (Beautiful AND smart!)

Thank you for visiting me today. Wishing you and yours all the sweetest blessings in 2009!