Sunday, February 28, 2010

Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie

I first saw this recipe over at New Nostalgia, a beautiful blog with some great recipes.  Look at Amy's kitchen and let your mouth drop - I'd always be in there cooking too. 

My husband loves those store-bought frozen chicken pot pies - yuck! - and always wanted me to buy them.  I just had to find an alternative that he would like so I wouldn't have to make those awful things.  Amy's recipe looked great and it makes 2 pies at a time.  At least once a month I need to deliver a meal to someone in need, so I could make one to freeze for later.

The pie was so quick and easy to make.  I just cut up chicken tenders, fried them in extra virgin olive oil, and added Montreal Chicken Spice while they cooked.  I used a store bought pie crust - gasp! - until I figure out how to make my own.  I've bombed quite a few crusts so far but will learn someday.  How is it possible that I can't make crust?  Yeah, I don't know either because my mother is famouse for her pies and I've seen her make crusts hundreds of times.

This was so delicious.  The sauce was nice and creamy and you could taste the wonderful thyme and sage flavours.  My husband and family also loved it!  This is a new family favourite at our house and I'll be making it many times to come.  Thank you Amy!

from Amy at New Nostalgia

2 carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium potato, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
6 Tbls butter
6 Tbls flour
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (homemade is great!)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (I used whole milk)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp ground sage
4 cups cooked chicken (I used cut-up chicken tenders spiced with Montreal Chicken & fried in olive oil)
Pie Crust Pastry (enough to cover the top of 2 pies)

In a saucepan, cook carrots, potato, onion and peas in a small amount of water, covered, about 10 minutes or until crisp tender. In another pan (skillet), melt butter. Add flour, cook and stir until mixture is golden brown. Slowly add broth, cream (or milk), salt, pepper, thyme, and sage. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until thickened and smooth. Divide chicken between 2 pie plates. Top with vegetables and sauce. Stir gently to combine. Place pastry over and cut slits on top.  (I froze my second pie to use later).

Bake 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes (watch crust for browning).

For a printable copy of this recipe go here.
Enjoy!  Sarah
From the book "The Fire Cat"
Story and Pictures by Esther Averill

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Buy Handmade: Recent Etsy Purchases

As I'm trying to make a difference by purchasing items handmade and have made the Pledge, I'd like to highlight my recent favourite purchases from Etsy, a site where they sell handmade and vintage items.  I adore this site and I like that I can pay using PayPal as I haven't (by choice) had a credit card for years.

Medical Information Book
from Rita's Angel's $12.00
I ordered this for my Mother-In-Law to keep by her phone or in her purse.

Personalized Note Cards
from Ink Spot Workshop $17.50 for set of 10
I ordered these for one of our MOMS Club volunteers to thank her for all her hard work over the last 2 years. These are gorgeous!

Cotton Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bag Set
from The Silver Bobbin $10.00
I ordered this to congratulate my sister on her new job. She loves them!

What's your favourite Etsy site?  Why not jump on the "Band Wagon" with me?

Enjoy!  Sarah

From the book "The Circus"
Editor Van B. Hooper
1961 Ideals Publishing Co.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Recipe: Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

These are delicious.  If you love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches then these will be one of your favourite treats.  I'm crazy for all things peanut butter and was looking for something good for an after school snack and to pack in lunchs.  I came across this bar recipe on the Food Network site from Ina Garten (who doesn't love the Barefoot Contessa?). 

My kids, friends, and husband went crazy for these and I can see I'll be making them alot in the future.  These were quick to make and the dough reminded me of peanut butter playdough.  I used my hands to squish the dough into the tray and skipped the parchment paper step.


1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups (18 ounces) creamy peanut butter (recommended: Skippy)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (18 ounces) raspberry jam or other jam (I used strawberry jam)
2/3 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper (I didn't do this), then grease and flour the pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.

Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula (I used my hands). Spread the jam evenly over the dough (I used my hands to spread it around). Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don't worry if all the jam isn't covered; it will spread in the oven. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.

Find a printable copy of this recipe here.

Enjoy!  Sarah

Happily submitted to Frugal Fridays over at Life As Mom.

From the book "Jonathan and the Octopus"
Written and Illustrated by Celest K. Foster
1967 T. S. Denison & Company, Inc.

Today my goal is to organize my son's room :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Recipe: Tomatoe Basil Soup

My daughter and I had some Tomatoe Basil Soup at a coffee shop last week and it was so good I had to try to make this at home.  She's always loved Tomatoe Soup and used to call it "plain soup" when she was little.  If I could make this at home then it would be a good soup for her to take for school lunch.

I found a recipe for "Rich and Creamy Tomatoe Basil Soup" from  The only ingredient I couldn't find was fresh basil leaves so I substituted with dried basil leaves.  I also made a double batch so I could freeze some for future use.

Instead of peeling the tomatoes with a knife I blanched them in rapidly boiling water for about 25 seconds until you see the skins "crack".  Then you can just pull the peels off with your fingers.  See example picture of the tomatoes with the skins "cracked" below.

Not only did my daughter love this but my husband and 3 year old son did too - score!  Isn't it great when you make something that everyone can agree on, and it's good for them?  We had this as a side dish with hamburgers last night.  It is very creamy and the basil is not overpowering but compliments the tomatoes well.


4 tomatoes - peeled, seeded and diced (I blanched the tomatoes to peel them easier)
4 cups tomato juice
14 leaves fresh basil (I used ALOT of dried basil with the tomatoes & at the end with the butter)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste (I forgot this step)

Place tomatoes and juice (and dried basil, about 3 tsp) in a stock pot over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves, and return the puree to the stock pot.

Place the pot over medium heat, and stir in the heavy cream and butter (and dried basil, about 4 tsp). Season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Do not boil.

For a printable copy of this recipe go here.

Happily submitted to Ultimate Recipe Swap - Lunchtime Edition over at Life As Mom.

Enjoy!  Sarah
It's another cold day today so we'll be staying indoors doing lots of this....
From the book "The Macmillan Science Life Series 1"
Illustrated by Leonard Weisgard
1962 The Macmillan Company

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Recipe: Apple Maple Crumble Pie

Perfect for a cold winter's night is this warm, sweet apple crumble pie.  We love deserts in our family and this topped our meal off perfectly last night.  I have a drawer full of apples in the fridge and have been using them in my cooking alot lately.  This was very similar to an apple crisp but most of the sugar's replaced by the maple syrup.

I found this recipe on one of my favourite recipe sites


5 apples - peeled, cored and sliced (I used 6 apples)
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup rolled oats

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Place the apples in an 8x8 inch baking dish. Pour the maple syrup over the apples. In a bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Stir in the flour, salt and oats. Sprinkle the oat mixture over the apples.

Bake in preheated oven 35 minutes, until golden and bubbly and apples are tender.
Find a printable copy of this recipe here.
Enjoy!  Sarah
Happily submited to Works for Me Wednesday over at We Are THAT Family
From "The Golden Book of Poetry"
Edited by Jane Werner, Illustrated by Gertrude Elliot
1949 by Golden Press

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Recipe: Chicken with Apples (Slow Cooker)

On Sunday I was trying to come up with a slow cooker dinner that was a little bit fancier than our usual fair.  I make at least 2-3 meals every week using our slow cooker and I try to change it up each time I use it.  I wouldn't want my family to get sick of it and ask me to stop using it so much - eeeekk!

I started with this Slow Cooker Chicken with Rosemary, Apples and Onions recipe from Food Network and modified it based on the comments I'd read, then came up with this version.

2 pounds chicken pieces (I used 2 bone-in breasts and 4 drum sticks)
3 apples pealed, cored and thickly sliced (I used Jonathan apples)
1 bunch asparagus cut into large pieces
4 carrots cut into large pieces or 1/2 bag baby carrots
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme choppped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 Tablespoon fresh sage chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth (try my homemade version here)

Arrange vegetables on the bottom of the slow cooker and place chicken pieces on top.  Season all over well with salt, black pepper, thyme and sage.

In a medium bowl whisk together broth and soup then pour mixture over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours.

- Serve chicken, sauce, and vegetables over rice (I served mine with a side on smashed red potatoes).
- Replace carrots with sweet potatoe or replace asparagus with celery all cut into large pieces.
- To thicken sauce before serving, scoop out the juice and place in sauce pan.  Heat to boiling then add 1/8 tsp cinnamon.  Thicken with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1/2 cup hot water.

Print a copy of this recipe here.

Enjoy!  Sarah
This is what it looked like outside my kitchen window as I made this.  Brrr.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Recipe: Gingery Apple Crumb Pie

Yes, it's as good as it sounds and with the good price of apples lately it's a great way to use them.  I found this recipe in Real Simple, November 2009 issue.  I love how the ginger flavour comes through and the crumbly, yet soft, topping taste together.  It's a step-up from regular apple pie and is perfect for when you have company.

Adapted from Real Simple magazine, November 2009, page 290

Basic Flaky Piecrust or 1 store-bought piecrust, fitted into a 9-inch pie plate
1/2 cup cup cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into small pieces
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 pounds apples (about 5; such as Granny Smith, Braeburn, or Empire), peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (I used minced ginger from a jar)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Set an oven rack in the lowest position and heat oven to 375ยบ F. Place the pie plate on a foil-lined baking sheet.

In a food processor, pulse the butter, ¾ cup of the flour, and ¼ cup of the sugar until large clumps form (I just did this by hand with a pastry blender). Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large bowl, toss the apples, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and the remaining ½ cup of sugar and tablespoon of flour.

Transfer the apple mixture to the crust, sprinkle with the crumb topping, and bake until the top is golden and the apples are tender, 55 to 60 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Get a printable copy of this recipe here.

Enjoy!  Sarah

Link Love

Link Love

I love love love to read blogs, especially crafting blogs as I'm still so new at it.  Here's some wonderful ideas I discovered on blogs this week:

Filth Wizardy's Sewing and Emroidery with Kids Using a Dollar Store Shelf Bed Liner.  This would be a great project for me my Girl Scouts to learn embroidery.

I am a sucker for free printables and just about fell out of my chair when I saw all the free ones over at The Toy Maker's website.  Everything from gift boxes, puppet theatres, paper dolls, to Brownie printables.  Everything is so beautifully illustrated.

Over at Little House in the Suburbs she has a Free Beginner Garden Plan which is perfect for a newbie like me.

I found a nice idea for a Homework Hanger clipboard on a Girl Scouts blog.  I've never decoupaged before but it can't be that difficult, eh?

Last night while hubby and I were surfing for Thai recipes (yes, we do this for fun), we came across the funniest video on YouTube for - Crank Dat Curry Sauce Music Video.

Enjoy!  Sarah

From the book "The Big Golden Book of Poetry"
Edited by Jane Werner, Illustrated by Gertrude Elliott
1949 by Golden Press

Friday, February 19, 2010

Recipe: Orange Chicken Curry (Slow Cooker)

I was in the mood for a curry dish in the slow cooker when I made this.  I didn't have any orange marmalade but I did have some Apricot Preserves that needed to be used up.  I found the recipe on a great site!) and decided this would be a good fit.

Our whole family LOVED this.  The sauce wasn't too spicy and there was enough left over to pour over the rice and chicken.  I used chicken thighs, but I think chicken breasts would've tasted better.  The chicken thighs slow-cooked leave you picking out lots of bones while you eat.  I also dregged the chicken in flour, salt and pepper prior to adding it to the slow cooker along with 2 cloves of minced garlic.  This would've tasted good with some frozen peas added the last half hour.


5 (6 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts

salt and pepper, to taste

1 (12 ounce) jar orange marmalade (or apricot preserves)

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 pinch ground ginger

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and place into a slow cooker. Whisk together the marmalade, chicken stock, curry powder, cayenne pepper, and ground ginger in a bowl. Pour over chicken breasts.

Cover, and cook on High for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low for 5 to 7 hours. Make sure to flip over the chicken breasts once during cooking.

Print a copy of the recipe here.

Enjoy!  Sarah

Frugal Friday: Vintage Children's Books

I absolutely love finding vintage children's books.  It's even better when you hit the "mother load" and they're all marked down in a thrift shop.  I got a bag full this week for less than $5.00.

This one is my favourite (copyright 1949) and you'll see lots of scans from it in the future here. 

It's my understanding that copyright laws do not apply to those items which are now "public domain", which is usually any books prior to 1964.  Find more information here over at Purple Kitty.

Look at these other gems I found all printed prior to 1964. 

I also found these wonderful books printed after 1964 but still treasures.

Check out more Frugal Friday ideas over at Life As Mom.

Enjoy!  Sarah

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Recipe: Rocky Mountain Peaks Cookies

This recipe comes from the "Green Shutters Cook Book - Famous Nova Scotia Recipes from the kitchen of Hilda M. Zinck" printed in 1971 .  As with most cookbooks compiled by communities at this time, the recipes have a few "gaps" in them.  Often ingredients are called for without mentioning the amounts, or without complete descriptions, so your left wondering what the next step could be.  There are hardly ever pictures of what the dish is supposed to look like once it's completed.  This is one of those cookbooks.  This was one of my Nana's  cookbooks, so there's some nostalgia in making recipes from it.

The recipe I chose is call "Rocky Mountain Peaks" as it reminds me of the Winter Olympics that we've been watching everyday.  I'm not sure if these cookies turned out how they were supposed to, but are an gewy sweet treat!  They're very sweet and sticky so if you have sensitive teeth or children dressed in white - don't eat these!  My husband said they remind him of the half-moon pies and they remind me of Wagon Wheel cookies (I don't know if you have those here in the USA).
Above is the original recipe from the book, my modified version is below.

Adapted from "Green Shutters Cook Book"

2 eggs
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 package dark chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped peacans
20 marshmallows (mini marshmallows may work better)

Beat the eggs well; add sugar.  Melt chocolate with butter and while hot add to egg and sugar mixture.  Add nut meats and marshmallows, stir together.  Drop on wax paper and allow to stand for a few hours, until firm (you may have to put them in the fridge to firm up).  Keep in a cool place.

Enjoy the sticky yummy mess!  Sarah

Poem: Radiator Lions

Today we're going out to enjoy some long awaited sunshine.  For all of you stuck inside due to this cold long winter, here's a little poem for inspiration :)

From "The Big Golden Book of Poetry, 85 Childhood Favorites"
1949 by Golden Press

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Recipe: Lobster Newburg

For my sweethearts on Valentine's Day I made one of our favourite dishes, Lobster Newburg.  I use the recipe from Southern Living as it's easy to follow.  This dish comes together very quickly so be sure to have all your ingredients measured, prepped and ready prior to cooking.  While I'm cooking the sauce, I prepare my rice.  To serve the rice, place it in a 1/2 cup measuring cup, pack it in, then turn upside down on plate.

Here's a link to the recipe on RecipeZaar as well.

from Southern Living's "30 Years of Our Best Recipes"

3 (10 ounce) lobster tails, thawed
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 teaspoon salt
hot cooked rice
fresh tarragon
fresh thyme sprig

Cook lobster tails in boiling water 5 to 6 minutes; drain. Split tails lengthwise on underside of shell. Remove meat and coarsely chop; set aside.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add flour, mustard, and paprika, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Add mushrooms, and cook 3 minutes; stirring constantly.

Gradually add milk and cream; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Add sherry and salt; simmer 10 minutes.

GENTLY stir in lobster meat and cook just until thoroughly heated.

Serve over rice. Garnish with thyme and tarragon if desired.

Enjoy!  Sarah

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Mother's Work Is Never Done

From "One Two Buckle My Shoe"
Illustrated by Gail e. Haley
1964 Doubleday & Company, Inc.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Martha Mondays: Spinach Frittata

I had to include a picture of the Nova Scotia tartan in the background ;o)

I'm typing with my mouth full, boy this is good!  This week's Martha Monday's over at Martha and Me was selected by Karen from At Least Twice A Week.  I love the taste of the cheese, spinach and onion combination.  This was so easy to prepare and was ready in a flash!  There's no crust to worry about either.  I didn't have any Gruyere cheese so I substituted with Sharp Cheddar cheese and white onion instead of shallots.

Here's the scanned recipe.  I love love Everyday Food Magazine and have been subscribing for years.

page 44 of Jan/Feb 2010 Everyday Food

Enjoy!  Sarah

Recipe: Jelly-Filled Doughnut Muffins

While watching Food Network last week with hubby we saw something called a doughnut muffin featured.  My husband exclaimed, "Wouldn't those be awsome filled with jelly!".  So, that's what my sweethearts got for Valentines Day as their special treat from me.  I did an internet search, which took quite a while, and found the recipe here at I know, an unexpected place to find it, eh?

Oh, these were so delicious with their crunchy outside and moist chewy insides.  The texture reminded me of refridgerator rolls fresh from the oven.  You know how you can "knock" on the tops but the inside is still fluffy?  The jam inside gave a nice burst of flavour to these and the glazed tops added a bit of sweetness.

The muffins did take time to make.  Between the kneading, rising, punching, filling, folding, rising, baking and glazing there was alot of steps.  I think once I make it a few times it'll be a snap but will require some planning before hand to make sure I have enough time to do it.


Adapted from Elaine Magee's new cookbook, Fry Light, Fry Right: Fried-Food Flavor Without Deep Frying

1 cup milk
4 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/4 cup light cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3 cups unbleached white flour (use 1/2 cup more, if needed, in kneading step)
1 packet active dry yeast (or about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup jelly of your choice (boysenberry, raspberry, and cherry work well

1. Place milk in a microwave-safe glass and microwave on high until fairly hot to the touch, about 1 minute. (Or put in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until just hot).

2. Place 2 tablespoons of the canola oil along with the cream cheese, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low until blended. Slowly pour the hot milk over the cream cheese mixture, and continue to beat until well blended.

3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Here's the dough before needing and adding extra flour.  It felt like a jelly fish - ew!

4. Stir together 2 cups of the flour and the yeast in a large bowl. Add the flour mixture slowly to the milk mixture and beat on low until smooth. Beat in the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
I added about an extra 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup flour while needing and it came together nicely.

5. Place the dough in a large mixing bowl that has been lightly coated with canola oil or canola margarine. Turn the dough over to coat the entire surface with oil. Cover bowl and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/4 hours.
After placing in muffin cups, I poked a hole in each one.

6. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the canola oil to the bottom of each of 16 muffin cups. Punch down the dough and split it into 16 equal-sized balls (about the size of golf balls). Using your hands, press each ball into a 1/2-inch thick circle, and then spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons of jelly into the middle. Bring up all the sides of the dough to wrap the jelly, squeezing the dough ends together well to seal. Place each ball in a muffin cup, and roll around to cover the entire surface with oil.
Fill each one with jelly (I used strawbettery), then fold over.

7. Let rise in a warm place until almost double in size, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops of the doughnut muffins are nicely browned. Remove from the oven to cool. Top with a vanilla glaze if desired (made with 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 teaspoon water, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract).

Later this week, I'll post the Lobster Newburg recipe that I made last night.
Enjoy!  Sarah
Happily submitted to Mouthwatering Mondays over at A Southern Fairytale.  Check out her recipe for Pasta With Scallops, Shrimp, Basil and White Wine Sauce.  I can't wait to make it :) 

Happily submitted to Muffin Tin Mondays over at Muffin Tin Mom.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

From the book "The Macmillan Science Life Series 1"
Illustrated by Leonard Weisgard
The Macmillan Company 1962

From "One Two Buckle My Shoe"
Illustrated by Gail e. Haley
Doubleday Book Company 1964

I'm busy making Jelly-Filled Doughnut Muffins for my sweethearts and will post recipe tomorrow :)

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