Well...I'm a little behind. *hehe*
Because we've been snowed in twice this month, it has really thrown off our weekly menus. We would wake up late and have brunch and then graze all day on junk food. I would cook dinner, planning to have leftovers the next day (either for lunch or dinner), but when tomorrow became the present, it just didn't sound very good. We ate a lot of breakfast foods...and cookies, ice cream, and cupcakes.
Now we are getting back on schedule, but it's been a rough week. It's so strange that a week ago we were buried in up to two feet of snow--and now it's 60 degrees at 9 o'clock in the morning and all of my beautiful snow is gone. I don't think we will have anymore this year. :( But who knows? :)

I did try to make some cabbage rolls last Friday, but I didn't have full leaves, so it became a bit of a cabbage casserole. (I had halved the cabbage head, thus splitting the large leaves that should have been used to in the rolls.) Also, the cabbage had browned a bit on the outside and where it had been cut, so I had to remove those spots, which didn't leave me with much to use. (Cabbage can last for a l-o-n-g time if properly stored.) Whatever I rigged up was actually rather tasty--cooked cabbage topped with rice mixed with onion, green bell pepper, garlic, tomato paste, and spices and baked in chicken broth in the oven. However, as the snow finally melted and it was Valentine's weekend, we didn't dine much at home, and all the leftovers got tossed out.

We're trying not to waste food, especially since I'm not working and we are on a tight budget ($65 or so a week)--and even if we weren't on a budget, I would feel excessive and wasteful. I've found you can actually get quite a lot for your money, especially if you shop with coupons, plan your menu around sales and what's in season, cut out/down on meat, poultry & seafood, and eat breakfast as much as we do. *lol* We only have meat on special occasions--typically when we have company--or if we are craving something specific. For example, I've been wanting some Mexican chicken because it used to be my favorite and I haven't had it in for-e-ver, so we're having that this weekend. Besides I get so tired of meat, unless it's in small doses. On another note, I've also had a hankering for some cheesy potato soup, so I've scheduled that for Sunday night. :)

One of the times we do have poultry is when I make CHICKEN POT PIE, which is ZACH'S FAVORITE. I mean he is just crazy for it! He requests this about every week, and I must admit, it is tasty, easy to make, and relatively cheap. Until I invented this recipe (by combining the parts of others before I had even tried to make any of them *lol*), I never liked CHICKEN POT PIE. I didn't like the broth/soup/liquid in it, the veggies were usually cooked to death (well...*duh*...but you know what I mean), the chicken wasn't savory, and the crust left much to be desired. This CHICKEN POT PIE is something of which I don't think I can ever tire. Usually I get a rotisserie chicken from Walmart, skin it, debone it, and divide it into one-cup portions, freezing the leftovers for future dishes. I have used canned chicken, but that kinda freaks me out. (Like SPAM. *ugh* *shudder*) Passing on the cabbage rolls recipe, I thought about sharing pictures of the cupcakes I decorated for Valentine's Day with what decorating tips I used and whatnot, but for this week, I've decided to share this much loved recipe instead.

This was the first time I ever made this recipe (about a year ago).

1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 c. milk
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. cooked chikcen
1 carrot, peeled and sliced (or you can use an equal amount of baby carrots, chopped)
1/4 c. onion, diced (or 3 stalks of green onion)
1/4 c. frozen peas
1/4 c. frozen green beans
1/4 c. frozen corn
salt and pepper, to taste
oregano and basil, to taste
2 pie crusts (homemade or store)
pat of butter (to dot top of pie crust)

-Heat cheddar cheese soup, milk, and chicken broth on medium heat. Add chicken and vegetables until all is heated. Be careful that nothing sticks to the bottom of your pan and scorches.
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out and smooth one pie crust in a pie place.
-Add seasonings to pot pie mixture and pour into crust. Roll second pie curst on top, smoothing and crimping edges and trimming excess dough.
-Dot top of the crust with butter and, using a fork or knife, poke holes or make slits across top to let steam escape. (I like to use a fork and make a pretty pattern.) Bake for 45-55 minutes.

[serves 4]

I can't wait to make the next one. You're gonna love it!

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