Friday, November 24, 2006

Most of you have probably read the news about the school bus accident that happened on Monday in Huntsville, Alabama. I couldn't believe I was actually reading THIS ARTICLE this morning about the Hate Group that will be protesting near the funeral of one of the victims today. If you click on the link I provided for the story, you will see that other links are on that page where you can read the entire story. Our governor announced that although America is a free country and this group of protesters are protected under the freedom of speech, they are not invited and they are not welcome. This is one time that I say BRAVO to our governor.

There will be another group attending today; A group who will be guarding the grieving families from the hate group. God Bless the Patriot Guard Riders!  They are always welcome in Alabama!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Subject Very Close To My Heart

Please take time to read this article. Especially if you live in the state of Alabama.

I often talk about how much I love Alabama. But THIS is one thing I don't love about it and it is a concern that weighs heavy on my mind. A concern that grows deeper every day.

What will it take for our politicians to care enough to do something about this problem?

 

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Chicken Pot Pie

My family liked this so much, it didn't last long enough for photography. Maybe I'll get a shot next time.

note: If you like spicy food, you may not like this. I don't do spicy because my family can't take it. So to some, this dish may be considered bland, you can add whatever spices your family likes.

Ingredients:

chicken breasts (I used 3, boneless and skinless)
enough chicken broth to cover the breasts, if you're cooking chicken without bones and skin.
diced potatoes and carrots (or whatever veg's you prefer)
chopped onion
chopped celery
minced clove or two of garlic
extra virgin olive oil (for sautéing the celery, onion and garlic)
salt and pepper to taste
a few tablespoons of butter
a few tablespoons of flour
about a cup of chicken broth
about a cup of milk
one pie crust (I used Pillsbury, refrigerated crust)
A deep dish pie pan

Bring the broth to a boil and then add your chicken. Cover and turn down heat. DO NOT boil the chicken rapidly, it will not be tender and juicy. Cover and cook with just a little bit more heat than a simmer. 

While your chicken is cooking, throw the potatoes and carrots in a pot of water and cook till tender.
While the chicken and veg's cook, saute your celery and onion in olive oil till transparent, then add your garlic. Careful not to burn the garlic. It's best to turn down the heat before adding the garlic. You don't want any of this mixture to brown. After this is done, I transfer it to a paper towel. NOTE:  you can just throw all of this in with the other veg's while they cook, if you'd rather not saute.

After the chicken is done and you have allowed it to cool enough to touch, dice it up and add to a bowl along with the drained veg's, garlic, onion and celery.

I have gotten to the point I absolutely HATE canned soup, so I decided to make my own chicken-flavored cream base for this. If you like the taste of canned cream of chicken soup, knock yourself out, it's way more convenient. Basic white sauce takes a little practice but practice makes perfect, right? Don't feel intimidated. So, here's what you do:

Add the butter and flour to a pan set to medium heat. You can also add your favorite seasoning to the butter and flour, such as poultry seasoning, thyme, etc. I didn't, because like I said, we don't do spicy. You want to let the flour cook in the melted butter for a while or it will have the taste of raw dough. But, you don't want this to brown (unless you're making brown gravy). Whisk in your chicken broth. I used (and I LOVE this stuff!) Knorr concentrated chicken broth, which can be found next to the chicken broth and bullion. It has a rich flavor and all you do is add a little water to it and, voila, you have very tasty broth! You don't want to make your sauce too thin with the broth because you will whisk your milk in last. Let the milk and broth bubble around in the flour and butter till it's as thick as you want. Continue whisking, so it doesn't clump. If it becomes too thick, add more liquid. You just have to use your judgment on this. I didn't really measure the stuff. The sauce-making process should only last a couple of minutes. You don't want to turn your back on it.

Add the sauce to your chicken and vegetable mixture, pour into the pie pan and put the crust on top. Flute the edges of the pie pastry and cut slits in the top so steam can escape. Bake at 450 for about 12-15 minutes till golden brown.

The only complaint I got was that I didn't make enough ...