The grocery stores near my mother in law have small containers of all sorts of baking/cooking ingredients. The prices are pretty darn good too. It can be a challenge not to go wild and load up on all sorts of interesting things.
I picked up some baking pretties on our last visit.
Nonpareils & Silver Dragees
Sanding sugars in yummy colors.
I love chicken pot pie. It was one of my favorite meals growing up (they were always the store bought kind). As an adult I would sometimes buy the pre-made ones at the grocery store.
My favorite pre-made brand is Mrs. Budd’s white meat chicken pie. Back in the day as a young married couple paying close to $8.00 for a chicken pie that fed us one meal with no leftovers was a bit of a luxury. I searched around and found a recipe for chicken pot pie from Ina Garten. I find it to be easy to make and delicious. I usually make the dough and cook the chicken in the oven a day or two beforehand. Then on the day I am ready to make the chicken pie all I have to do is put together the filling and roll out the dough.
I modify the recipe to suit our tastes and what ingredients we have on hand.
Taste as you go along as sometimes it starts to get too salty if you aren’t careful.
(I only included what I use. Ina’s original recipe has more ingredients)
- 3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on(I use boneless breast, whatever I have on hand or that is on sale. I often only use two chicken breasts depending on how many servings I want to make)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (I use canned/boxed, and use canned broth if I don’t have any stock)
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes(I like to use Better Than Bouillon)
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes( I use frozen if I don’t have fresh)
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups) (I use less as my husband hates peas)
- Sometimes I dice up potatoes if I have some that need to be used up.
Chicken pie filling cooking in my Dutch oven
For the pastry:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
- Flaked sea salt
You can read the directions on how to cook and assemble it here – Ina Garten Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
In this recipe Ina makes individual pot pies which is nice but not necessary. I take a large oven safe bowl or baking dish, put in the filling and then lay the pastry over the top in a sheet.
I made this for the first time for my dad and he kept commenting on how good it was and now he keeps saying that he wants me to make it again so I guess it was a hit.
This is either really smart of me or I’m dumb and just figuring out what other people already know.
I love sirloin tips. I usually buy a sirloin tip steak and cut it up into pieces and make sirloin tips from that. A few weeks back my grocery store had sirloin tip roasts on sale. I have no idea what a sirloin tip roast is but thought I could make sirloin tips from it.
“round tip roast = tip roast = sirloin tip roast = tip sirloin roast Notes: This roast is just a cut away from the sirloin, so it’s tender enough to be oven roasted or cut up into kabobs. If the roast is trimmed of some fat and muscle, it’s called a trimmed tip roast = ball tip roast. Substitutes: tri-tip roast OR rump roast”
After much Googling..I determined that a lot of other people had the same question and that some said yes and some said no to making sirloin tips from sirloin roast.
My husband even looked it up and he wasn’t sure either. What I do now is that a Sirloin tip roast cost almost less than half per pound that sirloin steak or sirloin tips.
We cut the roast into tip sized pieces. We got two meals worth of meat and froze one.
I used our Dutch oven on the stove top and first browned the meat on all sides in olive oil. I took the meat out and sauteed mushrooms and some onion. Once that was cooked down I added back in the meat and about 3/4 of a can of beef broth and some teriyaki sauce. I simmered on medium low for about 1/2 an hour (until the meat was tender).
I removed some of the liquid and cooked the rest down until it was the consistency I preferred(which is probably drier than most people like). Once it was cooked down to my liking I added the liquid back in cooked for another minute or two and served over rice pilaf.
It was delicious. Sirloin Roasts are supposedly tasty also cooked as roasts, but don’t be afraid to cut one up for sirloin tips if you find one on sale. Was it officially sirloin tips? I’m still not 100% sure on that but it tasted just as good and the price was right so I don’t really care.
When I was younger (and much much poorer) I would go to the supermarket near where I lived outside of Boston and buy a Chef Boyardee Cheese Pizza Kit.
I think they cost $2.50 or $2.00 back then(maybe even a little less) BUT this particular supermarket had a policy about shelf prices and register prices. I don’t remember exactly what it was but I think if an item you purchased rang up more than the shelf price you got that item for free.
I would go in to buy a pizza kit every week or so and I ALWAYS ended up getting it for free. They never fixed the shelf price or the price in the register. When you are so broke that you are scouring the car seats for gas money change getting a $2.00 pizza kit for free is like winning the lottery.
What I find funny too is that my husband remembers eating these as a kid. I don’t think there were any pizza places near where he grew up. He says it was the only version of pizza he knew. We still see them at some grocery stores but have no desire to try one again. I remember that they had shakey cheese(like the kind that comes in a jar) for the cheese.
Recently I discovered a really yummy blue cheese dressing. It is The Ultimate Blue Cheese Dressing by Marzetti. I also tried their regular blue cheese dressing and this one is even better than that one.
I have tried to make homemade blue cheese salad dressing before. It comes out O.K. but I have never been able to get it just right no matter how much I tinker with the recipe.
This dressing is so good that I like to use it as a dip for potato chips. Also when rinsing out the jar for recycling I noticed what a great sized glass jar it was. I’m not normally a person who saves a bunch of glass jars but this one caught my eye. It also has a plastic label that is not glued on which makes it easy to take the label off. Simply cut the label off and you have a nice sized glass jar. It got me thinking about what I could put into it.
I think it’s going to be the perfect size to make up a batch of homemade hot chocolate mix. We don’t need a big batch, and it would be convenient to have a pre-made mix to just grab when the mood for cocoa strikes. You could even decorate the top to cover where it says Marzetti on the cap, put some hot chocolate mix or soup mix in it and give it as a gift.
Yummy salad dressing and bonus glass jar makes me happy.