Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pi Day!

So, today is March 14, aka 3-14, aka Pi Day, if you're in the math/science/geek worlds.  So I had to make pi(e) at some point today....

I had a massage earlier today, but last night, i figured out I would be making chicken pot pi(e) for dinner tonight.  YUM!

I used The Pioneer Woman's recipe, and poked out a pi shape into the pi(e) crust for the vents.

I didn't have time to take pictures, plus my screen is still broken, so you'll have to go to Ree's page to see photos, but mine looks like hers.  I do have a photo of the crust, tho :D

I slightly  modified Ree's recipe (of course!)

1 refrigerated pie crust
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup finely diced celery
2 cups leftover turkey, light and dark, diced or shredded (or both!)
1/4 cup flour
2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth (more if needed!)
splash of white wine (optional)
3/4 cup heavy cream
Dried rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter in a skillet or dutch oven. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until translucent (a couple of minutes.)
Add turkey and stir. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.

Pour in chicken or turkey broth, stirring constantly. Splash in wine (you can leave this out if you’d like.) Pour in cream.
Bring to a slow boil and allow mixture to cook and thicken for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste (do not underseason), and rosemary to taste. Do one final taste at the end and add what it needs.

Pour mixture into a casserole dish or deep pie pan.
Roll out crust so that it’s about 1 inch larger than the pan you’re using.
Place the crust on top of the pot pie mixture, and press crust into the sides of the dish. Cut vents in the top of the crust.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until very golden and bubbly and the crust is done.
Allow to cool for a little bit before serving.
Serve with a large spoon.

The crust was PERFECTLY flaky.  I did mine for 40 minutes.  Turned out amazing :D


Happy Pi Day!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Crash Hot Potatoes

So, for dinner the other night I was lazy and made Ree's Crash Hot Potatoes

I didn't take photos, but Ree has some on her link if you're curious. I need a new camera – the screen on mine is broken. Has been for about a year – sometimes I don't care and use it anyway.  I sat on it one too many times, I guess.  *oops*

I changed the recipe up a bit, using herbs I wanted and the potatoes I could find at the store.

12 whole yellow petite potatoes
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt To Taste
Black Pepper To Taste
Herbs de provence To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.  (Took me 18-20 minutes to boil them till fork tender.)
On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.
With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.
Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available.)
Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

I couldn't find a potato masher, so I used two forks in a criss-cross pattern, like you would for classic peanut butter cookies.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

White Chicken Chili

So I decided to make White Chicken Chili at home, in the crockpot, for Z, T and I.  It was GOOD!

I started off with frozen chicken tenders on the bottom, covered by frozen corn, then 2 cans of Great Northern Beans, cut up an onion, added in a can of diced tomatoes, some roasted red peppers from a jar, plus some juice, 2 cloves of garlic, and a bunch of spices.....all in the crock pot, on high for a few hours, turned to low for a few hours, and then take out the chicken, shred it, add back in, cook for another hour and then take out the bay leaves and EAT!

It was really good

I would make it this way again, but i don't know how much of each spice I used....

Cilantro.  Chili Powder.  Bay Leaves.  Basil.  Cumin.  Paprika.  Z used some bacon salt.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chicken Fingers

Today's meal came (once again) courtesy of J's kitchen.  she's fabulous!

Made Chicken fingers from TastyKitchen.  I did not make the sauce due to lack of ingredients and funds.

Boneless, Skinless Chicken tenders
2 cups Panko Breadcrumbs (i use kikkoman)
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup Flour
2 whole Beaten Eggs 
Vegetable Oil, For Frying

Put the flour, egg, and crumb mixture in individual shallow bowls. Dust each strip of chicken with flour, dip into the beaten egg, and roll in the crumb mixture. Coat all pieces before you start frying.

Pour oil in a large skillet or frying pan until it’s a few inches deep (enough to cover the chicken on one side). Heat over medium low heat until a pinch of flour sizzles in it. Add the chicken in batches and fry for 1-3 minutes until they reach desired golden-brownness. Make sure to fry long enough to cook each piece all the way through. Remove from oil with tongs and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain the oil. Let cool slightly.

Make sure they are cooked all the way through - i had issues with that.

Next time i'll add garlic salt and parsely to the panko mix and cook them further - flattening out before hand if needed.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012


So this past saturday (the 13th) My friends and I gathered at J's house with 4 lbs of bacon, 5 tomatoes, 1 head of lettuce, and 8 onion rolls.

yes, 4 POUNDS of BACON.  you heard me properly.

so what did we do?  MAKE BACON (and blt's).  but most of the bacon was eaten without being made into BLT's.  They also made candied bacon (i heard) but i was bacon'd out (that was into the 3rd lb) so i didn't try any.  we have part of a pound or a pound left in her fridge/freezer for next week.  or tuesday.

Thats the only photo I took.

We baked the bacon at 400* for 12-15 minutes, depending on who was baking and how stiff they wanted their bacon.  J likes her bacon semi floppy, Z likes his stiff but not burnt.

Thankfully, noone wanted it raw.  ;)

Then we sliced the compliments, and the onion rolls, and put the onion rolls in a frying pan with some oil and toasted them NOM!

They were really good.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Grandma's chocolate chip cookies

Sadly, Grandma's chocolate chip cookies have no secret ingredients, except maybe love.  They're a crisco recipe.....their "ultimate chocolate chip cookies."  But to me?  They'll always be Grandma's cookies.

I made these while at J's house last weekend.....Pirate, M, S, and all the others enjoyed eating them while i made the pumpkin bars and we watched doctor who - past episodes.  Noone baked while the new (sad) episode was on.

  •  3/4 cup Crisco® Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (6 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 cup)

  • 1. HEAT oven to 375ºF.

  • 2. COMBINE shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. 
    Eat some raw dough (it won't hurt you) (unless you have a compromised immune system, then don't eat raw dough - i don't want you to get sick!)

  • 3. DROP by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.

  • 4. BAKE 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies, or 11 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet on a cooling rack. Remove cookies to rack to cool completely.
    5.  EAT to your hearts content.  or your belt.  whichever.
    Favorite cookies, hand down.  (I will eat other cookies tho.)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chips Bars

While I don't have photos for this post, i still have a recipe!

I went over to my friend J's house and we spent about 4-6 hours in her kitchen making goodies and then eating the goodies - it was fun, therapeutic (for me at least!) and resulted in yummy food!

I got my recipe from Bridget at Bake at 350.  She just published a book and has a give away going on -  go enter!

The recipe is as follows:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 & 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 & 1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (mine is from Haiti)
1 cup canned pumpkin
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

I actually don't have ground cloves, so I put some whole cloves in a baggie, and S went to his car and used pliers to grind them up a bit (no motar and pestal, either) and then came back inside and used a hammer to grind up the last little bits - stories like these are what makes making food with friends fun and enjoyable!

 I also only had 1/2 bag of choc chips, which is approx 6 oz, but it turned out alright, of course. :D

J, of course, doesn't have an electric mixer, so this was all done by much fun! (not) This is why I entered bridget's give away for the free mixer - i'd love a kitchen aid mixer!  My sister got one for graduating college from my parents.

Preaheat oven to 350*F.  line 9x13 pan with foil (this is a wonderful step because it elimates SO.MUCH. cleanup :)

Whisk together the flour, spices, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy.  Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Beat in the pumpkin.

Add in the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until combined.

Add in the chocolate chips, until just combined.

Pour into the prepared pan, making sure its level.

Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick thats entered comes out clean.

Use the foil to take the bars out of the pan and cut.  Eat!  They're delicious!

Mine were gone in about 20 minutes....this is what happens when you have people over to eat your food that you baked!  I wouldn't have it any other way - we were watching doctor who's fall season finale - it was so good.  and sad.  so sad.

~ Kelly

Friday, May 11, 2012



Its been awhile.  Life is topsy turvey and i'm finally back in my own place.  Now i need a stove/oven and a fridge, and THEN i'll be back in business making food and posting more often.  However, I went home and made salmon at mom's house tonight, and photographed most of it....

Get your cast of characters out - salmon, lemons, oil, pepper, salt, rosemary, wine, lemon juice, and capers, if you have them.  I didn't have capers, plus i don't care for olives, so I didn't substitute them in.

 Open up your salmon, place on foil, brush both sides with olive oil, and salt and pepper them.  Add rosemary.

Place lemon slices on top of your fish.  Forget to rotate photos as well ;)

Splash some lemon juice and white wine around the fish in the foil.

 Wrap the foil around the fish, seal (better than i did please!) and grill.  Put the grill on medium high heat and grill for about 10 minutes.  My father did the grilling hence the lack of photos of said event.

The salmon was really good, rather lemony, but i put out lemon slices for others to squeeze on to the fish if they wanted more lemon.

Very good recipe, the main part of the meal was prep.

8 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
8 lemon slices (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1/2 cup Marsala wine (or white wine)
8 pieces of aluminum foil

Brush both sides of salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Place each piece of seasoned salmon on a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal. Top each piece of salmon with 2 lemon slices, 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of wine. Wrap up salmon tightly in the foil packets.

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. Place the foil packets on the hot grill and cook for 10 minutes for a 1-inch thick piece of salmon. Serve in the foil packets.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

cookie winner!



Using's random number generator, I put in 1 and 4 and it gave me number 4!!!!

roommate, email me (kelly dot vanderwell at gmail dot com) your address and if you can eat peanut butter and nutella (i don't remember :() and I will make the cookies saturday, probably ship them monday, as I have work on saturday as well. 

CONGRATS again! :D

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Panko-crusted lime Arizona Dream Chicken and Forward! Hashbrowns

Long title.  I know.  But bear with me.

I got new spices for christmas.  Awesome ones.  From a store called Penzey's in Grand Rapids that does only spices.  I haven't been in there yet because I know I will spend way too much money on spices.  I seem to collect spices, I have a lot of them.  I added more to my collection, I should update the "my kitchen" page.  I received the "Kind Heart" Gift box of four different spices.

I decided I would try out the flavors on some food.  I didn't add enough of the flavors to actually *taste* them, so I cannot comment on how they taste.  I can tell you tho, that they smell really good :D

I used the "Arizona dream" on the chicken and the "Forward!" on the hashbrowns, in recommendation from the papers that came with the spices.  A few days later I could taste the spices, as they had time to meld in the fridge and it was really good.  I totally recommend it :)

Start by chopping 4 idaho potatoes into smallish chunks and soaking in a bowl of water. Let sit in water till ready to go in the pan.

Chop up the rest of your veggies.  I used 2 zucchini, 1 yellow squash thing, and 1 red pepper.

Add potatoes and some olive oil (mine is garlic infused) to a frying pan and start roasting.  It will take a while.

When the potatoes are starting to get some color, add the Zucchini and lament about the size of your pan being too small.

When the zucchini starts getting roasted add some Forward! seasoning to it, or whatever seasonings you may have on hand.

Add your butternut squash and red pepper and lament some more about the size of your pan.  Wish you had bought a larger one with your christmas money from your siblings.

ADD THE BACON.  this is the best part of the hash browns...BACON.  Bacon makes everything better.  I will prove that later this year with some interesting recipes.  Hang around and find out :D

Keep roasting your veggies and mixing them around every so often so they don't burn.  Also, keep lamenting the fact that your pan is too small, the lighting isn't good enough, and that there's no daylight because its 7pm.

Defrost your chicken, I did mine in the microwave due to sharing a kitchen with two other people.

Cut a lime.  DO NOT lick your hands you'll make a funny face.  Ask me how I know.  My housemate laughed at me.  How nice of him, right?!

Juice the lime (1/4 of it) over the bottom of the pan.

Zest some of the lime into a bowl that has panko and parmesan cheese in it as well.  It will smell REALLY GOOD.  don't eat it.  I doubt it would taste good.  blech.

Insert picture of beaten eggs here (yes, i didn't get one)

Beat two eggs in a bowl.

Dunk the chicken in the egg, rolling to coat it completely.

Roll it in the panko/parm cheese/zest mix, making sure its completely covered.

Place it in the pan.

Do the same with the rest of the pieces of chicken.  I only did 3, but there was enough egg and zest mix for at least 5 more pieces of chicken.  Sprinkle Arizona Dream on top of each piece of chicken.  Also put some lime juice on top of each piece.  How much you like lime and how many pieces you have determines how much lime needed.

Put in the oven for 30-45 minutes at 350*f.  Take out when juice runs clear and the meat thermometer says the proper time for poultry.


Exclaim to your friends how good dinner is and don't they want to eat with you, but offer the 2nd piece of chicken to your housemate, along with some hash browns :D  Thankfully, he accepted :D

Hash browns:
4 idaho potatoes, scrubbed, cubed
2 zucchini
1 yellow squash thing
1 red pepper (or any color, really)
bacon bits
olive oil
spices (I used Forward! from Penzey's, see link at beginning of post).

Start by chopping all your veggies.  Put the potatoes and oil into the pan, start roasting.  Add spices, stir. Add zucchini, roast.  Add squash, roast.  Add red pepper, roast.  Add bacon bits, roast for a small bit. 

Makes 5 servings.

Lime chicken:

3 chicken breasts, defrosted
1 lime
parm cheese
lime zest (from the lime)
2 eggs
spices (I used Arizona Dream from Penzey's, see link at beginning of post).

Defrost chicken.

Add panko, parm cheese, and lime zest into bowl.

Add beaten eggs to another bowl.

Dip the chicken in the eggs, then into the panko mix and then place in pan.

Bake at 350* for 30-45 minutes or until done.

Makes 3 servings.

Serve with hash browns. 

***Don't forget to enter the give away!***