To Bake / Chicken Pot Pie

 
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     Good morning! I tried my hand at chicken pot pie for the first time last weekend, and the results were too good not to share! I'm not sure I'd ever even tried chicken pot pie (I was against meat in pies for most of my youth, for some reason), but it sounded delicious and just right for the colder weather we've been getting. Also, there's not much that's topped with a puff pastry crust that I won't eat. Find the recipe below (adapted from Bon Appetit)!

Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

  • 1/3 cup of AP flour

  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 cups of shredded chicken

  • 1/4 of an onion, diced

  • 1 cup of frozen peas, thawed

  • 1 cup of frozen carrots, thawed

  • Hot sauce

  • Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator

  • 1 large egg, beaten for brushing

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400, and melt your butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Once melted, add your diced onion and rosemary, and saute for 4 minutes. Add your flour and stir repeatedly until the mixture is golden brown, for about 6 minutes. Whisk in your broth, 1/2 a cup at a time. Then, whisk in milk and add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, whisking throughout, until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon. Add your peas, carrots, and chicken. Next, stir in your hot sauce + Worcestershire sauce.  

2. Pour your filling into a greased baking dish, and top with your pastry crust. Press the edges to your dish to seal, and brush the entire crust with your egg wash. Feel free to add a pretty touch, like these little rosemary leaves!

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3. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any spills!), and bake for 20 minutes. Then, reduce heat and bake for another 30 minutes. 

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4. Let sit for 10 minutes after baking, then serve warm. Enjoy!

     Thanks for reading! Have a fun Wednesday, and we'll be back next week with a twist on classic cookie cutter sugar cookies for Santa!

To Make A Body Scrub

     Hey guys! Let me start by saying I use this body scrub. I haven't made it just to put on the blog, it's a real life thing. It works well, is simple to make, and smells amazing. Also, you can do personal variations on it, like switching the lavender oil to peppermint, or to the vanilla extract like in the original post I've based mine off of. Not to mention this is one of my favorite gifts to give to my friends and family! It's inexpensive, but better than just a card, and the recipe makes a lot. See how to make it below!
 

Ingredients:

 - 1/2 cup white sugar

 - 2 cups Sugar in the Raw

 - 1 tbs. honey

 - 1/2 cup olive oil

 - 1 tbs lavender oil or whichever you prefer
 

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Step 1: Combine both sugars in a bowl and stir in olive oil.

Step 2: Mix in honey and lavender oil. Store in airtight container and enjoy! (I recommend a nice bubble bath while using.)

To Make Cranberry Sauce

 

       Hey guys! Today I have a delicious treat for you all, homemade cranberry sauce. While I haven't tried the canned kind, I will say that homemade is better. Based on that one word, homemade. Why would you ever take a gel-like substance over the real deal? Why, I ask?! Why?! Being sugar-free (I use honey instead of sugar), homemade cranberry sauce overall is a much healthier option. It's very easy to make and goes great on turkey sandwiches the next day. It's almost better on a sandwich, in my opinion. Just add a little brie and you've got yourself a gourmet leftover lunch. But I digress, this year, please try this homemade option instead of going out and buying a can of goop. Thank you and goodnight! Recipe below:

Ingredients:

-1/2 Cup of water

- 4 Cups of fresh or frozen cranberries

- 1 10oz. Can of Mandarin Oranges (no sugar added)

- 1/4 cup of honey

- 1 tsp of nutmeg

Instructions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until cranberries start to pop. Then mash the cranberries and oranges together and continue to let thicken (about 15 minutes total). Keep chilled until ready to serve. Enjoy!

To Make a Photo Holder

     Hi readers! This photo holder DIY is one of the most needed projects I've ever done. I have way to many small photos, prints, and Polaroids to count, and until recently I hadn't come up with a solution. We had a print garland in our last apartment, and that was great, but I wanted a different way to display them. Something more individual! Then, I remembered how I was wanting to purchase the little photo clips awhile back but now I have all this air dry clay to play with. I immediately set a plan to make little shapes out of the clay and put to use some copper wire I had for another project. It's so simple, Bailey will probably be able to make one in a year or so.


Materials:
- Air Dry Clay (I used the kids Crayola version.)
- Acrylic or Gouache Paint
- Paint Brush
-Copper Wire

First: Form your clay into the shape you want. I went with a cube but I think I'm going to try out a hexagon shape next.

Second: Bend your wire into a clip shape to hold the photo. (The larger the loop, the better it will hold.)

Third: Push the wire into the clay and let dry over night.

Fourth: Paint your shape whatever you choose, and voila! There's your photo holder!

To Make Sweet Potato Fries

   

     Hi readers! The recipe I have for you today is one of my most used and most loved. Sweet potato fries are one of the best side dishes for healthy easy meals. Sweet potatoes are another food that I was not into until I became an adult. My previous experiences with them were that of the Thanksgiving casserole and I just do not enjoy them in that sugary form! I know, I'm probably crazy, but I still do not eat the marshmallow covered dish.
     About two years ago, my sister-in-law, Kristen, introduced me to a savory recipe for fries that she was including in a self-made cookbook and we never looked back! These fries are so incredibly good, I'll even eat them cold the morning after I make a fresh batch. If you need more convincing, checkout the recipe below!

Recipe: Yields 4 servings
Ingredients: 
 - 2 sweet potatoes, washed, peeled if preferred!
 - 1 tbs. parsley
 - 1/2 tbs. oregano
 - 1/2 tbs. cumin
 - 1/2 tbs. coriander
 - 1/2 tbs. rosemary
 - 11/2 tbs. olive oil

Instructions:
1 - Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2 - Cut sweet potatoes into desired fry lengths.
3 - Place in a medium bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
4 - Add seasoning and toss until covered.
5 - Spread out onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

To Make Napkin Rings

    Hello all! It is getting dangerously close to that gift giving holiday we all know as Christmas. I'm not sure how many of you have seen the T.V. show (masterpiece) Parks and Recreation, but the main character, Leslie Knope, has stated that she embraces gift giving as a sport, and one that she always wins. Her attitude towards presents has inspired me to do my best this year to give each of my loved ones something they need/want/have been dreaming of. Yes, even a fictional government employee can inspire kindness. 
    For the following month, I will be posting easy and wonderful DIY projects that could potentially be that unexpected something to give to the one person it is impossible to find a gift for; or it could be the obvious something that your best friend has been needing for their new home. This is the case for this DIY! Most people my age are in temporary places, i.e. rentals, and cannot do much to give their space personality. I believe it is little touches, like these napkin rings, that can really elevate something from ordinary to unexpected. I adapted my project from this DIY and it is one of the easiest clay projects and simplest looking gift you could give!


Materials:
 - air dry clay (I use the kids Crayola)
 - watercolor paints and brush
 - rolling pin
 - clay glaze (Sculpey's works great!)



First: 
Roll out four balls of clay, I made mine a little bigger than a golf ball.

Second:
Smooth out clay flat with rolling pin so that you have four long rectangles.

Third:
Wrap the clay into a ring shape, wide enough inside to fit two fingers and let dry overnight.

Fourth:
Once dry, paint with desired color. To get a sheerer look, add plenty of water!

Fifth:
After paint dries, cover with gloss and let dry. Voila!