Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie – A Bonus Recipe

There are certain meals that just qualify as “comfort food.”  Chicken pot pie is definitely one of them.  There is just something about this creamy dish, as the weather turns colder, that just hits the spot.  I have been making this recipe for many, many years and I never get tired of it.

Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie

  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 cup sliced cooked carrots
  • 1 cup diced cooked potatoes
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/3 cup unsifted flour
  • 2 tablespoons chicken flavor bouillon or 6 chicken flavor bouillon cubes
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 cups biscuit baking mix

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (or temperature of biscuit mix).  In a saucepan melt butter.  Stir in flour, bouillon and pepper.  Add milk slowly while stirring.  Cook and stir until mixture thickens.  Add remaining ingredients except biscuit mix.  Mix well.  Pour into 2 1/2 quart casserole (9×13).  Prepare biscuit mix for rolled biscuits.  Roll out to cover casserole.  Cut slashes in center of dough.  Place on top of casserole and crimp edges.  Bake 40 minutes until golden.

Note:  You may omit bouillon and replace 1/2 of milk with chicken broth.

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I started out by cutting up the carrots . . .

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and the potatoes.

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I also cooked and cut up the chicken.  I then boiled the potatoes and carrots in a pan, so they would be ready to add when the time came.

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I melted the butter in a saucepan and stirred in the flour and pepper.  I then added the 2 cups of milk and 2 cups of chicken broth and stirred until the mixture became thick.

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Once the mixture was thick enough, I added in the cooked carrots and potatoes and the cut up chicken.  Unfortunately, (or fortunately for the non-pea lovers in the world) I didn’t have any peas, so I had to leave them out.  (They do add a nice touch of color, though, so I would recommend using them if you have them on hand.)

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I then, made up the biscuit dough (I used Bisquick, but I’ve also made them from scratch and they work fine either way.) and rolled it out until it was the right size to go over the casserole dish.  I poured the chicken and vegetable mixture into the pan and then covered with the biscuit dough.  I put it in the preheated oven.  The recipe says 40 minutes, but I have found it usually takes less time than that for the biscuit dough to turn a golden brown and the filling to begin bubbling a little bit.

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I then pulled it out of the oven and my whole family enjoyed it.  I hope your family will enjoy it too!

Happy Baking!

Amy

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Koffee Kuchen

My brother-in-law, loves coffee cake.  There are several recipes for coffee cake in Grandma Dora’s recipe boxes and he keeps suggesting we try one.  One afternoon I was at Wendy’s house.  She had dinner in the crock pot, so I decided to make muffins to go with it.  Then, I remembered the coffee cake recipes and decided to try one of those instead.  The Koffee Kuchen looked a bit different than the others, so I thought I would try it out.

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Koffee Kuchen

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 beaten egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 stiff beaten egg whites

Cream shortening and sugar;  add egg yolks.  Add flour sifted with salt and baking powder alternately with milk.  Fold in egg whites.  Pour into waxed paper lined 8 inch square pan.  Blend 6 tablespoons flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.  Sprinkle over cake.  Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) 40 to 50 minutes.  Cut in squares.

I started out by separating the eggs and beating the egg whites until they were stiff.

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I then removed the egg whites to another bowl and creamed the shortening and sugar.

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I added the egg yolks. Then, I combined the dry ingredients and added them to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk.  After that I folded in the egg whites and poured the batter into an 8 inch square pan (I did not line it with waxed paper although it is probably a good idea.).

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Then I blended the topping ingredients.  This was an interesting, a topping with baking soda in it.  I’d never made one like this before and was curious to see what it was like after it baked.

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I sprinkled it on the cake and put it in the oven.

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I baked it in the oven at 350 and after about 40 minutes it came out smelling and looking delicious.

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It tasted different that a traditional coffee cake – there is no cinnamon.  It has it’s own distinct flavor.  Even though it was my brother-in-law’s request, my dad is the one who ended up devouring it!  Give it a try and serve it with coffee or just by itself.  I think you will be glad you did.

Happy Baking!

Amy

Brown Sugar Cake

Edith and Dora

Grandma Dora as a young toddler with her mother.


I have a new niece!  She was born this past Friday.  We got to go to the hospital and meet her.  She’s adorable and tiny.  Besides the fact that she’s my niece, and I get to love her to pieces, she has something else special about her.  Her middle name is Dora, after her Great Grandma.  I don’t know if she’ll resemble Grandma Dora at all, but I pray that she’ll learn to honor God with her life, like my Grandma Dora did.

A celebratory cake, a recipe out of Grandma Dora’s box, was a necessity for this special occasion!  I found a recipe for Brown Sugar Cake, which seemed to suit an October birthday, so I decided to give it a try!

Brown Sugar Cake RecipeBrown Sugar Cake

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup sour milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup lard or shortening
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream brown sugar, eggs, butter and shortening.  Mix flour and baking soda in separate bowl.  Alternate adding dry ingredients and sour milk into creamed mixture until incorporated.  Pour into greased baking dish or bundt pan.  Bake at 350 for 45-47 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Cool and frost as desired.

For the frosting recipe, see Brown Sugar Frosting, featured on October 8, 2014.

Brown Sugar Cake creamed ing.I started by creaming the eggs, brown sugar, butter and shortening.  (I used the organic shortening that is pictured in our Hermit Cookies recipe.)

Brown Sugar Cake BatterThen I slowly alternated the dry mixture of flour and baking soda with the sour milk.  (If you aren’t sure how to easily make sour milk, it’s explained in Mrs. Magary’s Spice Cake recipe.)

Brown Sugar Cake Bundt PanI decided to use a bundt pan because it looks so beautiful when it’s baked and it’s super easy, but appears as though you put a lot of work into it!  I greased it GENEROUSLY (I learned my lesson about that the hard way when making Mrs. Magary’s Spice Cake!) and poured in my batter.  The oven was preheated to 350, so I slid my pan into the oven.

Brown Sugar Cake BakedThe recipe card didn’t say how long to bake the Brown Sugar Cake. Actually, other than the ingredients, it didn’t say anything at all, so I was doing a lot of guessing.  I started the timer with 20 minutes and continued to check it and add time until it was done.  Once it got to 47 minutes, I pulled it out.  It was a lovely golden brown.

Brown Sugar Cake FrostedI decided that it HAD to have frosting.  That’s what makes a bundt cake pretty.  AND who doesn’t love frosting!  When I pulled the recipe out of Grandma Dora’s recipe box, I KNEW what frosting I was going to make.  I had recently made Brown Sugar Frosting also, from the recipe box.  It was some of the best frosting I’ve ever tasted.  As my husband’s friend put it, “That frosting should be on EVERYTHING!  I mean, even pot roast and mashed potatoes!!”  With it being a Brown Sugar Cake, what better to frost it with than Brown Sugar Frosting?!

Brown Sugar Cake Sliced

I sliced up the cake at our table and we all tasted it!  Honestly, it tasted like a DOUGHNUT!!  The outside of the cake is thick and is a bit crispy, while the inside is soft.    All I could think of to compare it to was a doughnut, but without it being deep-fried.  So that makes it healthy, right?!

Brown Sugar Cake Slice

The Brown Sugar Frosting was a great pair for the Brown Sugar Cake.  The perfect “Welcome to the World” cake for our new niece!

Happy Baking!

Wendy

 

Cinnamon Rolls (or Sweet Dough)

Grandma Dora, Mother, Grandmother

Grandma Dora as a child with her mother (left) and Grandmother (right).

My Grandma Dora grew up as an only child.  She lived near her grandparents, so I would guess that she spent a lot of time cooking and baking with both her mother and grandmother.  Grandma Dora’s grandparents came to America from England as adults, so perhaps some of her cooking and baking skills had English roots.  Many of the recipes from Grandma’s recipe box came from friends and neighbors, but I am sure some of them came from her mother and grandmother as well.  In fact, some of them are written in her mother’s handwriting.  I like to imagine that this recipe for sweet dough is one that three generations made together.

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Sweet Dough

  • 2 packages yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • Grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • sifted flour – 7 cups or more

Pour water over yeast, stir and let stand about 10 minutes.  Scald milk and cool until lukewarm.  Cream together the butter, sugar and salt;  add eggs, lemon if used, and nutmeg.  Add lukewarm milk to softened yeast and blend this liquid with 3 cups flour.  Beat smooth, then add butter mixture and enough more flour to make a medium soft dough.  Knead smooth, but keep as soft as can be handled without sticking.  Let rise in a cozy warm place until fully doubled.

Filling:

  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon

After the dough has doubled in size, punch down and flatten out on a lightly floured surface.  Use a rolling pin to roll into a large rectangle.  Spread with 4 tablespoons butter or margarine.  Mix sugar and cinnamon together.  Sprinkle over the dough.  Roll dough up tightly;  pinch edge of dough into roll to seal.  Cut roll into 1-inch slices.  Place in 3 greased 9×13 pans.  Cover and let rise in warm place 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until double.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pan to wire rack.  Drizzle vanilla glaze over warm rolls.

Vanilla Glaze:

Mix 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and 2 to 4 tablespoons milk until smooth and thin enough to drizzle.

Grandma Dora’s recipe is only for the sweet dough.  I am sure it could be used to make different things such as sweet bread or even doughnuts.  I decided to make it into cinnamon rolls as I’m sure my grandmother did many times.  I used my own recipe for the filling and glaze.  I am used to making cinnamon rolls by dumping all of the ingredients into the bread machine and letting it make the dough for me, so this was a little different.

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I stirred the yeast into the warm water and let it set.  I scalded the milk on the stove and then let it cool.

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I creamed the butter, sugar and salt in the Kitchenaid.

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Then I added the eggs and decided to put in a tablespoon and a half of lemon juice (I didn’t have any whole lemons on hand.).  I don’t like nutmeg, so I didn’t add it, but I’m sure it would be fine to add.  I took the creamed butter mixture out of the Kitchenaid and put it in another bowl.  I then put the softened yeast and lukewarm milk into the Kitchenaid and added 3 cups of flour and then put the creamed butter mixture back in.

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After that mixed, I put the kneading hook attachment on and added about 4 more cups of flour (I could have kneaded it by hand, but decided to take the easy way out and use the kneading hook.).  The dough was nice and soft, so I put it in a greased bowl and let it rise.

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I covered the bowl with plastic wrap so the dough wouldn’t dry out.

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Once it was doubled in size,

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I punched it down and put it out on the lightly floured counter.

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I then rolled it out, buttered it, sprinkled on the cinnamon and sugar, and rolled it up!

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I cut it into 1-inch slices.  To do this, I used a piece of floss.  I put the floss under the roll, then brought it up and crossed it, so it would cut.  After all of the pieces were put into the greased 9×13 pans (this makes a BIG batch and they need space in the pans so they can raise) I covered them with plastic wrap again (I grease the plastic wrap so it won’t stick) and let them rise.  Once they were doubled, I popped them into the preheated oven and baked until golden brown.

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They turned out beautifully and were even more beautiful with the frosting.  Because they made such a big batch, I shared them with my family and even a neighbor.  All of these instructions may make them sound very complicated, but it really wasn’t too bad and it was well worth the effort!  I hope you give these a try.  You’ll have plenty to share, which is always fun!

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Happy Baking!

Amy

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes – A Bonus Recipe

Figuring out what to make for dinner is always hard for me.  It’s not even the act of making it, it’s coming up with the idea.  If I can get something in the crockpot in the morning, I’m so proud of myself!  I was having one of those days.  I had a lot going on, and knew it was going to make everything else easier if I had some kind of a plan for dinner.  Even if I still had to make a side dish, at least the main dish would be in the works.

I have the greatest rotisserie chicken recipe that I’ve altered and use in the crockpot, rather than out on the grill where it’s intended.  I spiced up my bird, turned it on high and let it go.  At least for a while, planning dinner was out of my mind.  As time passed and the morning turned to afternoon, the smell coming from the crockpot was constantly reminding me that I’d have to come up with something to go along with it!  I was tired of the traditional mashed potatoes and gravy.  I had to think up something different.

Cheesy Potatoes - Baked

I love cheese and I love potatoes.  Putting them together makes them EVEN better!  I have a delicous cheesy potato recipe that I got from my mom’s recipe box. Funny thing though, I’m not sure that she’s ever made it.  Whenever there are family get togethers, I’m the one who makes and brings this dish.  Maybe I’ve mastered it.  Or maybe it’s just because I want to make sure that they’re at our holiday meals because I like them so much!

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes – A Bonus Recipe

  • 1/2 cup butter (I reduce it by a couple of Tablespoons to lower the fat.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 package (16 oz) frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 can (soup) milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cheese cracker crumbs, divided

In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Saute onion until tender.  Stir in potatoes, soup and milk.  Add cheese and 1/2 of the crumbs.  Pour into a shallow casserole dish. Top with remaining crumbs.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Yields 6-8 servings.

Cheesy Potatoes- OnionsI melted the butter and sauteed the onions.  Yum!  I LOVE the smell of sauteing onions!!

Cheesy Potatoes- Goldfish CrackersWhile the onions were cooking, I crushed up my cheese crackers by rolling the rolling pin over them inside of a plastic, zippered bag.  Man does it save on the mess!  Any kind of cheese crackers will work, but I’m a mom so I always have Goldfish on hand.  My boys are older now, so at least they aren’t crushed all over the seats and floor of our cars!

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Once the onion was tender, I stirred in the potatoes, soup and milk.  Then I added the cheese and 1/2 of the cracker crumbs.

Cheesy Potatoes - OvenI poured my potato mixture into a 9×13 and topped it with the rest of the cheese cracker crumbs.  The oven was ready to go at 375 degrees, so I popped them in.

Cheesy Potatoes - Baked I pulled them out when the timer went off.  They were bubbling and golden brown around the edges.  They smelled delicious as always!

Cheesy Potatoes

Cheesy Au Gratin potatoes were the perfect side dish to go with my rotisserie chicken!  Dinner was served!!

Happy Baking!

Wendy

Fruity Baked Oatmeal – A Bonus Recipe

You might recall that when I gave you the recipe for the oatmeal bread I mentioned I really love baking with oatmeal.  I do.  And, so I have another oatmeal recipe for you.  I have been baking this breakfast dish for many years and it is one of my favorites.  I had never had baked oatmeal until I went on a retreat with some friends.  They were going to a missions conference at a retreat center and I went along with them to watch their boys during the meetings.  It was a nice place and I remember that they served baked oatmeal for breakfast.  I loved it and so I began looking for a recipe.  Once I found this recipe, I never turned back.  I’ve tried other baked oatmeal recipes, but they never measure up to this one.  I will give you the original recipe and then tell you how I have changed it over the years.  Both the original recipe, and the “healthier” version I have come up with are worth your time!

Fruity Baked Oatmeal

  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup chopped peeled tart apple
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh or frozen peaches
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Additional fat-free milk, optional

In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Combine the eggs, milk, butter;  add to the dry ingredients.  Stir in the apple, peaches and blueberries. 

Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cut into squares.  Serve with milk if desired.

Putting it together is really quite simple.

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Just combine the dry ingredients.

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Then combine the wet ingredients.

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Add the fruit.

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Stir together.

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Put it in the pan and bake.

I have changed it a bit, to try to make it healthier.  Actually, I pretty much make it a little bit different every time.  But overall, here is my “new” version.

Amy’s Fruity Baked Oatmeal

  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup chopped peeled tart apple
  • 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen peaches
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

The directions to put it together are pretty much the same as the original recipe (dry ingredients, wet ingredients and then mix in fruit).  I use a slightly larger pan since I add more ingredients.  I also bake closer to 45 minutes.

My favorite way to make this is to put all of the ingredients together on a Saturday night.  Then, I stick it in the refrigerator overnight.  On Sunday morning I put it in the oven and it makes a nice breakfast before church.  The leftovers are also good warmed up in the microwave.  You can serve with milk like the recipe states or serve it with a dollop of yogurt.

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I’m glad I found this recipe.  It is one I’m sure I will always keep in my recipe box.  I hope you give it a try and add it to yours.  If you do, let me know what you think!

Happy Baking!

Amy

Brown Sugar Frosting

Grandpa Wichterman Guitar Cropped

My Grandpa in 1938, playing his guitar in front of the log cabin that he and my Grandma lived in as newlyweds. Brownie his dog listens, enjoying the music.

Every year, on the fourth Saturday in September, we attend a Fall Festival held by one of the small towns in our area. It’s such a simple event. Sometimes we laugh because there is so little to do there, but we love it. We like the quietness, the slowness, like we’ve briefly stepped back in time. We walk along and look at the tractors and the small hit and miss engines that are on display. Then stand and watch the cast iron, campfire cooking. After we get our fill of smoke, we wait our turn to go on the horse and wagon ride. The highlight of the day is the dulcimer band, though they play more than just dulcimers. There are other instruments, like the spoons, penny whistle, guitar, upright bass, and mandolin. The same musicians come every year and every year they play the same songs.

HFF Tractors

Tractors on display at the Fall Festival.

The Fall Festival starts at 11:00am.  We always arrive around that time, with a picnic.  We bring the old “Indian blanket” and lawn chairs and sit, eating our lunch, in the shade of the big, Wild Cherry trees. I had talked with Amy the day before about what we were bringing to share for our picnic lunch.  I told her I’d bring some cupcakes.  I’d been dying to try my Grandma Dora’s Brown Sugar Frosting recipe that I’d found leafing through her box.  It sounded “fallish” and what better place to try it, but at our annual Fall Festival outing. Brown Sugar Frosting RecipeBrown Sugar Frosting

  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil hard for one minute.  Beat with mixer until stiff enough to put on cake, about 3 minutes.  Frost cake while frosting is still warm so it spreads easily. Brown Sugar Frosting Ingredients I had already made my cupcakes, caramel flavored, which seemed like they’d make a perfect taste combination with Brown Sugar Frosting!  I gathered my ingredients and got started. Brown Sugar Frosting PanI simply measured all of the ingredients into my saucepan and began heating it up on the stove top. Brown Sugar Frosting Boiling Soon everything was melted and mixed together.  I raised the temperature and while whisking constantly, brought it up to a hard boil.  Once boiling, I timed it for one minute. Wait until you smell this while it’s cooking.  If you’ve ever been to Mackinac Island, this smell will take you back!  —  NO, it doesn’t smell like the horses!!  It smells like the rich, sweet fudge shops with the sugary, caramelized scent that pulls you right in their front doors!  Our house smelled wonderful!  With an aroma like that, I knew the taste had to be incredible! Brown Sugar Frosting Mixing After it was done boiling, I removed it from the heat and poured the hot syrup into my Kitchenaid.  I used my whisk attachment and beat it on the highest setting for about three minutes.  At that point, the syrup was beginning to thicken.  I knew that it would get even thicker as it cooled, so I turned it off and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes while I got my cupcakes ready to frost. Brown Sugar Frosting Cupcakes2 It was late when I was frosting the cupcakes that night.  Our boys were in bed and my husband was in reading.  I was thinking and quietly frosting them in the calm.  After some dripped off of my spatula, onto the table, I tasted it.  As I licked my finger, I shouted out, “OH BABY!” which my husband later teased me about, but I couldn’t help it, it was just THAT good! This frosting is kind of delicate. I had to frost my cupcakes when it was at just the right temperature. If it cooled too much, it got rather fudge-like. (Not that it was a bad thing, but it was harder to spread.) I frosted the cupcakes when the frosting was still warm and it went on smooth and hardened with a beautiful, glossy sheen! A couple of times, I could tell that the frosting was cooling and thickening too much, so I popped it into the microwave, for less than 5 seconds to thin it back down. It worked perfectly! Brown Sugar Frosting Cupcakes3 At the end of our Fall Festival picnic, I got out my caramel cupcakes topped with the Brown Sugar Frosting and placed them on the old “Indian blanket”.   I was excited to see what everyone thought.  I knew what I thought!  Not to my surprise, everyone LOVED it!  My husband has requested it for his next birthday cake.  I was told that it was hands down, the best frosting they had ever eaten!  (It would also be great on Edna’s Butterscotch Cake.) Brown Sugar Frosting Cupcakes4 Decorating the top of a cupcake, Brown Sugar Frosting looks simple and old-fashioned, but there’s absolutely nothing simple about the taste! Happy Baking! Wendy