Jan 5, 2010

The Art of Domesticity

Ahh a new year... a new decade even. I have a real good feeling about this decade. I think great things are going to happen. I mean shoot, it's only been 5 days and I'm already liking it so far! I think it started out on a good foot because just before the last year ended... we had a white Christmas... in TEXAS! How cool is that?

I am thinking that this year will be the year of Domesticity. I absolutely love being able to spend time working on my home, making it look nice and feel comfortable, and even more so... spending time in my kitchen whipping up things that provide nourishment for my family, happiness for my friends, and a calm and peaceful spirit for myself. I think my new found muse is cooking. Drew's aunt and uncle gave us a gift card for Christmas to Bed Bath & Beyond. Now, I should mention here very quickly how much I absolutely detest that store (I mean, who really spends $150 for a set of sheets when you can go to Target and get the same dang thing for $40??). But I was excited to go scour their kitchen section and come home with a few new gadgets.
One thing I picked up that I have had my eye on for a while is a pie crust shield. No more will I tear off little sheets of foil to cover the edges of my pies. From now on, I will use a machine washable, reusable pie crust shield. Mom and Diane, do not rush out and buy these, because they will be in your mother's day gift, hehe. They are easy to use... just put it on top of your dish before you put it in the oven and it works exactly the same as the strips of foil that women have been using forever!

My other new favorite kitchen item comes from the AMAZING bulk section at Central Market. Name a spice, I dare you... they will have it! And not only will they have it, but they will have lots of it, and you can pick how much you want... AND it will be cheap! Not too long ago, Drew and I bought a store brand jar of Cracked red pepper. It was at least $3. But at Central Market, not only do I get a product that is more fresh and better quality, I also get a huge bag full for 39 CENTS! Yes... that is cents! I got whole cloves for my apple cider for only 24 cents, and enough bay leaves for 2 recipes for a nickle! They also have vanilla beans (which I have used to make vanilla infused sugar and home made vanilla) and so many more options. It's like going to the toy store for me... I just love finding new things to experiment with. Cracked Chili flakes are my new favorite spice, but I'm sure I'll find something new to play with soon!

Tonight, I made a home made Chicken Pot Pie. Doesn't it look pretty?
Here is the recipe - it is SO easy!

2 premade pie crusts
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced (I used part of a rotisserie chicken)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup frozen mixed veggies (you can use fresh, this was just easier for me tonight)
1 tsp cracked chilis (see above)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp all purpose seasoning
1 egg, beaten
Lightly spray a pie plate with non stick spray. Lay out one of the pie crusts and lightly press to the pie plate. Mix chicken, soup, milk, veggies and spices together and pour into pie crust. Top with second pie crust, pinch the edges together so that the filling does not spill out and cut slits in the top to vent. Brush the top with the egg and place in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes or until golden.

Happy New Year everyone! Hope it brings you joy and peace.

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