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It's not "life's illusions", but "life's infusions" that I recall!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chicken (or Turkey) In Every Pot...Pie

It seemed like the perfect evening for a pot pie.  Rainy and chilly .

Our guys are at the ranch, braving the cold, taking care of cows, and fixing an old yellow truck and two chain saws.   They are killing mice and stalking one sneaky raccoon that has taken up residence in our fruit shed.

My daughter and I decided to make a chicken pot pie and watch chick flicks!

Pot pies usually describe a method, rather than a recipe.  Generally, a pot pie is a crusted pie made with poultry or meat and chopped vegetables in some kind of sauce.  A little trivia note: the first frozen pot pie was made by Swanson in 1951.

This recipe is delicious and perfect for leftover turkey.


We just put the chicken and vegetables in the crust, now it's ready for the oven.


Ready for serving.


Tender flaky crust, yummy chicken and vegetables....oh so good !

Chicken or Turkey Pot Pie


2 pastry crust (bottom & top) to fit your casserole or pie dish

6 tablespoons butter

6 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 ¾ cups chicken stock or broth

1 cup half-and-half or cream

2 cups cut up cooked chicken or turkey

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup cooked chopped carrots

½ small onion, diced

2-4 cloves garlic, minced or diced

1-2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out pastry crust to fit the bottom of the casserole or deep dish pie pan you are using for your pot pie. Line your dish with the pastry. Set aside.

Saute the garlic and diced onion in oil. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet over low heat, blend in flour and seasonings. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth & bubbly. Remove from heat.

Stir in chicken stock or broth and half & half (or cream). Bring to a boil, stirring. Boil 1 minute. Stir in chicken (or turkey), peas, carrots, onions & garlic.

Pour chicken mixture into pie crust. Roll out the other crust to fit the top of your casserole or deep dish pie pan.

Cover top with this crust, seal, cut away excess crust and make several slits in the top.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Happy Infusions,




Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Pursuit of Pleasure......

A delicious moment in time is when I can sit with a good cup of tea and a good book.  (Unless you have your own stash of great tea, a good book will be much easier to come by than a good cup of tea).

I was raised by a father and mother who revere books.  My father reads strictly for information.  His books center around whatever subject he happens to be pursuing at the moment: auto mechanics, horse racing, stock market, health products or internet sales.  His office resembles  the "How To" section of a bookstore.

My mother reads for pleasure.  She reads best sellers, historical fiction and a few self-help authors.  It is hard for me to suggest a "good read" for her, because, usually, she has already read the book and one or two others by the same author!  Several months ago I thought I had a genuine "find".   I wanted to introduce her to Big Stone Gap, by Adriana Trigiani.  I called to share my excitement and discovered she had read that book, and several others  by this author.  Recently I had been thinking about purchasing Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls.  My mother and I were discussing Thanksgiving plans and she mentioned she had two books she wanted to loan me.  Oh yes,  that's right,  Half Broke Horses !  And of course, the other book by Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle.  I'm telling you, when it comes to books, it's hard to keep up with her.

Her office is like an overstocked library.  Her desk is surrounded by bookcases on each wall. Books are shelved, stacked and in various states of cascading disorder.  And she has read them all.  She is a book lover and a book giver.  She is of the opinion that a book is one of the finest gifts to give or receive.

The other day I had the privilege of thumbing through the worn red notebook she takes when shopping for a book gift.  A page is designated for each family member  where she has listed what book she purchased and for what occasion.  This wouldn't seem unusual, except over the years,  her family has continued to expand and now, counting the youngest great-grandchild, there are thirty-three family members and another one on the way !

A personalized bookplate adorns the inside of each grandchild and great grandchild's book.  Each bookplate is chosen according to the child's interest. I have to check with her before I can buy a  book for my own grandchildren !

I tell myself this explains why I am a little fanatical about books. I tend to purchase for future reading, not necessarily for the moment.  I'm not sure I know what to do with myself, if I don't have something to read !

At the Author's Fair in the Shasta Mall  I scored these treasures.


A stop at  Barnes & Noble to gather a few joke books...our grandson is memorizing jokes, and of course, making them up.  He's also crazy about baseball and learning to read....


and our granddaughter loves dogs, horses and rhyming.


On Tuesday, Cindy Martinusen Coloma was at Barnes & Noble for a book signing.  I anticipate curling up with one of these lovely books and a nice cup of tea.


There are few pleasures as enchanting as a good book and a good cup of tea...both carry me into other realms.

Happy Reading and Happy Infusions,