Chicken and Biscuits/Chicken Pot Pie

One of our favorite winter meals is Chicken Pot Pie. Well, technically, to be a pot pie, it would need a pie crust on bottom and one on top as well. I do this sometimes, but we’ve found we prefer this version, which is topped with sour cream drop biscuits. It’s faster and tastier than most pot pie recipes. It’s something you can whip up after work for a homemade taste without much fuss. Here’s a pic:

This recipe has been adapted from the original recipe, which is quite good, but VERY time consuming.

Here’s what I do:

I use 2 cups of COOKED deboned, defatted, deskinned chicken, cut up into 1″ cubes. It’s easiest to just buy boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. To make prep-time go faster, you can cook the chicken and cube it the night before.
1 can chicken broth (homemade is better)
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can green beans
1 can peas
1 can carrots
(You can substitute any veggies, or even use leftover veggies according to your tastes and needs.)
garlic powder, onion powder, salt (may omit if using full-sodium soups), pepper, italian seasoning–all to taste.
Sour Cream Biscuit dough-recipe below

Once your chicken is cooked and cubed, in a medium bowl, mix it in with all the soups (don’t add water to the condensed soups!), all the veggies, the chicken broth, and the seasonings you prefer. Put this is a 9×13 or 9×15 pan. Preheat your oven to 425. Mix up the sour cream biscuits in a small bowl, according to the directions. Then, using a tablespoon, just dollop the biscuit dough on top of the chicken and veggie mixture. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes. It’s really quite simple!

Sour Cream Biscuit Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
Sift flour, measure, and sift again with baking powder and salt; blend in butter. Add sour cream; knead several times on a lightly floured surface. Pat dough out, cut into diamonds or rounds and place over chicken or drop dough onto chicken pot pie by tablespoon.


A traditional Greek dinner…with a twist!

I love greek food. I really do. I love most anything you’d find at a little hole in the wall Greek restaurant here in the States. Despite my love for all food Greek, I’ve never tried making it myself, until this week. Today the menu at my house consisted of Gyros with homemade gyro meat, homemade pitas, homemade tzatziki sauce, and homemade baklava for dessert. It was superb, so I thought I’d share the process with y’all.

The baklava I didn’t take pics of till it was done, so here it is:

And here’s the finished gyros, sorry ’bout the poor quality pic:

Now, I said it was a traditional Greek dinner with a twist, b/c there are a few things that I knew my wonderfuly hubby wouldn’t eat, so I adjusted. He hates onions. I used dehydrated onions in the meat, and left the onions off the finished gyros. We both hate tomatoes. I left those off the gyros as well. Since I got rid of the veggies essentially, I added back shredded lettuce to give that watery vegetable quality that it would’ve been lacking. That’s my twist. Oh, and I added feta cheese to the tzatziki sauce for something different.

The pita recipe I used can be found here.
The rolled out pita bread:

The baked pita bread:

The cut pita bread:

The recipe for the gyro meat can be found here.

The gyro meat fresh out of the oven and sliced:

The meat after I grilled it on the stove (I like it better grilled after it’s sliced):

And one more picture of the finished product:

The recipe for the tzatziki sauce is here. I used half plain yogurt, half sour cream and I added a Tablespoon of sugar.

The sauce:

Oh, and the baklava recipe can be found here.

Now, doesn’t that just make you want to try to make your own Greek dinner at home? It really wasn’t that hard, and I look forward to doing it again. The pita bread was SOOOOOOOO much better than anything you can buy at the store, and was as easy as making homemade dinner rolls. The gyro meat was only slightly more involved than making a meatloaf, and the tzatziki is harder to spell than it is to whip up. The baklava, well-that IS a pain, but it’s easy, just a lot of repetitive busy work. You really should try to make your own traditional Greek meal if you haven’t before, it’s totally worth it!

How to make incredible homemade orange rolls!

Around here, we love orange rolls. Cinnamon rolls are good, but orange rolls are the best! So for church today (I make the snacks for between services), I made orange rolls and took some pics for you along with the recipe.

Jessica’s Incredible Ooey-Gooey Orange Rolls

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed OR 1/2 Grandmother Bread Recipe, just after the first rise. You can add another 1/3 c. sugar to the bread recipe as you make it or leave it as is. I add the sugar, unless I’m making the other 1/2 of the recipe into regular sandwich bread.
2 TBL plus 2 tsp. butter, softened
4 TBL sugar
2 tsp. orange juice (I use Simply Orange)
1 tsp. orange extract OR grated orange peel

Orange Glaze:
1 c. confectioner’s sugar
2 TBL orange juice
1/4 tsp. orange extract or grated orange peel

Roll one loaf of bread dough into approximately a 9×6 rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Let the dough rest (leave it alone) while you mix up the FILLING. Just use a fork to combine filling ingredients and spoon the filling onto the dough, spreading the filling out to touch 3 sides, leaving the long edge closest to you free of filling. This is to help it stick when you roll it later. Once filling is spread out evenly, begin to roll the dough towards you, jelly-roll style. Once dough has become a long cylinder, pinch the edges of dough together. Slice dough in 3/4 inch increments. Grease a 9×9 square pan and place the rolls inside, touching each other. Cover with plastic wrap or towel and let rise in a warm location for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Alternatively, you can now put them in the fridge to rise overnight instead of letting them rise in a warm place.
Once ready to bake, set temperature on oven to 350 and bake for 18-22 minutes or until lightly browned. While baking, mix up the glaze. Once they are out of the oven, glaze immediately. You can pour or spoon the glaze over the rolls. Serve warm or cooled, your choice. Enjoy!

Grandmother Bread Recipe after first rise:

Orange Filling:

Grandmother bread, once punched down…see how shiny it is? This dough will still be slightly sticky at this point, and that’s okay:

Once kneaded a few times, it loses it’s shine, b/c of the floured surface:

The Grandmother bread recipe, now split in half. You could put one of these in a loaf pan to make sandwich bread or you can freeze the other loaf for use later or whatever:

Rolled into a 9×6-it’s never perfect, no worries!

With the orange filling spread on it:

Rolled into a log:

Sliced up nicely:

Orange rolls in greased pan:

Risen rolls after an overnight rise in the fridge:

Whisked up glaze:

Ooey-Gooey Orange Rolls, fresh outta the oven:

I made a double recipe of this-using one whole Grandmother Bread recipe b/c I was cooking for a crowd. Sometimes I make 1 loaf into orange rolls, and one loaf into cinnamon rolls on the same day.

How to Make Homemade Lasagna-a tutorial

Several of you have requested a more exact/updated recipe for my lasagna, so I thought I’d offer a pictorial on how I make it. I hope this helps!

Here are the ingredients, not pictured is the hamburger and foil:

We start by crumbling and cooking our hamburger, then draining it. I usually just add some salt, pepper, garlic, and italian seasoning to the meat while cooking:

The next step is, in a small bowl, mix one carton of sour cream with one pkg of crumbled feta cheese. Sometimes I choose to mix the hamburger into this as well, makes for less layers that way. Other people use ricotta for this step, but I prefer the texture and flavor of the sour cream and feta in its’ place:

Mix that until creamy like this:

Next, get out a 9×15 (9×13 will work, too) pan, and preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Pour just enough pasta sauce in the bottom of the pan to coat the bottom-swirl the pan around a little if you need to in order to cover the whole bottom of the pan. This will prevent sticking in a glass pan:

I am using the “no boil” noodles by Barilla…you can use the ones you have to boil, but I don’t like to waste that much time and effort.

After the layer of pasta, I do another layer of sauce, topped with some of the cheeses. You can slice or shred your cheeses, but I prefer sliced.

Next is a layer of hamburger, but if you already mixed it in with the sour cream mixture, you can skip this step:

Following that layer, we do the sour cream mixture layer:

Keep repeating layers till you run out of fillings and noodles, making sure to get sauce on top of the last layer of noodles, and ending with the provolone slices and any leftover shredded/small pieces of cheese.

After this, cover the pan with foil, trying not to let the foil touch the cheese on the lasagna:

Bake in 375 degree oven for 55 minutes, take pan out and remove foil, and bake for another 5 minutes (to brown the cheese on top). Please allow 5-10 minutes to cool before cutting, so that the lasagna has time to set up and won’t be a runny mess when you go to cut into it.

Jessica’s Lasagna Recipe:
1 pkg no boil lasagna noodles
2 cans Hunts Spaghetti sauce (or other favorite canned or jarred sauce)
salt, pepper, garlic powder, italian seasoning to taste
1 8 oz pkg sour cream
1 4 oz. pkg crumbled feta cheese
1 4 oz. pkg. Amish swiss cheese (regular or baby swiss is fine)
1 lb mozzarella cheese (shredded or sliced)
1 8 slice pkg of provolone cheese (you can skip this and just use the mozzarella if you need to)
Foil for covering
9×15 or 9×13 pan

Brown hamburger, adding spices as you wish. Drain. Slice or shred all cheeses except the provolone, which is already sliced.
Preheat oven to 375. Mix sour cream and feta cheese (and hamburger if you wish) in a bowl, set aside. Pour some sauce in bottom of pan, then noodles, then some cheese, some hamburger, and then some of the sour cream mixture. Continue layering and top with sliced provolone cheese. Cover with tented foil and bake at 375 for 55 minutes, remove foil and return to oven for 5 more minutes or until cheese is lightly brown. Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

And there it is, lasagna even Garfield would be proud of:

And a picture of a cut piece of it:

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