Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

I first discovered my love for homemade chicken pot pie last summer and I’ve been mildly obsessed ever since. I constantly looking for new ways to make old recipes exciting and this was a no brainer – swap out the individual ramekins and make it a casserole – done and done. All the same veggie filled chicken yumminess, but without the hassle of cleaning separate baking dishes. A love whipping this dish up on a Monday night and enjoying leftovers for the next couple of days. There’s something about chicken pot pie that is so comforting and makes your day or week instantly better. Personally, I love this recipe because of how many veggies there are, some pot pie recipes end up with way too much buttery filling that you feel sick. Not the case with thus version, all the different veggies keep you feeling full without being stuffed. What are some of your favorite pot pie filling options?

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

ingredients:
8 tablespoons salted butter, divided
1 leek, white and light green parts, sliced and rinsed in a bowl of water
2 cups sliced tricolor carrots
2 cups chopped asparagus
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups shredded chicken
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Pillsbury croissant dough, cut into circles
1 large egg, beaten

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9×11 glass baking dish with nonstick spray.

To make the filling, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add leeks and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus and cook, while stirring, until the vegetables are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in peas and chicken.

To make the sauce, melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in chicken stock and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce has begun to thicken, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add sauce to the chicken-vegetable filling and gently toss to combine and transfer to the glass baking pan.

Top with croissant dough, I opted to cut the dough into 8 small circles. Brush each crust with the beaten egg.

Place into oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 8

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

Snapshots: Cake Tasting

Cake Tasting

We are finally in less than one year stretch and still doing things ridiculously ahead of time.  We headed down to Orange County this past weekend to visit a friend who just moved back from Hawaii, and conveniently, she lives 15 minutes from our wedding venue.  We decided to take the opportunity to schedule not one but two cake tastings while we were in the area.

Note to brides to be, don’t schedule two tastings back to back. I’m pretty sure I had a sugar hangover when I woke up Sunday morning.  Although the sugar overload wasn’t my favorite, it was nice to try both places in a short period of time because we could remember the things we liked about each place and make a more informed decision.

Cake Tasting

Our first tasting was at Sweet & Saucey Shop in Newport.  Before we arrived for our tasting, we were giving a huge sheet of flavor options and made selections based on what we wanted to try.  For the frosting we chose: cream cheese based: regular, espresso, coconut, peanut butter, and Oreo, buttercream: vanilla, salted caramel, and Nutella, chocolate ganache, strawberries, raspberries, hazelnut crunch, Valrhona chocolate pearls, toffee bits and salted caramel drizzle.

Cake Tasting

We opted for the chocolate, vanilla almond and strawberry cake flavors.  And if you thought the frostings and toppings above were enough, think again – we also tried a few creamy fillings – whipped cream, vanilla Bavarian cream, lemon cheesecake mousse and chocolate mousse.

Cake Tasting

And those were just the cake options… We also tried a few mini desserts- traditional cheesecake with fresh fruit, cappuccino cheesecake, chocolate salted caramel tarts.  Last but not least, we sampled some mini cupcakes: candy bar, chocolate espresso, chocolate peanut butter, carrot cake, coconut, strawberry cream and nutella hazelnut.

After reading all of that, you probably are asking yourself how we didn’t get sick or need to roll each other to the car afterward… Patience my friends, it’s all about small bites.  Just enough to get the flavor combination and not enough to get yourself sick.  It also helped that we preferred the cream cheese frostings, which are less kick you in the stomach sweet compared to their buttercream cousins.  When it came to testing the mini desserts, we only ate a quarter of the tarts and one small fork full of each mini cupcake.  It was the perfect amount to taste the cake, frosting and any fillings, but no need to overload the tummy.

The entire experience at Sweet and Saucey Shop was super enjoyable.  Their décor is very cute and the fact that they have Styrofoam sample cakes all over the shop, helps you get an in person idea of the size of your cake.  We wanted a very simple textured design, so the pricing was extremely reasonable when it came time to talk numbers.  In our discussions with our consultant, we opted for a smaller cake, a simple two tiered style with two different flavors, which we will probably top with fresh flowers and a simple topper.  If cake is not our guests’ thing, we will have 4 different mini dessert options to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.   Our consultant was very knowledgeable and didn’t feel pushy.  She gave her opinion and was very helpful when it came to pointing out different sized cakes featured in the store to help us picture the cake in person.

I won’t spoil the surprise of what we ended up choosing for our wedding, but just know this – my sweet tooth will be more than satisfied😉

Chicken Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

Chicken Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

In my humble opinion, Sundays are the best day of the week. And I don’t like to waste a minute of it. My perfect Sunday starts with my favorite hike – a nice 5 mile loop near the former NIKE Missile Control Center – which earns me enough burned calories to splurge with a yummy breakfast sandwich, which is probably why my favorite meal is brunch. Whether it’s crispy buttered toast paired with a veggie scramble or a meaty, cheesy, breakfast sandwich with a dash of hot sauce, I am a happy gal. My signature breakfast sandwich includes a perfectly fried egg, just waiting for the yolk to crack. I mean what is more visually appealing than the ooey gooey yolk just waiting to be sopped up by the rest of your delicious sandwich.

Chicken Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

ingredients:
2 Jalapeno chicken sausages
2 Half-baked Panini Rolls
1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese
2 Eggs
2 teaspoon pesto
handful of arugula

Chicken Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake panini rolls for 6 minutes. While panini rolls are baking, slice each sausage into 3 pieces. Warm precooked sausage in the oven for 6 minutes.

Once the rolls have finished baking, slice in half. Coat each cut side with pesto, sprinkle top half of the roll with mozzarella cheese and return both halves to the oven to toast and melt the cheese, about 2 minutes.

While the cheese is melting and rolls are toasting, fry two eggs over medium heat. Once the eggs are finished cooking, assemble your sandwich-add sausage on top of the pesto coated toast, top with fried egg. Sprinkle arugula on top of the melted cheese toast and combine halves to create one delicious sandwich.

Serves 2 // 380 calories

Chicken Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

Tomato, Beet and Burrata Salad

Tomato, Beet and Burrata Salad

Okay, so I have been seeing people post about spirit animals for the last couple of weeks. Personally, I have no idea what my spirit animal would be. I draw a blank even thinking about the topic. But if a meal could be a spirit animal, I hit the nail on the head. Seriously, this salad is light yet filling, complete with savory and sweet, and who can resist creamy burrata cheese? Am I right or am I right? It’s got all my favorite Italian inspired elements – cheese and pesto – plus, a sweet surprise with the beets and balsamic. I could probably eat this salad every single day and not get sick of it. Although, I’m sure my waist line wouldn’t appreciate a daily dose of burrata, my taste buds certainly would ;]

Tomato, Beet and Burrata Salad

ingredients:
1 tomatoe on the vine
3 beets, cooked, skins removed
1 ball of Burrata cheese
1/2 cup arugula
pinch flaked salt
¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 tsp pesto
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Tomato, Beet and Burrata Salad

directions:
Combine pesto and olive oil, and set aside. Slice the burrata cheese into ½ inch this slices, and arrange on a platter. Drizzle half of the pesto oil over the burrata slices.

Slice the beets into wedges and toss with a little olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Arrange on the platter.Cut tomatoes into wedges, arrange on the platter with a pinch of flaked salt. Toss the greens in the remaining pesto oil and top the salad. Sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper.

Tomato, Beet and Burrata Salad

Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato, Kale and Corn

Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato, Kale and Corn

I am constantly on the hunt for simple recipes that are chock full of flavor using natural ingredients. While, I love all of these ingredients separately, I wasn’t sure this recipe was going to have enough punch to satisfy my taste buds, but I’m not as bad as Bill he’s constantly dousing all of his food with hot sauce. However, I was pleasantly surprised, all the flavors really worked together to create one amazing dish that packs loads of fresh flavor into one bite. Everything is so simple, yet goes together perfectly. You even have an amazing combination of texture, from soft yet crispy sweet potatoes to the gently sauteed kale, this dish leaves nothing to be desired.

Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato, Kale and Corn

ingredients:
4 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
2 sweet potato, peeled and cut in cubes
2 cup corn kernels
4 cups kale, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato, Kale and Corn

directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Rinse chicken thighs in water and pat dry.  Season both sides with salt and pepper. In a medium size skillet heat the coconut oil and melt the butter together. Add chicken thighs to skillet and cook on both sides until golden.  Remove chicken from skillet and set aside, we will continue cooking it in the oven.

Drain all but a tbsp of the fat from the skillet, and add onion, cooking until translucent. Add sweet potatoes and cook for three to four minutes, until slightly browned.  Add corn and cook for 2 more minutes. Add chopped kale, toss everything together and cook for another minute. Add the wine and season with salt and pepper.

Add the cooked vegetables to the prepared baking dish. Place the chicken thighs over the vegetables and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until chicken cooks through and sweet potatoes are fork tender.

Serves 4 // 287 calories

Recipe from Jo Cooks.

Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato, Kale and Corn