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Saturday, April 28, 2012

7 two 7 Glass Garden Markers Giveaway Winner...and a Discount Code!

It's time to announce the winner of my 7 two 7 Glass Garden Markers giveaway!  Thanks everyone who entered!  I truly love Vicki's work and I hope I was able to introduce you to a new independent artist that you love as well!  And now for the winner:

Congratulations to beverly h!  You'll be receiving an email from me soon regarding the details!  And for those of you who didn't win, don't forget that you can receive a 10% discount from 7 two 7's Etsy shop for one week (through May 5th) by entering the discount code "theworldinmykitchen" (without the quotation marks).  Go over and order your own garden markers today!

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Monday, April 23, 2012

From-Scratch Chicken Pot Pie [Secret Recipe Club]

***Don't forget to enter my giveaway for 7 two 7 glass garden markers! The contest ends on Friday, April 27th.

It's Secret Recipe Club time again!  I drew Art from My Table, and I'm so glad I did.  My family had a tough time picking just one recipe to try: my daughter picked Pumpkin Oatmeal, I wanted Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites, and my husband wanted Chicken Pot Pie.  My husband won out, mostly because I wasn't hosting a party for the Brie Bites and because we needed an extra dinner last week, but those other recipes are on my list to make in the near future!  

Chellie cooks, writes and photographs for Art from My Table, and does a magnificent job of creating delicious-looking, yet accessible food.  And her Chicken Pot Pie is one of these recipes.  I made a few changes to suit my tastes, but her recipe is a great base recipe to experiment with.  This is definitely going into my regular rotation of meals...even my picky two year old ate the filling!

Because I wanted  to eat this for a busy mid-week meal, I prepared the pies in individual ramekins and froze them.  I added about 15 minutes of cooking time for the frozen pies.  This worked wonderfully--I popped the pies in the oven after work and then ran outside to play with the kids on a beautiful spring afternoon.  Go check out the original recipe for the base recipe and for a large pie; my instructions below are for 6-inch ramekins.

From-Scratch Chicken Pot Pie
Adapted from Art from My Table
Makes three large individual portions

Cook's Note: If you'd like to freeze these for later use, throw them in the freezer, and when they are frozen through, wrap tightly in foil.  When you are ready to cook them, just throw them in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes longer.

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
2/3 lb. cooked chicken breast, chopped
3 cups vegetables (I used equal amounts of green beans, peas, carrots, fennel.  Fresh or frozen work well here.)
2 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
Pastry for two nine-inch pie crusts (I used Alice Waters' recipe from The Art of Simple Food, and will continue to use it for this recipe.)

Prepare the crust: Butter three 6-inch individual ramekins.  Line the ramekins with pie crust, cutting off excess with a sharp knife.  Roll out three portions that will cover the entire top of the ramekin and set aside.  (Because you are using ramekins instead of a large pie tin, you may need to incorporate the excess bits and reroll the crust to have enough to cover all three.)  Place the ramekins in the refrigerator until you're ready to fill them.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Prepare the filling: In a large saucepan, melt the butter.  Add the flour, onions, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring, for about 1-2 minutes or until the mixture becomes bubbly.  Stir in the wine and cook until incorporated.  Add the chicken stock, milk, thyme and rosemary, stirring until thick and bubbly.  Add the cooked chicken and vegetables.  Taste for seasoning.  Add salt or pepper to taste.

Remove the ramekins from the refrigerator.  Scoop the filling into the ramekins until they are completely full.  Cover each pie with your pre-rolled crust.  Pinch the edges so that the crust is sealed.  Cut vents in the top of each crust.

Place your ramekins on a rimmed cookie sheet.  Place in the oven and start checking on your pot pies after about 25-30 minutes.  (They could take up to 45 minutes to cook, but it's good to start checking early so they don't burn.)  They are done when the crusts are golden brown and the insides are bubbling.  Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Green Chile Enchiladas

***Don't forget to enter my giveaway for 7 two 7 glass garden markers! The contest ends on Friday, April 27th.

The other day I was telling someone that cooking Mexican food comes naturally to me.  I think it was growing up in Southern California that did it.  Mexican food was a staple in my diet growing up, and then living in San Diego during and after college just solidified those flavors in my head.  I know that different regions of Mexico offer different dishes and flavors, so I'm just calling my recipes the SoCal version of Mexican food.  :-)

Enchiladas are one of my favorite foods, period.  I don't remember learning how to make them...it's just stuck in my head as a recipe.  Basically a filled corn tortilla smothered in chili sauce and cheese and then baked, it's Mexican comfort food at its finest.  The stuffing variations are endless, but my favorite is seasoned chicken with pepperjack cheese--spicy and filling and luscious all rolled into a corn tortilla...yum!

Green Chile Enchiladas
Serves 6 (at least!)

Cook's Note: This is more of a method than a recipe.  Feel free to play with your fillings or leave the meat out for a vegetarian version.  This recipe also freezes well.  Just wrap well in foil and then bake a few minutes longer straight from the freezer.  (Be careful if using a glass pan--it could crack if placed in the oven straight from the freezer.  If using glass, let the enchiladas thaw a little before baking.)

2 small chicken breasts, about a pound's worth
1 bottle of beer
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
A couple of grinds of pepper
1/2 of a large block of pepperjack cheese, shredded
Corn tortillas
1 large can of green enchilada sauce (found in the Mexican aisle of your grocery store)

Place the chicken breasts in a saucepan.  Add the bottle of beer and add enough water to cover the chicken by a couple of inches.  Heat to a simmer and cook until the breasts are completely cooked through, about 10-20 minutes.  Remove the breasts from the liquid and set aside to cool.  Once cooled, shred the chicken using your fingers or two forks.  Add the cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper and mix to combine.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the tortillas in the microwave between a damp towel just until heated through, about 30 seconds.  Remove from the microwave, taking care not to burn yourself, and set aside.  Pour the enchilada sauce in a wide-mouthed bowl.  One by one, dip the tortilla into the sauce until completely covered.  Let the excess drip off into the bowl and then place the tortilla into your baking dish.  Spread about one tablespoon of chicken in a straight line across the middle of the tortilla.  Add about a tablespoon of cheese, and then roll the tortilla.  (The tortilla might rip a little.  This is okay.)  Push against the edge of the baking dish and then repeat with the rest of the tortillas until you can't fit any more. Pour about a half of a cup to a cup of the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas, until all enchiladas are lightly coated.  Sprinkle with pepperjack cheese.

Place the enchiladas on the middle rack in the oven.  Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and starting to get golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes. 

Serve with sour cream and/or guacamole.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

7 two 7 Glass Glass Garden Markers Giveaway!

***This giveaway is now closed.***

That's me in the back in the middle with the goofy smile and red hair.  Vicki is just to the left of me.  And just for fun, that's my beautiful mom on the far left in the back. :-)
There are just people in your life that you've known forever, right?  And then there are people you lose touch with and think you'll never hear from again.  But thanks to the wonder that is Facebook, I've been able to reconnect with people who can remember my crazy hairstyles when I was 12 years old.  Vicki is one of those people.  We both moved away from Southern California as adults and settled in very different states.  I ended up in Kentucky and Vicki in Minnesota.  After we reconnected on FB, I found out that Vicki owns a glass business: 7 two 7 Glass.  I just love her products!  She makes a variety of ornaments, hair barrettes, jewelry...and her newest creation are these lovely garden markers.  (I already have one of her beautiful owl ornaments, and these garden markers are going to make a debut in my garden this summer.)  :-)

Vicki has been kind enough to offer six garden markers to one lucky reader here...just in time for the spring planting season!  This is how she describes these beautiful pieces: "These plant markers are extremely durable, made with two layers of glass with a fired-on permanent design and galvanized steel stakes. The stakes are 'sewed' on with thinner-gauge galvanized steel wire. Not your momma's plant stake.....these are full of color and personality!"

And before we get to how to enter this fabulous giveaway, I wanted to let you know that Vicki is also giving readers of my blog a discount of 10% off an order from her Etsy site.  (Hey, mom, stop reading here...)  Okay, now that I know my mom isn't reading this, these would make a great Mother's Day present!  Go order a set for your mom...and maybe one for yourself while you're at it!  :-)  Just enter "theworldinmykitchen" (without the quotation marks) when you check out to receive your discount.  The discount will be good after the giveaway closes, so I'll make sure to remind you! 

How to Enter

Go to 7 two 7's Etsy shop and tell me what your favorite item is in her shop and come back to post about here on The World in My Kitchen! You MUST leave a way for me to get in touch with you if you win.

For extra entries, you can do the following (Create a separate comment for each.):

1) "Like" 7 two 7 Glass on Facebook and come back here to let me know.  (If you are already a fan, just say so in the comments below.)

2) "Like" The World in My Kitchen on Facebook and come back here to let me know. (If you are already a fan, just say so in the comments below.)

3)  Subscribe to The World in My Kitchen in an RSS feeder. (Make sure to come back here to let me know that you did this!)

4)  Link to this post in a Facebook update. If Facebook is playing nice today, make sure to tag The World in My Kitchen and 7 two 7 Glass! (Make sure to come back here to let me know that you did this!)

5) Follow me on Twitter and retweet this post. (Make sure to come back here to let me know that you did this!)

That's a total of 6 possible entries! (Make sure to create a separate comment for each one below.) I will choose a winner with a random number generator. The giveaway will close on Friday, April 27th at 10:00pm EST.

**This contest is open to those with a U.S. address. 

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Summery Taco Salad

I always look forward to the warm weather of the spring and summer, not only because I grew up in the desert of southern California, but also because meals become simpler.  Although I enjoy the comfort foods of winter, summer cooking steals my heart.  I love the simplicity of what you can do with fresh ingredients--throwing together a salad is one of the simplest and freshest ways of cooking in my book.  I was excited last week, then, when my husband requested the first salad-as-a-meal of the year--taco salad.  This is the salad I grew up eating, and although I've changed up the ingredients somewhat, it's really my mom's recipe.  Thanks, Mom!

Taco Salad
Serves 4-6
Cook's Note: This is more of a guide than a flatout recipe.  Don't like ground beef?  Use chicken!  Do you have some fresh veggies from the garden?  Throw them in!  You get the idea... :-)

1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon of your favorite taco seasonings (I use Penzey's Bold Taco.)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6-8 cups of your favorite lettuce
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 avocado, chopped
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2-1 cup pepperjack cheese

For toppings:
Crushed tortilla chips
Sour cream

Cook the ground beef along with the taco seasoning, salt and pepper until well browned.  Strain the grease and set the ground beef aside in a bowl lined with paper towels to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado, kidney beans and cheese.  Place a serving of salad in a wide bowl and top with a handful of ground beef and crushed tortilla chips.  Dollop a bit of sour cream and some salsa on top, and mix until the salad is covered with the dressing.

Serve immediately.

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