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Freezer Meal Series- Recipe 1: Chicken Pot Pie

With hubby deployed, I need to be as efficient with time as possible. Spending an hour making a beautiful homemade dinner isn’t an option for me most nights… at least not unless I want a one year old screaming and crying at the kitchen gate for 45 of those minutes. But feeding my kids healthy, well rounded meals is important to me. Enter the life saving freezer meal! With very little extra prep time, I can add meals to my freezer that just need to be pulled out and cooked. So here’s the start to a whole series of freezer friendly meals, and darn, this is a yummy one!

 This recipe makes 2 delicious Chicken Pot Pies. That means you can have one for dinner and one for the freezer, both for the freezer, or do a double batch (like me) and really stock up! My favorite part of this recipe is it doesn’t leave you with any odds and ends. It uses a whole onion, both crusts from the packet, a whole carton of chicken broth etc. I’m really terrible at using up those leftover bits and pieces, so I try to avoid that in my recipes if possible.

My culinary dirty little secret- I buy my pie crust. Can I make delicious, flaky, buttery pie crust? Yes. Is it significantly better then the store bought? Nope. Especially not for how labor intensive it is. Pie crust is one of the few things that I don’t think are better homemade. As former pastry chef, I’m pretty sure this is a cardinal sin. Shhhh… don’t tell! The bottom crusts are found in the freezer section. They’re all nicely fitted into the tinfoil pan (which also means you don’t have to wash the pan after enjoying your quick freezer meal!). The top crusts are found in the refrigerated section- often by the premade biscuits and cookies and such. These make this recipe a cinch!

CHICKEN POT PIE
Ingredients:

  1. 3 boneless chicken breasts or 4 or 5 thighs, whatever you like
  2. 1 stick of butter
  3. A whole onion, diced
  4. 5 or 6 carrots, diced
  5. 1 bunch of celery, diced
  6. 1 teaspoon thyme
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
  8. 1/2 cup of flour
  9. 8 cups chicken broth
  10. 1 bag frozen peas
  11. 2 pack of deep dish pie crusts in the pan
  12. 2 pack of flat refrigerated pie crusts


  • Fill a big pot with salted, boiling water. Add chicken and simmer until cooked through.
  • Sautee the onions in butter until they become translucent.
  • Add carrots, saute 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Add celery.
  • Generously salt and pepper.
  • Add thyme.
  • Sprinkle flour over the veggies and stir. Sautee 5 minutes or so (you really want to cook out that raw flour taste, trust me, you’ll thank me!).
  • Add stock and simmer until thick.
  • Dice up the chicken and divide between the two crusts.
  • Divide the bag of peas between the two crusts.
  • Pour filling into the crusts (make sure you get a good amount of veggies in each).
  • Let cool.
  • Add top crust. Roll over and press the edges into the edge of the bottom crust to get a good seal.
  • Pop in the freezer.
  • Wrap well in tinfoil, label and put it in your chest freezer!

Easy as chicken pot pie!

To bake, pull out of the freezer a few hours (or the morning) before you want to cook and put in the fridge. Preheat to 375 degrees and bake for 30-45 minutes. You can also bake directly from frozen, just be prepared to cook it a little longer.

If you’re baking it right after making it (because come on, who wants to wait to eat delicious pot pie?!?) Preheat to 400 and bake 30 minutes.


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Preschool Science!

Presenting science to a preschooler can be a daunting task. Science is pretty obscure with a lot of complex concepts, right? Well luck for me I have Mother Goose Time (our fabulous preschool curriculum) to do all of the hard work for me! 

Today we discussed states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. Our first example was water, and how under different conditions it can be solid (ice), liquid (water) or gas (steam). This was a huge hit because let’s be honest, what kid doesn’t love to play with water and ice?!?

We talked a little bit about molecules and how their proximity to each other determines the state of the object. X actually understood this a lot more then I expected, exclaiming “the molecules in our house are really close together so it can be solid and strong!”

Our first project today was a quick and fun study on how things can change from one state to another. We decorated a blob of glue and discussed what would happen to the glue after sitting out. X decided it would dry and become a solid. We’re still waiting for it to dry, but he’s very excited to see if his hypothesis is correct!

X’s favorite project of the day was a recipe! We took cream (liquid) and put it in a jar. I asked if he thought we could turn it into a solid. He did not. But after a few fun and silly minutes of counting and shaking we made it into a thick (and delicious!) whipped cream! Adorned with some fresh berries and it was a great snack to wrap our school for the day!

Yum! You really can’t beat science you can eat!

I received this month’s Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing our experience and my opinions. All content and opinions are 100% mine and truly honest.

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Crepes: Fun and Easy Recipe for Kids

I really enjoy how Mother Goose Time includes two or more recipes each month. It reminds me the importance of getting X in the kitchen AND gives us a fun and simple recipe to do together. They really get creative and go beyond my go to’s like having him peel eggs or chop vegetables.

When we were discussing Italian artists we recieved a neat recipe for spaghetti sauce. I put whole stewed tomatoes in a zip top bag and X squished them until they were all broken up. This was great for working his hand muscles (hand strength is an important first step to writing)! I took it a step further and had him rip up basil leaves to sprinkle on top. Mother Goose Time recipes always keep it simple and healthy. I almost always have all the ingredients on hand.

This week we’ve been studying French artists. Today our recipe was crepes! Crepes are thin, egg pancakes that can contain sweet or savory fillings. X cracked the eggs, measured and poured the ingredients and mixed it all up. He was working on hand strength, hand eye coordination, math and building focus. I cooked them and rolled them up with ham and cheese. We made dessert with the leftover crepes by filling them with fried cinnamon apples. It was a fun recipe to whip up together and since they only need to cook for 1-2 minutes per side, they were also quick! X was so proud to help make a lunch that we all really enjoyed.

Here’s a peek at the recipe if you’d like to try these tasty treats with your kids!

I received this month’s Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing our experience and my opinions. All content and opinions are 100% mine and truly honest.

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Spaghetti and Chicken Sausage in Sundried Tomato and Spinach Cream Sauce

Good morning! Today I’m going to share a quick recipe with you. I mostly post about Montessori inspired activities and parenthood, but we all gotta eat right? This sounds complicated, but it’s not! I promise. The sauce came together in the time it took to cook the pasta. I love quick, healthy YUMMY recipes. With an 18 month old running around I don’t have hours to make lavish dinners. But I do my best to give my guys healthy and wholesome meals that taste great!
This recipe is flexible. Prefer penne? Use it! As long as the basics are there, it will come together. It also includes my secret ingredient to making rich and creamy sauces WITHOUT a ton of cream (who keeps cream stocked in their fridge? Not me. And who wants all those extra calories? Not me again.) Plus a great tip on thickening sauces without clumps or raw flour taste!
Recipe: Spaghetti and Chicken Sausage in Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce
Ingredients:
* 1 lb of dry pasta (I used regular spaghetti, whole wheat would be great!)
* 1 lb Chicken sausage, sliced (I used all natural Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage from Trader Joe’s but really any sausage would work)
* 1/2 an onion, chopped
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 2 tablespoons flour
* 1/2 cup Sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
* 1 tablespoon Garlic powder
* salt and pepper to taste
* 3 cups broth (I used vegetable, chicken would work too!)
* 1 tablespoon “21 Seasoning Salute” (it’s a Trader Joe’s seasoning blend and is by no means required. Some dried basil or thyme would work great)
* 1 cup chopped frozen spinach (fresh would work too)
* 1/2 cup sour cream (ta da! Secret ingredient!)
Technique:
* Put your pasta water on to boil and add a dash of salt.
* Start melting your butter in a sauce pot while you’re cutting up your onion. Add the onions to the pot.
* Let the onions cook a little bit on medium heat and then sprinkle your flour into the pot. Stir. The flour will stick to the onions preventing clumps when we add the liquid.
* Let the onions, butter and flour cook a few minutes to get rid of that raw flour taste.
* While your onions are cooking, chop up the sausage. The kid I bought was already cooked. If you buy raw sausage allow for enough time for it to cook through before adding the rest of your ingredients.
* By now your pasta water should be a bubbling, so go ahead and throw it in. Don’t forget to stir!
* Add your spices, sundried tomatoes and lightly salt and pepper (you can taste test and add more salt and pepper later, but you can’t get rid of it once it’s there!)
* Stir.
* Add your stock and stir. You may want to increase the temp to medium high. You want it to start bubbling, but NOT splatter all over your stove top (we want a quick clean up too, right??)
* Add the spinach.
* Let it cook while your pasta finishes up.
* Once your pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot (don’t forget to turn the burner off! We don’t want fried pasta…)
* Stir the sour cream into the sauce.
* Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if needed.
* Add the sauce to your pasta and stir gently over low heat for a minute or two. This helps the pasta soak up all the yummy flavors from the sauce!
* Serve and Enjoy!
X loved it and so did my husband. X is a great eater, but has trouble chewing and swallowing leafy greens. This is a great recipe to sneak in some spinach! Even a picky eater won’t taste the spinach. And what kid doesn’t like spaghetti!

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