Month: March 2019

Impromptu Whiskey Tasting

Impromptu Whiskey Tasting

Hubs has a friend at work that occasionally sends home mystery whiskey in teeny tiny unmarked bottles.  They come home, everyone tastes, and then emails thoughts and tasting notes back.  Except me.  I don’t have a taste for hard alcohol. But Elizabeth likes whiskey!  And…

Amanda’s Birthday Fish

Amanda’s Birthday Fish

Wow, it’s been a minute since I’ve been on here!  The farm is revving up and we ripped out the hospital ceiling in the living room.  I posted the Single Mom Chronicles a whole four days late.  And I didn’t get around to updating some…

Single Mom Chronicles March 13th 2019

Single Mom Chronicles March 13th 2019

Leftover whole chicken was a major player in my house as a single mom.  Thanks gramma!  One of the more uppity dishes I would make was chicken pot pie.  Yes, uppity.  You know you’re a poor broke lady when you consider chicken pot pie to be uppity.  But it was definitely a treat for us.

The versatility of chicken pot pie is really key, too.  You can use a homemade pie crust or a store bought one.  You can get real uppity and use puff pastry dough.  I’d use the puff pastry when I wanted to feel less poor.  Even if it was for just the duration of the meal.   And you can change up your vegetables…parsnips instead of carrots.  Green beans instead of peas.  Leeks instead of onions.  It goes on and on.  You could even add chopped leafy greens!

Feeling poor all the time is draining.  You’re reminded of it a million times a day all day long everyday.  At the end of the day at the grocery store counting pennies, I’d allow myself a box of puff pastry.  The kid preferred puff pastry, too.  He liked feeling fancy.  It’s amazing, isn’t it?  How just a little thing like puff pastry can make things feel special?  And it’s better for you than a bag of Doritos, which costs about the same.  Pro single mom tip:  I only used one crust so I got two “pies” from one box.  So technically, it was more like a chicken pot pie~ish stew.  I still do it this way. Aaahhh….the little things.

Anywho…where was I?  Oh yes, the leftover chicken.  Just separate out all the skin, cartilage, bones and whatnot and make a pile of bite sized chicken.  I used to have to slap my kid’s hand out of the bowl.  He’s notorious for the walk by swiping.  Really, it’s the vegetable chopping that would take the most time, so I reserved this particular meal for the one day off I had a week.  Well….when I had one day off a week.  Otherwise, I’d prep the veggies on one night, and make the pot pie the next.  You gotta sleep some time!

But on those days off, I would take my time making this because cooking for me was very zen.  Well, it still is….it’s just….different.  Now I get to experiment like a crazed maniac.  I had to purposefully go back to that state of mind when I was a single mom, taking my time to make a pot pie, and relaxing.  I put on my pajamas and I even poured myself a glass of cheap white wine.  Ok, it was the rose we made, but I added two ice cubes.  Ha!

It was fun to relive that part of my life while making this.  Because it was such a long period of time in my life.  Sometimes, I miss the solitude of it.  There’s something satisfying in being self reliant, even if it is hard.  And even if  you aren’t so great at it sometimes.  I really love all you single parents out there.  You are the stuff great things are made from.  Don’t listen to all the naysayers because lawd knows there are lots of them.  Just give ’em the finger and make a pot pie.  That’s what I did.

I made this particular pot pie for this post with the traditional vegetables because they are the most readily available and the most economical.  This entire dish would cost me about ten dollars, but I’m halving the cost of the chicken and the puff pastry because I could use both for two dinners.  The standard veggies collectively cost about two bucks and then a couple of bucks for dairy.  Ten bucks for this dish is actually being pretty generous.

Chicken Pot Pie

3 cups cooked chicken chopped
1 quart chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
1 stick butter
1 scant half cup flour
3 cups carrots cut into thick coins
1 onion chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
1 cup frozen green beans
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
1/2 cup white wine or additional chicken broth
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
2 teaspoons black pepper
Kosher salt to taste (I used my herbed pink salt)

Set one sheet of frozen puff pastry aside to defrost.  In a deep saute pan, cook the butter, carrots, onion, rosemary, salt and pepper on medium high heat.

When the butter starts to bubble, add the flour and stir vigorously.  When the flour becomes difficult to scrape up with a wooden spoon, deglaze with the wine.  If you aren’t using wine, use the additional chicken broth and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the quart of chicken broth and the milk.  Stir the mixture until it’s smooth and then let it reduce by about half for about 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes to avoid sticking on the bottom.   Then lower the heat to a simmer to get the sauce to thicken for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the chicken, green beans, peas, and corn.  Spoon the mixture into a casserole dish.  Cover with puff pastry.  Bake in the oven on 350 for about 35 minutes or until the puff pastry is browned.  Serve in bowls!

Kitchen Sink Frittata

Kitchen Sink Frittata

I don’t often cook breakfast and I eat it even less.  Or maybe it’s the other way around.  Anyway, Hubs was so great through our snow storm that I was spurned to do something nice for him.  And he loves eating breakfast.  He really loves…

Saturday Short Ribs In Vegetable Ragu

Saturday Short Ribs In Vegetable Ragu

I’m not going to lie.  This recipe takes all day.  I’ve tried doing the sous vide on it.  I’ve tried doing the Instant Pot on it.  There’s pros and cons to both.  Doing it in the oven as an all day venture is really the…

Weeknight Drumsticks

Weeknight Drumsticks

We are a family of dark meat eaters when it comes to chicken.  The downside to cooking a whole chicken is that I had to eat the white meat so that the kid could eat all the dark meat.  Annoying.  But hey, parenting ain’t a daily trip to the spa.  With a pack of chicken legs, though, I’d get to have all the dark meat I could possibly devour in one sitting.  Go me!

Dry seasoning blends were my saviour.  I love them so much, in fact, that I started making my own.  But in the meantime, use whatever flavors you like!  If I was serving rice and a hot vegetable, I’d go with lemon pepper.  If I was opening a can of baked beans and boiling (or grilling) up some corn on the cob, I’d go with a bbq rub.  If all I had time for was a quick chopped salad with Italian dressing, I’d use garlic salt on the chicken.  It’s super easy, the possibilities are endless, and the chicken is cheap.

All you have to do is place the chicken on a baking sheet covered in parchment, season all the legs, and bake them.  Dinner is done in half an hour, even if you make rice and or a hot vegetable.  The skin is crispy.  The salad or whatever else you made gets devoured and everyone is happy.  The best part is, you aren’t exhausted.

I haven’t cooked this way in awhile.  In the winter, I have less to do on the farm and so I have more time to spend in the kitchen.  And even now, I have tools I didn’t have previously….like the sous vide wand.  But last night, we were coming off three days and nights with no power.  We had a freak snow storm that downed lines and trees.  We got several inches.  Our generator took a crap and luckily for us, our neighbor plugged our refrigerator into his generator.  Whew!

When the power finally came on last night, I threw some drumsticks into the oven and chopped a salad with what I had on hand.  Which wasn’t much!  I had half a head of iceberg, some celery, a sweet bell pepper, and some buttery olives.  I couldn’t have asked for anything more.  Ok, maybe a shallot. Ok, maybe I had some shallots and I just didn’t feel like getting my hand mandoline out.  There.  Now you know.  Last night I used the garlic salt and some fine ground pepper.

If you’re like me, you keep a small variety of olives on hand in the pantry.  My standards are the spanish queens from Costco and some pitted castelvetranos.  Sometimes I have some marinated artisan varieties and sometimes I have some kalamatas and some stuffed with various things.  The spanish queens are salty and easy.  But by far, the castelvetranos are my favorite.  They just have this lovely buttery flavor I can’t get enough of.  Sorry not sorry to go on this olive tangent, but if you like olives in your salad, I had to mention my love affair with castelvetranos.

Quick Chicken Legs


  • 1 family pack chicken legs
  • 1/4 cup ish dry seasoning of your choice
  • Pepper optional
  • Italian dressing of your choice
  • 1/2 cup castelvetrano pitted olives
  • 4 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 sweet bell pepper sliced
  • 1 small head iceberg chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Arrange the chicken on the baking sheet and season generously.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until done.
  • Toss all the fresh vegetables together with the olives and the salad dressing.  Serve under the chicken legs.  Lick your fingers.