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Friday, September 17, 2010

Mmmm, Comfort Food

Big, emotional day for me. Lots of highs and lows. Among the highs: finding my brother-in-law's birthday present that I had hidden (a little too well) in a frenzy of cleaning before a party. Happy birthday, Steven - a month late. Among the lows: trying to get a faulty product issue resolved and having to face off with a bully over the phone. Reminded me of teaching high school - the kids who just come at you with such a negative attitude that you can only wonder what made them feel so insecure. It's a little more jarring coming from a grown man, though. I keep reminding myself that everyone's fighting his own battle, but I still wish this guy had acted like a decent human being. Sigh.

So, a day full of big smiles and more tears than necessary calls for comfort food. Comfort food wrapped in piecrust, served in a ramekin. Ramekins are awesome! Have you ever been served anything in a ramekin that wasn't heavenly? No, me neither.

We tried this recipe last week and loved it. It's another Real Simple magazine "Fake It, Don't Make It" recipe, this one from September of '04. Now, I must reveal why I have these random old recipes lying around. Whenever I see a recipe I like, I tear it out, hole-punch it with one of my numerous hole-punches (why do I believe I can't live with fewer than 3 three hole-punches?), and slide it into a notebook that I keep with my cookbooks. Then, when D and I are meal-planning for the upcoming week and nothing is really sounding good, we bust out the notebook of sounds-good-we'll-try-it-someday recipes. After we try one, it goes in the trash if it's not a hit, or gets copied onto a notecard if we'd like to see it again, and stored in my notecard box, which is my go-to recipe storage place. Wow, that sounds like a high-maintenance system! But it's really not. Well, maybe it is. But it works for high-maintenance me. Now on to the deliciousness.

Individual Chicken Potpies

8-ounce bag frozen mixed veggies (we used a Steamfresh - it was great)
2 refrigerated piecrusts
10 3/4 ounce can cream of chicken soup (who decided that 10 3/4 ounces should be a standard amount of anything?)
1/2 cup milk
2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey (get a rotisserie chicken from Wal-Mart and shred the beast - the white meat is around 2 cups)
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Defrost the veggies in microwave for about 3 minutes. Cut two piecrusts into quarters, for a total of 8 pieces. Coat the inside of four ramekins with vegetable cooking spray, line the bottom of each with a quarter of crust, mold it to fit. In a large bowl, stir together the milk and soup; add the veggies, chicken, garlic salt, and pepper; mix. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins (we had some leftover mix), and top each with a piecrust quarter. Pinch the edges together, folding the extra up on top. Channel your grandmother while you cut vents in the top (because nothing's more grandmotherly than cutting vents in the top of piecrust - it's a fact). Place on a baking sheet and bake 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Bon appetit!

Speaking of bon appetit, if you like cooking, or French things, you've probably already seen Julie and Julia. But if you haven't, check it out. While we're on the subject of movies, you should avoid The Ugly Truth. I wanted there to be anything redeeming about that movie, but there wasn't. Alas.

Now go eat some piecrust!

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