Monday, April 12, 2010

Super-Easy Chicken Pot Pie

This chicken pot pie is very easy to make and very good! It is also inexpensive to make, since I use the very cheap but yummy little box of Jiffy pie crust mix to make this pot pie. Of course, you can use any pie crust recipe you'd like.

Super-Easy Chicken Pot Pie
pie crust for a double layer pie, any brand, homemade or store-bought
1 bag (12-16 oz) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained but not cooked
2 cups cooked, diced chicken
1 can (10.75 oz) cream of chicken soup
salt and pepper, optional
1/4 cup milk (use more if you like your pot pie filling saucier)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 in. pie plate with one of the pie crusts and prick a few times with a fork. In a bowl, combine chicken, soup, vegetables, and milk. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Pour filling into pie shell, top filling with second pie crust, prick top of crust to release steam. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is hot. (you may want to use foil strips to cover edges of pie crust so they don't brown too quickly). Makes 6 servings.

Polka Dot Cookie Bars

These bars are always a hit with kids of all ages. They look really fun and are so simple to make. Perfect for a bake sale!

Polka Dot Cookie Bars
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 pkg. (10 oz) vanilla chips, divided

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in almond extract. Add dry ingredients, mix well to combine. Set aside 1/4 cup vanilla chips, stir remaining chips into batter. Spread batter in a greased 15x10x1 in. baking pan (can also use a 13x9 in. pan but will need to bake a few minutes longer). Sprinkle top of batter with reserved chips. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool before cutting into bars. Makes 3 dozen bars.

Chocolate Creme Bundt Cake

You know the huge, very moist bundt cakes you can buy in the grocery store bakery, often called 'Creme cakes?' This recipe tastes just like them! SO easy to make, only takes minutes to throw together, and I always recieve a TON of compliments wherever I take one! My recipe is for the chocolate version, but you can definitely use different flavors of cake mix and pudding mix to create any flavor you like.

Chocolate Creme Bundt Cake
1 box (18.25 oz) chocolate cake mix
1 lg. box chocolate instant pudding mix (6-8 serving size)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1-2 cups chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except chocolate chips and blend on medium speed until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into a greased bundt cake pan or tube cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Makes 12 servings.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars

These are the best oatmeal raisin cookies I've ever had, and it's nice because by making them in bar form, you only bake them once and yield a lot of cookie bars! Perfect for kids, they are moist yet are not crumbly and travel well. You can also substitute some chocolate chips or dried cranberries in place of part or all of the raisins.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
2 cups raisins*

In a medium sized mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt and soda; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together shortening, sugars, egg, milk and vanilla. Add in flour mixture until combined. Stir in oats and raisins. Pat dough into a greased 13x9 in. or 15x10x1 in. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 23-28 minutes (less time for the 15x10 in. pan) or until top of bars is a light golden brown color. When bars are cool, cut into squares. Makes 16-24 bars, depending on size.

* for moister raisins, soak raisins in 1 cup of very hot water for 5 minutes before using. Dry raisins and mix into cookie dough as directed. - OR - spread dry raisins on a baking sheet and bake in a 250 degree oven for 10 minutes to plump. Allow to cool for a few minutes before dropping into dough. Although it is a bit of extra work, I do one of these steps everytime I make these bars and it makes them taste SO much better!