Chicken pot pie is one of my most favorite foods. I have yet to hear someone say they don’t love flaky, buttery crust that leaks creamy sauce, chicken, and veggies when cut into. I could eat it every week, but especially when I need some comfort food. This post isn’t about me and my pot pie obsession though, it’s about bringing a little comfort and warmth to the new moms in our lives.
The sigh of relief that follows a new mom receiving a home-cooked meal is to be cherished. It’s a privilege to come along side our friends and neighbors, with joy, as they begin their new life. After almost 10 months of preparing, waiting, and hardly sleeping with a giant belly, their special day finally arrives. The child is here. For many, the days of giving birth never come and YET they experience the uncomfortable “pregnancy” of tears, paperwork, waiting, more paperwork, hope, and more tears. They too have waited. Finally, their day arrives. The child is here. Children come into our homes in many different ways. What a joy to share with these families, the gift of food, as they greet their new children.
Below is the quicker version of this recipe, using phyllo dough instead of a homemade crust. To make this faster, I like to have a jar of pot pie filling in the freezer ready to go with chicken, potatoes, carrots, peas, and onions that have already been steamed and seasoned. Then, I just have to defrost the jar and the phyllo dough, then make the sauce.
Chicken Pot Pie
For the filling:
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped (rotisserie chicken is fine)
The heaviness of life can sometimes feel like you are being crushed. We were reading about the water strider in science this week. The author of the book was pointing out the delicate balance this insect has with the water he lands on. His delicate body possesses just the right amount of weight to stay afloat on the water, without sinking below. The tension is RIGHT and NECESSARY between him and the water. Without tension from below, he would sink and would be unable to find his daily food. With extra tension from above, he would sink. Isn’t that so with life? We can feel the pressure being put on us from above by guilt, sadness, loneliness, sickness, and fear. Yet, please don’t forget that Jesus is holding us up so that we don’t sink below it all. He is our delicate balance. Oh, how I need to remember that truth when tensions are pressing from above. There is hope for those of us who feel like we are drowning.
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
He drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
He rescued me because He delighted in me.”
He’s got us.
This week, as I shared here, the kids and I have been surrounding ourselves with things that bring joy and healing. I’d love to share some of our moments this month, some usual and some special:
1. I love having this old door on which to spread around our planting supplies.
2. Our lemons are growing furiously. Lemonade was calling our name! Plus, the weather has been in the 80s and 90s so it was a welcome gift.
3. Becky and Jesse, our local SD photographer friends, came to do a fun photo shoot in our kitchen with the kids and I. It’s always fun to do something out of the ordinary. Plus, B & J are just good people. ;)
4. Spring is a couple of days away but our yard is blooming! Here are some of the succulents in Faith’s old fairy garden.
5. I love goofy kid smiles. You will find zero perfectly staged Olan Mills portraits on my walls.
6. Finally got to plant some seeds. We are 2 months late for CA, but thrilled to have some started. Here’s hoping we can keep the MANY kinds of critters out this year!
7. Laundry can be pretty if you find a cozy spot and chase some golden light. I like to throw a little Ray on as well because his music always takes me back to slow summer days.
8. I had my last bite of cheese a weeks ago so I made it pretty and soaked every last bite in. I remember telling a friend a few years ago that I would never be able to live without bread and cheese. Now, here I am, without either, and I haven’t collapsed into a complete tearful mess…yet.
9. I’ve attempted so many new “pinterest-y” projects to make some learning more exciting and my children don’t seem to be interested in my efforts yet. The project pictured is learning tally marks with popsicle sticks. It’s supposed to help those more tactile oriented kiddos, which is how my youngest learns best. The sticks kept moving too much, which Dean found frustrating. I’ve shed some tears of discouragement but I will keep trying!
10. Another lovely friend, Kristin Guy of DinexDesign, came to visit and let me play around with a box of mysterious props for her “You got served” styling challenge. So fun to play with some new things! She has remained a sweet friend after we met at an Alt Summit conference a few years ago. You can see my pictures on Kristin’s site here soon!
11. Seconds before I snapped this picture, I was watching a little hummingbird hover over those flowers. There is so much beauty to be found.
For those lovely people who’ve been waiting, here is the recipe!
Cranberry Gin Gin Fizz
•2 oz. gin (my fave is Old Grove from Ballast Point Brewing)
•1 oz freshly pressed lemon juice
•1 oz cranberry ginger syrup (recipe below)
•Ginger beer (Fever Tree, Maine Root, or Bruce Coast. NEVER EVER use Reed’s because it will mess up the flavor!)
•Rosemary or juniper for garnish
Stir together first 3 ingredients in your cocktail glass. Add ice. Float with some ginger beer and add garnish.
For syrup: Combine 1 cup water with 1 cup organic sugar, 1 ginger root (few inches long and wide), and 1 cup cranberries. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the ingredients are boiling. Continue cooking on low for 20 min. Cool, strain, and you’re ready to go!
At the beginning of the summer, we had dinner with our Pastor and his family. He was about to go hunting for bear. Yes, I said bear; think large, furry, and black. A few glasses of wine into the night, we decided we should have a bear feast! I agreed to cook the bear and my husband decided to throw the 1983 Bordeaux that we were gifted. That bottle should have been opened a few years ago, but alas, we kept putting it off for a truly special occasion. Apparently, eating a bear is a special occasion. Thus, we gathered for the first ever Bear & Bordeaux feast.
I love to try cooking new things but this one made me particularly nervous because what I read suggested black bear caught at the beginning of summer will mean a lean, grisly piece of meat. Nobody wants to eat that! So, after much deliberation and maybe a bad dream about cooking inedible bear, I decided to go for a classic recipe: beef bourguignon or now, bear bourguignon!
I was only able to take a few little bites (trouble digesting meat), but it was tasty. The bear ended up perfectly tender, after simmering for several hours. I was so relieved.
Bear Bourguignon (Julia Child’s recipe, sub beef for bear)
Mini Caesar Salads with Anchovy Dressing (Thomas Keller’s recipe)
School is here again! As much as summer was especially AMAZING for me, I know that life needs the routines of the every day. Summer wouldn’t be a gift, though, if it wasn’t a deliberate break from the ordinary, right? It was indeed appreciated.
Homeschooling friends, have you signed up for the free Wild & Free content bundle? There are so many inspiring homeschool mamas sharing their wisdom and stories in there! The first PRAIRIE bundle is free, then you just pay $19/month after that to keep the content flowing! This next month you can find ME, in the GARDEN edition, sharing a fresh tomato risotto recipe and tips on how to cook with kiddos. Go and sign up here!
This last week brought some simple moments I wanted to remember:
// The boys made wooden boats. I LOVE that they are old enough to go in the backyard and build something from their imagination,using a hammer and nails. //
// Getting back in the granola game with my old favorites, pecan and vanilla. I posted the recipe here this week. //
// Jack was so sad it was summer because he missed doing math. Go figure. //
// Math-u-see blocks are part of every school day, but seeing the manipulative picture below makes me think of these wooden math blocks I just saw on Etsy here. //
// FINALLY got my vintage 5-panel door hung up in the kid’s bathroom! Praise the Lord for finding a handyman and progress! Now, to find the piece that makes the fabulous glass handle turn. I think my littlest guy ran off with it somewhere. Ruh roh. //
//I attempted to help my extremely tactile kiddo with letter writing by breaking out the shaving cream option. Quite simply, it didn’t go as well as I’d like, but it did create 30 minutes of bath-time fun for the boys. //
// Every kid loves the time of year when costume magazines come nearly daily. Not sure whether to thank them for the few quiet minutes it allows or shake my fists for the junk mail. //
// Snap-circuits are amazing. I’ve been storing them away until school started. Have you tried them?! The instructions are easy for the kids to follow and they love the fact that they can make an electrical circuit that creates explosive noises. //
// Peach roses forever. //
// Ice cream in a can doesn’t work with regular goat’s milk, FYI. Fat is necessary so cream is the only way. Guess I’ll have to go out of my way for some raw cream so I can have some. San Diego, you can find raw milk options from Organic Pastures at some Sprouts and the little Boney’s Bayside Market on Coronado. La Mesa Sprouts is the only one I’ve actually seen it at. //
// I’ve been taking a lot of clay and salt baths lately, trying to get rid of some yuck stuck in my body during the gut healing I’ve been undergoing. The happy effect of this is I’ve been getting some reading done. Any good books you think I can’t live without reading? //
// Experimenting with some new board balm options. Coconut oil seems to be the only option that brings the least amount of rancid effects. Mineral oil is a spawn of plastic so it’s weird that people think it’s cool to put it so near their food. I’ve been using a coconut oil and beeswax combo. So far so good. There’s a convo happening on my IG about this here. //
// Filling our pantry shelves with as much homemade canned tomato sauce as possible before the season is gone. I started with is Better Homes and Gardens recipe here, I just added the roasting element and kicked up the garlic. //