Homemade Pie Crust

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Pie crust can be bought prepared, but it is also very easy to make it yourself and costs a lot less. This recipe makes a buttery and crisp crust. This crust has structure to hold your fillings inside, but it’s not so hard it’s unpleasant to eat. I am not a person that tends to like pies because usually they are frozen and the crust just tastes awfully dry and floury. That is not the case with this crust. This crust becomes flaky, has a great butter taste, and doesn’t become dry and hard. This recipe is enough for one 9 inch pie pan.

What You Will Need

  • 2 Cups of Flour
  • 10 Tbsp Butter, Cold
  • 5-7 Tbsp Cold Water
  • Large food processor or large mixing bowl and 2 knives

Directions

1. In a large food processor or mixing bowl, add the flour and butter. Cut the butter until each piece of butter is cut to the size of a pea or smaller. Add your water slowly, and mix until a dough forms.

2. Turn out dough onto cling wrap. Wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to harden up butter again. Pull out dough, roll to out to fit your pie pan, then bake according to your filling’s instruction, or at 350 F until golden.

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Ground Beef Empanadas

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Empanadas are a great meal and can be made quickly or can be made from scratch. I’ve made empanadas a few times though I’m still not very good at making pretty ones. When I made this recipe, I made homemade pie crust to use as the dough. Though I know some people use pie crust, it was too buttery and a bit hard, so I recommend using biscuit dough instead. I’ve made them before with biscuit dough and I think it’s superior. For filling, it was very easy to make and full of flavor. Finally, I made 13 empanadas before running out of filling, so what I didn’t bake, you can place in the freezer for an hour before transferring to freezer bag. 2 empanadas is enough for an adult if you have sides with it. I served these with homemade mac and cheese and corn.

What You Will Need

  • 1 Can of Biscuits
  • 1/2 lb. Ground beef
  • 1 cup Medium Diced Onion
  • 1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • Large Frying pan and wooden spoon
  • Baking sheet

Directions

1. Heat your frying pan over medium heat. Add your ground beef, and cook until browned. Add your onion, garlic, spices, tomato paste, and 1/2 cup water. Cook until all liquid is gone, then remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes.

2. Heat Oven to 400 F. Open your biscuits and separate. Cut your biscuits into thirds. Roll each into a ball, then roll out on a floured surface into a 3 inch circle. Fill the center with about 1 tbsp filling, fold over, then crimp edges closed using a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, turning the sheet half way through.

3. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

French Onion Chicken Noodle Casserole

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Casseroles are a great option for larger families and for an easy meal. This recipe was made using packaged ingredients, so there isn’t anything you need to prepare beforehand, unless you would want to make something homemade, such as the chicken or the chicken soup. If you didn’t want to make this on the stove, you could mix the sauce ingredients together, and mix them with the noodles then bake all, covered for about 45 min. I just prefer to make things on the stove top. This recipe is very similar to my tuna noodle recipe as far as ingredients and steps. This recipe was very delicious the way I made it, but the only alteration I made was the addition of a veggie into the dish. If you were to add spinach, broccoli, or green beans, the dish would be a bit more balanced and have less of a heavy milk flavoring, and have a bit more light and healthy flavoring. This recipe makes 6 large adult sized servings.

What You Will Need

  • Dutch Oven
  • Medium Sauce pan
  • Colander
  • Casserole Dish (if desired)
  • 12-16 oz Egg Noodles
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken
  • 1/2 Pound of Cooked, Shredded Chicken (2 cans)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Packet of French Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • Green Veggie of Choice (optional)

Directions

1. In a medium sauce pan, add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add your egg noodles and cook according to package. In a Dutch oven, add shredded chicken, cream of chicken, milk, french onion soup mix, and a green veggie. Heat over medium low stirring to make sure milk doesn’t burn or stick.

2. Once noodles are cooked, strain and add to the dutch oven. Cook together for a few minutes until everything is hot. Finally, add your sour cream. Stir and cook until sauce begins to bubble. Remove from heat and serve, or transfer to a casserole dish and bake at 350 F for 20-30 minutes.

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Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

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Mashed potatoes are a great side dish for many different meals. They pair well with any type of protein and they offer a blank pallet for customizing. Mashed potatoes can have many herbs, spices, and surprises added into it. The options for mashed potatoes are limitless, but here are just a few options, truffles, spinach, garlic, sage, thyme, ginger, parsley, rosemary, chili powder, paprika, or vanilla. Beyond flavoring, you can also make chunky mashed potatoes or smooth. This all depends on how long you cook your potatoes. I use the fork test to see how tender the potatoes are. If you can stab a potato with a fork and it breaks cleanly in half then they are done, this will give you smooth mashed potatoes. If you can stab it but doesn’t break apart immediately, but it still breaks, then that is a good texture for chunky mashed potatoes. For this recipe I also made some alterations from what I did. First, you will need to break up the rosemary with a grinder or mortar and pestle if you use dried like I did. The needles are just a bit too large to be enjoyed at that size. You could also use fresh rosemary and avoid the problem all together. And second, I minced my garlic, but it should have been grated. Hitting pockets of raw garlic was not a fun experience. Having it grated you still give strong flavor, but it will be mellower from being stirred more thoroughly through the potatoes. This makes enough for 4 large adult sized side servings.

What You Will Need

  • 5-6 Medium Potatoes, Peeled and Diced
  • Dutch Oven
  • Mixing Bowl
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, peeled, and grated
  • Dried Rosemary, Ground/Crushed
  • 1 Cup Evaporated Milk with 1/2 Cup Warm Water

Directions

1. Prepare your potatoes. Place in a Dutch oven, cover with 2-3 inches of water and place over medium high heat. Boil for 15 minutes or until form tender. Strain.

2. In mixing bowl, add butter, rosemary, and grated garlic. Add potatoes, evaporate milk and water. Mix until potatoes reach your desired texture. Plate and serve with butter.

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Lemon, Rosemary, and Thyme Salmon

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Last week was my birthday so for my birthday dinner I made this delicious meal. Pink salmon fillets baked in lemon juice with dried rosemary and thyme. When I made this, I also added 2 cloves of minced garlic, however, that added no flavor, so it is best to omit. If you have a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind up your rosemary and thyme so it’s smaller pieces, otherwise it is not inconvenient as is. Salmon is not only healthy, but is also tasty. Some people don’t like salmon because it is “too fishy” in flavor. So, if you don’t like the fish flavor, tilapia will be a better option for you. I was able to buy this salmon for a great price in the frozen section of Aldi’s. Serve with a small side of melted butter to enhance the flavor of the salmon. This recipe makes enough for 2 adults.

What You Will Need

  • 2 Salmon Fillets (4-6 Oz)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Baking Sheet
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • 2 Tbsp Butter melted, to serve

Directions

1. Heat Oven to 350 F. Place Salmon onto a large piece of Aluminum Foil. Fold up the edges. Add Lemon Juice and sprinkle the top of the salmon with rosemary and thyme. Seal the packet and place in the oven. Baked for 35-45 minutes, with an internal temperature of at least 145 F.

2. Serve the salmon immediately, and let sit for less than 5 minutes before eating.

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