Weekly Winner: Potpie Problem No More

IMG_0359I have a serious “love-hate” relationship with Chicken Pot Pie. On one hand, I adore it — the flaky crust, the comfort factor, the creamy luscious filling.  On the other hand — I hate making it!  I’m not a pastry person so I’m always looking for a pre-made option.  It’s also very difficult to portion out and making single portions with individual crusts is beyond tedious.  What to do, what to do???  The answer?  Make a soup out of it and top it with a cheesy, fluffy biscuit.  Problem solved.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Potpie Soup has made it possible for me to have chicken potpie whenever I want!  The fact that its made in the slow-cooker is a bonus inside of a bonus!  The recipe comes from PureWow.  All I can tell you is, this is a game-changer.  I’m not sure this recipe could be any easier and it is definitely amazingly tasty.  The website said it best.  “PureWow”.  My chicken potpie problem no longer exists.  Full disclosure:  I did make two substitutions:  I don’t see why in the world I’d use canned corn and peas if I have frozen.  I think frozen is way better. Therefore I simply used the equivalent amount of frozen.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Potpie Soup

Serves 8


1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced

1 pint cremini mushrooms, quartered

1 sweet onion, diced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

3 stalks celery, diced

½ cup all-purpose flour

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups chicken broth

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

One 15-ounce can peas, drained 15 oz. frozen peas

One 15-ounce can corn, drained 15 oz. frozen corn

½ cup heavy cream

⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley

Biscuit Topping

One 16-ounce package refrigerated biscuits

1 large egg

1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese

¼ cup chopped fresh chives


1. Make the Potpie: In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine the chicken breast, mushrooms, onion, carrot, celery, flour and garlic cloves. Add the broth, bay leaf and thyme.

2. Turn the slow cooker on low and cook until the chicken is tender, about 7 hours.

3. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Stir in the peas, corn and heavy cream. Cook the soup until warmed through, about 30 minutes.

4. Make the Biscuit Topping: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

5. Separate the biscuits and place them on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water; brush an even layer over each biscuit. Top each biscuit with shredded cheese.

6. Bake until the biscuit is fully baked and the cheese is golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then garnish with chives.

7. To serve, ladle the potpie into bowls and top each with chives and a biscuit.


Weekly Winner: Corny Carbonara with a Kick

If I absolutely HAD to pick a favorite pasta dish (which would be like choosing your favorite child, or favorite cheese – yeah, impossible!) I would say pasta carbonara would have to be it.  If I’m at a restaurant that has pasta carbonara on the menu, there is a very good chance I’m going to order it. I am not, however, a purist when it comes to carbonara.  I have no problems with tinkering as long as the basic components are there: string pasta (preferably bucatini) egg yolk, bacon or pancetta, and a sprinkling of parmesan.

So when I came across this recipe for Spicy Corn Carbonara on Pure Wow, I was hooked.  This is so good.  Not only good, downright luscious.  I imagine it will only be better this summer when the local fresh corn is at its peak.  Regardless, I will be making this — a lot.  While some homes have “house wines” or “house salads”… this will be my new “house pasta”  Bon Appetito!

Spicy Corn Carbonara

Serves 6 (so they say, however in our house it was more like 4 servings)


4 ears corn

2 strips bacon, diced

1 red onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

Kosher Salt

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 lb bucatini (or spaghetti or linguini, but bucatini is best)

2 large egg yolks

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly ground black pepper

Chives for serving


  1. Cut the corn off the cob with a sharp knife. Transfer kernels to a bowl and firmly scrape the knife against the cob to release any liquid.  Discard the cobs.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the bacon and cook until the fat has rendered and it’s very crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  3. Add the red onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s tender, about 4 minutes. Add the corn and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Season with the salt and red pepper flakes and reserve over low heat.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.  Scoop out and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta.
  5. Stir the pasta water into the corn mixture.  Raise heat to medium and bring the liquid to a gentle simmer.  Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to combine.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cream. Add to the skillet and toss well to coat.  Add the Parmesan, plenty of black pepper and reserved bacon and toss to combine.  Garnish with the chives.


Weekly Winner: Whatever You Call It – It’s Tasty!

What constitutes a salad? I know there are “entrée” salads and “side” salads and “grain” salads. But what, exactly makes said dish a “salad”? These are the deep thoughts and nagging questions that keep me up at night. (OK, actually nothing keeps me up at night – I sleep like the dead. But it makes for a good post so just go with it.). The dictionary tells me that it has to be a cold dish to be a salad, but if that’s the case, what about warm potato salad? Is it the dressing that makes a plate or bowl of ingredients into a salad? I honestly don’t know. And you know what? I don’t care, either. When I can compose a dish this drop-dead gorgeous, interesting, and healthy and…. oh yeah, crazy delicious… then you can call it whatever you want.

According to Cooking Light Magazine, this is Chicken with Broccolini and Farro-Beet Salad. According to me, however, it was a spectacular dinner. I did make just a couple changes to the recipe. First of all I had regular broccoli on hand rather than Broccolini so I used that. Secondly, I did not buy raw beets and microwave them — I bought already cooked beets and used that — ain’t nobody got time to cook and peel beets if you don’t need to! Also the recipe calls for pre-cooked farro. Really people, just cook your own, it takes no time at all and is far tastier. Hey, but other than that I followed this recipe exactly!

Chicken with Broccolini (or broccoli) and Farro-Beet Salad

Serves 4


2/3 cup water

2/3 cup plus 1-1/2 tsp cider vinegar, divided

1 cup vertically sliced red onion

4 small red beets, trimmed (11 oz) [or one package pre-cooked red beets]

3/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1-1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided

4 (6 oz) skinless, boneless chicken breasts

6 Tbsp olive oil, divided

12 oz broccolini, trimmed [or regular broccoli]

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves

1 (8.5 oz) pkg precooked farro (such as Simply Balanced) [or cook your own!]

2 navel oranges, peeled and sliced

Chopped fresh dill


  1. Bring 2/3 cup water and 2/3 cup vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan. Add onion; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. While onion stands, pierce beets a few times with a knife; wrap in a large piece of microwave-safe parchment paper. Microwave at high until tender, about 8 minutes. Cool slightly; rub off skins with a paper towel. Cut beets into wedges. [if using pre-cooked beets, simply open package and cut into wedges — see? Isn’t that much easier? You can use this time to cook your own farro which only takes about 15 minutes]
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Combine garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt; rub over chicken. Add 1 Tbsp oil to pan; swirl. Add chicken; cook until done, 6 minutes per side. Place on a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into slices
  4. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add broccolini, and cook until just crisp-tender, about 2 minutes; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain.
  5. Place garlic in a mini food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add parsley; pulse until chopped. Add remaining 5 Tbsp oil, remaining 1-1/2 tsp vinegar, and 1/2 tsp salt; process until well blended.
  6. Heat farro according to package directions. Combine beet wedges, farro, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Divide farro mixture and broccolini evenly among 4 plates; top evenly with onion, orange slices, and chicken. Drizzle each serving with about 2 Tbsp parsley sauce; if desired, sprinkle with dill.