Friday, April 15, 2011

A Better Pot Pie?

Today I attempted a pot pie that still has all the comfort of what you buy in the store but with better flavor.

• Stew meat (marinated in Worchester sauce over night to make more tender and juicy.)

• ½ onion

• 5 carrots

• 4 stalks celery

• 1 cup peas

• ½ cup broth

• ½ cup wine

• ½ cup cream

• Thyme

• Flour for thickening (about 1 ½ tablespoon)

• 2 pie crusts (9 inch)

• Butter

• Garlic Powder


Slice onions extra thin and throw in a pan on low with butter for a quick sweat.

In a pot boil carrots and celery in broth.

Heat a pan to med- high with just enough olive oil to cover bottom. Sprinkle meat with S/P, garlic powder and thyme, throw in pot and sear on all sides. Turn down to low and cover with wine, let it simmer. Once onions are cooked down throw them in with meat.

Drain broth from vegetables and save.

Mix vegetables (add peas now) with meat and pour into pie crust.

On low mix broth, wine drenched meat crispies and cream, thicken with flour, cook together and pour on pie. Cover with other crust and bake at 400 until crust is golden.

What really happened:

1. It took me 1 ½ hours to get everything in the pie, and 25 min to bake, but I tend to move slower than most people, and this was the first time I made anything like this.

2. Someone threw out my thyme so I used a little parsley and very little rosemary.

3. Only half the ingredients fit in the pie.


• I loved it. I have always picked around the unsavory bits of the store bought kind. Though, next time I will change one thing. The stew meat I bought had about 2 pounds of meat, next time I’ll change that for ¾ - 1 pound. This should allow everything to fit and be creamier by using the same amount of liquid.

• The boyfriend complained that if only there were more salt it would be perfect. The cream and wine (I used a Riesling*) do make it a bit sweet, if you don’t like that add a bit of S/P to the sauce when you mix it up. I just brought him the shakers and enjoyed as is.

I paid $7.22 for the pie (without the half the filling that went in the freezer and will make another pie, also I already had wine, frozen peas, butter, flour and seasonings) which made 4 servings at $1.805, exactly.

Now that I’m done writing this I am going back for seconds!

* I don’t know how red would taste as I don’t drink red so I never have it around.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Review: Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Review: Anna and the French Kiss

This is the tale of Anna's senior year of high school. One in which she is ripped away from her friends, mother, and little brother, by her pompous, nouveau riche father.

Anna's father has become a famous writer (of sappy love stories with tragic twists*) who decides that his new position gives him the right to up-root his daughter and send her to boarding school in France.

Anna is completely against this until she meets Etienne, a boy that will show her Paris has everything she ever wanted waiting right outside her door.

1. This is a first true love story. And of course the characters all discover things about themselves during the journey, which is an aspect all the best stories have.

2. The Author’s sentencing is short and direct and expresses a eighteen-year-old’s journey very well.

I loved this story AND I Loved the ending. There are very few novels that I love but also agree the story ended well. This is one of those novels that didn’t leave me wanting. Even though this is a great story with characters that will stay with me, I didn’t wish for a sequel, Ms. Perkins’ story is complete in itself.

The only thing I did not like about the story was the barrage of internal thoughts. Anna spent more time in her head than any journal novel I’ve ever read. Sometimes she narrated like a journalist, but mostly she said things to herself that should have been stated out loud. Often the things she said to herself fit so much better into the conversation than the things she actually ends up saying, but even worse there are times when she thinks something to herself then writes, and so I said so…. What is that? Anyway, one annoyance doesn’t ruin the story, because this story is too fantastic.

3. We’ve all seen Paris**, we know the architecture is something to be wowed at, the history is worth waiting in lengthy lines to see, and the scenery will leave you breathless. But The Food is what places this story. I didn’t think someone could make French cuisine sound so good. I am definitely a foodie, and I am not ashamed to say I have been mesmerized by pictures, stories and imitations of French food before. But Stephanie takes this to a whole new level, from Anna’s first grape bath to the drippy cheesy Panini and on and on, with all Paris has to offer after reading this novel I believe I would spend an entire trip to Paris eating and ignoring the beautiful scenery. The scenery in the book was indescribably awesome, but the food was described the way all great food should be. This food made the world Anna moved into.

4. I recommend this story to EVERYONE. O.K. it might be a little mushy for some, but anyone who loves love, Paris, food and/or life lessons.

* For those of you who have read the book already… I don’t want to point fingers or name names… but, does the description of Anna’s father remind anyone of a certain Real Life author. Or is it just me…

** At least in Pictures