Recipe: The Best Turkey Pot Pie!

I love to cook and I feel that cooking is a creative and delicious medium that can inspire your all of your senses. 

Last Christmas I finally bought my first dutch oven. I was really excited to cook with it but didn't know where to start. So my dad bought me a cookbook, Braises and Stews, Everyday Slow-Cooked Recipes by Tori Ritchie. So far everything I have cooked from this book is absolutely delicious!! I am trying to make my way through the recipes and so far the only one I have made more than once is The Turkey Pot Pie in a Pan. Since it is the perfect time of year for this dish I thought I would share the recipe. 

Please note: I made some changes to the recipe for my liking and I will provide the original and note where I made changes. Enjoy!

you will need:

2 turkey drumsticks, about 2-1/2 pounds total
Kosher Salt
Vegetable oil
4 fresh parsley sprigs
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2-1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 large baking potato (about 10 ounces), peeled and diced
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Pastry for a 9 inch pie, homemade or purchased
1 cup frozen, thawed peas
Freshly ground pepper

 I used 3 small turkey legs because that is all my grocery store had. Rinse them and pat dry with paper towels, sprinkle with salt. Next, coat the bottom of you 10-12 inch dutch oven with a thin film of oil and set over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the turkey and cook until the skin is golden and turkey releases easily from the pan when lifted with tings, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, turning with tongs as necessary, until golden all over, 8 to 10 minutes more.

While the turkey is browning make a bouquet garni with your herbs. I bought a package of poultry blend herbs because it was on sale and I figured a few extra herbs would just add to the flavor. This had thyme, sage and rosemary, and I added the bay leaf and parsley. Wrap the herbs in a piece of doubled cheesecloth and tie it.

When the turkey is browned, transfer to a plate. Stir the carrot, onion and celery into the pan. When stirring the veggies, this will pick up all the flavorful brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Pour in the broth and tuck in the bouquet garni, let come to a boil. 

Return turkey to the pan, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat is starting to pull from the bone, about 1 hour. In the last 15 minutes or so, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Transfer cooked turkey back to plate and set aside. Discard bouquet garni.

Add the potatoes, cream and thyme leaves to pan and let come to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender and cream is thickened, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, roll out or trim pastry to 1/2 inch larger than the diameter of the turkey pan and place pastry on a baking sheet. bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes (it will shrink slightly).

* Using a pre-baked pie crust was a little difficult because it cracked and broke a bit when I flattened it out. Be sure to let it thaw before you use it and be gentle with it.  I dipped my fingertips in water and smoothed out the cracks and filled the holes with pieces of dough from the edges as it was needing to be trimmed anyway. This worked out just fine for me.

While pastry is baking, pull off and discard turkey skin, then cut meat off the bone and chop the meat into small pieces.

Add the peas and chopped turkey to the reduced cream mixture in pan and heat through, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. 

* The last time I made it I felt that this did not turn out as thick as I would like and I felt the same way this time around. If you want it thicker like me, you can make a roux or use cornstarch. I used 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 butter and this made it just the way I like it.

Remove from heat and set cooked pastry on top of mixture in the pan. 

* I had to trim mine to fit and it broke around the edge from me handling it. It's ok though, I just added the broken pieces into the pan. It may not look perfect but it's still deeeeelicious!

To serve, spoon out portions of turkey sauce and crust directly from the pan.

This may be a bit time consuming but all the ingredients are affordable! This is great to do on a Sunday afternoon and it will make your home smell amazingly good. I just made this for my hubby and I and there was enough to fill us up as well as for leftovers the next day, so 4 servings. Enjoy!


Thrift Store Finds - Ideas To Decorate Your Home

I decided to write a blog post about items to keep an eye out for at the thrift store for you to use to decorate your home with.

I am going to start out saying that I am not by any means knowledgeable about interior decorating, I simply love going to the thrift store and finding bargains on things I think would be great in my home. 

Sometimes I get lucky and find a bunch of neat things, some items that are like new and some things that just need to be cleaned or painted to bring out it's inner awesomness! 

Here are some ideas:

I found this dish at goodwill for $ .99!! It is solid brass and I love the honeycomb design. It was a mess at first, but then I cleaned it with a lemon wedge and backing soda and it cleaned it right up! I am using it to hold my perfumes but something like this could be used as a key, jewelry or candle dish!

This vintage tape dispenser was a unique find! This also was filthy but I loved the saying on the side and the folk art design and for $1.99 it definitely beats the standard cheap plastic dispenser!

Matchbooks in a glass container or vase has a cool old look, this pink glass vase with matchbooks was an estate sale find. At only $7 I couldn't pass this up!

via Upplgd

Old cameras are interesting and beautiful. I always see all sorts of old cameras at the thrift store but they are usually behind the counter or are auction only items. There are lots of ways to decorate with old cameras in addition to setting it on your bookshelf.

I loved the designs and color of this little dish, it moves around my house and serves different purposes. First it held rubber bands and other misc items in my kitchen. Then it held rings and other jewelry and sat on my dresser. Then it held spools of thread for sewing, and right now it holds some old dominoes and serves as a decoration. I wonder what function it will serve next!

I loved the color of the top ceramic bird, he adds a burst of color on my black book shelf. The bottom one had the same design as some of my owl figurines that my mom gave me so I had to buy it. You can find all sorts of figurines in every shape and color. Check them out and if you see something you like take it off the shelf and imagine it in your home. Sometimes its hard to imaging what something will look like in your home when it is surrounded by so many other objects.

Here's an easy one. At some specialty grocery stores you might be able to find milk and cream in a nice glass bottle from a small batch dairy. I bought this one at the grocery store because I needed some cream and wanted the container to keep. This sits on one of our bookshelves and we keep our fortune cookie fortunes in it. Other ideas would be to use it as a vase or fill it with loose change, small rocks or buttons.

Items on our bookshelf. 

This cabinet is more of a storage space than a display and in we store our different items that we have accumulated from thrift stores, antique stores, gifts and from family.

These are our small vases. A small carafe, a Session beer bottle (love the color and shape), an orange marmalade jar, and some other vases we picked up along the way.

You can get cigar boxes at any tobacco shop. They are cheap and sometimes free and are great for storage and they look great stacked up on a shelf. 

Old lighters would be a cool thing to collect and accent your space with. These two were my grandpas and I think they are so neat!

Old clocks always look great. This one was passed down from a grandparent but you can always find old clocks at a thrift store. There are so many different styles so have an idea of what style would fit in with the rest of your decor.

Glass bottles look great when filled with neat little things or if you put a bunch of different colored glass bottles together. I got these at AX Man in ST. Paul, MN. 

Other items to look for can includes pretty decorative plates that can be displayed on the wall, vintage fans, old wood furniture that just need a coat of paint for a fresh new life, decorative frames that can be collaged on your wall, artwork, mirrors, and old books.

Like I said before I am not an interior decorater so I don't really have an design ideas, but here are some helpful links worth checking out! Enjoy! :)
  1. http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/10-vintage-modern-decorating
  2. http://www.thecottagechick.com/2011/02/creative-uses-for-vintage-finds/
  3. http://www.designsponge.com/category/diy-projects?technique=decorating
  4. http://makingitlovely.com/
  5. http://www.casasugar.com/How--10-Ways-Decorate-Thrifted-Goods-3008468?page=0,0,0

Skull Drawing, by Jeri Mack