Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Changing the World One Family at a Time

Our family decided to really focus on Jesus this year.
  Christmas is all about Jesus, but sometimes we get caught up in the lights and trees and presents for others and lists for ourselves.  Jesus gets placed to the side and we remember Him on Sunday morning for an hour in church.  And then life goes on and it is busy, busy, busy.  
So this year I was challenged to really do something special for Jesus.  Something that would help our family look outside our own little world and give to our Savior this year for Christmas.  
I brought this challenge that had grown in my heart to my family.  The kids embraced the idea whole heartedly.  They wanted to find a gift to give to Jesus.  I suggested that they raise money to buy an animal for a family through a program that World  Vision offers.  I knew that my kids could make a difference, but had no idea what an impact they could have.  My 5 and 7 year old little girls wanted to raise $200 to buy a sheep and a goat.  I tried to talk them out of it.  That was a lot of money for two little ones to raise.  But they were determined and Daddy and I supported them $100.  I wanted them to see what God could do through them when they gave their all to Him. 

So the girls made brownies.  Lot and lots of brownies.  The girls made these treats all by themselves (with lots of supervision) and they loved every minute of it.

Of course they had to taste test the batter.

Measuring out the ingredients.

The girls also made cinnamon ornaments to sell.  Our home smelled like cinnamon for many days.  They had fun mixing up the dough, rolling it out and cutting out the ornaments.

Last week, they raised $200.  I told the girls that we could be done selling things since they made enough for their gift for Jesus.  Hannah looked up at me and asked if they could keep going.  Then they could give Jesus another present for His birthday.  What could I say, but YES!!!  I was so proud of them for working so hard to make a difference.  They ended up raising $240 in just over three weeks.  I was blown away by what two determined little girls ended up doing.  I love that God can take the least of these to make a difference in a few families lives.   Today we were able to buy a goat, a sheep, a family mosquito net, vegetable seeds and medicine for families through World Vision.  Every one that bought a brownie or an ornament, thank-you so much!!!

Here is the mosquito net.

A goat!

Vegetable seeds for a family.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

GF Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie is one of my all time favorite things to eat.  It has a beautiful flaky crust and a creamy delicious chicken fiddle.  It is my all time favorite comfort food.   I found an amazing recipe for this pie a few years ago and made it faithfully for my family. 

 Then I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and my life changed.  I felt like all my favorite food was now poison to me.  It was a sad day for me.  But then I moved on and decided that I will find a way to enjoy all the foods that I did before.  If I can find the recipe, then I can find a way to modify it to taste delicious. I don't hold with all this nasty Gluten Free "food" that is out there.  Most of it is extremely hard to swallow and tastes pretty bad as well as costing a fortune.

So I set out to find a way to make my favorite chicken pot pie.  I use an amazing flour called Maninis Gluten Free.  I threw away my rice flour, potato flour, guar gum, xanthan gum and all the rest of it.  Maninis flour is made from ancient grains and is so similar to wheat flour.  I substitute it cup for cup in all my baking and cooking.  Just about everything turns out amazing and delicious.  So I tried the Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pie Crust with the Maninis GF flour.  It is flaky, golden and about as good as you'll ever get with out wheat in it.
I got my dough mixed up and threw it in the refrigerator  waiting to be rolled out.

Then I tried to make the filling for my pot pie.  This was much harder to do GF.  My original recipe calls for condensed cream of chicken soup.  Well, just about all soup has wheat in it.  All of it.  If you look hard enough, you can find it GF-but it is not the same consistency or taste.  I bought it once and won't ever buy it again.  So I tried making cream of chicken soup from scratch.  It was good, but didn't have the same consistency and was a lot of work (on top of making the whole pie).  I tried different recipes using chicken broth and fresh veggies.  But couldn't find the right taste or consistency for me.  After lots of attempts that were close, I finally came up with a recipe that was simple and tasted great.

 It was a hit with my whole family (except for my littlest one and she doesn't like any food that has vegetables and meat in it-sorry kiddo, this is what we are having).  My sister in law even came down the next night to see if she could have the last piece.  Enjoy this creamy and easy GF Chicken Pot Pie.

Chicken Pot Pie

Makes 2 full pies.
Make Pie Crust: 4- 9 inch rounds  Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pie Crust

Pie Filling:  3 T Butter, 3-4 cups frozen mixed vegetables, 2 1/2 cups sour cream, 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, 1 1/2 cups shredded (or little cut up cubes) sharp cheddar, 2 cups cooked chicken-cut into bite sized pieces, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning.

You can substitute 1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup for the heavy cream.  That’s for those of you that can have wheat.

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Melt butter in sauce pan.  Add the veggies and cook until soft and no longer frozen.
3.  Mix sour cream and heavy cream in a large bowl.
4.Take veggies off heat and add all ingredients.  Mix well.
5.  Spoon into unbaked pie shell.
6.  Cover with top crust and fold top edge under bottom crust.  Flute with fingers or fork.  Cut slits in pie.
7.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and bubbly. 
8.  After baking, let sit for 5 minutes then serve.

I make 2 pies out of this recipe.  Then I bake one for 20 minutes, cool it, wrap it in saran wrap and tin foil and freeze it for later.  The second I bake for dinner and enjoy it.