Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chili Pot Pie

I found a recipe online to try out tonight. I ended up changing it so much, that it looked almost nothing like the original. So, I decided I could call it my own and post it. I did use some of the puree's I had made before but you could leave them out and not notice the difference. It was a hit with my family - I made one larger pan instead of 2 pies (the crust ended up too thick because I didn't divide it out) and had meat left-over. We wrapped the left-over meat in flour tortillas and made burritos for a second meal.

Meat mixture:

1 lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups fresh spinach torn into bite sized pieces
1 can (16 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1/4 cup orange puree
1/4 cup white puree

Crust (or use your favorite pie crust recipe):
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 cups cold butter
12 to 14 tablespoons cold water

Directions: In skillet, cook the beef and onion (you could also add green bell pepper at this point) until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in remainder of meat mixture ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 - 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Gradually add water, mixing with fork until dough forms a ball. Divide into fourths; roll each portion into a circle. Cover w/ plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Line two pie plates with pastry. Divide meat mixture between the two crusts. Roll out remaining pastry to fit tops of pies; place over filling. Flute top and bottom crusts together. Cut slits in top. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 min. Reduce heat to 375 degrees; bake 30 to 35 min. or until golden brown. Let stand for 10 - 15 minutes before cutting. Yield: 12 servings

Monday, October 4, 2010

Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander

Just when I thought I was all out of books to read, Bethany House sent another one for review!

In 1877, Widow Rachel Boyd struggles to keep her small ranch going to provide for her sons as she had promised her husband. When the farm's cow is in trouble she is forced to put her trust in the town's doctor. Eventually the choice is laid before her, keep going as she has and the farm will fail, risk it all to buy a better breed of cattle, or sell out.

Dr. Brookston was literally saved by the bell as a soldier and nightly faces his fears from that experience. He knew he would be sacrificing a lot to turn down the city hospital's job offer, but wants to make a difference in lives by working in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The townspeople are slow in learning to trust the doctor. When the town's storekeeper is in need of medical attention, the good doctor turns to Rachel, a former Dr.'s daughter, for help in performing the surgery. Both Dr. Brookston and Rachel must face their greatest fears.

I completely enjoyed this book, but was confused about one part of the story. The novel alludes to a tale of Molly, Rachel's sister-in-law, not being accepted by the townspeople, but never really states why. However, upon further investigation, I realized that this is the 3rd book in a series called The Timber Ridge Reflections and the story of Molly is in another book by Tamera Alexander called Beyond This Moment. The novel can be read as a stand-alone book but would perhaps be better enjoyed if you read the whole series. You can read the first chapter of the book here.

Thank you to Bethany House Publishing Group for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.