Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Meet Sharyl!

Today's posts include two sisters in our group, Sharyl and Mary! It's a family affair! - 37 Cooks

Who am I? Hmmm.

I am an Aggie horticulturist working as the grower and buyer for a local garden center and landscape company.

I have been with my sweetie, Mark, for 12 years. We met in high school many years ago! His Mom helped us reconnect and it is one of the best things she ever did. We have cats; no kids.

My passion is baking, although I love cooking as well. I am not really sure how this came to be. Growing up, we started helping with housework and cooking at an early age. As a freshman in high school, each of us was responsible for dinner one night a week. My favorite story is one that I will never forget (Dad remembers, Mom doesn't). I was making tuna fish casserole, which was one of our favorites. I don't know where my head was but that night I didn't cook the noodles. I mixed the noodles, canned soup and tuna fish all together and stuck it in the oven. Needless to say, it was inedible. As I recall, Mom was not amused but I didn't do it on purpose. So funny now!

Several years ago, Mom spent months compiling family recipes for Christmas. She gave each of us kids a Family Cookbook of all these wonderful family recipes. It is one of the best presents I have ever received! Mom is a wonderful cook, so I think some of my passion must come from her.

I would say that my cooking/baking has definitely evolved in the last 12 years, since Mark came back into my life. Although he is pretty much a meat and potatoes kind of guy, he will try most of my efforts. His mantra is “if something is good, why do you need to change it.” Mine is the opposite. I have tried many different recipes for peach cobbler, chocolate cake, etc. and I continue to do so. I love experimenting and trying new recipes. My Pinterest page is full of hundreds of recipes that I want to make. So many things to make, so little time!

I am so excited to be a recent member of 37 Cooks and to share with and learn from the other members.

Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie

chopped chicken from 3-4 bone-in chicken breasts *
2 large russet potatoes, chopped into bite-sized chunks**
4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth (saved from the boiled chicken*)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 bag of frozen peas and carrots, optional (I don't use them in mine.)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 ready made pie crust from the store (I use Pillsbury from the refrigerated section.)
egg wash: 1 lightly beaten egg with 1 teaspoon water

*To prepare the chicken: place 3-4 bone in chicken breasts in a large pot with about 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Cover the chicken with water. Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and tender. Cool and use the diced or shredded chicken for the pie. Allow the water used to cook the chicken to cool and set aside.

**To prepare the potatoes: place the potato chunks in a bowl, cover with water and cook in a microwave oven until firm but not soft. They will cook for another hour in the oven. I usually microwave for about 12 -15 minutes.

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and saute until tender.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Add the flour to the celery and onion mixture and stir for about 1 minute, without browning.

Add the stock (broth) and cook, stirring, until sauce thickens. If necessary, add more flour for thickening. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the chicken, drained potatoes, peas, carrots and parsley; stir.

Pour into a rectangle, shallow cake-sized dish (I actually make individual pies in soup bowls). Lay ready made pie crust over the top of the dish. It will take about 1 1/2 of the Pillsbury pie crusts to cover the top.

Brush the dough with the egg wash. Poke a few holes in the crust with a fork and bake for about 1 hour, until brown and bubbly. Enjoy! This is one of our absolute favorites. Not fancy – just down home comfort food!

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