Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leftover Turkey Cast Iron Skillet Pot Pie

Anyone tired of eating turkey yet? Regardless whether or not Marshall and I are tired of eating it, we are going to have to. His sweet mom packed us two coolers worth of food to take with us when we left Saltville, VA yesterday. Marshall tried to dissuade her from piling it on us but all I had to be polite and accept them, right? We left with at least half of the turkey and all of it will be put to good use.

The first thing I did when I got home was remove the turkey meat from the bones and threw the bones in a Crockpot with onions, carrots, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns and salt and filled it up with water. The turkey stock simmered overnight on low and was delicious by morning. The stock was put through a strainer and stored in a pitcher. I have almost a gallon of turkey stock to use for the week.

The next order of business will be to make good use of the left over meat. For most of the week, I will try to keep it lean and make some vegetable and turkey soups with carrots, celery, cauliflower. For the last day of vacation, I decided to make a turkey pot pie. To keep things simple, I knew I wanted to make it in a cast iron skillet (one pot recipe.)

One of my favorite purchases recently was a big box of fresh herbs from B.J. Wholesale Club . The box had thyme, sage, and rosemary and huge bundles of each in it. It only cost $2.99. It must have been $10 worth of herbs in that box. Since I had so many herbs, I altered the recipe I found a bit and added sage and thyme to it.

Leftover Turkey Cast Iron Skillet Pot Pie
Recipe Adapted from Paisley & Thyme

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon of thyme leaves
1 teaspoon of sage, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 medium carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 garlic cloves, rough chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons half and half
2 cups homemade turkey broth (or chicken broth)
4 cups shredded cooked turkey
1 cup frozen peas
1 (9 inch) store bought pie crust, such as Pillsbury (If frozen, thaw)
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400° F. Heat butter, sage, & thyme in a 8-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook until carrots begin to soften. Season with salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in flour. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in half and half and broth, using a whisk, until combined. Stir in chicken, peas, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Gently roll out pie crust on top of skillet and brush with the whisked egg; cut vents in pastry. Transfer skillet to oven; bake until crust is browned and flaky, about 35 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

The result was good but not the best pot pie I have ever had. The first thing I would change is to add more herbs and a touch more salt. The carrots and peas made the dish sweet and I would have liked the pot pie to be more savory. The sauce was also not as thick as I am used to. I would remove the vegetables from the pan, make a roux, and then added the broth and half and half and then added the vegetables back in. Cooking the flour in the vegetables didn't give the flour a chance to cook in the fat first.

It was still pretty good. Marshall and I sat out on the balcony to enjoy this gorgeous November day we are having. It is barely occurring to me that I have to be back at work tomorrow.

Friday, November 26, 2010

DC Food Blogger December Happy Hour - Casa Nonna

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RSVP Here.

Last month, I went to visit Casa Nonna with some friends of mine for Happy Hour and left actually feeling happy. Most bars in Dupont Circle are filled to the brim with people, you have to fight your way to the bar to get one drink, and you always leave exhausted because you are screaming your conversatioin. Not at Casa Nonna. The restaurant took over the old California Pizza Kitchen space on the corner of Conneticut and N Street NW and the restaurant is very spacious. There is plenty of room to move around and relax with a glass (or a carafe) of red wine. For the last DC Food Blogger Happy Hour of 2010, we all will be meeting there to munch on some italian food while talking holiday food.

Please come and join us.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

DC State Fair Bake Sale at the Bloomingdale Farmers Market

Great news. The DC State Fair Bake Sale will be held at two farmers markets this weekend. We will be at the 14th & U Street Farmers Market on Saturday and the Bloomingdale Farmers Market on Sunday (location is at 1st and R Street NW.)

Please email us at if you would like to donate baked goods, volunteer some time on Saturday or Sunday to help us sell, or if you would like to make a donation.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blogging Tips from Dr. Phil

Part of the fun of blogging is meeting other bloggers and sharing our experiences and challenges. I mentioned on Twitter that I read a Dr. Phil article with advice that I thought could be applied to blogging. People responded asking to hear about the advice.

I have never seen an episode of Dr. Phil in my life. I find his voice annoying and he can be a bit extreme for me. I do, however, read his articles in O magazine. The October 2010 magazine is full of articles that would help readers "Own Your Power." As I was reading Dr. Phil's article titled, "Personal Power: 6 Rules for How to Harness Yours," I realized that these tips could be applied to being a good blogger. Here is how I read it:

Tip 1: Know Who You Are: The bloggers who I respect know who they are and what they want to write about. They have a point of view. They have a voice. I think that is an important quality of being a good blogger.

Tip 2: Live Passionately: Blog Passionately. Some of my friends have attended blog conferences and they come back to tell me that the advice is to blog everyday in order to maintain an audience, even if you have to post an old post. I am sure that is important to maintain reader's attention but nothing is more mundane than reading a post that someone wrote and knowing that they wrote it because they felt like they had to not because they wanted to. It is pretty obvious when reading it. I did that when I first starting blogging and reading those posts are painful for me.

Tip 3: Keep to a plan: This for me is similar to Tip #1. Know who you are and what kind of blog you want to write and plan activities that will be great posts for your readers.

Tip 4: Embrace Risk: Great blogs risk the repercussions of being honest. Restaurants might hate you. Readers may leave harsh comments. But there is no point in having a blog if you can't share your honest experience and express your opinion.

Tip 5: Deal in the Truth: Write with integrity. I think that is a very important part of blogging. My friend Amy Jean mentioned recently that readers tend to trust bloggers because readers see them as the average person who would give realistic opinions. In the end, bloggers build a relationship with their readers so treat it as you would treat a friendship. Be honest.

Tip 6: Be Assertive: The best experiences I have had as a blogger came from simply asking if something was possible. Don't be afraid to reach out to readers and bloggers for opportunities that will help your blog.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bake Sale for the DC State Fair

On August 28th, the first DC State Fair was held. DC residents baked pies, pickled produce, decorated cupcakes, and came out to showcase their talents. The event turned out to be a great success and we are looking to make it an annual event. In order to establish the DC State Fair into an official non-profit, we need to raise some funds. The 14th and U Street Farmers Market has been gracious enough to give us space in the market on November 20th.

There are several ways to help:

1. Donate Baked Goods - email us at to sign up to help. We are looking for items that are "Fall" themed and encourage you to use produce grown locally to make your baked goods. For a list of local farmers markets, please see this list.

2. Volunteer Hours - email us at to sign up to help sell baked goods on Saturday, November 20th. We will have 2 hour shifts.

3. Spread the Word - The electronic flyer above can be posted on websites, blogs, Facebook, etc. Email us and we will have it sent to you. Please encourage family and friends to visit the market and pick up some delicious baked goods.

4. Donate - As always, the Paypal “Donate” button on the right is an option!

The DC State Fair was a success because of the enthusiasm that came from DC residents, visitors, volunteers, and contestants. We couldn't do it without you.

See you on November 20th!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Garden District Sale

Pots of Mums are on sale at Garden District (14th street) for $3.50 each. Aren't they beautiful?

Garden District
1740 14th Street Northwest
Washington D.C., DC 20009

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Super Double Coupon Week at Harris Teeter

Today is the start of another Harris Teeter's Super Double Coupon Week. Harris Teeter will double any manufacturer's coupon that is up to $1.98 face value (20 coupons max.) It will run from November 3-9, 2010.

This means some really great deals and time to stock up on cleaning supplies and such. More details can be found here.

Tuscana West - Fall Wine Dinner

Many restaurants ignore an important element of a good meal; the bread. At Tuscana West, they serve delicious, fresh bread with olive oil that has grated Parmesan in it. Yum. This attention to detail resonates in all of their dishes. I can vouch for the good soups, fresh sauces, and the delicious pastas. On November 5th and 12th, Tuscana West will be offering a special Fall Wine Dinner. It conisists of a six course meal paired with wines from Italy for $55. For Thrifty DC Cook readers, Tuscana West will offer the dinner for $45. (Diners must mention Thrifty DC Cook in order to get the discount.)

Menu can be viewed here.