Chicken & Ham Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Chicken and Ham Pie

Chicken & Ham Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’ve had a dog for seven months now. Everybody said I would fall in love with her immediately, but by the end of the first week, she had eaten my diary, and a cookbook, shattered the glass in our living room door, and peed on the rug where I do my yoga. We did not hit it off early.

Since then, her behavior has improved, but she still can’t be trusted to be left alone within reach of our food. Once I spent a half our slicing cheese for an epic cheese board. Turns out I didn’t latch the kitchen door all the way. By the time I realized it was entirely too quiet in the living room, about a third of the cheese was gone. 

Chicken & Ham Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The first time I made this Chicken and Ham Pie, we left the leftovers out on the counter to cool down a bit before stashing them in the fridge. Who left the kitchen door open? We’ll never know, but Eevee, naturally, did not fail to notice and took advantage of this opportunity to eat about half of the remaining pie. My complete disappointment at the lack of leftovers confirmed how much I really liked this pie. It’s unusual for me to love a recipe that’s loaded with vegetables and doesn’t have any cheese, but this Chicken and Ham Pie was crave worthy, so I had to make it again for you.

This is definitely a weekend dinner project. Nothing is complicated, but there are a few different elements, and the prep work is a little time consuming. I used store-bought shortcrust pastry to make things a little more simple, but if you want to really go all out, you could make your own. 

Chicken & Ham Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Chicken and Ham Pie will be closely guarded from marauding dogs. It’s just too good to share. But even though she’s mischievous sometimes, I think we’ll let the dog stay. I have to admit, she’s sorta awesome.

Chicken & Ham Pie
Serves 4
This Chicken & Ham Pie is so good, you won't want to share it with anyone.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped small
  2. 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  3. 1 stalk celery, chopped small
  4. 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  5. 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
  6. Salt and pepper
  7. 850 ml chicken stock
  8. 50 grams butter
  9. 3 green onions, thinly sliced from the bottom up to the point where the green leaves split off
  10. 50 grams flour
  11. 300 ml whole milk
  12. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  13. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  14. 150 grams thinly sliced ham, chopped
  15. 500 gram pack shortcrust pastry
  16. 1 egg, beaten
Instructions
  1. Chop your carrot, potatoes, celery, and chicken and add it to a large pot. Add half your fresh thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken stock and place your pot over high heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Place a colander over a large bowl, and drain your chicken and veg mixture, reserving the stock. Set the chicken and veg aside, and strain the stock into a large measuring cup. You'll need 600 ml, so either top up with water, or discard any excess.
  3. To the pot you were just cooking in, melt your butter over medium heat. Add the green onions and cook for a few minutes until tender.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and onions, and stir to combine. Cook for a minute or so until it starts to smell nutty.
  5. Slowly whisk your reserved chicken stock into your flour mixture a little at a time, making sure the mixture is lump-free before adding more. Add your milk, bring the mixture up to a simmer, and cook for two minutes.
  6. Remove the sauce from the heat, and stir in the lemon juice, remaining thyme, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add your chopped ham, and your reserved chicken and veg to a pie plate or casserole and give it a little toss to mix it together. Pour your sauce over this. Mine went right up to the top of the pie pan.
  8. Allow this mixture to cool ever so slightly while you preheat your oven to 200C or 400F.
  9. When your oven is hot, unroll your pastry, and give it a light roll to make sure it will cover your pie pan. Cut a few thin strips off the end your your pastry, and press them around the edge of your pie pan. Use a pastry brush to brush a layer of your beaten egg onto the strips of pastry, then lay the rest of your pastry over your pie. Trim the edges, and press them into the rim of your pie plate to seal. Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg, and cut a few slits into the pastry to vent steam.
  10. Bake your pie for 25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
  11. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Adapted from BBC Good Food
Adapted from BBC Good Food
How to be Awesome on $20 a day https://awesomeon20.com/
Red Currant Glazed Ham | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Red Currant Glazed Ham

Red Currant Glazed Ham | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I was supposed to write about Red Currant Glazed Ham about a week and a half ago. Every day I’ve looked at my to do list and saw “write red currant ham post” at the top and thought to myself, “ugh, I don’t have anything to say about ham today,” then I skipped to something else. It’s time to stop. 

Look, I still don’t really have anything to say about ham, other than it’s awesome and you shouldn’t wait for a holiday to make it. Just get a small one, and use the leftovers in everything ever. This ham has a lightly spiced, slightly sweet glaze that makes it extra awesome. Go get it.

Red Currant Glazed Ham | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

In other news completely unrelated to ham, one of my long time favorite bloggers, Jessica from How Sweet Eats, has started a series on blogging with a massive post about building an audience. I’ve been writing this blog for over five years now, and I still don’t have an audience, so clearly, no amount of advice is going to help me, but I’ve still found it inspiring. 

One of her first bits of advice is to create content you like. You’re saying, well duh, Jessica. But it’s easy to get caught up in wanting to please people or wanting to attract attention so people will notice you. Part of embracing my failure as a blogger and accepting that I’m writing this mostly for myself is remembering that I should just write about what I want. Nobody’s reading anyway, so what difference does it make? 

Maybe I’ll write more general life nonsense. Maybe I’ll start writing about how I don’t understand makeup the way the rest of the blogosphere seems to. Maybe I’ll start being boring because that’s who I really am.

Red Currant Glazed Ham | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I still don’t know what I’m talking about, but I have to just say something and stopped being paralyzed by a self-imposed need to be interesting. Sometimes it’s the simple things, like Red Currant Glazed Ham, that are really the most comforting and perpetually awesome. Who knows.

Red Currant Glazed Ham
Serves 6
No need to wait for a holiday. Red Currant Glazed Ham is awesome enough to be served up any day.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 kilogram gammon or ham joint
  2. 1/4 cup red wine
  3. 1 onion, quartered
  4. 1 clove garlic
  5. 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  6. 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns
  7. 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
For the glaze
  1. Whole cloves for studding the ham
  2. 2 tablespoons red currant jelly
  3. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  5. 1/4 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Instructions
  1. Take all the wrappings off your ham and pop it into a pop where it can be completely submerged but otherwise fits relatively snugly if possible.
  2. Add all the ingredients (not including those for the glaze) to the pot with your ham, then top it up with cold water until the ham is covered.
  3. Clamp a lid on and bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to gently simmer for about 90 minutes. Your ham should cook for 30 minutes per 500 grams plus an extra 30 minutes, so just check to see how big your ham is, and do the math.
  4. When the time is up, gently removed your ham to a board and allow it to cool a bit (long enough so that you can handle it without incinerating your fingers) before cutting away the rind and most of the fat on the outside.
For the glaze
  1. While your ham is cooling, make your glaze by adding the jelly, cinnamon, paprika, and red wine vinegar to a small saucepan. Heat and whisk until it starts to bubble. Allow it to bubble away for a minute or two to thicken and get properly glazey.
  2. When you're ready to bring your ham and glaze together, preheat your oven to 400F (200C) and cover a baking sheet with foil. Your glaze will get really sticky, so make your clean up life easier with the foil. Transfer your ham to your foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Use a sharp knife to cut a shallow diamond pattern in the thin fat layer of your ham. Pierce the corners of your diamonds with a whole clove.
  4. Use a pastry brush to cover the whole thing in your red currant glaze.
  5. Pop this in the oven for about 12-15 minutes or until your glaze goes sticky with a few deliciously burny bits.
  6. Allow your ham to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This will be delicious hot, cold, or anywhere in between
Adapted from Nigella Christmas
Adapted from Nigella Christmas
How to be Awesome on $20 a day https://awesomeon20.com/
Breakfast Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Breakfast Pot Pie

Breakfast Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I love breakfast, but I’m not a morning person. During the week. my husband graciously makes tea while I stumble around pretending to be human. Breakfast is usually a granola bar or a bowl of instant oatmeal at my desk once I’m properly awake. 

But I absolutely adore breakfast foods, which is why I think I’m going to have to start throwing weekend brunch parties. There are so many great recipes to share. Plus is just so relaxing to be able to start your day laughing with friends. I think I’m going to invite everyone to come over in their pajamas some Sunday soon. Who’s up for it? Is this a terrible idea? I think it might be brilliant.

Breakfast Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve got a lovely little breakfast casserole for you today that’s a semi-homemade, two pan wonder to make your friends and family smile in the morning. I mean, obviously, you could also eat this for dinner. That’s what I did. It’s dang good all the time

This Breakfast Pot Pie starts with a layer of hash browns. Here in the UK, you can basically only get pre-formed, triangular hash browns from the freezer section, so that’s what I used. I loosely fitted as many as I needed into the pan I was going to build my casserole in before cooking them to tell how many I needed. Once they’re cooked, you can give them a bit of a squish to make a more solid crust.

You’ll also want to be careful not to overcook your eggs, but don’t undercook them either, or your top crust will be perfectly golden brown before your eggs are set. I making it sound complicated, but it’s really not. Basically, when your eggs look like they’re about halfway to scrambled, starting to set but still quite loose overall, it’s time to turn the heat off and transfer them to the casserole dish. 

Finally, if you’re making this in the UK, I used a tube of croissant dough, but of course, in America, go for crescent rolls. And don’t overthink the geometry when you’re adding them to the top. Get everything covered and leave yourself a nice edge that will get golden and puffy and buttery and amazing.

Breakfast Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

When was the last time you made breakfast for some friends. With this Breakfast Pot Pie, you’re out of excuses. Get on it, kids.

Breakfast Pot Pie
Serves 6
Breakfast Pot Pie is a delicious casserole layering hash browns, cheese, eggs, and buttery pastry that's totally awesome.
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 10-12 frozen hashbrowns (however many it takes to cover the bottom of your casserole dish
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1 cup shredded cheese (I have used cheddar and swiss, but most anything that melts well would work)
  4. 8 eggs
  5. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  8. 1-1/2 cups chopped deli ham
  9. 3 ounces cream cheese
  10. 1 tube croissant dough
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F and grease a rectangular casserole or baking dish.
  2. Warm your oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook your hash browns until crispy on each side. You may have to do two batches. Once your hash browns are crisped, arrange them in your baking dish. You can give them a bit of a squish to make sure the bottom of the pan is completely covered.
  3. Spread the cheese evenly over the hash browns.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, chives, salt, and pepper. Add ham and cream cheese.
  5. In the same skillet that you cooked your hash browns in, add your egg mixture over low heat. Stir continuously with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan as you go to scramble your eggs. When about half of your egg mixture is set, turn the heat off, and transfer the eggs to your baking dish. Spread them evenly over your hash browns and cheese.
  6. Finally, arrange your croissant dough over your casserole by placing the point of the triangle in the center, and rolling up any portion that would hang over the edge. My roll of dough had six croissants, but I only needed five to cover my casserole.
  7. Bake the casserole for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the eggs are fully set. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Adapted from Circle of Friends Cookbook - 25 Savory Pie Recipes
How to be Awesome on $20 a day https://awesomeon20.com/
Continental Grilled Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Continental Grilled Cheese

Continental Grilled Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Almost every day I wake up in the morning wishing I could just stay home and cook all day. I don’t much care what it is. I don’t even necessarily want t eat it. There’s just something about the magic of turning ingredients into food that I find so calming. 

Work gets stressful. People think I’m dumb. But in my kitchen, I’m the boss. I do actual dumb things in there all the time, but I don’t much care. It’s quiet. It’s warm. It smells great. Where else would a person want to be?

The truth is, I’m usually so frazzled by the time I get home from work that I can barely summon the energy to stand in front of a skillet for 10 minutes. Lucky for me, you can make something pretty amazing in that amount of time.

Continental Grilled Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This gooey, delicious Continental Grilled Cheese is a fantastic mash-up of European flavors. It’s lacking in any sort of authenticity but completely loaded with good things to eat. It starts with buttery brioche which gets spread with some tart cherry jam. Polish ham went into my sandwich because I couldn’t find the Black Forest ham the original recipe called for. All of this is held together with oozing brie. It’s so right.

There are few things in life that make me quite as happy as gooey cheese. The crunch from the grilled brioche is the perfect contrast to the ultra soft brie, and the slight smokiness of the ham and sharp sweetness of the cherry jam is spot on. 

Continental Grilled Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Take a deep breath. Be good to yourself. Eat a Continental Grilled Cheese. Smile. Be Awesome.

Continental Grilled Cheese
Serves 1
Continental Grilled Cheese is a delicious mash up of Polish ham, French cheese, and total awesomeness.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
6 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
6 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 slices brioche bread
  2. 1 tablespoon cherry jam
  3. About 2 ounces brie, enough thin slices off your wedge to cover both slices of bread
  4. 1-2 slices Polish ham
  5. 1 tablespoon butter, softened
Instructions
  1. Place a skillet over medium low heat on your stove to heat up while you build your sandwich.
  2. Start building your sandwich by spreading cherry jam in a thin layer on each slice of bread. Next, lay slices of brie over each slice of bread, then add your ham. Close up your sandwich and spread the top, outside piece of bread with your softened butter.
  3. Place your sandwich in the preheated skillet, butter side down. Spread the new top with butter as well and cook for approximately three minutes on each side or until your bread is as dark brown as you like.
  4. Slice and eat quickly before the cheese drips gloriously down your hand.
Adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson
How to be Awesome on $20 a day https://awesomeon20.com/
Ham & Turkey Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Ham & Turkey Pot Pie

Ham & Turkey Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

One benefit of living in a cold country is that you can use your oven all year round. There’s never a time when you feel obligated to eat stupid salad because it’s so hot in your kitchen you could cry. This does not happen in Scotland. No dumb summer salad eating here. It’s pot pie all the time.

Ham & Turkey Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Ham & Turkey Pot Pie recipe is really going to come in handy after the holidays when you have lots of leftovers in your fridge begging to be reinvented. But I’m here to tell you that you need not wait for the day after a feast. I made this with thick cut deli meat, and it was still completely awesome.

The filling of this pie is really more like a thick soup, which is why I recommend baking it in individual portions. That way everyone gets just the right ratio of crust to filling. You could also add some other vegetables if you’re into that. Whatever floats your boat, friends.

Ham & Turkey Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

If you have to wear a sweater year round, you might as well stop worrying about your bikini body and just eat the comfort food. Start with Ham & Turkey Pot Pie. It’s gonna be awesome.

Ham & Turkey Pot Pie
Serves 3
Ham & Turkey Pot Pie is comfort food you can eat any time of year.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
For the crust
  1. 3 ounces cold butter, cut into small bits
  2. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 egg yolk
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. 1 to 2 teaspoons very cold water
For the filling
  1. 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
  2. 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  3. 2-1/3 cups chicken stock
  4. 1 cup heavy cream
  5. 5 to 6 slices thick cut ham, cut into bite-size pieces
  6. 5 to 6 slices thick cut turkey, cut into bite-size pieces
  7. 1 cup corn kernels
For the filling
  1. Add the pieces of butter and flour to a food processor and pulse until you have a sandy mixture. Add the yolk, salt, and 1 teaspoon of water. Process until the dough just starts to form into a ball. You may need to add a bit more water. Just add a few drops at a time until everything comes together.
  2. Dump your dough onto some plastic wrap. Give it a few squishes to bring everything together, then pat it out into a disc. Wrap it in the plastic wrap and stash it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
For the filling
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  2. In a roomy sauce pan, melt your butter over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour until it starts to smell a bit nutty. Add the stock about 1/3 cup at a time. Whisk until smooth before adding more liquid. Once all your stock is mixed in smoothly, stir in the cream and allow it to come to a low simmer to thicken slightly. Finally, stir in the ham, turkey, and corn.
  3. Spoon your filling into the vessel or vessels of your choice. You can do it all in one pie pan, or separate it into individual servings.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, you're going to roll out your dough. If you're doing individual servings, cut your dough into as many pieces as you'll need first. Pop each piece back in the fridge until you're ready to roll. Roll your dough out to fit your vessel. Use a fork to press the dough down onto the pan around the edges and pierce the dough with a sharp knife in a few places to vent.
  5. Slide your pie(s) into the oven. If you're baking in multiple pans, put them all on a baking sheet first to make transfer easier. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  6. Your pies will be super hot, so give them a good 10 minutes to cool off before you dig in.
Adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson
How to be Awesome on $20 a day https://awesomeon20.com/
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