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/
English Pizza Rustica | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

English Pizza Rustica

English Pizza Rustica | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Somehow Instagram seems to know that I’m super stressed out because it’s been showing me a bunch of ads for meditation apps. Do any of you use these? Do you find them helpful? Do they actually work? I admit, I’m intrigued, but I also know I would absolutely fail. 

I am an accomplishment junkie. Maybe it’s an oldest child thing. I don’t know. Every moment I spend not ticking something off a to do list, I feel absolutely terrible about myself. I’ve got to be consuming information or producing work of some type to keep the guilt at bay. And quiet my mind? Please, you’ve got to be kidding. I cannot do that. Like at all. So, if I downloaded one of these apps, I know “meditate” would just become another item on my to do list. I’d only do it so I could tick it off the list. What’s wrong with me?

English Pizza Rustica | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Lucky for you, one of my many lists is new recipes to test, and this English Pizza Rustica was an especially delicious accomplishment. I’ve already shared the Italian version, and this one is at least as good, if not better. It’s got ground pork, bacon, and cheddar cheese all wrapped in a flaky, savoury crust that just so right. 

My favorite thing about English Pizza Rustica is that it’s possibly better on the second day than it is fresh out of the oven. Not only does your pie hold its shape better, the flavors seem to harmonize better as time goes on. I actually look forward to leftovers. It’s a real thing.

English Pizza Rustica | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I hope you add English Pizza Rustica to your to do list. And clear some space in your busy mind to really enjoy it. It’s awesome.

English Pizza Rustica
Serves 6
English Pizza Rustica is a glorious savoury pie with all your favorite English flavors.
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
55 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. For the pastry
  2. 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  4. 2 egg yolks
  5. 2 tablespoons water
  6. 1 teaspon salt
  7. 1 tablespoon sugar
  8. For the filling
  9. 500 grams minced pork
  10. 7 ounces bacon
  11. About a tablespoon of reserved bacon fat, optional
  12. 8 ounces cheddar cheese
  13. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cottage cheese
  14. 2 green onions, chopped with scissors
  15. 1 clove garlic, grated
  16. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  17. Black pepper
  18. About 1 tablespoon dried bread crumbs
  19. For the glaze
  20. 1 egg yolk
  21. 2 tablespoons milk
  22. Pinch of salt
For the crust
  1. Put the flour and butter together in a dish and stash it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Stir together the egg yolks, water, and salt, and put that in the fridge as well.
  2. Once everything is well chilled, place your butter and flour as well as the sugar into a food processor and pulse until you've got a mixture that looks like wet sand. Add the wet ingredients and process until the dough starts to come together but is still a bit loose. I sometimes have to add a bit of extra water, but just add a teaspoon at a time.
  3. Tip the mixture out onto a clean counter and press it together with your hands. Divide the dough 60/40 into two discs (you'll need more dough for the bottom than the top), wrap in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge while you get on with your filling.
For the filling
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C), and if you have a baking sheet that your 8-inch springform pan can rest comfortably on, pop that in the oven to heat up as well. If you don't have one, it's not the end of the world, your bottom crust will just be a little more wet.
  2. Add your bacon to your food processor and pulse to grind up your bacon.
  3. Heat your bacon grease in a skillet and add your minced pork and chopped up bacon. Cook, stirring frequently, until your meat is cooked through, then transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
  4. To your pork and bacon, add your remaining filling ingredients except for the bread crumbs. Gently mix it all together.
  5. Roll out your larger disc of dough between two layers of plastic wrap until it's big enough to cover the bottom of your 8-inch springform pan and come up the sides. It's okay if it hangs over a bit. Sprinkle the bottom of your pie with the breadcrumbs. Don't worry about measuring. Just sprinkle until you have a fine layer across the bottom. Pour in your filling and spread it evenly over the crust.
  6. Roll out your second disc between layers of plastic wrap until it is big enough to cover the top of your pie. Place it on top of your pie, then fold over any overhanging dough to seal in your filling. Press the edges down with a fork, and poke several holes in the top of your pie with your fork for ventilation.
  7. In a small dish, whisk together your glaze ingredients and use a pastry brush to brush it evenly over the top of your pie. This will give it a lovely brown shiny top.
  8. Place your pie into the oven, on the hot baking sheet if you have it. Bake for 10 minutes at this temperature, and then lower the heat to 350F (175C) and bake for another 45 minutes.
  9. Allow your pie to cool for at least 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife before removing the collar and slicing into it.
  10. Store any leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator. It will be totally awesome the next day.
Adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess
How to be Awesome on $20 a day https://awesomeon20.com/
Chocolate Lime Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Chocolate Lime Pie

Chocolate Lime Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I truly don’t know how it happens. An entire week melts away into a haze of exhaustion, and before I even realize what’s happened, I wake up on a Sunday morning to discover I’ve been completely unproductive for six days straight. I’m not sure whether to be ashamed or proud. 

Are there some productivity/ambition pills out there that I can take? I mean, I definitely don’t want to be one of those moms that crushes up her kid’s Ritalin, but I would like to feel like something other than a dead fish when I get home from work. And to throw a wrench in this puzzle, I want to do it without having to eat vegetables.

Chocolate Lime Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Last weekend when I was feeling productive, I made this simple and lovely Chocolate Lime Pie. It’s creamy and tangy and fluffy. The hint of chocolate in the crust balances the sourness from the citrus. There’s an ideal blend of crunchy and creamy. Everything’s happy and perfect.

This pie is no-bake, and it comes together super fast if you have a food processor and an electric mixer. It still works with strong arms, but it will just take a bit longer. There’s absolutely nothing complicated going on here, though. Simple flavors, simple ingredients, simple assembly. It’s a high reward, low effort lazy person’s dream come true.

Chocolate Lime Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m making plans but not promises. I want to try to be more productive outside of work, but I say that a lot. Eventually, though, everything changes. Except the awesomeness of Chocolate Lime Pie. That’s forever.

Chocolate Lime Pie
Serves 10
Chocolate Lime Pie is tangy, sweet, fluffy, crunchy, and extremely awesome.
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 300 grams digestive biscuits or graham crackers
  2. 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  3. 50 grams unsalted butter
  4. 50 grams dark chocolate chips
  5. 1 397 gram can sweetened condensed milk
  6. 175 milliliters lime juice
  7. 300 milliliters double or heavy cream
  8. Zest of 1 lime
  9. 4 extra chocolate chips for garnish
Instructions
  1. Turn your digestive biscuits into sandy rubble by either blitzing them in a food processor or bashing them to bits with a rolling pin. Put your biscuits in a sealable bag, of course.
  2. Put your butter and chocolate chips into a microwavable bowl, and microwave them for about 30 seconds or until both are melted.
  3. In a large bowl or in the food processor, combine the crumbs, cocoa powder, and melted butter and chocolate until your crumbs are damp.
  4. Transfer the crumb mixture to a to a 23 centimeter tart pan and press it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Stash this in the fridge while you get on with your feeling.
  5. In a large bowl mix together the sweetened condensed milk and the lime juice. If you're using a stand mixer, use your whisk attachment on low for this bit.
  6. Next, add in your cream and whisk on high (take it up to high gradually) until your mixture expands and thickens to stiff peaks.
  7. Transfer your filling to your waiting crust and smooth it out. Put it back in the refrigerator and chill for at least four hours.
  8. When you're ready to serve your pie, make it a bit prettier by topping it with fresh lime zest and shaved chocolate.
  9. Remove the collar from your tart pan, slice with a sharp knife, and serve to happy friends.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
How to be Awesome on $20 a day https://awesomeon20.com/
Grasshopper Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Grasshopper Pie

Grasshopper Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Hey, kids! Let’s step off the emotional roller coaster for a hot minute and get ourselves a drink and some pie or some pie that’s a drink. 

It’s been so amazing having this grasshopper pie in my fridge this week. Having that deliciousness to look forward to at the end of a stressful day has made everything better. This is exactly while I’ll never ever have a dancer body again. Pretty sure I don’t care.

It was also totally worth it wandering all over downtown Glasgow trying to find creme de menthe and creme de cacao. These pretty little bottles may have a bit of an investment, but I’m already looking forward to all the possibilities.

Grasshopper Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

A Grasshopper Pie is smooth, light, sweet, and just the right amount of minty to make it fresh. A grasshopper cocktail can get a bit toothpastey, but this pie is nothing like that. The lightness of the whipped cream and the sweetness of the marshmallow fluff balance with the creme de menthe to make it all so perfect.

And the chocolate cookie crust is the perfect contrast. Fluffy plus crunchy equals everything. I could maybe eat this every day forever.

Grasshopper Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Every little thing is gonna be totally awesome. Keep smiling and have some dang pie.

Grasshopper Pie
Serves 10
Grasshopper Pie is light, fluffy, minty, and perfect at the end of a stressful day.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
For the crust
  1. 28 chocolate sandwich cookies such as Oreos or bourbon biscuits
  2. 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, melted
For the filling
  1. 3 cups mini-marshmallows
  2. 1/2 cup whole milk
  3. 1/4 cup creme de menthe
  4. 1/4 cup creme de cacao blanc
  5. 1-1/2 cups heavy cream or double cream
  6. Green food coloring, optional
For the crust
  1. Smash up your cookies into crumbs in a food processor or in a bag with a rolling pin. Mix crumbs with melted butter. Press your crumb mixer into the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch tart pan. Put your crust in the fridge while you get on with your filling.
For the filling
  1. In a small sauce pan over low heat, stir together marshmallows and whole milk until the marshmallows are melted and the mixture starts to foam. Remove the pan from the heat.
  2. Whisk in creme de menthe and creme de cacao blanc. If you want to add food coloring, add it to your marshmallow mixture now so you don't overmix your cream later and risk it curdling. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat your cream until it just barely starts to hold a peak. If you overbeat it, it will be tricky to mix later.
  4. Add your marshmallow mixture to your cream and fold and gently stir the two together until smooth. This should be a light fluffy, wet mixture. You'll worry that it won't set, but it will.
  5. Fetch your crust from the fridge. You might want to place it on a plate in case any of your filling leaks out. Pour the filling into the crust. If you have an extra cookie lying around, you can crush it on top for garnish.
  6. Put your pie in the fridge and wait (NOOOOOOOO!!!!!) a day. I really recommend letting this one set overnight as it's quite a light mixture and you'll risk your pie oozing everywhere if you try to serve it too soon.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
How to be Awesome on $20 a day https://awesomeon20.com/
Pork and Onion Hand Pies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Pork and Onion Hand Pies

Pork and Onion Hand Pies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Do you ever feel like a mad scientist in the kitchen? I normally a recipe follower, so I don’t wing it very often. Of course, even with a recipe, the first time you make it is still an experiment. How will all the different variables perform in your kitchen? Sometimes it turns out amazing, sometimes not so much. This experiment, though, was a huge success.

Pork and Onion Hand Pies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It was my husband’s birthday recently, and he wanted some of his favorite English foods for his party. One of the things he requested was mini-pork pies. I followed the recipe, basically, and the pork pies came out good, but I had a ton of filling leftover. I cooked it up and stored it in my fridge until I could think of what else to do with it. That’s when the idea for these hand pies came to me.

I made my life in a hot kitchen a little bit easier by using store bought pie crust and piled some pork and onion, jarred gravy, and shredded sharp cheddar onto rounds of dough. Each pie got a lid, got brushed with an egg wash, then got popped into the oven. I was nervous the first time I tried them. Some of my experiments have been less than awesome, including another one I tried this week with the rest of the leftover pork. But this one was heavenly. Soft flaky crust surrounding savory pork and onion, a punch of flavor and richness from the cheese and gravy. Man, I’m a genius.

Pork and Onion Hand Pies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Experimenting in the kitchen can be exciting. And when it works, it not only satisfies your hunger, it also satisfies your creativity. Go mad. Make something awesome.

Pork and Onion Hand Pies
Yields 8
Flaky pie crust surrounds pork, onion, cheese and gravy for a quick dinner or transportable snack
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1/4 onion, chopped
  3. 1/2 pound ground pork
  4. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  5. 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  6. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  7. 2 sheets refrigerated pie dough, or your favorite recipe
  8. 8 tablespoons gravy (use your favorite)
  9. 8 tablespoon shredded sharp cheddar
  10. 1 egg, beaten
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the oil, then add the onion and cook for about five minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the pork, nutmeg, mustard powder, and Worcestershire sauce, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through. You can do all of this a few days ahead of time and store the cooked meat in a sealed container in the fridge. Use leftovers from another recipe if you have them.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375
  3. Roll out your pie dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut 16 circles, about four inches in diameter. I was able to get 8 circles out of each sheet by re-rolling the scraps a couple of times.
  4. Place eight circles onto a parchment lined baking sheet or two. Add a big spoonful of pork and onion to each circle. Add a pinch of cheese and a large spoonful of gravy onto each pile of meat.
  5. Use your finger to trace some water around the edge of each dough circle, then place a second circle on top and press the dough together around the edges with a fork.
  6. Brush beaten egg over the top of each pie, then use a sharp knife to cut a couple of vents into the top of each one.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes for a sturdy, but softer dough, or 20 minutes for a more crispy pie.
  8. Allow the pies to cool for at least 10 minutes. The insides will be very hot. These are also great at room temperature. Feed your friends and family and revel in your genius.
How to be Awesome on $20 a day https://awesomeon20.com/
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