3 Top Ways to Redeem a Kitchen Blunder

3 Top Ways to Redeem a Kitchen Blunder
We've all been there. High hopes and great intentions turn into dismay and disappointment.

Menu planning? Check.
Grocery shopping? Check.
Ingredient prep? Check.
Mistake that could ruin dinner? Check, check, check. 

In the past, you may have thrown out that big pot of a mistake or fed it to the dog. But you do not have to anymore!

There are lots of ways to take a mishap in the kitchen and transform it into a masterpiece on the dinner table. Most of those fixes can fall under one of three approaches. 

The first route you can take is to change the volume or amount of what you are cooking. Too much salt in the soup? Make more soup, and then the amount of salt is in better proportion to the amount overall. Too much milk in the baked potato soup? Add more potatoes and other veggies to even it out. Increasing how much you make is especially helpful when you will be feeding a crowd anyhow. 

Another option is to adjust your seasonings. Too much salt, flavor too bland, or too sour? All of these concerns (and more!) can be addressed by adjusting your flavorings. You can add potato to a dish that is too salty, and the potato will absorb some of the salt as it cooks. When a dish is too bland, the sky is the limit. You can add herbs, spices, salt, or vinegar to amp up the flavor. Speaking of vinegar, what if your dish is too sour because you were a bit heavy-handed with the vinegar bottle? Try adding something sweet.  Honey, milk, and caramelized onions will all help you turn the corner on that one. 

If you cannot up the volume, and you need to do more than just alter the ratio of the seasonings in your dish, your third option is to repurpose entirely. I used this one in our kitchen just this week. Mistakenly adding tomatoes with jalapenos and habaneros (instead of tomatoes with garlic, basil, and oregano) to homemade marinara sauce caused our sauce to be WAY too spicy for our spaghetti. And way too spicy for our kids to eat it. Instead of throwing the pot of sauce in the garbage bin, I decided to use that base to create a pot of chili. A can of kidney beans, some ground beef, a little chili powder and cumin, and VOILA! Marinara repurposed into chili. We tried it over corn chips and topped with cheese. Frito pie was not on the menu for this week, but I am so glad it found its way into our kitchen just the same. 

Cooking a meal for the fam, like so much in life, does not always go according to plan. How we respond, though, could just turn into a fantastic, although unexpected, dinner.

Here’s a video on how I did this myself recently. https://youtu.be/byZupnKDbmM

Chicken Pot Pie Made Easy!

Chicken Pot Pie Made Easy!
Just about everyone loves a chicken pot pie. But who has time to make one during a hectic week? You do! 

This recipe for chicken pot pie utilizes some shortcuts from the store to take this comfort food classic away from being a laborious task and make it accessible, even on a busy workday. I almost always double or triple this recipe, as we love chicken pot pie. I like to make one for our dinner (serve with a salad and some garlic bread, yum!), one for a friend, and one more for the freezer. Everybody wins!

I love making homemade pie crust. I love roasting a whole chicken and taking the meat off the bone. I love making a roux and homemade sauce for my chicken pot pie. 

But I also live in the real world!

When I have the time, I will make all things from scratch. But when I don't, I still like to make delicious meals for our family to enjoy. This recipe is born out of that reality. Maybe you hear me on this one?

Some of the shortcuts I have used are: celery and carrot sticks from the produce aisle in our grocery store, a rotisserie chicken, cream of chicken soup, and freezer pie crusts. Don't tell me grandmother about that last one. 

Chicken Pot Pie

4 celery sticks
15+ carrot sticks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can of peas
3T butter
rotisserie chicken
1-2 cans cream of chicken soup
splash milk
2 pie crusts
salt and pepper to taste

Chop celery and carrot sticks. Melt butter on medium heat. Saute onion for 1 minute, then add carrot and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Chop chicken to bite-sized pieces while veggies saute. Once veggies are translucent, turn off the heat and allow them to cool. Add chicken, peas, and cream of chicken soup to the veggies. Stir and check consistency. Add additional can of cream of chicken soup and/or a splash of milk, depending on desired thickness and creaminess. Add more salt and pepper if desired. Place one pie crust into a pie plate. Pinch edges into a fluted shape and pierce the bottom of the pie crust with a fork several times. Add pot pie filling into the base crust. Top the filling with the second pie crust. pinch the edges of the two pie crusts together, which prevents overflow while baking. Pierce the top crust with a fork several times as well, allowing steam to escape during baking. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Half of the cooking time, the pot pie should be covered to prevent the edge from becoming overdone. The second half, uncover the pot pie so that it can bake to golden brown. 

Check out our YouTube video on how to make your chicken pot pie. Here's the link for you. Enjoy and tell us what you think!