Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cookbook Review

It is a cruel twist of fate that the next two recipes in the book both feature pie crust prominently. I may not have any native talent at cobbler, but let me tell you, I have a whole lot less native talent for pie crust. Nevertheless, I boldly pressed on, refusing to deviate from the path of duty.

Country Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken breasts
Fresh green beans
Red bell pepper
Chicken broth
Pearl onions
Frozen corn
Pie crust

I am quickly realizing that my reviews are going to be a litany of substitutions. You might ask how I can properly review recipes I have never really made in a form that remotely resembles the original, and my answer for that is pthhhhhhhhpt! I have an imagination; I can review them!

For this recipe, Morning Star chicken strips stood in for the fowl fatality. Fresh green beans were unattainable, but you can't go wrong with frozen mixed veggies in a pot pie. Red bell pepper became yellow, because that was all the store had, and in the absence of half-and-half, I used mushroom soup concentrate. For the chicken broth, I tried out "chicken" seasoning mixed with water, and was pleased with the results. Pearl onions were out, but regular did just as well, and the corn was totally forgotten. But other than that, I followed the recipe religiously.

The pie crust was deeply troubled, but the filling was tasty. I really have no complaints whatsoever, and neither did my grandpa and the dog, both of whom tried to eat their paper plates after the food was gone. I guess that's a pretty good review in and of itself.

Mini Pies with Three Fillings

Pie crust
1 egg
Fillings: Apple pie, Cherry, Chocolate Banana Walnut

This recipe is simple, but very time consuming and messy. Have I mentioned that I hate working with pie crust? Still, the little pies did look cute all lined up on the pan. Amazingly enough, I had most of the ingredients. The only thing I skipped was the egg for making the crust shiny and the different decorative toppings. By the time I was done making the pies themselves, I had NO interest in decorative toppings!

As mentioned, the process is not one to be lightly undertaken, but the finished results were popular. The Chocolate Banana one was interesting; loved the texture, not crazy about the banana flavor. But it wasn't bad. All in all, not something that's going to be popping up in my kids' lunch bags anytime soon, but maybe once a year for some special occasion wouldn't kill me.

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