Archives for posts with tag: veggies

it has become a bit of a tradition to have an ‘orphans’ thanksgiving at my place for a few years now. i start with the usual list of friends, but anyone is invited, and there are always a few last minute add ons. this year it tipped the scales with almost 20 guests. from shopping at the farmers market all the way to the leftovers, here is the feast in photos:

the farmers market fairy delivered this 18+ lb beauty on monday:

i did a majority of my shopping at the wednesday morning santa monica farmers market:

on my way to the market, kcrw had a wonderful segment with christopher kimball, of america’s test kitchen and cook’s illustrated, talking about a julia child thanksgiving. of course he spoke of her simplicity and her use of the best ingredients. it was just the motivation and inspiration i needed. this is the beautiful and colorful loot i came home with:

the pie prep: cranberries, rhubarb, and roasted pumpkin.

the veggie prep: roasted winter vegetables, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and creamed corn with crispy bacon.

the free range willie bird all buttered up, stuffed, and carved to perfection:

the buffet: the aforementioned creamed corn with crispy bacon, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted winter veggies, along with sausage + fennel stuffing, and gravy. my guests brought sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, salad, cranberries and homemade bread.

the table as people were plating up their food:

the pies: cranberry rhubarb (as well as, a crisp from the extra fruit) and pumpkin. not shown: pumpkin cheesecake and paleo pumpkin bread.

the dead soldiers the next day:

a few of us took off for big bear the next afternoon to just chill out (and digest) for a couple of days. these were some of the leftovers by the fire at the little cabin in the woods the next night:

i made stock from the carcass yesterday, and there was just enough turkey leftover to make soup today. recipe to come…

note: more (professional) photos from the evening can be found at rafiel chait photography. the photos above were just taken by me with my crummy iphone and hipstamatic.


the great thing about chicken pot pie is that it can be made with basic ingredients you already have on hand. i like to switch the veggies up a bit here and there, but this is what i did tonight:

  • 1 unbaked double pie crust dough (this should be made first, so you can prep and cook the rest while it is in the refrigerator. if it chills longer than an hour make sure you let it sit out for 5-10 mins before rolling it out.)
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless cooked chicken meat, bite sized pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups carrots, diced
  • 1 3/4 cups fingerling potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup fresh peas, or thawed frozen ones
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg

put the chicken, carrots, potatoes, peas, and celery in a sauce pan. toss in a touch of  s+p and celery seed, and add enough water to cover. bring to a boil for about 15 minutes, or until your veggies are just soft, but not mushy.

let them drain…

in the meantime, you will make the roux (use the same sauce pan if you like) with the remaining ingredients shown below:

cook the onions and garlic in the butter over medium heat until soft and translucent. gradually stir in the flour, add the spices, and then add the stock and milk slowly, stirring continually. simmer over medium-low heat until thick. set aside while you roll out your dough (or, if you are cheating, take your pre-made pie dough out of it’s package, and put in the pie pan.) place the chicken and veggie mixture in the now lined pie pan.

pour the roux over the chicken veggie mixture slowly, making sure it doesn’t overflow…

lay the top pie dough over the filling, trim if necessary, fold both layers under, and crimp. whisk the egg and brush over the top of the crust and crimped edges. make 4 slits with a sharp knife.

bake in a pre-heated oven @ 450° for 45 minutes. let cool for at least 15 minutes, or longer (it’s not to torture you) if you can stand it, before cutting in to it, just so the filling has a chance to set. cut and serve in wedges. enjoy!

(note: i have substituted some of the carrots and fingerlings, for turnips and parsnips, but i don’t see why trying other types of veggies might be interesting too. as long as you end up with roughly 3 1/2 cups of uniformly diced veggies to boil with the chicken you should be good.)

if you are like me and live in a loft condo where there is little to no green space on the property, or have to jump through hoops to get approval from your hoa to utilize communal space as a garden, there are solutions.

the windowfarms project has developed a way to grow fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs in your own home:

even though i do think it would look really cool hanging in my window, it does seem like quite an undertaking, and i worry if i have a green thumb to be successful.

i am also concerned about any possible bpa or other chemicals leaching from the plastic water bottles into the plants. they do state this on their FAQ’s page:

“Some scientists in the community are unconcerned, postulating that the size and complexity of the BPA molecule size and complexity is likely too much for plants root hairs to uptake. To be safe, the community and core team are developing alternatives to the use of plastic water bottles. We are also looking for science-minded volunteers with the appropriate equipment to take-on the challenge of measuring any chemical leaching to verify these concerns.”

so, i did a little research. here is what nestle waters (their 1.5l bottle is the recommended bottle to use in the window farm system) has to say on their ‘are plastic water bottles safe?’ page:

“BPA is not present in our bottled water packaging smaller than three gallons. Our single-serve bottles (typically 1.5 liters and smaller) are made from PET plastic (marked with the “1” symbol), which is flexible and lightweight.”

but then, as somewhat of a disclaimer, at the bottom of the page, they state this:

“The available scientific evidence indicates that bottled water is safe when stored properly and consumed in a reasonable amount of time. We recommend consumers treat bottled water as they would any food product and store it at or below room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and away from solvents and chemicals.”

i’m not ruling this out as an option, but being that window farming is dependent on direct sunlight, and that there are numerous warnings on re-using plastic bottles with a #1 on them, i might just wait for verification, or at least more evidence, that planting in them is safe.

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