Monday, March 15, 2010

When in doubt, put it in a pie crust

After the little one was sick for a week followed by the bigger ones sick for a week followed by the little one and me sick for a week, we have not been eating so well. All I can say is thank goodness for ground beef and potatoes! It is so easy, even a dad can do good things with it! Yesterday, even though I still had no voice, I had energy and man did I cook! We have granola, we have individual apple pies, we have knishes, we have empanadas, we have a huge pot of beans, we have oatmeal raisin freezer scones, and we have chicken and stock. I cooked so much that I quite successfully avoided doing any laundry! Anyway, here is how we will use it this week:

  • Sunday - Empanadas (potato, tomato and beef for the kids, greens and olive for the adults) feta yogurt sauce, salad
  • Monday - bean tacos, mexi-rice, coleslaw
  • Tuesday - mashed potatoes with chicken gravy, steamed broccoli
  • Wednesday - taco salad, beans, corn muffins
  • Thursday - potato gratin with whatever bits of chicken might be left over
  • Friday - steaks, potato dumplings, salad
  • Saturday - pizza and apple pie

So, I found another great book at the library: The Frugal Foodie by Lara Starr. That is where the freezer scone recipe came from. Make the scones and freeze them. In the morning, pop as many as you need into the oven for about 10-15mn and they are ready to eat. Pure genius, I say! Now, one could do this with any scone or even muffin recipe, I guess, but hers is particularly easy and the kids LOVE them. She has a lot of great ideas for meals and saving money and one day, I imagine, I will return it to the library.

Now, about that pie crust. I am totally digging the hand held pie! It is perfect for lunches for the kids. I use spelt flour and Spectrum organic shortening (with a bit of bacon fat for flavor) for the butter and I am hard pressed for anything that doesn't taste good in THAT! We have had ground beef with olives and raisins, samosa potato and pea filling, apple pie filling, goat cheese and cherry jam fillings, chicken gravy with broccoli bits filling, bacon and potato filling and sheep's feta and spinach filling. Seriously, the possibilities are limitless! And now that I have a food processor, the crust is so easy to make. I made several batches of it yesterday. I used two last night and still have one batch chilling in the fridge, ready to go. Since I have a lot of squash to use, I am thinking about pureed squash, caramelized onion and goat cheese filling or steak, onions and feta. Now to be able to eat this much pie crust on a regular basis and still feel good about it, I only use about half of the recommended amount of fat. Most recipes seem to call for about a cup and a half of butter, shortening or lard and I am using 2/3 to 1 cup. I don't notice the loss in flavor or texture. The other thing I do is make a knish crust, which uses olive oil instead of the other fats. It is a bit labor intensive at the start, although, each step can be done in advance and tackled when one has time. I like meals that can either a) go from the freezer to the table in about 30mn or b) have the bulk of the work done well before meal time. Chopping and concentrating on pots or following recipes at 4:45pm generally does not jive well in our house. My next step is to experiment with freezing these individual pies and how long to bake them and at what temperature. Well, I guess it is time to tackle that laundry...

This link is posted to I'm an Organizing Junkie.


  1. One day I know I will slingshot right through my intrigue and act on some of these ideas. The pocket pie. Who knew. Next year I will be packing lunches and I am taking notes...

  2. I'm so glad you liked my book - and the scones!

    Bon Appetit!

    -Lara Starr

  3. Um, Josie... you have a cookbook author reading your blog. That makes me a little dizzy.
    Hi, Lara. I just ordered your cookbook from Amazon. :)