In the Kitchen: Drop biscuit chicken pot pie

Chicken pot pie: Filling

Ingredients

Cooking spray
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups lowfat milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup peas, thawed if frozen
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

Directions

Add 2 more teaspoons of oil to the same pan and heat it over a medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the green beans, garlic and remaining salt and pepper and cook for 2 minute more. Add the milk. Stir the flour into the broth until it is completely dissolved and add to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes more. Return the chicken with its juices back to the pan. Add the peas and thyme and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish or individual dishes.

Drop the batter in 6 mounds on top of the chicken mixture (1 mound on each individual dish, if using) spreading the batter out slightly.

Bake until filling is bubbling and the biscuit topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Adapted from Food Network’s Ellie Krieger

Drop Biscuits

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup fat-free milk
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 450º.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives** until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk; stir just until moist.
Spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until golden. Remove biscuits from pan immediately, and place on a wire rack.

http://www.healthytastyeasy.com/2011/01/lighter-chicken-pot-pie-casserole-with.html

Thoughts

I’ve finally found some decent uses for the Dutch oven and one of them is heaven on the stovetop.

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Have I lost my fire?

A strange thought struck me as I poked around the internet instead of keeping on top of the work I intended to get done tonight: Have I lost my ambition?

The most enjoyable parts of my day are more and more domestic: watching the dog sleep. Having dinner prepped well in advance so I can bunk around online, recreationally or working. It’s not totally unthinkable, I’ve always enjoyed housework just as much as I do working professionally.

Granted, some part of this is because there be a critter parasitically using what energy I do have, to spare me the trouble one presumes, but for the first time in my medium-length career, I don’t have any lofty job related ambitions except to be comfortable in my role and to make good money while I rock it. I’m not the fire-eater of half a decade ago, tearing a path through the ranks and taking no prisoners (except for the inevitable scheming backstabbing bastards, I’ve got your names and someday karma will kick your asses).

Occasionally, and this is more frequent when there’s a thousand conversations about side hustles everywhere on twitter and in the PF blogosphere, I’m motivated to think about getting off my moderately well paid duff and doing something more than just the usual investing and saving. After all, if I intend to be a multimillionaire before I’m either 40 or broken, whichever comes sooner, there isn’t that much time to be wasted!

But this year feels less like a growing and conquering year than any other. Maybe I have lost my fire. Perhaps this is the fallow season in preparation for the next push.

Or maybe I’m just riding out a wave of boredom that will crest in new ideas and new projects. I could use an interesting new project around here.

***

After some reflection I realized what this really is.

I’m harboring some resentment over a financial agreement that was reneged upon at work as a direct result of Little Bean.

I won’t get into the nitty gritty at the moment but to summarize: the principle of having had an agreement, and then being penalized specifically because of the time I’ll need to take off for LB makes me reconsider my commitment to a workplace that I otherwise love. It reminds me of all the times I’ve had to fight tooth and claw to be paid what I’m worth, and all the times I’ve had to compromise or put up with horrible people and harassment for the sake of the work experience and paving the way to a better next step.

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Pre-parenting: stuff for Little Bean

I’m super grateful for the good friends and relatives who would like to come help. Not just visit, but help. Lord knows most of my family won’t be there for us. There’s a huge difference between the two and I expect that we’ll be so exhausted in the early days I simply can’t take regular visitors who just want to come to see Little Bean and hang out to be entertained. We won’t have help ongoing except that which we pay for so I’m extra grateful for those who would be willing to travel to come lend a hand. We’re luckier than we realized in that respect.

It’s funny how people are gung ho when it comes to buying new things; is it just because tiny things are funny and cute? We’ve shared the news with close family and friends and immediately know who’s going to go shopping as soon as we hang up the phone. I asked them to hold off as, where possible, hand me downs make much more sense to me than new clothes but I suspect I’m being ignored.

Little ones don’t know or care what they’re wearing or using so as long as it’s clear, dry and safe. I don’t want people to waste money on new things with all the perfectly good used stuff floating around.

That said, there’s definitely a few things we’ll need, mostly in the vein of furniture, to help with my limitations.

*Note: I don’t mean to be or sound ungrateful! I am absolutely grateful for whatever people like to give. It’s just a funny thing I’ve noticed.

I’ve joined Amazon Mom (the name still gets my goat a bit: moms are not the only parents or caretakers!) though it feels pretty darn early to do so. It’s just so I can start building a thoughtful and carefully curated registry list. We do have to get some things new and some friends have been after me to get this together the second they heard the news, so I figured I’d get a start on it.

I’m not sure what we’d order regularly just yet but I’ve been experimenting with some Subscribe & Save items and the extra 20% off where Amazon is the best deal (not always the case, remember!) will of course make a big difference. Correction: they’ve gone and reduced the discount to just 15%.  :(

We’ve been in the Bay Area long enough for the extra concern for the environment to seep into my consciousness: we’re considering some form of cloth diapering. I simply don’t have the energy to do it the truly frugal way which is normally my very first concern, but we might be able to afford some kind of service, modified for our needs. Just contemplating since it’s not cheap to do the service and we’ve already got plenty of costs to stare down.

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Just a little (link) love: Kids+Critters edition

LinkLive

CAREER + MONEY THINGS

Don’t be tacky customers, people. (Like my cousin who stapled her business card to a wedding card for us, instead of say, signing it!)

Practical Parsimony and stories from the Depression. My parents were raised after the Depression but they grew up in a third world country so our stories of growing up impoverished were about things like how they made money as kids, or what life on a farm and in the countryside was like. My momma side hustled long before it was popular :)

Leigh asks how you manage your paychecks – does it matter to you what schedule that the pay is on?

Lazy Man’s committing to solar! “Free” electricity!

FUN THINGS

Cat-puppy, come back.

Sheldon, dinosaur explorer.

INTERESTING THINGS

Stop. Gendering. Everything. Books and stories are for PEOPLE.

If you’re writing a woman, you’re not writing a “women.” Write her. That character, that individual. A person, not a category.

Ben Kuchera on Twitter’s prioritizing profit over people

I don’t think the expectation that women MUST prioritize their children over all else is solely an American thing but perhaps the near-religious fervor with which it’s expounded here might be.

Hattip to Cloud for this link on women, success, and the tech world right now.

Thanks to eemusings for this video!

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