Homemade Chicken Pot Pie – The Perfect Meal for a New Mom

Pot-Pie

Today’s post is from a dear friend of mine, Bonnie. Bonnie is a wife, mama, and homesteader living in California. We share a love for all things homemade, chicken farming, and living a simple, meaningful life. Make sure to check out her gorgeous blog, A Golden Afternoon. Enjoy this delicious recipe! – L

Chicken pot pie is one of my most favorite foods.  I have yet to hear someone say they don’t love flaky, buttery crust that leaks creamy sauce, chicken, and veggies when cut into.  I could eat it every week, but especially when I need some comfort food.  This post isn’t about me and my pot pie obsession though, it’s about bringing a little comfort and warmth to the new moms in our lives.

The sigh of relief that follows a new mom receiving a home-cooked meal is to be cherished.  It’s a privilege to come along side our friends and neighbors, with joy, as they begin their new life.  After almost 10 months of preparing, waiting, and hardly sleeping with a giant belly, their special day finally arrives.  The child is here.  For many, the days of giving birth never come and YET they experience the uncomfortable “pregnancy” of tears, paperwork, waiting, more paperwork, hope, and more tears.  They too have waited.  Finally, their day arrives.  The child is here.  Children come into our homes in many different ways.  What a joy to share with these families, the gift of food, as they greet their new children.

So excited for you and your family, Lacy!

Below is the quicker version of this recipe, using phyllo dough instead of a homemade crust.  To make this faster, I like to have a jar of pot pie filling in the freezer ready to go with chicken, potatoes, carrots, peas, and onions  that have already been steamed and seasoned.  I just double the recipe when I make it fresh so I can toss one in the freezer.  It’s a 2 for 1, people!  Then, I just have to defrost the jar, the phyllo dough, and make the sauce.  So much easier, especially when planning a meal for a new mom.  You could also give her the extra jar for another day. ;) Pot-pie filling

Chicken Pot Pie

For the filling:

1/2 cup carrots, chopped

1/4 cup pearl onions, leave whole

1/2 cup fingerling or red potatoes, chopped

1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced (cremini preferred)

sachet with: 1-2 sprigs of thyme, 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns, and 4 cloves of garlic

1 cup cooked chicken, chopped (rotisserie chicken is fine)

1/2 cup peas

Phyllo dough, from freezer section (2 pieces)

For the sauce:

3 Tablespoons butter

3 Tablespoons flour

3 cups almond milk (or regular if that’s your style)

1/4 cup chives, finely chopped

salt & pepper

pot-pie-ingredientspot-pie-saucechicken-pot-pieFirst thing, set the phyllo dough out on the counter,  It usually takes about 2 hours to thaw.  Take out your veggies if they were pre-cooked in the freezer like mine.  Next, in a medium pot, put the first four ingredients, along with the sachet. Cover with a lid and cook on medium-low heat for about 45 minutes or until the veggies are softened. If you add fresh veggies to a pot pie, they will be crunchy, just so you know.  Preheat the oven to 350 now.  Meanwhile, you will start the sauce/roux.  Melt the butter, then whisk in the flour, let it bubble for about 30 seconds while whisking, then whisk in the milk.  Whisk continually until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes for almond milk (because it has a natural thickener in it) and WAY longer for regular milk…maybe 30-40 minutes.  Just turn on some music or chat with a kid nearby.  It will pass quickly. ;)  Add the chives and some salt and pepper while you wait and whisk.  Once thickened, remove from the heat.  In an oiled/buttered 9x9ish dish, add the first piece of phyllo dough, gently pressing down the sides into the pan.  Next, add the veggies (sachet removed), peas, chicken, and the sauce.  Lastly, place the second piece of phyllo on top of the filling, slightly covering the edges of the baking dish.  Bake for about 45 minutes, making sure the dough is golden brown and crispy.

Enjoy and share with someone in need this week!

bonnieI live with Purpose.  That is me.  I have bad days just like everyone else, but I can’t help but to feel great comfort in the blessings of every day life. I love the way light shines through the curtains and reflects on the wall.  I love laughter and friends being around.  I love the simple flavors of fresh food.  I love how pieces of cloth can be made into a dress that the wind blows through to show its presence.  I love how God gave us so many things around us to remind us of Him.

I live a full and blessed life.  Come visit me at agoldenafternoon.com or on IG here.

-Bonnie

Meet Margot…

announcement1Our little lady finally joined us! After a rough 24 hour labor, Margot Joan Stroessner made her debut. She was born on Thursday, April 10 at 4:17 in the afternoon. She weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces and was 19 inches long. She’s got tons of dark, fuzzy hair and deep blue eyes. She’s basically the sweetest thing ever and I can’t believe she’s finally here with us. The past few days have been a beautiful whirlwind. We haven’t slept much, but we’ve been soaking up our time with our new girl. We came home from the hospital on Saturday afternoon and have been slowly adjusting to life as a family of 5. The girls are absolutely in love with her, but are certainly fighting for attention as well. So far, Baby Marge (one of her funny nicknames!) is a peach. She’s either sleeping peacefully or wide awake, observing the new world around her. She’s only been fussy a handful of times, mostly because she’s ready to eat. As you can imagine, we’re over the moon. I’ll certainly try to post more about our new babe soon – including her (long) birth story! In the meantime, please enjoy the guests I’ve lined up for you guys. Their posts are amazing and I can’t wait for you to “meet” some of my favorite bloggers and friends.

Thanks again for all of your congratulations! We have been overloaded with sweet comments about our new addition, which is just so lovely! Hop on over to Instagram if you need a baby fix. We’ve been posting lots of photos there…

xoxo, L

While We Wait…

Well my friends, baby girl has still not made her debut. My due date is tomorrow so hopefully she’ll come soon. I’m slowly starting to lose my mind while we wait. Seriously, the end of pregnancy is so hard. The wait is not like anything else! I’ve been trying to relax a bit by taking it one day at a time. We are just praying that she’ll come on her own. (Feel free to do the same!)

While we wait, I’ve got a few things for you..

First up, is a sneak peek of her nursery. It’s about 95% finished. There are still a few things I’d like to do – like recover the rocking chair, cover up the weird outlet that’s in the middle of the wall, and organize her bookshelf. All of that can wait though. I’ve posted several nursery pics on Instagram. Just search the hashtag #livingonlovenursery to see!

sweet-nursery

Next, I’ve got a super sweet giveaway going up tomorrow morning on Instagram. Make sure you are following me (@LacyStroess) so you don’t miss out! It’s only a 24 hour thing so don’t delay!

Lastly, make sure to check out my latest posts over on Disney Baby. I’ve been writing about all sorts of things – from the end of pregnancy to Easter crafts & activities!

Thanks so much for stopping by, friends! Keep checking in here and on Instagram. As soon as our new little love has arrived, we’ll announce it to the world! :) Oh, and I hope you are excited. When our new baby is here, I’ve got an AMAZING line-up of guest bloggers that will be sharing here on Living on Love. Their posts are awesome and I’m so excited for you to “meet” them! xoxo, -L

 

While We’re Away: Activity Bags for the Girls

Soon, Phil and I will be at the hospital welcoming our new baby girl and Adair and Ingrid will be at home with my parents. (Of course, they’ll visit the hospital to meet their new baby sister!) To ease the girls into life with a new baby, I thought it’d be fun to put together some activity bags for them to enjoy while we’re away.

while-we're-away-activity-bagsMost likely, we’ll only be gone 2 or 3 days. To be on the safe side, I went ahead and put 3 activity bags together. 1 for the day we go to the hospital, 1 for our stay overnight, and 1 for the day we’ll most likely come home. Each bag has a  little note from us, some fun things for the girls to do while we’re away, and a fun treat, too! My hope is that the girls feel a little bit special when most of the attention will be on the new babe. At the same time, it’ll give my parents something fun to do with the girls.

activity-bag-day-1Day 1: It’s a Girl balloons, tattoos, bubbles, silly putty, nail polish, and m&ms.

activity-bag-day-2Day 2:  birdhouses to paint, beads to string, and bunny marshmallows.

activity-bag-day-3Day 3: foam bunnies to decorate with all kinds of fun things and yogurt raisins.

activity-bag-lettersAll in all, I spent about 20 bucks putting these fun activity bags together. I think the girls are going to love them! Tell me, how did you ease your children into welcoming a new baby? Any tips or tricks for making the transition a little bit easier? xoxo, L

And Two Will Soon Be Three

Adair and Ingrid,

In just a handful of days, our lives will be forever changed by the birth of your baby sister. You probably won’t remember life without her, but I want to do my best to share with you just how wonderful our time as a family of 4 has been. For over 2 years, the 3 of us have spent our days together. While dad is at work, we play and create and make and imagine and dream. It’s not always easy or even fun, but there is something special about getting to spend our days together, at home. I pray that you remember how wonderful this time of our lives was. I hope you know grateful I am to raise you and how much it will mean to me as you continue to grow up.

2While I wish I could say I was your favorite, the truth is that you are both crazy about your daddy. (Addie, you’ve always been this way. But Ingrid, just in the past 6 months have you really become a daddy’s girl. I guess I’m okay with it.) You ask for him during the day. You wait for him when it’s time for him to be home. If you are scared or hurt and daddy is around, he is the one you run to. I’m so thankful that you put your hope and trust in him, girls. He loves you beyond your wildest dreams and we are all lucky that he’s the man in our lives.

1At this time in your lives, the two of you couldn’t possibly be more different from each other. Addie, you love to play and dress up and build things. Ingrid, you love to draw and color and explore. But you share so much, too. Your smiles are the same, the way you ask for your daddy when he’s at work, the face you get when you don’t like what’s going on, the face you make when you’re being ornery. You both love to go to the park or help with the chickens or watch a movie. You are both sensitive and strong, funny and smart. Ingrid, you mimick your sister so much. You long to be like her. You try to keep up with her all day long. If she wants a ponytail, you do too. If she wants to take a doll and a purse in the car, you have to take a doll and a purse in the car. If she is running around the yard with the big kids, then you have to be a big kid, too.

3Just like all sisters, you girls have finally started driving each other crazy. Sometimes you argue about the silliest things, like who gets to claim their favorite color as blue or sharing a bowl of imaginary candy. But at the end of the day, you love each other deeply. Not because you are told to and not because it’s expected, but because you really do love each other so much. When you are apart,  you ask where your sister is. When one of you is sick, the other is by your side, making sure you are okay. As your mama, there is no greater gift than seeing this love grow between you.

When your new baby sister comes home to stay with us, life is going to be different, and at times, difficult. But after the first few weeks, we’ll get in a rhythm and our new normal will make us all feel complete. You’ll find such joy in your new baby sister and you’ll soon forget that there was ever a time when she wasn’t here with us. Instead of the two of you always being in cahoots, you’ll soon be a trio of little adventure girls, spending your days together, driving each other crazy, and loving each other so very much.

I can’t wait!

I love you, I love you, I love you…

-Mama

 

Make Someone’s Day: The #livingonloveproject for April

It’s a brand new month! (Well, tomorrow!) Now that Spring is really, truly here and all of that winter funk is behind us, let’s be inspired. Last month, the #creativemamas made my day when they surprised me with a baby shower. Because of their unbelievable thoughtfulness, April’s #livingonloveproject will be all about making someone’s day.

make-someones-dayHere are a few ways you can make someone’s day:

  • Give them a handmade gift
  • Leave a surprise on their doorstep
  • Say YES to your kiddos
  • Plan a date for your love
  • Fill up their gas tank
  • Deliver coffee to a friend
  • Write a thoughtful letter
  • Make them breakfast in bed
  • Cook them a meal
  • Pay for the person behind you
  • Make them a mixtape
  • Let them sleep in
  • Mail them a fun package
  • Help a family in need
  • Pamper them
  • Donate to a shelter
  • Give them free babysitting
  • Plan a day trip

Sometime between now and the end of April, MAKE SOMEONE’S DAY. Take a photo (or several!) to share what you did to make someone feel special. Then, use the hashtag #livingonloveproject and share them on Instagram. Check the hashtag often to be inspired by what others are doing to MAKE SOMEONE’S DAY this month. 

I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with! xoxo, L

Springtime Playlist

Happy Friday, loves! To start your weekend off right, I’ve got a brand new springtime playlist for you today. It’s the perfect soundtrack for rainy weather and country drives. From oldies like Bob Marley to new favs like The Head and The Heart, you’ll love this springy music mix! Have a good one and enjoy! xoxo, L

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Sponsor Living on Love in April & May

Good morning, friends! I hope your spring is off to a lovely start. We have had a crazy week – new baby chicks, a stomach bug, and cold weather. We’re counting down the days until our new baby arrives and quite honestly, I’m going a little crazy.

Chicky SponsorI wanted to pop in this morning and say a word about sponsorship here on Living on Love. You probably know that I don’t get paid the big bucks to write this blog. In fact, the budget for 99% of the projects and work I do here comes straight from our own pockets. (And you guys know, those pockets aren’t very deep!) While I have loved writing and blogging for free, I’d certainly LOVE to generate a little bit of income from my sponsors. As a sponsor, you are committing just a little bit of cash to support the work here at Living on Love. With it, you get plenty of advertising, and a partnership that I don’t take lightly. All of my sponsors and I have a great relationship. I promote their work – whether a blog or small business. We are all in this together, folks. That is something I know to be true. Our blog has grown tremendously over the past 6 months (we have tripled our readership!!!) and the growth hasn’t stopped yet. It’s so exciting and I’d love for you to be a part of it!

April and May will no doubt be exciting months here on the blog. From welcoming our new babe to some awesome collaborations, Living on Love will be a great place to be. Because of this, I’m running a special! Normally, 1 month of ad space is $10. But if you book both April and May, I am offering a 20% discount. That means that you get 2 months of ad space for just $16! So, if you are looking to grow your blog or business and if you’re interested in what we do here, consider supporting us by purchasing your ad space today!

All of my sponsor ads are the same size (125 x 125) and will rotate throughout the month on the right sidebar. To book your spot, click HERE. Purchase 2 months (April & May) of ad space and use the code NEWBABY to receive 20% off. 

Have a question? Shoot an email to philandlacy @ gmail.com

xoxo, L

 

Sparkly Easter Eggs

Sparkly-Easter-Eggs

Happy Monday, friends! Today, we’ve got a fun Easter craft for you all – Sparkly Easter Eggs! The girls and I made these last week and had so much fun while doing so. With the arrival of Baby #3 coming sometime (anytime) soon, I figured we could do some Eastery things a little early. Now, we’ve got a beautiful decoration to admire everyday from now until then!

sparkly-egg-suppliesSupplies Needed:

  • Paper mache Easter eggs (We found ours at Hobby Lobby)
  • Craft paint
  • Glitter

I used some brown paper grocery sacks to cover our kitchen table so we wouldn’t get paint everywhere. Then, I used an old egg carton to hold the paint and eggs. (Egg cartons are our go-to paint tray for every painting project!) We had to include some fruity mini marshmallows, too! What’s crafting without a fun snack to go along?!

1

2The process is really quite simple. Cover the eggs in paint. (I turned the eggs every few minutes so the girls weren’t touching the paint each time.) When they are completely covered, sprinkle with glitter! Both of my girls had a blast making their Sparkly Easter Eggs and still love looking at them and admiring their work! Better yet – these will totally keep for years to come!

glitter-easter-eggs

Enjoy! And tell me, what Easter crafts will you be making this year?? I’ve seen some cute ones on Pinterest! In fact, hop on over (bunny reference?!) to take a look at my Spring & Easter Pin Board

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 2.02.45 PM xoxo, L

The 2014 Farm & Garden Guide

farm-garden-guide

Happy Spring! To celebrate the birth of this brand new season, I have an enormous post for you all today. Welcome to your 2014 Farm & Garden Guide! I’ve put together some of the best farm & garden posts from some of my favorite bloggers, giving you a huge resource as you begin the growing season this year. I know many of you are seasoned gardeners, but many of you are just starting to get your toes wet. The Farm & Garden Guide has projects, photos, tips, and tutorials for everyone, even the kids! Let’s get started…

Seed-Starters

Starting from seeds can be a bit daunting, but with a little practice and care, it can be done! Here are 3 awesome ways to start your seeds –  Paper Seedling CupsEgg Shell Seedlings, and Toilet Paper Seed StartersFrom our experience, the easiest things to grow from seed are salad, beans, peas, and cucumbers. This is the time of year to start your seedlings indoors! We always purchase our seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. They are based in Missouri and have so many amazing heirloom varieties, including the history behind the plant. Pretty cool for us garden nerds…

herb-garden

If you are a beginner gardener, herbs and tomatoes are some of the easiest things to grow! I’d buy your herb and tomato plants from a local garden center, then plant them either in pots or in the ground. Tomatoes have the most success in the ground, but I do know some people who are able to successfully grow them in containers. As long as they have good soil, tons of sunlight, and lots of water, you should be good. Here’s a great post on Taming TomatoesHerbs are awesome because they are so versatile. They do well both indoors and out, as well as in the ground or in pots. Last year we had tons of herbs because we let them grow in the ground. I used them in nearly every meal and we were able to dry some to use throughout the winter. But in year’s past, we planted them in containers. Here’s a cute Vegetable Can Herb Garden you can try! Last but not least, make sure you give your tomatoes and herbs some cute Garden Markers.

DIY-chicken-coops

Chickens are all the rage! In fact, many cities are allowing laying hens in backyards. If you are getting baby chicks this month, you will soon be in need of a coop. Here are 2 great DIY options: Our Chicken Coop for free range chickens, and my friend Carla’s Chicken Coop that’s perfect for backyard hens. Our favorite resource for chicken keeping is Ashley English’s book, Keeping Chickens. (I bet your library has a copy!) She includes all kinds of info – information about breeds, constructing a coop, feeding and watering, sick care, and more.  Cackle Hatchery (where our baby chicks came from!) is another great resource for the keeping and care of baby chicks. They even have video tutorials of how to set up your brooder, etc. My biggest recommendation would be to purchase your babies from a local feed store rather than a big chain farm & garden store. If you are ordering a lot of chicks, you can even have them mailed to your doorstep, just a day or 2 old!

containers

If you don’t have a lot of gardening space, planting in containers is a great option! There are so many great ideas out there, that you’ll still be able to have a little garden of your own. If you live in a warm climate, these Potted Citrus Trees are amazing. (Seriously, I would LOVE to have a lemon tree in my backyard! Swoon!) Succulents are a great way to add some “green” to your life, without having to spend a lot of time and care. This amazing Succulent Frame would make an awesome decoration for your porch or deck! If you want to plant herbs and veggies but don’t have ground, consider a beautiful Wine Crate PlanterLast but not least, attract some fluttery creatures to your patio with this adorable Butterfly Container Garden.

gardens

If you’re in the mood to go above and beyond in your garden endeavors, here are some awesome projects to try! We built these Potato Towers last year. We saved so much space by planting them vertically and we had a decent harvest! If you’ve got a stash of wildflowers in your yard, here’s an awesome tutorial to create your own Wildflower Arrangement. Dreaming of raised beds but don’t want to spend the cash? This Pallet Garden is for you! If you have a bit of extra space (even just a foot or 2) consider making a Kids Picking Garden.

kids-garden-projects

One of the best things about gardening is getting your kiddos involved. Both of our girls LOVE helping in the garden – planting seeds, watering, and of course, picking and eating the goodies once they are ripe and ready. Here are some awesome projects for kiddos: Building a Scarecrow, Painting Birdhouses, Making Birdseed Ornaments, Enjoying Garden Art, and Making a Chalkboard Flower Pot.

Depending on where you live, you may encounter different pests in your garden. From bugs that eat up your veggies to mosquitos that eat YOU, pests can be a real annoyance. Surprisingly enough, we don’t have a huge pest problem on the farm. Artemis (the watch dog) keeps animals away and so far, bugs haven’t taken over. Obviously, fencing can prevent many animals from snacking on your hard work, but there are many other problems you might encounter. Here’s a great post about Dealing with Deer. If biting insects are what you’re dealing with, consider a Mosquito Plant.

Whew! You  made it to the end! Please let me know if you have any questions or if there’s something you’re looking for that’s not here. If you have a favorite gardening book or blog, make sure to tell us in the comments below! I’m so excited to begin this growing season with you all and can’t wait to hear about your farm and garden projects! Be sure to join The Gathering so you can chime in when we have discussions about planting, pests, and more. xoxo, L

For all of our gardening posts, click here.

For posts about the farm, click here.

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*All photos used with permission from linked sites.