Chicken Pot Pie

Living aloha. That’s what Roger and I were doing last week. It was wicked awesome. With Roger’s MUCH anticipated (and nerve-racking) MRI coming up tomorrow morning, and his almost daily cancer treatments, man did we need a break from the all the driving and the medical center. After the irregularity seen on last month’s MRI, it’s been an unsettling four weeks of waiting. But who needs sleep, right?  

Our trip was business/pleasure, and it was on the island of Kauai. We returned home late Saturday night, and yesterday morning I was beginning to think we should have stayed home to build an ark. We’ve been in California for almost 13 years and have never seen rain like this.Because there wasn’t a scrap of food in the fridge, I made a very wet journey, in typhoon-like conditions, to the market. During my drive, I was thinking about what would be the perfect cold-weather/football food. The first thing that came to mind was a piping hot chicken pot pie. What better thing to chow down on while watching a serious butt-kicking meted out by our beloved Patriots? I came up with the recipe as I perused the aisles and thought about what was at home in the pantry.

Houston, here we come!

Pre-heat over to 400. Serves 4-6 people. 

1 roasted chicken, meat removed and chopped small (save the carcass in the freezer for soup/stock)

1 package Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, make your own pastry dough or substitute with pie crust instead.

1 onion, small dice

2 celery hearts, thinly sliced

1 fennel bulb, small dice

3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced small (brunoise: very small dice)

1 cup evaporated milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup chicken broth

¾ cup frozen peas

½ cup grated Parmesan

2 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. EVOO

1 tbsp. Better than Bouillon, roast-chicken flavor

¼ cup AP flour

1 tsp. salt

4 thyme sprigs

1 egg (beaten with a splash of water)

Heat butter and EVOO in very large sauté pan, or large wok until melted.

Add diced onion and diced fennel. Cook until both are translucent and fragrant.

Add celery, carrot brunoise, garlic, and cardamom. Heat until fragrant.

Sprinkle in AP flour and mix until well integrated.

Pour in evaporated milk, cream, chicken broth, peas, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Remove thyme leaves from sprigs and toss into cream mixture.

Add salt, chicken meat, and roast-chicken base. Mix.

Mix well and simmer until thickened.

Top with Pepperidge Farm puff pastry dough.

Create some vents in the pastry dough or pie crust. Brush egg wash over the top. 

Cook in the oven until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Enjoy!

Eat well,


“Chicken pot pie – those are my three favorite things.” – Pablo Francisco



















Root Vegetable and Farro Salad

I’m not alone in thinking of New Year’s resolutions this time of year, but I am WAY behind and still actively curating my own. It contains the usual suspects: exercise more, eat mindfully, worry less, and breath. This morning I added two more that I think we should all consider: 1. Be kind to yourself and 2. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are (Teddy Roosevelt). I will be striving to accomplish both.

This salad (or side dish) is filling, fresh, healthy, and is a cinch to make. Serves 4-6.


1 celery root (they’re gnarly looking, but don’t be scared!)

1 large carrot

1 green apple

1 golden beet

1 lemon

½ cup farro

1 tsp. kosher salt

1.5 tbsp. of chopped mint

¼ cup EVOO

¼ cup toasted pine nuts

½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Zest the lemon (do this while it’s whole), halve it, and squeeze the juice.

Boil the farro in salted water (salty like the ocean) until tender but still slightly chewy. Just like you would cook pasta. Drain and set aside.

Peel the celery root, carrot, beet, and apple.


Cut the celery root in half Put half in the fridge for another use. Like cubing and roasting with EVOO and salt and pepper. 

Grate the apple first on the largest holes of your grater. Add a bit of the lemon juice to the grated apple so it doesn’t oxidize and turn brown.

Grate the celery root half, beet, and carrot using the same holes as the apple.


Place all three in a large mixing bowl with the apple.

Add the salt, EVOO, lemon zest, lemon juice, mint, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. Mix well.









Broccoli + Potato Soup with Gruyere Toasts

It’s been delightfully cool outside these past few weeks. Just when it was beginning to feel like that would never happen.

We had some peeps over for a casual dinner the other evening and soup was on the menu. You can see by the ingredients that this soup makes a great meal for tight budgets and is also perfect for meatless Mondays. Oh, and you could substitute the broccoli with cauliflower, too. 
This recipe makes enough for 6-8 as a first course, and there’s enough left over to stash some in the freezer for future meals.
Here’s what you’ll need for the soup –
1.5 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into large cubes
1.5 lbs. of broccoli. Chop broccoli stems into coins and set aside the broccoli florets.
1 med. onion roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
Zest and juice from one lemon
1 tbsp. coriander
1 tbsp. EVOO
3 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. Espelette pepper

Sweat the onion in 1 tbsp. EVOO until translucent. Add the coriander and garlic and cook until fragrant.

Add 6 cups of hot water, 1 tsp. of salt, diced potatoes, and the chopped broccoli stems. Simmer until the potatoes and coins are tender.

Add 2 cups more of water, broccoli florets, and 1 tsp. salt. Simmer until the florets are soft.
Using either an immersion blender or a regular blender, chop until mostly smooth. I like my soup a bit chunky, but the texture is up to you.
Add the last tsp. of salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, and Espelette pepper. Mix and heat again.
Here are the ingredients for the toasts –
Grated gruyere cheese, crème fraiche, and multi-grain bread. The amounts are up to you. Sprinkle with some finishing salt.


Smear the bread with crème fraiche and add some grated cheese. Put the toasts in the over on 400-degrees until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Enjoy!

Eat well,