Tag Archives: Christmas

Turkey Pot Pie with gluten-free options

turkey pot pie with titles Christmas Dinner is over and the refrigerator is full of half-empty containers of leftovers. Hopefully you have already made a big pot of broth with the turkey carcass. Everyone is tired of turkey sandwiches, but a steaming hot Turkey Pot Pie will warm everyone up and help use up those little bits of vegetables languishing in the refrigerator.

This is comfort food folks! The good news is there are no hidden unwanted ingredients like hydrogenated fats, MSG, artificial flavors or chemical preservatives!

Turkey Pot Pie (or chicken) with gluten-free options

3 cups or more of leftover turkey cut into bite-sized chunks

2-3 cups homemade turkey broth OR leftover gravy

2 cups or more of leftover cooked vegetables such as peas, carrots, green beans, broccoli, pearl onions   OR  if you are making this at another time of year when you don’t have Christmas leftovers you can dice up a couple carrots, a stalk of celery, and a leek or an onion and saute them in a little butter before proceeding with the recipe. Add a 1/2 cup of frozen peas if you like.

3 Tablespoons butter

(omit if using leftover gravy) 4 Tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour OR for gluten-free use an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix like Bob’s Red Mill

1 cup of organic heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

homemade pastry dough for a deep dish pie. Use the Nourishing Traditions flaky pie crust, or  a gluten-free pie crust, or I like to use a keto-friendly grain free almond flour crust.

1 egg (opt.)

Butter the inside of a deep dish pie pan, or other oven-safe dish of similar size. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (375 if you are using the almond flour crust).

Place the chopped turkey and the cooked vegetables in the prepared pie pan mixing together.

If you are using leftover gravy just warm it up now and skip this step. If you are using broth go ahead and continue here. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in the flour or GF flour blend and continue cooking for about 2 minutes as it bubbles, but don’t brown it. Continue stirring as you pour in the homemade turkey broth. Then quickly whisk in the cream and continue cooking 3 or 4 more minutes until the sauce thickens a bit more. Stir in fresh pepper and 1/2 tsp of salt. Taste and adjust with more seasoning if needed.

Pour the broth mixture over the vegetables. If you are using leftover gravy pour it over the vegetables. Stir it up to mix well.

Roll out your pastry and lay it gently across the top of the turkey filling. The pastry should generously cover the filling. Press the overlapping part into the rim of the baking dish to seal.

Optional for a golden brown crust: Crack the egg in a small bowl and beat well with a fork. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg all over the entire crust.

Use a sharp knife or the tines of a fork to make small holes or slits in the crust to allow the steam to escape.

Put the baking dish onto a cookie sheet to catch any spills and place the whole thing into the preheated oven.

Bake 20 minutes and then reduce the heat to 375 and bake an additional 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling and hot.

Turkey Pot Pie with gluten-free options
Recipe type: Comfort Food
Cuisine: American
Comfort food at its best, this is also a frugal way to use up leftover turkey, vegetables and gravy.
  • 3 or more cups of leftover turkey or chicken cut into bite-size chunks
  • 2-3 cups homemade broth OR leftover gravy
  • 2 or more cups of leftover cooked vegetables such as peas, carrots, green beans, pearl onions, broccoli OR you can saute diced carrots, celery, leek or onion to equal 2 cups and add frozen peas if you don't have leftover vegetables
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour (omit if using leftover gravy) OR use an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix like Bob's Red Mill
  • 1 cup organic heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • homemade pastry dough for a deep dish pie, see links and options above in the blog text
  • 1 egg (opt.)
  1. Butter the inside of a deep dish pie pan
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  3. Place the chopped turkey and leftover cooked vegetables in the prepared dish mixing together.
  4. If you are going to use leftover gravy then skip this next step and just warm up the gravy and pour it over the turkey and vegetables.
  5. If you are using broth then first melt the butter in a large saucepan and whisk in the flour or GF flour blend.
  6. Cook the flour and butter 2 minutes as it gets bubbly, then whisk in the turkey broth.
  7. Whisk in the cream and continue cooking 3 to 4 more minutes until the sauce thickens.
  8. Stir in pepper and salt to taste.
  9. Pour the broth mixture over the vegetables and combine it all together.
  10. Roll out your pastry and lay it gently across the top of the turkey filling generously covering the pie.
  11. Press the overlapping edges of the crust into the rim to seal.
  12. Optional for a golden brown crust you can crack the egg into a small bowl, beat it well with a fork, and use a pastry brush to brush the egg all over the crust.
  13. Use a sharp knife to make four slits in the crust to allow steam to escape.
  14. Place the dish onto a cookie sheet to catch any spills and place the whole thing into the preheated oven.
  15. Bake for 20 minutes and then reduce the heat to 375 and bake an additional 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling and hot.

turkey pot pie gravy

Christmas Ornament and Bible Lesson for the Littles plus Free Download to Share

christmas ornament and bible lesson titles

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For the last several years I have been privileged to be a part of a wonderful Sunday School program at Concord Street Church of Christ where our family worships. We have five different themed rooms and the K through 5th grade classes rotate through a different room each week hearing the lesson presented in five different ways. I love this approach as it speaks to the different learning styles we all have, and allows the kids to really understand and absorb the lessons before moving on to something new. One of my jobs has been to come up with recipes that complement the lessons – the children actually cook in the classroom as part of Sunday School! We have had so much fun and the kids have become more comfortable with the idea that they CAN cook as well as enjoy trying new things. In addition to food recipes we have also learned about essential oils, the importance of clean water, and how we can reach out to show Jesus’ love to our community.

Special Christmas Lesson and Ornament Craft

Here is a lesson you can read with your children or grandchildren that you don’t normally hear at Christmas, but since it’s about how Jesus loved everyone, even the unlovable people, it’s a great story to share! At the end gather three easy ingredients and have fun making ornaments together to hang on the tree and help remember how glad we are that Jesus came to Earth! At the end is a link for a .pdf you can download and print.

Jesus and Zacchaeus
Do you know what taxes are? It is money we have to pay to our government to help keep things running. Our taxes can do many things: pay for new roads, schools, public transportation, police, firemen, soldiers, and many, many other things.
Do you know what kinds of things we have to pay taxes on? We pay sales tax when we buy things at the store. We pay taxes on the money we earn at our jobs, or when someone gives us a large gift of money. If we buy or sell things online we pay taxes. There are even taxes when you win prizes for being on a tv game show. If you find treasure on a sunken pirate ship or buried treasure chest you still have to pay taxes on what it’s worth! Even people who win the Olympics or the Nobel Prize have to pay taxes on any money they win. Even if you rob a bank (which of course you wouldn’t want to do!) you are still supposed to pay taxes on the money you stole! So you can probably see why grown ups don’t like to pay taxes. It takes away some of the money that you feel like you have earned and have a right to keep.
This story is about a man whose job was a tax collector. Nowadays even though we don’t like to pay taxes we still don’t usually hate the person whose job it is to collect them, but back in Jesus’ day the tax collectors were often dishonest. They would collect more money than they were supposed to, and then keep the extra money for themselves.
Open your Bible to the New Testament and find the book of Luke, and look for chapter 19 verse 1.

1“Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich.”
You can tell by reading these first two verses that Zacchaeus was probably just like most of the other tax collectors in that he was not well liked by the people of Jericho because he had become very rich. People probably assumed he was keeping some of the tax money for himself. Now Jesus was traveling around to different places teaching, telling parables and performing miracles. The news about Jesus had spread all over the country, and it was common when Jesus arrived in a town for people to gather and see him. Zacchaeus had also heard about Jesus and wanted to see him, too. Read verses 3 & 4.
3 “He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.”
Here we read that Zacchaeus was not very tall. Do you know the song about him? In the song we call him a “wee little man”. Even though he was short he was still an important person in Jericho. Can you imagine a grown-up you know climbing a tree? Can you picture your school principal or the mayor climbing a tree? It would seem strange to us, and it was probably strange back then to see the tax collector climbing a tree! But Zacchaeus didn’t seem to care. He was just interested in seeing Jesus. Let’s keep reading and see what happened next. Read verses 5&6.
5 “When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. ‘Zacchaeus!’ he said, ‘Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.’ 6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.”
Wow – that is pretty amazing! Jesus knew Zacchaeus’ name without asking him first! Jesus also didn’t care that other people didn’t like Zacchaeus; he wanted to visit in his house. The Bible says Jesus said “I must be a guest…” which means that God had told him to do this, and so Jesus obeyed. All of this happened right in front of all the other people who were there to see Jesus. Zacchaeus was very happy about this! What do you think the other people thought? Read verse 7.
7 “But the people were displeased. ‘He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner’, they grumbled.”
I think it’s kind of funny that they called Zacchaeus a “notorious sinner” and grumbled that Jesus was spending time at his house. They didn’t understand that they were sinners, too. In fact we all make mistakes. In the book of Romans chapter 3 verse 23 it says that we are all sinners and we all fall short of God’s glorious standards. That’s one reason Jesus came to Earth. He came to help all of us learn how to be better people. I think Zacchaeus realized this too, because he quickly said something that surprised a lot of people. Read verse 8.
8 “Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!’”
It looks like Zacchaeus had a change of heart. He realized that being rich at other people’s expense wasn’t the right thing to do. He also realized his money could be used to help other people. And he also wanted to show how sorry he was by paying back even more than he had taken. He said he would repay four times as much. It he took a dollar wrongly, he would repay $4! Do you think Jesus was happy about this? Let’s read the last two verses of this story. Read verses 9&10.
9 “Jesus responded, ‘Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.’ “
Jesus forgave Zacchaeus his sins, and even if the other people in town didn’t like Zacchaeus, God loved him, forgave him, and knew that his heart was good. The very last verse is a good verse to memorize. This verse explains the whole reason why God sent Jesus to Earth. Jesus came to find those people who didn’t know God, who were lost in sin, and to show them who God is and to tell them the Good News of salvation!

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments
Use gingerbread man and Christmas tree cookie cutters to cut out Zacchaeus and tree ornaments using this recipe. Since you aren’t eating this dough, you can use the cheapest applesauce you can find. Find bulk-size ground cinnamon at warehouse stores or dollar stores. Use leftover dough to make more ornaments so that you can share with friends and family.

2 cups applesauce
2 cups ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon craft glue such as Elmers

Mix all of the ingredients together. Add more cinnamon if the dough seems too wet, or more applesauce if it is too dry. You may need to place the dough on a counter top and knead it several times to incorporate all of the ingredients and make a smooth dough.
Roll out the dough to about ¼” thick. Cut with cookie cutters, and place ornaments on a baking sheet. Use a toothpick or wooden skewer to open a hole in the top for a ribbon.
Let the ornaments dry on baking sheets overnight, or until completely dry. Alternately you can bake them in a 200 degree oven for 2 ½ hours.
Thread a ribbon through the hole and hang on the tree.
Well Fed Family, December 17, 2015

Click here for a free downloadable version of this lesson! Jesus and Zacchaeus

This Christmas spend some time with the little ones in your life and share with them this story about Jesus’ love, and let them create fragrant ornaments to hang on the tree and remind them of all they have learned.


Fresh Cranberry Sauce

cranberriesGrowing up I was never a big fan of cranberry sauce – that jellied stuff from a can just didn’t do anything for me.  Then, probably 20 years ago now, I saw a tv chef promoting a way of cooking that used only fresh ingredients instead of processed foods. That was years and years before I ever heard about Weston A. Price or the traditional foods movement. Watching this woman demonstrate several holiday dishes using mostly real, fresh ingredients I knew they just had to taste great. I grabbed pencil and paper and wrote down the recipe, bought the ingredients and gave it a try. For the first time in my life I was able to really enjoy cranberry sauce!
About seven years ago, when I learned about unrefined sweeteners, I changed up the cranberry sauce to make it totally fresh and unrefined by ditching the white sugar.  I make mine this way now exclusively. Here I offer a choice of either sucanat or honey as a sweetener. If you choose the honey be sure to use a mild, light colored honey rather than an assertive one. Orange blossom or clover would be a good choice. Sucanat is stronger flavored with a hint of molasses. Another option might be coconut sugar. Just don’t use agave as that one is highly refined. This recipe can be made up to two days ahead and stored in a glass or other non-reactive container in the refrigerator.
cranberry sauceFresh Cranberry Sauce

1 package fresh cranberries, organic if you can find them (12 oz.)
1 large orange, organic if possible
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup honey OR sucanat (plus a little more to taste)

Wash the cranberries and pick out any shriveled or rotten ones. Place the berries in a medium saucepan.
Wash the orange, scrubbing the peel well. Use a microplane grater or a citrus zester or a vegetable peeler and zest about a tablespoon of orange zest. (The zest is the colored portion of the citrus peel.) Add the zest to the cranberries. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into a bowl or measuring cup. You need about a 1/2 cup of liquid so if your orange isn’t very juicey you can add a little water to make up the difference. Room temperature fruit gives more juice than straight-from-the-refrigerator fruit.
Place the orange juice and the ginger and cinnamon into the saucepan. Stir in the honey or sucanat and place the saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. When it comes to a boil turn the heat down a bit to a simmer and allow the berries to simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. At about halfway through the cooking time taste the sauce. If it is not sweet enough for your taste you can add a little more sweetener – probably up to 1/4 cup more if desired.
Continue to simmer and stir while the berries pop and the mixture cooks. Remove from heat after ten minutes total cooking time and allow the sauce to cool somewhat. Mixture will thicken as it cools. At this point you can pour it into a serving bowl or into another container to chill.