Chicken Curry Pie

Here is a delicious recipe for Chicken Curry Pie that I invented tonight! I forgot to pull meat last night for tonight’s dinner and we are running low on food since tomorrow is my day to go grocery shopping. I threw this together on the fly using leftover chicken and it turned out to be quite delicious! Plus, it is quite hearty so we ended up stuffed and still managed to have enough leftover for lunch tomorrow!

Bottom Layer Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups of cooked, shredded (or chopped) chicken
  • 2 apples, cored, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of celery, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups of chicken stock

Top Layer Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Grease an 9×13 inch baking dish. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

(Bottom Layer) In a skillet over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Saute apple, celery and coconut flakes. Mix all the dry spices for the bottom layer together in a separate bowl. Once thoroughly blended, add to apple mixture. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add chicken and stir. Then, add chicken stock and lemon juice. Let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Add cream (or milk) and stir. Simmer for another minute or two and then pour into greased pan.

(Top Layer) In a small bowl mix whole wheat flour, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl mix milk, eggs and melted butter. Add flour mixture to milk mixture and stir thoroughly. Pour dough on top of the bottom layer (this should already be in the greased pan by this point). Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Finding My Sea Legs

It’s been four weeks since Elliette’s birth. Ryan is back to work and I’ve been home alone with my two girls now for a week or two. “Terrified” is the exact word that popped into my mind when I was telling my parents good-bye and watching them drive away from our home. We were incredibly blessed to have meals delivered for a while from our church family. My sister came to visit for a few days after Elliette’s birth, and then my parents came up for a week to help. When my parents left I thought to myself, “I have no idea how I’m going to do this.” The transition of going from a family of three to four seemed overwhelming, but the Lord’s given abundant strength, courage, and a healthy dose of humor.

I have had several blog posts floating around in my mind the past few weeks, but have lacked the energy and time to flesh them out into their own posts. So, below you’ll find three (of many) things that have helped me these past four postpartum weeks.

Humor: We are so blessed by our girls, but admittedly, it does get to be crazy around our home, at times, with two girls under the age of two! The Lord’s been teaching me how important our attitude/perspective can be on our daily lives and part of that lesson has been learning to let go (e.g. have realistic expectations) and laugh. When our eighteen month old is unwinding the toilet paper roll for the fiftieth time at the same time my one month old is crying for milk, it’s much easier to laugh about it (even if it is just in my head since I don’t think laughing about my eighteen month old’s disobedience would go very far in getting her to obey in the future) than to get frustrated! Plus, laughter has healing properties! Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart doeth good like medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” I’ve found that when I find the humor in things (even if it’s just laugh about it in my own mind), it helps me parent more effectively because I am letting things go, rather than allowing frustration to build up in my spirit. When I have to teach my child something over and over again frustration and discouragement are quick to knock on my heart’s door, but if I allow the Lord to give me the right perspective, it is much easier to be gracious and patient.

Recipe Binder: Our meals as of late have consistent mainly of our “tried and true” recipes- meals that I can throw together without having to use my brain. If you have not developed a core set of recipes, I encourage  you to do so. Even though we’ve been sticking to these core recipes and not experimenting with new recipes/ingredients, it’s been a morale boost to know that I can make the meal without wondering if it’s going to turn out or not or if anyone is going to like it. I keep all these core recipes in a recipe binder (click here for an example). If I find a recipe that we all love and it’s easy to make, I copy it down to a recipe card (even if it is in a cookbook already) and store it in my recipe binder. By doing this, I know I’ve got all those core recipes in one spot and I do not have to go searching through all my cookbooks!

Splurges and treats: We have “splurged” a bit more than usual this month with our food choices. Although I am quite proud to say that these food splurges have been significantly different from our food splurges two years ago! I have yet to decide if it is a good thing or bad thing to allow oneself to be comforted with food, but I do know that there is something about an excellently prepared latte (decaf for me) with a tad bit of maple syrup and just a sprinkle of cinnamon on top that is soothing to me. You can substitute in whatever food/drink you’d like for the latte I just described, but I am pretty confident most of us have one or two foods that we find delightful. So, in our month of transitioning from a family of three to four, we’ve splurged a bit more than usual on foods we love. We had fresh strawberries from the market a week or two ago. Fresh organic peaches have become a regular item in our home over the past few weeks as well. We tried organic peaches for the first time and realized they are MUCH sweeter (and tastier) than un-organic peaches. We also made a peanut butter pie and bought ice cream from the store this month (usually we make our own). On my birthday a few weeks ago, Ryan blessed me with a state-of-the art espresso machine that makes fabulous espresso shots. I say a prayer thanking God for my amazing husband every time I enjoy an espresso drink made on that machine!

Learn to savor the splurges you allow yourself and try to find wholesome “splurges” instead of relying on store-bought processed food.  For instance a year and a half ago a “splurge” would have been a candy bar, but now when I want to “splurge”, a candy bar does not even pop into my mind (usually). Instead, I think of fresh strawberries from the farmer’s market or a homemade baked good (not from a box). It’s amazing (and encouraging) how much our desires have changed in the past year and a half. Yes, we do still occasionally crave the processed foods/treats, but consistently sticking with more wholesome foods truly has made an impact on our palates!

Humility & Honesty: Finally, we’ve been learning the value of being honest with the Lord (and even each other as husband and wife) about where we are. It is tempting to try to “keep it together” when things get difficult- even in our relationship with the Lord. It is a humbling experience to cry out to the Lord in complete honesty about our attitude and/or whatever it is that we are facing. It’s tempting to mentally run away, ignore or deny our struggles at times and press on in our own strength, rather than allow ourselves to be humbled by the place God has brought us to and turn to Him for strength and wisdom. Yet, when we turn to Him, how faithful He is to meet us exactly where we are at and provide exactly what we need at that moment. Here are a few verses from Psalm 16 that have been such a comfort and source of strength the past few weeks:

O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
​​You maintain my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
​​Yes, I have a good inheritance.
​​I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel;
​​My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
​​I have set the LORD always before me;
​​Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
​​Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
​​My flesh also will rest in hope.
​​For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
​​Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
​​You will show me the path of life;
​​In Your presence is fullness of joy;
​​At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16: 5-11

Natural Pregnancy Tips

Elliette May Reddy was born via water birth!

Elliette May Reddy was born almost two weeks ago. She weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces and, unlike our first daughter, was full-term. We tried a few new things during the course of this pregnancy in hopes of having a full-term baby, as well as having a natural childbirth. We ended up having both! Here are a few things that we tried this time around:

Raspberry Leaf Tea: Touted by midwives for ages for its ability to strengthen a woman’s uterus for birth, this vitamin-rich tea is also loaded with one of the most easily assimilable forms of iron. I had no leg cramps at all with this pregnancy (last time around I’d wake up at night in agony with leg cramps) and I read, after I’d already started drinking raspberry leaf tea, that this tea helps reduce/eliminate leg cramps, which are caused by a vitamin deficiency. Drink one cup a day in the first trimester. Two cups a day in the second trimester and three cups a day in the third trimester. This is delicious iced as well! As always, do check with your doctor before use. This is also excellent postpartum for its vitamin content (especially iron) and it also helps with milk production. This may also help shorten the length of labor for some women.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth: My husband read this book once and I read it three or four times during this pregnancy. If you are hoping for a natural (e.g. no medications) childbirth, this is a must read.

Prenatal DHA: In addition to our usual cod liver oil supplement, I also took prenatal DHA. Omega 3’s, present in foods such as salmon, are the building blocks of the brain and also contribute to breast milk production. While pregnant I did not always feel like eating fish so this was a good way of ensuring the baby got plenty of brain food.

Birthing Ball: I had always thought this was used when in labor. However, it can also be used in the weeks leading up to delivery to ease hip discomfort and to help get the baby in position for birth. I was on the birthing ball all the time the few days before our daughter was born. Once I was in labor, it was the only thing I could sit on comfortably.

Evening Primrose Oil: This helps prepare a woman’s cervix for delivery and should NOT be taken any earlier than two weeks before the baby’s due date. Also, it should not be taken if you have a history of fast births. Ask a doctor before use. One capsule should be taken in the morning and one in the evening. If overdue, check with your doctor about increasing the dosage (as opposed to being induced, etc.).

Water Birth: I love baths and I kept reading the more relaxed a woman is during birth, the better the birthing process will go (usually). I figured we should give water birth a shot since I find baths incredibly relaxing. Water birth did not make birthing pain go away, but it did make it more manageable. Plus, the time in between contractions was more restful (at least to me) because of the soothing, warm water.