Monday, December 19, 2011

Potluck Monday with Guest Angie Breidenbach!

I'm pleased to welcome friend and fellow blogger Angie Breidenbach today! She and I had a discussion on another blog about goals and perspective (after NaNoWriMo). I thought it could apply to food as well! So here's Angie...

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the perfection of some goal like weight loss. If we can't do it right, we don't want to tackle the challenge. But I've learned I'm much closer to my goals by just trying. It's encouraging to look back and see how far I've come. Weight loss seems like a never-ending battle too. But once we've set smaller goals, we see that the whole picture is much less of a fearful situation.

Small steps take us in the right direction so we can turn around and see how far we've come. That's how we build confidence. Building confidence on small steps takes the fear out of the "BIG" goal. The closer we get to our goal, the less we fear it. Instead of saying the entire weight loss goal, just set a small series of goals. It's easier to lose 5 pounds than 50 pounds. Once you lose the first 5, you'll see it's manageable and can be done again.

It's the same for a larger New Year's resolution. Break it down into weekly steps and put it in your daily schedule. Each month you can see how 4 steps moved you closer to the giant annual goal. It's like walking a block and turning around to see how far you've walked. Do it a few more times and soon you've walked a mile!

Here's a simple recipe that looks complicated. Very small steps pull together a lovely little treat that's both healthy and perfect for your weight loss goals.
Enjoy small bites, with lots of flavor, that look like you spent all day in the kitchen.

Blooming Chicken Savories
These are fun and elegant, perfect for a tea party or to impress family and yet so simple to make with very few ingredients.
Serves 12 (2 each)
1 Pkg phyllo dough
Butter pan spray
1 pound cooked chicken, diced
1 cup frozen peas
2 Cups chicken gravy
1 Cup sliced mushrooms
2 Tbs. butter

  Spray each layer of phyllo dough with butter pan spray or brush with melted butter and a pastry brush. Do quickly as the dough dries out fast. When finished, cut into 12 squares. Separate each square into half of the layers. Spray 2 muffin tins with butter pan spray going out over the edges on the tin.  Spin each square of dough so several layers are cross-wise forming a “T” pattern. Gently tuck dough squares into each muffin shape.

Bake at 350º for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven. While phyllo blooms bake, sauté mushrooms in butter. Microwave the frozen peas for 2-3 minutes with a tablespoon of water. Add cut up chicken and cooked peas to the mushrooms. Add pre-made chicken gravy. Heat through. Fill blooms with 2-3 tablespoons of gravy/chicken mix and serve.

Insider Tip: For moister blooms, brush each layer of pastry with melted butter instead of pan spray.
Tip 2: Phyllo dough is easily found in the freezer section of your grocer’s.

Angela Breidenbach, Speaker/Author website
A Healing Heart, Abingdon Press, April 2013


  1. "While phyllo blooms"....

    I love that image, LOL! Angie, thanks so much for being here today. This sounds wonderful, and I'm a phyllo and puff pastry lover, for certain! I make baklava, chicken pot pie, strudel, etc... Oh, so good!

    And I always use butter with my phyllo. I like the end-consistency better than with spray. And the flavor blossoms while the leaves "bloom"...

    Pun firmly intended! What a great appetizer for the holidays. Thank you!

  2. This looks so yummy! I don't think I've ever worked with phyllo dough. I have seen it use on TV. The chef I watched recommended placing it under a damp towel while working with it so it doesn't dry out. Just another tip! :)

    Thanks, Angie!!

  3. These look so good! And you're right, I can see how breaking down the steps makes it a lot easier.

    Does it work to make the phyllo blooms ahead of time - like a day or so? Do they keep?

    I make a spinach roll using phyllo, and I love how easy it is to work with.

  4. Jan, I've made phyllo shells ahead of time and they keep fine as long as they're cool and dry. Like crackers or chips, you just don't want them to get 'soggy'... But sure, I don't know why not.

    And for fruit filled blossoms you want them done ahead for filling with cold fruit and whipped cream. Anything we can do ahead is a blessing, right???

    (Note I said whipped cream and not yogurt... Really???? ;)

  5. Speaking of whipped cream and yogurt. You don't have to pick one. :) Mixing one container of Cool Whip with 1 container of flavored yogurt makes an amazing icing for angel food cake!!!

  6. Missy, I might try that if the real thing didn't taste so darned good...

    topped with berries....

    or cinnamon apples....

    I'm getting hungry.

  7. That reminds me of a story...

    (everything reminds me of a story, actually...)

    Many years ago, my dear husband was the food service director at a small, mid-western Catholic college (loved those nuns - they loved on us so sweetly :) - anyway, back to the story).

    At Christmas time, he had done a big catered event for the college, and had some whipped cream left - the real stuff - and thought he'd put it out for the students the next day for an exam week treat, along with pumpkin pie.

    All he got were complaints! The students didn't like the stuff he served - they wanted the "real" Cool Whip!

    I always thought there was a lesson there...maybe one about making sure our children know the good stuff when they taste it :)

    Actually, Missy, I do believe there are uses for Cool Whip (which is why I buy it when a good sale comes around). Your angel food cake frosting sounds like a great one!

  8. LOL, Jan! To me, Cool Whip is really nothing like whipped cream. It's like a wonderful dessert in itself. (I used to eat it by the spoonful out of the freezer!) :)

    My kids have grown to appreciate real whipped cream, though. Especially on hot chocolate. I'm pretty sure that's what they put on it at Starbucks.

  9. I should add that the angel food cake recipe used light Cool Whip and sugar-free/lowfat yogurt. It's a nice lower calorie dessert. My favorite is to use peach yogurt. But strawberry is good as well.

  10. Wow, while I was working today you ladies went to town here, lol. Yes, yes you can make the blooms ahead of time. Be sure to store them in an airtight container. I love blooms with anything from savory fillings to sweet and gooey fillings. You could do an entire meal and dessert with blooms. In fact, I have a fun cookbook planned for phyllo blooms :-D

    How can anyone not want the real deal whipped cream??? My downfall is the Devonshire cream used with scones. OH MY GOODNESS!

    Thank you for having me here today!

  11. Angie, good for you for getting your work done! :)