Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year's Day Pot Pie

On a New Year's Day not too long ago, the hubster and I found ourselves, laughing uncontrollably with friends as we waited in an all too long line outside our favorite San Francisco brunch joint. In hindsight, I giggle at our cliched urban yuppie'ness, what with our black, plastic-framed glases and wool peacoats. In typical downtown fashion, we'd spent the night before, having dinner in a large, boisterous group, decked out in sparkly cocktail attire. We rang in the new year under the Bay Bridge, watching the fireworks and running home in the rain.

Every now and then, there are times we begin our sentences with, "Remember when we lived in the city and...". There is something about San Francisco, with its unpretentious vibrancy, its diversity, its energy. Something almost magical.

This year on New Year's Day, we "built" a fire in our gas fireplace for an uncommonly cold Bay Area day. We made up wacky dances to Sesame Street musicals. We made silly faces, tickled little man mercilessly, and giggled too much. And at noon, when breakfast seemed so terribly long ago, I whipped up these mini pot pies. Not the dainty appetizer pot pies I'd made in the past but rather down home comfort food pot pies.

I pulled out the ramekins because it felt like the perfect day to use colored dishes. I threw in some broccoli because while it was unconventional in pot pie filling, it just seemed right to start the new year with some greens. It felt too fussy to mess with butter or shortening on a day as simple as this. So I went out on a limb and tried a simple pie crust moistened with milk and oil. And although the dough looked a bit too craggy, it all came together just so.

That's what I like about life. It's always filled with surprises. The sparkly young city life as great as the comfortable suburban existence. The New Year's Day spent out on the town equally memorable as the one at home. And the amazingly flaky five-minute pie crust any grandmother would be proud of.

Here's to more adventures, more memories, and definitely more pot pie. Happy New Year, friends. Thank you for being a part of this journey. I am so glad you are here.

Quick Pot Pie
2 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cups vegetable oil
1/3 cup whole milk
1 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten

2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. flour
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup carrots, diced
1 large potato, diced
1 cup broccoli florets
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust, mix the salt and flour. Mix the oil and milk in a large measuring cup. Slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture. Knead gently until dough just comes together. It will be craggy. Do not freak out. Roll out the dough in between two sheets of waxed paper. If you are making one large pot pie, divide dough in half and roll out in two batches (you can do a top and bottom crust, or just a top crust. If you do a top crust only, you'll have half a batch of dough left over which is pretty much perfect to make a pot pie tomorrow). If you are making mini pot pies, divide dough into approximately 10 balls and roll out individually.

For the filling, parboil carrots and potatoes until they are half cooked. Put them on a plate. In the same pan, melt the butter. Slowly whisk in the flour to make a roux. Cook flour and butter mixture on low heat, stirring constantly. Whisk in the chicken stock and milk. Throw all the veggies in, including the potatoes and carrots. Cook on low heat until the veggies are cooked. Season filling with salt and pepper.

Pour filling into ramekins or one large oven-safe dish. Take off the the top piece of wax paper off the dough but leave the bottom piece of wax paper in place. Carry the dough by the bottom piece and gently place it on the dish. Brush dough with beaten egg wash. Cut a slit in the dough to let out steam. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes until golden brown.

Crust recipe adapted from


  1. We made silly faces, tickled little man mercilessly, and giggled too much.... what better way to be happy and herald the new year.

  2. Love the image of yuppies waiting in line for brunch with black glasses and pea coats. I think we've all been there! :) happy new year.

  3. Sounds like a perfect and delicious New Years day!

  4. It is funny how much life can change, and how scary change can be, and then it ends up being wonderful :) Happy New Year!

  5. Om nom! I love pot pie. I made a tofu and vegetable pot pie last year and now I'm trying to see if it's even feasible (or would even taste good) if I made it vegan. My hubby is trying to do the vegan thing and I've been craving pot pie. I call this compromise.

  6. Sounds like we had the same kind of cozy new year. And your pot pie looks fabulous!

  7. Happy New Year! I am SO not a going out person for the holiday, mainly because we're out and about for the Christmas holiday and I need a few days without any sort of plans outside of ones with my husband. So as much fun as your old plans sound, even when we were that age we were more likely to do what you did this year (subbing in video games and friends for Sesame Street and babies, of course). :)

  8. I like to think that the way we ring in the new year creates a sort of pattern which the rest of the year shall follow... and if that's true, then you surely rang in the new year in the best way possible. :)
    (Then again, I began the year with a wicked sinus headache slash hangover, so I'm kind of hoping I'm wrong.)

  9. I just took a look at the Bon Appetit 2013 Cleanse and I must say, your pot pies look much more inviting! There's nothing like comfort food and a cozy day around the fire. Happy New Year!!

  10. Pie looks super tempting dear...luvly clicks too.
    Thanks for dropping by my space, happy to follow u, wud be glad if u can follow back.
    Have a wonderful day ahead :)

  11. Random blog hopping landed me on your lovely blog. Such a happy accident I might add. Love the look of your pot pies and your story reminds me of mine except that was my life before kids.

  12. How ironic that I just finished a batch of chicken pot pie. It's now sitting in the fridge, waiting to be served for tomorrow's dinner. I jumped online to read Elizabeth's latest post about the bubbles on bubbles... and an hour later, here I am. :)

    It sounds like you had an enjoyable evening, despite the fact that things are now different. I too hope that you have a fabulous new year!



  13. Those scratchings look amazing I would polish off that whole plate!

  14. This is a recipe to be proud of! A celebration of the New Year, but also a remembrance of times past - and the good surprises that make up life (whether edible or not! ;) ). I never was one for holidays growing up, but I find myself reflecting on previous holidays recently and thinking about how much has changed. I'm glad to be where I am now, even if things are not so carefree as they once were :)

    Enjoy the beginning of 2013, Azmina!

  15. Wow, I don't know how else to put it, but I hear the most contented, satisfied 'mom voice' in your writing. It made me smile and feel the contented, satisfied mom-ness myself. We spent the day in much the same way; playing Pop the Pig and eating a meal around the table together.

    I love your pot pies and think using broccoli is fantastic. Happy New Year, Azmina.

  16. Sounds like you had a fun New Year. We just went out to eat and then chilled at home. Your pot pies look delicious and perfect for these chilly days! (I'm in MI). Happy New Year!!

  17. Wow. I can't believe I have never made a pot pie before. This looks out of this world!

  18. How things change once you have kids, right? I remember brunching in my pea coat with my glasses too. Too funny.

    I love NYE at home...really, it sounds just perfect.

    Happy New Year!

  19. I loveeeeeee Pot Pie... so warm and comforting, just haven't attempted making this at hoem. Again, you inspire me to do so. I just hate the dough part, but the rest I can handle.

  20. I love indid=individualized pot pies - they always feel that much more special!

  21. This sounds like a fantastic way to greet the new year! Comfort food at its finest. Happy 2013!

  22. What a great recollection. Ryan and I have moments like that too. And this pot pie looks like the best way to ring in 2013. Thank you for sharing...what a nice way to end my weekend (and get ready for dinner!) I hope you have a wonderful week!

  23. A pot pie would be so perfect right now! Its funny how much we both love pot pie but then I never really baked one at home. It's time I do.
    Happy New Year Azmina :)

  24. Hi Azmina!
    Sounds like fun times-I have to get one of those wool pea coats-brrrr-it's so cold right now but one of your pot pies would warm me right up;-)
    Happy 2013 to you ;-)

  25. Wow, this looks wonderful! I love pot pies and your's made me hungry!!

  26. Looks the individual servings!

  27. how cute with those colorful ramekins and loved the easy crust idea :) bookmarking this right now!

  28. Love your writing, and I totally understand...the life transitions, the changes, the wonder of discovering the joys in all parts!

  29. Wow pot pie looks delicious.

  30. OMG! This can't get any better. I love pot pies and you did an amazing job here. I wonder how I missed this recipe. Easy and perfect!


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