Patchwork Butternut Squash, Kale, & Chicken Pot Pie

Written By: Kimberly - Aug• 21•14

Pot PIe

Bring on the Fall.  This week seems to be one of the hottest in the whole summer – just when I’m thinking of pumpkin lattes and vanilla and sweet potatoes.

I look forward to evenings when I can snuggle on the couch under a blanket with my hubs – watching a movie – after the boys go to bed – knowing that it is getting cool outside!

Patchwork Butternut Squash, Kale, & Chicken Pot Pie
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
A fall flavored pot pie with chicken, butternut squash, and kale
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 2 T evoo
  • 1¼ cup diced butternut squash
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 massive handfuls of chopped kale
  • ⅓ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 pie crust, torn in pieces
  1. Heat the oven to 350.
  2. In cast iron skillet, heat oil and butter. Add in onion and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minutes
  4. Add squash and cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from pan.
  6. Cook the chicken in same pan until done.
  7. Combine the vegetables, chicken, spices, and cheese.
  8. Pour into a deep dish pie pan. Cut strips of pie crust and make a lattice or patchwork pattern out of them. Layer on top of pot pie.
  9. Cook for about 45-50 minutes or until top crust is golden brown.

I’d never made a pot pie until I moved back to Raleigh in 2010.  My boss’s wife – and friend – made a delicious one and said it was so easy – well, this one is too and has wonderful Fall flavors!





Faith Quote of the Week

Written By: Kimberly - Aug• 21•14

Worry and Belief

This life throws so much at us.  I live in metro ATL and every day I could worry about my Mister as he drives to and from work.  I could worry about how my sons are going to turn out and if they will love Jesus one day.  I could worry about our finances because my Mister is in a commission job.  I could worry about friendships and blog readership and if I will ever fit in the size 8 skirt that I love?

But, all of that wouldn’t be believing God.

At the beginning of this year I really wanted to be daily reminded of the fact that God wants me to BELIEVE HIM.  Not only believe IN Him but, to also wholeheartedly believe Him.  This year has definitely been trying – and God is allowing me steady contact with Him to help me with my unbelief – making it believing!


Toddlers and Edible Finger Paint

Written By: Kimberly - Aug• 20•14

Edible Finger Paint

Combining two of my loves – my boys and food.  What could be greater?

Usually we go go go out of the house, but when Daddy is home, we like to chill and do something fun together.  So, I saw a post from a NC blogger and new that if I could talk my Mister into it, then we would be doing this.  My Mister loves to be neat and not get messy, but I convinced him to put aside his neat and tidy ways to let us all have some fun and then we would dump our boys into the bath!  So, an adventurous morning we had!


My boys are all boys  - which obviously that morning didn’t involve finger painting.  What did they do?  They headed straight for the rocks.  That is all they cared about.  So, bring on more rocks!


With this edible finger paint – you don’t get art (because it doesn’t harden) but you do get fun times in the back yard!

Items you need:

Small containers to put the finger paint in (I used tupperware small square containers)

Sweetened condensed milk

Food coloring

Newspaper or tarp of some sort

Diapered kids (better than ruining clothes)



I poured some of the condensed milk in each of the container and put in some food coloring into each one, stirring it up, and gave each boy his own containers so there would be no fighting over them.  That helped.

Then we laid out newspaper on our back porch (read slab of concrete) and stood back to see what would happen?  Neither of them went for it.  I helped BabyBach a little but Elibuddy was definitely more interested in the rocks.

So, what do we do with the extra?  We are giving it to our neighbor who has two little girls.  She said they love to color.

This can be a great way to get to know your neighbors who have young ones.  Just bring them all to the back yard and let the silliness begin!

Then we just took their diapered little selves straight to the tub and gave them a long soak and scrub.

So – how do I think about this as shepherding my boys: God is a beautiful creator and has given us many things to enjoy : finger paint and rocks!  Let them get messy, be creative, and have fun.  Its a way we were created to worship!


Food Quote of the Week

Written By: Kimberly - Aug• 19•14

Chocolate Doesn't Hurt

Since I’m claiming this blog to be about food, family, and faith – each week I want to give you a quote regarding each of these topics.

I am a lover of Peanuts – the comic strip.  Who wouldn’t love Charlie Brown and Woodstock and a beagle who is always bossing people around!  I enjoyed the Christmas tribute to Schulz in Louisville when I lived there.  He is so right about chocolate.


Blueberry Italian Cheese Tart

Written By: Kimberly - Aug• 18•14

Blueberry Italian Cheese Tart

The longer you are married to your spouse, the more you begin to think like him (or her) and what the other person likes or dislikes becomes you.  That is probably how the old adage got started by saying the longer a couple is married they look more and more like each other.

My Mister and I have only been married for (almost) 3 years.  One of the blessings of those three years is having someone to cook (and bake) for all the time.  Some women find that daunting.  I find it challenging in a good way – but I also need to eat out sometimes, even if it is Chick-fil-A.

Blueberries and Crystal

One of the things that my Mister loves is fruit desserts.  So, I wanted to create a sweet fruit recipe that he could enjoy.  Two of the unmistakable tastes of summer to me are lemons and bluberries.  I remember picking buckets of blueberries at Huber’s Family Farm up in southern Indiana when I lived in Louisville.  I could eat a lot just standing there picking in – never filling up my bucket.  (To anyone from Huber’s reading this – I really didn’t, I may have snuck one or two (berries, not buckets).

Blueberry Tart

So, with Italian cheeses on hand and some blueberries and lemons, I set out to create this tart.  Enjoy the final days of summer!

Blueberry Tart

Blueberry Italian Cheese Tart
Recipe type: dessert
Cuisine: Tart/Fruit
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
A creamy, cheesy sweet tart with blueberries and lemon
  • For the crust:
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted, melted
  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • For the filling:
  • 8 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp real maple syrup
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • For the fruit topping:
  • Whole blueberries
  • zest of one lemon
  1. For the crust:
  2. Mix everything together and press into a removable bottom 9.5 inch tart pan. Put in freezer for about 20 minutes. Poke holes with a fork in bottom of crust. Bake covered with foil for 15 minutes (at 350). Remove foil and bake for another 15. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. For the filling:
  4. Mix everything and combine until no more lumps. Pour filling into cooled crust and bake at 350 for another 40-45 minutes or until filling is set. Let cool slightly
  5. For the topping:
  6. Mix the blueberries with the lemon zest. Scatter on top of tart.
  7. Set in fridge until cold. Serve with cool whip or homemade whipped cream and a sprig of mint - and preferably some decaf!



This Week in the Charming South Kitchen

Written By: Kimberly - Aug• 18•14

Cinnamon Roll

Another week, another menu plan.  Here we go!  And this week, toward the end, we get visitors – my parents (Mimi and Pops) are coming for a short visit – so I will enjoy going out to dinner with them and have a food prep helper in the kitchen.

Butternut Squash, Kale, Chicken Skillet Bake (variation from this recipe that I got from a friend on Instagram)

Asparagus Ham and Mozzarella Frittata

Fig Flank Steak with an Asian Salad (an idea I got from a friend)

Easy Cinnamon Sugar Donuts with an Apple Glaze

Slow Cooker Veggie Lasagna

Zucchini and Chicken Skillet

Blueberry Italian Cheese Tart (recipe coming tomorrow)




Sundays in the South

Written By: Kimberly - Aug• 17•14

Tart Crust

A blank canvas.

Sundays…when you wake up, you may know your schedule, but you may not know how the day is ultimately going to go.  You may wake up and do your normal thing: dress the kids, dress yourself, hop on over to church, come home to a quick meal and put the kids to bed.

Some Sundays you get to live wildly.  Maybe throw in a walk or a picnic.  Throw in an afternoon nap or a trip to a movie theater.  You may jaunt over to a park and swing in the air with your feet out in front of you – capturing a moment on film that is as fleeting as the sun.

Whatever your Sundays bring, always think of your days as a blank canvas…just like this unbaked tart crust.  Cooking is such a metaphor for life.  You’ve got your ingredients – but what you choose to do with them is your decision.  God’s got a great plan for our lives.  For me, it might be a blueberry Italian cheese tart.  For you, it might be baked lasagna and a dish of blueberries for dessert.

Live your life!

Link Love for Your Weekend

Written By: Kimberly - Aug• 16•14

Destination Fall : Link Love

We are quickly coming to the end of summer – I mean soon Labor Day will be here then you will start to see ads for Christmas.  Crazy.  Fall is definitely my favorite season of the year, so I wanted to share some of my favorites I’ve found this week to celebrate the upcoming season!

The Nester’s house is always cozy but I love her glimpse into switching seasons.

Since I could eat tacos all the time – these will be perfect for cheap and Fall

And this time of year at markets or grocers there is an abundance of zucchini – why not make several of these loaves and freeze them – then you can pull one out on the chili mornings that are to come, toast it, and slather it with butter, and drink with a beverage of your choice!

The Fall is a great time for our family because there are two birthdays that we celebrate – and we have to have an amazing cake!

These blondies have almost everything I love about fall in one pan…I’m glad that I should have reasons to bake them!

What are your favorite things about Fall?  And how are you celebrating the end of summer?

Pumpkin Butter Whole Wheat Millet Muffins

Written By: Kimberly - Aug• 15•14

Pumpkin Butter Muffins

Fall – I think for a lot of us kitchen people its one of our favorite seasons.  Pumpkin.  Cinnamon.  Sweet Potatoes.  Apples.

But, I don’t think I had ever experienced a Fall season until I moved to North Carolina in 2000.  See, I grew up in central Florida.  The only two seasons we had were Summer and Christmas Day (and some years we only had one season).  I loved it.  I was close to Disney World though I only remember going in high school and college when I would do Night of Joy with the youth groups.  I was close to the beach (though we had a pool, so my Dad couldn’t figure out why we needed to spend money going to the beach).

But, I remember moving to Wake Forest, North Carolina to start seminary right before a huge snow storm – rethinking the whole moving north thing.  But, then fall came around at the start of my second semester.  I adored the sound the leaves made as I walked through them on my way to class.  I loved wearing jackets with my jeans (even though I would sport some flipflops usually).  I loved sitting down with a warm cup of chai or steamed milk or hot chocolate to study out on the lawn.  The bright blue Fall sky against the browns and yellows and reds of the leaves.  Gorgeous.


And of course, Fall brings pumpkin!  I could eat pumpkin goodies year round, but yesterday when I stepped outside for an early morning out, and felt the slightly cooler Atlanta air, I knew I was ready for Fall.  So, I whipped up these pumpkin butter muffins for my mister.  They were a winner. (This recipe was inspired by Joy the Baker)

Pumpkin Butter Whole Wheat Millet Muffins
Recipe type: Muffins
Cuisine: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
Hearty and healthy muffins, of course with some chocolate. Perfect for Fall mornings or evenings!
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 jar (10 oz) pumpkin butter (I used Trader Joe's)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup dry millet (I found in bulk aisle at Whole Foods)
  • ¾ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup milk
  • juice of ½ lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grease or line 10 muffin cups
  3. Mix wet ingredients (up through vanilla)
  4. Combine dry and add to the wet mixture
  5. Mix the milk and the lemon juice then add to muffin mixture.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Spoon into muffins tins.
  8. Bake for about 19 minutes or until muffins are done.
  9. Cool and eat. My husband ate one topped w some raw honey this morning.


Simple Summer Squash Salad

Written By: Kimberly - Aug• 13•14

Simple Summer Squash Salad

Summer food should be pretty.  The sun is shining.  The gardens are bursting with fragrant herbs and brightly hued fruits the way God imagined and created them.

While I didn’t grow the items found in this summer salad, I did buy them at the Whole Foods in Buckhead (a delightful shopping, eating, and living area of Atlanta).  This Whole Foods takes the cake on any one I’ve been in.  The produce alone would be reason to keep coming back to it again and again.  I remember the first time I took our older son in there.  He exclaimed “watermelon” while looking at the sample containter of beautiful red, completely juicy, delicious watermelon.  (And that was the first time he had said it!)


And another favorite thing I love about this salad is the dressing.  I do love to make my own, but when you’ve found a simple summer vinaigrette such as this one: Brianna’s Real French – why waste the time in making my own?  It is slightly tangy and fragrant and rests lightly on any food you put it on (this salad and our pink grapefruit salad are our two favorites).  And if you want to know where to get the delicious Yard Blend that I use in this side dish, contact my friend Jayme over at Holly and Flora.

So, without further ado – here is a perfectly simple summer side dish that would be a great accompaniement to your next light summer affair.  Get some crusty bread, cheese, wine, berries, and this – night well made.

This recipe was inspired by Laura’s.

Simple Summer Squash Salad
Recipe type: Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
Simple summer squash in a light vinaigrette with salty, smooth goat cheese
  • 2 yellow summer squash, sliced in ribbons
  • 1 zucchini, sliced in ribbons
  • 2-3 T Brianna's Real French Vinaigrette
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • ½ tsp of Holly & Flora's Yard Blend
  • 2 T crumbled goat cheese
  1. To slice ribbons in your vegetables, I used the side of my box grater with the long grating option.
  2. Toss your sliced vegetables in everything but the goat cheese. Let marinate for about 20 minutes
  3. Crumble the goat cheese on top before serving.