Kid-friendly Very Cozy Veggie Mug Pot Pie + Frozen Salted Hot Cocoa Bombs Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Family Meal Plan: Very Cozy Veggie Mug Pot Pie + Frozen Salted Hot Cocoa Bombs

Family Meal Plan: Very Cozy Veggie Mug Pot Pie + Frozen Salted Hot Cocoa Bombs

Very Cozy Veggie Mug Pot Pie + Frozen Salted Hot Cocoa Bombs

by Erin Fletter
Photo by Natasha McCone and Kate Bezak
prep time
25 minutes
cook time
6 minutes
makes
1-2 servings

Fun Food Story

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Very Cozy Veggie Mug Pot Pie

Does anyone remember the frozen pot pies in mini pie tins and individually wrapped cardboard containers? I used to love getting part of the golden crisp crust with a spoonful of creamy filling, all in one bite. Frozen pot pies were major players in the surge of convenience and TV dinners back in the 1980s. 

A pot pie is indeed a delicious and cozy thing to make from scratch, and when we were coming up with cold-weather recipe ideas that kids could feel confident making themselves, this was one of our first ideas. It is yet another way for kids to use their hands to create something delicious, as they’ll be making a biscuit crust using their hands, and kids love to feel dough! The pot pie will also provide a healthy serving of veggies!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief
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Shopping List

  • FRESH OR FROZEN
  • 1 green onion
  • 1/2 C frozen peas or other veggies (mixed peas and carrots are great!)
  • DAIRY
  • 1 1/2 T cold unsalted butter **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 1/3 C heavy whipping cream **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 C milk, per serving, to make the hot cocoa **(see allergy subs below)**
  • PANTRY
  • 3 T all-purpose flour **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pinch poultry seasoning or dried thyme
  • 2 C dark chocolate chips or chunks **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 T granulated sugar
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract **(see allergy subs below)**

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • chill :

    to cool, not freeze, food or drink by putting it on ice or in a refrigerator.

  • cut in :

    to mix a cold, solid fat, like butter or shortening, into a dry ingredient, like flour, until there are particles of fat covered with the dry ingredient. The recipe might call for "pea size" particles or a mixture that looks like "coarse meal." You can use a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingers to cut in the fat.

  • freeze :

    to lower the temperature of a liquid or solid food below its freezing point to change its properties or to preserve it.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • microwave :

    to heat or cook food or liquid quickly in a microwave oven, which uses high-frequency electromagnetic waves to generate heat in the food's water molecules.

  • shape :

    to form food into a specific shape by hand or with a cutting tool—examples are cutting cookie dough into shapes with cookie cutters, forming bread dough into a roll or crescent shape, and rolling ground meat into a meatball.

  • snip :

    to use scissors to cut something with quick, sharp strokes.

  • stir :

    to mix together two or more ingredients with a spoon or spatula, usually in a circle pattern, or figure eight, or in whatever direction you like!

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Microwave
  • Microwave-safe mug
  • Potholder
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk
  • Spoon for mixing
  • Paper towel or dish towel
  • Clean kid-friendly scissors
  • Cutting board
  • Kid-safe knife (butter knife works great)
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Soap for cleaning hands
  • Medium microwave-safe bowl
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Baking sheet or plate
  • Parchment paper
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Ingredients

Very Cozy Veggie Mug Pot Pie

  • Crust:
  • 2 T all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour)**
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 T cold unsalted butter **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free butter, like Earth Balance)**
  • 1 T heavy whipping cream **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free whipping cream OR coconut cream)**
  • Filling:
  • 1 green onion
  • 1/2 C frozen peas or other veggies (mixed peas and carrots are great!)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pinch poultry seasoning or dried thyme
  • 1 T cold unsalted butter **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free butter, like Earth Balance)**
  • 1 tsp all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour)**
  • 1/4 C heavy whipping cream **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free whipping cream OR coconut cream)**

Frozen Salted Hot Cocoa Bombs

  • 2 C dark chocolate chips or chunks **(for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY sub carob chips; for DAIRY/NUT/SOY ALLERGY use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips)**
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free whipping cream OR coconut cream)**
  • 1 T granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor—check label)**
  • 1 T honey, if needed
  • To make the hot cocoa, per serving:
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 frozen salted hot cocoa bomb

Food Allergen Substitutions

Very Cozy Veggie Mug Pot Pie

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour.
  • Dairy: Substitute cold dairy-free/nut-free butter, like Earth Balance. Substitute dairy-free/nut-free whipping cream OR coconut cream (will not whip the same as heavy whipping cream).

Frozen Salted Hot Cocoa Bombs

  • Chocolate: Substitute carob chips for chocolate chips.
  • Nut: Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips.
  • Soy: Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips.
  • Dairy: Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips. Substitute dairy-free/nut-free whipping cream OR coconut cream (will not whip the same as heavy whipping cream). 
  • Gluten/Wheat: Use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor.

Instructions

Very Cozy Veggie Mug Pot Pie

1.
measure + whisk

We'll start with the crust! In a small mixing bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons flour, 1/8 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 pinch of salt.

2.
chop + cut in + mix

Chop 1/2 tablespoon of cold butter into small pieces. Use your clean hands to pinch the butter pieces into the flour mixture. You’ll have tiny bits of butter mixed throughout the flour. Then add 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream and mix with your hands!

3.
shape + wash

Shape the dough into a ball and flatten it between the palms of your hands. Tuck the flattened dough into a microwavable mug so that it lays at the bottom. Now, wash your hands again!

4.
cover + microwave

Cover the mug with a damp paper towel and microwave for 1 minute. Remove the paper towel and microwave for an additional minute. Carefully remove the mug with a potholder and let it cool slightly. Upend the mug to release the dough, which should have hardened slightly into a biscuit! Set the biscuit aside. If it breaks into pieces, that’s okay!

5.
snip + add + stir

Next, we'll make the filling! Snip, slice, or tear 1 green onion into tiny bits and add it to your mug. Next, add 1/2 cup frozen veggies, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 pinch of poultry seasoning, and 1 tablespoon butter to your mug. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir to melt the butter. Add 1 teaspoon flour and stir to make a paste. Stir in 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream.

6.
top + microwave

Top the filling with the biscuit crust you made earlier. Cover the mug with a damp paper towel and microwave for 1 minute. Let cool slightly before digging in!

Frozen Salted Hot Cocoa Bombs

1.
intro

This recipe creates hot cocoa bombs that will be frozen and used to make hot cocoa.

2.
measure + stir + microwave

Measure and stir together 2 cups chocolate chips, 1 cup heavy whipping cream, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel and microwave for 1 minute. Pause to stir the chips and the cream. Microwave for another 30 seconds. Pause to stir again. Microwave for 15 seconds. Stir until all the chocolate has melted. Then carefully remove the bowl from the microwave with a potholder. If the chocolate seizes (gets grainy and thick), stir in 1 tablespoon of honey.

3.
stir + cover + chill

Stir in 1 pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours in the fridge.

4.
scoop + freeze

After 2 hours of chill time, use an ice cream scoop to scoop balls of chocolate mixture onto a parchment-lined sheet pan or plate. Freeze for at least 8 hours!

5.
add + microwave

Making hot cocoa! For each serving, add 1 Frozen Salted Hot Cocoa Bomb to the bottom of a mug. Heat 1 C milk separately in a liquid measuring cup for 1 minute or more in the microwave, then carefully remove the cup.

6.
pour + stir

Pour the hot milk over the Frozen Salted Hot Cocoa Bomb and stir!

Surprise Ingredient: Peas!

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Photo by R Khalil

Hi! I’m Peas!

"Hi, there! Let's see if you can guess what we are. We grow in shells; you might see us frozen in winter, fresh in spring, and canned all year round; and sometimes we're “split” and cooked in soup! You guessed it! We're Peas! We're good in salads, soups, casseroles, mixed with corn and other vegetables, and all by ourselves! We can be tricky to eat, but if we slide off your fork, you can spear us or use your knife to push us back on. Or, you might even try eating us with chopsticks!"

HIstory

  • Peas in the wild are found in the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Archaeological evidence dates peas in Iraq and Turkey to 7,500 BCE. Domesticated peas were developed from wild peas starting in the late Neolithic Era (around 5,000 BCE). Peas are one of the oldest crops to be cultivated.
  • The oldest pea ever found was 3,000 years old and was discovered on the border of Burma and Thailand. 
  • During the Middle Ages, peas were a large part of people's diets in the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. 
  • In the 17th and 18th centuries, peas started being picked when they were green and immature. In England, new cultivars or varieties of peas were developed that they called "garden" or "English" peas. 
  • Thomas Jefferson grew more than 30 pea cultivars at his Monticello estate in Virginia. 
  • Clarence Birdseye, known by many as the founder of the modern frozen food industry, was the first individual to freeze peas. 
  • The world record for the most peas eaten in an hour is 7,175 peas, held by Janet Harris of Sussex, England, in 1984. She ate one pea at a time with chopsticks!! 

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Peas are members of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family, commonly known as legumes, including peanuts, chickpeas, licorice, alfalfa, beans, carob, and soybeans. 
  • Peas are edible, usually green, round seeds that grow in a pod. The pea pods are technically a fruit because they have seeds and grow from a flower, but peas are eaten as a vegetable. 
  • Pea plants are annual plants, living for about one year. At the end of their life cycle, they can be cut back to the root, which decomposes, releasing nitrogen into the soil for the next crop of plants.
  • The singular term "pea" was back-formed in the mid 17th century by removing the "se" from the word "pease," which was mistakenly construed as a plural form. "Pease" came from the Old English "pise," from the Latin "pisum," from the Greek "pison."

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • You can pick garden peas about three weeks after flowering. The pods of shelling peas or garden peas are inedible and will swell with the growth of the peas, becoming cylindrical before harvesting. 
  • Snow peas and sugar snap peas are edible pods ready to harvest about a week after flowering. The pods can be picked when they're about two to three inches long before they begin to swell and just as the seeds or peas begin to develop. 
  • For the best taste, you'll want to eat the peas as soon after harvesting as possible. Fresh peas will last in your refrigerator for up to one week. The more peas you pick, the more the plant will produce.
  • Frozen peas are almost as tasty as fresh ones because the growers freeze them within two and a half hours of being picked. Plus, they quickly thaw when added to hot foods.
  • You can cook and serve peas alone as a vegetable, with added butter and salt. You can also add them to various dishes, such as salads, soups, casseroles, and savory pies. Snow peas and snap peas are often used in stir-fries and Chinese cuisine. Peas can even be mashed and made into a sauce, a spread, or guacamole!

Nutrition

  • Peas are loaded with nutrients, including fiber, protein, vitamin C, thiamine, vitamin K, niacin, folate, potassium, and beta carotene. These nutrients improve the body's digestive and immune systems, convert the carbohydrates we eat into energy, metabolize fats and protein, protect skin and eyes, and help prevent bleeding.

 

History of Pot Pies!

Photo by Pixel-Shot/Adobe Stock

Who is the genius behind pot pie? It would be easier to answer whether the chicken or the egg came first! The idea of stuffing pie with meats and vegetables dates back to 5th-century Rome, possibly further. In fact, the savory pie outdated the dessert version by a long shot.

Initially, the purpose was to keep meat moist, but later Europeans turned the dish into one fit for a king. Pot pies were considered an art form and often served to royalty. The peasants eventually began eating the dish, but only because the addition of breading caused the soup to feed more mouths. Since then, nearly every civilization has adapted, improved, and tweaked pot pies. 

Is pot pie good for you? Pot pie does a pretty good job of covering all the food groups except fruit, though the health factor depends on your chosen recipe. If you load it with salt and mostly meat, it is not as healthy. An average chicken pot pie recipe has 300 to 400 calories per serving. It offers 20 to 30 percent of your daily protein needs and plenty of vitamin A, fiber, and potassium.

Let's learn about England!

Photo by Tomsickova Tatyana/Shutterstock.com
  • England is ruled by a Monarch, a Prime Minister, and a Parliament. Windsor Castle is the oldest royal castle in the world that is still being used by the royal family.
  • England is on the island of Great Britain, along with Wales and Scotland. It is also part of the United Kingdom, which consists of those three countries and Northern Ireland. 
  • Did you know that there's no place in the UK that is more than 70 miles from the sea?! 
  • Stonehenge is a construction of immense stones that the early inhabitants of what's now Wiltshire, England, began building around 3100 BCE. The final sections were completed around 1600 BCE. Scientists are still not sure how or why they built it. One theory for its purpose is an astronomical observatory. It is very popular with tourists.
  • Other popular tourist spots in England include the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Parliament (Palace of Westminster), the Roman Baths and the city of Bath, and the Lake District.  
  • London, the capital city, wasn't always called that. In the past, its name was Londonium.
  • England took part in the briefest war in history. They fought Zanzibar in 1896, and Zanzibar surrendered after just 38 minutes!
  • There have been several influential English authors, but perhaps the most well-known is William Shakespeare, who wrote classics such as Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Hamlet.
  • English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee is credited with inventing the World Wide Web.
  • The British really like their sandwiches—they eat almost 11.5 billion a year!

What's It Like to Be a Kid in England?

  • Most schools in England require students to wear a school uniform. 
  • Sports kids play include football (soccer), cricket, rugby, tennis, netball (similar to basketball), and rounders (similar to baseball). They also play video games, watch the telly, and ride bikes or skateboards.
  • Boxing Day is a unique holiday kids celebrate in England the day after Christmas, December 26. The official public holiday is the first weekday after Christmas if Boxing Day falls on a weekend. When the English created the holiday, it was the day to share the contents of alms boxes with the poor. Today, it is mostly a day off from school and work, although some small gifts may be given out to family and employees, or collected to give to the poor.
  • English kids may have different names for everyday items also found in the United States. For example, a kid will call his mom "mum." Their backyard is a "garden." A big truck is called a "lorry," and the trunk of a car is a "boot." Biscuits in the US are closest to the British "scones," and cookies in England are "biscuits." A TV is usually called a "telly." Bags of chips are referred to as bags of "crisps." French fries, like those from a fast-food hamburger place, might be called "fries," but if they are thicker, like the ones typically served with batter-fried fish, they're called "chips" (fish and chips). Finally, kids call the fish sticks they might have for lunch "fish fingers.

That's Berry Funny

What's the best thing to put into a pie?

Your teeth!

The Yolk's On You

Why did the pie go to a dentist? 

Because it needed a filling!

The Yolk's On You

What do vegetables wish for, more than anything else in the whole world? 

World Peas.

That's Berry Funny

What do polite vegetables always say? 

Peas to meet you!

THYME for a Laugh

What do you call people who like to drink hot chocolate all year long? 

Cocoa-Nuts!

That's Berry Funny

What do you call stolen cocoa? 

Hot chocolate!

Lettuce Joke Around

"Knock, knock!" 

"Who’s there?" 

"Imogen."

"Imogen who?" 

"I can’t imogen life without chocolate!"

The Yolk's On You

What do you call an angry pea? 

A Grump-pea!

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