Thanksgiving is a time to “Give Thanks.” Yes, that means counting our blessings, gathering around a table with family and friends, and opening our homes and hearts.

But those two powerful words can also expand beyond our own kitchens.  During this holiday season, Kitchen Chat will provide different ways for you to “Give Thanks” and to help make a positive difference in your own community and around the world.  It’s a perfect pairing!  Charity and Cuisine!  So let’s get started!

Believe Logo - Red

CHARITY:  Macy’s will always hold a special place in my heart during the holidays.  Many of you may not know this, but I actually was in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1987 when I lived in New York City. A friend worked at Macy’s and asked me to participate. My costume was a Robot Clown.  Wearing a shiny, metallic cone with a sparkly pink musical note on it and a twirling cap on my head,  I walked in front of Patrick Swayze who was riding a horse!  (I can’t believe that I am actually posting this photo).

The 1987 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with my friend, May Wong.

The 1987 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City with my friend, May Wong.

I love Macy’s holiday logo: Believe in the magic of giving.  And yes, this large retailer gives back in a big way. Your letter to Santa can help raise a million dollars for Make- A-Wish. For every letter dropped in the big red letterbox at any Macy’s, sent online at macys.com/believe, or written with the new Macy’s Wish WriterTM stylus and app, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to 1 million dollars to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.  Make-A-Wish has granted 240,000 wishes to children since 1980.  I am giving away a Macy’s Wish Writer ™ stylus on December 10th.  Existing and new subscribers to Kitchen Chat will be entered to win. Please click here to subscribe so you won’t miss interviews with some of your favorite chefs.

The Wish Writer ™ Stylus to write a letter to Santa

The Wish Writer ™ Stylus to write a letter to Santa

Also, you can participate in Macy’s Thanks for Sharing campaign.  With a $25 donation, Macy’s will give you a coupon for $25 and will give in full your $25 contribution to charity.  Macy’s has raised $15 million for national charities!  In addition, Macy’s will send you a Thanks for Sharing gift card reflecting a percentage of your purchases made on the Macy’s credit card through December 31, 2015.

CUISINE:  And of course, if you are in Chicago, please make the legendary Walnut Room one of your dining destinations! Around since 1907, the Walnut Room was the first restaurant in a department store.

Dining in the  Walnut Room is a special tradition to kick off the holidays. When my husband was a child, his mother would take him each year to see the huge tree and enjoy a special lunch.  Now part of Macy’s, The Walnut Room menu still includes the delicious chicken pot pie made famous by Mrs. Hering, who was a milliner in the early 1900s at what was then Marshall Field’s.  At a recent marketing event in the Walnut Room, I enjoyed this miniature chicken pot pie. I hope you will join me in the Walnut Room on Thursday, November 19th for dinner with Chicago Gourmets.   It’s another great opportunity to pair charity with cuisine, as proceeds from the evening will benefit Greyhound Alliance.

Mrs. Hering's Chicken Pot Pie in the Walnut Room

Mrs. Hering’s Chicken Pot Pie in the Walnut Room

Perhaps you can use that leftover turkey to make this during the holidays.  Here is the recipe for Mrs. Hering’s Chicken Pot pie as posted on Macy’s website.  

Mrs. Hering’s Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed

3 Tablespoons chicken fat or butter

¼ cup  flour

2 cups chicken broth

To taste kosher salt

To taste freshly ground black pepper

12 ounces cooked chicken breast meat, cut into strips

¼ cup tiny frozen peas, thawed

¼ cup diced cooked carrot

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Have ready 4 individual casseroles with 1 ½ – 2 cup capacity.  Cut circles from the puff pastry to fit the tops of the casseroles.  Make two 1-inch slashes in the center of each casserole.

Melt fat or butter in a medium pan and stir in flour.  Cook 1 minute.  Add broth, whisking until smooth.  Heat to a boil and cook 1 – 2 minutes until thickened.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add chicken, peas and carrots.  Divide the mixture among the casseroles.  Top with a pastry round, tucking the edges in.

Bake 22-27 minutes until puffy and golden.  Serve hot.

Makes 4 pies.

Savor the day!

 

 

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