Recipe improv 

I haven’t been following my own advice on meal planning, so lately getting dinner on the table has been not so smooth. Daydreaming out the bus window on the way home from work one afternoon last week, I wondered what to make for dinner and thought ‘I got nothing.’ The only thing I could think of was that I have a lot of cream cheese on hand, thanks to Costco, and was there someway to use that? Besides on the bagels we already had for breakfast and that one of my kids claims not to like (except in cheese Danish)?

I rarely improvise a recipe. I feel fine about my improv skills with knitting patterns, gardening, and mindless spinning, but not with baking, crocheting, or cursing (not kidding).

My mind wandered back to a recipe I learned from a long-time friend who we will call Farmer Aunt Karen. I didn’t have crescent roll dough, but I could make some pie crust dough pretty easily. And I could make vegetarian and leftover-chicken versions to accommodate everybody without it being too much extra work. What to call this cheesy entree? Um. Cream cheese pockets??

IMPROV CREAM CHEESE POCKETS (makes 6, with extra filling)

One batch of your favorite pie dough, enough for a two-crust pie. I  made the Foolproof Pie Dough from America’s Test Kitchen, which I fondly call Boozy Pie Dough because it contains a small amount of vodka. I used all butter and substituted whole wheat flour for about 1/3 of the unbleached all-purpose flour.

For fillings, mix together the following:

8 ounces of cream cheese, softened

1-2 TBSP. mayo

Garlic powder to taste

Vegetarian suggestions (vary amounts as available and appealing): chopped chives, green onions, and some shredded cheddar

Omnivore version: small cubes of leftover rotisserie chicken


Fold over and pinch edges shut. Bake at 350F, 15-25 minutes, depending on size of pockets and thickness of crust. Serve, and receive feedback of “more chicken in mine next time” and “could use more garlic.”

2 thoughts on “Recipe improv 

  1. Pingback: Five years of blogging! – Yarnstead

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