bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole

I made this a couple weekends ago.  It was very simple and tasty.  Because there are only two of us, I only made a half recipe, but it would be just a easy to make the whole recipe, and it would be great if you have a house full of people to feed.  You put everything into the crock pot the night before, and you have a fresh hot breakfast ready and waiting the next morning.

Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole
adapted from Everyday Dishes

  • 1 lb. sausage
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • sliced mushrooms
  • fresh spinach
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. ground mustard
  • 30 oz. bag frozen hash browns
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar
  1. Brown sausage with onion and garlic; add mushrooms and brown.  Add spinach and cook until wilted.  Set aside.
  2. Beat eggs in bowl.  Add milk and seasonings.
  3. Grease 4 or 5 qt crock pot.   Pour hash browns into crock pot and then add eggs and sausage mixture.  Stir together and then add 1-1/2 cups cheese.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  4. Cover and cook on low overnight.

The original recipe was to be mixed up and refrigerated overnight and then baked in the morning.  I wasn't sure how it would work in the crock pot exactly so I doubled the milk.  I think that was just about right.  I also added a bit more cheese, because it seemed like the right thing to do.

I'll definitely make this again.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Crock Pot Chicken w/ Potatoes and Green Beans

I've seen pictures of this recipe (or a similar one) going around on Facebook or Pinterest (I'm not sure exactly which), and it looked easy and tasty.  I had never actually looked at the recipe until I went searching on Pinterest today.  Why not, right? 

There are quite a few variations of this recipe out there, some of them are baked in the oven and some are for the crock pot.  The yard really needed mowed this afternoon because it has been raining so much and the grass has been growing and growing - and today was the only day all week that didn't call for more rain.  The grass probably would have been knee high by the next time I could have gotten to it.   So I needed something I could throw into the crock pot in the morning and be able to have dinner tonight.

I really liked that this recipe uses a fresh homemade sauce to cook the chicken and vegetables.  But don't let that scare you away, because it's really simple - olive oil, lemon juice, and some seasonings.  Yum!  Put the chicken and vegetables into the crock pot, pour the sauce over the top, and come back at dinner time for a delicious meal.

Crock Pot Chicken w/ Potatoes and Green Beans
adapted from The Magical Slow Cooker

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups diced red potatoes
  • 8 oz. green beans (fresh or frozen)
  1. In 1 cup glass measuring cup (or small bowl), mix olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic with whisk.
  2. Put sliced onion on bottom of 5 to 6 quart crock pot.  Put chicken in the middle with potatoes and green beans on either side.  Pour seasoning mixture evenly over the top.
  3. Cover and cook on Low for 7 to 8 hours (or High for 4 hours).  
  4. Shortly before serving, slice chicken breasts and allow to sit in the broth for a few minutes.  Enjoy.

I didn't really change a lot from the original recipe.  I threw some sliced onion in the bottom of the crock pot, and I used frozen green beans because I didn't have any fresh ones.  The chicken breasts were also still pretty much frozen when I put them into the crock pot.

I used a bit more lemon juice than the recipe called for.  The juice from one lemon wasn't quite enough, so I squeezed another one and that was too much.  I really should have checked after squeezing the first half of that second lemon.  But I didn't think about that until after I'd squeezed the second half.  It turned out really good, extra lemon juice or not.  Just be sure to use fresh lemon juice and not the stuff that comes from a bottle.

Fun fact: if you measure the olive oil into the measuring cup and then squeeze the lemon juice on top, the lemon juice will go to the bottom, allowing you to measure it, too.  Did that make sense?  I really should have taken a picture, but I didn't think about it.  Maybe next time.

I really love how simple and flavorful this is.  It's definitely my kind of recipe.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Amazing Skillet Potatoes

It's time again for Secret Recipe Club reveal!  My secret blog assignment this month is Adventures in All Things Food.  Andrea lives on a large fruit and vegetable farm in Oregon with her husband and their three adorable kids,  She and the kids grow some beautiful produce in their backyard garden, and she loves good food without a lot of fuss.  Because, obviously she is extremely busy, but still wants to feed her family well. 

Quite a few of Andrea's recipes caught my eye.  Here are just a few:

When I saw these skillet potatoes, I knew I had to try them.   There is just something about the combination of mushrooms and spinach that I am a bit addicted to, and these just looked so good.  The only thing I changed about this recipe was to add an onion, because everything needs an onion!  But really, I think these potatoes would be wonderful with or without the onion.

Amazing Skillet Potatoes
adapted from Adventures in All Things Food

  • olive oil
  • 4 russet potatoes, cubed (pre-cooked and chilled overnight)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 T butter
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 grated cheddar cheese
  1.  Heat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Drizzle some olive oil into skillet and saute onions and mushrooms until tender and starting to brown.  Add spinach and allow to wilt.  Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Drizzle a little more olive oil in skillet and add cold cubed potatoes to skillet.  Allow potatoes to brown on the bottom and then add the butter.  When butter starts to melt, turn potatoes and allow them to crisp up on the other side.  Once they are nice and golden, stir the mushroom mixture back in.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Turn the heat off; sprinkle cheddar on top, and cover with a lid until the cheese melts.  Serve immediately.

I've often relied on fried potatoes as an easy dinner when I don't know what else to fix.  Heat some oil in a pan and toss in some potatoes, onions, and sometimes peppers, and you've got a yummy and satisfying meal.  These particular potatoes don't quite work that way.  Oh, they're definitely yummy and satisfying, and they are awesome for dinner.  But they do take a little planning ahead because the potatoes need to be cooked ahead and refrigerated, so when they go into the skillet all they really need to do is warm and brown instead of cook completely.  That extra step is most definitely worth it.  The flavor is wonderful.

And when I added the butter to the skillet?  Over the top, heavenly smells in my kitchen!  These potatoes were just wonderful.  Even after I was stuffed from eating so much, I just could not stop picking individual pieces of potato out of the skillet and eating them.  So good.  And then the leftovers?  Just as good.  I heated them up and then scrambled some eggs with them, and added some additional cheese to the top.  They were perfect!

I will definitely be making these again.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Sourdough Chocolate Cake w/ Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting

I've made bread and coffee cakes and pancakes with my sourdough starter, but until now I've never made a chocolate cake.  Did you know there was such a thing as a sourdough chocolate cake?  I had never even thought of such a thing until recently when I came across a recipe for one.  I'm not even sure where I saw that recipe so I just did a quick search to find one that sounded good.  And then I read the reviews and adjusted a few things.  Of course.

Let me just say that I love this cake!  It's dark and dense and not too sweet and may just be my favorite chocolate cake ever.  Just, so good.

Sourdough Chocolate Cake
adapted from allrecipes

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (or soured milk)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1-1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 to 2 tsp. instant coffee powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  1. Mix sourdough starter, buttermilk, and 1 cup flour together.  Let sit several hours or overnight, until bubbly.
  2. When ready to mix and bake cake, preheat oven to 350°.  Generously grease 13x9" baking dish.
  3. In large bowl, cream butter, oil, and sugar with electric mixer.  Add cocoa and instant coffee and mix well.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition then mix in yogurt and vanilla.
  4. Add sourdough mixture and mix well.  Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and then mix into batter.  Beat until smooth.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool before frosting. (see recipe below)

 Since I was making this cake to take for a potluck, I also made a couple cupcakes so we could taste it.  I figured that would be better than taking a cake with a couple pieces already taken out.  Though, judging from some of the other desserts, it's a perfectly acceptable and expected practice to get into your dessert before bringing it to the potluck.   But the cupcakes were perfect.

There was still plenty of batter for the cake. This recipe makes a lot of batter; be sure to use a large bowl to mix it.  It will be full.

Some of the reviewers on the original recipe page mentioned a cream cheese frosting on this cake.  Since I added the instant coffee powder to the cake, I decided to add some to my frosting too.  It turned out really yummy.

Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting
from Perfectly Sprinkled

  • 4 T butter, softened
  • 4 T cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 to 1-1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  1. Mix butter and cream cheese together and then add instant coffee.  Allow mixture to sit for several minutes and then mix again to incorporate coffee.  Stir in vanilla.
  2. Add powdered sugar a bit at a time, mixing well until frosting reaches desired consistency.  Spread over cooled cake.

For best results, store this cake in the refrigerator.  I learned that from the reviews, too.  I don't know if it's because it tastes better, or if it's just to make it last longer because it will be harder to get into.  Either way, this cake will not last long.  It's just that good.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Roasted Potatoes with Thyme

I found this recipe several years ago in my Vegetarian Times cookbook.  It's hardly an actual recipe, because all you do is toss some potatoes with olive oil, add some salt & pepper and fresh thyme, and bake.  What could be simpler?

But, of course, simple does not mean boring, and these potatoes are really really good.  We all love them, and they are a Passover tradition around here.  I decided the menu needed simplified years ago.  We have leg of lamb, these potatoes, peas, and unleavened bread.  We might have some pickles and olives and sometimes a salad - depending on who's coming and what they want to bring - but the main meal is just really simple, and it's just perfect that way.

Roasted Potatoes with Thyme
adapted from Vegetarian Times

  • Red Potatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Fresh Thyme
  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Toss potatoes and olive oil together (1 T oil for each pound of potatoes) in baking dish
  3. Add salt and pepper and then top with sprigs of fresh thyme (about 8 sprigs per pound of potatoes)
  4. Cover baking dish and bake potatoes for 45 minutes (or longer), giving the dish a shake a couple times during baking.
  5. Cool slightly and serve.

The small red potatoes are best, but if you use bigger ones they'll still taste good.  They may just take longer to bake, and you will probably want to cut them in half to serve.  The oven temperature can be adjusted.  For instance, I bake the lamb at 325°, and I just bake the potatoes right alongside it.  And, the longer these bake, the better they seem to get.  The potatoes almost melt in your mouth, and they're really good mashed slightly with a fork and drizzled with some of the flavored oil from the bottom of the pan.

I could not find this actual recipe on the Vegetarian Times site when I searched, but I did find a couple more recipes that look pretty good - these Salt & Vinegar Roasted Potatoes and these Garlicky Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Black Pepper Chicken Curry

It's time again for Secret Recipe Club reveal!  My secret blog assignment this month was Bewitching Kitchen written by the lovely Sally.  While she grew up in Brazil and has lived in some exotic places like Paris, she's now settled in the middle of Kansas where she and her husband both work in the Biochemistry Department of Kansas State University.  Sally, along with several other bloggers, was recently featured on the Secret Recipe Club blog as a Gold Member. She is kind of infamous in the Secret Recipe Club, where she and her 'friend' Dorothy are constantly competing with one another to see who can find the perfect recipe, shop for, cook, photograph, and write her blog post first every month when they get their SRC assignments.  It's always fun to see their comments.

Unlike Sally, I do not choose a recipe quickly.  This month I get to blame it all on her!  So many amazing-looking, mouthwatering recipes!  If you have not checked Bewitching Kitchen out, you simply must!  Sally has only recently joined Group A, so this is my first time browsing through her blog, but I can assure you, it will not be the last.  Not by a long shot!

The first recipe that caught my eye was for these Quinoa and Sweet Potato Cakes, but then I noticed they were a previous SRC post so I had to continue looking.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to be making some of these soon, just not for this post.

Here are a few of the recipes that made the short list:

In the end, I did go with the Black Pepper Chicken Curry, and I'm so glad I did.  It was wonderful!

Black Pepper Chicken Curry
adapted from Bewitching Kitchen

  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1-3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1-1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced Serrano chile
  • 1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cashews, divided
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • fresh parsley, minced
  1. In a bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, peppercorns, turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Add the chicken and 2 T of the oil; mix with the spices until all chicken is coated. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. (or, if preparing ahead of time, refrigerate.  Then pull it out and allow to sit at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes before cooking.)
  2. Meanwhile, place 1/4 cup of cashews in a small food processor and process, not too fine. Reserve.
  3. In a large deep nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 T of oil. Add the diced shallot and saute for a few minutes, until translucent.  Add the chicken, ginger, Serrano chile and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is golden, about 8 minutes. No need to cook through.
  4. Stir in 1/4 cup of the coconut milk, the water, and the processed cashews, Cover the pan and simmer until cooked to your liking (about 30 minutes).
  5. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of coconut milk, the lemon juice and the fresh parsley to the chicken and simmer, stirring. Serve with rice and the rest of the cashews.

The only thing we wanted was more of the yummy sauce to go with our chicken.  The flavors are absolutely amazing.  Sally cooks hers in a pressure cooker, and it looks a bit juicier, so I'm either going to have to start using a pressure cooker - though I'm a bit scared of the whole thing - or perhaps use a bit more coconut milk and water to get more sauce.  Because, of course, I am going to be making this one again.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Southwestern Turkey and Hash Brown Casserole

I was searching for a recipe for "Turkey Breakfast Casserole" on Pinterest, because I had some cooked turkey in the fridge, and I was looking for a good way to use it for dinner.  Makes sense, right?  But I just wasn't finding anything interesting by just looking for a turkey casserole.

Anyway, I'm not sure why this particular recipe came up because it had absolutely no turkey in it, but it sounded really good so I went with it.  I just substituted my turkey for the sausage in the original recipe, added some corn, and used roasted red pepper instead of the diced green chilies.  It's pretty much the same...

Southwestern Turkey and Hash Brown Casserole
adapted from Julia's Album

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 a bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced roasted red pepper
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups diced cooked turkey
  • 1 tsp chili powder, divided
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 3 cups frozen hash browns 
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz), drained
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.  Generously butter a 13x9" baking dish.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet; add chopped onions and cook on medium heat 2-3 minutes. Add chopped pepper and cook until onion is translucent, stirring often. Add roasted red pepper, turkey, and half the spices (1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt) and cook until fragrant.  Add hash browns, corn, and  black beans; mix well.  Turn off heat.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and the remaining spices (1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt - and a dash of black pepper).
  4. Mix 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and the shredded mozzarella cheese into the hash brown mixture.  Cheese will start to melt.
  5. Spoon half of hash brown mixture into prepared baking dish and pour half of egg mixture on top.  Repeat with remaining hash brown mixture and then egg mixture.  Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar on top.
  6. Bake, uncovered for about 40-45 minutes, until eggs are set and casserole is nicely browned. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

This turned out really well.  It's good either just the way it is, or with some salsa and sour cream on top.  I love the browned edges.  And the flavors are all really good together.

I thought about adding some crushed tortilla chips to the mix, but since I was planning to serve this with some cornbread muffins, I decided to skip the chips. I also think a green salad would be great with this, but we'd just finished our salad for lunch, and I didn't feel like making another one.  So we had peas instead.  I think it just needs something green to go with it.  Of course, I think that about a lot of things.  Every meals deserves some green.

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