bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Eggs Jeannette

Today I join Fantastical Food Fight, where every month a theme or ingredient is chosen, and we all choose a recipe - from a cookbook, blog, or our imaginations - and we all share.  Which recipe will come out on top?  It will be fun to find out!

This month's theme is Deviled Eggs.  Now, I've made a lot of deviled eggs in my life. We had chickens when I was growing up, so we always had plenty of eggs, and when we had a church potluck, I usually made some deviled eggs. Strangely enough, I never actually cared for deviled eggs all that much. I mean, they were OK, but nothing special. I wasn't even sure I was going to participate in this month's Fight, until I saw a segment on the Rachael Ray show where they made these eggs. I was definitely intrigued and knew I'd found the recipe.

Eggs Jeannette
Jacques Pepin’s Oeufs Jeannette as seen on the Rachael Ray Show

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 to 3 T milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • For the Dressing:
    * 2 to 3 T reserved egg stuffing (from above)
    * 4 T virgin olive oil
    * 1 T Dijon-style mustard
    * 2 to 3 T water
    * Dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a gentle boil; turn off heat, cover pan, and let sit for 13 minutes. (Optional - add 1/2 tsp. baking soda to water before covering.) Drain off the water; fill saucepan with cold water, and let the eggs cool until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.  Replace cold water as needed.
  2. Shell the eggs and split them lengthwise. Remove the yolks carefully, and mash them in a bowl with the garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.  Add milk and mix until desired consistency. Spoon the mixture back into the hollows of the egg whites, reserving 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling to use in the dressing. 
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet and place the eggs stuffed-side down in the skillet. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until the eggs are beautifully browned on the stuffed side. Remove and arrange, stuffed-side up, on a platter or dish.
  4. For the dressing: Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk or a spoon until well-combined. Coat the warm eggs with the dressing, garnish with parsley if desired, and serve lukewarm

These aren't exactly potluck fare, but they were egg-cellent for lunch with a tossed salad.  I really enjoyed the simplicity of the filling - egg yolks, garlic, parsley, a little milk, and salt & pepper.  The flavor is really nice, and the creamy dressing adds just the right touch.

If they taste like this, I may just decide I like deviled eggs.  The only thing I changed from the original recipe was to use large eggs instead of jumbo, since that's what I had.  I just cooked a couple extra to have about the same amount of egg and yolk.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Easy Pepper Steak

The bell peppers in my garden did really well this year.  It's finally supposed to freeze tonight, so I pulled the rest of the peppers out of the garden this week.  So now I need to use peppers for everything!

So when I picked up some marked down steaks at the store - don't ask me what kind; I don't remember - I figured pepper steak would be just the thing.  Easy pepper steak is even better.

Easy Pepper Steak
adapted from Gimme Some Oven

  • Marinade:
    * 1/4 cup soy sauce
    * 1/3 cup water
    * 2 T  white wine vinegar
    * 1 T corn starch
    * 1/4 tsp. black pepper
    * 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 lb. thinly sliced steak, cut diagonally across the grain into thin strips
  • olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  1. Mix all marinade ingredients in medium bowl. Add the sliced steak and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Heat large pan over medium high heat; add a little olive oil. Remove steak from the marinade with a slotted spoon (reserving the marinade) and saute about 2-3 minutes until browned, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add onions, peppers, and garlic; saute until onions start to soften (about 3 minutes), stirring occasionally.  Add reserved marinade and cook for a minute or two, until thickened.
  4. Serve immediately with rice.

This really is an easy recipe.  I changed it up a little and just cooked everything together.  Who has time for cooking the vegetables, removing them from the pan, and then cooking the meat - only to put everything back into the same pan in the end?  Not me!  OK, maybe it would make a difference, and maybe some day I'll try it just to see.  Maybe.

I will definitely be making this again.  Next time I think I'll add a few more veggies.  You can never have too many veggies!  I'd especially like to add a bit more color, but the peppers were what I had, and the peppers were all green.  Next time maybe some red.  And some carrots for the orange.  And... whatever veggies happen to be in the fridge.  Isn't that how it's supposed to work?

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Apple Chocolate Chip Cake

It's time again for Secret Recipe Club reveal!  Sadly, this is also also the final SRC reveal for Group A. The Secret Recipe Club is coming to an end.  Started back in April 2011, SRC and has had a wonderful five and a half year run and connected hundreds of bloggers throughout the world with our love of food and support of our fellow bloggers. My first SRC post was in February 2013, and I've loved all the new bloggers I've met and recipes I've tried. I know we're all going to miss it.

My final secret blog assignment is Mother Would Know with the tag-line Home Cooking Beats Take-Out - which I whole-heartedly agree with.  Written by Laura, it's a great blog full of mouth-watering recipes and helpful kitchen tips.  While Laura has no 'real' cooking credentials, she began cooking in college, and she's got plenty of experience in the kitchen. She's always willing to offer help and advice - the kind of cooking questions you would love to ask your mother, but these answers come from a guaranteed 'no nagging zone' where you won't be asked about your love life or your job prospects.  So, like Laura says -'whether you already cook reasonably well, have a few simple meals you can prepare or just have the feeling that you had better learn how to cook before your take-out bill ruins your credit rating' - Mother Would Know is the place for you.  (for the record, my daughter uses my blog as her cookbook, and both my kids call me with their cooking questions, but not everyone can do that, so it's great that Laura offers such help)

I browsed through Laura's blog and find several recipes I definitely want to try. Sweet & Sour Brisket, Rhubarb, Apple, Pear Crisp, and Java Chip Ice Cream were just a few of them.

I wish more of the chocolate chips showed in this piece, but believe me,
they were there.  This cake has long since been devoured!
When I saw this apple cake recipe I knew I had to try it - just a touch of sweetness, studded with apple chunks and chocolate - why have I never thought to use chocolate chips in apple cake?  I also really want to try this Bundt Pan Apple Cake Laura mentions in the post, but first, the Apple Chocolate Chip Cake.

Apple Chocolate Chip Cake
from Mother Would Know

  • 4 cups peeled, chopped apples
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Cut the apples and mix them with the sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl; let them stand for at least 15 minutes, giving the apple chunks time to absorb the sugar.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan and set it aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix (or whisk) together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. After the 15 minute 'rest' for the apple/sugar mixture, lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl and add the oil and eggs to the apples. (I used the glass measuring cup I measured my apples in to beat the eggs - using the whisk I mixed my flour with - and to measure the oil)
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the apple, sugar, oil and egg mixture in 3 additions, mixing thoroughly after each addition. The batter will be very stiff. 
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips and then spoon the batter into the greased baking pan. Even it out with the spatula or the back of the spoon.
  7. Bake approximately 40-45 minutes, until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

The only thing I changed about this recipe was to cut down the sugar from 1-1/2 cups to 1 cup, and to mix the cinnamon in with the apples and sugar instead of whisking it with the flour.  That last part probably didn't make a huge difference, but I think cutting the sugar down worked out really well because this cake was still plenty sweet.

My husband and I just had to try it the same day I made it.  It smelled so good!  And it was really good that first evening, but this cake gets even better after sitting overnight.  It's dense and moist, and absolutely delicious.  I took it to church to share on Sabbath, and we barely made it home with another piece for each of us.  Everyone seemed to really like it.  I will definitely be making this one again.  And again.

Monday, October 31, 2016

This is Some Good Coleslaw

I made this coleslaw a while back, and we really liked it.  The original recipe comes from Chick-fil-A, and if I hadn't changed it, it would taste just like the kind you used to be able to get there.  Or so it says.  I never had it, so I can't say for sure.  I've never even been to a Chick-fil-A.  It was the dry mustard in the recipe that caught my eye.

Then things got really busy, and then we were away from home for a week and a half - and now that I sit down to type up this recipe so I don't forget (because I will be making this again), I'm hoping that I haven't already forgotten.  Mainly I'm questioning whether I cut the sugar down or not, since the original recipe says it's not too sweet - but since what I usually don't like about coleslaw is that it is too sweet, I'm pretty sure I cut the sugar in half, so I'm going with that.  If you like your coleslaw sweet, feel free to use 1/4 cup sugar; it just won't be as good - IMO.  I also shredded my own cabbage, added a carrot (or two), and some green onions. Oh, and black pepper because coleslaw always needs black pepper.

This is Some Good Coleslaw
adapted from shugary sweets

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 T granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 or 2 carrots, shredded
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, salt, and pepper until smooth.
  2. Add in shredded cabbage, carrot, and green onions and stir together until until completely coated. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Spiced Squash Muffins

It's time again for Secret Recipe Club reveal!  My secret blog assignment this month is Burnt Apple.  The name of the blog makes me think of this Cinnamon Apple Dutch Baby I made for a previous SRC post - slightly darker than it should have been but still yummy.  However, on this blog, the term refers to recipe fails, where it all started.  And who hasn't had a good recipe fail?  But since that first brick muffin that went through a wall, the busy cook behind Burnt Apple has come a long way - from someone who could not cook to save her life to "master recipe manipulator", adapting favorite recipes and the fun foods kids want to eat to make them more healthy - all using regular ingredients and even possible on a strict budget.

Traci works, goes to school, has three kids to keep up with, and still somehow finds time to make some yummy (and usually healthy) food and share her recipes.  Her blog focuses on healthy, budget friendly and delicious recipes, with just enough sweet treats thrown in for good measure. (She had a bit of a deprived childhood, so there's some making up to be done.) I especially love the Burnt Apple recipe index which clearly indicates the recipes that have been adapted and offer variations for different dietary needs.

Suddenly it's October, and the weather is beginning to cool down so of course it's time for recipes that say Fall.   There are plenty of apple recipes, lots of pumpkin recipes - she's kind of obsessed with pumpkin this time of year - and she's a big fan of anything with cranberries (me, too!), so if you're looking for recipes that scream Fall, be sure to check out Burnt Apple.

Of course, there are lots of amazing sounding recipes for all the other seasons, too.  Here's my short list of recipes to try:

Spiced Squash Muffins
from Burnt Apple

  • Topping:
    * 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    * 2 T oats
    * 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    * 2 T cold butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Lightly grease muffin tin.  (12-15 muffins)
  2. In a small bowl mix together the topping ingredients until crumbly. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix together the yogurt and sugar until smooth. Stir in the eggs and butternut squash and mix until smooth; add milk.
  4. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Stir into wet ingredients, mixing just until combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 2/3 of the way full. Sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of topping over the top of each muffin.
  6. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to sit for five minutes in the muffin tins before moving to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

Measure flour and the rest of the dry ingredients on top of wet ingredients,
then lightly mix them together before stirring them in.
These are the perfect muffins for Fall! (They most definitely are not bricks.)  All those spices are so perfect, and that topping is to die for.  It was hard not just nibbling that off the top of all the muffins when they came out of the oven.  I kind of overfilled my muffin tins - the recipe said 12 muffins, so I made my batter all fit - so the muffins overflowed a bit and there were bits of topping to be picked off the muffin tins once I took the muffins out of them.  It's a tough job...

I would suggest greasing the cups for 12 muffins and having another smaller muffin tin standing by and just grease the cups you may need based on the amount of batter and how it fits.  These are just a bit too full...

Store any leftover muffins in the refrigerator because they are very moist, and then just heat them up in the toaster oven for about 5 minutes (or 15-30 seconds in the microwave if you use one) to enjoy.  And since they're healthy, it's OK to have more than one!  Right?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Onion Soup Mix

I like to use onion soup mix when I cook a roast, and I added it to my Slow Cooker Pepperoncini Beef for a bit of extra flavor.  When talking to a friend about that beef recipe, I mentioned that I had made my own onion soup mix, and she asked if I could share the recipe.  I had been meaning to post it so that I always have access to the recipe - I currently have it written on a piece of paper, but if the paper ever gets lost I might be in trouble.

So, it's time to share the recipe, for me and for any of my friends who might want to mix some up for themselves. 

Homemade Onion Soup Mix
from Heavenly Homemakers

  • 2/3 cup dried, minced onion
  • 3 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • 1tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  1. Measure all ingredients into a jar; cover and shake until well mixed.  (for best results, shake the jar before each use)
  2. 4 Tablespoons Onion Soup Mix = 1 packet of  store bought onion soup mix. (adjust amount of mix to your own tastes)
  3. Store in a dry, cool place.

That's it.  It's really simple and uses ingredients you probably already have in your spice cabinet.  I did have to buy the minced onion because I was out, but that's a handy ingredient to have on hand so it was time to get some of that anyway.  The original recipe listed turmeric as an optional ingredient, but I've started putting that in pretty much everything, even my morning coffee, so I consider it a necessary part of the recipe.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Lentil and Potato Salad

It's time again for Secret Recipe Club reveal!  My secret blog assignment this month is The Wimpy Vegetarian.  Susan is a mostly vegetarian (hence the 'wimpy') married to a meat-loving man.  Sounds like quite a challenge, doesn't it?  Susan has met that challenge head on, finding healthy ways to pump up the flavors of her vegetarian dishes and making things tasty and interesting enough that her husband began eating more of her vegetarian 'horse food' - alongside his meat - and even going back for seconds.

Susan and her husband are again able to enjoy meals together, and for the rest of us, The Wimpy Vegetarian is a wonderful resource for anyone who is looking to eat more vegetarian and meat free meals, with great tips and ideas on how to adjust those meals so that even the meat eaters are happy.  There were so many recipes that caught my eye, as I'm sure you'll see when you check out Susan's blog for yourself!  Here are just a few:

When I saw the recipe for this salad, I just knew it was the one.  I had never thought to use lentils in a salad, though I love them in soup, so I was definitely intrigued.  I also had a potluck to prepare for and thought this would be good for that because it's a great make-ahead dish that gets better as the flavors have time to blend.

Lentil and Potato Salad
from the Wimpy Vegetarian

  • 1 cup lentils
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 seeded jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 2 medium tomatoes,diced
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  1. Cook lentils according to package directions, just until tender (15-20 minutes). Drain and cool.
  2. Cook potatoes until tender.  Cool and dice. 
  3. Mix lentils, potatoes, onions, jalapeno, celery, and parsley in large bowl.
  4. Whisk together the vinegar, oil and seasonings for the vinaigrette; toss together with salad.
  5. Add diced tomatoes and toss gently.  Serve immediately or refrigerate to serve later.  Toss gently before serving as the vinaigrette tends to settle to the bottom.
Makes approximately 10 cups

Susan indicated that her recipe would serve 2 (I'm guessing as a vegetarian main dish), so I doubled everything, needing enough to take to the potluck and share.  It made a very nice sized salad, and I even had leftovers to bring home, so I was able to enjoy it with my lunch several days the rest of the week.  Yeah, it made a lot.

This salad turned out quite tasty; I really enjoyed the combination of potatoes and lentils. It is very good on its own or as an accompaniment.  Susan's recipe called for fresh parsley and rosemary, but I settled for dried since that's what I had.  I also used diced tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes, because I am getting tomatoes out of my garden now, and I wanted to use some of those.  Oh, and also used a jalapeno because I'm getting a bunch of those from the garden too.  As always, I think that's the best way to cook - use what you have on hand!

The only thing I think needed adjusted was the salt, so just taste and adjust seasonings according to your own taste.  Susan boiled her potatoes in well salted water (which I only just noticed when I sat down to post the recipe), and I baked mine in my crockpot, so I'm sure that made a bit of a difference.

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