bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Friday, October 31, 2014

White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

I found this recipe on Pinterest a while back and finally got the chance to make them today.  They are as good as I thought they'd be.  I especially love the tartness of the cranberries against the sweetness of the rest of the cookies.


White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from two twenty one

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 cups quick oats
  • 3/4 cups dried cranberries
  • 1-1/4 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In mixing bowl, cream butter with sugars; mix in egg and vanilla.
  3. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together and stir in.
  4. Fold in oats, cranberries, white chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans.
  5. Roll into 1" balls and place on cookie sheet.  Flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass or measuring cup dipped in sugar.
  6. Bake 12-14 minutes or until cookies are set and starting to brown.  Cool on a wire rack.

I mixed these up by hand, but the original recipe called for using an electric mixer. Either way works.  Just be sure your butter is really soft if you're mixing by hand.  When it's time to add the cranberries and white chocolate chips, etc., you'll want to mix those in by hand.

I added the coconut and pecans to the recipe, because they just sounded good with all the other ingredients.  I also flattened the cookies slightly before baking them because I just rolled the first pan I baked, and they didn't really spread out.  Even flattened, they don't spread out much, but that's OK - they're good!  I'll definitely make these again.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Shish Tawook Chicken with Rice

It's time again for Secret Recipe Club reveal!  My secret blog assignment this month was Sawsan's blog Chef in Disguise.  Sawsan lives in the Middle East, and her blog focuses on easy and authentic middle eastern, Levantine and Arabic recipes, as well as sharing exactly what it's like to be a woman in the Middle East.  This is one blog I am going to have to read thoroughly and visit often!

I love the description of middle eastern cuisine - "middle eastern cuisine is rich in healthy recipes that focus on fruits, vegetables, spices and making the best out of seasonal and fresh ingredients."  Sounds perfect to me!  Sawsan calls herself a 'food explorer' so her blog also contains recipes from around the world, many of them from her participation in SRC as well as a couple other recipe groups, but I really wanted to try one of her authentic middle eastern recipes.


Here are some that caught my eye:
In the end, I chose this recipe which Sawsan claims "is better than the shish tawook you get at the best middle eastern restaurant."  Never having it anywhere, I am going to have to take her word for it.  She must be right, because this chicken is amazing!!  Amazing.


We liked it so much I had to make it twice!  My husband says that this recipe needs to go into the regular rotation.  Not that I have an actual rotation, but there are certain recipes that I tend to make on a fairly regular basis.  And this will definitely be one of those.

Shish Tawook Chicken
from Chef in Disguise

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. skin-less boneless chicken cut into cubes or strips (I used thighs)
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 2 T ketchup
  • 1 T mustard
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T plain yogurt
  • salt
  • pepper
Directions:
  1. Mix the marinade and add chicken, making sure to coat all the pieces. Marinate at least a half hour, preferably longer.  Note: mix this up in the morning, let it marinate all day, and it's ready to cook for dinner.  It can also be marinated overnight.
  2. When you're ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through.  (You know it’s done by trying to divide a piece with a spoon..if you do it easily…it’s ready)
  3. Alternately, you can skewer the chicken and grill in the oven or on a grill.

Right before you're ready to cook the chicken, start the rice.  I used only half the onion, pepper, and tomato that the original recipe called for - because that's what I had.  You can use more if you like.

Mexican Rice

Ingredients:
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion finely diced
  •  1/2 green pepper chopped
  • 1 large Roma tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
Directions:
  1. Saute chopped onion in olive oil. When onion starts to soften, add the pepper and saute for an additional 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato and spices; cook and stir for 5 minutes.
  3. Add rice and water. Bring to a boil; lower the heat, cover, and cook till the rice soaks up all the liquid, 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let sit while you cook the chicken.  Fluff before serving.


This rice is amazingly good all by itself.  It might even be good enough to eat cold. With your fingers.  Just saying.  Even better is when you pile some of this chicken on top and plop some Middle Eastern garlic sauce “Toum” on top.  Yes, I had to make some of that, too.  So good!

We had a few leftovers the second time I made this, so I heated the rice and chicken together, and then we had it wrapped up in tortillas.  Pita probably would have been more appropriate, but I didn't have any. The tortillas were pretty good, though!



Thursday, October 2, 2014

Easy Peach Frozen Yogurt

I saw this recipe on Pinterest, and it looked super simple and good, so I just had to try it.  Frozen yogurt made from a just a few ingredients in a food processor.  Why not?

So I tried it, but the original recipe was more peach than yogurt.  While it was good, it wasn't exactly what I was expecting - so I tried again.  I think the result is pretty good.


Easy Peach Frozen Yogurt
adapted from Just a Taste

Ingredients:
  • 1 16-oz. bag frozen peaches (or 4 cups fresh peaches, frozen)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3 T honey
  • 1-1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
Directions:
  1. Put all ingredients into food processor and process until creamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Serve immediately or transfer to airtight container and store in the freezer.


I also stirred mine every hour or so once I transferred it to the freezer, though I don't know how necessary that was.  In the end, it freezes pretty solid so you'll want to let it sit out for a few minutes before you serve it up.  If you want smooth, creamy frozen yogurt like you'd get at the Frozen Yogurt place, serve it up and let it sit a bit longer, and then stir it to get the creamy consistency you want.  (or start eating it - slowly - and enjoy it both ways)


You get a nice cool treat without a lot of sugar, only healthy ingredients you don't have to feel guilty about.  What could be better?

I'm thinking strawberries would make some good frozen yogurt, too.  What fruit would you use?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken

We had this for dinner recently. I don't really know where the recipe came from in the first place.  It's one I have typed up in my recipe book, and I've had it for a while. 


Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken
Serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 carrot, sliced diagonally
  • 1 package (10 oz.) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. Angel Hair pasta
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Directions:
  1. Begin heating pasta water.  Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat; add chicken.  Cook, stirring until chicken is almost cooked through.
  2. Add carrot to skillet and cook for a couple minutes, then add garlic and broccoli and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until vegetables are crisp tender and chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Add chicken broth, basil, and Parmesan to skillet.  Stir to combine, reduce heat, and simmer while pasta cooks.
  4. Before draining pasta, add a ladle of your pasta water to the skillet and set aside 2 or 3 ladles for later.  Drain pasta and add drained pasta to chicken and vegetable mixture in the skillet.  Stir to combine and heat for a few minutes on low.
  5. Serve with additional Parmesan and fresh ground black pepper.
-- add your reserved pasta water to any leftovers before refrigerating.

I really should make this more often.  It's quite simple to make and very good. There are only 2 of us, so we had leftovers, and we enjoyed those, too! 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Root Beer Freeze


It's time again for Secret Recipe Club reveal!  My secret blog assignment this month was Meghan's blog Cupcakes with Sprinkles.  With a blog name like that, you'd think there would be plenty of cupcake recipes, as well as other desserts - and you'd be right!  There are tons of dessert recipes to choose from.  Oh yes, Meghan has a huge sweet tooth! She's definitely a dessert before dinner kinda gal.  Besides cooking and baking, Meghan likes to quilt, sew, scrapbook, and decorate her house - and she's got three adorable children to keep up with!

One of the sweet recipes that caught my eye turned out to be my recipe from the time Meghan had my blog for SRC. I should probably make those again soon, but not today.

Here are just a few of Meghan's recipes I want to try:
See, not all sweets, but when I saw this recipe for Root Beer Freeze, I knew I had to try it. It seems Summer has finally decided to get hot, and this looked like the perfect cool treat


Root Beer Freeze
from Cupcakes with Sprinkles

Ingredients:
  • 4 1/4 cups (1 liter) Root Beer
  • 1- 14oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
Directions:
  1. Pour chilled root beer and sweetened condensed milk into a large bowl and stir until combined.
  2. To freeze:
    either pour it into your ice cream maker and follow the instructions for your ice cream maker,
    or
    if you don't have an ice cream maker, pour it into a 9x13 pan and freeze for an hour. Break into pieces and blend until smooth. Return to the pan and freeze until firm.

Such a simple and delicious treat!  If you like root beer floats, you will love this.  It tastes just like a root beer float, and the entire thing is the best part - the icy bits!  My husband and I liked this so much I made it twice.  I mean, I did buy a 2-liter bottle of root beer.  What else was I gonna do with the other half?


For an adults only version: pour some Baileys Irish Cream over the top.  Oh, yum!  It's like a creamy, icy, frozen version of a Baileys Harbor, the drink our son introduced us to a few summers ago.  It's just root beer and Bailey's over ice, and it's really good.   But this is better!





Friday, August 8, 2014

Chile Lime Salmon Tacos

I pinned this several week ago because these tacos just looked so good.  Seriously - yum!

Mine didn't turn out looking nearly as nice as the ones in the picture, but they were definitely yummy.  And easy.  Gotta love an easy recipe that is also delicious.  I will definitely make these again.


Chile Lime Salmon Tacos
from BumbleBee

Ingredients:
  • 1 can (14.75 oz) Salmon, drained and flaked (remove skin & bones as desired)
  • Juice of 1 fresh lime
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning (or chile powder)
  • salt to taste
  • 8 soft corn tortillas or small flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Sliced green onions
  • White Sauce
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1 tablespoon hot sauce
Directions:
  1. Sauté salmon with lime juice and taco seasoning to warm through, about 2 minutes.  Add salt to taste.
  2. Meanwhile, combine sour cream and hot sauce; stir well.
  3. Fill warm tortillas with salmon mixture; top with cabbage, cilantro and green onions. Serve with your favorite salsa and the white sauce.

The original recipe said that the white sauce was optional, but don't skip it.  It really adds to the texture and flavor of the tacos.  I suppose you could use plain sour cream, but the hot sauce just gives it a little kick.  You could also probably stir about half a teaspoon or so of your taco seasoning or chile powder - whichever you use - into the sour cream for the sauce.


I used taco seasoning for my tacos, but I'm going to try the chile powder next time, just to see which one we like best.  Did I mention that these are super easy?  And super yummy? 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Blueberry Peach Buckle

Secret Recipe Club

It's time again for Secret Recipe Club reveal!  My secret blog assignment this month was Anna's blog Cheese with Noodles.  I always love meeting someone who shares my name!  I'm noticing more Annas recently, but when I was growing up, it felt like I was the only one.

Anna lives in Alaska with her husband and pets, and we share a love of reading, gardening, and of course cooking.  She's much more crafty than I am, though.  I am completely challenged when it comes to stuff like that.

As with all Secret Recipe Club assignments, I had a hard time picking a recipe.  There were so many to choose from, and they all looked good!  Here are just a few that caught my eye:
But, I had some blueberries in the fridge, and since I don't buy blueberries very often, I don't really know what to do with them.  So, I checked to see if Anna had any blueberry recipes on her blog and found this one.  Who can resist making something called a Buckle?  I don't know who names these things, but doesn't it sound fun?  (OK, so I looked it up -Buckle or Crumble - Is a type of cake made in a single layer with berries added to the batter. It is usually made with blueberries. The topping is similar to a streusel, which gives it a buckled or crumpled appearance.)


While I was looking at the recipe, one of my facebook friends posted something about a blueberry peach crisp, and I decided to add some peaches to the recipe.  It sounded like a wonderful combination!

Blueberry Peach Buckle
from Cheese with Noodles

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 C butter, softened
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 2 C flour (I used 1/2 white whole wheat)
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 C blueberries, fresh or frozen (thawed if frozen)
  • 2 peaches, peeled and diced
Topping:
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 C cold butter, cut into small pieces
Directions:
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg, beating well.  Stir in vanilla and milk.
  2. Mix dry ingredients and stir in.  Fold in blueberries and peaches.
  3. Spread batter into greased 9" x 9" pan. (will be very thick)
  4. To make topping, stir together sugar, flour and cinnamon and then cut in cold butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles course crumbs.  Spread evenly over batter. 
  5. Bake 40-45 minutes in 375° F oven or until topping is browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.


This stuff is so good!  We ate it all weekend for breakfast.  It's fruit, right?  My husband and I both enjoyed it very much.  The cake is nice and moist with a really good flavor.  Besides adding the peaches, I cut the sugar down a little bit and added some vanilla to the cake.  The star of this cake is definitely the blueberries - lots and lots of blueberries!  The peaches really do complement them very well. 


This recipe is definitely a keeper.  From now on, when I buy blueberries, I'm making this!



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