bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

I found this recipe years ago in my favorite cookbook, The Best of Mennonite Fellowship Meals. Everyone but Cory liked it, but it's kind of grown on him so he likes it now. It helps that he likes pineapple, because he didn't used to, and that's the main reason he didn't like this.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs
(called Waikiki Meatballs in the cookbook)
  • 1-1/2 lbs. ground beef, ground turkey (or a combination)
  • 2/3 cup cracker crumbs (20 crackers)
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 20-oz. can pineapple tidbits or chunks
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  1. Thoroughly mix ground meat, cracker crumbs, onion, egg, salt, ginger and milk. Shape into balls, place on baking sheet and bake at 350° until browned.
  2. When meatballs are done, in large skillet combine cornstarch and sugar. Stir in pineapple juice, vinegar and soy sauce until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Add meatballs, pineapple tidbits and green pepper. Heat through.
  3. Serve with steamed rice. We like brown rice and also some chow mein noodles on top.

I usually make the meatballs a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate them. Then, when I'm ready to use them, I just pull them out. Also, by changing the seasonings and adding some garlic and Italian seasoning, these meatballs are great for spaghetti. Oftentimes I'll use half of them for spaghetti and freeze the other half to use another time. Yes, I know you can buy frozen meatballs in the grocery store, but I'm sure these are better, and they cost less too.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sourdough Pancakes

I found the original recipe, and then changed it. Mostly I increased it, added whole wheat flour, and made the batter thicker. The original recipe made some very thin pancakes, and we like ours to have some substance to them. Here's my recipe for sourdough pancakes:

Sourdough Pancakes
  • 1 cup sourdough starter (see recipe)
  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 3 cups whole wheat, 1 cup white flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Combine the starter, flour and water in a large non-reactive bowl. Beat until smooth, place the bowl in a warm place, cover and let it stand until morning. (Be sure to replenish your starter by adding 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup water; let stand until next morning; then refrigerate.)
  2. Next morning, add the sugar, salt, oil, and eggs.
  3. If desired, add the additional flour for a thicker batter. To avoid lumps, sprinkle half the flour on top of your batter, let sit for a few minutes and then slowly stir it in. Repeat until you get the desired consistency.
  4. Dissolve baking soda in 1 tablespoon or so of water and mix into batter.
  5. Heat a lightly greased griddle or skillet over medium heat (375°F - 190°C). Griddle is ready when a few drops of water bubble and skitter rapidly around.
  6. For each pancake, ladle batter onto hot griddle. Cook pancakes until surface is covered with bubbles and pancakes appear dry around the edges. Turn and cook other side until golden brown.

Yum! Serve with syrup and bananas or peaches or whatever fruit you like on your pancakes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Baked Oatmeal

I've been eating oatmeal practically every morning for breakfast. I usually add raisins and sometimes bananas. While my parents like to eat their oats uncooked, and I really like them that way too, there's just something about a warm bowl of oatmeal on a cold winter's morning.

My kids like a good bowl of oatmeal, too, but when I tried this recipe, everyone fell in love with it. It's hard to believe, but when I first started making this I noted in the cookbook to just make 1/2 the recipe. Nowadays they beg me to double it!

Baked Oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup sugar, part brown
  • 1 cup milk

  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  1. Combine oil, eggs and sugar. Add milk. Stir in oatmeal, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Pour into greased 13x9 and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes. Serve with milk.
Source: The Best of Mennonite Fellowship Meals (best cookbook ever!)

I think we'll be having this for breakfast tomorrow.

Turkey Potato Soup

I cooked a turkey this week. The kids complain that when I cook a turkey we have to eat turkey for weeks! It's really not that bad. We do have turkey for a few meals - last night was turkey, some baked sweet potatoes and potatoes drizzled with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, and green beans. Simple but delicious. Today I'll be making this soup. It's a recipe I adapted from a couple other recipes.

Turkey Potato Soup

  • 4 cups peeled, diced potatoes
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 T. dried parsley flakes

  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • 4 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 6 cups scalded milk
  • 4 T. butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey
  1. In large Dutch oven or kettle combine potatoes, onion, carrot, celery, salt, pepper, rosemary and bouillon cubes. Add enough water to just cover vegetables.
  2. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Do not drain.
  3. Scald milk by heating until tiny bubbles form around edges of pan. Remove 1-1/2 cups milk from saucepan. Stir butter and flour into this milk with a wire whisk.
  4. Add remaining milk to vegetables.
  5. Gradually stir thickened milk into kettle until well blended.
  6. Add turkey and simmer 15 minutes on low heat or until heated through.

This is so good! Don't forget the crackers.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

I found this recipe quite a while ago and printed it out, but I never actually made it until last week. I'm really liking it.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 28-can diced tomatoes
  • 4 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or 6 cups freshly cooked)
  • 1 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves, washed and dried
  1. Warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onion, red pepper, garlic, and salt. Saute until soft, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potato and lime zest, and cook 10 to 15 minutes more, continuing to stir occasionally.
  3. Add the tomatoes, black beans, jalapeno, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and cocoa, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Serve over brown rice, if desired, with lime wedges and cilantro, or with corn bread, biscuits, or taco chips alongside.
Serves 6

Adapted from The Great American Detox Diet, by Alex Jamieson (Rodale Press, 2005) and posted at Care2.com

I didn't have a red pepper, so I used about 1/2 cup of frozen chopped green pepper, and I also substituted a hot pepper I had in the freezer for the jalapeno chile pepper. I don't remember exactly what kind of peppers they were.

I used 3 small to medium sweet potatoes and cooked my own black beans. In step 3 I simmered this stew for 45 minutes to an hour because I wanted my sweet potatoes nice and soft. I served it over brown rice with cornbread muffins, and it was yummy! Next I'm thinking about trying this recipe for Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Spiced Zucchini Bars w/ Cranberries

I said I'd post the recipe I used for my partially dried cranberries. Here it is. I found this a while back on a really yummy looking blog - Culinary in the Desert - and then I forgot about it. I found the recipe again the other day, and finally made these. They are amazing! I will be making them again.

zucchini bars

I also added the blog to my blog list, so I won't forget to go back and see what else is cooking over there.

Spiced Zucchini Bars with Cranberries and Pecans
(Adapted from One Smart Cookie)

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°

In a large bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar until creamy. Mix in egg and vanilla - beat until smooth.

In a small bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt.

Add the flour mixture along with the grated zucchini into the butter mixture. Stir just until combined and then gently fold in the dried cranberries and pecans .

Scoop batter into an 8x8" baking dish lightly coated with nonstick spray. Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched near the center, about 25-30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

I'm making cinnamon rolls today. They're great for Sabbath morning! I mentioned the cinnamon rolls on Facebook, which got some people's attention. I was willing to share my cinnamon rolls, but no one is close enough to take me up on my offer. In an effort to entice them more, I posted some pictures. (Yes, I'm mean!)

Because I posted the pictures, my cousin Sandra asked if I'd posted the recipe anywhere. I had - quite a while ago, but since I'm in the process of moving my recipes to this blog, I thought it was time to post it here.

Cinnamon Rolls


For Basic Sweet Dough:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 - 4 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
For Rolls:
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For Icing:
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-4 teaspoons milk
FOR BASIC SWEET DOUGH: Put all ingredients into breadmaker and use the dough setting. When dough is ready, prepare as directed below.

Or, if you don't have a breadmaker or simply enjoy the feel of working with the dough: In a large mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast; set aside. In a saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, butter or margarine, and salt till mixture is warm (120° to 130°) and butter or margarine is almost melted. Add to flour mixture along with eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

FOR ROLLS: Prepare basic sweet dough and let rise once. Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into a 12x8-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter or margarine. In a small mixing bowl stir together granulated sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle onto dough. (I find it is easiest to melt half the butter and mix half the sugar and cinnamon at a time. That way you don't have to guess at how much to use on each rectangle.)

Roll up each rectangle, jelly-roll style, starting from one of the long sides. Pinch seams to seal. Cut each roll into 10 slices. Place slices, cut-side down, in single layer in greased 13x9-inch cake pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place till nearly double (about 30 minutes). (Or, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.)

If dough is chilled, let stand, covered, for 30 minutes at room temperature. Puncture any surface bubbles with a greased wooden toothpick. Bake in a preheated 375° F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or till golden brown.

FOR ICING: In a small mixing bowl stir together powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough milk to make a smooth icing of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over rolls. Serve warm or cool.

These warm up nicely in the microwave - about 15 seconds for a couple rolls.

Recipe from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook

My house smells so good right now! I need to go make the icing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

No Dried Cranberries for Me

Dried CranberriesImage via WikipediaI tried drying cranberries again. This time, I followed the directions I posted here. I poured the boiling water on my cranberries so the skins would pop. Most of them did, but I had to drain them and add more hot water a couple times to get the rest to pop. Then I froze them on a baking sheet for a couple hours, turned my oven on to 350°, put the cranberries into the oven, turned it off and went to bed. The next morning I had - cold cranberries. I don't think they did anything but sit there.

So, I took all the cranberries off the baking sheet and put them into my dehydrator, plugged it in and let them go - way longer than the 16 or 18 hours. Some dried, too much, and got crunchy, but most of them did not or they only partially dried. Good thing I know where to find good dried cranberries, since I'm having no luck drying my own!

So, I gave up and used most of them in a recipe which I will be posting next - so come back for that. And if you're interested in learning why these cranberries are so important to me, you can read my Heads or Tails post.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

As soon as I saw this recipe, I just knew I had to make these:

Pumpkin Oat Muffins


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (stir flour lightly before measuring)
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin (or other brand)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper baking cups.

Combine flour, 1/2 cup oats, nuts, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Beat pumpkin, honey, apple juice, eggs and vegetable oil in medium bowl. Add to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Spoon into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons oats evenly over the tops of the batter.

Bake for 23-27 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Source: MomCooks

I made them today, with a few adjustments. I need to buy honey, so I used 1 cup brown sugar instead of the 1/2 cup honey, and I used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. Also, I don't have pumpkin pie spice, so I substituted the spices for a pumpkin pie, as listed on the can of pumpkin - 1tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, and 1/4 tsp. cloves. I sprinkled the oats on top and added a sprinkling of brown sugar, too.

Next time I want to add raisins. I think raisins would add a lot to these. Also, I'm going to skip the oats on top. Mostly they look pretty but fall off when you move the muffins.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Not All Directions are Created Equal

I recently got a dehydrator and decided to try it out this week. My friend Peggy, who picked the dehydrator up for me, had bought some cranberries that she was going to try drying for me. Since I brought the dehydrator home before she had a chance to dry the cranberries, she sent those, too. So I decided to do the cranberries, and I threw some apples in there too, since the settings were the same. The directions said to wash the cranberries and dry them whole, slice the apples and soak them in lemon juice for 2 minutes before putting them in. Cranberries were supposed to take 18 hours, and apples 23.

Well, the apples got done, but the cranberries didn't. So, I looked it up on the Internet and found this:

Dried Cranberries

Servings: 12 ounces

1 (12 oz.) bag of cranberries
2 quarts boiling water
1/4 cup sugar or corn syrup

In a bowl, pour boiling water over the cranberries or submerge them in a pot of boiling water with the heat turned off. Let them sit in the water until the skin pops. Do not let the berries boil or the flesh will turn mushy. Drain. If desired, coat the berries with either a light corn syrup or granulated sugar. Transfer the berries to a cooking sheet and place them in a freezer for 2 hours. Freezing the berries helps in breaking down the cell structure promoting faster drying. Put the berries on a mesh sheet in the dehydrator and dry for 10 to 16 hours, depending on the make of the dehydrator, until chewy and with no pockets of moisture.

Another method of drying is to turn on the oven for 10 minutes at 350 F. Then place the cranberries on a cookie sheet in the oven, turn off the oven, and let them sit overnight.

Store dried cranberries in the freezer. Keep in mind that dried cranberries can be used in place of raisins in recipes!

Source: Mary Bell 's "Complete Dehydrator Cookbook"

I don't want sugar on my dried cranberries, but the rest of it makes sense. So, I poked all the cranberries and opened them up. They felt like they were about ready to pop, but who knows how long that would have taken. Now I just have to keep an eye on them to see when they're dried, finally.

Also, I should probably see if I can get a dehydrator cookbook from the library, to see what else I can do.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Corn Lover's Veg Stew

Corn Lovers Veg Stew
  • 2-1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash
  • 15-oz can diced peeled tomatoes
  • 1-1/4 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels or 15-1/4 oz can whole kernel corn, drained

  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium green pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
Directions: Comfort Food
In Dutch oven or large saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of broth to a boil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add squash, tomatoes, corn, thyme, salt, pepper and remaining 2 cups broth; stir to blend. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add kidney beans and green pepper and return to a simmer. Cover and simmer until squash and bell pepper are tender, about an hour or so. (The original recipe said cook 10 minutes, until squash and bell pepper are tender but not mushy.  However, I like my squash mushy, so I cook it longer.)  Serve warm. 

I usually eat this one by myself, but that's OK because I love it. It's best if you cook it one day and reheat the next - and it gets better every time you reheat.

I recently found a recipe for Butternut Chicken Stew over at Simple Daily Recipes, and everyone loved that one. Though they're not exactly the same, they are similar. Maybe next time I make this, they'll give it a try.

Update: The recipe for Butternut Chicken Stew has been published in this cookbook - Simple Daily Recipes Reader's Favorite Dinners - along with a lot of other yummy recipes.

African Burritos

This is one of our favorites, Jeffrey's and mine, anyway. The kids aren't all that impressed, but we love the combination of flavors.

I adapted this recipe from a Pillsbury Bake-off recipe.

African Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos
  • 1 T oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 T. chunky peanut butter
  • 1 t. cumin
  • ½ t. cinnamon

  • ¼ t. ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 3 or 4 sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and cut up
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
  • 6 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • ¾ cup thick and chunky salsa or picante sauce
  • 6 T. sour cream

  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • 2 T chopped fresh cilantro

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until tender.
  2. Stir in peanut butter, cumin, cinnamon and ground red pepper; mix well. Add sweet potatoes and beans; mash slightly. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, heat tortillas according to package directions.
  4. To serve, spoon and spread scant 1/2 cup sweet potato mixture across center third of each tortilla. Top each with 2 tablespoons salsa, 1 tablespoon sour cream, 2 teaspoons green onions and 1 teaspoon cilantro; spread to cover sweet potato mixture. Fold sides of each tortilla 1 inch over filling. Fold bottom 1/3 of tortilla over filling; roll again to enclose filling.

Barbecued Bean Salad

OnionsImage via Wikipedia

Barbecued Bean Salad


  • 1 package (16 oz.) dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
In a large kettle, cover beans with water; bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans; return to the kettle. Cover with water again and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Drain and rinse beans; place in a large bowl and cool to room temperature. Add the onion, peppers and corn; toss. In a saucepan, combine all dressing ingredients; simmer for 10 minutes. Pour over vegetables and mix well. Cover and chill.

YIELD: 16-20 servings
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 T. brown sugar
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 5 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

We always had a huge garden when I was growing up, and that included a lot of zucchini. One of our favorite zucchini desserts was this chocolate cake:

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  • 1/2 c. soft butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. sour milk
  • 2-1/2 c. flour
  • 4 T. cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 2 c. finely diced (not shredded) zucchini
  • 1/4 c. (or more) chocolate chips

Cream margarine, oil and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and sour milk. Beat well with mixer. Mix together dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Beat well with mixer. Stir in diced zucchini. Spoon batter into greased and floured 9"x13" pan and sprinkle top with chocolate chips. Bake at 325° for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and dry.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Banana Muffins

One of the favorites at our house. It started one day when Jeffrey brought home a couple bags of (cheap) overripe bananas, and I had to find something to do with them.

Banana Muffins

  • 3-4 large bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips
Blend bananas, sugar and egg together. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Blend well. Stir in margarine and nuts.

Fill paper-lined or greased muffin tins 2/3 full.

Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes.

The original recipe called for the chocolate chips. While I like nuts in these, the rest of the family wants chocolate chips. Also, I usually use at least 1/2 cup whole wheat flour when I make them.

Note: if you have overripe bananas but you're not ready to use them, you can peel them, wrap them in plastic wrap, and put them into a zipper bag in the freezer. Then, when you're ready to bake muffins or banana bread, simply take out the desired number of bananas, unwrap, let sit out to thaw, and you're ready to go.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hot Chicken Salad

I made this for lunch quite a while back and almost forgot about it. I had some cooked turkey in the refrigerator that I needed to use, and this recipe popped into my head. Actually, the memory of this recipe popped into my head, but no matter how hard I looked, I could not find it. I almost gave up, but gave it one last try and finally found it. I'm so glad I did, because this is really good.

Hot Chicken Salad
  • 2 c. cooked, chopped chicken
  • 2 c. chopped celery
  • 1/2-1 c. raisins
  • 2 tbsp. minced onion
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheese

Soak raisins in hot water (or, if you cooked the chicken, the chicken broth) for about five minutes. Drain well. Stir everything except the cheese together. Lightly grease a 2-qt casserole, and lightly place mixture into it. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes. Serve warm with bread, croissants, or crackers.

Since this was just for me (no one else in this house likes raisins), I halved the recipe. I mixed everything right in the dish I baked it in, popped it into the oven, and baked it. I did end up baking it for somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes because I like my cheese a little more cooked. Next time I think I'll add a little salt and pepper, too. It was wonderful with round snack crackers - think Ritz. I ate about half of it, so I have the other half for lunch today or tomorrow. YUM!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bread Recipes from GMA

I saw these this morning on Good Morning America, and thought they looked really good.

No-Knead Bread

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery

Makes one 1½-pound loaf.

Time: About 1½ hours, plus 14 to 20 hours' rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Corn meal or wheat bran, as needed

In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

No-knead breadImage by fuzuoko via FlickrAt least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman, The Minimalist, New York Times, Published: Nov. 8, 2006.

No-Fuss Focaccia

Makes 1 loaf.

Time: 2 to 3 hours.

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for oiling the pan and drizzling the top of the dough
1½ cups (12 oz) warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast or 4 teaspoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
3¼ cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
Italian seasoning or dried herbs of your choice, for topping

Oil well a 9- x 2-inch-deep round or a 9- x 13-inch rectangular pan.

Combine the water with the yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the oil, salt and flour and beat on high speed for 60 seconds. Scoop the sticky batter into the prepared pan, cover the pan with a dry towel and let it rise at room temperature until it becomes puffy, 60 minutes for instant yeast or 90 minutes for active dry yeast.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Drizzle dough lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Bake the bread until it is golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes (depending on which size pan you put it in). Remove from oven, let stand 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This Sounds so Good

Baked Chicken with Fall Vegetables Baked Chicken with Fall Vegetables
Seasoned with rosemary, sage, nutmeg and a pinch of cinnamon, this oven-baked dish makes an irresistible family meal.
This easy, mouthwatering dish—chicken combined with autumn's harvest of potatoes, parsnips and carrots—has all the wonderful flavors of the season. And, because it freezes and reheats well, you can make a double batch on a Sunday and store the rest for a quick meal on a busy week night.
  • Total Time : 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Prep Time : 20 minutes
  • Cook Time : 1 hour
  • Servings : 6
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 medium potato, scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried), divided
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh sage leaves, finely chopped, (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried), divided
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium, low-fat chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 3 to 4 pounds chicken pieces on the bone, rinsed and patted dry, room temperature (for a lower-fat version, remove the skin)
step 1 - Place baking rack in the upper third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
step 2 - In a large bowl or 1 gallon Ziploc® Brand Storage Bag, combine the onion, potato, sweet potato, parsnips and carrots, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary and 1 1/2 teaspoons sage (if using dried herbs, use 3/4 teaspoon each rosemary and sage). Mix well and place on a foil-lined rimmed sheet pan or shallow roasting pan. Pour the chicken broth over the vegetables.
step 3 - In a small bowl, mix together remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, 1 1/2 teaspoon sage and paprika (if using dried herbs, use 3/4 teaspoon each rosemary and sage). Season chicken parts with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and brush with oil and seasoning mixture from small bowl. Place chicken in pan on top of vegetables.
step 4 - Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, baste chicken and vegetables with the pan juices and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. On a meat thermometer, chicken thighs should be 165 degrees F and breasts should read 170 degrees F. Let chicken and vegetables sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

chef’s notes
To bring chicken to room temperature, rinse it, pat dry and then place on a large plate or platter for 30 minutes.

If preparing chicken with the skin on, cook it for an additional 5 minutes (at the end of step 4) under the broiler to make the skin crispy.

You can use two sweet potatoes or two white potatoes instead of one of each if you prefer.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Taco Dip

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • cheddar cheese, shredded
  • black olives
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • 1 large jar salsa

Mix cream cheese and sour cream; spread on bottom of pan. Brown hamburger; drain and add taco seasoning mix. Spread on top of sour cream, cream cheese mixture. Dice remaining ingredients and layer one on top of the other or just sprinkle them over the top. top with salsa. Better if refrigerated overnight. Serve with plenty of tortilla chips.

We used to have potluck lunches every once in a while at work. One of my coworkers brought this dip. It was devoured. We also all begged for the recipe and told her she had to bring this every time. It's a big hit every time I make it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Coconut Custard Pie

  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl beat eggs then stir in sugar, salt, nutmeg or cinnamon, and vanilla extract.
  3. Heat milk in a small saucepan then pour milk slowly into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Stir in coconut, then pour mixture into pastry shell.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve slightly warm or chilled. Store in refrigerator.
Source: allrecipes

It didn't seem to be set at all at 30 minutes, so I baked it for an additional 10 minutes. It looks good and smells good, but I haven't gotten to taste it yet.

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