bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Friday, February 27, 2009

Homemade Girl Scout Cookies

Making Ginger CookiesImage by Muffet via Flickr

I don't know any Girl Scouts, and I hear the prices are going up, and the cookies are getting smaller - so I haven't bought any Girl Scout cookies in a while.

When I do have them, my favorites are the Caramel de-Lites or Samoas, so I'm definitely trying this recipe for Homemade Girl Scout Cookies: Samoas Bars I found on Baking Bites. There's a recipe for the cookies that look just like the ones the Girl Scouts sell, but that one sounds like too much work for me, so I'm going for the bars. The taste is the same.

There are recipes for the other Girl Scout cookies, too - so if Thin Mints are your favorite, you can make those.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Recipe Matcher

I heard on GMA yesterday that the average U.S. household throws out nearly a quarter of the fruits and vegetables it buys. For a family of four, that adds up to about $500 each year, according to a study by the University of Arizona. Read the rest of the story to learn how to store your food to keep it fresher and make it last longer.

Image representing RecipeMatcher as depicted i...Image via CrunchBase

RecipeMatcher looks like a handy site to help you use the foods you have so they don't go to waste. Occasionally I might throw something out, but I don't think it's nearly a quarter of my produce. Maybe it's because I cook this way on a regular basis - planning meals around whatever's in the refrigerator that needs to be used. I think it's important to use what you have. Otherwise, you're just wasting money.

Check your refrigerator and pantry, visit Recipe Matcher, and start typing in the ingredients you have on hand that need to be used. You can also choose the type of recipe you want and what your main ingredient should be, and then search to find recipes using the ingredients you have. You'll get a whole list of recipes to choose from. Each recipe lets you know how long it takes to prepare as well as the other ingredients you'll need.

It looks like anyone can search and find recipes, but signing up for a free account lets you leave comments, keep an online pantry, make and print shopping lists, keep lists of your favorite recipes, and even submit your own, so I signed up. I'm guessing that once I stock my online pantry by checking off all the items I have in my refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, the recipes will fit my needs even better, because the site will be able to suggest recipes I have all the ingredients for.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Beef Enchiladas

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa
  • 1-15 oz. can chili beans

  • 1-14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • pepper
  • 10 flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheese
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped green onions
  1. In a very large skillet (12-inch), sauté onion, peppers, garlic and ground beef until beef is browned. Drain excess fat. Add salsa, chili beans, tomatoes, cumin and pepper. Heat thoroughly.
  2. Place approximately 1/4 cup meat mixture in center of a tortilla. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. cheese. Bring edges of tortilla together, overlapping slightly to enclose filling. Place, seam side down, in 13" x 9" baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. You will have 8 enchiladas from one end of the dish to the other, then the remaining 2 turned along the edge.
  3. Spoon remaining meat sauce over tortillas. Spoon sour cream down center of dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

I've been making this for quite a while now. As with anything like this, the ingredients aren't set in stone. Don't have a red pepper? Use two green, or 1-1/2, or even one. Use more onion. Use a different kind of beans. Use taco sauce instead of salsa. It's up to you.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Don't Waste Chocolate!

We used to buy our Hershey's chocolate syrup in the can. When the can got about empty, we opened the top of the can and used a spatula to scrape out every last bit of the chocolate. I mean, it is chocolate, and it's not good to waste chocolate.

Now we buy our Hershey's syrup in the bottle, and it took me a while to figure out how to get every last bit of chocolate from that bottle. It's not like you can open up the bottle and scrape the chocolate out.

Instead, we have to make chocolate milk: Unscrew the top, pour some milk into the bottle, shake it up well, pour into a glass, and enjoy.

No more wasted chocolate!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Turkey Rice Casserole

I bought a wild rice and brown basmati rice mixture last time I went to the grocery store. About the same time I had some cooked turkey and turkey broth, and I put this recipe together:

Turkey and Wild Rice
  • 1 cup wild rice and brown basmati
  • 2 cups turkey broth
Bring to boil in 2 quart saucepan, cover, turn heat to low, and cook until done and all broth is absorbed.
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 soup can water
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups chopped broccoli
Add to cooked rice and mix well. Put into greased 2 quart casserole and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through.

You could also add a little salt and pepper if desired, depending on how salty your broth is. Overall, really good and really easy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Crockpot Oatmeal

I combined a couple recipes I found online to get this. The recipe is currently written on the back of a library receipt, so I thought I better get it posted before I lose it.

Crockpot Oatmeal

Tradtional 28-ounce tin of McCann's Steel Cut ...Image via Wikipedia

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup apple (peeled and chopped)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Combine all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low overnight.
The next morning, stir in:
  • 1 cup sliced bananas
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Serve with milk.

This makes a lot, so I make it on the weekend and then have oatmeal for several breakfasts the following week. Jeffrey eats it, even though he doesn't like raisins. I'm thinking of substituting dried apricots next time to see how that turns out.

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