bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Friday, August 27, 2010

We Ninja'd Some Salsa Today!

A while back I found this recipe for the world's easiest ice cream, which I still haven't tried, but I'm going to. I shared the link on Facebook, and one of my friends said she wanted one of those Ninjas. Ninjas? What? So I went back to the recipe and checked out the Ninja, read the reviews, and decided I wanted one, too.  I've been toying with buying a Vita-Mix for the last several years at the State Fair, but I'm just too cheap to get one.  Some of the people who reviewed this said they liked the Ninja better than the Vita-Mix, and my brother who has a Vita-Mix said they mostly use it for smoothies and ice cream - and they do use it several times a month, but not as often as they could.  So, when I weighed the cost and the potential use, I figured $40 (w/ shipping) for the Ninja (with an extra pitcher and extra 2-cup bowl, found new on ebay) was a lot better than $450 for the Vita-Mix.

My Ninja came in the mail yesterday, and I just had to try it today. First Cory and I crushed ice and made some iced coffee - yum! And then I made some salsa!

Fresh Ninja Salsa

  • 4 Roma tomatoes, cut in 4 pieces
  • 1/4 small onion
  • 2 hot peppers, split and deseeded
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of oregano
  • pinch of cumin

Add all ingredients to the bowl. Use short pulses, about 3 times or until desired consistency is reached.

Serve with tortilla chips. Makes about 2-1/2 cups.

I pretty much followed the recipe in the book that came with my Ninja - except I used two hot peppers (because Cory wanted them) instead of 1, I didn't use the 1/2 tsp. sugar, and I didn't have a lime so I used lemon juice - cut a small half and didn't squeeze all of the juice out. Also, the recipe called for cilantro, which would have been so good in this, but I didn't have any. Even without it, this salsa was amazing - and so easy!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Zucchini Hamburger Pie

We had this for dinner tonight. Since I have zucchini from the garden and tomatoes from the garden, it's only right to use them. This has a really nice flavor.

Zucchini Hamburger Pie

  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg; lightly beaten
  • Single pastry crust
  • 4 cups sliced zucchini; divided
  • 2 medium tomatoes; thinly sliced
  1. Brown meat with onions, salt and garlic salt; drain. Stir in green pepper, oregano, parsley, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and egg until well mixed; set aside.
  2. Spread 2 cups zucchini in pie pan or casserole dish; cover with meat mixture. Top with tomato slices and rest of zucchini. Cover with pie crust, cutting steam vents.
  3. Put into preheated 350° oven and bake 1 hour or until crust is lightly browned.

The original recipe called for a double pastry crust, but there seems to be too much liquid in the filling so that the bottom crust turns out soggy. It is better with just the top crust.

this post has been edited to add a picture! (especially for Tisha)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Guess What We're Having

A gyro sandwich with meat, onions, tomato, and...Image via WikipediaToday I made Pita Bread:

Pita Bread
  • 1 package of yeast (2-1/4 t.)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is frothy.
Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Make a small depression in the middle of flour and pour yeast water in depression. Slowly add 1 cup of warm water, and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until elastic.
Place dough on floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. When the dough is no longer sticky and is smooth and elastic, it has been successfully kneaded.
Coat large bowl with vegetable oil and place dough in bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated.
Allow to sit in a warm place for about 3 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
Once doubled, roll out in a rope, and pinch off 10-12 small pieces. Place balls on floured surface. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 500° F. and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Be sure to also preheat your baking sheet.
Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles. Each should be about 5-6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick.
Bake each circle for 4 minutes until the bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for 2 minutes.
Remove each pita with a spatula from the baking sheet and add additional pitas for baking.
Take spatula and gently push down puff. Immediately place in storage bags.

and Cucumber Sauce:

Cucumber Sauce
  • 8 oz. plain yogurt (not low-fat)
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper or 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoon dill
  • 2 peeled garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
Place 1 medium cut up cucumber in a chopper (peel skin, remove pulp and seeds as they are very bitter,) chop until finely chopped. Spoon out on paper towels to soak up as much moisture as possible, place the chopped cucumber in a small bowl then stir in 2 finely minced garlic cloves, juice of ½ lemon, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 2 tablespoon dill. Pour off any water from the yogurt and blend in 8 oz, regular yogurt (not low fat) do not over-mix. Cover bowl and immediately place in refrigerator and let set undisturbed for 24 hours so the ingredients will blend and sauce re-thicken (keep chilled when not in use.)
Makes about 2 cups

Notes about the recipes to be added later, once we've actually tried them.  For now I've just copied the recipes.

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Friday, August 6, 2010


I've got lots of zucchini and peppers from the garden, and I bought some eggplant from the Farmers' Market this week so I could make this. And it is so good.


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large green pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 3 medium zucchini, cut in 1-inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 t. oregano leaves
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  1. In 6-quart Dutch oven or saucepot over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in hot olive oil until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add eggplant and the green pepper; cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in zucchini, water, salt, oregano and sugar; heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in tomatoes and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.  Serve hot or follow step 5.
  5. Cover vegetable mixture and refrigerate to serve cold later.

The original recipe actually said to cut the garlic clove in half and then discard it prior to adding the eggplant and green pepper.  Not a chance.  I just minced it and left it in.  Also, I used one large zucchini and substituted the can of diced tomatoes for the 2 fresh tomatoes (cut in wedges and added at the very end) called for in the original recipe.  My tomatoes are just now starting to ripen, so I didn't have any to use yet.

I let this cool down to refrigerate for tomorrow.  I'm trying to decide whether I should heat it back up or serve it cold.  I couldn't help myself and ate some when it was lukewarm, and that seemed like the perfect temperature.  What do you think - hot or cold?
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Easy Pesto and Fettuccine

I've got a lot of basil growing in the garden and was looking for a way to use it.  I found this recipe for Easy Pesto on allrecipes.com and changed it a little after reading some of the comments.

Easy Pesto

  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 T Parmesan
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Place almonds on a pie plate, and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
  2. In a food processor, combine toasted almonds, garlic, basil, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Process, adding olive oil until a coarse paste is formed.  (The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of olive oil, but I didn't measure, just added a little at a time until I got the desired consistency.)
To serve, cook 1/2 box (8 oz.) fettuccine as directed on the package.  Reserving 3/4 cup of the pasta water, drain the fettuccine and then toss it with 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, the pesto and a diced tomato or two.  If the sauce seems too thick, add more of the reserved pasta water.

Serve with additional Parmesan and grilled chicken, if desired.
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