bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Friday, August 30, 2013

Apple Crunch

Our neighbors have a couple of apple trees, and they are loaded with apples.  They said we could have as many apples as we want because they really don't do anything with them.  So today I walked over and picked a few of them.  Then I went looking in my favorite cookbook - The Best of Mennonite Fellowship Meals - and found this recipe. I've been using this cookbook for years, but I hadn't tried this recipe yet.

Why?  It's really good and quite easy to make, too.  I guess there are just so many good recipes that it's going to take a bit longer to try them all.  Now that I've tried this one, though - I will be making it again.

Apple Crunch
from The Best of Mennonite Fellowship Meals

  • 8-10 apples
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • cinnamon
  • butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup (or less) white sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  1. Peel and slice apples.  Arrange in 9x13" baking pan.  Add 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup white sugar to the apples and mix with fork.  Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and dot with butter.
  2. Mix together flour, 2/3 cup white sugar, baking powder, and salt.   Add egg and mix with fork until crumbly.  Pour over apples, spreading evenly and then shaking pan slightly so mixture settles down through apples.
  3. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.
  4. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

I sprinkled a lot of cinnamon on my apples, but I think it could have used even more.  I really don't think there is such a thing as too much cinnamon with apples.  The first time I made this Cinnamon Apple Dutch Baby, I thought I'd used too much cinnamon - that is, until I tasted it, and it was perfect.  So, use lots of cinnamon!

Ready to bake
I used not quite 2/3 cup sugar in the topping, but for me this was plenty sweet, so I think next time I will cut it down a bit more.  Other than that, it's pretty perfect.  The top bakes up all crunchy, and you get bits of caramelly goodness around the edges where the apples and sugar and butter all bake.  So good!

Just needs vanilla ice cream!
I think I need to go pick some more of those apples...
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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Really Smooth Hummus

A couple weeks ago I couldn't find my 'regular' hummus recipe so I went looking for one online.  That's when I found this recipe that promised the secret to smooth, better-than-storebought hummus.  So I tried it.

And now this is my regular hummus recipe. 

Smooth and Easy Hummus
from Inspired Taste

  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • Large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 T olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt, depending on taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 to 3 T water
  • Dash of ground paprika for serving
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine tahini and lemon juice. Process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl then turn on and process for 30 seconds. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making smooth and creamy hummus possible.
  2. Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin and the salt to whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape sides and bottom of bowl then process another 30 seconds.
  3. Open can of chickpeas, drain liquid and rinse. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl, add remaining chickpeas and process for 1 to 2 minutes or until thick and quite smooth.
  4. Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until the consistency is perfect.
  5. Scrape the hummus into a bowl then drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top and sprinkle with paprika.
  6. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.

Yum!  This is so good with veggies and pita chips.  Does this method really make a difference?  I'm not completely sure, but I had at least one comment about how smooth it was, so I'm going with it.  The flavors are also perfect.  I didn't have any fresh lemons, so I used the lemon juice out of a bottle, and it turned out fine.  I also used home-cooked chickpeas and saved some of the cooking water to add at the end.

I'm making this again as soon as I buy more celery.  Hummus and celery is one of my favorite things.  And those sea salt pita chips from Aldi.  Have you tried those?  The best pita chips ever.  To go with this - the best hummus ever.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Curried Chicken and Barley Salad

It's time again for  Secret Recipe Club (Secret Recipe Club) reveal!  My blog assignment this month was Mellissa's blog A Fit & Spicy Life. Mellissa is originally from Wisconsin, and I lived there until a couple weeks ago, so we have that in common.  She also loves to try new recipes.  Oh, wow - Mellissa says she rarely makes the same thing twice, and with 1800+ posts on the blog, you can believe there are plenty of amazing recipes to choose from.

I kept thinking I had a recipe picked out, and then I kept looking - I could not stop - and kept finding more and more things I want to try.  Here's the short list:

I finally decided on this salad, which just happens to be Mellissa's latest recipe and the first one I saw when I visited her blog.

Curried Chicken and Barley Salad
adapted from A Fit & Spicy Life's Bombay Chicken Salad


  • 3/4 cup barley
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 mango, diced (How to cut a mango)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • Salt/Pepper
  1. Cook barley according to package directions then rinse with cold water and pour into large bowl.
  2. Combine curry powder, sugar, salt/pepper,  and cumin.  Coat chicken with spices and grill until cooked through; 5-6 minutes each side. Allow to rest 5 minutes, and cut into bite sized pieces.
  3. Toss  mango, cranberries, green onions, and sunflower seeds with barley.  Add chicken.
  4. Whisk together lemon juice, honey, olive oil, curry powder, & salt/pepper. Pour over salad and mix lightly.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors blend. 
Serves 4

Yum! So many awesome flavors here - the curry, the tanginess of the cranberries, the sweetness of the mango...  We really, really liked this salad.  It's perfect for a cool summer meal, and very filling.  Mellissa's recipe called for Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend, which looks really good, but I couldn't find anything like it in my grocery store, and I didn't have time to get it from Amazon.  So I went with the 'or any grain' part of the recipe and chose barley.  One of our friends brought a barley salad to a potluck a few weeks ago, and it was so good.  I had never had barley in a salad or even thought about using it - and would not have thought of it for this if she hadn't brought that salad.  It is really good.

The only change I really made to this recipe (besides using the barley) is that I added more green onions.  I started out with 2 - the recipe called for 1 - but then I decided it needed at least 4.  They add that extra touch of color to the salad and a fresh, bright flavor.  (Pictures were taken with 2 green onions; I added more later.)

I also made Mellissa's Salmon with Chickpeas and Spinach - because there were so many great-looking recipes to choose from, I couldn't pick just one, could I?  My husband and my brother both thought there was "too much green" in this, but I thought it was wonderful.  The flavor of the salmon?  Amazing!  (You'll have to click the link to get the recipe.)

Be sure to check out A Fit & Spicy Life.  I'm sure you'll find a few recipes you'll want to try!

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