bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Monday, February 28, 2011

Apricot Pecan Oatmeal Muffins

I saw this on Doctor Oz today and thought they looked really yummy. I also adored the cute little blue ribbon baker, Marjorie. She was adorable.

Apricot Pecan Oatmeal Muffins

  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  1. Place oats and buttermilk in a bowl. Stir to combine. Cover and let stand for 20-30 minutes. 
  2. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in apricots and pecans. Add oil, egg and brown sugar to the oatmeal mixture and combine well. 
  3. Pour the oatmeal mixture into the flour mixture. Stir just to moisten the dry ingredients. It will look lumpy. 
  4. Divide batter into 12 greased muffin cups.  Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes. 
  5. Remove muffins from muffin tin and cool on a wire rack.

Recipe courtesy of Marjorie Johnson. For more healthy recipes, purchase On the Road to Blue Ribbon Baking with Marjorie.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

De-Clutter Your Kitchen

We watch a lot of those HGTV shows about people either buying or selling houses.  One suggestion they always have for people who are trying to sell their houses is to de-clutter everything.  I'm always wondering what they're supposed to do with all their stuff, and how they're supposed to live in the house in the meantime, but I'm also thinking it would be extremely nice to get rid of some of the clutter around here.  So, when I found an article about de-cluttering the kitchen in the food section of my newspaper, I thought it might be helpful.

Does this sound like your kitchen?

Paperwork, mail and homework assignments litter the counter.  The sink is full of dishes and coated in grime, the stove spotted with stains.  A trip to the pantry is more like an excavation mission, and the spice cabinet is filled with bottles that lurk deep in the recesses of your cabinetry.

Mine isn't that bad, so perhaps I should just feel good about it?  Then again, these tips might be extremely helpful:
  1. Start with the counter - the counter is the easiest place to toss mail and everything else that comes into the house because it's often the first area you go to when entering your house.  Clear off the counter and implement measures to prevent future pile-ups, perhaps stacking wire baskets for each family member.
  2. Purge - go through cookware and utensils and get rid of what you don't need.  Keep things you use regularly in the kitchen and store items you use infrequently somewhere else, such as the pantry or basement.
  3. But think "reuse" - don't just throw things away.  If it's something you won't use again, consider donating to Goodwill or giving it to a friend.
  4. Consider your learning style - visual learners know what tool is right for them just by looking at it, while kinesthetic learners don't always know which pot or pan to use until they grab it.  What does this mean?  Visual learners may benefit from over-the-door hooks and hanging pot racks, anything that enhances visibility.  Kinesthetic learners work better having everything within easy reach.  Organize your kitchen according to what works for you, not for someone else or according to someone else's idea of how a kitchen should work.
  5. Give new storage systems a try - consider baskets for you spices, organized alphabetically so you can find them easier (I'm considering this one) or installing slide-out shelves to make things more accessible.
and that's just a start.  There are 5 more tips, which I will continue next time.  Right now I'm thinking about going and cleaning off my kitchen counter...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Recipes from Dannon

I'm copying a few recipes from The Dannon Kitchen so I can toss the (what do you call those? the foil seals from the top of the yogurt containers?) - anyway, so I can get those off my kitchen counter.

A couple recipes I want to try:

Banana Nut Winter Smoothie

  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 cup Dannon® All Natural Vanilla Lowfat Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. honey (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  1. Cut the frozen banana into 3 or 4 chunks and peel. Place in blender with Dannon® All Natural Vanilla Lowfat Yogurt, walnuts, cinnamon and honey (optional).
  2. Blend on high for 2 minutes or until smooth. Pour into glass and top with a dusting of ground nutmeg. 

 Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1-1/2 qt. chicken broth
  • 1-3/4 cup Dannon® Plain Yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  1. In a soup pot heat oil. Add onions and cumin and sauté 3-4 minutes. Add potatoes and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer soup 20-25 minutes.
  2. Puree soup with 1-1/2 cups Dannon® Plain Yogurt and parsley or cilantro. Serve each portion of soup with a dollop of remaining yogurt and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.

and a recipe I've tried:

Layered Mexican Dip

  • 1 16 oz. can refried beans or black beans
  • 1 cup chunky salsa
  • 2 cups DANNON® All Natural Plain Yogurt
  • 1 cup sliced olives (black or green)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  1. In a bowl, combine beans with 1/3 cup salsa. Spread half of mixture into a flat serving dish.
  2. Spread 1 cup DANNON® All Natural Plain Yogurt over the bean mixture, followed by 1/2 cup olives, 1/3 cup salsa, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 cup lettuce.
  3. Repeat layering. Cover and chill until ready to use.

I liked the dip. I think everyone else would rather I made my regular Taco Dip, but it's good to have options. Also, while looking up these recipes, I saw several other recipes I'd like to try.  So many good-looking recipes on that Dannon Kitchen site...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Freezing Hamburger

It's almost always cheaper to buy your ground beef in packages of 3 lbs. or more.  Then, when you get it home, you can divide it up into smaller packages.  A kitchen scale is really handy for this, but you can divide it up into fairly even packages without one.  For most recipes it's not going to matter if you're off a little one way or the other.  I've only recently started using a scale. 

A pound of hamburger fits nicely into a quart-size zipper bag.  I've found that it works best to flatten each package before placing them into the freezer.  The hamburger will freeze faster that way, and the packages stack neatly in the freezer.  Additionally, when you're ready to use some of the hamburger, it will thaw faster, too.

I've started putting my hamburger into 1/2 lb. packages, since it's just my husband and me most of the time these days.  If I need to cook for more people or make a larger recipe, I can easily take two packages out of the freezer at once.  I bought two 3-lb. rolls of Ground Chuck at Walmart this week - because they'd marked it down to $5.94 (~$2/lb.) to sell it quickly, so I put 12 1/2 lb. packages in the freezer yesterday.  That ought to do us for a while.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dannon Muffins

When Cory was home for winter break, he went shopping with me and mentioned something about Twinkies. Then we forgot to even look at the Twinkies.  The next day I remembered this recipe I copied down years ago.

I had written at the bottom that they taste 'just like Twinkies without the creme filling - get cream!'  So I figured it was worth a try and made a batch.

Dannon Muffins

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup Dannon plain yogurt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  1. Combine dry ingredients.
  2. Gently stir in yogurt and milk, blending just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  3. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
  4. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until well-browned.
Makes 12

It's been a very, very long time since I had a Twinkie, so I can't really judge.  Cory said they're not exactly like Twinkies, but they're close, and they're good.  I'm still not sure about the creme filling, but we did put a little whipped cream in the middle right before we ate them, and they tasted pretty good.

I think I need to check out The Dannon Kitchen to see what else they have for me to try.  I wonder if this recipe is even available there, considering I copied off a yogurt container or lid - before I used the Internet to find recipes, in addition to copying them off packages and cutting them out of newspapers and magazines.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Curried Lamb

I was going to make this Curried Lamb and Lentil Stew today, or a variation anyway.  I have some cooked lamb in the fridge I was going to use.  Then I discovered I don't have any lentils - so it's back to the drawing board.  I'm searching for a curried lamb recipe without lentils.

Why curried lamb?  It was mentioned in the book I'm listening to, and it just sounded good.  There's a whole lot of food in the book that just sounds nasty, but this sounded really good.

I ended up putting together this recipe for Easy Lamb Curry and this one for Leftover Lamb Curry and came up with something that turned out pretty good.

Lamb Curry

  • Olive oil
  • Large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small hot pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 T curry powder
  • 1/2 t. cumin
  • leftover lamb, cut into strips (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 T tomato paste
  1. Saute onion, garlic and hot pepper in olive oil until softened and starting to brown.
  2. Stir in curry powder and cumin; add meat.
  3. Stir in broth, tomatoes and tomato paste and bring to a boil.
  4. Cover and bake at 300°F for 2 hours or so.
  5. Serve over rice.

The original recipe I used said to bake at 150°C, so I had to figure out what that meant for my oven.  I found this handy site for converting Celsius to Farenheit and just plugged the 150°C in to get the 300°F I used.

I thought this turned out really good, but it was a little spicy so I knew my husband wouldn't appreciate it.  I just heated up some of the leftover lamb I didn't use in the curry and gave him that with some leftover potatoes.  And there's plenty of curry to last me for several days.

  © Blogger template 'Totally Lost' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008 - Header credit: Steve Wampler

Back to TOP