bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Easy Fettuccine Cacciatore

This recipe was on the same page of the Kraft Food & Family magazine with the Beef Noodle Bowl, which I now make quite regularly.  And this week I finally got around to trying this one.  I had mushrooms that needed used and a green pepper in the fridge, too, so it was the perfect time.

This is a very simple recipe and very tasty.

Easy Fettuccine Cacciatore
adapted from Kraft Recipes

  • 8 oz. fettuccine
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup Italian Dressing
  1. Cook fettuccine as directed on package.
  2. While fettuccine is cooking, heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 5 to 6 min. or until no longer pink. Add sliced peppers, onions, and mushrooms; cook 3 min., stirring occasionally. Add basil and cook for a minute or two, until fragrant.  Stir in tomatoes and dressing; simmer on medium-low heat 5 minutes or until chicken is done.
  3. When pasta is cooked, add some of the pasta water to the chicken and vegetable mix.  Drain pasta and toss with chicken mixture; simmer a couple minutes to blend flavors.

I added the sliced onion, because the original recipe didn't call for any onion - and it just needed some onion.  (doesn't everything?)

Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese, serve with a vegetable and some crusty bread, and you have a very delicious meal.   I think I'll be making this one on a regular basis, too.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

If you're thinking that it can't possibly be time for  Secret Recipe Club (Secret Recipe Club) reveal already, you're right.  I usually post with Group A, but due to unforeseen circumstances, the Group B blogger assigned to Jane's Adventures in Dinner could not do it - so I got to step in!  Lucky me - I am enjoying Jane's blog very much.

Jane is a Canadian wife and mummy who loves to cook and even trained as a chef at one time.  Then she discovered her love of teaching and became a teacher - a teacher who still loves to cook and feed everyone. Now she's got a small daughter and this blog full of amazing recipes and pictures to chronicle the adventures of it all. 

Once again I had a hard time choosing just one recipe.  There are so many to choose from, all with mouth-watering photos.  Here are some that made the short list, and that I will most likely be making soon:
Don't those all sound yummy?  I finally decided on this Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese because I just had to see how it turned out.

Mix the cheese and seasonings together, mix it together with the macaroni in your slow cooker, pour some broth and milk on top, and let it cook.  Can it really be that easy?  Yes, yes it is! 

Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese 
from Jane's Adventures in Dinner

  • 4 cups shredded cheese (a mix of mozzarella and sharp cheddar)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 T ground mustard
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 4 cups uncooked pasta
  • 1 L milk
  • 1/2 L chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs (or cracker crumbs)
  1. Mix shredded cheese, cornstarch, ground mustard and paprika together. Place pasta in greased 5-quart slow cooker and mix in cheese and seasonings. Pour milk and stock over the top.
  2. Cook on HIGH for four hours (at 3-1/2 hours, dot with butter and cover with bread crumbs).  OR Cook on LOW for six hours (at 5-1/2 hours, dot with butter, cover with bread crumbs, and turn heat to HIGH for remaining 1/2 hour).
Makes A LOT

This was perfect for dinner on a snowy winter's night.  Comfort food at its best!  I haven't had mac & cheese in ages - not since my kids were little, and then it was just the kind that comes in the blue box.  This is better!  And pretty much as easy.  Jane says the key is coating the shredded cheese with the cornstarch and seasonings.  So I did what she said.

At the end I had Mac & Cheese!  I ate way too much, and I still couldn't stop nibbling on the crunchy edges - though those might have been because I ended up cooking it for the full four hours before I added the topping, because I was out shoveling the driveway and didn't get back into the house.  Nope, just checked the picture, and there were already some crispy edges.  I really like those crispy edges.

Before the topping
Warning - this recipe makes a lot.  There will be plenty of leftovers, unless you're feeding a crowd.  This would actually be a great recipe to take for a potluck, especially if you have a few hours to cook it once you get there.  Mix your cheeses, spices, and macaroni in the slow cooker and take your broth and milk in a separate container.  Pour them in when you get there and turn on the slow cooker.  How easy is that?   It would probably also be perfectly yummy without the topping if you didn't even want to mess with that.  Though the topping does make it pretty -

If you're not feeding a crowd, be sure to visit Jane's blog to see what she did with her leftovers.  Me, I've been eating Mac & Cheese for lunch.  I also had to try it with ketchup.  I had never heard of such a thing, but Jane mentioned that she likes hers with sriracha but her daughter opts to dip hers into ketchup.  Sadly, I have no sriracha, a problem that I must remedy soon, but ketchup is really good with Mac & Cheese.  Who knew?  Did you know?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pineapple Coconut Rum French Toast

It's time again for  Secret Recipe Club (Secret Recipe Club) reveal!  My secret blog assignment this month was Daily Dish Recipes, a really great blog written by Nicole, a crazed mom of 5 teens who loves cooking, writing, photography, blogging, and scrapbooking, among other things.  And in her spare time, she...  Well, never mind - on to the recipes!

Again, I had a difficult time choosing just one.  Having no idea what kind of recipe I wanted to try, I just started scrolling through Nicole's blog.  Her Green Onion Egg & Toast Tarts look really good, and so does this Coconut Vanilla Kahlua Cow.  I must admit, I'm a bit jealous of those posts sponsored by Kahlua.  I've loved Kahlua ever since my college roommate introduced me to it - for breakfast, on her cornflakes! (with milk)

Speaking of breakfast, when I saw this recipe for Pineapple Rum French Toast, I knew it was the one!   And, oh, was I right.  This stuff is amazing!  Sweet and crunchy and gooey and just plain yummy!

Pineapple Coconut Rum French Toast
Adapted from Daily Dish Recipes

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 12 slices bread
  • 1 cup brown sugar, divided into two ½ cup measurements
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided into 1 teaspoon measurements
  • 1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained or ½ cup to 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  •  5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup Malibu coconut rum
  • 1-1/4 cup milk
  • shredded coconut, optional (I used about 2 T. unsweetened coconut)
  1. Melt the butter and pour into a 9×13 pan.
  2. Lay 6 pieces of bread in the pan, and spread 1/2 of the pineapple across all the slices of bread.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of brown sugar on top of the pineapple and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cinnamon across everything.  If desired, sprinkle shredded coconut on top.
  3. Place the remaining 6 pieces of bread on top of each of the original slices, like a sandwich, and repeat the process again - layer of pineapple, layer of brown sugar. Sprinkle the other teaspoon of cinnamon across the top and then the coconut.
  4. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, coconut rum, and milk together. Pour this over the entire dish.
  5. Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.
  6. When ready to bake, remove from refrigerator, leave covered and bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and return to oven for 10-15 more minutes or until lightly browned.
  7. Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. 
Serves 6

Nicole's recipe called for coconut milk and rum extract, but I didn't have any coconut milk, and my rum extract didn't smell like I thought it should.  So, I used the Malibu for the rum and coconut flavors and added the shredded coconut to get more coconut flavor.

With the brown sugar and the butter in this, you don't really need any extra syrup, but it's also good with a little extra drizzled over the top.  I made some with brown sugar, water and coconut oil that was really good, with that extra bit of coconut flavor.  I will definitely be making this again! 

And, since I always have such a hard time picking a recipe - have you noticed what amazing recipes all of our Secret Recipe Club member post? - I made Nicole's Potluck Corn, Black Bean & Cilantro Salsa Dip, too.  Be sure to visit her blog for that recipe, but let me tell you, it is really good!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cinnamon Apple Sourdough Coffee Cake

I've been making this Cinnamon Swirl Bake for a while now, and it's really good, but recently I've started adding apples to the cinnamon swirl part, and it's even better.  I may never make it without apples again!

Cinnamon Apple Sourdough Coffee Cake

Mix together, cover, and allow to sit several hours or overnight, until bubbly.  Then add:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (use the same saucepan you'll use for the apple mixture)
  • 2 cups flour
Mix in the sugar, salt, eggs, and butter, then add the flour a cup at a time. Once mixed, cover the batter and allow to sit while you prepare the apple mixture. While the apple mixture cools, spread batter into greased 13x9" pan.  It will be thick. 

Apple Cinnamon Mixture
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups peeled and diced apples (4 apples)
  1. In saucepan, melt butter with brown sugar and cinnamon; add apples and cook over medium heat until apples are starting to soften. Remove from heat.  When apple mixture has cooled, spread evenly over batter and swirl it into and through the batter with a spatula. 
  2. Cover and let sit for half an hour to an hour, then refrigerate overnight..  When ready to bake, remove pan from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for a half hour or so.  Then place in a COLD oven; set temperature to 350°F and bake 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned and firm in center.
  3. Cool 10 minutes. Combine icing ingredients and drizzle over warm cake.
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted  (Place bowl w/ butter in already hot oven)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

This is a really moist cake with pockets of cinnamon caramel apple goodness spread throughout.  So good!

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