Showing posts with label Utah living. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Utah living. Show all posts

4/14/15

Coconut Raisin Oatmeal Chewies





It's always a good time when my brother brings his cute family down for a visit. In the evenings, we usually gather around the kitchen counter, eat dinner and I make some sort of treat. The first night it was Tried and True Chocolate Chip Cookies. The second night, I was about to make the Salted Caramel version, but my niece Kaiden said her favorite cookie was an oatmeal raisin. Funny, but lots of kids are not fans of oatmeal raisin cookies! I was happy to oblige and come up with this recipe for Coconut Raisin Oatmeal Chewies. They are a little crispy, super chewy and made with a yummy blend of golden raisins, coconut and oats.
They were a hit. The cookies that didn't get eaten up that evening turned into breakfast cookies early the next day :)


That's me.
And my little brother, and a perfectly beautiful spring day.
 
The flowers on Temple Square this time of year are absolutely breathtaking!





Coconut Raisin Oatmeal Chewies
A Bountiful Kitchen

2 cups old-fashioned  oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 to 1 cup raisins, I used golden
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes


Preheat oven to 375°F or if using convection, 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets or use parchment paper.
Beat together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined well.  Add all dry ingredients to the bowl (including coconut and raisins), and mix on low speed just until combined. Do not over mix.
Scoop cookies out onto a baking sheet. I used a 1 3/4 inch cookie scoop. Flatten slightly with palm of hand. Bake for about 8-10 minutes on convection or about 10-11 minutes if cooking at 375 regular bake. Remove from oven when cookies have flattened and a light crust has formed. Let cool completely.
Yield about 24-30 cookies.


2/16/15

Buttermilk Waffles with Berries, Ice Cream and Buttermilk Syrup







A long time ago, my daughter Brookie played volleyball. It was a tradition with her jr high team to eat waffles and ice cream for team breakfasts. Those early morning team gatherings in our kitchen were a whirlwind of giggling, sugar, and the scent of waffles cooking before the girls ran out the door to make it to class.
If you love waffles and whipped cream, you're going to love waffles and ice cream.
One bowl, one waffle iron.
So simple.
So good.





Buttermilk Waffles with Berries, Ice Cream and Buttermilk Syrup
print recipe

2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup melted butter
nonstick vegetable spray for coating waffle iron
berries
vanilla ice cream

Preheat a waffle iron. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk, milk, eggs, and melted butter. Mix together just until combined with fork or large spoon (don't over mix the batter). The batter should look slightly lumpy.
Spray the waffle iron with the nonstick vegetable spray. Pour 3/4 cup of the batter or the amount recommended by the waffle-iron maker onto the waffle iron; bake as directed by the manufacturer.
Top waffles with fresh berries, buttermilk syrup and ice cream.
Yield about 5 waffles.


Buttermilk Syrup
1/2 cup butter (not margarine)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Heat butter, buttermilk, and sugar in a saucepan. Heat until boiling, stirring often. Boil for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda. Stir until combined. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Tips:
-I usually double the waffle batter and the buttermilk syrup for a family of 6.





8/25/14

Harmons Grocery $100 Giftcard Giveaway!





Hey there. Want to win a $100 gift card to everyone's favorite grocery store?
You can spend it however your heart desires...



Take a cooking class at one of their classroom locations. The card will cover a class for you AND a friend.
Or use it to book a special party! Woot!




Use the card to buy gear to rep your favorite team. Harmons has sweatshirt, t-shirts, decals, lanyards, cups, hats, insulated bags, chairs, tables and lots, lots more.
GO UTES!
Oh, they have BYU stuff too.

I LOVE this little fold up table.
And that little people UTE chair. So cute.


Harmons has gifts for your family and friends.
And stuff for you, too.


Quality appliances. 



Fun dishes, items for baking, picnics, specialty cooking, and locally made gifts. 
Everything from aprons to hand made soaps.



Have you spent your gift card yet? 



Maybe you just want to spend it on GROCERIES. You're in luck. You've come to the right place.




Here's the deal. One winner, announced on Friday. Enter below.
Thanks to Harmons who sponsored this giveaway.
Good Luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

8/18/14

Tried and True Chocolate Chip Cookies (2014)



School starts up next week in our community. Is there anything better after a long day at school than a melt-in-your-mouth homemade chocolate chip cookie?
If you've ever made chocolate chip cookies, you've probably had a baking failure. Am I right?
Today, we are going to solve that problem. Once and for all.
NO MORE CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKE COOKIES.  Ever again.




In 2010, after months of testing methods and ingredient combinations for baking chocolate chip cookies, I came up with a recipe that works.  Every. Single. Time.
Since then, I've continued to update, simplify and improve this recipe. For the original recipe, with step by step photos, check out  this post.  This recipe is a one bowl, 20 minute (start to finish)  success.




I've made these cookies a few hundred times. Everyone- from young neighbor kids to folks in nursing homes love these cookies.
I know you're going to love them too.
Happy Baking!






ABK's Tried and True Chocolate Chip Cookies (updated 8/2014)
A Bountiful Kitchen (adapted from Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe)
print recipe

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened *
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt ( I prefer coarse salt)
2 cups  or 1 (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375° F. If using convection, preheat to 375 as well.
For regular oven, place rack in middle of oven. When using a convection oven, you should be able to bake on all racks at one time.
Cut butter into pieces ( about 2 tablespoons each) and place in mixing bowl. I use a Kitchen Aid and power it on 2 (low).  After a few seconds, add granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until creamy (this takes just a few seconds). Add eggs, beating just until incorporated and smooth.  Never turn the beaters on high. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and bottom of the bowl to insure all ingredients are incorporated.
Dump 2 cups of the flour, soda, salt and chocolate chips all together into bowl with butter mixture. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour to the top of this mixture. Slowly mix the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips together.  Do not over mix.  Turn the dough with a rubber spatula so the bottom of the dough is mixed into the top of the dough. This will insure the flour is mixed in properly and the chips are distributed evenly.
Using a cookie scoop, drop onto un-greased baking sheets, or baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Place 6 scoops of dough on each baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
If using convection, bake for 7-10 minutes until golden brown. If using regular oven, bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Cookies should be slightly golden and the cookie should not be wet on top.
Cool on baking sheets completely.
Yield 18 large cookies.

Tips:
(or my mini-epistle on cc cookie making and baking)
-Only use butter. Unsalted is best. The butter should be more firm than room temperature butter. I take it straight out of the fridge, and microwave it for about 20 seconds.
-*Our altitude is about 4,400 ft. So, I use about 2 3/4 cups flour total. The original Toll House recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups. If you are at sea level, you will probably need less flour than the 2 3/4 cup.
-Don't over beat the butter-sugar mixture, or the batter will become too soft, and your cookies will not be beautiful and puffy. They will resemble pancakes. 
-Don't sift the flour.
-There is usually a notable difference between using a convection and a standard oven. If you bake at the same temperature, for the same amount of time, the convection cookie will be done, with a beautiful, golden, slightly crispy outer layer. Still soft on the inside. And it will be taller than the cookie baked in a standard oven. Not everyone has a convection oven- if you don't, you can still bake a great cookie using a standard oven!
-I think two of the biggest mistakes made while baking cookies are:
1-Over mixing. This will cause the batter have too much air incorporated, producing a fluffy, instead of a chewy cookie.
2- Over bakingUnder baking is good! Not under baked to the point the cookie is wet and doughy, but just until the top sets, and the dough looks like it has a bit of a crust.
-Chocolate chips - For semi sweet,  I use Nestle Semi Sweet chips. You can't go wrong here. But for Milk Chocolate, we prefer Guittard . The chips are called Maxi Chips and are sold in a silver colored bag.
-If the cookie spreads too much, or the edges are not even, I take a small spatula and push the edges inward to create a cookie that is round. This has to be done immediately after removing from the oven. 
- High Altitude info: Not recommended-directions on Nestle Choc Chip package for high altitude- I have tried this variation, and don't like the result. The cookies aren't quite sweet enough, and have a crispy more cake like texture. Here are the directions on the package: (again I do NOT recommend using this method, but have printed it here as an FYI)  Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.
-Last tip. Mound the cookie into a ball. I make them about the size of a golf ball. I use a cookie scoop, because it's easier for me. For years, I just used a spoon, and then shaped them by hand. Make sure to flatten the cookie just a bit before baking. To yield 18 cookies use a  2 1/4 inch scoop.


7/22/14

Dutch Oven Molasses Baked Beans

molasses dutch oven baked beans


Summer is the best time to break out the Dutch oven and make a pot of Molasses Baked Beans. I've been making variations of this recipe for years. It's always a crowd favorite and a perfect accompaniment to any barbecue meal. You can make these while out camping or even in your backyard.
I've included a little step by step photo tutorial, because I know how much you love a good picture story. Have a Happy 24th of July (Pioneer Day in Utah) !


things are heating up. bacon and onions cooking...
molasses, yellow mustard, brown sugar, ketchup. measure them out. get ready to dump.

add the beans. 
molasses...


mustard 

brown sugar and ketchup. are you bored yet? my friend Melinda tells me she likes the step by step.  

don't forget the hot sauce.

stir. with a wood spoon, to get that pioneer spirit. 
Place the lid on the pan.  you don't need one of these fancy tools, but we bought one after many years of having dutch ovens and we think it's pretty useful. large pliers also work. gloves are good too. 

cook for about 40 minutes or until bubbly. this is how they'll look when done. Nice toes, Brookie.





A side note to my story.
Some of you are very observant. You email or leave a comments about details in photos. Such as- why do there appear to be SO MANY COALS under the Dutch oven????   Because friends, this is why. My husband thinks that whenever we pull out the Dutch ovens, the cooking expertise shifts from me, to him. He insists on placing half of the bag of briquettes into the chimney we use to heat up the coals. Even if it's a 50 lb bag. Not really, but it seems that way.
You know how men are. Fire is good. More fire is twice as good!
Anyway. He is an out of doors expert, and I am not, that is a fact.
But I'm a cooking type of person, and he is not. Also a fact.
So we always have "words"  when we attempt Dutch Oven cooking.
The convo usually goes like this.
G: I am doing this.
Me: okay. (as I watch him heat about 50 coals)
G: I've got this.
Me: You're using too many coals.
G: No I'm not.
Me: yes you are.
G: Who is doing this me, or you?
Me: I'm going inside.
So, yes. in the photos, you will see lots of coals. More than I tell you to use in the recipe. More than the Scouting Magazine article titled "Dutch Oven Cooking 101" advises you use.
But hey.
What do the Scouts know?
I've got to hand it to him.
That's one good looking pan of beans.







Dutch Oven Molasses Baked Beans
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1-12 or 14 inch dutch oven ( I believe we used a 14 for this recipe)
about 26-30 briquettes

1 lb bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped about 2 cups
1- #10 can pork and beans ( about 7 lbs 10 oz)
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup packed brown sugar light or dark
1/2 cup mustard
3/4 cup molasses
hot pepper sauce, to taste

Light briquettes, follow package directions.
Place about 10 hot briquettes in a circular pattern on the ground. We like to use an old metal pan under our dutch oven. Place the dutch oven on top of the briquettes.
Place the chopped bacon and onion into the dutch oven. Cook until the bacon is slightly crisp and onions are softened. Drain any excess grease. Don't worry about removing every bit of bacon grease.
Add the remaining ingredients,  stir.
Place the lid on the beans and using a pair of tongs, place about 16 briquettes on top of the lid and leave 10-14 under the dutch oven.
Let the beans cook for about 40 minutes or until bubbly and hot. This will vary in cooking time depending on how much wind there is, the amount of coals you use, the temperature of the coals, etc.
If you feel the beans are cooking too fast, remove some of the coals.
When ready to serve, carefully remove lid, so the ashes do not get into the beans. Sometimes, if our beans are cooked and very hot, we dump the ashes, and simply leave the lid on till ready to serve.
Serves about 20-25 as a side dish

Tips:
-There are many sources for Dutch Oven cooking online. Here are a couple :
Scouting Magazine (Dutch Oven Cooking 101)
Camp Cooking Outdoors
-You may use any brand of beans, Van De Camps is a brand found in most grocery stores. I used a brand I purchased from a wholesale food distributor.
-This recipe may also be made in the oven. Cook the bacon and onions, drain the grease and add the remaining ingredients. Bake at 375 for one hour.




7/10/14

Fruit-Filled Virgin Sangria




A few months ago, I attended a food blogger event at the City Creek Harmons. They served a delicious non-alcoholic basil sangria. I loved the drink and thought it would be fun to recreate my own version at home when fresh fruits were in season!

Sangria is traditionally served in Spain and Portugal and made with wine, sweetener, fruit and a bit of brandy. I'm not a drinker, but love drinks made with fresh fruit.






Last week, we watched the fireworks, soaked up the sunset and enjoyed a pitcher of this colorful drink from our patio. The kids and adults loved the fruit-filled pitcher. When it was empty, we just added more of the liquid base, mixed and enjoyed. This is a perfect addition to any summer party. It travels well- just take the cut up fruits, canned juice, soda and ice in a cooler and mix when the party starts.
Hope you're keeping cool this summer!




Fruit Filled Virgin Sangria
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1 frozen can of Welch's (or other brand) White Grape and Peach concentrate (not mixed up), thawed a bit*
one 2 liter bottle Ginger Ale or Sprite, sugarless is fine as well
ice, about 2-3 cups
a cup of water, if desired
Approximate fruit (for one pitcher)
2 limes, washed, sliced
1 orange, washed, peel on, sliced
1-2 cups strawberries, washed, a few sliced, a few left whole
handful of cherries
1 peach, peeled and sliced
mint leaves

Using a large glass pitcher, pour in half of the can of concentrate. Add half of a 2 liter bottle of Ginger Ale or Sprite. Add ice, about 2-3 cups. Mix a bit. Add chopped fruits and mint and stir lightly with large wood spoon.  If needed add a bit of water. You may leave the spoon in the pitcher if you wish to help scoop out the fruit while serving.
When the liquid is empty from the pitcher, simply add the remaining juice concentrate, ginger ale and more ice to the remaining fruit in pitcher. Stir and enjoy. You may also add more fruit if needed.
Serves 8

Tips:
-I used a white grape and peach blend but you can use any type of juice. I suggest white grape, pineapple, apple, grape, cranberry, peach, mango. The possibilities are endless.
-Most instructions for Sangria will advise to let the mixture to sit in the fridge for at least two hours before serving. Since I was using a carbonated liquid (and I was short on time), I made it right before serving. Either way works fine.
-If you would like the fruit to sit at the bottom of the pitcher, place the fruit in first, then the ice and the juice and carbonated beverage last. The weight of the ice will help the fruit to sit at the bottom instead of float on the top.
-You may use any combo of fresh fruit in season. I liked the look of the orange and green and red together with a splash of dark green.
-This recipe would also work well in a punch bowl.


6/27/14

Red, White and Blueberry Tart







Are you planning a 4th of July bash?
This is one of my favorite desserts, reinvented. Remember when fruit pizza was all the rage years ago? Sweet cookie crust, with cream cheese and powdered sugar icing, topped with fruit and glaze. Sometimes the fruit was arranged beautifully, other times it was dumped on top of the crust and cream cheese layer. That was the 80's. Time to update this classic dessert! You'll love my Red, White and Blueberry Tart.




First, I headed to Harmons to buy the sweetest, most plump, fresh berries. If you live in Utah, you're in business!  Harmons consistently has the best produce in the state. With the exception of picking berries yourself, Harmons is as fresh as it gets.




How do you update a classic? I decided switching from a pizza pan to tart pans made a big difference in presentation. Other subtle, but game changing differences- a little lemon flavoring, fresh fruit only (nothing canned) and no sugary glaze.
When you break this dessert down, it's a sugar cookie crust, lemon-cream cheese icing, topped with fresh fruit. So simple, a kid can make it.
I know you're going to love this for your summer gatherings!
Happy Fourth, and happy baking :)





Red, White and Blueberry Tart
A Bountiful Kitchen

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon flavoring or lemon emulsion*
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Individual tart pans or 9-10 inch tart pans

Cream together butter and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Add the lemon flavoring or emulsion and egg, beat until combined and smooth, about 1 minute.
Add the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar all at once. Mix just until flour disappears and wet and dry ingredients are combined,
Using individual tart pans (14-16  4-inch pans), or
2-3  9-10 inch or equivalent tart pans, lightly grease the pans with cooking spray.
Scoop the dough into the pans, and press into the pans lightly with hands.
If the dough gets too soft, place the dough in the refrigerator for a few minutes to help the dough firm up.
After all of the tart pans are filled, pre-heat oven to 375 and set the racks in the middle of oven.
When oven is pre heated, bake the tarts for about 10-12 minutes or until tarts are golden brown. For a
9-inch tart pan, bake about 15 minutes. Remove and set on rack to cool. Let cool completely. This step may be done up to two days ahead if kept covered after baked and cooled.

Lemon Cream Cheese Filling:
12 oz cream cheese, room temperature (1 1/2  8 oz blocks cream cheese)
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
dash of salt
splash of milk (if needed to thin)

Beat all of the filling ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth and blended well. The filling should be the consistency of  frosting.
Set aside in refrigerator until ready to use. If making ahead, refrigerate and cover.  Remove from refrigerator  about 30 minutes before ready to use.

Fruit topping:
fresh blueberries
fresh strawberries
fresh raspberries

Wash and drain the fruit thoroughly before using on the tarts. If the fruit is still wet from washing, it may bleed onto the cream cheese filling. I usually wash the fruit, let sit in a colander, then place on paper towels and pat lightly.

When ready to assemble:
Spread the cream cheese filling onto the tarts using a small spatula. Spread the filling almost to the edge of the tart. Arrange the fruit on top of the filling. Place tarts in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
May be prepared early in the day and covered until ready to serve.

Tips:
-Lemon emulsion and lemon extract are found in  most bakery supply stores or stores that sell cake decorating supplies.  Do not use lemon juice as a substitute in the tart shell. Fresh lemon juice is called for in the lemon cream cheese filling only.