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


Mini Chicken Pot Pies with Herb and Cheese Biscuit Toppers

 After an amazingly warm September and October, I'm sitting at my kitchen counter and the snow is beginning to fall.  Chicken Pot Pie is the ultimate cold weather dish, and this update on the classic will get you in the mood for the winter weather coming. Mini Chicken Pot Pies with Herb and Cheese Biscuit Toppers are filled with comfort food goodness!

I've given two ways to make this dish: a busy-day canned soup variety that takes a few minutes to dump and bake and then a from scratch recipe for those who have a little more time. Either way, this dish is hearty and will make even the pickiest eater happy! 

Mini Chicken Pot Pies with Herb and Cheese Biscuit Toppers
A Bountiful Kitchen

1 tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 carrots ( or about 1 1/2 cups baby carrots, cut up)
1 cup of celery, chopped (or more carrots if you aren't a fan)
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped I like sweet onions but white or yellow work as well
3 cups cooked, chopped chicken (or rotisserie chicken, cut up)
1 tablespoon dried tarragon, optional 

6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sifted flour
2 teaspoons chicken stock concentrate*
1-2 cups water or milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can milk

Cream Biscuit Topper
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon  baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 c cream
3 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or other herbs, about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup cheese, grated

Prepare the biscuits (directions below) and set aside.
Pre heat the oven to 375 and set rack in middle of oven. 

Saute carrots, celery, onion and tarragon together in a large stockpot for about about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat add chopped broccoli, place lid on pan and let sit for 5 minutes.
In another pan, over medium heat melt 6 tablespoons butter and add 1/2 cup sifted flour. Whisk until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon salt and pepper each and 2 teaspoons chicken stock concentrate. Whisk until smooth. Slowly pour 1 1/2 cups water or milk into pan whisking until smooth and bubbly. If the mixture gets too thick, add a little more milk or water. The mixture should be the consistency of gravy. Pour this mixture over the cooked vegetables.
If you are using the soup method, add the soup and can of milk directly to the vegetable mixture after the vegetables are finished sitting for 5 minutes covered. Mix until the soup and milk are blended into the vegetables. Do not add salt to this mixture until you taste, the soup usually has enough salt included. 
Add cooked, chopped chicken to the vegetable/gravy mixture. 
Place ramekins on a cookie sheet.
Fill greased ramekins (about 8) or a 9x13 pan with vegetable, chicken and gravy mixture. Top each with a biscuit. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until mixture is bubble and biscuits are golden. 

prepare biscuits:
Mix all dry ingredients together in large bowl. Add cream all at once, fold until dry mixture is absorbed. Fold in herbs and cheese.  If the mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon or two of additional cream. Pat out on floured surface to about 3/4 inch thick. Cut with round biscuit cutter or glass. The biscuit recipe usually makes about 12- 2 1/2 inch biscuits. 

-*Stock concentrate is sold in many forms. It enhances the flavor of the gravy. Knorr and Swanson both sell stock concentrate. Knorr is sold in a little "cup" about 4 cups to a package the little cups are equal to about 1 tablespoon of flavoring ( one of the cups will be perfect in this recipe) . Swanson sells their product "Flavor Boost" in a box with 8 liquid packets included. You can also buy stock concentrate in jars at food specialty stores. These are usually sold in 2 cup (actual 2 cup measurement) jars that need to be refrigerated after opening. I always look for products that are MSG free. A crumbled bullion cube will also work.
-The biscuit can be made without the herb and cheese added. I used Smoked Gouda, but any cheese will work.
-You may use any combination of veggies. I strongly suggest using onions because of flavor, but green beans, peas, corn may be substituted for the other veggies.
-I frozen the leftovers by placing the entire ramekin in a Ziplock bag in the freezer. To use, let sit on counter for about one hour. Heat, covered for about 45 minutes at 350.
-To make this "quick and easy", use a can of soup and milk and a can of biscuits in place of the roux and cream biscuits. 


Fresh Peach and Coconut Cream Cake

Our Labor Day weekend started with a stop at one of my favorite breakfast spots, Left Fork Grill in SLC, a drive to our cabin for football watching, hiking, fishing, a little archery practice, swinging on the swings and of course a bit of cooking before returning home on Monday.

When at the cabin, I try to simplify and make things that we can enjoy with little time in the kitchen. I baked up this Fresh Peach and Coconut Cream Cake to celebrate the end of summer and highlight one of my favorite fruits.  This recipe is a one bowl, mix, pour and bake dessert. Really simple, fresh and delicious. If you've got  peaches sitting on your counter, this is one dessert you have to try.
Happy Baking!

Fresh Peach and Coconut Cream Cake
A Bountiful Kitchen

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla or 1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups peaches, peeled and chopped (about 2 small peaches)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut sweetened, flaked (optional)

additional peaches for topping cake (3-4 more)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Add vanilla, peaches and lemon juice, beat until the peaches are broken up into small pieces, about 1-2 minutes on high. Add the buttermilk, flour, baking soda and salt. Continue beating for an additional two minutes, fold in coconut.
Generously grease a 9x13 pan or two 9 inch round cake pans or pie plates. Bake on middle rack of oven, about 30-35 minutes for 9 x 13, about 20-25 minutes for round cake pans or pie plates.
Remove and let cool.
Whip cream until stiff, add powdered sugar, whip until blended well.
Peel, pit and slice additional peaches. Slice cake and top with peach slices, top with whipped cream.
Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar or coconut.

-I baked this at a high altitude (about 6,700 ft) and used 1 cup buttermilk and 2 1/4 cups flour. Baked at 375 for 30 minutes in a 9x13 pan.


Lone Star Taqueria Fish Tacos with Jalapeño Mayo

One of my favorite places to eat in Salt Lake is Lone Star Taqueria.  It's a funky little place on Fort Union Blvd. We've been going there for years to eat the best fish tacos around.   Jalapeño mayo gives the tacos a perfect dressing that doesn't overpower the fish.  My standard order: Two tacos, rice, beans (yay! made without lard), a side of guac and chips and I'm a happy (full) girl. Oh, The Carnitas tacos are also my favorite and absolutely delicious. As in lick your plate delicious.
I was ecstatic to see Chef Manuel Valdez's recipe for Lone Star Taqueria's fish tacos published in Sunset Magazine years ago. Sometimes, the recipe (even when it comes straight from the restaurant) doesn't translate well at home. I'm happy to report that this recipe tastes just like the restaurant version.  It's seriously simple and fresh, relatively healthy and I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't love this dish. 
Perfect summer dinner. 

Lone Star Taqueria Fish Tacos with Jalapeno Mayo
Lone Star Taqueria, Salt Lake City, Utah

6 tablespoons ground dried New Mexico or California chilies (or chili powder)
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1/2 teaspoon  ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or less if you want fish to be less spicy)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 whole cloves
1 dried bay leaf, broken into pieces
1 pound boned, skinned firm-flesh fish such as halibut, mahi-mahi, or rock fish
Shredded cabbage, about 4 cups
3-4 limes

In a large bowl, mix ground dried chilies, oil, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, cayenne, cumin, cloves and bay leaf.
Rinse fish and pat dry. Add to bowl and turn to coat with marinade; cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to1 day, mixing several times.
Lift fish from marinade and arrange pieces in a single layer in a 9-X-13-inch pan. Discard marinade.
Broil fish 4 to 5 inches from heat until opaque but still moist-looking in center of thick part of fish (cut to test), about 5 minutes for 1/2-inch-thick pieces. With a slotted spatula, transfer fish to paper towels to blot oil, then set on a platter. Cut fish along the grain into 1/2-inch slices, season to taste with salt. Serve wrapped in flour tortilla with shredded cabbage, Lone Star Pico de Gallo and Lone Star Cilantro Jalapeño Mayonnaise and a squeeze of lime juice. Enough for 6 tacos.

Jalapeño Mayo
1 3/4 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 rinsed and stemmed fresh jalapeño with seeds removed
1 peeled garlic clove
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients except salt; whirl until smooth. Add salt to taste. Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

Pico de Gallo
2 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 tablespoons minced jalapeños
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste

In a bowl combine all except salt. Add salt to taste. Makes about 2 cups.

-I often make these tacos without the Pico, but never without the Cilantro Jalapeño Mayo. 
-I don't blot the fish after cooking. 
-Lightly grill the corn tortillas before serving. Grill oven medium heat in a pan or on a griddle for about 30 seconds to one minute on each side, just until tortilla is warmed and starts to soften a bit. 
-Always use food handlers gloves or a plastic sack when seeding a jalapeño. Trust me. 


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.


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
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.

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


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.
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


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.

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) unsalted 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.

(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, or remove the pans half way through baking and push the sides in to form a circle. Place pan back in oven and finish baking. 
- 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.


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. 


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

-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.