Archive for May, 2012

Arroz con Pollo

I am pretty sure I found this recipe online somewhere but I can’t seem to find the original site where I first read it.

  • 3lbs of chicken thighs, breasts or drumsticks (we used three chicken breasts)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 roasted red bell peppers, cut into strips (omitted because I don’t like peppers)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, cut (we used ground saffron)
  • 2 cups long-grained white rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. In a large oven proof skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Turn once or twice while cooking, until brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add onion, peppers (if using) and garlic to pan. Reduce heat and cook until vegetables are softened, 4 to 5 min.

4. Stir the saffron into the vegetables. Add the rice and stir to coat them all. Stir in the broth and the oregano and bring to simmer. Return chicken to the skillet.

5. Cover pan and transfer to the oven. Bake 45 min.

6. Uncover and stir in tomatoes and their juices. Cover and bake another 15 min.

Verdict: I feel like I should have liked the recipe more than I did. I love chicken. I love rice. I love tomatoes. All together, I should have loved this dish, but I felt like it was missing something. It took me awhile thinking it over, but I came to the conclusion that I would have liked it to have either cheese, for a gooey texture, or a sauce.



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In Search Of: the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Part 40: Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe on another food blog, though I adapted it a little. The original recipe had some chocolate melted on top with sprinkles of salt. We just made the cookie itself without any of extra topping stuff.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (didn’t use because we use salted butter)
  • 1 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and brown sugar. Beat in eggs, vanilla and caramel sauce.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt (if using). Mix into wet ingredients. Mix in chocolate chips.

4. Place spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake 8 min.

Verdict: We made 6 dozen cookies. They were really good. There really wasn’t a caramel taste to them, though. The caramel sauce gave the cookies some added sweetness and a smoother texture.

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Bistro Salad

This is another recipe I got from Kraft.

  • 6 cups torn lettuce
  • 1/2 cup bacon bits
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped (we used 3)
  • 225g green beans, trimmed and blanched (we didn’t use, because I do not like beans)
  • 1 cup croutons
  • 1/3 cup virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing

1. First off, because my mom does not like raw onion, we brown the onion in a skillet.

2. I admit, our salad did not look as neat as the one on Kraft’s website, as we put everything together in one bowl and just tossed it together with the dressing.

Verdict: I liked but didn’t love this salad. The lettuce, bacon and croutons are all pretty standard salad ingredients. So the eggs were pretty much what made this recipe unique. While it added an interesting texture and taste to it, I really wasn’t won over to the idea of hard-boiled eggs in a salad.

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Garlic Bread Crumb Pasta

I found this recipe on the website for the TV show Best Recipe Ever.

  • 250g of spaghetti (we used the recommended amount for three people)
  • 1 6 inch piece of baguette, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained and chopped (we didn’t use because neither my mom or my sister like capers)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1. Cook spaghetti as directed on the package. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain pasta and return to cooking pot.

2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. (Previously we were supposed to use the food processor to chop the bread into smaller pieces, but we went for more of a crouton size than a pea-size.) Fry bread and garlic for 4 min. Add capers (if using), parsley to taste (for us this is none) and lemon juice.

3. Stir into the pasta the bread mixture as well as the reserved cooking liquid. (We were supposed to sprinkle with Parmesan cheese but we just mixed it in as well.)

Verdict: I liked this, but not to the extent that I would make it again. All of the flavours worked really well, though sometimes we got a piece of bread that was too garlicy and another that was too lemony. As well, as a personal preference, I like my pasta dishes to have more of a sauce and the cooking liquid here that got mixed in and basically helped coat the pasta in the cheese and the garlic, really didn’t qualify as a sauce.


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Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe in a Pillsbury Simply from Scratch booklet.

  • 2 cups chocolate chips, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. In a small saucepan, melt 1 cup of the chocolate chips.

3. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter together. Add sour cream, vanilla, egg and melted chocolate.

4. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in remaining chocolate chips.

5. Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheets and bake 7 to 10 min (ours needed 7).

Verdict: We made just over 5 dozen. I liked the cake like quality of the cookies. Though my sister found them dry and my mom found them tasteless.

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Spanish Chicken and Rice

I found this recipe in Inspire, a free magazine at my grocery store.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (our can was 798 ml)
  • 1 cup cooked rice (we used 2 cups because of the amount of liquid in the tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed (I actually don’t know why it would make a difference between frozen, canned or fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (we didn’t use, because we are not really a fan of anything hot or spicy. That probably means the dish really isn’t Spanish, though)
  • 1/2 cup parsley (we didn’t use because we don’t really like parsley)

1. Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until chicken is cooked. Add tomatoes and the juices and bring to a boil.

2. Stir in rice and cover. Reduce heat to low. Cook 25 min or until rice is tender. Stir in peas and co0k 1 to 2 min, until peas are hot.

3.  (If using, right before serving, stir in hot sauce and parsley).

Verdict: I really liked this recipe. Chicken and rice is a classic combination and I like finding new ways to make the two together. Even without the hot sauce, I really enjoyed the tomato flavour of the dish.


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Chocolate Pecan Pie

This is a recipe from Pillsbury.

  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (two tablespoons of this is to melt for a topping, but we didn’t use those)
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans, halved
  • (we didn’t use the 10 pecans they said for the topping)
  • Whipped cream

1. Make pie crust as directed.

2. Heat oven to 325F.

3. In a large bowl, beat corn syrup, sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs. Mix in the 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips and the 1 1/2 cup of pecans.

4. Pour into prepared pie crust.  Bake 55 to 65 minutes (ours was ready at 50 min).

5. Let cool about 1 hour. (The topping is pecans dipped in melted chocolate on top of whipped cream, but we had run out of pecans so we just topped pieces with whipped cream).

Verdict: Pecans are not my favourite. My sister doesn’t like them at all. But pecan pie is one of my mom’s favourites, so we made it this week for mother’s day. She loved the pie, more than the last one we made, though she wished there hadn’t been any chocolate chips in it.

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