Whose that crazy Chicken Lady?


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ramblings and late recipes

I posted a few weeks ago about my misadventures learning to cook from scratch and kind of blew off posting the recipes...


Fresh Tomato sauce

4 lbs of ripe fresh tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped or 1 small onion chopped
2 sprigs fresh sweet basil chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut tomatoes into small wedges and cook in stainless steel or enamel pan for 10 mins over medium fire until tomatoes are soft (I scored the bottoms to make the skin easier to come off). Cool and rub through a strainer. Brown garlic in hot oil until golden brown. And add tomato puree and seasonings. Cook uncovered until thick about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Enough for 1 lb of pasta. Serves 6.

I had much left over! I think it came out a little too salty for my taste. I also like a sweeter sauce but the gang seemed to like it. I had dried basil and did add an onion for good measure. It went well as our pizza sauce as well! Pretty easy peasy. The hardest part was that I don't have a metal colander anymore. I have one of those fold-able plastic ones. And I did break out our smoothie maker, I don't have a blender, pitiful I know but it did the job!

A few days back I was puzzled at what to do with my spinach, cherry tomatoes, green peppers and pineapple and I found this on here: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Stir_fry-Spinach-Salad-Allrecipes
I will definitely go back to this website!

Stir-Fry Spinach Salad
Ingredients         Serves 6 servings            
8 ozs pineapple chunks
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast halves (julienned)
2 tbsps cooking oil
1 green pepper (julienned)
3 tbsps brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch            
14 cup ketchup
3 tbsps soy sauce
6 cups spinach (torn fresh)
1 cup cherry tomato (halves)
Drain pineapple, reserving 3 tablespoons juice in a small bowl; set pineapple aside. (Discard remaining juice or save for another use.)
 In a skillet or wok, stir-fry chicken in oil for 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Add green pepper; stir-fry for 2-4 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Meanwhile, add brown sugar and cornstarch to pineapple juice; mix well. Stir in ketchup, vinegar and soy sauce until smooth; add to skillet and cook until thickened.
On a large serving platter, arrange spinach, pineapple and tomatoes. Top with chicken and green pepper; serve immediately.

IT WAS SUPER YUMMY! I wish I took a picture! Oh my goodness! The girls are picky and sadly didn't want to try it, but Terry and I made much it all gone... 

Then I was on the search for the recipe for those wonderful Biscoff cookies. I figure it may take me a bit to find a good recipe and sadly the first one I tried is not quite them. BUT! They are still good!
The Biscoff Cookie Recipe
Here is my reprinted version of Matzo & Rice's Biscoff (speculoos) cookie recipe with a few notes.  The only change I made was to omit sprinkling sugar on top of the cookies.  I didn't think that was necessary.
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 C unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/4 C firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together flour, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves), baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer on low speed. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Gradually blend the flour mixture into the butter mixture until it is well combined.
  5. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. From here, you can either bake it as a large sheet of cookies to cut later, or, you can use cookie cutters to make cookie shapes. (I used my awesome Williams-Sonoma cookie cutters!  I had a bit of trouble rolling the dough and found that if I chilled it for a bit, rolling was easier.)
  6. If you choose to bake it as a large sheet, bake for 20-25 minutes. Cut out cookies to shape as desired.
  7. If you choose to bake it as shapes, place dough shapes onto parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  8. Cool on cooling rack before serving. These are best once they have cooled.

(Belgian cookies)

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg

Combine flour, spices, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

Using electric mixer, beat brown sugar and butter in large bowl until light.Add egg and beat until fluffy. Gradually add dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Divide dough in half. Flatten each half into rectangle. Wrap with plastic; chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 2 large baking sheets.

Remove one dough piece from the refrigerator and roll on lightly floured work surface to 13x9-inch rectangle. Trim edges to form 12x8-inch rectangle. Cut into 24 (4x1-inch) rectangles. Lightly press miniature cookie cutter into each rectangle to make imprints (do not cut through dough). Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart.

Bake until edges begin to darken, about 8 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack and cool. Repeat with remaining dough piece.

Gotta run have visitors!

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