Friday, November 28, 2014

Chicken and Broccoli Impossible Pie

I have a hard time with making non baked goods. It's not that I don't want to make other items, it's just that I rarely eat meat or packaged food, nor do I want to store/freeze extra food each time I want to test out a recipe in a cookbook - baked goods are easy to pawn of.

Impossibly, I pawned this Pie off on my mom for her dinner tonight. :)

Chicken & Broccoli Impossible Pie

Most of the things I eat are made from scratch, if possible, although I do admit to eating a lot of packaged soup lately... Campbell's Everyday Gourmet Tomato Basil is my newest favourite soup. It comes in a box and is just yummy.

The Chicken and Broccoli Impossible Pie is a handwritten recipe my mom wrote in the back of a cookbook. I don't know where she got it from originally, but it could be from the back of the Bisquick box. They have a similar recipe on the back of the box but the ingredients amounts are a bit different, so perhaps they have revised it since my mom copied it out.

The ingredients are pretty basic and easy to put together. I HATE onions, just really hate them more that I can even write about, so I traded them out for mushrooms. Hahaha, which I also hate, but not as much as the dreaded onion :) I also chose to use fresh broccoli instead of frozen. I weighed it and 300g is about 4 cups of fresh chopped.

Mix the chicken, broccoli, mushrooms (or dreaded onions), and 2 cups of the cheese together in a pie plate. It should be a deeper dish pie plate and not a low sided thing.

Mix the mix, eggs, salt, pepper, and Bisquick together and pour over the chicken and broccoli.

Bake for 30 - 40 minutes until a knife inserted into the pie comes out clean.

Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese and bake for another 1 - 2 minutes. 

There you go. Impossible to believe that I will never make this again, I know :) But it's really not my kind of food. It really needs something to kick up the flavour besides the salt and pepper. Maybe some fresh herbs. It's not horrible, but I found it a bit bland.

Chicken & Broccoli Impossible Pie

  • 300 g package frozen chopped broccoli
  • 3 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked chicken
  • 2/3 cup chopped onions
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Bisquick mix
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  1. Heat oven to 400 F
  2. Grease pie plate
  3. Mix broccoli, 2 cups of cheese, chicken, and onions in the pie plate'
  4. Blend eggs, milk, bisquick, salt, and pepper together until smooth.
  5. Pour into pie plate.
  6. Bake until knife comes clean 30 - 40 mins.
  7. Top with remaining cheese.
  8. Bake until cheese is melted 1 - 2 minutes longer.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Oatmeal Muffins can cause Disappointment

First, let me say, I have to figure out the lighting in my house. I don't consider myself a professional photographer at all, but even I can tell the lighting is horrible. I really do miss the floor to ceiling windows I had in Toronto and all the light.

So on to the cooking bit of this post - I made Oatmeal Muffins from the newer Five Roses Flour cookbook and from the start I knew I should of packed it in and just went to bed.

I guess they look okay and they taste alright, but that's on the low side of okay and alright :) The raisins add the only excitement to this muffin.  hahah, trying these I imagined these would be good 'safety' food to pack with you in case you get stranded.  Whole wheat flour and oats to fill you up, but not tasty enough to gobble up even before you've left the house :)

Oatmeal muffins

I gathered the ingredients and accidentally spilled some whole wheat flour on the shortening. Not a big deal really, so I tipped the dish over the flour bag and gently shook the dish to shake off the flour...and ever so nicely dumped the shortening in to the bag too!  You can see the sad looking shortening in the picture below. I even got a bit of flour in the egg :)

Oatmeal muffins ingredients

If the baking powder looks odd, it's because it is.  I thought I had enough. I even keep my spices and dried herbs in canning jars so I can see how much I have, and it looked like I had enough. I need my eyes checked! I had 2 teaspoons of baking powder and then visited Google to find a substitute for the other 2.

The recipe starts off with scalding milk. I've never scalded milk before, so once again off to visit my good friend Google. Scalding, is the process of heating the milk until it just starts to get bubbles around the outside. If it starts to bubble in the middle then you've gone to far.  This worked out well and I was happy with the outcome and cheerfully dumped the shortening and oats in to the pan, giving it a quick stir. At this point I was getting even more skeptical of a good outcome; it was pretty thick.

While the oat paste was thickening nicely in the pot, I mixed together the dry ingredients.

Oatmeal muffins - a sticky situation

At this point I reread the recipe a dozen times wondering where the extra liquid was. My eyes must keep missing it somehow, perhaps I looked at the wrong recipe? Perhaps they forgot and it is actually written in the directions, please help.......haha, even now I want to double check again!

I forged ahead knowing without a doubt that this would not be a batter, but a sticky dough. I hoped that the milk that was soaked in the oatmeal would miraculously contain enough moisture to produce glorious muffins that I would proudly show off all dripping with butter. Ha!

I used two spoons to drop *cough SCRAPE cough* the oat paste into the greased muffin tins and put it in the oven for 15 minutes, and WALA! Let the hockey season start, I have 12 pucks! :)

Oatmeal hockey pucks

Ok, I'm being horribly mean to these little heavy muffins, they are Ok in a desperate I have nothing to eat in the house type of way, but I'll never ever make them again. Ever. Well, unless someone else makes them and can tell me what the heck went wrong.  The powder situation might not make them rise, but it has no influence on the thick paste state of affairs :)

Oatmeal Muffins
Five Roses Flour cookbook - 1970? (pg 258)

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup Ogilvie Quick Oats
  • 2 Tbsp shortening
  • 1 cup Five Roses Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins
  • 1 egg, beaten

  1. Preheat oven.
  2. Scald milk; add oats and shortening and cool at room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt together.
  4. Stir in raisins.
  5. Add beaten egg to the oat mixture and pour in center of dry ingredients.
  6. Stir quickly until ingredients are just mixed and batter is lumpy in appearance.
  7. Fill greased muffin tins, 2/3 full.
  8. Bake in a hot oven.

Temperature: 210 C ( 400 F )
Cooking Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Yield: 12 medium muffins

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hermit Cookies

"Soft, fruity, spice-flavoured drops"

Hermit Cookies

It's been a busy few weeks so I haven't been able to post. Well, that's not entirely true...while I don't own a smart phone, I'm never very far from internet service...but I was busy! I baked cookies 2 weeks ago, for Halloween, but the recipe didn't come from any of my mom's cookbooks. I had made more Jack cookies.  And well, I moved again... this time in to a condo in the same building as my mom. The landlord was nice and didn't make me sign a lease. So that's handy! But...what I found out with all the moving of stuff is that I lost my (one and only and favorite) aluminum baking sheet, so the cookies I made last night were made in cake tins :) Took a bit longer being only able to bake 6 at a time, but it wasn't all a waste since I watched a couple episodes of Person of Interest.

I gathered up the ingredients while Reese and Carter were trying to make their way to FBI headquarters with Quinn. Lots of gunfire with HR chasing them down.

With the sound of explosions and gunshots, I mixed the butter and shortening together and then added in the brown sugar, blending until smooth. Once done, I mixed in the 3 beaten eggs.

Hermit cookie batter

Reese and Carter made it to the NYC Morgue! Hahaha, great place to store a guy for a short time.  I would of thought the morgue vaults were sealed better so smell didn't leak out - which would make it harder to breathe...but I'm thinking I'll only get a chance to see the inside of one once and I won't be alive to talk about it.

Hermit cookie batter with nuts

I added in the flour and then stirred in the nuts. I just love how nuts and raisins (and other things too!) look sprinkled over cookie batter all waiting and ready to be mixed in :) It's the small things that make me happy.

Reese kissing Carter doesn't make me very happy.  Romances always work better in TV shows when you are always waiting. Once a couple gets together part of the fun goes out of the show.  Thankfully, my little issue with that romance was taken care of in this episode too! Oddly, I'd really like to see Reese with Shaw, I think that romance could actually be fun and not kill the show. Sorry to see Carter go. Hahah, this isn't a spoiler, I'm quite a few episodes behind.

OK, back to the cookies!  The dough had to chill for 1/2 hr to an hour, so I watched some more Person of Interest while I cleaned up the dishes.

Preheated the oven to 375 F and used a scoop to measure the batter. I'm too lazy to use two teaspoons like they suggest.  The directions say to bake them on a greased cookie sheet, but I found they are greasy enough and do not need anything extra.

Hermit cookies

Overall the cookies are pretty good. The chopped dates seem to melt, so you only really bite down on the raisins and nuts.  They were soft and yummy.

I don't know if I would make this recipe again. I'm not sure if it was me or the recipe, but I guess I expected them to be more puffy and not as flat. Sorry cookie...hahah, my reason for not making you again is not your taste, but how you look. I'm shallow as all that!

Hermit Cookies
Robin Hood Flour Prize Winning Recipes - 1947 (pg 86)

  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1/2 cup soft shortening
  • 1 cup seedless raisins
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 2 cups sifted ROBIN HOOD FLOUR
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten

  1. Measure butter and shortening into mixing bowl. Wash and dry raisins, chop dates and nuts. Measure and combine.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices. Cream softened butter and shortening until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, mixing until creamy. Add beaten eggs and combine thoroughly. Add dry ingredients and fruits and nuts. Mix well. Chill dough 1/2 to 1 hour.
  3. Drop chilled dough from teaspoon, 1 inch apart, on greased cookie sheets.
  4. Bake 375 F (Moderately hot oven) for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove cookies from pan. Place on wire cake rack to cool.

YIELD: 4-5 dozen cookies.