Showing posts with label almonds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label almonds. Show all posts

Friday, August 7, 2015

Chicken Bastilla

Of all the Moroccan foods I've tried, this recipe is my favorite. I will admit I really was surprised. I thought the combination sounded crazy. Chicken with cinnamon, scrambled egg mixture, almonds and all topped with powdered sugar? It couldn't possibly be good, right? Not only did I love it, my whole family loved it. My son said it is one of his all time favorite foods. There are a lot of steps to this recipe and it does take awhile to make but it really is worth it. I recommend going to the link listed below the recipe to the source since Cooking with Alia has a video. Watch the video before making this recipe. Oh, it is so good!
Moroccan Chicken Bastilla
Chicken filling:
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
pinch of saffron
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 lbs. chicken breast
2 cups chicken broth

Egg filling:
6 large eggs

Almond filling:
10 oz. blanch almonds
4 oz. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
vegetable oil for frying

Dough ingredients:
1 package of phyllo dough
8 Tbsp butter, melted
1 egg yolk

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over high heat.
  2. Add the onions, parsley, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, saffron, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Add the chicken breast and mix. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken broth and allow the mixture to cook.
  5. Cover and allow the chicken to cook for 20 minutes. 
  6. Remove the chicken from the mixture. Place the chicken onto a plate and allow to cool. 
  7. Once cooled, shred the chicken into small pieces. Set aside.
  8. Lower the heat to low.
  9. Add the 6 eggs to the mixture in the pot. Mix well. 
  10. Allow the mixture to cook 10 minutes. Stir often. Once the liquid has evaporated, remove from the pot and place in a bowl to cool. Set aside.
  11. In a large skillet, add oil. Heat over medium heat.
  12. Add the almonds and fry until golden brown. 
  13. Remove the excess oil from the almonds. 
  14. Add one Tbsp of the almond oil to the shredded chicken. Mix well. Set aside. 
  15. Into a food processor, add the almonds, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and water. Pulse until the almonds are crushed. Set aside.
  16. Brush a deep pie pan with melted butter. 
  17. Carefully, fold 3 pieces of phylllo dough into half. Place onto the bottom of the pie pan. Brush with melted butter.
  18. Hold another 3 pieces of phyllo dough in half. Place the folded piece on the side of the pan with 1/3 of the length draped over the edge of the pan. The phyllo dough should be overlapping the bottom layer. Brush with the melted butter. 
  19. Continue to drape the sides of the pan with the halved phyllo dough. Brush with the melted butter.
  20. Spread the egg mixture into the middle of the pan.
  21. Cover the egg mixture with two layers of the phyllo dough. Brush with melted butter. 
  22. Add the shredded chicken into the middle of the pan. Cover with two layers of the phyllo dough. Brush with the melted butter.
  23. Add the almond mixture into the middle of the pan. Cover with two layers of the phyllo dough. Brush with the melted butter. 
  24. Carefully, fold the draped phyllo dough over the almond mixture. Brush with melted butter. 
  25. Any remaining phyllo dough should be draped over the top of the dish. Tuck any sides inside the pan. Brush with melted butter. 
  26. Brush the top of the phyllo dough with the egg yolk.  
  27. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  28. Bake the 20 to 30 minute or until golden brown.
  29. Remove from oven and decorate the top of the bastilla with sifted powdered sugar and cinnamon.
  30. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted by Cooking with Alia.

One year ago...............................I made Blueberry Muffins.
Two years ago.............................I made Berry Tea.
Three years ago...........................I made Steak and Ale Pie.
Did you already know..............................
-The Arabs introduced Moroccans to meat infused with spices and wrapped in a pastry.
-Chicken Bastilla is a traditional Moroccan chicken pie.
-Chicken Bastilla was initial made with fledgling pigeons.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Amlou Dip

Since my children and husband likes to eat dips, I figured I would try this Moroccan recipe. I thought this would taste similar to peanut butter but I was wrong. It is nutty tasting. I will admit this recipe had mixed reviews. My husband ate the majority of it. I only made a small batch since Argan oil is expensive. It does have a unique taste. If you are serving a Moroccan theme dinner, this would be something to try.
Amlou Dip
1/3 cup Almonds, roasted
1.7 oz. Argan oil
1 oz. Honey

  1. In a food processor, grind the almonds to form a paste.
  2. Slowly add the Argan oil to the almond past.
  3. Add the honey and combine well.
Recipe adapted from

One year ago...........................I made Popovers with chive and cheddar.
Two years ago.........................I made BLT with Aioli.
Three years ago......................I made Peanut Butter Florentines.
Did you already know..............................
-Argan oil is made from the kernel of the Argan tree.
-The Argan tree are grown in limited area but is native to Morocco.
-Argan oil can be found in high ended cosmetics since it is good for the hair and skin.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Ghoriba, Almond Macaroons

Since I wanted to try a Moroccan dessert, I picked Ghoriba cookies. I know desserts tend to be less sweet than ours in America but I thought these were plain. Maybe if I had roasted the almonds then it could have made a difference but I'm unsure. My son did like them but they weren't sweet enough for my daughter. They are easy to make.  I was hoping it would be like a Mexican wedding cookie but it isn't. I was thinking it has lots of potential. The recipe called for orange blossom water for decoration but I couldn't find any and didn't want to order it online. I used plain water since it is only used to moisten the dough to roll it into powdered sugar. They have a soft interior with a crunchy exterior.
Ghoriba, Almond Macaroons
1/2 lb. almonds, blanched and peeled
4 oz. powdered sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp lemon zest
(orange blossom) water & powdered sugar for decoration

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  3. In a food processor, process the almonds twice to make a moist almond paste. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, beat the powdered sugar with the egg.
  5. Add the almond paste, baking powder, butter, vanilla, and lemon zest to the powdered sugar mixture.
  6. Using the water to dampen your hands, moisten the dough to form one inch balls.
  7. Roll the balls in the powdered sugar to coat. 
  8. Place the cookies onto the baking sheet. 
  9. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until golden. 
  10. Remove from oven and coat the cookies with additional powdered sugar. 
  11. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Recipe adapted from Aboutfood.

Two years ago...................................I made Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
Three years ago................................I made Lemon Tassies.
Did you already know..............................
-Ghoriba is a generic term for a Moroccan hand rolled cookies.
-A crinkled top is desired for a Ghoriba cookie.
-The cookies range from being like a shortbread to a macaroon.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Blueberry Oatmeal

Recently, I went to Maine. Yes, there was snow still on the ground. Yes, I saw family. Yes, I ate way too much chocolate. So, I decided I needed to eat a little healthier and exercise just a little more. I decided to try this oatmeal recipe. I liked it. I didn't add any sugar to the oatmeal for sweetness. I figured I would rather have the sugar in my ice tea. However, my children added sugar to their oatmeal. They liked it and would eat it again but with sugar. With a serving of fruit, this recipe is a great way to start the day. I love the purple color.
Blueberry Oatmeal
2 cup water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
1 apple, chopped
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix the water, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  2. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Stir in the oatmeal and allow to bring to a simmer.
  4. Stir in the blueberries and allow to cook for 1 minute.
  5. Turn off the heat and cover.
  6. Allow the oatmeal to sit for 15 minutes. The mixture should be thick and creamy.
Recipe adapted from Dr. Fuhrman's site.

One year ago.......................I made Lemon Cream Cookies.
Two years ago.....................I made Baps Breakfast Sandwich.
Three years ago...................I made Sand dollar Cookie.
Did you already know..........
-Blueberries are native to North America. 
-Maine produces the most wild blueberries.
-During the Civil War, wild blueberries were canned and shipped to the Union troops.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Strange Cat

We have strange animals that live in my house. My dog loves to lick our cat. I don't mean in a friendly way. I mean our cat is receiving a regular bath. She is saturated when he is through. (I have posted a photo of our cat at the end of this post.) Occasionally, she will swipe at him but I think it is more for show since she doesn't move away. Why? Why does the cat let our dog do this to her? Why does he want to lick her in the first place?
Recently, I have changed work locations. Near my old job, I liked to order a wrap from Bay Wrap. So, I decided I would attempt to duplicate one of their wraps. My oldest daughter said I did a pretty good job. I made a chicken and rice meal the night before and made extra to make this easy to go lunch. Any Asian salad dressing is a great substitute for the sauce.
Asian chicken wrap
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup soy sauce, low sodium works fine
1 Tbsp cup water.
1 clove garlic, minced fine
1 tsp ginger, minced fine
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
2 cup chicken, cooked and cut into strips
4 tortilla wraps
2 cup lettuce
1 cup sprouts
1 cup rice, cooked
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup scallions


  1. In a small bowl,combine the honey, soy sauce, water, garlic, ginger, olive oil, and lemon juice. Taste the sauce and adjust the flavors to taste. Add salt and pepper if desired. 
  2. Place the chicken in the sauce and set aside.
  3. Place the tortilla wraps on a plate. Cover the tortilla wraps with a damp paper towel. Microwave the wraps for about 10 seconds, just to warm them.
  4. Place one wrap in the center of a large piece or aluminum foil or wax paper. 
  5. Place 1/2 cup of lettuce and 1/4 cup sprouts evenly over the tortilla wrap.
  6. Onto of the lettuce, evenly spread out 1/2 cup of the chicken. 
  7. Over the chicken, sprinkle the cooked rice and almonds. 
  8. Top the rice with the scallions and sprinkle a little of the sauce evenly over the tortilla. Do not drench or the tortilla will become too soft.
  9. Fold up the sides of the tortilla and roll up the wrap tightly.
  10. Wrap the chicken wrap with the aluminum foil or wax paper.
  11. Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.
Did you already know...
- A group of cats are called a clowder.
-Cats are the most popular pet in North America.
-A cat will clean itself 1/3 of the time its awake.
Why me?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Raspberry Phyllo Tarts

Since I really didn't think you had enough berries recipes already, I will (just for you) post a few raspberry recipes. Oh, your welcome. You don't have to thank me. My children have been thanking me lately. They must be my children since they aren't complaining yet.
If you couldn't tell by now, I love berries. So, I was looking up raspberry recipe in Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2008 cookbook and noticed a raspberry Phyllo tart recipe. It looked easy. It looked quick and I totally changed it besides a few ingredients. All of my tarts were gone within the hour. So, here is my inspired recipe from Cooking Light.
Raspberry Phyllo Tart Recipe
1 (2.1 oz.) package of mini phyllo shells
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
1/4 cup raspberries
Crushed almonds and additional raspberries for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place shells on a baking sheet.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, honey, and almond extract.
  4. Stir in 1/4 cup of the chopped almonds and the 1/4 cup raspberries. Mix until well combined.
  5. Spoon in about 1 tsp of the cream cheese mixture into the Phyllo shells.
  6. Bake the shells for about 5 minutes and rotate pan.
  7. Bake the shells for another 5 minutes or until the cream cheese mixture is firm.
  8. Remove the shells from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
  9. Top the shells with crushed almonds and raspberries if desired.
 Recipe created by Jen of Sweet Morris.
 Did you already know...
-Another name for phyllo is filo or fillo. 
-The largest producer of phyllo products is Athens Foods.
-Phyllo dough has been produced since the Ottoman Empire but Athens foods have been producing it for over 50 years.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Chock Full of Nuts Cookies

I love nuts in my cookies. So, I was very glad this recipe was not previously picked the members of The Project Pastry Queen. If you take a cookie and add four different types of nuts to it, this is the cookie you would have. Any other type of nuts can easily be substituted to your taste but why mess with perfection. Please check out the other members to see if they substituted different nuts in their cookies.
The hardest thing about making this recipe was keeping my children away from the toasted macadamia nuts. Alright, I will admit I did sample a couple of them but it was only for quality purposes. I did half the amount of the almond extract but added the omitted extract to the vanilla extract. 
Chock-Full-of-Nuts Cookies
3 cups pecan pieces
1 1/2 cups chopped macadamia nuts
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups slivered blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour 
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. On a baking sheet, arrange the nuts in a single layer and toast them for 7 to 9 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Allow the nuts to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Chop the nuts into smaller pieces.
  5. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. In a large bowl, cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.
  7. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat for 1 minute.
  8. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat for about 30 seconds or until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  9. Stir in the nuts until combined.
  10. Scoop the dough about the size of a gold ball onto the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  11. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes and the cookies are golden brown around the edges with no raw looking dough in the middle. 
  12. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
The 6 1/2 dozen cookies will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container or frozen well wrapped for up to 1 month. 
Recipe adapted from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather. 
Did you already know...
-Hawaii grows 90% of the macadamia nuts worldwide.
-The macadamia nut is not native to Hawaii.
-A macadamia nut tree was first planted around 1881. 
-The macadamia nut originated from Australia.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chicken Salad Roll Up

When I was growing up, I hated leftovers. I hated them. (I just wanted to make sure you knew how I really felt.) So, I think it is very strange I live in a household that like leftovers. If I make a nice meal, my husband will call on his way home to ask me if there is any left. 
The problem comes when I am trying to make two meals from one. I made this roast chicken which is popular in our household. I also planned to make chicken salad roll ups with the leftover chicken. I had to stress to everyone not to touch the leftover chicken. My husband later told me that he was glad he waited. It was hard but he was glad.
Chicken Salad Roll Up
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup light Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp mustard
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp tarragon
3 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 cup slivered blanched almonds
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 cup minced onion
salt and pepper
4 tortilla

  1. Arrange the almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  2. Toast the almonds for 7 or until golden brown. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, lemon juice, tarragon.
  4. Add the chicken, almonds, apple, celery, and onion to the  mayonnaise mixture.
  5. Mix the ingredients until incorporated.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  7. Place 1/4 of the filling in the center of the tortilla and roll. 
Recipe adapted from The Pastry Queen.
Did you already know...
-As a celebration to the Duke Duc de Richelieu's military victory over the English, the Duke's French chef created a feast in 1756.
-For the feast, the chef was making a sauce with eggs and cream but he didn't have any cream.
-The chef substituted olive oil for the cream and named it mahonnaise.
-The word mahonnaise was misprinted in a 1841 cookbook and the name has been known since as Mayonnaise.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sand dollar cookies

I can't wait to head to the beach. I will admit I do not go into the Maine water. Would you? It is just too cold for me. However, my children have no problem. I would rather look for sand dollars. If I find one, I may not be quick enough in grabbing it then I will be hit by a wave but normally I get lucky. I am like the little kids who run away when the wave comes near them.
 Last year, we were at the beach and a sea gull actually swooped down close. It was able to take my oldest daughter's sandwich right from her hand. She screamed so loud. I thought it was so funny. It didn't happen again since she was prepared. The rest of the visit she would just keep watching them. She would just keep scanning the sky. She wasn't going to fall for that again. It didn't help that my son was afraid of birds at the time.
These cookies taste very similar to a snickerdoodle cookie. 

Sand Tarts
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs (1 egg needs to be separated)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp water
2 tsp ground cinnamon
sliced almonds, for decoration

  1. In a mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy.
  2. Add 1 cup sugar and beat until fluffy.
  3. Add into the butter mixture 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, vanilla, and the lemon zest.
  4. Add the flour and salt to the butter mixture.
  5. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together.
  6. Shape the dough into a disk and wrap well in plastic wrap.
  7. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  9. In a small, whisk together the egg white and the water.
  10. In another small bowl, combine the sugar and 3/4 cup sugar.
  11. Roll out the dough on a clean, floured surface.
  12. With a round biscuit cutter, (glass or other round object) cut round circles in the dough.
  13. Place the circles of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet. 
  14. Brush the dough with the egg white water.
  15. Decorate each piece of dough with 3 almonds to look like sand dollars.
  16. Sprinkle each pieces of dough with the cinnamon sugar.
  17. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Rotate about 5 minutes of baking.
  18. Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies.
Did you already know...
 -Sand dollars tend to live for 6 to 10 years.
-Sand dollars can move along the sand or burrow in the sand underwater.
-Live sand dollars can be found below the low tide depths of the ocean.