Showing posts with label betty crocker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label betty crocker. Show all posts

20 June 2014

Celebratory Cookies

"Spumoni Chunk Cookies" I made for a retirement party. The recipe starts with Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix and then tarts it up with pistachios, dried cherries, and semisweet chocolate chunks. I've made these cookies several times now, but I admit this was the first time I actually stuck with the recipe -- I've used toasted walnuts or pecans -- because pistachios are not something I usually have on hand. (If you can find shelled salted roasted pistachios, well, good on you. I bought mine still in the shell and, in shelling them, probably put as many in my tummy as in the measuring cup).

I thought I had a bag of Nestle Toll House chunks left from Christmas, but couldn't find them when it came time to bake and ended up buying a bag of Hershey's Baking Melts. Based on the packaging illustrations, I was expecting thumbnail-sized rounds, but opened the bag to find surprisingly big 'uns. A bit too big for these cookies, I thought, so I ended up chopping them in half. Unlike with the pistachios, no chocolate ended up in my belly!

The cherries were the last of the sour (tart) cherries I'd bought for fruitcake last December. They're excellent cherries -- slightly sweetened with a real intense punch of cherry flavor. They look a little bit like raisins once they've baked into the cookies, but once you take a bite you know you're dealing with CHERRIES. There's no confusing these with anything else!

Everyone at the party really loved these cookies and several people asked me for the recipe, only to appear visibly distressed when I explained I'd tarted up a cookie mix. The Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix yields a perfectly fine cookie and, with all the other ingredients added in, the cookie base wasn't a significant player in texture or flavor, anyway. If you want to go all out, by all means do use your favorite from-scratch cookie recipe. I needed to bake quite a lot of cookies in very little time between several other obligations and using a cookie mix saved me from Freaking Out and Baking Angry. No one wants to eat angry cookies.

Anyway, there were 35 cookies at the start of the party and 0 cookies were left at the end, so I think it's pretty clear these cookies were a success!

11 December 2012

Christmas Time is Cookie Time

So, like everyone else, I've been baking cookies. Nothing fancy this year, because I don't have the motivation or drive for fancy, but I yearn for the comfort of cookies. The sheer homeyness of cookies.


The first batch I made, "Spumoni Chunk Cookies," used a recipe I found on The cookies, which used Betty Crocker's sugar cookie mix as a base, were chock full of dried cherries, dry-roasted salted nuts, and white and semisweet chocolate chips. I admit my cookies don't look quite as pretty as the ones on the website, but they still tasted pretty darn fine and my coworkers scarfed them down as if they were manna or ambrosia.

Knowing The Husband would not touch the spumoni cookies with a ten-foot pole, I made him a batch of Crisco's "Ultimate Double Chocolate Chip Cookies" using white chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips. He seemed pleased with them, but said they were best still warm from the oven. Warming them the next day in the microwave worked okay, but nothing is beats cookies fresh from the oven.


15 April 2012

Eating the Alphabet: E is for Edamame

I knew I wanted to use edamame for April's Eating the Alphabet Challenge as I like edamame a lot, but only ever eat it on its own as a snack and so thought this would be the perfect time to try using it in a "proper" recipe. I tried three recipes, but Bon Appétit's "Edamame Hummus" was clearly the best pick of the bunch.

While I liked this dip a great deal, I’m reluctant to call it hummus as it contains no chickpeas or sesame and, really, tastes nothing like any hummus I’ve ever eaten. It is very green and very refreshing, though, and I found I couldn’t stop eating it! It was like eating spring on a cracker endive whotsit.

Edamame & Pea

I halved the recipe as I was the only one who would be eating it and 6 cups seemed a bit much for one ... but maybe it wouldn’t have been as I ate 3 cups in 3 days! The dip kept well, retaining its bright green color and tasting as fresh on Wednesday as it did on Monday. I ate it with endive, as indicated in the recipe, but also with pretzel crisps and pita chips when I ran out of endive.

I’d only bought one small head of endive as I’d never eaten it before and wasn’t sure what I’d think of it. I followed the directions from "Easy French Food" for preparing endive and found it to be pretty simple, stress-free work. Alas, the endive spears were a bit meh. Crisp and slightly bitter, they didn’t seem like anything to write home about. I guess they’re just one of those things that make an excellent vehicle for other foods, but don’t stand out on their own. Oh well, the endive was only 50¢ per head so it was not an expensive disappointment! (And now I know endive doesn’t make me swoon and, surely, that’s worth knowing).
Edamame Hummus
Adapted from Bon Appétit, December 2011

Making Edamame & Pea

2 10-ounce packages frozen shelled edamame (soybeans) [1 10-ounce package]
Kosher salt [omitted]
2 10-ounce packages frozen peas ) [1 10-ounce package]
½ cup fresh lemon juice [¼ cup]
2 teaspoons minced garlic
½ teaspoon ground coriander [omitted]
¼ teaspoon ground cumin [½ tsp]
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling [6 Tbsp]
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro plus more for garnish [2 Tbsp]
¼ cup chopped fresh mint plus more for garnish [2 Tbsp]
Freshly ground black pepper [and salt, to taste]
Endive spears [or dip transport of choice]

Cook edamame in a large pot of boiling salted [I omitted the salt] water until tender, 3–5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl of ice water. Return water in pot to a boil and add peas; cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Transfer peas to bowl with edamame; let cool. Drain well.

Working in batches, pulse edamame and peas in a food processor until a coarse purée forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in juice and next 3 ingredients. Gradually stir in 3/4 cup oil; mix well. Stir in 1/4 cup cilantro and 1/4 cup mint.

[I don’t understand why the directions had me do some of it in a food processor and some of it in a bowl when it seems like I could have done it all in the food processor and avoided dirtying extra equipment. I recommend whacking everything in your food processor and giving it a good whirl].

Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl; drizzle with oil and garnish with more herbs. Serve with endive spears.
Edamame & Pea

21 February 2012

Moderately Good Potato Soup

March's Improv Challenge features one of my favorite food combinations -- potatoes and cheese. The internetz are full of potatoes and cheese recipes and I've starting pinning some of them, building up a collection of Improv possibilities. This weekend, I thought I would give Betty Crocker's "Rustic Potato Soup with Cheddar and Green Onions" a whirl as I had an embarrassment of scallions on hand.

Potato Soup w/ Cheese & Scallions

This recipe turned out okay, but I won't make it again. The Husband enjoyed it very much, but I thought it was a bit bland and tasted too much like eating a big bowl of runny mashed potatoes. And this is after I tarted the soup up quite a bit! (It's likely my expectations were too high -- that, full of enthusiasm for the Improv Challenge, I simply expected too much from the recipe).
Moderately Good Potato Soup

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 pounds unpeeled russet potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 cups 2% milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon thyme
16 medium green onions, finely chopped
4 oz Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar, shredded

Bring broth to boil in French/Dutch oven. Add potatoes to broth and return to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender. Drain potatoes well, retaining 1 cup of hot broth. Puree 3 cups potatoes in blender with 1 cup of hot broth until smooth. Set aside.

Melt butter in Dutch oven and saute green onions under wilted. Add pureed potatoes, remaining potato chunks, milk, salt, pepper, thyme, most of the green onions, and cheese. Cook over medium, stirring, until soup is hot and cheese is melted. Taste. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve sprinkled with leftover shredded cheese, green onions, and black pepper.

I think the flavor of this soup would have been much improved if I had cooked 6-8 large garlic cloves with the potatoes and pureed them with the 3 cups of boiled potatoes. Also, I should have peeled the potatoes, because the bits of skin just didn't do anything for me.

(I can't share my "real" Improv Challenge recipe with you yet, but I am more that happy to share the ones that didn't make the cut).

14 February 2012

Easy Baked Apple Oatmeal, Yum!

I've gotten away from making oatmeal in my slow cooker -- don't even keep steel-cut oats in the house, anymore -- and this was a bit of a problem over the weekend when cold, blustery weather created an unbearable craving for slow-cooked oatmeal. Happily, I had a partial canister of old-fashioned oats on hand and knew there was a recipe for baked oatmeal squirrelled away somewhere. I eventually found the recipe ("Baked Apple Oatmeal") in Betty Crocker's Heart Healthy Cookbook. I've owned the Heart Healthy Cookbook for a while now and, judging by the number of sticky notes that decorate it, I've had every intention of cooking many things from it but ... well, the world is full of cookbooks.

Baked Apple Oatmeal w/ Blueberries

I don't think I can recommend this recipe enough -- it's incredibly easy to make and tastes really good. Not sweet at all so the apple, raisins, and cinnamon really pop. I ate mine reheated with a little milk and topped with blueberries. Yesterday, I like it so much for breakfast that I had it for lunch, too!

Baked Oatmeal, Ingredients

Combine old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and raisins in a big bowl. I used golden raisins, but dried cranberries or blueberries would also be delicious.

New Chopper

Chop two apples. The recipe doesn't say to peel them, but I did as my organic apples seemed to be coated with a sticky, waxy substance that would not wash off.

Baked Oatmeal, Unbaked

Combine everything together in a two-quart baker. It will look soupy. Don't panic. Bake.

Baked Oatmeal, Baked

See? 40 minutes later, most of the milk is absorbed and everything looks nomilicious. As an added bonus, your kitchen will smell like apple pie.

19 January 2012

Cookies, I Baked Them

I had promised The Husband cookies over the long weekend, but ended up using the last of the all-purpose flour in Sunday's silver dollar pancakes. I considered going to the store for flour, but in the spirit of the pantry challenge, it seemed a bit lazy to go buy flour when I had a mostly-full bin of King Arthur Organic White Whole Wheat Flour on hand. Surely I could make cookies with it? I use white whole wheat in roux, cakes, brownies, and quick breads so why not cookies? But could I find a recipe The Husband would like?

Happily, I found a Betty Crocker recipe for "No-Roll Sugar Cookies" which used white whole wheat flour. Since sugar cookies are the most basic, bog standard cookies I figured there was nothing about them The Husband would find displeasing and gave the recipe a go.

Sugar Cookies

And, you know, these turned out to be really lovely cookies -- crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and richly perfumed with the heady scent of Penzeys Mexican Vanilla. I'm encouraged to try white whole wheat flour in more cookie recipes!

27 December 2011

Gravy Guilt

Because I did not make most of our Christmas dinner feast, but purchased it ready-to-heat from Truffles Bakery, guilt motivated me to overcompensate by making not only a gravy for our herb-rubbed beef tenderloin, but also a sauce.

For the gravy, I used Betty's recipe for "Red Wine Sauce" which is a great, easy recipe I've made many times. It's my go-to beef gravy recipe. I make mine using the "expert tip" to add a ¼ cup port to the sauce, because port makes it even more delicious. Make sure you use a dry red wine and port you really enjoy drinking -- I used Little Penguin pinot noir (not dry, but whatever) and the last of my Cockborns "Special Reserve" port. Also, since my shallots were on the larger side of medium, I only used two.

Red Wine Sauce, Ingredients

For the sauce, I used Betty's recipe for "Horseradish Cream Sauce." It's any easy recipe -- just five ingredients -- and is best made the night before to give the flavors a chance to mingle.

Horseradish Sauce Ingredients

On Boxing Day, we made very nice sandwiches from leftover horseradish sauce, dinner rolls, and tenderloin. I also reheated slices of tenderloin in some of the leftover gravy for supper with leftover potatoes and carrots. The remaining gravy and vegetables will be used in Wednesday's shepherd's pie and that will be the end of our Christmas feast.

18 December 2011

Slow Cooker Sunday: Gingery Carrot Soup

This weekend I made Betty Crocker's "Slow Cooker Gingered Carrot Soup" to use up a surfeit of satsumas and carrots. Since this soup cooks for 10 hours on low, I started it Saturday night before I went to bed and then finished it Sunday morning. I thought this soup was really delicious -- gingery, yes, but that's exactly what I wanted in a midday pick-me-up. It's a thick and creamy soup that just needs a bit of salad and a chunk of crusty bread to make a satisfying meal!

Gingery Carrot Soup

Ingredients: baby carrots, chopped red onions, low-sodium chicken broth, juice from freshly squeezed satsumas, heavy cream, brown sugar, 6 cubes Dorot frozen crushed ginger (1 cube =  1 teaspoon), white pepper, salt.

Gingery Carrot Soup: Step 1

Before going to bed, I dumped the baby carrots, diced onions, and low-sodium chicken broth into my slow cooker. I only used one container of broth (4 cups), because I worried about overfilling my slow cooker. I figured I could always add more broth at the blending stage, if the soup was to thick.

I set my slow cooker on to low, put the lid on, set the kitchen timer for ten hours, and went to bed.

Gingery Carrot Soup, Step 2

In the morning, I turned off the slow cooker and added heavy cream, satsuma juice, brown sugar, 6 cubes Dorot frozen crushed ginger, and white pepper to the carrots.

Finished Gingery Carrot Soup

Pureed all the vegetables with my immersion blender and seasoned it with a little salt to taste. I did not add any extra broth as I didn't feel it needed it. I let the soup cool and then portioned it out into 1-cup serving containers for the work week.

29 June 2011

Easy, Yummy Oven-Fried Chicken

Peapod failed to bring cod to my house so meals were shuffled around and, viola, oven-fried chicken on Wednesday. Yes. I'm all daring like that. I halved Betty Crocker's "Oven-Fried Ranch Chicken" recipe and it was pretty darn good for a recipe that had essentially four ingredients -- chicken, buttermilk, ranch dressing mix, and cornbread mix.

Wednesday Comfort Food

I only used drumsticks for this recipe as I wanted to make sure everything cooked evenly. Next time, I might use a combination of thighs and drumsticks. Generally, I prefer dark meat for recipes like this because the chicken seems harder to overcook but, if I get really comfortable with this recipe, I might try it with split breasts.

I also substituted 3 tablespoons of Penzeys Buttermilk Ranch dressing mix for the envelopes of mix. I'm pretty sure you could simplify this recipe and just cover your chicken with a bottle of commercially prepared buttermilk ranch if you didn't want to faff around with mix packets and buttermilk (or sour milk). Regardless of what you soak it in, I strongly recommend letting your chicken soak overnight. I know some chefs say there's no difference between long-term and short-term soaking, but I swear I taste the difference.

Anyway, this recipe is incredibly easy to put together, generates very little mess, and tastes pretty darn good. I will definitely be making it again -- especially when the farm stand down the road starts selling their Kandy Korn. Mmmm. Fried chicken, corn on the cob, and potato salad. A perfect supper.

(Of course, a supper of fried chicken, buttermilk smashed potatoes, and buttery parsleyed carrots isn't far from perfection!)

22 May 2011

Low-Carb Schmarb, It's Good Food

I'd been weeding library cookbooks in February -- removing those that were falling apart, contained hilariously out-dated health information, or had been overly icked by messy cooks -- when I came upon a burgeoning shelf of unloved low-carb cookbooks. There's nothing wrong with these cookbooks. They simply represent a diet fad that has come and gone. Feeling sorry for them, I ended up bringing home Betty Crocker's Low-Carb Lifestyle Cookbook: Easy and Delicious Recipes to Trim Carbs and Fat (General Mills, 2005) and copying down a bunch of recipes.

Despite its lack of trendiness, the Low-Carb Lifestyle Cookbook is a perfectly decent cookbook with tempting photographs and recipes which promise tasty and healthy meals in very little time. So far, I've made four recipes with good to fantastic results:
All the recipes I tried were prepared in about thirty minutes -- very nice for the work week. Also, not only were they low carb, they are generally low-fat and low-calorie. (Obviously, you're mileage may vary as my idea of low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie cookery may be your vision of Dietary Doom).

15 May 2011

Deliciously Simple Pork Tenderloin

Twice now, I've made "Italian Roasted Pork Tenderloin" from Betty Crocker's Low-Carb Lifestyle Cookbook and I'm beginning to think I would be happy cooking it every week -- it's so tasty and yet so simple. Seriously, this succulent pork tenderloin, well-seasoned with garlic and fennel, is easy enough to be a weeknight meal but tastes fancy enough to feed guests if paired with the right sides.

The first time I made "Italian Roasted Pork Tenderloin," I was in clean-out-the-fridge mode and served the pork with garlicky sauteed mushrooms and salad:

Saturday Supper

The second time, I served the tenderloin with cannellini beans cooked in tomato sauce with feta and green beans:

Pork Tenderloin w/ Beans & Beans

28 April 2011

Freckled Turkey Patties With Relish

Turkey Patty w/ Corn "Relish"

Betty Crocker's "California-Style Turkey Patties with Corn and Tomato Relish" from Low-Carb Lifestyle Cookbook.

Ingredients: lean ground turkey, fresh whole wheat bread crumbs, minced red onion, Penzeys salt-free Arizona Dreaming seasoning blend, low-sodium chicken broth, "fiesta" corn, sliced celery, quartered grape tomatoes, light Italian dressing.

Using whole wheat bread crumbs gave the patties an unfortunate freckled look, but they tasted just fine. I seasoned them with Penzey's salt-free Arizona Dreaming instead of salt and pepper, because I thought the use of "fiesta" corn called for a more Southwestern flavor.

I wasn't sure The Husband would like the relish with lemon, so I used light Italian dressing, instead, and he seemed to like it that way. I will be making it that way again when the weather warms up a bit more and the grilling bug bites.

07 April 2011

Spring Snow Soup

It snowed last Friday -- hopefully, the last snow of the season -- and snow is the perfect excuse for soup-making. I have lots of barley on hand so was looking for a recipe for something tomato-y and heavy with vegetables when I found Betty Crocker's recipe for "Vegetable-Beef-Barley Soup." I tweaked the recipe a little based on the ingredients I had on hand, but still think the soup came out really well.

Beefy Vegetable Barley Soup w/ Garlic Toast

Ingredients: last of the farmer's market ground beef, Muir Glen no-salt-added diced tomatoes, low-sodium tomato sauce, low-sodium beef broth, random leftover frozen vegetables, quick-cooking barley, pressed garlic, black pepper, salt-free Italian seasoning blend.

This soup came out super (soup-er?) thick -- more like a stew -- which was fine by us as we are not fond of brothy soups.

Served this soup with slices of garlic toast. (They're a little misshapen because I had to trim them after I burnt the edges. Tip: don't broil and gab).

20 March 2011

It's Not a Birthday Without Cake

Today was The Husband's birthday (and the first day of Spring -- how great is that?) and while we ate out a bunch of times over the weekend and partaken of many sweet Krispy Kreme doughnuts, a birthday just isn't properly a birthday without cake.

Birthday Cake

I made this cake using Betty Crocker's recipe for Chocolate-Strawberry Cake with Fluffy Frosting. I had seen a fabulous photo for it in Berry Crocker's flickr photostream a few weeks ago and just knew I had to make it for The Husband as he loves strawberries and chocolate.

Chocolate-Strawberry Cake with Fluffy Frosting Recipe

While my cake did not turn out as pretty as Betty Crocker's -- I ended up smooshing leftover morsels to the side of the cake to hide my lacklustre frosting job -- it came out pretty darn yummy and I look forward to making it again. I'm pretty sure this recipe could be modified to use different SuperMoist® cake mixes and I'm thinking I might make it with French vanilla cake mix and raspberries ...

13 March 2011

Veal Scaloppini with Asparagus & Mushrooms

I made this meal last month, but never got around to blogging about it. I used the recipe for "Veal with Asparagus" from Betty Crocker's Low-Carb Lifestyle Cookbook -- one of those sad, neglected cookbooks no-one has borrowed from the library since the low-carb craze died down.

Veal w/ Asparagus & Mushrooms

Ingredients: veal scaloppini, asparagus, cremini mushrooms, garlic, shallots, thyme, white wine, olive oil.

I had high expectations for this dish as it combines some of my favorite ingredients, but we just found it "okay." While the vegetables were perfect, the veal seemed overcooked and the whole dish was a bit bland. If I were to make this again, I would cook the veal less, double the garlic, shallots, and thyme (or use fresh thyme) and include liberal amounts of fresh ground salt and pepper. I might also skip using veal and go with turkey or chicken cutlets as that's what I usually have in the freezer.

03 March 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Love

Last week, I was wandering through Betty Crocker's flickr sets when I saw this photo and thought they were just the most adorable cookies ever:

Chocolate Heart Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Since I had a whole bag of dark chocolate hearts leftover from Valentine's Day and was in the mood to bake something, I made a batch. Mine aren't as pretty as Betty's, but they still went over a treat with the other librarians and The Husband (being a good wife, I made his with milk chocolate squares).

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Love

Chocolate kiss peanut butter cookies were one of the cookies my mother always made at Christmas. When I was very little, she let me unwrap the kisses and press them into the warm cookies. Later, they were one of the first cookies I was allowed to make "all on my own." I still have a certain nostalgia for them even though I almost never think of baking them!

(Note to self: buy some coarse or sparkling sugar for prettier cookies)

24 February 2011

What's For Supper? Brown Food

Monday's supper of broiled lamb chops with mushrooms and asparagus was very tasty, but also very brown:

Lamb, Mushrooms, Asparagus, Yum!

Ingredients: lamb shoulder chops (from freezer), Dijon mustard, thyme, pepper, salt, asparagus, mushrooms, shallots, red wine vinegar, parsley, unsalted butter, lemon juice.

For the lamb, I used Betty Crocker's recipe for "Mustard Lamb Chops." Just brushed four lamb shoulder chops with Dijon mustard, sprinkled them with thyme, and broiled them for about 5 minutes on each side. Easy-peasy! So easy, in fact, I wondered why I didn't use my broiler more often!

The mushrooms and asparagus recipes both came from Kitchen of Light: New Scandinavian Cooking with Andreas Viestad and were also very easy and well worth repeating:

"Wild Mushroom Ragout"
I halved this recipe and use a mix of portobello, oyster, shiitake, and crimini mushrooms. While this ragout seems pretty standard -- melt butter, cook shallot, add mushrooms blahdy blahdy blah -- it's the addition of two tablespoons of red wine vinegar just at the end of the mushrooms' cooking time that really makes the dish sing. Next time, I will try Viestad's variation and add a little minced garlic, chili powder, and cinnamon for "some nice spiciness."

"Asparagus Sauteed in Butter and Mustard"
I'd never thought about pairing Dijon mustard with asparagus, but after trying this recipe, it is my new favorite. Just add asparagus to a very hot skillet and cook for a minute, turning asparagus so it browns but does not burn. Turn down heat, add butter, and cook until butter begins to brown. Add Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and black pepper. Cook, turning often, until asparagus is tender, but firm.

10 February 2011

Disappointing Veal

Veal w/ Asparagus & Mushrooms

Ingredients: veal scallopini, asparagus, cremini mushrooms, garlic, shallots, thyme, white wine, olive oil.

"Veal with Asparagus" from Betty Crocker's Low-Carb Lifestyle Cookbook did not come out as well as I had hoped. Indeed, we only found it just okay. While the vegetables were perfect, the veal seemed overcooked and the whole dish was a bit bland. If I were to make this again, I would use chicken or turkey cutlets, cook them less, double the garlic, shallots, and thyme and include liberal amounts of fresh ground salt and pepper. I might also cook the vegetables and meat separately -- starting the vegetables first -- and then just plate them together.

14 December 2010

Boo, Bland Bulgur

Last week I was all set to make Betty Crocker's "Chicken & Veggies with Bulgur" from Whole Grains: Easy Everyday Recipes (Wiley, 2007) when I realized that, while the recipe called for bulgur, the photo showed barley. Which should I use? I am a fan of both, after all! A quick tweet to @BettyCrocker resolved the issue -- either would work, but as bulgur was in the recipe, they recommended using that.

Well, I used bulgur and we thought the dish was okay, but a little bland. Next time, I'll try the recipe with barley and cook the chicken and vegetables with garlic, dill, and a little lemon zest. As the recipe is written, the chicken and vegetables lack any seasoning whatsoever and, oh, it just made my tongue go "meh."

Chicken & Bulgur

Ingredients: bulgur, low sodium chicken broth, dill, garlic, boneless skinless chicken breast, carrots, onion.

07 December 2010


Monday, made Betty Crocker's "Easy-Does-It Barley Paella" from Betty Crocker's Whole Grains Cookbook. Simple to make and pretty tasty -- I will be making this paella again.

Barley Paella

I had to make a few alterations to the original recipe, mostly because of the ingredients I had on hand. Substituting a can of Muir Glen's fire roasted diced tomatoes for a can of petite diced didn't make much of a difference, step-wise, but substituting two links of Aidell's fully-cooked "Cajun Style" andouille sausage for bulk chorizo made a significant difference -- I cooked the onion, bell pepper and garlic first and added the andouille in at the end with the chicken and shrimp.

I also cooked the pearl barley in low-sodium chicken broth in my rice cooker. This is, frankly, my favorite way to cook barley and I recommend it to anyone who has a rice cooker. I just dump a rice cup of barley into the rice cooker pot, fill the rice pot to the "White Rice 1" line, and turn the machine on. It starts up with "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and then away it goes, steaming my barley to perfection.

Recipe says it serves five, but we only managed four (generous) servings.