smitten kitchen

Really Good Food Thanks to Hood

Hood Sour Cream® Meal Makeover

Hood Sour Cream MEal Makeover Challenge capabilitymom.comI was thrilled to be included in the Hood Sour Cream® Meal Makeover Challenge – I got to see old friends, make new friends, hang out at the cool BCAE kitchen, and share in some delicious food! I do love to cook and adapt recipes, and when I watch cooking shows like Chopped, I am amazed at what the chefs come up with (especially the ones with the unusual ingredients). Luckily for me and my somewhat modest cooking skills, the Hood Meal Makeover Challenge wasn’t hard at all – the recipes just had to include yummy sour cream! That was nice and just my speed, too, so I came up with Chicken and Chickpeas. Check out the recipe below and then click on the links to some of the other Hood Sour Cream® Meal Makeover Challenge bloggers and their delicious dishes.

Chicken and Chickpeas with Hood® Sour Cream
Six chicken legs or thighs (or four breasts)
1/2 cup of Hood Sour Cream®
1 bunch of scallions (green parts) I had red onions and tops so I used that
1/3 cup diced yellow onions I used some yellow and some red onions
2 cloves of garlic
1-3 tsp. garam masala (use any favorite dry spice or spices)
1 can of chickpeas (2 cans if your family loves them)
Flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
Spices – Simply choose your family’s favorite. I made this version with garam masala (I used 3 teaspoons) and have also made this dish with turmeric, coriander and cumin (equal parts) or you can even leave it plain for the really picky eaters in your family.
Marinate the chicken with the sour cream, green scallions, garam masala, and salt and pepper and 1/2 cup of water in a zip-lock bag in the fridge. The longer it marinates, the better (up to overnight), but if you’re pressed for time, just toss it in a baking dish and will still be good, I promise.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil or canola oil in a sauté pan and add onions and garlic. Cook on medium until onions are softened and add chicken skin side down and cook until slightly browned. (You can also skip this step if pressed for time).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas and put them in a baking dish.Arrange the chicken on top of the chickpeas and place in the preheated 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes for thighs (bone in) and 35-45 minutes for drumsticks.
Serve with rice over a bed of spinach or arugula. Top with chopped parsley. The chicken and chickpeas will wilt the spinach.
If there are leftovers (and just double the recipe if you want some), shred the chicken and serve with naan bread or pita over baby spinach or arugula. I added berries to celebrate the summer bounty.

Hood Sour Cream Meal Makeover at Boston Center for Adult Education

Mom’s Favorite Stuff – Shredded Sour Cream Slow Cooker Chicken

 It’s Not Like A Cat – Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream with Hood Sour Cream

Leah’s Life – Kugel & Cards: Vacation

The World According to Kim – Kim

A Beautiful Bite

Don’t Mind the Mess

Ma Petite Chou Chou

In the Trenches of Mommyhood

Added bonus recipe – I made smitten kitchen’s plum and poppy-seed muffins (which happen to call for yummy sour cream) this morning and they were delicious! Here is the link to her recipe – I used peaches and they were terrific.

the smitten kitchen recipe for plum poppy seed muffins but I substituted peaches
the smitten kitchen recipe for plum poppy seed muffins but I substituted peaches

For more ideas on how to incorporate sour cream into your recipes, visit

Disclosure: As part of the Hood Sour Cream Makeover Series I received compensation for attending the event, the recipe was my own invention, and, as always, all opinions, like them or not, are my own.

Polar Vortex Activities

Cold Weather Activities… for me

Baking seems to be my default activity when I’m stressed and this cold is stressing me out. Okay, really, I want to have nice baked goods in the house so I can keep up my caloric intake for the winter. Tough work.

What have I been cooking up? Hmm…soups like Bon Appetit’s spicy bean and wilted greens from this month’s issue… trust me their picture is better than the one I took.


Baking Cinnamon Rolls from (of course) smitten kitchen. 

I’m going to try the new version for cranberry-orange or apple cinnamon buns next.



Sewing is not my usual default activity (plus I didn’t want to go in the crawl space for my sewing machine) so I used Stitch Witchery (love!) to make a roller window shade out of unbleached muslin. Deciding if I want to go with a fun pattern or keep it simple with this. This was my trial run. Fabric weight is okay, I need to use more starch (yes, I made my own), and measure and cut with precision (also not a strength). Great tutorial here. I found plenty of sites that showed you how to cover exisiting shades with fabric but I wanted to have plain fabric (when we moved in I found a gorgeous old linen roller shade in our basement so that’s my inspiration).



Stress Baking

Yes, I bake when I am stressed. It’s all good because I eat when I am stressed, too, so it’s a win-win with just a slight chance of weight gain.

What do I bake? Usually I head to smitten kitchen IMG_1259 IMG_1260 for fantastically delicious fail proof recipes – here’s where I started.

German Pancakes – a new favorite in our house. It’s a fast easy breakfast that seems like more work than it is. We serve it with powdered sugar, maple syrup or plain, just out of the pan for all around eggy goodness. I have made this several times now, alternating using a whisk and blender, both ways are delicious so it really depends on what you feel like cleaning. I did like the cast iron pan for the amount of lift the pancakes got. No idea why. Please chime in if you know!

IMG_6081IMG_6085We also made pumpkin muffins (lost my favorite preschool recipe and still searching for it – I’ll share it when I find it) and scones (also smitten kitchen). My secret? I don’t always have cream in the house so I buy Trader Joe’s shelf stable whipping cream (is that a good cheat or bad? Am I compromising the integrity of my baked goods? No complaints so far from the baked goods or the consumers of said baked goods)  for those emergency scone mornings.

Dreamy cream scones from smitten kitchen20130101-090603.jpg.

Then I moved on to cookies,IMG_7003  IMG_7006 yes, again with smitten!

 I was coerced into adding in some oatmeal and the cookies were not harmed by this maneuver. But I like them best the right way.IMG_7005

 Why am I stressed? I forget, maybe it’s the cookies talking.

Washi Tape, Jelly Jars and Crackers = A Nice Hostess Gift

My favorite new thing to do – decorate with Washi Tape – I got this tape from a Pick Your Plum deal and these are recycled containers from the Wellesley Whole Foods (the Kombucha was delicious). I am filling them with Parmesan Cheese crackers as a hostess gift. Recipe, smitten kitchen, of course. Stay tuned for more household items covered in Washi tape!

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