Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pizza Crust

It's time for me to get back into this recipe blog. I've taken several pictures of my meals only to download the pictures and not put them on this blog. Sorry. I'll do better. :)
So for tonight, I'm sharing one of my favorite things. Pizza! No, it's not the healthy kind like Mindy's, but it's what pizza means to me. Cheese and pepperoni and grease. Only tonight, I'm only sharing the recipe I use for my pizza crust and you can decorate it as you like.

Pizza Crust

1 pkg yeast
1 C warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 TB oil
2-2 1/2 C flour (I use wheat flour)

Put yeast in a bowl. Add warm water. Stir until dissolved. Add sugar, salt and oil. Slowly add flour to liquid, stirring until mixture forms a ball. Pat ball until smooth. Rise 5 minutes. Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.

I alter the cooking time on this a bit. I cook it on a pizza stone. I cook the crust for about 10 minutes before adding any toppings. Then put it back in the oven with all the toppings and watch for the cheese to melt and for it to appear done. It's usually done in less than 20 minutes.
On this particular night, we added spaghetti sauce (I'm lazy), cheese, pepperoni and olives.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Again, this recipe is from the Kitchen Cafe blog. I have fallen in love with that blog and made several recipes from her. This granola is fabulous! I thought we would have a problem eating it all within the two weeks, I was dead wrong. The entire batch was gone in two days, so I made another. I finished it off this morning, it lasted 3 days. It's great. You can mix it up a little and add what you want, great fiber and tastes divine with half a yogurt on top. Sooo good!

Homemade granola

6.5 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
2.5 cups basic sweetened coconut
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cranberries
1 1/4-1 1/2 cups sliced almonds (or whole, chopped, slivered or a combination – I used slivered)
1 1/4 cups pecans (whole or chopped to the size you like)
1/2 cup high-quality honey
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well to distribute oil and honey evenly. Spread a thin layer of mixture on two rimmed baking sheets (half sheet pans) lined with parchment paper (I used my silpat liners). Bake for 15-20 minutes stirring mixture and rotating sheets half way through until mixture is an even golden brown. Be careful to watch granola: it will quickly turn from golden to burnt and will continue to cook as it cools when you take it out of the oven. Mixture will be moist when it comes out of the oven but will crisp and clump as it cools. Keeps for 1-2 weeks.

• Substitute any of the nuts for other nuts such as cashews, walnuts or peanuts (it’s nice to leave some of the nuts whole as it varies the texture)
• Add additional dried fruit such as apricots or dates
• Add 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• For extra-nutty granola increase proportion of nuts

I always add the 1/2 tsp vanilla. I think next time I will add some chopped dried apricot.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dinner Review

Tonight we had the Cajun Chicken Pasta. Oh my goodness. It was delicious and 4 out of the 5 of us devoured it. The one that didn't appreciate it said it was too spicy (hmmm...it wasn't). I didn't add any of the Cayenne pepper but made sure I added plenty of the Cajun seasoning. It made a ton, so I've got dinner already made for tomorrow as well.

And I'm looking forward to making the Caramel Nutty Brownies this weekend for Camberlyn's 2 year b-day (instead of cake).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Warm Caramel Nutty Brownies

Confession: I love Pampered Chef. Specifically, I love their recipes. Everything I've tried has been divine. These brownies are no exception. Usually, I can't stand brownies with nuts. Maybe I love thee because the nuts are chopped up so fine that it's more like a crumb topping. The addition of the brown sugar to the brownie batter is a delicious touch too. You'll want some milk or ice cream to go with these because they're quite rich.

Because I'm lazy, I'm going to copy and paste the recipe directly from their website. However, I have made these without the fancy tools they've listed, and it still turns out great.

Warm Nutty Caramel Brownies

1 pkg (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate morsels, divided
1 pkg (18-21 oz) brownie mix (plus ingredients to make cake-like brownies)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1 cup salted mixed nuts, divided
5 rolls (1.7 oz each) milk chocolate-covered chewy caramels, divided (40 pieces total)

Vanilla ice cream (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375°F**. Lightly brush Large Bar Pan with vegetable oil using Chef's Silicone Basting Brush. Chop 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate morsels using Food Chopper. In Classic Batter Bowl, combine brownie mix, water, oil, eggs and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar; mix well. Fold in chopped chocolate; pour batter into bar pan, spreading evenly using Small Mix ‘N Scraper®.
2. Chop nuts using Food Chopper. Combine half of the nuts and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar; sprinkle evenly over brownie batter. Bake 20-22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
3. Meanwhile, using Utility Knife, cut 16 caramels into quarters. Place remaining 1/2 cup chocolate morsels in Prep Bowl; microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring after each 20-second interval. Spoon melted chocolate into resealable plastic bag; set aside.
4. Remove bar pan from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack. Immediately press remaining 24 caramels evenly into brownie in four rows of six caramels each. Sprinkle quartered caramels and remaining nuts over brownies. Trim corner of chocolate-filled bag with Utility Knife; drizzle chocolate evenly over brownies. Cut into squares; serve warm using Mini-Serving Spatula. Serve with ice cream, if desired.

**When I've made these using a standard 9X13 pan, I've baked them at 350 or whatever temperature the box suggests for that size of pan. The 375 is if your cooking them with a stoneware bar pan.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Poppyseed Chicken

We made this chicken recipe tonight for enrichment, and it was delicious! I don't have a picture, but trust me it was really good. Everybody was asking for the recipe, and it will be a regular at my house. It is so easy too!


8 Cooked boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves to fit in a 9x13 pan.

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 Sleeve Ritz Crackers crushed (2 1/2 cups)
6 Tbs. Butter (no substitiutes)
2 Tbs. Poppy seeds

Boil chicken in water for 15 minutes. (For added flavor you can add chicken broth
or bullion, a tsp. of salt, 1/2 of a small onion, and a couple of celery sticks)
Place cooked chicken in buttered 9x13 pan.

Mix soup (undiluted), sour cream, and seasonings together and pour over chicken.

Crush crackers, mix with butter and poppy seed. Sprinkle over top.

Cover dish with aluminum foil.

Bake @ 350* for 30 minutes. (remove foil for last 5 minutes of baking time).

Friday, March 5, 2010

Red Pepper Asian Salad

shredded chicken (2 breasts)
1 diced red bell pepper
1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
slivered almonds

Saute shredded chicken in a bit of the dressing and some extra sugar. Top lettuce with shredded chicken, red peppers, almonds and dressing. Serves about 3.

1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cups soy sauce
2 T. vegetable/canola oil
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1 T. sugar

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

I love this salad!!!

Corn Avocado and Tomato Salad (courtesy of Paula Deen)


•2 cups cooked corn, fresh or frozen

•1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

•1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

•1/2 cup finely diced red onion


•2 tablespoons olive oil

•1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest

•1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

•1/4 cup chopped cilantro

•1/4 teaspoon salt

•1/4 teaspoon pepper


Combine the corn, avocado, tomatoes and onion in a large glass bowl. Mix together the dressing ingredients in another bowl, pour over the salad, and gently toss to mix.

Another PW recipe: Cajun Chicken Pasta

Here's the link to the recipe on The Pioneer Woman's site.

This was a yummy recipe! Obviously I didn't use white wine, but just added additional chicken stock. It's best to eat this meal in a bowl rather than on a plate.

Okay, I'm an idiot. For some odd reason, the text won't copy from PW's site. Just go to the link!

(Photo courtesy of thepioneerwoman.com)