Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is yet another recipe from one of the wonderful women in my ward.  I had this on my list to make, and then my friend Sheena brought me over a batch she had made....so I actually haven't made them myself yet, but am archiving the recipe because they are DELICIOUS!  When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, I am usually too lazy and buy the big tub of dough at Sam's Club, but this may give me motivation to start making my own!  Thanks Sheena!

2 c butter
1 1/2 c sugar
2 c DARK brown sugar ( important to get dark)

Mix together then add

3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract ( not imitation)

Mix again set aside

Seperate bowl mix:

6 c flour
1 1/2tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

then add to top mixture!
mix and add 2-3 bag of chocolate chips ( I use milk chocolate)

350 for 8-10 min.

Restaraunt Style Smashed Potatoes

These taters are super yummy!  They remind me of the filling in twice-baked potatoes, only better!  The recipe came from Tasty Kitchen.  They are really easy to prepare, which I love.  They may not be the most healthy side dish,  but I will definitely make them every now and again!

•5 whole Large Red Potatoes
•1 stick Butter, Softened And Cut Into Pieces
•5 slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used the Hormel bacon crumbles, and they were yummy!)
•2 whole Green Onions, Sliced
•¾ cups Sour Cream
•Salt To Taste (add Plenty!)
•Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste (ditto!)
•¾ cups French Fried Onions, More For Topping

Nuke potatoes or bake in the oven until fork-tender (I baked mine for 1 hour). Add to a large bowl and smash with a potato masher. Immediately add softened butter, green onions, bacon, and sour cream and stir with a rubber spatula. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add french fried onions and fold in.

Serve hot, sprinkling on extra french fried onions and green onions. Yummy with grilled steak or chicken!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Zucchini Brownies

I'm still on a zucchini kick...and here's the latest.  These brownies are very tasty, but seem more like a cake than a brownie to me.  This one came from All Recipes.  I was a little worried while making it, before I added the zucchini, the batter was SO dry.  The zucchini did it's magic and made it all moist after adding it. 

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup margarine
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.

2.In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture (it will be VERY dry). Fold in the zucchini and walnuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

3.Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched. To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa and margarine; set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, blend together the confectioners' sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares.

Tasty Turkey Sandwich

What do I crave when I'm pregnant?  What do they say you cannot eat while pregnant? Turkey!  After my first baby, I had my husband run to Einstein Bagels to get my favorite sandwich, the Tasty Turkey.  I sure do love it!

Asiago Cheese Bagel (I used whole wheat this time)
cucumbers, sliced
sandwich sprouts (I left them off this time, they weren't on sale)
garden veggie cream cheese
sliced tomato
deli sliced turkey

That's it...simple goodness!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fast Breadsticks

Homemade breadsticks are so much better than the storebought variety!  These ones are quick and easy, and you can season them up any way you want them.  Yum!  This one comes from To Die For Recipes.

1 1/2 c. warm water
1 tbsp instant yeast
2 tbsp sugar
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter, melted

Mix all ingredients except for melted butter in a large bowl or mixer, and then knead for about 3-4 minutes when dough comes together. Let dough rest for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and melt butter into a small bowl. Roll dough out into a rectangle about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Cut dough into 1 inch strip with pizza cutter or knife. Grease jelly roll pan or cookie sheet, and twist each strip, and brush with butter, seasoning, cheese, etc. Cover dough with a cloth or pastic wrap, and let rise for 30 minutes in a warm place (on top of the preheated oven works best for me). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

Bowtie Chicken Ceasar Salad

There is something about summertime that makes me want salad.  This one is perfect, it has the chicken and the pasta, so it can be served as an entree in stead of a side.  It was great with some homemade breadsticks on the side!  This one comes from The Girl Who Ate Everything

2 bunches green leaf lettuce, chopped (I used romaine)
1 bag Marie Calendars Fat Free Croutons
1 bag Almond Accents/ Roasted Garlic Caesar
2 Chicken Breasts, boiled with an onion and salt and pepper
2 cups bowtie pasta, cooked
4 - 6 oz. shredded parmesan cheese
Caesar Dressing

Toss all the above ingredients with Caesar dressing right before serving. Serves 20-25.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Magleby's Parmesan Rolls

No, I've never been to Magleby's, but their rolls must be pretty darn tasty, because these rolls sure are!  This recipe came from Creations By Kara, and it's a winner! 

18-24 frozen Rhodes rolls
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Garlic salt
Dried parsley

Combine the mayo and the melted butter. Dip the tops of the rolls in the butter mixture, then in the parmesan cheese. Place in greased muffin tins, cheese side up. Let rise according to package directions (I let mine rise 4 hours). Sprinkle rolls with garlic salt and parsley. Bake at 350° for about 15-20 minutes.

Lemon Garlic Chicken

This chicken is so yummy!  I love panko bread crumbs, they are so much crunchier than the regular crumbs you may buy.  The lemon sauce is fabulous as well, just a light yummy sauce with a hint of lemon.  Yum!  This one comes from See Jane in the Kitchen, and is supposed to be compared to a dish from the restaraunt Archibald's in Gardner Village.  I definitely halved this recipe for our small little family, and it was perfect for dinner and leftovers the next day.

8 boneless chicken breasts
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
6 eggs
1 cup flour
3 to 4 TBS butter
5 to6 garlic cloves, minced

Lemon sauce

2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cornstarch
fresh basil (I grabbed about 20 leaves)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place chicken between two sheets of wax paper and pound to flatten. Put flour, eggs and breadcrumbs each in their own shallow bowl. Dip chicken first in flour, then beaten eggs and finally in breadcrumbs. Place on wax paper until all are ready for cooking.

Melt butter in large frying pan and add garlic. Place chicken in single layer in the melted butter. Cook until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes each side. Cover and keep warm.

For lemon sauce, combine chicken broth, lemon juice and butter. Bring to a boil. In separate bowl, combine cornstarch with a little cold water and mix until smooth. Gradually pour cornstarch into saucepan with mixture. Cook one minute until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in fresh basil. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place one chicken breast on each plate. Top with lemon sauce.

Sprite Potatoes

This recipe reminds me a lot of the dutch oven potatoes my aunt makes.  Her recipe can be found  here. This recipe is a stovetop version that is yummy as well!  I found this recipe on Peachtree Cooking.  So next time you are craving some potatoes from the dutch oven, and don't want to heat up the coals, try these yummy taters!

1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped

Cook in big pot/skillet until onion is translucent and bacon is starting to crisp.

Then add:
5-6 potatoes, peeled and sliced thin (more or less depending on how much you want)
9-10 baby carrots sliced thin

Stir and season to taste with the following:
seasoned salt
onion salt
garlic salt

1-2 cans sprite, enough to just cover the potatoes.

Cover and bring to a boil, simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender and most of the liquid has reduced.

Cover generously with grated colby jack cheese or cheddar cheese and let melt (about 3-5 more minutes).

Sometimes we add a little more sprite to keep them from drying out before the potatoes and carrots are all the way done. We also leave a little liquid in the bottom when we put the cheese on so it's not to dry) YUMMY!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

I'm still going through the many zucchini recipes I have found recently.  This is another one on my list I can now check off.  It is really yummy and tastes like a blueberry muffin!  For the original recipe, visit Real Mom Kitchen.

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries (2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 4 mini-loaf pans. (I use two large loaf pan)

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared mini-loaf pans. (or large loaf pans)

Bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven(I baked mine for 1 hour), or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

These are tasty little munchies!  I have been craving them ever since our Sam's Club stopped carrying the chicken flautas...and these definitely are better!  This recipe comes from Our Best Bites.

1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 C green salsa
1T fresh lime juice
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic, or garlic powder
3 T chopped cilantro
2 T sliced green onions
2 C shredded cooked chicken (for extra yumminess, use grilled taco chicken!)
1 C grated pepperjack cheese
small flour or corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.

Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or are coming unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.

Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.

Then roll it up as tight as you can.

Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

Dip them in yummy salsa, guacamole, or nacho cheese!

Next time I am going to double this recipe and freeze some for later for an easy meal on a busy night!

Frozen Chocolate Banana Pops

One of my favorite treats when I am at the beach is frozen bananas.  I discovered them when I was in Bethany Beach, and have been in love ever since!  It is such a great treat, and semi-healthy as well!  It is also a great treat for kids to help out with as well.  This particular recipe for these came from Mommy's Kitchen.  I love that the recipe calls for peanut butter to be added into the chocolate coating.  What a fabulous combination!  Enjoy!

4-5 ripe bananas (not over ripe)
1- 24 oz package chocolate bark or candy coating
Popsicle sticks or chop sticks
sprinkles, rice krispies or chopped nuts
2 - tablespoon's creamy peanut butter, optional
waxed paper or foil

Peel the bananas and cut in half. Grab some handy helpers to insert the sticks into each banana. You can lay them on a baking sheet or place the bananas in a gallon size zip lock bag. Place in the freezer until the bananas harden (about 2 hours). You can add lemon juice or on the bananas to prevent browning, but my bananas never brown in the freezer. To start use 1/2 of the chocolate bark, place in a microwave safe boil and melt on the defrost setting for 3 minutes. Do not melt on the cook setting or the chocolate will cook and burn. I defrost mine in 3 minute intervals in the microwave. If you want to add peanut butter add it to the chocolate while it melts in the microwave. When melted remove from the microwave and stir to blend. You want the chocolate really smooth.

Spoon the melted chocolate onto each banana until they are coated. Do not dip the bananas into the chocolate mixture or it will harden on you. The best way is to spoon the chocolate on each banana. Roll in rice cereal, sprinkles, chopped nuts or just leave them plain. I highly recommend chopped pecans. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or foil and put in the freezer to set for about an hour, or longer. Remove and Enjoy!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Panko Encrusted Fried Zucchini

Again, I've been finding all sorts of zucchini recipes and have been wanting to try them all!  Tonight for dinner we gave these a try with some pasta, and they were so yummy!  I definitely reccomend putting the salt/pepper/and parmesan cheese on after frying.  Nothing like deep frying something that is supposed to be healthy for you!  

Panko-Encrusted Fried Zucchini

Vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 to 3 large zucchini cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch rounds
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup water
Parmesan cheese
ranch dressing or marinara/spaghetti sauce

Measure flour into a pie plate. In another pie plate combine panko and salt and pepper, to taste. In a third plate add eggs and water. Dredge the zucchini in the flour, followed by the egg wash and finally in the panko. Press crumbs into the zucchini rounds.

Working in batches, place the breaded zucchini slices in the hot oil and fry until golden brown , 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined sheet tray and immediately season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan if you like. The serve with ranch dressing or marinara/spaghetti sauce.

Recipe Source: Real Mom Kitchen

"Really Good" Noodles and Chicken

Mmmm....How I love my pasta dishes!  This one has a yummy lemon flavor, and the chicken is sweet from the honey glaze...it's a good combo!  This recipe comes from Your Home Based Mom.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 T. fresh rosemary, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 T. honey
8 ounces thin spaghetti
2 T. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup real bacon bits
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup shredded parmesean cheese
3 roma tomatoes, seeds and core removed, diced
2 T. capers (optional)

Start a pot of water boiling to cook the pasta. Spray your BBQ grill rack with nonstick spray and fire it up. Sprinkle salt, pepper and rosemary on each chicken breast and grill for 7-8 minutes on the first side. In a small bowl, mix 2 T. of freshly squeezed lemon juice and the honey together, then brush it on the tops of the chicken breasts before flipping them over. Brush the underside as well, and grill for a few more minutes until they are cooked through (actual cooking time will depend on how thick the breast is, and you could certainly pound them thinner to start with to make it go faster). Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Toss your noodles into the boiling salted water if you haven’t already. Once they are nearly done cooking, begin making the sauce. It comes together quickly. In a large skillet, melt 2 T. butter then add the garlic. Saute and stir for 2-3 minutes, then add the bacon bits and cook for another minute. Stir in the remaining lemon juice and all of the zest, then the cream. Stir in the cooked and drained noodles, adding a tablespoon or two of the pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Slice the chicken breasts thinly. Stir in the roma tomatoes and parmesan cheese (and capers if you so desire – I’m the only one that likes them around here, so I tossed a few on my own plate), and serve immediately with a portion of chicken breast strips on top of the pile of pasta.

Saucy Beef Tacos

Mexican food is my absolute favorite!  It's always good to switch up the usual recipes, and this one was a good change..with the beans it makes twice as much, so you can freeze some for another meal!  I found this one on Real Mom Kitchen.

1 lb. ground beef

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 pkg. taco seasoning

Brown ground beef until no longer pink; drain off grease.

Mix in tomato sauce, kidney beans, and taco seasoning and simmer until heated through. It’s that easy!

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Overripe bananas....I am always guilty of buying bananas and not using them as I had intended.  This time  instead of getting rid of them I put them to good use and made this yummy bread which actually tastes more like a fudgy cake...yum!  The banana/chocolate combo is really tasty!  The only thing I may change next time is I am adding nuts.  

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups mashed bananas (about 3)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. Spray bottom of 8x4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

Beat sugar, eggs, and oil in large bowl at medium speed until combined. Beat in banana and vanilla at low speed. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; beat into banana mixture at low speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into pan. Bake 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

Recipe Source: Sister's Cafe.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thai Chicken Wrap with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I have still yet to be disappointed by a Rachael Ray recipe, and this one is no exception!  I have a few of her cookbooks and love looking through her variations on classics....no to mention the names she gives some of her dishes!  

The spicy peanut sauce along with the vinegary slaw was a wonderful combo....definitely a recipe I will be making again!  It is definitely a quick fix on a weekday night, and not to mention a healthy dinner (minus the fries on the side :)

Thai Chicken Wrap with Spicy Peanut Sauce

3 (6-ounce) chicken breasts
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon grill seasoning


1/2 seedless cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on an angle
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1 cup shredded carrots, available in pouches in produce department
3 scallions, sliced on an angle
12 leaves basil, chopped or torn
3 tablespoons chopped mint leaves (4 sprigs) (I didn't have these and left them out)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white vinegar

Spicy peanut sauce:

1/4 cup room temperature chunky peanut butter, soften in microwave if it has been refrigerated
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 (12-inch) flour tortilla wraps (regular or spinach are great)

Heat a grill pan over high heat. Toss chicken with soy and oil and grill 6 minutes on each side.

Combine cucumber, sprouts, carrots, scallions, basil, mint and sesame with a generous sprinkle of sugar and vinegar. Season salad with salt, to taste.

Whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar and cayenne together. Stream in vegetable oil.

Slice cooked chicken on an angle. Toss with veggies and herbs.

In a very hot nonstick skillet or over a gas burner heat tortillas 15 seconds on each side.

Pile chicken and veggies in wraps and drizzle liberally with spicy peanut sauce before wrapping and rolling.

Recipe Source:  30 Minute Meals

Monday, August 9, 2010

Zucchini Bread

It seems as though the food blogging world has turned it's attention to zucchini lately.  I wish I would have planted some myself, but with my extremely large belly, gardening this summer didn't sound very appealing.  Maybe next summer...in the meantime I am taking advantage of the grocery store deals on the local produce!  As I was searching, I came across this recipe on All Recipes, and after reading the reviews, I had to try it!  This bread is fabulous...so moist and yummy, and I always love nuts baked in bread.  So good! 

Zucchini Bread with Nuts

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts

1.Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

2.Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

3.Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

4.Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean (Mine took about an hour and 5 minutes or so). Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Black Bean Dip

Ok...my picture is sloppy, but this stuff is yummy!  The spice is perfect, but I would have liked it more with some heat!  Next time I will try it with some chopped jalepenos, that should to the trick!  This is definitely a good snack/side dish!  This one came to my attention through one of my favorite blogs, Real Mom Kitchen.

2 cans (15 Oz.) Black Beans (slightly Drained)
1 can (8 Oz.) Tomato Sauce
¼ teaspoons Cumin
¼ teaspoons Paprika
¼ teaspoons Pepper
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or Cheese Of Your Choice)
(next time will use some chopped jalepenos)

Over medium heat, warm beans until they begin to simmer.

Mash beans. Add tomato sauce, spices and stir. Add cheese and mix well.

Barbecue Chop Salad

I got this idea from the Neely's (chefs on the Food Network).  Their recipe is found here.   It's definitely not as good as the Cafe Rio version, but good for a change :)

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
1/2 head romaine lettuce, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
4 thinly sliced green onions
1 cucumber, sliced
1 can corn kernels, drained
2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
Barbecue Sauce
1 can Rootbeer
2 pounds pulled pork
Ranch dressing, to taste

Place pork in crockpot and pour can of Rootbeer over top.   Cook on low for 5 hours.  Take pork out and shred.  Drain juices.  Place about 1/2 a bottle of BBQ sauce in crockpot and cook with pork for 1-2 more hours on low.

Arrange the lettuce, green onions, cucumber, tomatoes, and corn in a large bowl. Sprinkle the jack cheese over the top. Place pork and dressing on top, toss and serve

Frozen Grapes

Now I wish I could remember where I saw this....but of course, I cannot.  It is such a simple thing, I don't know why I've never thought of freezing grapes before.  Every other fruit comes frozen, why not a grape!?  So anyhow, wash a batch of these babies up, dry them well, spread them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet or plate, and give them a few hours in the freezer.  The inside gets creamy like a sorbet...such a fabulous treat!  So really, no recipe here, just a yummy snack idea great for summertime!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

I still haven't made it to Chicago, which is sad considering we only live 5 hours away!  When I do get there, on my list of things to eat is a authentic Chicago Dog and a deep dish pizza.  In the meantime, I thought I'd try making one of my own!  This recipe comes from Annie's Eats, and it was very delicious!  I must admit, I cheated and used store-bought sauce this time around....being lazy!

For the dough:

1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. (8 1/8 oz.) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (1 3/8 oz.) yellow cornmeal
¾ tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/8 tsp. instant yeast
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. (5 oz.) water, at room temperature
1½ tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

For the sauce:

1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. grated onion
Pinch of dried oregano
¼ tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper

For assembling and topping:

2 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. mozzarella, shredded (about 2 cups)
¼ oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 tbsp.)
sausage, cooked and crumbled

To make the dough, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook on low speed. Mix until blended, about 1 minute. Add the water and melted butter and continue mixing on low speed until fully incorporated, 1-2 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is glossy and smooth, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 4-5 minutes.

Using your hands, coat a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled, about 45-60 minutes.

While the dough is rising, prepare the sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, oregano, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and sugar and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until reduced to about 1¼ cups, about 25 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To laminate the dough, turn the dough out onto a dry work surface and roll into a 8- by 6-inch rectangle. Using an offset spatula, spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. With the seam side down, flatten the cylinder into a 9- by 2 inch rectangle. Fold into thirds like a business letter, pinch the seams to form a ball, and return to the oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator until nearly doubled in size, 40-50 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425˚ F. To assemble, coat a 9-inch round cake pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer the dough ball to a dry work surface and roll out into a 13-inch disk about ¼-inch thick. Transfer the dough to the pan. Lightly press the dough into the pan, working into the corners and 1 inch up the sides. If the dough resists stretching, let rest 5 minutes before trying again.

Place toppings on (pepperoni and sausage).  Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the surface of the dough. Spread the tomato sauce over the cheese and top with Parmesan. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Po' Boys

I am pretty much a sucker for anything on a menu that says Buffalo Chicken...sandwiches, wraps, pizzas, even mac 'n cheese!  When I saw this recipe from Paula Deen and how easy it was....I had to try!  For another yummy buffalo chicken recipe, I really loved Rachael Ray's Wingless Buffalo Chicken Pizza.

8 leftover crispy chicken fingers
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup Paula Deen Hot Sauce (I used Frank's)
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
¼ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons milk
1 loaf french bread cut into 4 equal pieces and partially split
8 slices tomato (we omitted these)
4 romaine lettuce leaves

Preheat oven to 375ยบ F.

Place leftover chicken fingers on a sheet pan and place in oven for 8-10 minutes or until heated through and re-crisped. Transfer to a large bowl.

In a small saucepan, melt butter with hot sauce. Cook 2-3 minutes stirring.

Pour the butter hot sauce mixture over the chicken and toss to coat.

In a small bowl, combine the blue cheese, mayonnaise, and milk. Whisk until smooth.

Place 2 slices of tomato and a lettuce leaf lettuce into the french bread. Next, place 2 chicken fingers inside, and top with a generous drizzle of the creamy blue cheese.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Smoked Sausage Kabobs

This is a tasty change to the usual chicken or steak kabobs.  My hubby's only complaint...not enough meat!  Next time I will use more sausage and less veggies on his skewers!  The recipe is a great way to use some of those yummy veggies you have been growing in your gardens!  This one comes from Mommy's Kitchen.  We served this with some wild rice on the side.

1/3 - cup honey
1/4 - cup spicy brown mustard
2 - tablespoons canola oil
1 - tablespoon soy sauce
2 - garlic cloves, minced
1/2 - tsp minced fresh ginger root

1-1/4 - pounds smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used skinless smoked sausage)
16 - cherry tomatoes
8 - medium fresh mushrooms
1 - large green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 - medium onion, cut into eight wedges
1 - small zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces

In a large bowl or zip lock bag, combine the first six ingredients. Add the sausage and vegetables; toss to coat. Drain and reserve marinade. On eight metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternately thread sausage and vegetables. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until vegetables are tender and sausage is heated through, basting occasionally with reserved marinade.

Layered Peach Dessert

Oh peach season....how I've missed you!  This yummy treat reminded me a lot of the Peaches and Cream dessert that I've had numerous times.  This one is definitely worth a try!  I found this one on Creations By Kara.


1 pkg. Vanilla wafers, finely crushed


1 8 oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter, softened
10 fresh peaches, sliced


1 pt. whipping cream
½ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
(I subbed the homemade version for Cool Whip to make it faster)
Place half of the crumbs in a 9×13 pan. Whip cream cheese, sugar, and butter together until smooth. Drop by spoonfuls over the crumbs. Spread carefully using a spoon dipped in hot water. Keep dipping the spoon in the water so the mixture doesn’t stick to it. The crumbs will slide around, but that is okay. It doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth. Arrange the sliced peaches over the top. Whip the cream and add sugar and vanilla. Spread over the peaches. Sprinkle last half of crumbs over top. Cover and chill 8 hours, or over night.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Homemade Pancakes

Okay...HATE my picture on this one.  LOVE these pancakes!  They are so good!  I am generally a boxed pancake girl, but this really only takes a few minutes longer and is SO worth it!  This recipe comes from See Jane in the Kitchen.  This made about 6-7 large pancakes.

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS sugar
1 cup milk
2 TBS melted butter
1 egg, slightly beaten

Mix flour, soda, salt and sugar with a wisk. In a separate bowl, add melted butter and egg to milk. Add wet ingredients to dry, mix together slighlty. There will be lumps.

Sarah's Salad

I have seen this recipe on numerous blogs, and after looking at how others have "tweaked" it, I came up with some of my own measurements.  This recipe is apparently originally a Lion House recipe, so props to them for the idea on this one!  Caution on this one....do not and dressing and mix until JUST before serving.  It goes soggy fast!! It is oh so worth it, though!  It reminds me of a seven layer salad I've had quite a few times.

3/4-1 head iceberg lettuce chopped
6 strips bacon crumbled
1/2 -10 oz package frozen peas
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
3/4 C Swiss cheese sliced
2/3 C chopped green onion
1/4 C Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
1/4 C Best Foods Mayonnaise

Chop up the lettuce. Put it in a large mixing bowl. Put the peas, green onions, and cheese on top.

In a small bowl combine the Miracle Whip and Best Foods. Add the salt, pepper, and sugar and stir until well mixed. Chill in refrigerator.

Just before you are ready to serve the salad add the dressing mixture and bacon to the the lettuce, cheese, peas and green onions. Mix it all up with a large pair of tongs. Enjoy!

Rootbeer BBQ Chicken

Oh how I will miss the grilling season!  I'm trying to get in all that I can before the cold hits!  This was a good variation of the traditional BBQ chicken...give it a try!  This recipe came to my attention through Prudence Pennywise.

2 cans root beer, divided use
1/2 cup smoky barbecue sauce
1/2 cup Dijon mustard, plus 1/4 cup more for marinade
brown sugar, if needed
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 tablespoon each paprika and garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil

In a small saucepan, boil one can root beer until thick and syrupy, about 30 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup each smoky barbecue sauce and 1/2 cup Dijon. Taste this sauce and add brown sugar if the sauce needs a little sweetness. (Notes: you should have plenty of extra sauce for dipping-just reserve half of it before spreading it on the chicken.) Meanwhile, smear chicken with Dijon. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder; drizzle with olive oil. Place in zip top bag. Pour root beer over chicken, cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. Grill or broil chicken, about five minutes per side, or until outside is nicely browned and inside is no longer pink.

Easy Breadsticks

This is a great side dish for pretty much anything!  You can change up the spices and cheeses to match whatever you are having...from garlic seasoning and parmesan cheese to Salad Supreme, use your imagination!

1 1/2 C warm water
2 T sugar
1 T yeast
1/2 t salt
3 1/2- 4 C flour
1/4 C butter
Seasonings/cheeses of choice for topping

Mix the water, sugar and yeast together in a measuring cup or in the bottom of your mixer. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Add the salt and the flour, one cup at a time, until it is well incorporated. Mix on high for 5 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.

Melt the butter and pour half of it into a jelly roll pan (large cookie sheet).

Place the dough in the center of the pan. Let it sit for 2 or 3 minutes.  Spread the dough out flat onto the pan until it reaches all of the edges.

Pour the other half of the butter onto the dough. Spread it around with your hands. Sprinkle seasonings and cheese of choice on top.

Using a pizza cutter, cut breadsticks into desired length and width.

Put the pan into a 170 degree oven for about 7-10 minutes. The breadsticks should rise about 1 inch.  Turn you oven up to 350 and bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

When they come out of the oven let them sit and rest again for about 5 minutes. Then redefine your cutting lines with the pizza cutter.