Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Deep Dish Pizza Is YUMMY!

So, I was reading my favorite food blog, The Food In My Beard, when I came across a recipe for deep dish that supposedly was amazing. I couldn't help but be intrigued.  TFIMB got it from Macheesmo, which is where the actual recipe is. 
This recipe calls for a technique called "laminating" the dough, interesting and ended up with the best pizza dough I have ever had. It was soft, and not even close to being dense , and yummy layers within.  These are my pics of making the dough (as described in Macheesmo's directions).

 One of these is in my freezer, the other went into the fridge overnight.  Next day I rolled it out, pressed it into my Demarle and filled it up.  I put a cup of cheese on the bottom, then pepperoni, then half had sausage, and half had pepperoncini, roasted red peppers, and onions, then a cup of sauce, then another layer of cheese all around.  Below is a picture of the pre-baking pizza.

 Naturally, I forgot to take a picture when it was done cooking, but here is a picture of the last piece.  It was SO YUMMMMMY!!!!
Only thing I would do differently would be to make it without sauce, add some diced tomatoes instead. I loved loved loved it!
Hope you all try it out!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Leftovers Rock!

I love leftovers!  I love leftover pizza for breakfast the next morning (cold).  I love left over mashed potatoes, just add BBQ sauce and heat up for a fast easy breakfast, or lunch I suppose.  A little extra of any dinner makes a great next day lunch.  But occasionally I find I have only a little leftover of one piece of the dinner.  That is okay.  This is where soup, stoup come to play.
Just a little bit of leftover veggies?  Add them to a container in layers until you have enough to add to a soup, keep the container in the freezer.  You can also add the last little bit of broth in a can, or some leftover meat.  When you find soup making time, just through it in and add until it is just right.  My mom made some great soup growing up that was filling and yummy, and to be honest, cheap.  I made a little pot a few weeks ago with some potatoes that were growing on m counter.  I boiled the cubed potatoes, added ground turkey (I don't ever buy ground beef anymore), some badly freezer burned green beans, little tiny bit of corn (you know, the last bit of the package, leftover diced tomatoes, and a cube of chicken bullion.  This was so good, brought me back home to an easy fall Sunday dinner.
"Stoup", ever heard of it?  Rachel Ray describes stoups as "thicker than a soup but not quite a stew".  This is good if you have something chunky left over, large chopped onion, rough chopped tomatoes, or in my case some mango chutney.  I have been wanting to do something with this chutney, but haven't been quite sure what to do.  I had about a cup left.  Yesterday I cut up a chicken thigh, browned it in the pot, added the chutney and a half can of chicken broth, and let it simmer away.  I'm gonna gush again, the chutney is SO good.  This made a thick stoup that was flavorful and took 10 minutes.  If I was gonna do it again I might puree the chutney to make a creamier stoup, but it really didn't matter at all.
Easy, yummy, AND fast, gotta love it!

P.S. Gonna make some YUMMY deep dish pizza today and also will be posting my truffle making project tonight.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


If I was someone else, and had made this for me, I would have fallen in love with me.  I am NOT kidding.  This was yummy, amazing, multi-faceted, in your face, subtle, sweet, spicy, warm, comforting, delicious food.  I made Indian spiced chicken with apple-mango chutney.  I was browsing my Betty Crocker IPod app (I love the recipes in this!), and found this recipe for Indian Spiced Chicken and Chutney.  I cut the recipe in half and threw together the marinade on Sunday night.  Of course, being Sunday and last minute, I made alterations to compensate for what I was missing.  First, I used plain Greek yogurt, next, no coriander (oh yeah, I forgot I was going to put it on my shopping list) I used turmeric, and I just omitted the cloves.  I was planning on making this Monday night, but I ended up changing plans and didn't make this til Tuesday.  I wonder if it was even more amazing because of the extra marinating time.  That yogurt sure makes the marinade.  I grilled this in my cast iron grill pan (which thanks to asking my Dad, instead of the internet, does not smoke and is now well seasoned).  The turmeric made the chicken a beautiful yellow (don't get it on your counters, it WILL stain).

You may note in the recipe it says to buy canned mango chutney.  I checked it out in the store, at least $5 for a smaller jar.  For about that much I can make my own and have the experience of making it!  Can I tell you how many recipes there are for mango chutney online?  I wasn't sure how to proceed?  So many recipes, so many spices I didn't have and was completely unfamiliar with!  I finally settled on a pretty basic one from Epicurious (on their app too).  I roughly halved this recipe.  I used two small apples, one large mango, half of everything else, some extra curry powder, dash of red pepper flakes and more cinnamon for the nutmeg.  Oh and regular raisins too.  The recipe directions are for canning the chutney.  I just simmered it covered for about 30 minutes, til it looked like a preserve.  It almost smells like Christmas while it is simmering away.  I thought it was a weird combo, wasn't even sure I would like it. 

Indian Spiced Chicken and Apple-Mango Chutney on Whole Wheat Noodles
I know I should have put it on rice, but I loved it on noodles.  The chicken was SO moist and flavorful.  The chutney was spicy and sweet at the same time.  The spicy didn't get hotter as you ate, it just... was.  Five minutes after eating it there was no spicy aftertaste.  I had the leftovers for lunch the next day, still awesome!
I have to say I was mightily impressed with myself.  I have some chutney in the fridge, it is sounding really good for lunch tomorrow. 
भारतीय भोजन स्वादिष्ट है

Crescent Puffs, One Recipe, Five Dishes

Buffalo Chicken Crescent Puffs
I know I haven't posted my food up here for a few weeks, but I'm back!
The inspiration for this appetizer dinner was a recipe found browsing on for Buffalo Chicken Crescent Puffs.  These delicious morsels are cream cheese, buffalo sauce, shredded chicken, and bleu cheese, stuffed in crescent dough, rolled in bread crumbs and baked.  Naturally I changed it a bit, didn't have any bleu cheese, so I used feta I had in the fridge, and did egg dip instead of butter.  These were so good!  Little crunch on the outside, perfectly spicy and creamy, only thing I would have changed would be more chicken, or bigger chunks.

So I got to thinking these would be a good delivery mode for a whole bunch of fillings.  Since it was conference weekend (yes, I know that was almost three weeks ago), I decided to have a crescent puff meal with "L".  I thought all of them turned out WONDERFUL!

Breakfast Puffs

For breakfast we did scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheese.  Rolled these in melted butter and baked til golden.

Chicken Ceasar Puffs

First lunch course was shredded (cooked) chicken, parmesan cheese, bacon, and ceasar dressing.  Rolled in butter and then parmesan cheese.  I think these would do better with a bread crumb coating for crunch.

Pizza Puffs

Second course, diced pepperoni and pizza cheese mix.  I think next time I will add a little sauce to the filling to round it out.  These got washed in butter and rolled in parm cheese too.

Apple Cinnamon Rounds

Finally, dessert!  Diced apple, brown sugar, and cinnamon made a great filling.  THen rolled in butter and cinnamon sugar.  We paired these with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  (Sticking up is my sugar art from the melted sugar on the silpat, which reminds me, if you are using a regular cookie sheet for any of these, line it with foil, they may leak a little.) 

We ran out of crescent dough before we could do the s'mores ones we had planned, fluff and a bit if chocolate inside and Nilla wafer crumbs outside... yummmm... I am looking forward to doing those soon!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce with Hot Sausage over Rigatoni (L's Idea)

My dear friend "L" came over tonight and we were trying to figure out what to make for dinner.  She mentioned she was craving something like the pasta she had last time we went to Callaway's, my favorite Italian place in Utah.  (I am picky about Italian food, probably my East coast upbringing, but I love their food.  A little pricey, but easy to share an entree or take some home for another meal.)  We had both tried new dishes, Gorgonzola sauce for me (YUM!), and spicy sausage for "L".  She was craving this creamy and spicy red sauce.  A few minutes on the internet brought up a recipe for us to modify to taste. (I even used their measurements for most of it!)
In a pan melt one tablespoon of butter, over medium heat add 1/4 cup of minced onion and 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (that little amount makes a big heat difference), cook for 5 minutes.  In the mean time start  1/2 pound of rigatoni and 1/2 pound of hot sausage cooking. (Obviously, the kind of sausage is easy changed to suit your tastes.) To the onions, add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of pasta sauce and 1/2 cup of petite diced tomatoes, drained, simmer for 7 to 10 minutes.  This time is dependent on how think you want your sauce, the longer you cook it the thicker it will be.  Add 1/3 cup of whipping cream and browned sausage, allow to boil for one minute. Ladle this creamy deliciousness over the pasta, makes 3 hearty portions, serve with cheesy garlic bread (which we bought from the store).
I loved this meal!  Definitely easy and fairly quick.  I am thinking that a combination of pasta sauce and Alfredo sauce would produce a similar creaminess with a cheesiness rather than spiciness. 
Thanks to "L" for bringing this wonderful meal to my menu!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

In a Hurry, Chicken Curry

Okay, lame name, I know!
I haven't cooked anything lately.  Leftovers, sandwiches, and basic easy meals have been the fare.  So tonight I wanted something different, but not a long cooking process.  I went to my YGS favorites recipe list and found a chicken curry recipe that I altered for myself.   I used one large chicken breast, a small onion, half the garlic, and fresh tomatoes.  I normally use the canned ones, like the recipe calls for, but I had a couple tomatoes getting old.  I just used one large tomato, diced.  This called for dredging and frying the chicken beforehand.  But I like to forgo frying, especially when the meat will be cooking in a savory liquid.  I followed the directions for sweating the garlic and onions, added the curry, and then the diced tomatoes (and a little water). I let the tomatoes cook for about 5 minutes, covered, then added the chicken in bite size pieces.  Cover on and simmer for 15 minutes, then uncovered for 5 more.  Pour into bowl and enjoy!!! 
If I could let everything simmer in the oven for an hour, I would add some potatoes and carrots to the mixture.  If you don't love a strong curry flavor the best way to dial it down is to add some Greek yogurt, to add a cooling creaminess.  I want to try making naan soon, but I just ate it with a Flatout Wrap.  Great thick flavorful wrap.  (I know Walmart sells fresh made naan, if I knew I was doing curry tonight I would have grabbed some on my way home.) 
स्वादिष्ट  or  Svādiṣṭa 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Product Review: Kraft HomeStyle Deluxe Classic Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese

I'm not one for buying a lot of pre-packaged meals, but I like to have a couple on hand.  I had a coupon for Kraft's new HomeStyle Macaroni and Cheese, for $1 I thought I could try it.  I thought it was definitely closer to homemade than the boxes, much creamier.  I topped it with a half cup of shredded sharp cheese, and the included bread crumbs were a nice touch.  "L" and I thought it would be a great in the pinch side to take to a potluck or picnic.  You could throw in broccoli and ham, or crumbled bacon.
Our Walmart carries them for $2, to me it is a worthy bag to keep in the pantry as back-up.
Have a great night!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Put the Lime with the Coconut, Mix It Up!

At work the other day we were talking about cupcakes.  I love shows like Cupcake Wars, all the inventive flavors just make my mouth water.  All the talk about cupcakes really made me want to try to make some "fancy flavors".  I decided to make a variety of Lime and Coconut combinations.

I made the Lime Cupcakes from this recipe.   I made just the cupcake recipe, without the food coloring.  I'm known for my little "oops" moments in the kitchen.  My big one that day was curdling my milk on accident.  I had already measured my fresh lime juice, when I measured my milk into the same cup.  I just mixed it in the way the recipe said to add the milk.  As the recipe says the batter looks a little separated, the batter looks a little grainy. After filling my wells, the remainder of the batter sat for 20 minutes, I beat it again and the next batch was much smoother. If you taste the batter, it won't really taste very lime.  After the cupcakes bake, the essential oils released by the lime zest make a very delicious sweet lime flavor.

Second step, make Coconut Cupcakes, using this recipe.  I didn't have cake flour, so I googled and replaced 2 tbsp of flour with cornstarch per cup of flour.  I also don't have a sifter so I sift with a colander and a bowl. This is VERY thick batter, the stiff egg whites smooth it out.  The egg whites cause this to bake up very fluffy.  Make sure you don't over fill the cupcake wells, they get huge.
(Of course, I used my Demarle, so easy to rinse out and have ready for the next batch.)

Recipes 3 and 4 were, for coconut frosting and lime glaze.  The lime glaze is 1 T melted butter, 1 C powdered sugar, then add lime juice until you have the consistency you want.
I combined both cupcakes with both toppings.  I only have pictures of the lime cupcakes topped.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the lime glaze.  I can't wait to have it on ice cream, it is now in my favorite food discoveries and it is so easy!

I brought them to work and everybody said they were really yummy.  I think they were being honest :)  I loved doing something new!  Hope you all try it!
I am looking forward to trying new ones that will go with change of the seasons.  I'm thinking Snickerdoodle and Apple Pie for the fall cupcakes?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Menu Planning - Relieving Stress, Not Creating It (Even for Singles)

A note about the menu planner... I shop once every two to three weeks. So when I edit my YGS menu I make sure there are about 8 meals for two weeks. This is so I can be flexible. Some days nothing on the menu looks good and I just want plain old tacos. Or, as happened above, someone may drop by and nothing on the menu works for them. Sunday, I made that delicious cranberry relish, I grabbed a chicken breast and plopped a couple tablespoons of cranberry relish in there for a marinade. It wasn't on my menu, but it will be dinner tomorrow night. When menu planning, don't get caught up in specific days or missing a planned recipe, this is not the point of menu planning.
It's food, you've got your whole life to eat it!

I already mentioned You've Got Supper (YGS).  This is my "go-to" menu planner right now.  Many of the recipes have pictures and reviews from other "customers".  Also, many recipes have suggested sides, or options for switching out ingredients.  (This is how I learned I can substitute tumeric for saffron, until I can convince myself to blow some cash.) Servings are roughly 4 to 6 people, so I just write "Half Everything" on my grocery list that prints.  I do love YGS, but I do use a few other sites for my filler recipes.

Pillsbury Cooking for Two
     This isn't actually a menu site, but it does have some great recipes scaled down.  It is helpful when I am trying to re-portion something.

Make Dinner Easy
     She sends out an email on Saturdays that contains the link to the menu.  The menu is posted for two weeks, last week's is still up when you get the new week.  She includes sides on most of the meals.  Also she has some great tips in her menus too.  Even if I don't want to use the recipes I like to check out the tips, like how to get rid of that extra zucchini.   :)

Everyday With Rachael Ray
     I just signed up for this one this week.  I will have to do a review after a few weeks on the plan.

Monthly Menu Planner
     Like the name suggests, this site gives a whole month of recipes.  It is a little much for me since there are meals on every single day of the month.  But if you are up for it, a great way to plan ahead.

Weekly Dinner Menus
     She has 8 menus that she cycles through.  I know a lot of people like this method because they can stock up on things they will use regularly.  Her recipes are generally scaled for 4 servings.  She doesn't provide sides, so keep that in mind, and add them into your lists.

Thanks for reading!!!

An Easy Change in My Menu, 30 Min Stromboli

About a month ago I found a great website, You've Got Supper, that emails a weekly menu.  I can edit the menu, add or take away recipes from their recipe book, and print an organized grocery list.  I can mark recipes as favorites once I have tried them too.  That is where I get all my new exciting recipes lately.  Tonight was one of them, Stromboli.  I originally was planing on doing chicken and potato curry, but "L" came over for dinner and the season finale of "Covert Affairs".  Curry is not really in her palette.  So I looked on my menu and found the stromboli.  The recipe calls for mozzarella and ham, I decided I wanted swiss when shopping, and "L" doesn't like deli ham, so we did Swiss and Pepperoni.  With the pop'n'fresh French bread, and two other main ingredients, this literally took 5 minutes to put together and only 25 to bake.  It was crispy and golden on the outside and soft on the inside.  It reminds me of a pizza braid my Aunt "J" makes.  I thought it would be good with lots of combos, cheddar, chicken, and broccoli; roasted red peppers and onions with pepperoni; lots of yummy combinations possible.  This would be great as a last minute treat for a party!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Eggroll Wrappers, Not Just for Eggrolls?

Egg roll wrappers/skins
Last night's post mention egg roll wrappers in passing.  I love these things!  The wrappers are really thin sheets of pasta.  I have heard you can make them at home but they are difficult with a kitchen pasta machine, and extremely difficult by hand.  (Have you rolled normal pasta dough by hand? It is very hard!)  I originally bought these to make my Mexican Egg rolls.  I had some leftover sheets and noticed a recipe on the back for... Cannelloni?!  Boil water, drop sheets in for a minute, place ricotta filling on edge, roll, cover in sauce, and bake for 20 minutes?!?!?!  I tried it!  Super easy super yummy cannelloni that I can make on my lunch break, (microwave for 5 to 10 minutes is another time saver).  That success sold me on the wonderful little guys.  I keep them on hand, always.  Leftover chicken and vegetables?  Make a broth, add the chicken, veggies, and sliced wrappers... instant home made chicken noodle soup.  I love lasagne, but to be frank lasagne noodles are a pain, even the no-boil kind.  So on a whim I decided to try the egg roll wrappers.  Everything in lasagne is pre-cooked, so you are only "marrying" all the flavors.  I layered my wrappers into individual servings of lasagne (Demarle is awesome).  They came out light, almost fluffy, without the starchiness of regular noodles.  Another score for the wrappers!  As I was looking online today for other recipes for my wrappers I came across a recipe using them to make cups.  Baked longer if re-baking (filled with custard) or shorter is filled with cold filling (taco salad).  My goal is to make a few of these recipes in the near future.  I'll post them when I try them.

A couple tips to keep in mind:
While assembling the egg rolls, keep the stack of wrappers moist by covering them with a damp towel. You can seal the rolls with a "glue" made with cornstarch and water. Store them in the refrigerator or freezer, but let them come to room temperature before using.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

24 Hours and 3 Delicious Recipes

First off, I made some great food for dinner tonight!  BBQ Pork Ribs...  I was supposed to do them on the grill but I didn"t quite manage it.  First, a rub of brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, peper, and Dollar Tree Memphis Seasoning (LOVE this stuff).  I sifted it, rubbing the powder onto the ribs and dumping the clumps into a jar.  The jar then had worchestershire sauce and BBQ sauce mixed in.  All the flavors "married" in their respective positions for about three hours.  Since I didn't have a big enough oven dish for the ribs, I cut the slab in half.  I put each half in a Demarle round (meatier side down), and covered them with half the sauce.  Into the 375 oven for 1.25 hours (covered with the silpat) then flipped over, covered with the remaining sauce and left uncovered for 20 minutes more.  They were so much better than on the grill, since I have a tendency to overcook on the grill.  They were flavorful, moist, sweet with a little kick.  And clean up was a cinch, 5 minutes with warm water and mild detergent, no scrubbing at all!!!  Can't tell you how much I love my Demarle.

Second, I made Cranberry Twist relish for lunch.  My mom always makes this in the fall.  I found cranberries in my freezer when i moved, so I decided to make some today.  My mom uses an orange and a bit of sugar to balance the cranberries, but my one orange is supposed to be used for a recipe this week.  Luckily I had a Califonia pink grapefuit.  No need for adding the zest of the rind to my twist version.  I ate it all, so refreshing, sweet yet tangy.  Tastes like CT.

Third, last night "L" and I made my Mexican Eggrolls for quick meals, they are great in the freezer, healthier than frozen burritos.  Simmer, covered, two chicken breast in a cup of chunky salsa for about 20 minutes.  I put them in frozen and whole, when i see they have thawed a little I cut them up into small chunks.  Then shred the chicken, add a can of black beans (rinsed), simmer for 5 minutes.  Add frozen corn to the mix until it look right (I know it isn't specific but some people like more or less corn).  Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes uncovered.  If drain off any excess liquid.  I save mine because it is great base for leftover mexican soup for lunch the next day.  You can simmer the liquid all off, but that can overcook your corn.  Then take out your package of eggroll wrappers.  Paint all four edges with egg wash or oil.  Place 2-3 tablespoons of mixture in the wrap and roll up like a burrito or the back of the package has eggroll rolling instructions.  Bake until golden brown.  Obviously I use my silpat, but if using a cookie sheet line it with foil, sometimes they leak a little.  I allow them to cool for an hour on the counter then freeze them in portions.  We eat them on a bed of lettuce with salsa, sour cream, and cheese!

P.S. I bought tumeric and curry last week! So excited to try them out this week!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Some Meek Greek for Lunch

Got to leave work early today to make up my Saturday hours.  Came home to the big question, "What am I going to eat for lunch?"  One of my many new endeavors is to try to use up all my specialty purchases.  Meaning, when I buy feta I must use all of it, not a single bit to waste.  I am usually good at this anyway, but in my new save-money-on-groceries mentality, I started thinking of the food that gets wasted after I spend the money.  Back to my point of lunch... Stomach: Grumbling, Fridge: Open, Eyes: GOT IT!  Boca Burgers, Greek yogurt, feta, and my new cast iron grill pan!  Grilled my burger, grilled some tomato slice and onions, mixed feta, yogurt, garlic, and dill. Piled together on a warm bun, I got my Meek Greek meal! 
P.S. I am getting ready for my first organized coupon shopping trip this week!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Day, New Post

New Beginnings!
I'm trying this thing again. I recently moved to Smithfield, UT, the northern end of Cache Valley, and away from my nearly 3 year roomie. I have found I have more "empty" time and I want something to show for it. So this blog is being reactivated!
But what will I talk about?! Technically, anything I want, it's my blog! But I do have an idea of a few things:
1) I have fallen more and more in love with cooking. I am CONSTANTLY trying new recipes and new ingredients. I expect that to be a common topic from now on in this blog.
2) Also, I am becoming very enthralled at couponing. I want to find out how beneficial couponing is for the single female cooking for herself.
3) What entertains me, books, movies, concerts, plays, and public venues.
4) I may not know tons about this final subject, but you will find me commenting on various current events throughout the community, state of Utah, and this great nation.
5) Finally, I will post thoughts and impressions on the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the heart beat to my life. It is what makes me, me.

So, I hope this works out better than last time.
Wish me luck!