Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Homemade Pizza Crust

I had heard about this easy recipe from a fellow blogger and decided to try it last night for some yummy homemade pizza.  IT WAS SOOOOOOO GOOD!  The recipe is called "Jay's Signature Pizza Crust" and I got it off http://www.allrecipes.com/.  It has 4 1/2 stars and A TON of reviews, so it had to be good right?  Right!
And so easy!  Here is the original recipe:

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1.In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes.
2.Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour.
3.Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out. Use for your favorite pizza recipe.
4.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). If you are baking the dough on a pizza stone, you may place your toppings on the dough, and bake immediately. If you are baking your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise for 15 or 20 minutes before topping and baking it.
5.Bake pizza in preheated oven, until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Here are my add-ins:  I put in some Italian Seasoning and some garlic powder and onion powder in the yeast/oil mixture, right before adding in the flour.  It made it very savory!  I also put pieces of string cheese in the edges of the crust before baking to get that cheesy crust all the pizza places are raving about!  
On my homemade pizza, I just use a traditional pasta sauce (special pizza sauce is so overrated!), mozzarella, and whatever veggies and meats I have on hand.  Last night, I topped my pizza with a small can of mushrooms (drained of course), 2 sliced up LARGE tomatoes, some thick cut ham, and a red bell pepper.  I had to cook it on my pizza stone for 20 minutes because of all the juices, but it was so good!  
I ate it again for lunch.  Cold.  Straight from the fridge.  I love eating pizza leftovers!
(Sorry no pictures, my camera battery is dead and is yet to be charged.  I haven't taken pictures for 3 weeks!  lol)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oreo Ice Cream Cake

I got this recipe off http://www.utahshoppingsecrets.com/.  It just looks so delish and maybe a great way to end out this summer?!  ;)  Here's the original text from the post:
Who doesn't like a delicious ice cream cake in the summertime? If you purchase ice cream cakes from stores and restaurants they are expensive. Try making your own for a fraction of the cost!

For my husband's birthday a few weeks ago I wanted to make him an ice cream cake. But I wanted an ice cream cake that didn't have cake in it (make sense)? I found this superb recipe from Kraft Foods. Just take a look at it!
Oh it was divine! And super easy to make too. It looks like you slaved over a difficult cake when really it only tool minutes to prepare. Here is the original recipe with my changes marked in red.

Oreo Ice Cream Cake

24 OREO Cookies, divided
2 cups Strawberry ice cream, softened (I used vanilla instead, and abt 3 cups)
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
2 cups Chocolate ice cream, softened (3 cups also)
2 Tbsp. Hot fudge ice cream topping (I used crushed oreos instead)

LINE 9-inch round pan (I used a 10 in springform pan. Didn't have to use the plastic wrap) with plastic wrap, with ends extending over side of pan. Stand 14 cookies around edge of pan. Crush remaining cookies. Reserve 1/2 cup crumbs for later use; sprinkle remaining crumbs onto bottom of pan. Spread strawberry ice cream over crumbs; top with 1 cup COOL WHIP and reserved crumbs. Cover with chocolate ice cream.
FREEZE 4 hours.
REMOVE dessert from freezer 10 min. before serving. Use plastic wrap handles to lift dessert from pan. Carefully peel off plastic wrap; place dessert on serving plate. Let stand at room temperature to soften slightly. Top with remaining COOL WHIP; drizzle with fudge topping.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Apple Streusel Bars

Okay, so maybe I'm a bit addicted to www.ourbestbites.com. It must be, cause the last few recipes that I've posted here are all from there!

Even better, this recipe is SUPER easy, and you probably have all the ingredients at hand.

Seriously, these are so yummy. A friend of mine brought some over to me, and I HAD to know the recipe. Of course, it was from ourbestbites.com!


2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. real butter, softened (no substitutions!)
1 egg, beaten


1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 c. (about 4 medium) sliced, peeled baking apples (I used Gala, and instead of slicing, I chopped them up with my Pampered Chef food chopper)

2 c. powdered sugar
About 3 Tbsp. milk (whole milk is best)
1 tsp. almond extract

To prepare crust, mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until you have pea-sized crumbles. Gently mix in beaten egg.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Gently pat about 2/3 of the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the dish. Preheat oven to 350 and set aside.

To prepare apple filling, combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Toss with apples and spread apples out on prepared crust. Sprinkle reserved crust mixture over apples evenly and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. When finished, allow to cool completely.

To prepare glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, almond extract, and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over cooled pastry and allow to harden (you can place it in the freezer to hurry things along). Cut into bars and serve.

You'd better have someone to share these with, cause otherwise you'll eat the whole pan!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Baked Potato Casserole

I love twice-baked potatoes but have never actually made them. I found this recipe for potato casserole, which is basically just the easy version of twice-baked potatoes, in casserole-form (with my additions in italics).

Baked Potato Casserole (from simplifysupper.com)

6 Small baking potatoes *I used 3 regular russet potatoes
.75 cup cottage cheese *I don't like cottage cheese, so I did 1/2 cottage cheese, 1/2 cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup sour cream *I used fat free and it worked just fine
1/2 cup cheddar or favorite mixed cheeses *I used cheddar and monterey jack
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika, optional

Scrub potatoes with a brush and pat dry. Pierce with a fork and cover each individual potato with aluminum foil, matte side facing out. Bake at 425 40 to 60 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Allow to cool slightly until they are cool enough to handle. Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Then add cottage cheese, sour cream, garlic salt, and paprika. Mix well and add to a greased casserole dish. Add shredded cheese to top. Bake uncovered at 325 for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden.

It was delicious! When I showed my sister the recipe, she suggested using cream-of-whatever soup instead of cottage cheese (we both dislike cottage cheese - guess it runs in the pants!). Of course cottage cheese is slightly better for you than creamed soups, so I just decided to mix the 2 on a whim. You could still see the cottage cheese in the casserole but you couldn't taste it. And my husband suggested adding a little more sour cream because "sour cream is good on potatoes." (It was really good just how it was, but more sour cream probably wouldn't hurt either.)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Yum yum! I tried yet another recipe from www.OurBestBites.com, and it was GREAT!

1 T active dry yeast (1 package)
1/2 C warm water (105 degr F--I did the scientific warm tap water method)
4 1/2 C all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C (1 stick) real butter at room temp

1/2 C (1 stick) real butter at room temp
3/4 C packed brown sugar
1 T cinnamon

1 C powdered sugar
2 T butter, melted
2 T milk or cream
1 t vanilla extract

In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the water, allow to bloom for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1/2 C of the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot for about 30 min.

Add the eggs, sugar, butter, and remaining 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead on medium speed until smooth 10-12 minutes (I did it MUCH shorter). Add a bit more flour to reduce stickiness if needed.

Cover with plastic wrap, set in a warm spot and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

While dough is rising, prepare filling. Take 2 T of the stick of butter and set aside. Beat remaining butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together until combined and slightly fluffy, about 1 minute.

Butter a 9*13 baking dish. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Roll out into a rectangle about 15*10 in. Spread filling onto dough and roll up lenght-wise.

Use string or dental floss to score and cut the dough into rolls (didn't work for me, I just used a sharp knife). You can make 12 smaller rolls, 10 medium ones, or 8 large. Place cut side up in baking dish. Melt the reserved 2 T butter and brush on top of rolls. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight (Or, I assume, bake immediately!).

The next morning remove from fridge and let rise until half again as high, about 1 hour. While rising mix glaze ingredients until combined. Preheat the oven to 350. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Spread the glaze over warm rolls and serve!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

Another recipe I tried from www.ourbestbites.com!!! It turned out wonderful. I also had plenty of filling left over, it wouldn't all fit in one pan, so plan on making 4 pie crusts. I put my pot pie in a small 8*8 casserole dish instead of a pie pan, and used a little bit of leftover pie crust to cover a small individual dish (that turned out great!).
Like they suggested on the website, you can make one (or two) larger chicken pot pies, or make several individual-sized ones by using prep bowls or anything small that you can put in the oven. For those little pies, you only need to cover it with a crust (you don't need to put any lining the bowl), so you'd save on crust there. It is also GREAT to freeze and reheat later! Or to take as a lunch!

2 unbaked pie crusts
1 lb leftover chicken, chopped (you can use any kind of chicken really)
1 12-16 oz bag of mixed veggies, thawed
1 onion, minced
5 medium potatoes (red), diced (I used regular potatoes, worked just fine)
2 cans of cream of chicken soup (or see the homemade recipe below)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and boil until tender.
3. Meanwhile, heat +/- 1 tbs butter in a medium skillet. Saute the onion (and I put in my chopped raw chicken as well) until translucent and fragrant.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine cream of chicken soup, chicken, veggies, onion and potatoes. Season to taste.
5. Place 1 pie crust on the bottom of a pie plate, add filling, top w/ other crust. Crimp the edges and cut vent holes on top.
6. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Allow to stand a few minutes before serving.

Serves 6-8. Enjoy!