August 24, 2021

Pita Pizza

As I believe I have mentioned before - I'm not really good with making home made pizza dough. So, when I was craving a basic margarita pizza, I bought pita bread.

Sauce Ingredients:
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tbs. sugar
2 cloves garlic
Crushed red pepper flakes - optional
Basil - to taste

Toss the tomato sauce into a sauce pan and add the remaining ingredients. Simmer on low for about 25 minutes. It will start off a bright red color, and when it's done it will be a darker red, and it will have reduced some.

Pizza Ingredients:
Pita Bread - one for each person you are feeding
Fresh Mozzarella
Fresh Basil
Marinara Sauce (recipe above)

Build your pizza, adding the desired amount of each ingredient. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.



So good!!

August 22, 2021

Montreal Chicken

This is the recipe I give people when they tell me they can't cook - because everyone can manage this one. It's super easy and the bonus is that it turns out every.single.time. It's a staple at our house for when we are feeling lazy - the ingredients are basic, and always in the house. When I don't have an orange, I use a lemon. Switching it up never hurt anybody! This is another one I got from my dear friend Sandra!

Ingredients:
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Molasses
Zest of one orange
1 tsp. thyme
Montreal steak seasoning
1lb. Chicken

Toss the chicken into a glass baking dish. Pour the olive oil, molasses, and balsamic vinegar around the pan three times. Add the thyme, and orange zest, then sprinkle the Montreal steak seasoning on top of the chicken. Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Viola! It's done!



Enjoy!

August 19, 2021

Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies


This recipe makes the best cakey chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted. I will caution that the recipe requires 24 hours of refrigeration before baking - how annoying! But, I always assume if it’s required, it has to do something to make them so great. I also think these would be great with M&M's - right Martin Gerald?

Ingredients:
1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1⅔ cups bread flour
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt (I used Kosher)
2½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cups packed dark brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ bags of milk chocolate chips
Sea salt for sprinkling - if you like that sweet and salty taste combo.

Put the cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, baking powder, and course salt in a bowl. Stir or whisk well to combine.

Beat the sugars and butter together in a mixer on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition then mix in the vanilla extract.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl, and use a spatula to mix together until just combine. Then pour in the chocolate chips, and mix until combine. Cover and put in the fridge for 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake the cookies preheat the oven to 350˚ and bake for about 10-15 minutes



August 18, 2021

Meatloaf

I am not the biggest fan of meatloaf - but this is the best one I've ever had. Courtesy of my dear friend Sandra! (Thank you!!)

Ingredients:
1 large onion
1 large carrot
2 stalks of celery
1 granny smith apple
5 cloves of garlic
4 T. olive oil
2 lb. ground turkey
3 T. dijon mustard
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper

Topping/Glaze:
1/4 cup honey mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar

Chop the onion, carrot, celery and apple. Toss them into a frying pan with the olive oil and cook until soft. Set aside to cool. In a big bowl put the turkey, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper, and mix together. Add the contents of the frying pan, mix well. Put the mixture into a square baking dish. I made sure to grease it first just in case. Flatten the top down, mix the glaze together and spread evenly on top.

Bake at 375 for about an hour. So yummy.




August 17, 2021

Applesauce

I was channeling my grandma Hazel the other night - craving applesauce, so I whipped up her applesauce.

Ingredients:
6 Golden Delicious Apples
1/3 cup sugar
Vanilla (about 1 Tbsp.)

Peel the apples in a strainer over the sink - don't want the peels in the garbage disposal!


Cut the peeled apples into slices - attempt to keep them around the same thickness so that they cook up at the same speed.

 Throw them all into a large pot, stick it under the faucet, turn it on and immediately turn it off. Don't want too much water otherwise your applesauce will be watery.  Put the lid on it and turn the heat on to medium. The apples will render all their liquid and start to turn a golden yellow color. You know they are ready when they mash easily.


Mash them up with a potato masher, then add the sugar, and vanilla. (I just fill my wooden spoon with the vanilla and stir!)


Stir it up and you've got easy applesauce! I prefer to eat it warm - my sister always preferred it cold - this stressed out my mother and my grandmother when trying to serve both of us for dinner. It's good both ways though, I promise!

Side note: we do not feed our dog people food, but in the fall I love apples and eat them all the time. Last year Abby got a few bites, and based on her reaction to the applesauce cooking - she remembers them!



August 15, 2021

Bruschetta

I'm sure I'm not the only person who saw the movie "Julie and Julia" and then suddenly had a craving for bruschetta. So, I promptly looked up the recipe, and since then I have made this dish many times.

Ingredients:
3 Tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil - plus a little more for later on
Lots of Basil
Baguette
Salt
1 Garlic Clove
Balsamic Vinegar
Parmesan Cheese

Cut the outside of the tomato off, and chop it up. I use the Vidalia Onion Chopper - that thing is awesome (thank you grandma Alice!) I use it for this dish because it makes the tomatoes have a uniform look, because they are all chopped into the same sized little squares! I add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, and chop up half of the container of basil that I get at the grocery store. It's probably around 12 leaves/2 Tbsp chopped of basil. Then I sprinkle a little salt, and stir it up. This mixture needs to sit for a couple of minutes so that the tomatoes will render their liquids and the flavors will all mix together.

While that is happening, I chop my baguette into 1/2 inch slices. I then heat up a skillet with olive oil in it. You want to coat the bread lightly on both sides with the olive oil. Fry until the bread is toasted to the desired darkness on both sides.

While the bread is cooling off on a plate somewhere, pull out a clove of garlic and peel it. Then cut one of the ends off. Stick it with a fork - this makes me sound crazy, so I added a picture for this one. You are going to rub the piece of garlic onto the toasted bread - that tip is brought to you by none other than Brittany herself, who says she can't cook!?

Once you rub the bread with garlic you are ready put the meal all together. I heat the tomato mixture (microwave, 30 seconds) sometimes the cold tomato/warm bread is a good combo - all depends on your taste. Scoop the tomato mixture onto the bread and eat!

Usually when I make this dish, I don't use balsamic or parmesan cheese, but this time it just sounded good. So, to the tomato mixture I put a splash of balsamic vinegar, and sprinkled parm on top to serve.



August 11, 2021

Ground Beef Tacos

This is hands down the best taco meat I have ever had - it comes from Emeril. This is one that we make time and again. It's kind of putsy, and it makes quite a bit - great for feeding an army or you can feed the family once, and freeze the remainder. It heats up great!

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups onion, finely chopped - I just use one big onion
3 tablespoons minced garlic - it's basically an entire head of garlic
3 tablespoons ground cumin
2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper - I use WAY more than that. We like kick, have I mentioned that?
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup tomato paste - I use the entire small can

Heat up the biggest skillet you have. Throw in the olive oil and the onion. Cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cumin, cook for a couple of minutes. Add the ground beef and break it up as it browns. Once brown I try to drain off some of the grease - you don't have to. Add the remaining ingredients, and cook until most of the liquid is gone - you want some to keep it moist!

Then you can just build your tacos with what you want on them - guacamole, salsa, cheese, lettuce, etc.


Enjoy!

August 10, 2021

Hot Fudge and Banana Breakfast

This is a breakfast inspired by Mr. Martin Gerald himself! His favorite shake/malt is a hot fudge and banana shake.

So, I whipped this treat up for breakfast. I get bored VERY easily with breakfast food - so I tend to switch it up often.

Ingredients:
1 banana (frozen)
1 spoonful of hot fudge
1 scoop of protein powder
1 cup(ish) of milk

Cut a banana and stick it in the freezer the night before.

I have a magic bullet - those things are awesome. Pour about a cup of milk - in my case it was almond milk. Toss the banana in, the spoonful of fudge (I used a BIG spoon!). I used vanilla soy protein myself, but most people use whey. Blend it all up, and stick it in a travel mug and off to work you go - and 20 minutes earlier than you thought! The best part is I was actually full until noon, which never happens. And I got my chocolate fix! YUM!



August 4, 2021

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This tends to be a dish I make when Mike requests something "light". It is also quick and easy to improvise if you don't have everything you need.

1 lb. Chicken, cut into thin strips
Grill seasoning (Broiled Steak Seasoning)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp minced ginger root (Tonight it was just the powder)
2 Cloves garlic - all I had on hand
2 Large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 Package cabbage (coleslaw/carrot mix)
5 Scallions - I just used half the bunch
1/2 cup plum sauce - I used 3/4 of the jar we had - probably 3/4 cup
1 Tbsp fish sauce (soy sauce will do the trick)
Crushed red pepper flakes - we like a kick at our house
1/2 Head iceberg lettuce
1/2 Cucumber, chopped

Fry the chicken strips in the oil, and the grill seasoning. After a few minutes add all the ingredients except the lettuce and the cucumber. Let the cabbage mix cook down, and the peppers cook until slightly soft. There are two ways to plate this one (at our house anyway) I prefer the salad way, and Mike prefers the wrap way.

*Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray

 
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