Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Homemade Pepperoni Pizza
1lb pizza dough (you can make it yourself or pick up some pre-made)
pizza sauce (again, make your own or pick up a GOOD jar)
2 1/2 cups shredded cheese (pizza cheese & mozz)
olive oil (to brush on the crust)
red pepper flakes
place your pizza stone in the oven (on the 2nd rack up from the bottom) & pre-heat to 500°. make sure your pizza stone sits in the 500° oven for at least 45min to 1 hour.
while your pizza stone is heating up: flour a flat surface & roll out your dough into a circle. just eyeball it- it shouldn't be too small but not to thin/big either. it needs to fit on your pizza stone.
spread some cornmeal on your pizza peel (if you don't have a pizza peel then use a wooden cutting board) to keep the dough from sticking.
place the rolled out dough on your peel & brush with a small amount of olive oil- then start building.
spread on the pizza sauce. i eyeball the sauce- but i'd say i use about 3/4 cup or so. then i season to taste with the onion & garlic powder.
sprinkle on the cheese (again, eyeball)- i used about 2 1/2 cups because we like cheese.
lay on the pepperoni (your pref)
sprinkle the top with dried basil & red pepper flakes (to taste)- your pizza should look something like this:
if your pizza stone is still heating up then let your pizza sit. once the stone is ready, slide the pizza from the peel onto the hot stone (be careful not to burn yourself or drop the pizza. the cornmeal should help it slide nicely & you can use a spatula to help it along)
cook your pizza for about 10-15 minutes- make sure you watch it so it doesn't burn, every oven is different. my pizza took about 12 minutes in my oven (which gets pretty hot)
it's done when the cheese is melted & has a hint of brown- or however you like it!
remove from the oven (carefully again) and let it sit for a minute. then slice it up & dish it out.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
chicken, special sauce, grapes, almonds- oy!
i searched in vain for a recipe but alas- i had to come up with my own.
i got as close as i could- i simply cannot figure out their super secret sauce.
i kind of eyeballed everything- but the below is my best guess at the amounts used.
Napa Chicken Salad
2 cups cooked chicken (shredded or cubed- i roasted a chicken the day before)
1/2 heavy cup of mayo
1 heavy spoonful of Miracle Whip (i love me the whip- but you can skip it)
3 tblsp of honey
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup halved grapes
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup slivered/sliced almonds
1 tsp poppy seeds
salt & pepper to taste
good hearty bread slices
In a large bowl- whisk/stir together the mayo, MW, honey, vinegar, poppy seeds, salt & pepper.
chop the chicken/fruits/veggies/nuts (i used already slivered almonds. makes life easier)
i like my celery tiny & my grapes halved. my chicken is mostly shredded with a few chunks here & there.
toss the chicken into the mayo mix & stir it up- then tthrow in the rest & stir/fold it all together.
gently now- you don't want to smash the grapes!
p.s. you can adjust the mayo amount. initially my salad was a bit dry which i why i added the scoop of Miracle Whip. go with what you like!
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Cordon Rose Banana Cake (from the cake bible)
For the cake:
2 cups sifted cake flour
¾ cup plus 2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 large ripe bananas (about 225 grams, peeled)
½ cup sour cream (not low- or non-fat)
2 large eggs
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
10 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp grated lemon zest (orange zest will also work)
For the frosting:
1 stick salted butter (if using unsalted, add 1/2 tsp of salt)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups confectioners sugar, must be sifted!
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spray a 9-inch round springform pan with cooking spray, line the base with a round of parchment paper, and spray the parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a food processor, purée the banana and sour cream until completely smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla & lemon zest, and process briefly to combine. The puréed mixture will be light yellow and quite loose.
Add the softened butter and about ½ of the puréed mixture to the dry ingredients in the bowl. Beat to combine on low speed; then increase the speed and beat for about 90 seconds to aerate the cake structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and add the rest of the purée, beating to combine well. The batter will be light tan in color and should be smooth and creamy.
Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and dry. Remove the cake from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes while you make the frosting (below), and then remove the rim of the pan. Invert the cake onto a wire rack, and carefully remove the base of the pan and the parchment paper. Turn onto a cake platter.
For the frosting:
Heat butter and brown sugars over medium until the mixture comes to a boil about 2 minutes. Add the milk, stir, and bring the mixture back to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat with a wooden spoon or whisk until smooth. Use immediately, while it and cake are still warm, and spread quickly before cool.
Allow the cake to sit at room temperature for at least a half hour before serving.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls (from the pioneerwoman)
1 quart Whole Milk
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
2 packages Active Dry Yeast
8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
Plenty Of Melted Butter
2 cups Sugar
Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
1 bag Powdered Sugar
2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
½ cups Milk
¼ cups Melted Butter
¼ cups Brewed Coffee
⅛ teaspoons Salt
Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. “Scald” the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour. (i let it rise for at least 2-3)
After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (i had to stir + use my hands to get it mixed in well)
At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down. (i made half on Sat & half on Sun- so i ended up punching it down on Sun morning)
When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape.
(specifics: i rolled my dough out to about 28-29 inches long)
Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.
Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.
(specifics: i cut my rolls at 1 inch a piece.)
Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes:
then bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes (i cooked min for about 18-19 minutes)
For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.
Beware- this WHOLE recipe makes A LOT of rolls! i got 7 pans with 7-8 rolls per pan! i brought them to work & sent them to work with the hubs. i also gave away 2 pans to the rents/in-laws...and i still had an extra pan! but it's ok- you'll eat them.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Baked Lemon Pasta (from the pioneerwoman)
1 pound Thin Spaghetti
4 Tablespoons Salted Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole Lemon, Juiced And Zested
2 cups Sour Cream
½ teaspoons Kosher Salt, Or More To Taste
Plenty Of Grated Parmesan Cheese
Flat-leaf Parsley, Chopped (i used Basil instead)
Extra Lemon Juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook spaghetti until al dente.
In a skillet, melt butter with olive oil over LOW HEAT. When butter is melted, add minced garlic. Squeeze lemon juice into the pan. Turn off heat.
Add sour cream and stir mixture together. Add lemon zest and salt. Taste, then add more salt if necessary. Pour mixture over drained spaghetti and stir together, then pour spaghetti into an oven safe dish.
(oven safe dish)
Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes. (Don’t bake too long or the pasta will dry out.)
When you remove it from the oven, squeeze a little more lemon juice over the top. Top generously with Parmesan cheese, then chopped parsley. Give it a final squeeze of lemon juice at the end.
It was awesome. nice & lemony!