Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Peanut Butter Crack

This stuff is 100% crack.  

You will not be able to stop eating it. 

You are going to hate me for posting this recipe, but I'm going to do it anyway.  
Cuz I'm EVIL that way.  

Are you ready?  All you need is 5 ingredients, so go raid your pantry.

1 1/2 sheets graham crackers (enough to fill a half sheet baking sheet)
1 c (2 sticks) butter
1 c brown sugar
1 pkg peanut butter chips
1/2 c chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Line your rimmed baking sheet with foil, then parchment.  This makes for easier removal.  In med pan, melt butter and sugar until sugar dissolved and mixture is bubbly.  Pour this mess over the graham crackers (I like the cinnamon kind!)  Sprinkle the chips on top and put the pan in the oven and check on it every 3 min or so.  Remove from the oven once the whole surface is bubbly (after about 6-9 min).  Immediately spread the chips out evenly over the entire surface.  you might get the chips mixed in with the butter and brown sugar mix.  That's ok.  Once you have an even layer of pb chips melted over the top, sprinkle on the chopped pecans.  Place the whole tray in the fridge for about a hour, then break apart into pieces.  Store in the fridge or freezer.

note:  you can switch out the graham crackers for saltines and the pb chips for chocolate chips and get another version of cracktacular goodness.

recipe via White Lights on Wed

Monday, April 21, 2014

America's Test Kitchen Chicago Style Pizza

I saw this recipe for Chicago style deep dish pizza on a rerun of America's Test Kitchen a few months ago.  It took me a while to track the recipe down, but it was worth the extra effort.  America's Test Kitchen has yet to steer me wrong with a recipe.

I was a little skeptical about the "buttery crust" but the slight flakiness after being cooked really makes the pizza.

Even though I used less than top quality cheese, tomatoes and sausage, it was the BEST deep dish pizza I've had.  Yeah, even better than the one's I've had to wait over an hour for in Chicago. 

This recipe is for two deep dish pizzas.  I wasn't sure how many servings one pizza would yield so I cooked up both at the same time.  If you are trying to figure out how many people each pizza would serve.  We wound up getting about 5 decent size servings per pizza.  The slices are really filling too. 

The pizza was best reheated in the oven, covered in foil at 350F for 30 min.  It was almost as good as when it came out of the oven the first time.

I was surprised how much Blockette enjoyed this pizza.  The last time I made Chicago style pizza she turned her nose up at it.  Of course, she was much younger then and less open to trying new things.  I'm pretty sure she didn't like the pizza last time because the sauce, not the cheese was on top, and didn't I know I made it WRONG?  It's taken her a while, but she has learned that the weird stuff I make is really tasty...most of the time.

America's Test Kitchen Chicago Style Pizza via My Bizzy Kitchen and Brown Eyed Baker
3¼ c flour
½ c cornmeal
1 t salt (omit if using salted butter)
2 t sugar
2¼ t rapid rise yeast
1¼ c water, room temp
3 T butter, melted
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 t + 4 T EVOO, divided

For the Sauce:
2 T unsalted butter
¼ c grated onion
¼ t dried oregano
½ t salt (omit if using salted butter)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
¼ t sugar
2 T coarsely chop fresh basil (I used 1T dried basil)
1 T olive oil
 black pepper

For the Toppings:
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
(Pepperoni or sausage)
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (I omitted)

Dough: Whisk flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and yeast in lg bowl. Add water and melted butter and mix on low, using hook, 1-2 min, scraping sides and bottom of bowl occasionally. Increase to med and knead til dough glossy, smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl, 4-5 min. Coat lg bowl (ceramic works best for me) w 1 t evoo. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat dough in oil; cover w plastic wrap. Rise at room temp 45-60 min.

Sauce: While dough rises, heat butter in med span over med heat til melted. Add onion, oregano, and salt; cook,til liquid evap and onion gold br, 5 min. Add garlic and cook 30 sec. Add tomatoes and sugar, increase heat to high, and simmer. Lower heat to med-low and simmer til reduced to 2½ c, 25-30 min. Off heat, stir in fresh basil and olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. (As I used dried Basil I added it with the oregano at the beginning of the cooking process.  I also omitted the olive oil in the sauce.)

 Laminate Dough: Turn dough out onto dry work surface and roll into 15x12" rectangle. Using an offset spatula, spread soft butter over dough, leaving a ½" border along edges. Starting at short end, roll dough into tight cylinder. W seam side down, flatten cylinder into 18x4" rectangle. Cut rectangle in half crosswise. Working with one half, fold into thirds like a business letter; pinch seams together to form ball. Repeat with remaining half. Return balls to oiled bowl, cover tightly wi plastic wrap, and let rise in fridge til nearly doubled 40-50 min. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 F. 

Bake: Coat two 9" round cake pans w 2 T olive oil each. (I used cake pans with tall sides to have a taller crust)  Transfer 1 dough ball to dry work surface and roll out into a 13" circle. Transfer dough to pan by rolling dough loosely around a rolling pin and unrolling into pan. Lightly press dough into pan, working into corners and up sides at least an inch. If dough resists stretching, let it rest for 5 min before trying again. Repeat with remaining dough.

For ea pizza, sprinkle 2 c (I used 1 1/2 c each) mozzarella evenly over surface of dough. (If you're using any meat or veggie toppings, add them on top of cheese.) Spread half tomato sauce over  cheese (or toppings) and sprinkle 2 T Parm over sauce. (I omitted) Bake til crust gold br, 20-30 min. Remove 'za from oven and let rest 10 min before slicing and serving.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fauxberry Pie

I tried to be sneaky and make this Fauxberry Pie, from Spoonful for April Fools Day.  Blockette knows better now to pay attention when I'm making dinner and caught on to what I was doing. 

Although, I did have her going that fauxberries were a real thing. 

For about a minute.

Mrblocko and I tease her so much that she catches on quickly these days.

Joke or no joke, this dinner pie turned out amazing.

I used a half recipe of Sylvia's Perfect Pie Crust, from Tasty Kitchen as the base. I'm not a big fan of this crust in desserts, but in a savory dish like this, it really works.  This crust is super flaky.  So much so that Mrblocko thought it was store bought.  Blockette loved the crust as well.  She wanted me to make her a sheet of crust to slice up and put in her lunch.  I said no, because I have a reputation of a mean mom to live up to.

Since this dish is essentially a meatloaf baked in a pie crust, I was a bit worried that it was going to make the crust soggy or be really oily and greasy.  To counter this, I dabbed the meat with paper towels as it was cooking.  I think I did this 2 or 3 times before I put the potato topping on.  I didn't think the pie was soggy or greasy.

I'm thinking this pie needs to be an April 1st tradition from now on!

Fauxberry Pie adapted from Spoonfull
1 pie shell, uncooked (your own or store bought)

1/3 c barbecue sauce
1/4 c milk
1 T molasses
1 t cocoa
1/2 t chili powder
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 T veg oil
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2/3 c bread crumbs
1 lb gr beef
1 egg, lightly beaten

2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (I weighed my potatoes after they had been peeled and had slightly more than 2 lbs)
1/2 c canned sliced beets (not pickled)
1/4 c  milk
4 T butter, cut into pieces

Place pie crust in pie pan and chill in the freezer.  Heat oven to 350ยบ. In sm pan, sautee onions in oil.  Cook 7 min until translucent. Add BBQ sauce, milk, molasses, cocoa, and chili powder. Cook until lukewarm and cocoa dissolved.  In lg bowl, mix all ingredients with hands. Remove the pie shell from the freezer.  Transfer meat to shell, spreading evenly with spoon. Bake about 60 min, until meat is cooked through.

While pie's baking, prepare potato topping. Place potatoes in a large pot.  Add enough water to completely cover spuds and bring to boil. Reduce heat  and at a low boil until tender, about 12 min. While potatoes cook, puree beets and 1/4 c milk in a blender until smooth. Set aside. Drain potatoes and place back into pot.   Add butter and pureed beets.  Whip with hand mixer until smooth and fluffy, adding more milk as needed. Spread whipped potatoes over top of cooked meat pie with an offset spatula. Slice and serve pie while potatoes are still hot. Makes 8-10 servings.  To reheat leftovers cover with foil and bake at 350F for 30 min.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sweet Potato Burgers

These sweet potato burgers from How Sweet It Is, was one of those recipes that was met with a raised eyebrow from my husband.  I saw the recipe and knew it would be perfect as a meatless dinner for a Friday over Lent.

Although my husband was skeptical, he gave the burger an honest try.

And it turned out to be awesome!

It gets the carnivore's double thumbs up.

I made one tiny change to the recipe.  I decided against using the roasted garlic cream sauce/spread.  I thought the garlic flavor might be a bit overwhelming.  Instead, we tossed some onion hamburger rolls on the skillet.  They were a really tasty pairing with the sweet potato and avocado.

There was only one other thing I would change about this recipe when I make it again, I'd make more than 4 burgers!  Dividing the recipe into four burgers made some insanely large patties.  Perhaps my sweet potatoes were larger than the average potato?  I think this recipe should make 6 or 7 patties, particularly if you plan on serving any sides with your sandwich.

Sweet Potato Burgers adapted from How Sweet it Is
2 large sweet potatoes, cooked and coarsely mashed
1 c great northern beans (rinsed and drained if canned)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/3 c whole wheat flour
1 lg egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 t smoked paprika
1 t onion powder
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/4 t cumin
2-3 T olive oil
1 avocado, slightly mashed
onion hamburger rolls

Wash, stab, and roast potatoes at 400F for about 50-60 min until fork tender. Let potatoes cool to touch and peel off skins. In lg bowl, coarsely mash beans with a fork. Add in sweet potato and mash together, then add in spices, garlic, egg, panko and flour. Mix then chill for 15-20 min. (I let mine sit in the fridge for an hour.) The chilling helps the patties retain their shape. Heat lg skillet over med heat and add 2 T oil. Remove mixture from fridge and form into 6-7 equal patties, then place in the skillet once hot. (You may have to cook them in batches depending on the size of your skillet) Cook the patties for 5-6 min on one side. Do not move the patties until they are fully cooked and golden on one side or they will fall apart. Add more oil if needed, and flip burgers carefully.  Cook for another 5-6 minutes. Toast or grill buns if desired.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Crockpot Ravioli

I think this just might be the easiest recipe for dinner ever.  It only requires 3 ingredients! 

Frozen Ravioli, pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Here's what you need to do:
Take a bag (about 25 oz) frozen ravioli.  Dump it in the crockpot.
Take a jar of pasta sauce. Repeat.


Cover and cook on high 2 1/2-3 hrs.  20 min before serving top with cheese.  Cover and let the cheese melt.


I doubled the recipe using 1 bag of cheese ravioli and one bag of cheese and mushroom ravioli. 

Super yum!
Recipe found over at Crystal and Co.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Drunken Stew and Soda Bread Biscuits

I very rarely make beef stew, but I thought I would make something special for St. Patrick's Day this year. The stew I chose to make was called Drunken Irish Stew from Bakeaholic Mama. The house smelled awesome 15 min into making this day long stew, and continued to do so two days after I made it!

Since I don't make a lot of beef stew I don't know if it's the norm to add bacon and beer.  All  I know is that it made the soup smell and taste heavenly. 

Don't be like me and leave your wooden spoon to rest on the iron pot all day while the stew simmers.  I cracked my spoon in two places from all the heat and moisture.

There were only a few minor changes that I made to the recipe.  I used 1 1/2 lb beef stew meat instead of 2 lbs.  The stew seemed plenty meaty to me.  I also increased the barley from 3'4 cup to 1 cup.  I didn't have any fresh herbs so i just added dried rosemary, thyme, parsley and dill.  I also tossed in a few handfuls of frozen peas at the end for color.

About an hour before dinner I thought this stew would taste even better if I had some tasty bread to sop up all the soupy juicy bits.  Because it was St. Patrick's Day, what could be better than Soda bread?!  Unfortunately most soda bread takes 50 min to bake.  I didn't have that kind of time.  So I did a bit more research and came across a recipe over at laa loosh for Soda Bread that you bake in a muffin tin.  The cook time was only 20 min with a cool time of 5 min. Perfect! 

I was surprised how much the little mini loaves rose!  Higher than your average muffin.  The next time I make these I will score them like a traditional loaf of Irish soda bread.

Drunken Irish Stew adapted from Bakeaholic Mama
1.5  lbs beef stew meat
2 bottles of your favorite Irish Ale
6-8 c beef stock
4 large carrots peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1.5 lb red skin potatoes large chunks (about 1.5-2" cubed)
1 large yellow onion diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 herb bouquet (I just used spices to taste)
1/2 lb bacon chopped
1c Barley (I had quick cooking)
2 T tomato paste
1/2 cup of flour

In Dutch Oven fry bacon til crispy. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.  Pat stew meat dry with paper towels. Then dredge through flour.Toss into Dutch Oven with left over bacon grease. Fry on med til it browned and is lightly crisp on outside.Remove meat from pan. Cook veggies and saute in drippings til onions start to caramelize (about 15 min).  Add 1 bottle ale, stir with wooden spoon to deglaze pan.  Add meat and bacon back into dutch oven. Pour second bottle of ale and 4 c stock into pan. Add garlic, tomato paste, and herbs. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to med low and simmer 3-4 hrs. Stir every 30 min . Add additional stock thickens too much while cooking. About 20 min before serving add barley. 5 min before serving, add peas.

Individual Irish Soda Bread from Laa Loosh
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c flour
1 c reduced fat buttermilk (I used powdered buttermilk and skim milk)
4 T butter, melted
1 egg
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/3 c honey

Preheat oven to 375. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. In med bowl, whisk floors, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another sm bowl (I just used a large liquid measuring cup), whisk buttermilk, melted butter, egg and honey.  Gently combine wet and dry ingred, stirring just til combined.  Scoop batter into tins with large cookie scoop to get 12 "loaves".  Bake 20 min until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan 5 min before cooling on wire rack.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Enchilada Rice Skillet

I found this recipe over at Heat Oven to 350.  I was looking for a quick meal to use up some leftover turkey breast. This meal whipped up in less than an hour!  And it was delish to boot!  Double win!!!!

I made a few minor alterations to the recipe.  First I added a can of drained Rotel, used half of a red, yellow and orange pepper, and upped the spices.  Oh I also set the olives aside so  everyone could put as much or as little as they wanted in their individual dish.

As you can see, I REALLY like olives.

Blockette thought this was a little spicy from the Rotel, but not so much that she couldn't handle the heat.  I thought it was pleasantly spicy, leaving a slight tingle on your tongue.

This is a great go to meal for a busy weeknight!

Enchilada Rice Skillet from Heat Over 350
1 c uncooked rice
1 lb lean ground beef or turkey (I used 2 c chopped cooked turkey breast)
1 medium onion, chopped (I used 2 small onions)
1 can of mild rotel
1 red bell peppers, chopped (I used red, orange and yellow)
1 t chili powder
1 t cumin
1/4 c sour cream
2 c green enchilada sauce (about 1 1/2 cans)
1 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided (I used jalapeno cheddar)
1 c sliced black olives
1 1/2 c cooked black beans,
1 bunch sliced green onions

Cook rice according to package directions. While rice is cooking, in a large skillet saute onions and pepper. After 5 min add drained rotel. Cook 10 min until tomatoes start to turn dark around the edges as they caramelize. While veggies cook, stir sour cream, enchilada sauce, 1/2 c cheese, black olives and beans. When veggies cooked, add chili powder and cumin. stir and cook 1 min. Add rice, meat and sauce. Top with more cheese and green onions.  Place under broiler for 2 min or until cheese is melted.