Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mini Pizzas

'Tis the season when you end up at a party or two, enjoying fellowship between friends, family and of course, getting new recipes and ideas for them!  This incredibly simple recipe is not only quick and easy, but it is also a crowd pleaser.  Consistently, they are the first things devoured.  While trying not to stuff my cheeks like a chipmunk, I begged for the recipe and (yea!) got it.  The only thing that I can think of to say as a warning is that they are quite hot upon removal from the oven so you might not want to "pop" them into your mouth, no matter how good they look.

Pillsbury Grand Biscuits (or any like type of this biscuit)

your favorite spaghetti sauce (one cereal spoonful/approx. 1 teaspoon each muffin cup)

Pre-sliced Pepperoni (can substitute with finely diced pre-cooked ham or finely ground pre-cooked sausage. I freeze what is not used for later use.)

Finely shredded Mozzarella cheese

muffin or cupcake tin

PAM (or like) cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly spray muffin pan with cooking spray. 
Open biscuit package and remove biscuits.  Since biscuits are in layers you can either A) pull the layers apart into four fairly even pieces, or B) cut the biscuit into quarters (or thirds depending on how thick you like your crusts) and use rolling pin to flatten out into rounds that fill the bottom and partial sides of your muffin pan.  (You can play with how thick you want your biscuit "crusts" to be.  The thinner they are the more you can make but if you like the more thicker type of crust then you may want to sacrifice a few pizzas for your favorite style).
Once the bottom of muffin cups are filled with the biscuit rounds, place one slice of pepperoni (or one teaspoon full of meat) into cup over biscuit.  Spoon the sauce over the meat and top fairly liberally (mounded even) with the cheese.  Top with another layer or round of biscuit.  For added cheese, you can place more on top of the upper biscuit layer. Bake for about 15-20 minutes (depends upon oven, check for biscuit "doneness").  Look for golden biscuit color and may be bubbly from the sauce/meat juices.  Remove from tin and place on plate to cool and serve. 

Yields approx. 24 mini pizzas (depends on how much dough you use).

Feel free to experiment with different meats, cheeses, and may even be fun with fruit instead of pizza fillings.  Have fun with it.

Please have a wonderfully safe and festive Christmas and New Year and remember to thank Jesus for the many many blessings that we have; some of them being this yummy blog, great friends and family to share them with. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Grandma's Apple Brown Betty

Here it is October and the nights are getting chilly and the days crisp, at least up here in Oregon.  I was trying to come up with a dessert for the company we had, something other than pie (again), and remembered my Grandma's old stand by.  Perfect!  This dessert is cheap, easy and total comfort food.  It also makes the house smell like you have been baking apple pies half the day long.  Does it get any better than this?  I don't think so.  Bon Appetite!

Grandma's Apple Brown Betty

1 box Graham Cracker Crumbs (or you can crumble your own)
Applesauce (your favorite brand or homemade), large jar
1 stick Butter (or margarine)
Cooking spray (optional)
A round casserole baking dish

Grease the baking dish with either cooking spray or butter.  Put about a 3/4 inch layer of graham cracker crumbs on the bottom (if you choose to crumble crackers yourself, crumble them finely). Place thin pats of butter over the top of the cracker crumbs (you can choose to melt the butter and mix the cracker crumbs together and then apply to the dish or you can simply put the pats on top of the crumbs, your choice).  Make a mixture of the cinnamon and sugar (I use about 1/3 cinnamon to 2/3 sugar).  Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the top of the graham cracker crumbs so that it lightly covers the crumbs.  Apply about an inch of applesauce.  Repeat the procedure at least once, maybe twice depending upon how deep your dish is.  End the procedure with graham cracker crumbs on top, covered with the butter and cinnamon/sugar mixture. 
Place in the oven at 350F about 30-40 minutes or until it is hot and slightly bubbling.  Remove from oven, let cool a bit and serve warm.  Best with vanilla ice cream! YUM!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Herb Encrusted Cabazon

  +          =

I had not been fishing since, well, a long time.  So when a local fishing boat posted a discount coupon on SignOn San Diego Daily Deals, I snapped it up!  My accomplice was a swimmer friend of mine, Gracie.  She's totally game!  We boarded the Chubasco II just after 5AM for an all day trip to Isla los Coronados (in Mexican waters).  I was hoping for yellow tail, halibut, grouper, but instead hooked a smallish rock cod, a sheephead (under the limit by 1/2 inch and so technically still female),  a sculpin (which amazingly disappeared) and the cabazon.
We had an amazing day!  Gracie and I were the only girls fishing...Gracie was the 1st with a fish and I was the 2nd...the boys were not too happy about that LOL!

That cabazon put up quite the fight.  Not a very pretty fish, ill-tempered, but mighty tasty...You mess with my bait, you'll end up on my plate!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pear Au Bleu Pizza

Every so often, I need pizza...I NEED pizza.  Every so often, I NEED blue cheese...and boy, did I need me some blue cheese!  Thus, this solution was borne of complete glutenous desire.  Truth be told it's not really my fault; this desire for blue cheese.  It must be genetic.  My sister and I've got the bug and I know my cousin Charles is a complete Blauschimmelk√§se Teufel (total fiend) and the rest of the family is highly suspect.  Last Thursday night this house was in need of comfort food, easy peasy comfort food and I had pizza dough.  Well, my dear friends and family, without further adieu, I give you...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Kevin's Mom's Potato Salad

This a really tasty traditional American-style potato salad. Great for BBQs, picnics, and potlucks. Double or triple the recipe if you need more...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Grilled Zucchini

It has been awhile since I have written in, mostly because I have been fairly uninspired about anything that I have made lately.  However, after a dinner party last night, I came across (and heartily enjoyed) a simple recipe that I felt could be shared.  Grilled Zucchini.  I realize that it is possibly nothing new to you (new to me, yes), however this time it had a bit of a twist to it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Fruits of a Smoker

I recently became the beneficiary of a fine charcoal smoker and decided that my first attempt should be a smoked salmon. I was a little worried that I would turn this beautiful fish into uneatable shoe leather, but I was game for a culinary adventure.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pan-Roasted Halibut with Prosciutto, Lemon, White Wine & Capers

I'm hungry, I'm tired, I need something quick! It's Monday and luckily I pulled a 'mystery meat' package from the freezer yesterday to thaw. I knew it to be fish because that's whats in the freezer...what type, however, is the question. I know...I know...label it girlfriend!

Pan-Roasted Halibut with Prosciutto, Lemon, White Wine & Capers

The dish was adapted from Tyler Florence' recipe out of necessity for the lack of ingredients on hand. Out of lemons? Use bottled lemon juice (no kitchen should be without). No prosciutto? Leave it out or use regular bacon. I also used Blood-Orange Olive Oil instead of 'EVOO'. It turned out marvelous! Light and flaky fish with a zippy, lemony caper sauce...yumm!


Monday, March 28, 2011

Tri Tip Marinade

To diehard backyard grill-happy girls and boys, the only change in your game from one season or weather-system to the next is whether you'll be eating the grilled goodness indoors or al fresco.

Recently we feasted on a couple of grilled tri tips (one in Feb and one in early March) thanks to my sweet Sis who snuck them into our freezer on her last visit. It was cold and rainy both times we wanted to cook them, but we just tucked the old Weber under the eaves and we were good-to-go.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Zucchini Casserole

When you're blue...and there's nothin else to do, whip up some lovin and pop it in the oven. ~m gaughen

This is an old family favorite given to us by Donna B. We may adapt it from time to time, but never too far off the original. Some times, like this time, I mixed the ground round with ground turkey. I always use 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and increase the cheese. Mom's told me that she has added white raisins on top of the meat, but under the cheese mixture..."it adds a more middle eastern flavor."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Guinness Roasted Chicken And Mushroom Dressing

I don't consider myself creative...until I step foot in a kitchen or look through cooking magazines, thumbing through the countless options to delight the taste buds, and then it's like opening Pandora's box. I just can't stop! While visiting friends recently, I found myself pondering the age-old question of 'what's for dinner' as it was my treat and pleasure to cook a meal for them. When this happens, rarely can you go wrong with Martha. The January 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living featured The New Roast Chicken...but I still found myself tweaking the ingredients! Sorry Martha. The two main recipes I adapted mine from were:

Cranberry Scones

I know, you're shocked. You're probably thinking, "How can this be? You made something that didn't have strawberries in it?!' Well I should just tell you now to save you all from future shock. I do in fact know how to cook food that doesn't involve strawberries, like say my fabulous grilled cheese sandwich that would blow your mind! And of course these absolutely delicious cranberry scones. Now, why did I feel like making scones? Because I've gotten into the habit of drinking tea - the hot kind - and it made me feel very British (especially while reading Harry Potter). So when I was making a batch of okay-tasting cookies my mommy mentioned that we had dried cranberries in the cupboard. My mind went back a few years - the summer of 2008 I believe - to a day spent at the beach where one of my friends brought scones. Now, what could be more British than tea and scones? I'm not sure. So thus is the reason why I've made this little treat.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Home Pizza

Preheat oven to 350F.
Start with pre-made pizza dough from Trader Joe's, roll it out flat to 12" round on floured cutting board; drape over large mixing bowl and let rest for 20 minutes. Place onto pizza stone.
Spread tomato paste or pizza sauce over the dough and add topping of your choice.
*I used mozzarella cheese, sausage, black olives, artichoke hearts, and spinach
Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Strawberry Waffles

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day. But do we ever eat it all the time? Doubtful. Why? Boring breakfast foods. How do we solve this epidemic of people skiving off the first meal of the day? Strawberry waffles. I know what you're thinking, strawberries again? Well, heck yes strawberries again! How could you not enjoy the juicy sweetness of a strawberry that's perfectly ripe? The answer is you can't...unless you're allergic and for that I am truly sorry.

So I got my mommy a waffle maker for Christmas and yes it has been used before now much to the pleasure of my tummy and that is where this story begins. We were having the classic buttermilk waffles when I thought, "How could I make this better?" With that I perused the fridge and found strawberries. It's a simple recipe that anyone can follow and really only calls for you to have a whisk, bowl and a waffle maker (along with the ingredients obviously).

Friday, February 11, 2011

Strawberry Glazed Chicken Breast

So I made this a while ago when I was somehow talked into cooking dinner one night. So I Googled the internet for a recipe that called for strawberry jam and chicken. I know what you're thinking, why? Well, I like strawberry jam. So luckily I came across this recipe that was originally intended for raspberries but said I could use strawberries instead. It was brilliant! Especially since it was an easy recipe and the most complicated dish I've previously cooked would be a grilled cheese sandwich. All I had to do was hope that it tasted all right in the end. It did and no one died.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Torta di Pasta

Tony made this for us a few years ago and I'd bookmarked it but never tried it. I threw it together the other night when we were trying to figure out how to reheat our leftovers without a microwave (the only reason to have one besides of course, melting butter for popcorn). It was easy, cheesy and filling. And it had the added bonus of stretching one night of spaghetti leftovers into dinner for two more nights (a side salad with it would've stretched it even further)!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I am going to visit with my friend Alan for the Superbowl. To say that this guy is a big eater and appreciator of good food is like saying Dan Marino, Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana could handle the ball well. Bless him, he loves my cooking...overdone, underdone, well done, whatever and it's pure joy watching him eat. It's a whole new science with him. Though I'm going to be away from home, we needed a hearty, totally wonderful meal to go with the cold weather and football (that can also travel). Enter the Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. My sister and I made this for my Mom's birthday before Christmas and it was a big hit. It's both easy and forgiving to make and guys love it (well, my brother-in-law anyway).
As I am prone to changing recipes, I'll include the ones I made here, but you can link the original recipe through my sister's blog, Make It Bake It Buy It Fake It (above).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dutch Apple Pie

When Life Hands You Apples...
...Make Apple Pie!

I had occasion to share dessert tonight, and though I don't consider myself a baker, I found myself baking not one, but two pies I'd never tried before! The occasion didn't come to fruition as planned, but if that ever happens, invite friends over. You'll have no shortage of takers that's for sure! Glad I did. Instant party. This recipe is easy and delicious, but does take a little forethought.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mead and Mushrooms

This year I resolved to go out with the sole purpose of meeting new people...something I personally find very difficult. A friend of mine told me about MeetUp.Com, a web-based listing of groups centered around the things they like...with the sole purpose of meeting new people that like what they like. It doesn't sound hard, right? My goal: join one group and attend one activity in January. They have thousands of groups to choose from, like hiking groups, German culture groups, groups that go to movies, drink wine, you name it. I typed in "Irish"...whoa what a listing! And as luck would have it, they had a Mead Bottling night. Now that sounds interesting and definitely something I've never done. I just needed to bring 4 empty Grolsch bottles (darn) and an appetizer...what to make? 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Winter White Chili

Happy New Year!
Once again, on New Year's Eve, I was to forgo any magnificent parties and revelry, to instead, prepare my "Winter White Chili" for the La Jolla Cove Swim Club's annual Polar Bear Plunge and Chili Potluck. I created this recipe 2yrs ago for this event and it was a hit once again this year.

Note to self: hold out a little extra for when I finish my swim...there was nothing left again this year! You see some swim 1-2miles and some just dip their big toe in the big blue..."to the victors go the spoils!" Because the club Big Chill Winter Swim Program affords double mile points on event days, I take full advantage. I swam to the Cove and back (2.0mi x2 = 4.0mi)...no hot food or drink for me (at least until I got home)!