Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tomato and Garlic Pizza

This is one of my favorite homemade pizzas to make and it is so delicious! Whenever I get together with friends for a pizza night -- this is always requested. You can go the quick route and use a pre-made crust or mix together a bagged crust OR you could use your favorite homemade pizza crust recipe! If you are trying to save time and use a bag mix crust, I suggest adding some Italian seasoning to the dough. My favorite Italian seasoning is the McCormick grinder. Here's how to make it:

Combine some amount of soft butter or margarine with fresh, minced garlic and Italian seasoning to taste and spread on pizza crust. Add liberal amounts of mozzarella cheese or any cheese of your preference. Place sliced Roma tomatoes on top. Add additional Italian seasoning and cheese if desired.

*I apologize for not giving exact measurements but the truth of the matter is, I rarely use measuring cups/spoons and if I do, I usually still end up adding a little something extra. I will be sure to include measurements for recipes that need to be followed to a T though! :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

JOYful Pancakes.

Baker extraordinaire, Joy the Baker, recently shared a recipe for Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes. These little gems are amazing! She posted them on the 17th; today is the 28th and I've already made them twice.
Below is Joy's recipe with commentary on how I added my personal touch to the pancakes.

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes
makes loads of pancakes, enough for four people
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
heaping 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar (if you like sweet, go with 2 HEAPING tablespoons)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
healthy pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
2 cups buttermilk (once I used "sour milk" - milk with lemon juice; second time I used buttermilk...I think either will do just fine!)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (in my sweet madness I used 2 tablespoons)
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup golden raisins (I opted for no raisins, but plan to incorporate my homemade chunky applesauce the next time I make these. I am also considering adding blueberries or craisins. I also have an urge to put some butterscotch chips in there, but that might make them too sweet??)
oil or cooking spray (for cooking)
Step 1: In a large bowl beat eggs. Add buttermilk, butter , maple syrup and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Mix well until mostly smooth. Fold in raisins and let batter set for a few minutes.
Step 2: Heat griddle or pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan or spray with cooking spray. You can test to see if the pan is hot enough by adding a few drops of water, when the drops start to dance its hot enough.
Step 3: Pour 2 Tablespoons of batter onto the griddle. Cook on the first side until bubbles that form start to pop. You can also gently lift up the pancake to make sure the bottom is not overcooking, if it is the pan may be too hot and you will need to adjust the heat. Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook until golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is gone.
Let cooked pancakes rest on a heat proof plate in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Puppy Chow

This weekend was Little Sibs Weekend in Eau Claire so Holly, Hannah, Leah and Ky came out to visit for the weekend and we made this delicious treat: Puppy Chow. Ky brought up a very interesting question -- why is it called puppy chow? Unfortunately, I couldn't find the answer but found that it does have many other names including: Puppy Food, White Trash, Bachelor Chow and Muddy Buddies. Interesting...

Anyway, pictured above was the delicious result to this recipe:

9 cups Crsipix cereal
1 cup (heaping) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (heaping) chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Melt chocolate chips, add peanut butter and mix well. Combine with cereal. Pour in paper bag (grocery bag) and shake until coated!


Kaiser-Style Goulash.

My Minnesotan friend Ashley first introduced me to the word goulash. She referred to my casserole as goulash. Minnesota readers, is goulash one of your words, or was it just an Ashley word? Either way, I've since decided that the word goulash sounds better, so I now call this goulash. And, to give credit to my dad's family and the fact that this dish is often seen on the buffet table, I will call this "Kaiser-Style Goulash."

I figured if I was going to post about goulash I should actually know what it is. According to Wikipedia, goulash is a dish, originally from Hungary, a stew or a soup, usually made of beef, red onions, vegetables, spices and ground paprika powder.[1] The name originates from the Hungarian gulyás (pronounced goo-yash listen (help·info)), the word for a cattle stockman or herdsman.

Seems somewhat fitting:
There's beef in my recipe. And corn, that's a vegetable. It even contains spices.
Then there is the origin of "cattle stockman" or "herdsman" - very fitting considering my family history of farming!

So, without further ado:

Kaiser-Style Goulash
  • 1 pound of ground beef (browned)

  • 1 can of pizza sauce

  • 1 can of spaghetti o's

  • 1 can of tomato soup

  • 1/2 package of noodles (cooked according to package directions)

  • 1-2 cups of frozen or canned corn

  • 1/2 stick of butter (or to taste)

  • 1/4 cup sugar (or to taste)

  • pepper (to taste)

  • oregano (to taste)

Combine all ingredients and cook for several hours in a slow cooker. Or, if in a bigger hurry, bake in the oven until heated through. I adjust the butter, sugar, pepper, and oregano to my taste each time I make this.

And, as with the Tator Tot Casserole, this is also welcome with fresh, warm bread! Speaking of bread - mine smells WONDERFUL - just 10 minutes left!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Recipe is on the Bag!

When it comes to baking cookies I am a firm believer in following the recipe as it appears on the bag of chocolate chips. I am always satisfied with the cookies. I put faith and trust in the chocolate chip company. Expecting that they have done their research and are sharing the perfect recipe for their product.

I don't think you can go wrong following the recipe. Go ahead, grab the page of chips, and see - the recipe is on the bag!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Not Your Average Tater Tot Casserole

I'll apologize in advance for not having a picture, but it was just too good and my roommates and I ate it up before I had the chance!!

So, the story behind this recipe is that I had some ground beef in the freezer that needed to be used up; it was already cooked. I was kind of craving our mom's Tater Tot Casserole, but didn't have tater tots and didn't fee like going to the store to get some. So, I reinvented the old standby. :)

1 pound ground beef, browned
2 large potatoes, washed and cut into chunks
1 cup frozen corn
1 small can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 soup can milk
black pepper and salt to taste

Fry potatoes and mushrooms (feel free to add chopped onions too -- I just didn't have them on hand) in butter until nearly done. Add remaining ingredients and heat thoroughly. Serve with warm, fresh bread. :) This recipe would probably do well cooking in the oven too, but I just used the stove top. This recipe serves about 4 people.

Now, I'll share Mom's original recipe:

2 pounds ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion
2 cups corn or green beans
32 oz. bag Tater Tots
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup water

Fry ground beef, onion, salt and pepper to taste. Mix remaining ingredients, top with tater tots. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Happy cooking!!! :)

Personal Pizzas.

I love these little pizzas. The best part - you can make these as simple or as complex as you'd like. They are great when feeding a wide-variety of palates.

What you'll need:
  • Oven-safe plates. I use stoneware that is a cross between a plate and a shallow bowl.

  • Pizza crust. You can make your own pizza crust or buy a refrigerator crust that you can cut in quarters.

  • Pizza sauce.

  • Cheese.

  • All the other toppings your little heart desires. Carmalized onions, chicken, italian sausage, bacon, pineapple, pepperoni, sausage, veggies. You name it!

Prepare your pizza and bake until golden brown. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Twist from the Ordinary

This cookie recipe comes from a classic recipe that I learned/developed while at work. I make this with one of the residents every time I go back to work for a special treat. :)

The original recipe is as follows, but I made several alterations that I will share with you at the end!

Pudding Cookies

2 sticks butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 small box vanilla pudding (not prepared)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
1 package chocolate chips

Combine all the ingredients and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

The best part of this recipe is that it can be altered in so many ways. The cookies I made today (pictured above) I used chocolate pudding instead of vanilla and used green and blue M&M's in addition to chocolate chips and chocolate chunks. I also added about 1/2 cup chopped almonds and then drizzled chocolate on top after baking. Another excellent alteration is using chocolate fudge pudding and Ande's crushed mints.

I hope you enjoy these and be sure to share any alterations you may choose to make to let us all know if it's any good!!


Please join my sister and I as we share our love of baking, cooking, and entertaining. I envision the sharing of recipes, products, and stories from the kitchen. As the blog title indicates, we attribute much of our love and success in this area to our mother.