Thursday, May 30, 2013

Personal Pizzas

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I know you have all had that day when you look in the fridge and say "I have no food!" When in all actuality you have plenty of things to eat...they just may be odds and ends and leftovers you're pretty tired of. Well let me tell you, if you have flour, salt, yeast, sugar and can make personal pizzas out of what is in the fridge. I made three separate pizzas with what I found in my fridge and it gave a whole new look and flavor to my dull leftovers.

Kale and Kalamata Olive Pizza with Parmesan Cheese

Pulled Pork Pizza

Stand Mixer (Large glass bowl and wooden spoon if you don't have a mixer)
Glass Measuring Cup
Individual Pizza pans, Large Pizza Pan or Baking Sheet (Just depends on what you have available)
Cutting Board

3C. All Purpose Flour
1pkg Yeast (2.5t)
3t. Salt
1T. White Sugar
2T Oil (I used olive because it's what I have)
3T. Fresh Chopped Herbs, one each- Parsley, Oregano and Chives
1C. Warm Water

Mix flour through herbs together in mixer or large bowl. Add in oil and water and mix until all combined. Turn out onto very lightly floured surface, and kneed until everything is just combined nicely and there are no flour spots, or wet spots from the liquid.
Divide dough into desired size (depending on size and quantity of pizzas)
Roll out dough as thick or thin as you would like. I myself prefer and nice thing crust, so I roll it out to about 1/4" It will puff up a bit in the oven...remember it has yeast.

Preheat oven to 375

While the oven is preheating prepare your toppings. Keep in mind these toppings are things I already had in my fridge from previous meals. Pizza is only as restricted as your imagination. Have some fun with it.
When oven has preheated, I like to cook my crust (puncture it with a fork a couple times) for about 10-15 minutes with nothing on it, to insure that the crust does not get soggy on the bottom once the ingredients are added.

Chicken breast with peppers and onion cooked in chili powder, garlic, salt and cummin
Pepperjack Cheese
BBQ Sauce

Slather the crust with BBQ sauce, top with your chicken, peppers and onions, and cover with desired amount of cheese.
Bake for about 20 minutes.

BBQ Sauce
Previously cooked pulled pork
Caramelized Onions
Pepperjack Cheese

Slather crust with BBQ sauce and top with pork, onions and cheese.
Bake for about 20 minutes.

Olive Oil
Shredded Fresh Kale
Caramelized Onions
Sliced Kalamata Olives
Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Chopped Chives

Brush some olive oil on the crust. Arrange kale and onions on top of the crust, sprinkle on your olives and bit of fresh herbs and parmesan cheese.
Bake for about 20 minutes.

I realize these recipes are a bit vague, but they are more for ideas than a strict guideline to follow. Have some fun with the toppings and don't be afraid to experiment.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Really Easy Shortbread

Though I don't generally have a sweet tooth (I'm a savory person myself), I have a serious week spot for shortbread cookies with a good cup of coffee or black tea. My first ventures into shortbread were an absolute disaster! I'm not even sure what happened...well to be honest I probably wasn't paying attention and let the butter get way too warm. Anyway, I am happy to announce that this recipe is incredibly easy, and you can even make the dough and stash it for later in your fridge or freezer. Genius for when you have those cravings or last minute company.

Stand Mixer (or large bowl and hand mixer)
Measuring Cups
Measuring Spoons
Wax or Parchment Paper
Plastic Wrap
Baking Sheet

1 1/2C. Unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3C. Sugar
2t. Salt
3 Egg Yolks
2T. Vanilla
Inside Scrapings of 1/2 a Vanilla Bean
3 3/4C. Flour

In a mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar and salt. Cream on medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. One at a time add egg yolks, mixing until incorporated after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and vanilla scrapings. Scrap the bowl with a spatula to make sure you get everything off the sides and mixed in.

Turn the mixer off and add the flour. Turn the mixer back on to low speed and mix until flour is completed incorporated. Working on wax or parchment paper, form the dough into four 10-inch logs 1 1/4" in diameter; wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cut log into 1/2-inch rounds. If desired you may dip one side of the dough round in fine sugar. Arrange cookies 2 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
Cool on wire rack and enjoy.

*If you would like to try something different add 1 1/2-2t of the following to your dough, before you shape it into logs.
Lemon or Lime Zest
Food grade lavender

Basically play with it and have fun. If you're experimenting you can always divide your dough and add different things and amounts to different logs. Make sure you write down whatever you do so you know what works and what doesn't work. Don't be afraid to fail, for if we do not fail once in a while we can not truly succeed.


Lemon Bars

Before I get to this wonderfully tasty (and easy I might add) treat, I really must apologize for large lapse in time in between postings. It was due to some serious user error, which is all ironed out and functioning now.

Mdm Saucepan
13x9x2 Glass Dish
Glass Measuring Cup
2 Mdm. Glas Bowls


1 1/2 Sticks unsalted cold butter
2C. Flour
1/2C. Light brown Sugar, Packed
1/2t. Salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cut butter into 1/2-inch pieces. In a food processor (for least messy results, I just used my hands in a plain old bowl) combine all ingredients until mixture forms lumps. Sprinkle mixture into baking dish. Press down evenly on the bottom. Bake in the middle of the rack for about 20 minutes.
While the base is cooking, get going on your lemon mixture.

4 Eggs
1 1/2C. Sugar
3/4C. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/3C. Flour

In a bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until well combines. Stir in the lemon juice and flour, mix well until all combined. When shortbread is removed from the oven, pour your lemon mix over the top, and return to oven. Reduce heat to 300 F and bake for 30 minutes, until lemon is set.

Cool completely in the pan, on a cooling rack before cutting into them.
Cut them into desired size, arrange on plate and dust with a little powdered sugar. Serve them with fresh raspberries, and you now have an easy perfect summer dessert.

These will keep, covered in the refrigerator for 3 days.