Friday, October 15, 2010

Homemade Pizza Dough - Bread maker style

Ok, so I guess it's cheating a little, maybe, well, maybe not. I utilized my bread maker today to make my pizza dough recipe. Can I just say... I LOVE MY BREAD MAKER!. I've had it since my bridal shower over 12 years ago. It was a gift from my mother-in-law. She knew how much my husband loved BREAD so she wanted to make sure he could have homemade bread when ever he wanted.

Let me just say, that when I've made bread in this bread maker, I can't get it to work out right. But I can do the dough. The other thing is that my husband can get this bread maker to work GREAT. I think that's funny. I make the dough stuff, he makes the bread. :) but I prefer to make bread the old fashioned way, using my hands. That being said. I made homemade pizza dough. It is from the recipe book that came with the bread maker.

***Added to my bread maker in the order listed. It requires liquids first then dry.

Ingredients for double crust recipe:
1 1/4 cups + 1tbsp water 80F or (10 1/2 oz)
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp sugar (still our of white, used 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar)
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast or 2 tsp fast rise yeast
**Optional (I always add)**
3 Tbsp italian seasoning
3 Tbsp Garlic powder (not salt)

Then I place the pan in my bread maker and 1 hr and 4o min. It's a great pizza dough. Once it's done in the bread maker, knead about 1 min. let rest 15 min.

Roll dough out to fit a 12-14 inch pizza pan Place dough into greased pan which has been sprinkled with corn meal. Press dough into pan, forming an edge.

Let dough rise in warm draft free place for 20-25 min.

Spread pizza sauce evenly over crust, then top with favorite meat, toppings and cheese. Bake in a preheated oven 425F oven for 20-25 min or until nicely browned on top, let rest 5 min before cutting.

Meatsa Pizza

Spinach, ham, onion, ricotta Pizza

Veggie Pizza

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The BEST French Toast

Ok, So this morning I got very domesticated as the kids are out of school, and I got to sleep in a little. Amazing I know. Well, I decided I would make some French Toast. My husband mentioned last night that he hadn't had it in a while and thought it would be a good breakfast today. So, I took the challenge. It turned out fantastic!

12-15 eggs
1 -1 1/2 loaf of bread
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk

Ok, this might sound a little different than your mom's french toast. But let me tell you... IT's amazing. whip the eggs, vanilla, milk, and spices together in a bowl. I used a fork, till creamy and the eggs are thoroughly incorporated. Not all of the spices will incorporate into the eggs. That is fine. Place one slice of bread in mixture and coat both sides well with egg. Let excess drip off, then place on a hot griddle. Brown on both sides, eat with maple syrup, or plain. So yummy. these are good cut into strips and dunked, or drenched in syrup and cut with a fork.. these are very filling. My kids only could eat two each. I could only eat three. But we have extra's for later. MMMM Yummy

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

jambalaya and Corn Bread

Tonight we are having Zatarain's Jambalaya. Well, Doctored... Ok your probably wondering what that means. I add things to the original dish, so it isn't exactly the same. My cornbread is truly from scratch and also doctored. I will astrick what is different and put next to the original what I did differently.

Zatarain's Jambalaya

I followed the directions on the box, except I browned the smoked sausage and added 1 small can of mushrooms (drained and diced) and then one drained can of corn. In my rice cooker I am cooking 2 cups of rice, to help mellow out the spice for the kids.

Corn Bread (courtesy of Better homes and Gardens cookbook 2000 edition.)

Preheat oven 425F
1 c all purpose flour
1 c cornmeal
2-4 tbsp sugar* (brown sugar - I ran out of white sugar, so I substituted brown)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 c cooking oil or melted shortening

1. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9x9x2 in or 8x8x2 in baking pan* I used my round stone casserole from Pampered Chef. set aside
2. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture; set aside.
3. In another bowl, combine eggs, milk, and cooking oil. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture.
4. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake in 425F oven for 20-25 min. or til a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Makes 8-9 servings.

I have been known in the past to add a can of corn, a can of green chile's, cheddar cheese and even sausage to this type of dish. When you add all of these items to cornbread it makes for a yummy meal.

I am hoping that changing out the sugar will not be too drastic a change. I am hoping it is still a sweet johnny cake. Here's hoping :)

Ok, the verdict on the Jambalaya and cornbread... The jambalaya was a very nice flavor, with not too much spice. The kids decided not to have any extra rice to help the spice and said it didn't need it. Mikey didn't like the mushrooms, so he removed them, but at least tried one bite with mushrooms. The cornbread was good. It was not as sweet as I normally like, but it was still good. It had a nutty flavor that I noticed wasn't usually in my cornbread, I think the brown sugar was a good additive, next time I may add brown sugar and white sugar, to add the sweet and the nutty. I like both flavors, and think that they would be a good combination. Definitely a winner. Enjoyed a good dinner

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brownie cake cookies

Ok, so I have lots of chocolate cake mixes, which I got on sale a while ago. I thought I'd make lots of chocolate cake for my kids, but they haven't been wanting to eat chocolate cake. So, they have just been sitting in my pantry taking up space. A friend of mine suggested making cake mix cookies. I looked at her dumb founded. I'd never heard of that. But I was intrigued. So, she gave me her recipe. It sounded easy enough she said it's easy just remember 1,2, 3. Well, I glanced at the recipe, then after I added all the ingredients and measured properly, At least I thought I had. I looked again at the recipe and realized that I added water instead of oil. UGH... rookie mistake... Ok, So, then i added about 1/4 cup oil to the already mixed mix. So I'll try to remember 1,2,3,4. So, here is what I did. The picture is the cookies, with powdered sugar on them.

1/3 cup water
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup oil
1 chocolate cake mix

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix til blended together. The mix will seem like brownie mix. (hence the Brownie in the name). Then drop by spoonful onto PAM'd cookie sheet. Bake 9 min. Then remove from oven. Let cool 1-2 min. Then place on wax paper. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. EAT and Enjoy!

The Verdict:

My kids said they are AWESOME! They are pretty cool, easy and fun to make. :)

Dehydrated Red Bean Refried Beans

Ok, so I know there is another recipe on here for refried beans. But today I made them a little different. I decided to try and make refried beans from dehydrated red beans today. I know your thinking what the heck is that... well, they are part of my food storage. They are considered quick cooking red beans. They were previously cooked, then dehydrated. They have a great shelf life, and are very easy to cook with, i recommend these instead of the dry beans that take FOREVER to cook, between soaking overnight and cooking a long time. These dry beans are a great alternative. So, I again have no refried beans for taco night. We've been really trying to get creative here at home. Trying to see how long until we go to the store again, living off what abundance we already have. So, I have created this new recipe. I hope you enjoy. This is where you can purchase Dehydrated Red Beans.

3 tbsp bacon grease
2 tsp minced garlic
1 can black beans
3 cups dehydrated red beans
6 cups of water
Place water in a pot to boil. Once water is boiling, add the dehydrated red beans. Bring back to a boil. keep at a light boil on medium heat. boil for 20 min. stirring periodically. about 10 min into it, add the drained and rinsed can of black beans. stir and continue to boil. If there is any excess water, drain most of the water from the beans. Then, place back on to medium heat. add the garlic and bacon grease. Mash with potato masher. and let cook down.

I had enough for two meals, so I took about half out and put in a container in the fridge for later this week. Then I am adding it to our Taco meat for taco night. Smells yummy and tastes yummy too. Enjoy :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chunky Veggie Beef Stew

Ok, So I had a little left over from my beef roast yesterday. I decided I didn't want to do too much mess today, since I'm still trying to finish from the mess this weekend. So I decided to use up some veggies in the fridge, and the left over beef from dinner last night. Here's what I created.
It looks like a yummy beef stew, with chunks of veggies, big carrot bits, potatoes, zucchini, squash, spinach, and onions. With bite size chunks of the yummy roast from last night. Ah, my mouth is already watering. Because most of my carrots are still raw, I cut them up and layered them on the bottom of the pan, to help them cook better. Then I placed the red potatoes that only need heating from yesterday on top of the carrots. Then the fresh veggies went on top of that. Covered in the gravy from the beef roast last night, which had carrots and onions in it. Then cut up the beef into small bite size pieces and put that on top. I had found about 1 cup or 1 1/2 cup of beef stock in the fridge to add a little extra beef flavoring and liquid to the meal. Now it's all sitting in the slow cooker. Dinner will be yummy. I will either make biscuits, or rolls to go with it. I haven't decided yet. along with an apple pie for dessert. Tempted to make another dutch apple pie like I made last night, it was a huge hit!

Chucky Veggie Beef Stew

6 carrots, cut into chunks
1 zucchini sliced and chunks
2 small squashes sliced and chunked
5 baby red potatoes (mine are left over from a previous meal, and precooked)
Brown gravy about 2 cups (mine is is from a previous meal, leftover)
1 box chopped spinach (drained)
1 1/2 cup beef broth
about 1 lb or 1 1/2 lb beef roast (leftover from previous meal) cut into bite size pieces
1/2 onion for flavor, cut into large chunks

Add all ingredients into slow cooker, low for 6 hours. High for 3 hours.

Serve with rolls or biscuits.

The verdict> I was surprised by how well this turned out. My husband didn't think the kids would eat it. I had my reservations, but I had hoped they would. And to his surprise and my gratitude,... they ate it all, well at least all of their portion. I have enough for a second night of soup. That will be part of our leftovers night. :) But they all said how yummy it was and that they liked the spinach and the zucchini. Those were amazing words coming from my kids. It was a tasty and satisfying soup. I'll be making this again. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dutch Apple Pie

Dutch Apple Pie

Ok, so I have all these apples that I need to use up. I don't think that the kids mind too much for me to cut up a few to make a pie. I asked the kids what they wanted me to make with the apples and the unanimous vote was Apple Pie. So, I decided to make my husbands favorite... Dutch Apple Pie. I have actually never made one before. I usually buy it for him. So, today I did something new, and made him a homemade dutch apple pie. Let's just say he's happy. :)

It was fairly easy to make, I had Braeden make the crumb topping/crust. Mikey helped me make the filling :). I love it when they help me cook.

Crumb crust/topping:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/4 cups cold water
3 cups diced peeled tart apples (I used red delicious)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats and butter; set aside 1 cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into an ungreased 9-in. pie plate; set aside.

For filling, combine the sugar, cornstarch and water in a large saucepan until smooth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in apples and vanilla.

Pour into crust; top with reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 350F for 40-45 min. or until crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 6-8 servings.

I got this recipe from It looks so yummy. It had great reviews. I did add as suggested by a reviewer to add a little apple pie spice. I only had pumpkin pie spice. But I used it very sparingly. Only a dash or two.

Beef Roast with vegetables

Today is sunday, and I like to make something extra special for dinner. I know we are to rest from our labors, but we still need to eat. I like to cook a bigger meal on Sundays than the other days of the week, so I can use part of the meal in another meal later. Tonights meal is beef roast with potatoes, carrots and onions. Any leftovers I can use at part of a beef stew, later in the week. Or as lunch for Monday. Leftovers. :) here is what I did this week for my Beef roast.

1 large beef roast 3-5lbs
1 onion - Quartered
9 red potatoes (left whole) and pierced
9 carrots (peeled, and cut in half)
2 pkg beef gravy mix & 2 cups cold water for the gravy
Salt and pepper rub
1/4 cup olive oil

Remove beef from pkg. Use generously salt and pepper rubbed on the outside of the whole roast. Heat skillet and olive oil till very HOT. Place the roast in the skillet, brown on all sides. Remove once all sides are browned. In a roasting pan, place the potatoes in the bottom of the roasting pan, the cut onion and carrots. Mix the gravy pkgs and pour on top of the potatoes, onions and carrots in the pan. Then place the browned beef on top of that. Cover and cook low and slow for 6-8 hours. Oven 250F. Or you can place these in a crock pot on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.

Beef should come out nice and juicy. Browning the beef helps keep the moisture in the beef.