Breakfast Pizza

The holidays are arriving.  Breakfast pizza is great for a crowd or a hungry few.  You can prepare the dough, meats and shred your cheese the night before.  Wake up and throw it together the next day.  For this pizza I use my cast iron or stainless steel skillet.  You can do any combination of meats/veggies you want.  We generally do sausage and Canadian bacon for the meat combo. Bacon is also a nice touch.

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Breakfast Pizza

Preheat oven to 475 degrees

4 pieces of bacon, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
4 pieces of Canadian bacon, cut in quarters (I use ham too, cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
3-4 ounces ground breakfast sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green or red bell pepper, chopped
4 eggs
1-2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon butter, softened to brush over pizza dough
Mozzarella, Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese (1-2 cups depending on size of dough)

1.  Fry bacon until crisp, remove from fry pan with slotted spoon and place on paper towel.
2.  Fry sausage until done, also remove from fry pan and place on paper towel.
3.  Whisk eggs with 2 Tablespoons milk.
4.  Spread pizza dough in greased stainless steel or cast iron skillet. (you could use a 9×13 pan too.  It has to have some edging so the egg doesn’t drip off the top. I’ve done that, it makes a mess!)
5.  Brush dough with softened or melted butter.
6.  Top pizza dough with sausage, onion, pepper, bacon, Canadian bacon, pour egg mixture over the meat and add cheese of your choice.
7.  Bake 20-30 minutes or until bottom crust is golden brown.

That is it.  You will really enjoy this pizza.  Simple and delicious!

Kyufte (Bulgarian Meatball)

Last time I posted this recipe was 2012!  I made these meatballs over the weekend and changed the recipe a bit.  They are even better now.  Martin said they reminded him of the ones his grandfather made.  Must be the savory.   That is the new ingredient added over the weekend. Either way, with or without savory, they are simple and delicious!  Enjoy!

Kyufte

1 # ground pork (you can use a combo of pork and ground beef if you like. I don’t.)
1 small onion, minced (about 1/4 cup)
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin (I tend to use a bit more.  I love that flavor!)
1 teaspoon savory (if you do not have, that’s fine.  It adds a nice flavor though. For a substitution you could use thyme.  I would use 1/2 teaspoon.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Flour
Vegetable Oil

1.  Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.

2. Form each portion into a small meatball and flatten.  Not too big, about 2 inches in width. (you can make them into a normal size burger or meatball, too.  We like them smaller.)

3.  You can grill or fry, whatever is easiest for you.  If frying, add 1 Tablespoon oil to pan.  Depending on the size fry/grill 2-4 minutes each side. When frying I dip each side in flour before placing in frying pan.

We also use this recipe in a gyro.  We use pita bread and fill with the mixture along with a couple of french fries, topped with cabbage and cheese spread (no cheese spread, just feta will do!)  Here is the link to Palichinko, the Bulgarian cheese spread; https://fauxchef5.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/palichinko-spread/

Martin used to enjoy this quick meal when he lived with his grandparents in Sofia.  Always nice to bring back some fond memories in your kitchen for those you love.

Seven Layer Dip

Quick, favorite dip for this family!  Simple and Delicious!!

Seven Layer Dip
(compliments http://www.bettycrocker.com)

Ingredients

1 can Refried Beans
1 package Taco Seasoning Mix
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 can chopped green chiles
1 cup thick and chunky salsa
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 cups shredded Cheddar or Mexican cheese blend (8 ounces)
1/2 sliced black olives, drained (2.25 ounces)
1 medium tomato, diced
Tortilla Chips

Directions

  1.  In medium bowl, mix refried beans and taco seasoning mix.  Spread mixture on large platter.
  2. In another medium bowl, mix cream cheese and chiles.  Carefully spread over bean mixture.
  3. Top with salsa, lettuce, cheese, olives and tomato.  Refrigerate until serving time.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Apple Ricotta Cake – Simple and Delicious

I saw this recipe while cruising the internet.  This was so simple to make and it is absolutely delicious.  Give it a try!

Apple Ricotta Cake
(Compliments Food 52 Blog)

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Ingredients

9 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
large eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon table salt
cup whole milk ricotta
Zest of 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon baking powder
apple, peeled and grated (should yield about 1 cup)
Confectioners’ sugar for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Butter and flour a 9- or 10-inch springform pan.

  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a standing mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. On the lowest speed, add the eggs one at a time.
  3. Slowly add the flour, salt, ricotta, lemon zest, baking powder, and apple.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and the sides start to pull away from the pan.
  5. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out of the pan and cool completely on the rack.
  6. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the top or serve with your favorite seasonal fruit.

You can’t go wrong with this cake.  It takes no time and it is delicious!

Enjoy!

Margherita Pizza – Simple and Delicious

Eric wanted a Margherita Pizza and Lily wanted a Ham Pizza this week.  I miss making different pizzas on Fridays.  Lately we have been making the typical cheese and sausage pizzas on Fridays.  I didn’t think the Margherita Pizza was much different from a cheese pizza but it definitely was.  What a simple and delicious change from our usual Friday night pizzas.  I checked out all the different pizzas I have done throughout the years on my blog this morning.  I think I need to take an idea from my blog each week. Unbelievable how many different pizzas I have done through the years.

Here is the recipe to the one I made last night;

Margherita Pizza

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Ingredients

Pizza dough

  • 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 ounces warm water (105 degrees F – 115 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons cornmeal or semolina, for the pizza peel

If you don’t want to make your own dough you can buy it at the store.  I make my own dough each Thursday evening.  I put all the ingredients in my food processor and mix until a ball forms.  Food processors are the best invention, ever!

Directions

  1.  Place above ingredients in food processor (or stand up mixer or bowl and mix by hand.). Mix until ball forms or knead into a ball.
  2. Put teaspoon of olive oil on counter.  Place dough on counter and form into ball.  Spray plastic bag or bowl with cooking spray.  Place ball of dough in bag and place in fridge.  If you are planning on making that day place in bowl sprayed with cooking oil, cover and let rise 2 hours. Be sure to place bowl in warm place. If you decide to put in fridge take out a 2-3 hours before you want to use it.

Ingredients for Pizza Topping

  • 1 cup pureed or crushed San Marzano (or Italian plum) canned tomatoes
  • 2-3 fresh garlic cloves, minced with a garlic press
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus more for serving (I use my microplane)
  • 7 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (fresh mozzarella NOT packed in water)
  • 5 – 6 large fresh basil leaves, (I chopped the leaves, you can break up by hand too.) Plus more for garnish
  • Crushed dried red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 550 degrees or as high as your oven can go.  Some can’t go that high. Be sure your pizza stone is in the oven getting nice and hot.
  2. Mix together the crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. I use a pizza peel.  I place a piece of parchment paper on the peel and spread some semolina flour or corn meal on it.  You can use all purpose flour too.  If you don’t have a pizza peel, improvise. You could use a larger flat cookie sheet or back of cookie sheet. Advice – buy parchment paper.  It is a life saver!
  4. Drizzle olive oil on the dough.  Brush olive oil all over the pizza dough.
  5. Spread tomato sauce over dough.  (I used about 3/4 of a cup.)
  6. Place the mozzarella cheese on pizza.
  7. Add the shredded basil.
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes.  Longer, if baking at a lower temperature.
  9. Take out of oven.  You could add more basil, parmesan cheese or crushed red pepper to your delicious piece of pizza if you like.

ENJOY!

Chicken Posole

I found this on WeightWatchers and made it my own.  The recipe on their site is a bit different than mine.  You could also throw in a crockpot.   That’s not my thing though. Simple and Delicious!

Chicken Posole
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Ingredients

1 pound, chicken thighs
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 celery, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
4 ounces pickled jalapeno peppers, mild variety, diced, drained
14 1/2 ounce canned Hominy
14 1/2 ounce canned diced tomatoes
1 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2  teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder

Directions

1.  Place 1 Tablespoon oil in dutch oven or soup pot.  Lightly salt and pepper one side of chicken thighs.  Brown both sides.  Remove from pot and cut into bite size pieces.  Set aside.
2.  Add celery, onions and green pepper to pot.  Saute until veggies are soft, 5-8 minutes.
3.  Add garlic and mix in with veggies until fragrant.  30 seconds.
4. Add rest of ingredients; pickled jalapeno peppers, diced tomatoes, chicken, water, seasonings.
5.  Cook at medium high until simmering. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes.

That’s it.  How easy is that.  Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

Martin requested some Jalapeno Poppers.  I wanted to avoid a frying mess.  I found this recipe at Emerils.com and it ended up being a hit.  The first time I made them I did it according to the recipe.  The second time Martin requested the filling be less flavorful.  He liked both recipes.  The rest of us liked the first one.  Here it is;

Baked Jalapeno Peppers

IMG_5496Not a great pic. I should have been a bit more creative!

Ingredients

12 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise, stems, seeds and membranes removed
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack or Mozzarella cheese (I used MJ)
1/2 teaspoon cumin (I used 1 teaspoon.  Cumin is my favorite spice.)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste – I used 1/4 teaspoon)
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons milk
8 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning
1 cup panko crumbs or fine dry breadcrumbs (I used panko)
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Directions

1.  Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a baking sheet, set aside.
2.  In a bowl, cream together cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, cumin and cayenne. Set aside.
3.  In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk and 2 teaspoons Cajun/creole seasoning.
4.  In a shallow dish, combine the panko crumbs and 4 teaspoons of Cajun/Creole seasoning.
5.  In a third bowl combine the flour and remaining 2 teaspoons Cajun/Creole seasoning.
6.  Spread 1 Tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the middle of each jalapeno half.
7.  One at a time, dredge in the flour, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge in panko crumbs, pressing to coat.  If necessary, repeat the process. (I did not repeat)
8.  Place the coated peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the filling is runny and the crust is golden, about 30-45 minutes.
9.  Remove from the oven and serve immediately with a cold beer!

The second round I did the following for the filling – 6 ounces cream cheese, 1 Tablespoon chopped chives, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper.

Enjoy this simple and delicious appetizer!!

 

Stuffed Peppers

I have been craving stuffed peppers.  My mom used to make these and I hated them.  I didn’t mind what was inside but did not like those peppers.  I guess my taste buds have changed – died due to the aging process 🙂 but I love peppers now.  I used green bell peppers today but I think next time I will use red, orange and yellow.  I also would like to try some other peppers besides the bell variety.  This recipe takes about 30 minutes to prepare and another 30 minutes to bake.   I found this recipe at  America’s Test Kitchen.  It reminds me of my mom’s recipe.  Here goes;

Classic Stuffed Peppers
(just like mom’s)

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4 green, red, yellow, orange bell peppers, 1/2 inch trimmed off tops, cores and seeds discarded (I used 6 green, they were small to medium size and on sale this week!)
1/2 cup long grain rice
1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1# ground beef (or any ground meat.  If you don’t want meat add more veggies and/or rice)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14 1/2 ounce) diced tomatoes, drained – 1/4 cup juice set aside for later use
5 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 1/4 cup)
2 Tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup ketchup
Salt and pepper

Directions

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1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Adjust oven rack to middle position.

2.  Bring 4 quarts water and 1 Tablespoon of salt to boil in large stockpot over high heat.  When water boils,  add your peppers.  02062014 006Cook until peppers begin to soften, 3-5 minutes and remove with slotted spoon.
3.  Set the peppers upside down on paper towels to drain water, then flip over as soon as drained.
4.  Return water to a boil, add 1/2 cup of rice and boil until tender or 12 minutes.  Drain rice into colander and transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
5.  While the rice is cooking heat a 12 inch heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat until hot, add oil and swirl to coat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and brown, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook, breaking into small pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
6.  Transfer mixture to the bowl with rice, stir in tomatoes, 1 cup cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
7.  In a small bowl stir together the ketchup and remaining tomato juice.
8.  Place peppers cut side up in 9 inch square baking dish. 02062014 009 Fill each pepper with meat/rice mixture.  Spoon 2 Tablespoons of ketchup mixture over tope of each filled pepper, sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake until cheese is browned and filling is heated through, about 30 minutes.  Serve immediately.02062014 013

Don’t limit yourself to the classic stuffing.  You could use any kind of ground meat, different cheeses, grains, veggies.  The list is endless.  Hope you enjoy this simple and delicious comfort food meal!!

 

 

Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whoa.  That’s a long name.  I saw these in June’s Food Network Magazine.  I just can’t resist a lemon recipe, especially lemon cookies.  I may be watching what I eat but I can still have a cookie once in awhile.  Hmmm, maybe two.  These are simple and deeeelicious!

Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks(12 Tablespoons)  butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon zest (I used zest of one lemon)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (or vanilla)
12 ounce bag white chocolate chips

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in medium bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Beat butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Beat in eggs, lemon juice and extract.
  5. Reduce to low and add flour mixture until combined.
  6. Add white chocolate chips and mix together until combined.
  7. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 4 minutes, turn baking sheet around, bake 4 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven, let cool and EAT!

Great summer cookie.  Enjoy!!

May – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Chocolate and peanut butter are my favorite flavors, separate or together.   The first time I posted this recipe was May 2014.  That was the last time I baked this delicious combination for a cheesecake.  Brought this into work today for our Spa Day.  We all enjoyed this and hope you will too!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
(compliments Food Network)

Ingredients

Be sure all your ingredients are room temperature before you start.  The ingredients will blend together much better that way.  Also, if you have a food processor it will mix together to a wonderful, creamy mixture – no lumps!

Base:

1/2 (14-ounce) box graham crackers (2 cups crumbs)
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons soft unsalted butter

Filling:

2 (8-ounce) bars cream cheese
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup creamy peanut butter

Topping:

1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Process the crackers, peanuts, bittersweet chocolate chips, and butter in a food processor. Once it comes together, turn it into a 9 inch springform pan and press into the bottom and up the sides to make the crunchy crust.
  3. Put it in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
  4. Add all the filling ingredients to a food processor and pulse until it becomes a smooth mixture.
  5. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 1 hour. The top, only, should feel set and dry.
  6. Take the cheesecake out of the oven and set aside while you make the topping.
  7. Warm the sour cream and milk chocolate with the brown sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat. Gently whisk to blend in the chocolate as it melts, then take the pan off the heat.  This takes 5-10 minutes.
  8. Spoon and spread the topping very gently over the top of the cheesecake.  Put it back in the oven for a final 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and cool.
  9. Slice and serve.  (I think it tastes better after being refrigerated at least 4-6 hours, overnight preferably.)

Enjoy!!