Mashed Potato Pizza and a few more!

As usual I checked with everyone to see what they would like for our Pizza Friday.  Eric wanted the Apple Pizza, Rachel requested Mashed Potato Pizza, Kyle wanted bacon/Canadian bacon and I just made one up for Martin.  (He arrived late as his band, Marto_Motoko (he sings) had to practice.  They will be at Battle of the Bands in Milwaukee on Sunday.  Kyle, Eric and I will be heading there to cheer them on!!)

Since it has been a while since I have posted about the Mashed Potato pizza here is how I whip that one up 🙂

You will need; potatoes, 6 pieces of bacon (I cut into 1/2 inch pieces and fried until crisp), green onions or chives (whatever you desire), sour cream, cheddar and mozzarella . I boiled the potatoes (when done drain), add salt, pepper and butter.  I smash them.  I do not use an electric mixer.  I then use sour cream for the base, add the mashed potatoes, top with green onions, bacon, cheddar and mozzarella. mashed potato 003 Bake at 500 for 12-15 minutes and VOILA!

mashed potato 007   Everyone always enjoys the Mashed Potato Pizza.

The Apple Pizza is also delish.  I previously posted this one too.  Here is the recipe I used for this Friday’s Apple Pizza

Apple Topping

1/4 cup butter
5 medium apples, peeled and sliced thinly
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Melt 1/4 cup butter over low heat in medium saucepan.  Add sugar, flour and cinnamon and mix together.  Add the sliced apples and mix over medium heat until bubbly.  (This will take about 5 minutes. Be patient.)  Continue to stir the apple mixture until apples are tender, about 5 minutes.

Streusel Topping

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup cold butter

Mix in food processor until crumbly

For the base of the pizza I used a cream cheese topping; 4 ounces cream cheese, 1 Tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon mixed together.  Started with the cream cheese mixture, added apples, the topped with streusel.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  INCREDIBLY AWESOME!! mashed potato 005

Then for Kyle (and everyone else too) I made the bacon/Canadian bacon pizza.  The one I made for Martin:  pizza sauce, black and green olives, salami and feta cheese. mashed potato 009 Not too pretty but believe it or not he ate the WHOLE thing.  Everyone was very full by the time he popped in.  I have to say though, as always SIMPLE and DELICIOUS.  Thank you for checking out my crazy blog!!

Espresso Balsamic Vinegar

Lily and I went to the Olive Cellar Saturday.  The Olive Cellar is a specialty store in Appleton WI that sells olive oils and balsamic vinegars.  This is a very fun store.  You need to check it out!   I ended up getting their Tuscan Herb Olive Oil, Espresso Balsamic Vinegar and Andes Mineral Salt.  029There are many uses for balsamic vinegar. I happen to use it for salad dressings and marinades.

Did I ever think of using it for a topping for ice cream???  Not really.  The salesperson at The Olive Cellar recommended it.  I figured why not?!  I  topped Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Ice Cream with Espresso Balsamic Vinegar. ben and jerrys 006Well, this couldn’t be simpler or more delicious.  I will definitely start using Balsamic Vinegar with my desserts.  Give it a try!

Sweet Potato Fries and stuff

I have had a weekend that needed to be easy.  My youngest has been moving his stuff out the door since early this morning.019

I noticed when I woke up this morning a sweet potato that has been sitting on my counter for quite awhile. Eric, my youngest, likes (I think) sweet potatoes.  I decided to make sweet potato fries with that potato.  Then I thought chicken vegetable soup would kill some time.  Then a quick tomato sauce. Spending a morning in my kitchen works for me.   I know that everyone has their kids move out and move on.  Honestly, I know that is what we want for our kids.  I just know his beautiful smile and wonderful sense of humor on a daily basis will be missed.

Sweet Potato Fries

1 sweet potato (cut into 1/2 inch length pieces)017
1/8 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper (you can add whatever other herbs you would like.  I kept this one very simple.)


1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2.  Cut the sweet potato into 1/2 inch length pieces
3.  Mix in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper
4.  Place on a baking sheet (I used my pizza stone)

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.  Flip over fries and turn baking sheet around.  Leave in 10 more minutes.  That is it!

Simple and Delicious!!

What about that Chicken Vegetable Soup?

Steak Pizza

Was listening to some podcasts today and realizing there are lots of pizza lovers out there. I heard about a restaurant in Brooklyn called Pete Zaaz.  This restaurant owner uses a Cheez Its topping for some of their pizzas.  I didn’t want to use Cheez Its today but I had some shaved rib eye steak in the freezer!  I thought it would be nice to have a steak pizza.

I fried the thin slices of rib eye, seasoning them with salt, pepper and Monteray Seasoning.  I sliced a green pepper and a sweet onion.  I used olive oil and garlic for the base of the pizza, added seasoned steak, gouda cheese, peppers and onions, topped with Monteray Steak seasoning.  Baked at 500 degress for 15 minutes.  That was it.  Kent and Kyle loved it. Paige and I were ok with it.

Steak Pizza

steak pizza 004Simple and Delicious!!

Vegetable Soup

I was very lazy today when I came home from work.  I picked up lunch meat and rolls for a quick sandwich.  I always like to have a warm meal at dinner.  I decided to make a very quick soup.  It definitely took under an hour and it was as always – Simple and Delicious!

010313 009


Fast Vegetable Soup

2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 medium potatoes. chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 can kidney beans, not drained
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 can chicken broth
1/2 cup water
Salt and Pepper to taste

1.  Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to sauce pan over medium heat.   Add chopped onion, celery and carrot, saute until onions are opaque.  Add garlic until aromatic, about 1 minute.
2.  Add kidney beans, potatoes and mix together
3.  Add chicken broth and water
4.  Add the frozen corn, peas and parsley
5.  Simmer for 30 minutes and ALL DONE!

That was it and it went very well with our sandwiches.  Hope you enjoy!




Food Quote – Craig Claiborne

“Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy.  And cooking done with care is an act of love.”

Craig Claiborne (September 4, 1920 – January 22, 2000) was an American restaurant critic, food journalist and book author. A long-time food editor and restaurant critic for The New York Times, he was also the author of numerous cookbooks and an autobiography. Over the course of his career, he made many contributions to gastronomy and food writing in the United States.

I think all of us who love to cook, love to cook for the ones we love the most, don’t you?

Molasses Cookies

My mom mentioned in our weekly phone conversation before Christmas that she would like some Molasses cookies.  I made these cookies and they were hit with the residents and staff at Park Terrace.  I mailed her these cookies along with Spritz, Ricotta Cookies and Peanut Brittle.  She said these were the first to go.  Here is the simple and delicious recipe for you to share with friends and family any time of year.

Marto Motoko 013

Molasses Spice Cookies
(Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated Holiday Baking 2011)

1/3 cup sugar plus 1/2 cup sugar for dipping later
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool (Salted butter is fine.  I used to use it all the time in baking.  I only buy unsalted now.  It is the same price and with all the baking I do I might as well have that on hand, right?!)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (light brown would be fine, too)
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup light or dark molasses (measure in liquid measuring cup)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Place 1/2 cup sugar in a 8or9 inch cake pan.
2.  Whisk together the dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, salt and spices, set aside
3.  In stand up mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter with brown and white sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add egg yolk and vanilla, increase speed to medium and beat until incorporatd.  Reduce speed to low and add molasses, beat until incorporated.  Be sure to scrape bottom and sides of bowl once with rubber spatula.  Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients and beat until incorporated.  Give dough a final stir with the rubber spatula to be sure no pockets of flour remain at bottom.  Dough will be soft.
4.  Using tablespoon measure, scoop heaping tablespoon of dough and roll into 1 1/2 inch ball, drop ball into cake pan of sugar and roll in sugar.  Coat entire ball with sugar.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake 9-11 minutes.  They will look raw between cracks and underdone.  They are done though, don’t worry!
5.  Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to rack.  Let cool to room temperature.  Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days in ziploc bag or airtight container.

Parmesan Pizza Dough

This is a simple and delicious pizza dough.   I like to make different pizza doughs for our Pizza Fridays.  You can also add rosemary or other herbs to this dough.  We use this dough with many toppings but the White Garlic Sauce is fabulous!!  No photo but the recipe is all you need.  🙂

Parmesan Pizza Dough

1 cup warm water
1 envelope of active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan (I sometimes add a little more)
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, sugar and 1 Tablespoon olive oil, stir to combine.  Let sit until mixture gets foamy, about 5 minutes.

I make this dough in my food processor.  While the yeast mixture is proofing I put the flour, parmesan and salt in the food processor.  When the 5 minutes are up and the mixture is bubbly I add to the food processor bowl. Pulse a couple of times, then let it go for about 30-45 seconds. Using the food processor mixes it up just fine.  Place the dough a oiled bowl, top the dough with some olive oil.  Just enough to make the dough shiny.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm, draft free place until double in size or about 2 hours. (A great place to put pizza dough to rise is your microwave! No draft that is for sure).  ENJOY!