Gyro Pizza – Simple and Delicious

My new way to get pizza ideas is the check menu’s from pizza places.  Eric enjoys Sgambati’s Pizza.  I text him the menu to see if there was any one in particular he recommended for our Pizza Friday.  He suggested Cheese Lover’s, BBQ Chicken and Gyro.  I ended up making the Gyro and Cheese Lovers (without the feta).  (How do you like my fancy pizza cutter?  Gotta love my job!)  Here is how I whipped up these Simple and Delicious pizzas!!

Gyro Pizza

January 004

Ingredients

1 # chicken thighs (lamb, pork, beef would work too.  It is up to you!)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano ( 2 teaspoons Chubritsa-Bulgarian Savory herb)
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon paprika
2-3 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon

Directions

1.  In a large bowl or food safe bag, add the above ingredients with 1 pound chicken thighs.  (I cut into strips) Marinate at least 4 hours or overnight if possible.  (Don’t forget to make the tzatziki. This is best if sets overnight too.)
2.  After you allow to marinate, heat frying pan at high heat. I don’t add oil,the oil from the marinate is enough.  Drop the chicken pieces into the pan and leave untouched for 1 minute. (Do not overcrowd the frying pan.  Overcrowd and you will steam the chicken.  Not overcrowd and the chicken browns fabulously!)
3.  Turn the chicken pieces and continue to fry for 4-5 minutes. Fry until browned.   (I have grilled the chicken on a skewer also.)  The chicken tastes great grilled and fried.  So pick your way and go from there!
4.  Chicken is ready for the gyro or gyro pizza

You need about 4 -5 ounces of the marinated cooked chicken for the pizza.  This evening we had the makings for gyros too.

Here is how I topped the pizza;

I did not use pizza sauce for this pizza.  Here is what we used:

2 Tablespoons olive oil with 1 clove minced garlic.  Mix together.
1 small red onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, diced
Mozzarella Cheese
Feta (Next time I will do half with feta and half without.  I forgot the feta last night.)
Tzatziki Sauce

I brushed the top of pizza with the olive oil/garlic mix.  Added chopped onion, diced tomato and mozzarella cheese (you could add feta too), then the marinated cooked chicken.  Baked at 475 degrees for 12 minutes.

When we took out some of the crew topped with tzatziki sauce, some did not.  Kent or I did not get a piece as the vultures fell upon this pizza.  I am making one for us for dinner tonight.  (shhhh…don’t let them know)  😉

Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mini Mocha Cupcakes – Simple and Delicious

Thursday night.  Time to spend some time in the kitchen.  Cupcakes sounded like a plan.  How about Mini Mocha Cupcakes?  Why not.  Who doesn’t love coffee and chocolate?

Mini Mocha Cupcakes

January 008

Ingredients

1 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup espresso, cooled

Directions

Preheat oven 350 degrees and line 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.

1.  Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.  Set aside.
2.  With electric mixer or in stand up mixer, beat butter on medium high speed until creamy.  About 1 minute.
3.  Add sugar and beat until creamy, about 4 more minutes.
4.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then 2 teaspoons extract.
5.  Beat in flour mixture in three batches on low speed, alternating with 1/2 cup milk with 1/4 cup espresso.  When all blended mix on medium high speed until just combined.
6.  Divide the batter among the muffin cups.  Bake until the tops spring back, 15 minutes.  7. Transfer to a rack and let cool 5 minutes in the pan, then remove the cupcakes to the rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients

1 stick softened butter
2 cups confectioners sugar
4 ounces melted semisweet chocolate
2 Tablespoons cocoa
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder

Directions

Combine all ingredients in food processor and mix until smooth.  Voila, frosting!!

Frost the cupcakes and ENJOY!

Meat Loaf – Simple and Delicious

Sunday = comfort food = meat loaf.  This is a recipe I have used for years.  Every time I make this meatloaf it disappears way too fast.  Most of the time there is not enough left over for sandwiches the next day.  YIKES!!  This time I managed to get a couple of sandwiches for Kent’s lunch this week.

Meat Loaf with Glaze (I forgot to take the pic until it was almost gone.  Next time a “just out of the oven” pic!)
Ingredients

Brown Sugar – Ketchup Glaze

1/2 cup ketchup
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons cider vinegar (or white vinegar)

Meat Loaf

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 cup yogurt or milk
1 1/2 pound ground chuck (this time I used 2 pound ground chuck to 1 pound ground pork)
1/2 pound ground pork
2/3 cups bread crumbs (I take 3-4 pieces of bread and put in food processor to make bread crumbs.  Fresh bread crumbs work well with this recipe)

Directions

1.  For the glaze;  Mix all ingredients in small saucepan.  Heat through on low heat until brown sugar dissolves, set aside.

2.  For the meat loaf;  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  I make a free form meatloaf.  I do not use a loaf pan.  I use a baking pan lined with foil with a baking rack.  I place the meatloaf on top of a baking rack.  This allows the fat to go into the pan and not all over the meatloaf. They also have perforated meatloaf pans but I don’t have one of those. Thus, I use the free form method.  🙂  You could wrap the meatloaf in bacon if you desire.  I prefer not.
3.  Heat oil in medium skillet.  Add onion and garlic; saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool while preparing remaining ingredients.
4.  Mix eggs with thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper sauce, and milk or yogurt. (I usually use plain yogurt) Add egg mixture to meat in a large bowl along with bread crumbs and cooked onion/garlic; mix with hands or fork until evenly blended and meat mixture does not stick to bowl. (If meat mixture sticks, add additional milk or yogurt, a couple of Tablespoons at a time until mix no longer sticks)
5.  Place formed meatloaf on top of the baking rack (or in your meatloaf pan.  That is up to you.) and place in oven.  Brush with 1/4 of the glaze.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Top again with 1/4 of the glaze.  Continue to bake until second coat has set and loaf registers 160 degrees, about 15 minutes longer.  Take out of oven and cool 10-15 minutes.  (If the hungry crew allows!) Slice and serve with a extra glaze passed separately.

Big hit in this house.  Hope you give it a try and ENJOY!!

Stuffed Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

It’s Sunday.  I like to make something fun for the day before Monday – that back to reality day.  Today I saw a recipe for Stuffed Cookies and Cream Cupcakes.  It called for Oreo’s and refrigerated chocolate chip dough.  Knowing me, there is no way I will use store bought Oreo’s or refrigerated chocolate chip dough.  I ended up making both for this recipe.  That just makes it all the more fun, don’t you think?!  These cupcakes were Simple and Delicious.  Here goes;

Stuffed Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

January 012

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough (or make your own)
2/3 cup chocolate sandwich cookies (or make your own)

Direction

  1. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.  Set aside.
  2. With electric mixer or in stand up mixer, beat butter on medium high speed until creamy.  About 1 minute.
  3. Add sugar and beat until creamy, about 4 more minutes.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then 2 teaspoons extract.
  5. Beat in flour mixture in three batches on low speed, alternating with 1/2 cup milk.  Beat on medium high speed until just combined.
  6. Divide the batter among the muffin cups
  7. Roll 2/3 cup chocolate chip cookie dough into 12 small balls.  Top each cupcake with a cookie dough ball before baking.
  8. Bake until he tops spring back, 20-25 minutes.
  9. Transfer to rack to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove the cupcakes to cool completely.
  10. Make frosting for vanilla cupcakes.  Beat in 2/3 cup broken chocolate sandwich cookies.
  11. Frost the cupcakes and top with more broken sandwich cookies.

That is it. Simple and Delicous.

Coconut Macaroons

I originally made these in January 2014. Here is an update in January 2016.   I tried dipping some in chocolate this time.  When I made these in 2014 my mom requested these cookies.  Eric and Martin are fans of coconut.   This recipe made 30 cookies.  I made 3 different types; plain macaroon, macaroon filled with raspberry or strawberry jam and almond flavored macaroon.  This was an incredibly simple recipe and these cookies were flavorful, chewy and delicious!

Coconut Macaroons

January 005.JPG

Ingredients

2 – 14 ounce bags of sweetened, shredded coconut
3 large egg whites
1 – 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Spread coconut evenly across 2 parchment lined baking sheets.  Toast until golden brown, 15 minutes.  Stir every 5 minutes.  You need to stir the coconut so it toasts evenly.May 2014 014
3.  Beat egg whites with an electric mixer (I used a stand up mixer) on high speed until stiff peaks form. (takes about 3-5 minutes)
4.  Combine toasted coconut, condensed milk and vanilla in a bowl.
5.  Fold egg whites into coconut mixture.  Blend well together.
6.  Wet hand, to help keep mixture from sticking, and form into about 30 mounds.  Golf ball size or smaller.  Place on parchment lined baking sheets.
7.  When using jam, make an indentation in middle of each mound with your finger.  Spoon about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon jam into centers before putting in oven.  (I used raspberry, strawberry and grape jams)
8.  To make almond flavored add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and topped with a slivered almond.
9.  You can also dip in chocolate when you take out of oven.  I melted 1 cup bittersweet chocolate in microwave for 45 seconds.
10.  Bake until browned and crisp edged, about 12-15 minutes.  I turned baking sheet around after 6 minutes.   Let cool on rack.

Everyone loved these simple and delicious cookies! Enjoy!!

Remoulade Sauce – Simple and Delicious

There are many Remoulade sauce recipes out there.  I chose a few and did my own thing.   You could probably buy it somewhere in town (maybe Woodman’s) however, I enjoy making sauces if I can.  Here goes;

Remoulade Sauce

January 008

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Creole mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
3-4 garlic, minced (about a Tablespoon)
Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning (if you don’t have, no big deal)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Whisk all ingredients together.  Refrigerate at least a couple of hours if possible.  The flavors will blend well together.

Everyone loved this too.  Nice kick to it!

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Spotted this simple recipe in my Food Network Magazine. I thought it would make a great Sunday dessert.  We all loved this one.  Enjoy!!

January 028

Ingredients

Crust

3 cups ground chocolate graham crackers (I used chocolate chip cookies that were in my freezer.  I put in food processor and pulsed until they were crumbs.)
1/4 cup sugar
8 Tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

3-8 ounce packages Philadelphia Cream Cheese (not NON fat)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup strawberry jam, warmed

Directions for Crust

  1.  Line a 13×9 inch baking dish with foil, leaving a 2 inch overhang on two sides.  Coat the foil with cooking spray.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix crumbs, butter and sugar together.  Press into prepared pan, bake 10 minutes.  Let cool completely.  (Since I used cookies I previously made I had to bake a bit longer.)

Directions for Filling

  1.  In stand up mixer beat cream cheese and sugar  until smooth.
  2. Beat in 2 eggs, sour cream and vanilla.
  3. Spread filling over completely cooled crust.
  4. Swirl warmed strawberry jam into batter.
  5. Bake until the edges are set but the center is still loose, about 30 minutes.
  6. Let cool, then chill in refrigerator to set.

That’s it.  Another Simple and Delicious dessert!!

 

Pitka or Soda Bread-My Favorite

Here is the another Pitka recipe.  I have 2 others on my site.  I would say this is a simple soda bread.  It takes less than an hour from start to finish.   Serve plain, with butter, jams or cheese.

january 011

Pitka

Ingredients

5 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk (keep the egg white.  You will need it to brush on top of bread)
2 cups plain yogurt (NOT non fat)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I use Sunflower oil)

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease and flour baking pan.  I used my cast iron skillet.  You could use a 9″ round cake pan
  2. In a large bowl add dry ingredients.  Whisk together and make a well by pushing the flour mixture to sides of bowl.
  3. Add eggs, egg yolk, oil and yogurt in center of bowl.  Mix with hands.
  4. After mixed together form a round, flat bread.  (approx 9″ round, 2″height)  Place in prepared baking pan.  Brush top with egg whites.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown on top
  6. Take out of oven.  While warm, wrap in a towel.  When cooled place in plastic bag to store.

Enjoy!