Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pizza Bites

Sometimes I hate to admit that the hubs is right. Maybe someday I will learn to take more consideration into his advice because if I had, I would have been enjoying these little one-bite-wonders months ago! This is another one of those recipes I dreamt of but was too intimidated to try it because it looked difficult. I think it was the pizza dough on this one that turned me away. But since I discovered that I can take the left handed approach (aka. shortcut) and use frozen bread dough, I have been a happy camper and much more willing to try new recipes.

These are SO good! Honestly, I have made them twice since we first tried them. The hubs loves them and therefore, I'm love them as well...and I'm not even a peperoni fan! Best part!?!? They are so simple, I end up making them when I am crunched for time or lack the energy to make anything else. This time, I just heated up a little extra spaghetti sauce from the other night to dunk mine in and they were delish!

Pizza Bites
Source: Annie's Eats


1 loaf frozen bread dough (thawed)

4 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed (about 20-24 pieces)

Sliced pepperoni

For the topping:

Olive oil

Garlic Salt

Italian Seasoning

Grated Parmesan Cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 9 inch pie plate or cake pan with cooking spray. Divide pizza dough into 20-24 roughly equal sized pieces. Take one of the dough pieces, flatten with fingers, and place a cube of cheese sandwiched between 3 or 4 slices of pepperoni. Pull the edges of the dough together and pinch closed. Place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.

Lightly brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt, Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Serve warm, with dipping sauce as desired.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Scrambled Egg Breakfast Pizza

Remember how I said the hubs was upset that the breakfast pizza I made didn't 'look' like pizza? Well, I decided to try again and I'm so glad I did. I think we hit the jackpot on this one! It has all of his favorite things, white based sauce, scrambled eggs and BACON! He raved about this pizza and was actually telling other people about how good this pizza was! I felt so honored but I did have quite the struggle to get a decent picture of the pizza. Sorry, it tasted MUCH better than it looks, I promise.

Scrambled Egg Breakfast Pizza
Favorite pizza crust (I used a loaf of frozen bread dough)
1/2 c part skim ricotta cheese
6 eggs
1/4 c milk
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 c shredded monterrey jack cheese (I used a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella)
1-4 c bacon crumbles (I used 3 strips of bacon and it was not quite enough...I'm thinking 5 slices next time)
Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. In a small bowl, add eggs, milk, salt & pepper to taste. Whisk together to break up eggs. Pour egg mixture in skillet and scramble eggs. Once scrambled, allow to cool about 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spray a round baking sheet with cooking spray and spread your pizza dough out into a circle about 12 inches or so. Spray dough with cooking spray (or brush with olive oil) and spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese, leaving about an inch of dough on the outer edge.
Top with scrambled eggs, bacon crumbles, & shredded cheese.
Bake for approximately 13 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites

I'll admit that I'm a little late to the party with these tasty treats. I've honestly had the ingredients bought for a month or better but was too nervous to try and make them. Something about using yeast and letting the dough rise was just beyond my capabilities (remember when I said I have a short attention span?). But the other day, when I was home alone (hubs is out of town) and we didn't have school (because we are 'cool' seniors and get days off to work on our thesis) I decided I would give them a try. I decided if they were a complete fail then I wouldn't have to fess up to making them ;)

But to my delight, they turned out perfectly! They were SO good! I love anything bite sized that I can dip, so these were perfect. All of a sudden, I was wishing there was someone I could share these with so they could understand my enjoyment...but sadly, I didn't tell anyone I was making them. Vicious cycle isn't it?

Oh well, now I get to share them with you. Please, please, if you are a coward like me, don't be scared to make these! They were quite easy with the most time consuming part being the boiling of the bites. I honestly feel like I checked something off my bucket list by using yeast (sad list if this is one of the items).

Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites
Source: Pennies on a Platter

1 package active dry yeast (or instant yeast)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar, divided
1/4 c warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 c warm milk (110-115 degrees)
2 1/2 to 3 c flour
1/2 c finely chopped ham
1/2 c shredded cheese of choice
6 c water
4 teaspoons baking soda
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1-2 tablespoons coarse salt

Combine the yeast, 1 tsp brown sugar, and warm water in a large bowl. Set aside until foamy, 5-8 minutes. (if using the instant yeast, skip this step and just add the flour). In another bowl, stir together the remaining 2 Tbsp brown sugar and warm milk until dissolved.

Add 2 1/2 c flour and milk mixture to the yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Add the remaining flour as needed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times, forming a smooth ball.

Brush the inside of a large clean bowl with olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm, draft free area for about 2 hours, until dough has doubled in size and bubbles appear on the surface.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Lightly dust your hands and rolling pin with flour. Roll one of the four sections into a 12x4- in rectangle. With the long side facing you, gently press 1/4 of the ham and cheese into the bottom third of the dough, and roll as tightly as possible, starting with the end that has filling. Cut into 12 1-in pieces and transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining 3 portions of dough.

Let rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 minutes. (Again, if using instant yeast, you can skip this step.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the baking soda and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Boil pretzels in batches, cooking about 20 seconds each, turning once. They should be slightly puffed. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them back to the baking sheets.

Bake until puffed and golden-brown, about 15 minutes.

Brush warm pretzel bites with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bird Nests

I am so excited for some of the posts coming up! I have some good things in store and feel like I need to get this one out before I completely miss the 'Easter boat.' I am still trying to use up Easter candy and I remember these from years ago. I thought they were the most amazing little things. Now, I find out how easy they are! Next year, I even plan to make them BEFORE Easter!
Bird Nests
1 2/3 c butterscotch chips
3/4 c creamy peanut butter
sprinkle of kosher salt
2 1/2 c chow mein noodles
3 c mini marshmallows
chocolate candy eggs (I used Whoppers)
Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
Melt butterscotch chips and peanut butter together over medium heat. Gently stir in salt and marshmallows. Once melted, stir in low mein noodles. Mix well.
Spoon onto prepared baking sheets, shaped into bird nests and add eggs to nest.
Let stand until firm.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

I will make these again and again and again. I am completely hooked. At first glance I figured they looked good. So the other day I made them for brunch and had one fresh out of the oven. It was goooood! I promptly packaged up all but 4 of the remaining muffins to be given away (I did NOT need these sitting in my house). One of the friends whom I gave them to commented on how moist they were. Temptation then got the best of me because sure they were good out of the oven but uber moist? Umm, kinda maybe? But oh my goodness was she ever right. They moisted up significantly after being packaged. I didn't know that was possible. They went from good to amazing!! I love these things!

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins
Source: Cupcakes! From the Cake Mix Doctor

1 pkg chocolate cake mix
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding mix
1 container (6oz) low-fat vanilla yogurt
3/4 c water
1/2 c vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2c semisweet chocolate chips (1 bag)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 28 muffin wells with liners.
Place cake mix and pudding mix in a large bowl. Mix together and make a well in the center. Place the yogurt, water, oil and eggs in a small mixing bowl and stir with a fork to break up the egg yolks. Pour the yogurt mixture into the well of the muffin mix. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips and gently stir just until mixed.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mini Cherry Lattice Pies

Oh these are just too freakin cute! I am falling more and more in love with my mini muffin pan with every recipe I make. I am also a huge new fan of the blog Picky Palate . I have around 10 of her recipes starred in my googlereader and had to stop myself at that, otherwise, I would have added everything in her blog! It has also been a secret new goal of mine to bake a pie. I say secret because I'm not a big pie fan and pretty much swore to myself that I would never make one! It's slowly creeping into my interest for the sole fact that I love the look of a lattice top. Hopefully, these have cured my desire for a little while as I weed through the other 100's of desserts I have on my, 'to make' list.
The original recipe called for peanut butter and jelly instead of cherry, but I'm in spring fruit mode and not a huge fan of PB&J so I opted for a little change. The lattice tops didn't turn out quite as cute as I had hoped because when they were baking, they rose and lifted the tops. I softly patted a couple of them down when they came out of the oven and it helped. Overall, the slightly wonky tops didn't throw off the yummy taste and I strongly encourage you to try these when you have a pie craving!

Mini Cherry Lattice Pies
Source: Inspired by Picky Palate
1 roll Pillsbury pie dough
1 small jar of cherry pie filling
1 egg white whisked with 1 teaspoon of water for egg wash
powered sugar for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll pie crust onto a lightly floured surface. Use a 2 1/2 in round cutter to cut out circles in dough (I used my 1/4 c measuring cup). Lightly press dough rounds into a greased mini muffin tin. Roll remaining scraps of dough to an even thickness then use sharp knife to cut thin 1/8 inch strips to create lattice tops.
Spoon 1/2 tablespoon of cherry pie filling into each of the pie crusts. Using the pie strips, form lattice top. Cut excess dough from edges and brush tops lightly with egg wash. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from tins with the tip of a knife. Dust with powered sugar and enjoy!
Yields 12 mini pies.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mini Frittatas with Ham and Cheese

I feel that all my brain power has been used up these past two weeks between sitting in a review course all weekend, putting the finishing touches on our Scholarly Project, submitting our Program Plan, Functional Job Analysis, Case Study and my Assistive Technology topic paper....and I still have that dang weighted blanket to finish. I cannot wait for school to be done!

So that's my excuse for not giving these little one bite wonders the proper introduction they deserve. These were very tasty and a huge hit with the hubs! Plus, they took less than 5 minutes to mix up and get into the oven! You really can't beat that. A great appetizer or brunch item!

Mini Frattatas
Cooking spray
1/2 c finely chopped onion (I used dried minced onion)
2/3 c chopped reduced-fat ham
1/3 c shredded reduced-fat extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I left it out)
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 large egg whites
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium high heat. Add onion and ham to saute. Remove from heat and let cool while combining other ingredients. Combine eggs, pepper, thyme, cayenne, and cheese in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk until combined. Add ham and onion mixture. Spoon mixture into 24 miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Each cavity will hold about 2 teaspoons. (Don't worry, they will puff up). Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until set.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Toasted Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches

Some of the most simple things taste the greatest. This sandwich is one I threw together one night when I wanted a grilled cheese but needed something with a bit more substance. I would recommend an electric skillet for these because it will warm the entire sandwich from within and melt the cheese to perfection, all without burning the outside! Feel free to add a slice of tomato or onion to the sandwich for a little more flavor and crunch.

Toasted Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches
Source: Mrs. O

2 slices bread (Sourdough would be great!)
2 slices mozzarella cheese
2 slices American Cheese
2 Slices thick Turkey breast lunch meat (or whichever thick sliced meat you like)
2 tablespoons butter
Heat electric skillet and spray with cooking spray. Apply 1 tablespoon of butter to one side of each slice of bread. Layer 1 slice of mozzarella cheese, 1 slice of American cheese and 1 slice of Turkey breast on each slice of bread. Combine layers to create a sandwich. Place on electric skillet and cook until golden brown on each side. Enjoy!
Makes 1 hearty sandwich

Reeses Peanut Butter Egg Cookies

Any extra Easter candy laying around the house? I have TONS! I really think that I could keep a small elementary school on a sugar high for days with my arsenal of Easter candy! So in an attempt to use up some of the Easter candy I came across this amazing recipe. I love cookies but I am very picky about my cookies. They must be soft and chewy. Guess what?? These cookies fit the bill and I love the cookies base as much as I loved the mix in! I cannot wait to try other mix-ins of my other excess Easter candy like Reese Pieces and Peanut M&M's.

Reeses Peanut Butter Egg Cookies
Source: Picky Palate
2 sticks softened butter

1 c packed brown sugar

1 c granulated sugar

3 tablespoon corn syrup

2 large eggs plus 1 egg white

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

3 1/2 c all purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 c chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs, around 12 eggs. Or since Easter is over :(, you can use regular Reeses Peanut Butter cups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat together butter, sugars and corn syrup until well combined, it will be light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with the chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs. Mix only until combined. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes or so until transferring to cooling rack.

4 dozen cookies

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Smothered Burritos

It had been far too long since I had eaten these burritos and now that I have, I'm not sure I can stop. Honestly, with my head held in shame I will admit that I made these on a Sunday night because I knew the hubs was heading out of town and I would get the left overs...I ate them for supper on Sunday...lunch on Monday....AND supper on Monday. I only quit eating them because...well they were gone! Yep, their amazing and the cheese melts sooooo good and runny and stringy....yum!

Smothered Burritos
Source: Mrs. O's mom

1 (16oz) can refried beans
1 lb hamburger
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/2 cup water
6-8 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup taco sauce

Brown hamburger. Add beans, taco seasoning and water. Cook until bubbly. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. Spread on tortillas and roll up. Put in a greased 9x13 in pan. Mix tomato sauce and taco sauce in a separate bowl. Pour over top of rolled tortillas and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until cheese melts. Serve with lettuce, onions, black olives and sour cream.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Turtle Brownie Cups

These are my version of crack. I know, it's not funny to joke about drugs but honestly...they gave me a high. It included a happiness on my lips and satisfaction in my tummy. These are a, "YOU MUST MAKE THESE NOW," kind of ecstasy. Honestly, I ate 3 in one day....and out of pure shame I stopped myself at that.
I came across these cupcakes when I was searching out ideas for my graduation party. One of my favorite girlies (Mrs. K) and I are planning to make a variety of cupcakes for our graduation parties and the testing began with these.
Myself and Mrs. Korynta
Just a tip: you can either make your own Dulce De Leche or you can find pre-made dulce de leche in the Mexican food section of some grocery stores (I've only had luck at Walmart in my area). I used pre-made for these.

Turtle Brownie Cupcakes

1 fudge brownie mix
1 stick melted butter
2 eggs
1/4 c water
1 cup dulce de leche
24 pecan halves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place paper liners into a 12-cup muffin pan. Spray liners lightly with oil (I used cooking spray) as the brownies like to stick to the liners.
Combine brownie mix with melted butter, water and eggs until well mixed. Scoop batter into muffin cups, filling them about 1/2 full. Put a teaspoon or two of cold or room temp dulce de leche on top of each brownie cup.
Bake for 20 minutes or until done.
Remove from oven and let cool completely. Use dulce de leche to glue on 2 pecan halves on each top. Drizzle remaining dulce de leche on tops of brownies.
Enjoy and try to limit yourself....it will be hard I promise!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter Basket Cupcakes

Have you caught on yet that I love cupcakes? At some point, I plan to make a calendar of 365 different cupcakes that way, you could have a sweet inspiration everyday! Well until then, I will slowly be building up my list of successful cupcakes. They lil guys I made for class treats on our final day of class before Easter. I thought they turned out pretty cute. My decorations were a little big in comparison of the cupcakes but I had to go with what I found in the store! I also decided to make the cupcake portion into rainbow cakes! Check out this great tutorial on Omnomicon for a how to guide on making rainbow cakes!

There isn't a real recipe that will accompany this post as I just used a regular white cake for the cupcakes and then a classic almond buttercream recipe for the frosting. The fun is in the decorating! I also rolled the cupcakes in regular sugar for a little extra detail. I think it really added a fun texture to the frosting that I loved. Don't know if I needed the extra sugar kick though.....

Idea was inspired by Bakerella