Thursday, January 26, 2012


Pizza!!! Probably the best food ever created. And it is so versatile! So may different types of crusts, sauces, and toppings. And today, I have a real treat that is deceptively easy but will have your family thinking you are a 5 star Italian chef. My husband requested this pizza and after putting together some various research online along some of my own ingenuity, I give you Stuffed Crust Spinach and Ham White Pizza! And I found all the ingredients I needed for just around $20 bucks at the local BB, which is not the cheapest place to shop (but the only place in town), This not too bad versus delivery considering I had almost nothing on hand. And the savings would really add up if you had someplace more cost effective to shop.
So, into the kitchen!

You will need a mixing bowl, and a baking sheet for pizza (or if you have one a stone pizza cooker), a spoon, and a pizza cutter.

2 packages of BETTY CROCKER Pizza Crust mix (Betty Crocker really is the best)
1 cup of water per the crust package instructions
7 - 9 string cheese sticks
Approx 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup to 1 cup Mozzarella cheese (or an Italian mix if you go with preshredded)
Cubed ham (to taste)
Fresh spinach (to taste)
A handful of diced tomatoes.
Flower to dust your fingers and workspace with
Corn meal mix (optional)

Preheat the oven to about 425 and spray or grease your pan or stone cooker.Wash your hands thoroughly since you will be using them almost exclusively to make the pizza.
Now for the food. First, prepare your pizza crust dough per the package instructions. Once the dough is prepped, flower your fingers and begin laying out about 3/4 of the dough and begin to form it in a thin circular shape, leaving a little extra room at the edges for the stuffed crust. If you have a larger number of people to serve, by all means use all the dough you need. Now that you have a rough shape pounded out, simply take the cheese sticks and roll the excess dough at the edges over, being sure not to tear the dough. Feel free to shape and stretch to size as needed. For a medium sized pizza, I used 7. Once the stuffed crust is done, it's time to add the toppings, starting with the Alfredo sauce. Just be sure not to over load the pizza. Once your beautiful pizza is done, set it in the oven for about 20 minutes and it's perfection!
If you want to get fancy, you can dust the edges of the dough with corn meal mix for that authentic look and taste. You can also throw a little pesto in the sauce as well to shake things up.
As a bonus, I made cheesy bread sticks with the leftover dough. Just form into a log like shape and score a few portions out with a knife or fork. Coat with EVOO or butter and then dust with cheese!

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pop's Lump Fee Country Breakfast Gravy

It's breakfast time! I looove breakfast time! My hubby's absolute favourite morning time meal has to be biscuits and gravy. My dad loved gravy too and was always in the kitchen (I swear he missed his calling) so its only natural that I learned a good recipe. Many people are afraid of homemade gravy as adding the flower can be a tricky, lumping mess. However, I'll show you a few tricks that make homemade gravy as easy, and far better, than any packaged variety.
So onto the fun!

Non Edibles
You will need a skillet, a spatula, and a measuring cup and spoon. Did I mention this was easy? One pan meal folks.

1 lb of ground sausage of choice (comes in tubes similar to ground beef)
2 tbs of butter
2 to 4 tbs of flower
1.5 to 2 cups of milk
A good tbs of pepper
Salt to taste.
6 Biscuits

The How To
To start, throw your biscuits in the oven and your sausage in the pan.
Once your sausage is nice and browned, it's time to make the gravy. Now, to avoid annoying lumps, start by adding the butter and 2 tbs of flower directly to the pan. This is basically making a rou that is spread over the sausage. Once you've got the rou sufficiently mixed in, add your milk. You have some freedom here dedepending on how you like your sausage to gravy ratio. Add pepper and other seasonings to taste and let simmer until it thickens. You can add more flower as necessary (I find I don't need to add much more. Generally maybe 2 tbs more).
Once the gravy is thinkend and the biscuits are golden brown, it's time to dig in!
What a great and simple way to start the day.

If you have left overs, simply serve over toast at dinner for what my family lovingly calls SOS (S@#$ On a Shingle).

Enjoy and happy munching!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Zaden's Somewhat-Asian Potstickers

Well finally! I apologize once again for my absence. The good news is I have INTERNET FINALLY! So, it should be much easier to post now. But I digress, let's get to the grub!
Today I bring to you potstickers (or Asian dumplings)! My husband and I have messed with this recipe together for awhile and though it requires specialized equipment, they are super easy and can rival any dumpling house.

Non Edibles!
A steamer, bowl, cup of water, cutting board, and a spoon. Note: If you don't have a steamer, you can fry these. I'll supply instructions for both.

1 lb of turkey (what I usually use just because) or pork sausage
1 tsp or so of olive oil
3-5 good spoon fulls of sauerkraut
A helping of soy sauce to taste
A dash of garlic pepper
Other Asian spices you may have on hand (optional)
Approx 30-40 or so won ton wrappers (find these in the produce section)

The Food
Alright, so the ingredients aren't all so authentically Asian but the results are no less yummy for it.
Anyway, first take your bowl and combine your sausage of choice with the kraut, soy sauce, spices, and oil and mix well. Once that's done, I find it best to set up a little assembly line as making these buggers can get tedious.You'll need your freshly mixed bowl-o-filling, cutting board to work on, cup of water and, of course, won ton wrappers.
Now that you've set your area up for maximum ease and productivity, it's time to start working! Grab a won ton wrapper, wet the edges all around with water, and then spoon the filling into the center. To finish them off, just fold over and pinch the edges together to form a triangle. And huzzah! Go ahead, take a minute to admire your lovely dumpling! A word to the wise, it's better to start with to little filling than too much. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to fiddle with sealing an overly full dumpling. It's much simpler to add a bit more filling into the dumpling if you need it.
Potstickers aren't very big so you will make quite a few before you finish off your filling depending on how full you fill them. About 10 dumplings per good-n-hungry person is a good serving, so take what dumplings you need to cook and the rest are easily frozen. And if your just lazy like me, you can safely store the filling itself in the fridge -just a day or two- or freezer and assemble more dumplings later (I don't like freezing as you will then just have to defrost the filling to make the dumplings and that lessens the quality of the meat).
To cook, just set in the steamer for about 30-45 minutes (or about an hour frozen). If you don't have a steamer, just fire up the skillet and head up a 1/4 cup or so of oil and fry them one side then the other until golden brown!

Serve with soy sauce or other Asian dipping sauce of your choice and enjoy!

This is much the same concept as ravioli! Just use beef and/or your choice of cheeses and boil rather than steam and serve with a yummy marinara sauce! Though I do recommend an egg wash to just water to seal the edges for these. See you get a twofer today!

Until next time, Happy munching!

Monday, September 12, 2011

There And Back Again!

Greetings Dear Readers!
It sure has been awhile! Summer heat has caused a heating blanket of blah and a black hole of nothingness to settle in my life and suck my energy away. There was no escaping the ghostly, hot even horizon. That and with my beloved hubby gone at work, it's been hard to be motivated to cook.
But! Today is a new day, I am in school, and I have come back fresh with ideas!
As you have no doubt noticed, I have changed the name of this blog so be sure to update your bookmarks. I have decided to expand the function of my corner of the web here to include some of my many other crafty passions (you'll just have to wait and tune in to see what those are :3). Don't worry; there will still be lots of food! I just think I have a lot more to share than the occasional recipe.
I'm super excited to get started on this new venture, especially with the Harvest and Holiday seasons upon us. Lots of yummy fall and winter food, gift ideas, and much much more to come!
I will have an actual post for you later this week (upcoming tests are at the forefront of my mind at the moment) and will do my best to keep to twice a month update.
So with that, I offer my apologies for my absence, and my hopes of your continued support and readership.
Lots of love and Happy Crafting!

Friday, July 1, 2011

No Bake Three Layer Chocolate Pudding Pie. Oh My!!

I swear I'm not a sugar addict, and I don't often have dessert around. But when the Hubby is coming home for the weekend after two weeks on a job, you gotta indulge. And this sexy piece of pie is certainly indulgent (and my own creation I might add).
Now you can always use the FF versions of many of the ingredients, but keep in mind that research shows that the occasional, moderate indulgence can keep you from swaying off your diet plan.
So lets get started on my Three Layer Chocolate Pudding Pie!

Non Edibles:
Spoons, knife, a mixing bowl, whisk, an electric mixer, and optional cutting board.

Pie crust
2 packages of chocolate pudding mix
2 cups of milk
5 strawberries
6 oz (about 2/3 cup) of cool whip
2 oz cream cheese

The first layer is the chocolate goodness. Easy peasy, just mix two packages of pudding mix with the whisk according do the directions. Just reduce the amount of milk you use by about half. This makes the pudding a more pie filling like consistency. Add this first layer to your pie. It should be mostly full as this is the major portion of the dessert.
Next is the strawberries. Just slice 5 fresh and yummy berries and arrange evenly atop the chocolate.
Now for the coup de gras. The final layer that brings it all together. Rinse out your mixing bowl (or grab another) and blend the cool whip and cream cheese together. If the cool whip has been in the freezer, let it warm up a bit first. Take your time and let the topping get nice and whippy smooth. Add the topping to the pie. Of course you can make more than I did (I made a fairly thin layer) but keep the ratio the same for the ingredients. Too much cream cheese will make it too thick and not as whipped as you'd want.
Once its assembled, just let it set in the freezer and enjoy! Just not too much.

No baking involved! What could be better than that huh? And these aphrodisiac ingredients are perfect for impressing a date or, in my case, for a special evening with your spouse.
And as always, happy cooking!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sweet-n-Salty Chocolate Pretzels

Aaaah sweet and salty. An unlikely combination that, when done right, is a complex and delicious balance of flavor, reminiscent of snack time and theater fare. And one of my favorite movie time concessions are chocolate covered pretzles. Oh man I go crazy for these. So this week I bring my very easy chocolate covered pretzels that will surely leave your wallet and your stomach happier than anything you could buy at the concession stand. No complicated melting required! Just a microwave.
That's right, I said microwave.
Sacred yet? Well you shouldn't be. You don't have to slave over a melting pot of chocolate to create delicious treats that I promise will deliver. So...lights, camera, kitchen!

Non Edibles:

You'll need a microwave safe(!!!) bowl, spoon, wax paper, and a cookie sheet.


1 bag of chocolate chips (I prefer semi sweet, but they do offer dark and milk varieties)
1 bag of pretzels
2 tbs of coco powder
2 tbs of Crisco


First you'll add the chocolate chips into your bowl along with the Crisco (some evoo will work in a pinch) and toss in the microwave for about 45 seconds or until melted. It won't take long!
Once all the chocolate is sufficiently melted, add your coco powder. This is preferred though I always have Ovaltine in the pantry (the Hubby's favourite drink!) and works just as well. Do NOT add the powder beforehand. It WILL burn. I learned this the hard way.
Now that that's mixed, you can start covering your pretzels. There's many ways to do this; none are right, and all are messy. You can fold a few in the chocolate at at time with your spoon, dip one by one, spoon the chocolate, however. Just have fun! Place the generously coated pretzels on a wax paper covered cookie sheet and place in the fridge (or freezer) until nice and hard. You can finish with a drizzle of white icing if your feeling advanced. Just be sure the chocolate is cold when you add it, and that you return the pretzels to the cold so the icing sets.

And that's it! Sneak in your purse when you see your next flick and enjoy!!

Note: I have to give credit for this to my dear Lindsay Jacobs. First time I made (a similar version of) these was with her showing me how.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fruity Tooty Berry Smoothie

Back to food this week! Well, smoothies actually. What better way to cool down in summer, and give yourself a fruity energy boost. I even include an alcoholic version for the grownups in the kitchen.
Per my usual, this isn't real precise, and you can make it your own by adding more or less of a certain component. So rev your blenders folks, its smoothie time!

Non edibles:
All you'll need is a spoon, your blender, and a cup to serve in.

1 cupish of wild strawberry sorbet
1 handful of frozen mixed berries
1 banana
2 cups of your favorite fruit juice (for the adult version, I used most of a bottle of blueberry lemonade Smirnoff Ice)

Simple, simply combine and blend! You can add more juice or Smirnoff if you like your smoothies on the thinner side, more sorbet if you like them creamer, or more fruit for more body. You can also choose to highlight a certain berry if you want. It's up to you. This is just close to what I normally whip up. Another note: your welcome to use fresh rather than frozen berries. However, I prefer frozen simply because it provides the chill factor and I don't need to use ice.

Now sit back, sip away, and enjoy! And as always, happy blending!

(Confession: The picture isn't exactly what is described. Usually the smoothie will turn out a bit more purple. I forgot I didn't have any mixed berries, but I needed a picture...)