Friday, April 30, 2010

Pizza Pinwheels

This is based on a recipe that I found from multiplydelicious while searching Tasty Kitchen for a recipe to use up some buttermilk we had in the fridge. The original recipe, Cheesy Pizza Scrolls looked absolutely delicious!
So I decided to make it, and change it up a bit to fit the ingredients I had, because quite frankly, I didn't feel like taking off my cozy slippers and going to the store, and because I prefer mozarella to cheddar. The two biggest appeals to this recipe was that first, it used more than a couple tablespoons of buttermilk (great since we had a bunch left), AND, the dough wasn't a yeast dough. I tried making a loaf of honey wheat bread the night before, and something didn't work out right. The finished product was quite dense to say the least. So I definitely didn't want to mess with yeast breads for a little while.
So the cooking began with the prepping of all the ingredients. (I didn't take pictures because I wasn't planning on writing about it. But the tasty smell while it was baking sure did change my mind!) I started making a simple pizza sauce with things usually in the cupboard- tomato sauce, tomato puree and a variety of seasonings that I thought would go well together.
I decided that since this was going to be my dinner, that I would add some more toppings to it- shredded chicken and chopped yellow onion (one of my favorite pizza toppings).
For the chicken, I drizzled some olice oil on it, sprinkled some salt and pepper, then baked it in the toaster oven for 25 minutes on 350 degrees. Let it cool, then shredded it up.
I shredded a bunch of mozarella. I like the way it looks and spreads better shredded than blitzed in the food processor.
Finally, time to make the dough. I get all of the dry ingredients mixed, and go to get my buttermilk that I had been searching and searching for recipes that called for it. And guess was no good. It smelled kind of the same, but it was chunky. So, I used some regular milk spiked with about a tsp. of lemon juice.
Mixed, kneaded and rolled the dough out. Then covered it with some of the sauce, (saving the rest for dipping, or some spaghetti later) onion, chicken and cheese. Then the whole thing is rolled up like a cinnamon roll, and cut into 9 pieces. They are set, cut side up, in a greased 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan, and topped with even more mozarella.
They are then baked at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. I really like baked dishes in part because it gives me time to clean up all the mess from preparing the dish. Unlike most stove top prepared food where it usually needs some consistent attention, and there are lots of dishes left for after dinner- the time I like to just relax with my hubby.
Twenty-five minutes later, dinner was served...
(Best food picture of mine yet? I think so)

This recipe makes for a great appetizer, or even a dinner if served with a size salad. Yum!
Check out the original recipe, especially if you like cheddar! Cheesy Pizza Scrolls

Pizza Pinwheels

2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sugar
sprinkle of salt
1 c. buttermilk (or regular milk spiked with a tsp of lemon juice)

1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 6oz can tomato puree
1/2 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional, but I like the little kick of heat)
dash of pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar

1 1/2 cups shredded mozarella cheese, plus extra for sprinkling on top
Shredded chicken (I used almost a whole breast's worth)
Chopped onion (about 1/4 of a normal sized onion)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Shred the cheese into another bowl, if not already shredded.
To make the dough, combine all of the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add in your buttermilk. Mix it all together until it's one glob of dough. Turn it out onto a lightly floured board and knead until it's smooth. Roll out the dough into a 12x12in square.
Spread some of your suace onto the square, leaving about 1/2 inch on the side farthest from you sauce-less. Add your chicken and onion- or whatever toppings you want- just not too much, remember, we have to roll this up on top of the sauce. Then top with your cheese.
Start rolling the dough up like you would when making cinnamon rolls, starting with the side closest to you. Keep rolling until its all done- notice that some of the filling spreads when it's rolled? That's why we left the very end empty.
Cut your roll into 9 as-close-to-equal portions as you can and place in a greased 8x8 or 9x9 pan with the cut side up. Top with some more cheese if you so desire and bake for 25-30 minutes.

This recipe is linked to Foodie Friday!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I like bananas. I don't like banana flavored things, and I usually don't like warm banana things. Ew. Having said that, I do like banana bread. And what a good way to use up over ripened bananas than some tasty bread? I started using a recipe out of an older Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, and changed it up a bit to suite the tastes of my husband and I.
Always read a recipe all the way through BEFORE starting anything. This recipe has helped me learn that.
The first step is to mix together 1 cup of flour (which happens to only be part of what the ingredients list calls for), sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Next you add in some mashed banana. The recipe originally asks for 1 cup. I find one average sized banana to be too little, so I usually use two- regardless of how much it really is. I have found that 2 average sized bananas is pretty perfect. I know, I'm a rebel. And, I know, you are supposed to measure everything with baking. Well. Oh well. :)
Along with the banana, add some butter or shortening (I have been known to usually use shortening because I don't have any butter softened when I decide to make banana bread), and milk. Mix this until till blended, then on medium speed in a mixer for 2 minutes. (I love my KitchenAid. A lot.) After this, add in the remaining flour and the eggs. Beat until blended. Then, add in 1/4 to 1/2c of chocolate chips. Mini would be adorable, but regular is usually what I have on hand.

Mmmmm... :)
Grease 3 mini loaf pans or one 8x4x2in loaf pan. Distribute the batter evenly and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes (mini loaf) or 55-60 minutes (big loaf).

Test with a toothpick. If said toothpick comes out clean, then your bread is done. Cool for a few minutes in pans, then remove bread from pans and cool some more on a cooling rack.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

1 3/4 c. all purpose flour, divided
2/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
2 average sized bananas, very ripe, mashed
1/3 c. shortening or softened butter
2 tbl. milk
2 eggs
1/4-1/2 c. chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixer bowl, combine 1 cup of flour, the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix together.
Add the mashed banana, shortening or butter and the milk. Mix on low speed just until blended, then on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Add the eggs and the remaining 3/4 c. of flour. Mix until blended. Add the chocolate chips and mix until blended.
Distribute between 3 greased mini loaf pans or one 8x4x2 greased loaf pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes for mini loaves, or 55-60 minutes for large loaf; or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool in pan(s) for 5-10 minutes, then remove to cool completely on a wire rack.

This recipe has been linked up at Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mexican Rice

So, I'm new to this whole blog thing. It seems a lot like writing a journal and posting it on the web for the world to see. Of just anyone interested in what's going on in your head. Creepy.
Anyways, after much thought and some gentle persuasion from my friend Kristin, (Delightful Country Cookin' <---Look! I'm already bringing others into my blog! Hehe. ) I decided to give it a go. I will admit that I was hesitant at first because I don't usually take pictures of my cooking, and I secretly want to write a cookbook someday and have it actually sell.
But here we are. Last night I made Mexican Rice. It's a recipe, or a method that my friend Veronica's mom told me several years ago. It's the first thing I have cooked that I remembered to take a few pictures of during the process. :)
First, I took some plain long grain white rice and dropped it in a skillet with about a tbl or so of olive oil. Turned the heat to medium and started to brown the rice- making sure to stir or you'll have burned rice! (This would be the time to add some chopped onion or garlic if you feel like jazzing it up some more)

Once it has browned up a bit, add some tomato juice (or that canned tomato sauce) and some water. This is 2/3 C rice and I added about 1/2c of tomato juice and 1c of water. I know, I know, that's more liquid than usually needed for making rice. I can't explain it, it just works best this way. I also put some fresh cracked black pepper in at this point. Pepper is a great spice!

Stir the rice around a bit to make sure none of it is sticking to the bottom of the pan. When it reaches a simmer again turn the heat down to low and cover it. Let it cook for about 6 to 8 minutes. No peeking! Peeking lets out steam, which we definitely DO NOT want because the rice won't have enough liquid to finish cooking!
When it is done, fluff it up with a fork and serve. It's great in burritos. We had it as a side along with some bbq chicken, broccoli salad and garlic bread. Yum!


Mexican Rice (serves 2-4)

2/3 c. uncooked white rice
1-2 tbls olive oil
1/2 c. tomato juice (or one of those small cans of tomato sauce, and just add water to equal up 1 1/2 c. total)
1 c. water

Put rice and oil in a skillet and turn the heat up to medium. Cook the rice, stirring as you go, until it begins turning nice and brown. Add all of the liquid and pepper to taste. Be careful as the skillet is hot and the liquid is going to bubble a bunch when added! Stir everything together and wait for it to come to a simmer. At that point, cover and turn the heat to low. After 6-8 minutes of no peeking, you will have some tasty rice!

This recipe is linked to Tasty Tuesday and Tuesdays at the Table