Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pizza Hut Pan Pizza.

I was really Jones-ing for pizza hut , but had no desire to go out on the rain with all three kids.  There is something that makes me want that deep dish, greasy, comfort food which is different from the classy thin crust pizza we usually have.
Found this SUPER recipe online and used my giant cast iron skillet, which has been seasoned and waiting for an occasion such as this to justify it's giant space being taken up in my cupboard.
Definitely worth the space taken up in my cupboard, especially when i realized the finished pazza takes only about 10 minutes in the oven.
Copy Cat Pizza Hut Original Pan Pizza.

  • 1 1/3 cups Warm water (105F)
  • 1/4 cup Non−fat dry milk
  • 1/2 teas. Salt
  • 4 cups Flour
  • 1 Tbls. Sugar
  • 1 pk. Dry yeast
  • 2 Tbls. Vegetable oil (for dough)
  • 9 Oz. Vegetable oil (3 oz. per pan):
 Put yeast, sugar, salt, and dry milk in a large (2 qt.) bowl. 
Add water and stir to mix well. Allow to sit for two minutes. 
Add oil and stir again. 
Add flour and stir until dough forms and flour is absorbed. 
Turn out on to a flat surface and knead for about 10 minutes. (I used my mixer's dough hook.)
Divide dough into three balls. In three 9 cake pans, put 3 Oz. of oil in each making sure it is spread evenly.  (Or One very large pizza.)
Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball to about a 9 circle. 
Place in cake pans or cast iron skillet, oiled with olive oil.
Spray the outer edge of dough with oil. 
Cover with a plate. Place in warm area and allow to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 16 Ounce Can diced or whole tomatoes (blended)
  • 1 Teaspoon Dry Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Marjoram
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dry Basil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic salt
Combine, and let sit for 1 hour. 

 Directions for Each Nine Inch Pizza :
1.    Preheat oven to 475 F.
2.    Spoon 1/3 cup sauce on dough and spread to within 1 of edge.
3.    Distribute 1 1/2 Oz. shredded mozzarella cheese on sauce.
4.    Place toppings of your choice on top.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes.


Freezer Directions: 
Freeze Uncooked pizza dough or uncooked pizza with all the toppings and cheese.
Place in frozen pizza in oven at 475 degrees for 15 minutes or until cooked through and cheese is bubbling.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chicken Noodle Casserole.

This is another recipe from my mother-in-law that has become a favourite in our home.  It is pure comfort food, because it is found form most people's pantry and is perfect for heating you up, like soup, on these cold Autumn days.  
I didn't put exact amounts for each layer because every pan is a little different and you may adjust accordingly.  You can also 1/2 the amount for the noodle layer since your pan may not be deep enough.  Enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Casserole.

2 cm/1 inch cooked,  chopped finey chopped potatoes (no skin).
2 cm/1 inch cooked,  finely chopped celery and carrots

8 cups water (this is what my 2 soup mixes requires
2 envelopes Chicken noodle soup mix, (I use Lipton/Knorr brand)
2 Tablespoons Curry powder (or to taste)

½ cup butter or margarine
½ cup flour
½ cup milk

Diced chicken or turkey (about 1-2 cups)

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Grease casserole of lasagna pan.
Add potato layer.
Add celery & carrot layer.
Bring water to Boil water, add soup mix, simmer for 5 minutes. (Or whatever your soup directions require.)
Add curry powder.
Mix butter, flour, milk in a bowl.
Add to soup, heat just until thickened.
Add diced chicken/turkey.

Spread soup-meat mix to the top of your casserole.
Grate cheese over the top.

Cook in oven for 25 minutes @ 325 degrees.

Freezes like a dream, no need to put in the oven first.
Defrost and cook in oven for 35 minutes or until heated through.
From frozen, leave in oven for up to an hour. (Best guess)
 Soup will turn thick when flour/butter/milk mix is added.
Finely diced potatoes.  Pure comfort food in our home.
Serve in a deeper dish or shallower lasagna pan.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Cake.

In my family, we are always looking for great recipes which are without flour since my mom and brother both have Celiac disease, which means they cannot eat any wheat or gluten.
Usually, I barely get through most "gluten-free" rice flour or some kind of weird starch desserts, but I can honestly say that I would make this for myself, so we all win!
This cake is quite light, with just the right amount of sweetness, and of course, chocolate.  It can be dressed up with berries, more chocolate sauce, but is beautiful and elegant with just a scattering of sifted icing sugar over top. Makes a fairly flat, wide cake.

1 cup (8 oz) bittersweet or dark chocolate, cut into small pieces or chocolate chips.
1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, but into pieces
5 large eggs, separated
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup sugar (reserve 3 Tablespoons)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Line with parchment and butter the base of a 10 inch round Spring form or cake pan.
In a double boiler, melt your chocolate and butter over simmering water.
Whisk together the egg yolks, and all but 3 tablespoons of the sugar.
Stir melted chocolate into eggs yolks until thoroughly combined.
With an electric mixer, on medium speed, beat egg whites and  salt untili soft peaks form.
Gradually beat  in the 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Carefully fold in chocolate mixture into egg whites.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Turn out onto a rack immediately (I don't do this.)
As the cake cools, the center will sink and crack-do not worry.
Dust the cake with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream and berries.

Recipe by Wolfgang Puck.

I melt the chocolate & butter together, use good quality chocolate to make it really good.
Line the pan with parchement paper, trace the out line and cut it out beforehand to make it as easy as possible.
Fold in the melted chocolate, this keeps the egg whites from losing their fluffiness.  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dinner Swap: May 2011

Loni:  Rachel Ray's Sloppy joes, sweet potato fries, and peanut buttersquares.
Elizabeth: Marinated flank steak, good for the BBQ or the broiler, and squash soup.
Aimee: Turkey Shepherds pie with a sweet potato topping.
Jane: Non-spicey chickpea flour curry with veggies and chicken.
Deb: Homemade Pasta Sauce with Organic Chicken.
Winnie: Japanese Beef Curry.
Keri:  PF Chang's Mongolian Beef.
The little ones take a break to watch the garbage truck go by.

Filling up on our trades.  We are getting better organized with every month!  Now we give out the meals by turn.  For example, One participants meals are   given out in one turn, everyone looks at their list while one person is passing it out.

This is the first time we resorted to tv, just to gain some peace in the distributing process.
A special surprise, Amy gave us each a copy of  her book called, ' Papa started talking in His Sleep.'  Love it! 

Summer French fries.

 Summer is here, and meal planning is at it's very worst for me.  There  are just too many wonderful things to do when it's hot outside, including water, camping, sunning, etc.
BBQ is my default, since there is no way I want to turn on the oven.
On a night when the cupboards were getting bare, this seemed like a good idea.  It was surprisingly easy and of course, reminded me of the many chip wagons that can be found in my hometown of Ottawa.  All that is missing is some grilled sausage, ketchup or flavoured mayo, and some fresh salad.
 Really Easy...
 Cut up your desired amount of potaoes, skin and all, into wedges or strips (thinner cook quicker).
Toss them in olive oil or your choice of oil.
Salt & Pepper generously.
Cook over BBQ on a sheet such as this or foil.
Takes about 20-30 minutes, depending on the heat from your grill or the amount of fries you do!
Of course,  while cooking , I always seem to have ample entertainment. Eating outside is a given, but so is bathtime!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Super Sloppy Joes.

For the next dinner exchange, I am making these classic sandwiches.  As the weather gets warmer and we all get busier, I was thinking of doing an meal that is easy and yet feels a little like take-out.  
I love to dress them up with caramelized onions, or some kind of artisan buns.  In the exchange, I will include sweet potato fries and some dessert squares, too.
My kids like the name, but will usually eat the bun and meat sauce separately.
Dahlia, 3, was upset that the filling kept falling out of her bun, but with a little reassurance and a stack of napkins, she got through it!

Serves 4-5 
1 1/4 lbs ground sirloin beef (or extra lean ground beef)
2 tbsps brown sugar

2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste

6-8 crusty rolls, toasted
Garnish with lettuce, tomato, pickles, or cheese.

Cook up your meat in a skillet, breaking up clumps.
Add in sugar & seasoning.
When meat is browned, add in onions, red pepper, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce.
Cook for about 5 minutes longer, then add in the tomato sauce & paste.
If acidic tasting, add a whole carrot, and then remove after simmering.
Simmer for 15 minutes longer.

Scoop Sloppy Joe sauce onto crusty rolls, garnish, serve with potato salad, fries, sweet potato fries, or a great salad.

Recipe from, courtesy of Rachel Ray
The kids keeping busy while mama cooks.  The was a boat made out of all the big purchases made at Costco!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Banana Muffins.

Whenever I am in the grocery store, I always grab a bunch of bananas. They are one of the easiest foods to feed anyone in my family since I can add them to cereal, in pb sandwhiches, in crepes, in smoothies, etc.
Whenever I see them go brown, and my family won't touch them.  I put them in the freezer, peel and all, and save them for a giant batch of muffins.  We love mini muffins, because it just feels more fun to eat 3 instead of 1.  I throw them in a container and into the freezer so that they will keep for instant snacks.
DRY                                                            WET
3 cups flour                                                   4 cups ripe bananas, mashed (about 12 bananas)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour                             1 ½ cups brown sugar
1/4 cup ground flax seeds                              4 eggs
2 tsp baking powder                                      2/3 cups applesauce or vegetable oil
2 tsp baking soda                                   
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease muffin cups well.  Mix dry ingredients together and then wet ingredients together.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just blended and moist throughout.
Fill cups ¾ to full. 
Mini muffins: bake 15 minutes until firm and golden.
Standard muffins: bake 25-30 minutes or until firm and golden.

These freeze super well for up to a month.

Tip: Start collecting over ripe bananas by putting the whole banana (unpeeled) in the freezer.
Defrost and then peel off the skin, use as you would a regular banana. 
Or freeze puréed bananas in portions.
Ready for the freezer.  You can't even tell that there is flax whole wheat and fruit in there. 
Liv tries frozen banana.  Don't tell the health inspector.
Dahlia & Liv mash the banana, and of course, another taste test.

Fresh muffins out of the oven are a thing of beauty.  I think they should make a Yankee candle in this scent...I would buy it and then maybe try and eat it.