Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tomato & Fresh Mozzarella Pizza

If you’ve never tried a mozzarella and tomato pizza, I guarantee; if you are not lactose intolerant or hate tomatoes, you are going to love it J

What’s not to like; you take the one thing 96% of Americans already consume on a daily basis and add fresh ingredients like mozzarella, fresh tomato and basil, the smooth taste and texture is a match made in pizza heaven.

1 (4-ounce) portion ready made pizza dough, pizza crust or Pillsbury rollout crust
1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pizza sauce
2 large roma tomatoes, sliced 1/8-inch thick
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, patted dry and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
Pinch of salt
Fresh basil leaves

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Roll out pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. (It doesn’t have to be perfect)
  3. Coat baking sheet or pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray
  4. Place dough on baking sheet
  5. Brush with olive oil and bake 5 minutes; remove from oven
  6. Sparingly add pizza sauce in a thin layer
  7. Evenly sprinkle pizza crust with salt, black pepper, and oregano
  8. Layer tomatoes and mozzarella cheese on top, sprinkle with a few basil leaves and bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until crust is browned and mozzarella cheese is melted.
  9. Remove pizza from oven, sprinkle with the rest of the basil leaves, slice and serve.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Roasted Beer Can Chicken

Here’s a fantastic way to roast a chicken, either on the grill on in the oven.

Yes, it looks kinda weird and down right ridiculous to have the chicken propped up on a beer can but while that chicken is crisping up on the outside, the inside is being saluted by the steam from the beer, keeping it oh, so juicy.

For an alcohol-free version of this recipe, just fill a pint mason jar halfway with chicken stock and use it instead of the beer.

2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder


  1. Mix all seasoning together to make a rub
  2. Remove neck and giblets from chicken and discard
  3. Rinse chicken inside and out, and pat dry
  4. Rub chicken with dry rub and set aside to marinate
  5. Open beer can and take several gulps (make them big gulps so that the can is half full) J
  6. Place beer can on a solid surface or inside beer can mold
  7. Grabbing a chicken leg in each hand, plunk the bird cavity over the beer can
  8. Transfer the bird-on-a-can to a roasting pan and place in the oven
  9. Roast at 350°F until done (about an hour fifteen to an hour and a half for a 4 lb chicken).
  10. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes before carving

clean and pat dry the chicken

add dry rub outside and on the inside cavities

 this contraption is made specifically for beer can chicken ~fancy that :)

position the bird to fit over the beer can

place in baking pan and bake @350 for an hour

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    Monday, November 28, 2011

    Cornbread Topped - Turkey Pot Pie

    What to do with all that left over turey after thanksgiving? We make Pot Pies Ofcourse and I always put my spin on the traditional dish by putting a honey cornbread mix on top to give it alittle something, something :)

    2  (10 inch) deep dish crust pie
    4 tablespoons butter, divided
    1 small onion, minced
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    2 carrots, diced
    3 tablespoons dried parsley
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 cubes chicken bouillon
    2 cups water
    1 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup milk

    1 box Jiffy Cornbread Mix
    3 tablespoon of honey
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
    2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion, celery, carrots, parsley, oregano, and salt and pepper.
    3. Cook and stir until the vegetables are soft.
    4. Stir in the bouillon and water and bring mixture to a boil.
    5. In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and stir in flour, continue stirring for a few minutes allowing it to thicken.
    6. Stir in milk until smooth and add in turkey, and heat through.
    7. Stir the turkey mixture into the vegetable mixture, and cook until thickened.
    8. Cool slightly, then pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell.
    9. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes only
    1. While the pie is in the oven for 10 minutes, start mixing the cornbread topping.
    2. Mix cornbread mixture according to the package directions along with some, honey and vanilla
    3. Remove Pie from oven and spoon cornbread mixture on top and return it to the oven 
    4. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and Bake for 45 minutes.


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    Homestyle Catalina Dressing

    Out of pure laziness of driving back to the store I whipped up a batch of homemade Catalina Salad Dressing for my cranberry chicken.
    I pretty much tossed everything in my blender bullet cup, gave it a whirl and in 10 minutes I had more dressing than I could use.
    If you are a Catalina Salad dressing lover and dont want run to the store, just whip some up.

    show some love when you do, because I know you are going to love it. :)


    2/3 cup ketchup
    ½ cup sugar
    1 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon paprika
    ½ teaspoon chili powder
    ½ teaspoon celery seed
    1 teaspoon dry mustard
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    ½ cup red wine vinegar
    ½ cup vegetable oil


    Place all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth
    Store in a jar and keep refrigerated

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    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Is there such a thing as a bad chocolate chip cookie? 
    I don’t think so; whether chewy, chunky, soft, crunchy, packed with either tiny or large morsels of bittersweet chocolate chips, there’s always someone that prefers it that way. So just grab yourself a glass of milk and enjoy.

    2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    ½  teaspoon baking soda
    ½  teaspoon salt
    1 ½  sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled (12 tablespoons)
    1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
    ½  cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

    * I used both white & brown sugar because it helps to create a chewier cookie with a beautiful golden brown color
    * For a chewier or thicker cookie: let the dough chill for one to two hours before baking

    1. Preheat Oven 325 degrees
    2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with non stick cooking spray
    3. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside
    4. Mix the butter and sugars thoroughly and Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla
    5. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until everything is combined
    6. Stir in the chips
    7. Roll ¼ cup of the dough into a ball
    8. Place formed dough balls 2 ½ inches apart on a prepared baking sheet
    9. Bake 15-18 minutes, until the cookies are light brown and the edges start to harden & the centers are still soft
    10. Cool the cookies on the sheets.
    11. Transfer to cooling rack  

    Thank goodness for my mixer
    melted butter, cooled

    1 egg and 1 yolk

    gradually add to sugar mixture

    Mix all dry ingredients together 

    add your dry ingredients, chocolate chips & mix thoroughly

    SOOO PRETTY !  :)
    you can either let it chill or get ready to drop on your cookie sheet

    I used a small cookie scoop for 1 batch and rolled the others into small rounds

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    Cranberry Chicken

    I not a fan of complicated dishes, and this, my friend is neither hard to make nor has any complicated ingredients. Around this time, cranberry can be found in everyone’s pantry unless you absolutely hate the darn thing.

    Its versatile, you can even use left over turkey, chicken breast or just boneless chicken thighs, and with only 4 ingredients not much can go wrong.


    2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    1 package dry onion soup mix
    1 (16 ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce


    1. Place the chicken in a glass or non-reactive baking dish.
    2. Stir the onion soup mix, cranberry sauce, and catalina dressing together in a bowl until well blended.
    3. Pour over the chicken thighs.
    4. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least an hour.
    5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    6. Remove plastic wrap from the baking dish, and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
    7. Bake chicken in preheated oven until top is bubbly and slightly browned, about 40 minutes.

    Note: for easy cleanup, I lined aluminum foil in the bottom of the baking dish before arranging the chicken

    I worked half the onion mix into the chicken and pour the rest into sauce  

    place the cranberry in a bowl and microwave for a minute so its easy to mix into the catalina dressing

    mix cranberry, catalina and onion mix together

    Pour over chicken and marinate

    let it marinate for at least an hour

    I lined the baking dish with aluminum foil for easy cleanup
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    Sunday, November 27, 2011

    Amaretto-Cranberry Kiss

    • 2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
    • 1 cup vodka
    • 1/2 cup amaretto
    • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
    • Ice cubes
    • Cranberries for garnish
    • DO AHEAD: Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.
    • Mix cranberry juice, vodka, amaretto, and orange juice in pitcher.
    • Cover and chill until ready to serve. To make 2 drinks, fill cocktail shaker with ice cubes
    • Pour in 1 cup vodka mixture
    • Cover and shake vigorously
    • Strain into Martini glasses
    • Garnish each with cranberries
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    Saturday, November 26, 2011

    Tuna Sandwiches (best chicken of the sea)

    Whenever we have weekend matinees at home, I find myself making tuna sandwiches, but if I dare say the word Tuna, my daughter refuses to eat it.   I
    'm not sure what it is, but if I tell her “its chicken” no matter what the meat looks like; she’ll turn around and eat it and ask for more.

    So my string of “its chicken” lies will continue, until she is old enough to call me out on it.

    Does that make me a bad Mom?
    Maybe, but I’m a bad mom, that’ll stoop to any level to make sure my picky eater eats more than just chicken.

    Sometimes I wonder: “Maybe it’s not even about my lie but more of her denial.
    Who knows!

    Anyway lets make some Tuna Sandwiches :0)


    2 cans Tuna in water
    2 tablespoons diced red onion
    1 tablespoon diced bell pepper (optional)
    2 tablespoons diced celery
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon cumin
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoon mayonaise

    Mix all ingredients together and sandwich on your favorite bread

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