Tag Archives: recipes

Fruit Pizza

fruit pizza 2

My attempt at being healthy has failed me. It’s been a long time since I can remember being excited to eat well. Actually, to be fair, I can’t remember a time I was ever excited to eat well. Sure, I force myself to eat apples as a mid morning snack while at work. Sure, I’ll eat almonds and rice cakes in the afternoon, but if you put a bag of peanut M&M’s in front of my face, I’d choose them every single time over the healthy alternative. That’s just who I am. I can’t hide it.

So you’d imagine my surprise when my mother-in-law made a fruit pizza while visiting us a few weeks back. I took one bite and thought I’d gone to heaven. (Just so you know, I’d never tasted the likes of the fruit pizza…) Sister quickly pointed out that the crust of said pizza was made of…sugar cookie dough.
Are you kidding me?
Is there anything more brilliant?
Cookie dough as crust.
I was hooked.
bberry fpizza dip
So the other day, I set forth to make this glorious pizza. And you’ll be happy to know that I snacked on the fruits while making it! I know, total insanity. I even went so far as to chop up extra strawberries to eat with cereal.

If you feel the need to be naughty but feel like you’re being healthy because there’s the slightest bit of fresh fruit involved…then this recipe is for you.

Fruit Pizza

1 pkg sugar cookie dough (16.5 oz), softened
1 pkg cream cheese (8 oz), softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup apricot jelly (or apple jelly)
1/4 cup water

fruits: amounts vary to your own personal liking
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup diced fresh peaches

To make:
Heat oven to 350°F.
Grease 12-inch pizza pan or spray with cooking spray.
Press softened cookie dough into the pan until it forms a crust.
Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool pizza completely, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla with a mixer on low speed until thoroughly combined. (Feel free to taste test to make sure.)
*Heat jelly over low heat, adding water. Bring to a rolling boil. Set aside.
Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled crust.
Spread apricot jelly/water mixture on top of cream cheese mix.
Arrange fruit to top it off.
Chill for an hour.

Store in refrigerator.

*You can omit this step if you like and just spread the jelly over the cream cheese, but I wanted a slightly less thick version.

Now you can almost feel good about your dessert choice.

Almost.

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blackberry ice cream

Last summer, I made my first attempt at blackberry ice cream.  Homemade blackberry ice cream.  Lucky me…I just happened to have an ice cream maker that I’d received for a wedding gift several years back.  Of course, I’d never taken it out of the box, but that’s beside the point.  The first attempt at ice cream turned out well.  Unfortunately, I didn’t photograph it…therefore, I didn’t blog about it.  Truth be told, maybe that was a good thing.  Because it gave me something to do this Memorial Day weekend.  You know, gave me an excuse to make and eat some stinking good ice cream.

blackberry ice cream

Truth is, it wasn’t terribly hard to make. And remember, if I can make it, anyone can make it.

blackberry ice cream
ingredients:
2 pints fresh blackberries
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups half & half
1 cup sugar

5 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

equipment needs:
fine mesh strainer
ice cream maker

directions:
Add blackberries to medium saucepan, adding 1/4 cup sugar and juice of 1/2 lemon. Cover and cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes.
Drain using the fine mesh strainer, pressing the berries until as much juice as possible has been extracted. Set juice aside.

Next, heat half & half and the remaining 1 cup sugar in a separate sauce pan over low heat. Turn heat off once mixture is totally heated through.

In a separate bowl, add heavy cream. Set aside.

Beat egg yolks until yolks are pale yellow and slightly thick. Temper the yolks by drizzling 1 1/2 cups of half and half/sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Next, pour the egg/half & half mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the half & half mixture. Cook over low to medium-low heat until the mixture is thick. Stirring constantly. No really, keep stirring.

Drain the custard mix using the fine mesh strainer. Pour into the heavy cream. Stir to combine.
Add blackberry juice to the cream/custard mixture and stir well.

Chill mixture completely, then follow your ice cream maker instructions.

See, easy.
bberry diptych

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Blondies

It’s so rare that I sit behind my home computer anymore.  Honestly, these days with work the way it is (insane), the thought of getting back onto a computer sounds about as appealing as having my head shaved. Thus the reason I stay away. Kind of sad actually, because I was given this recipe almost exactly a month ago. I know, I’m pathetic.

I finally give you….

Blondies.

1 ½ c. (7 ½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
12 T (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ c. packed dark brown sugar
½ c. white sugar (a little shy of ½ c.)
2 large eggs
1 ½ t. vanilla extract
¾ c. semisweet chocolate chips
¾ c. white chocolate chips

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees.
Pan prep/trick for easy removal:
Spray 13 x 9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Fold two 16-inch pieces of parchment paper or foil lengthwise so that one piece measures 9 inches wide and the other measures 13 inches wide.
Lay one piece along the length of the pan then the other one across the width of the pan. Make sure to press the paper or foil down into the corners so they lie flat. What you are going for is to have the pieces criss-crossed with rather clean corners in the pan . . . but with extra length hanging over each side. The extra length makes “handles” to remove the blondies after cooking and cooling. Spray the sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Whisk the melted butter and sugars together in a medium bowl until combined. Add the eggs (beat first) and vanilla and mix well.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture just until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX. Fold in the semisweet and white chocolate chips and nuts, if using.

Turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Use the spatula to gently pull the batter into the corners and try to get a uniform thickness.

Bake until the top is shiny and cracked and feels firm to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Cool the pan completely on a wire rack. Remove the blondies from the pan using the foil or parchment handles and transfer to a cutting board.

Use a large bread or serrated knife to cut into 20 or 24 bars and serve. Hint: To have clean edges, you can use the knife to trim all the way around the bars before cutting into squares.

*Okay, I have to admit, I didn’t follow this recipe exactly. I used bleached flour and light brown sugar because well, I had them on hand. However, even though they tasted fantastic, they weren’t as great as my friend Mark’s version.  So yeah, you might want to actually use the ingredients that the recipe calls for. 

*Ps. I wish I could say I didn’t eat one of those blondies in the photo. Well, actually, technically, I didn’t eat one.  Nope. I ate them all.

Happy Saturday everybody!

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Chicken Toscana Soup

A few weekends ago, I was invited to participate in a “soup swap”. Living in the ‘burbs, I’m learning that there are far more domestic things going on out here…including “soup swaps”. So I took to twitter and asked for soup recipes because come on, I certainly don’t have any. Within minutes I had 3 ready to go. With the urging of my sister, I chose to go with Chicken Toscana Soup.

toscana chicken soup

Ingredients
Olive Oil
1 cup chopped onion
2-5 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
3-4 cups cooked chicken (I recommend a store bought rotisserie chicken)
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 mini gnocchi packages
1 1/2 cup half-and-half
2-3 cups skim milk
2-3 cups spinach leaves (torn)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
fresh basil

Directions:
Cook onion and garlic in olive oil. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add the gnocchi, cook 2 minutes. Add chicken and tomatoes, simmer. Sprinkle in cheese, simmer for 5-8 minutes. Add cream and milk. Add spinach. Stir together.  Top with basil.

Remove from heat.

From my one attempt, I thought that leaving this soup on a low heat for a while afterwards really thickened this bad boy up. And the flavors just blended incredibly well together.

I hope you enjoy this soup half as much as I did.
Happy Friday!

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Two New Recipes

As you know, things have been a little quiet on the blogging front for me over the past few months.   Work and life have been hectic and so I haven’t had as much time to spend in the kitchen baking fun, tasty things. The past three weekends I’ve actually been baking.  Now, they were nothing but whoopie pies, which I’ve made before, but hey, at least I’m back in the kitchen.  See, being in the kitchen does actually make me happy.

Exhibit A:

So that’s why I’m working on two new recipes.  I have to see which one suits me best, but it could be a few weeks before I know for sure.

In the meantime, here are the ingredients for both recipes:

Recipe #1:
sugar
spice
everything nice

Recipe #2:
frogs
snails
puppy dog tails

 

ps. yeap, that’s me.
at 17 weeks. but hey, how cool is my cooktop?
pps. ignore the ugly cabinets.

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Huevos Rancheros

huevos rancheros

I know, I know. Hell apparently has frozen over. I’m blogging! Crazy, right? Just know that I’m going to start making more of an effort. I promise.

Now, let’s get back to the food. If you’ve ever had huevos rancheros at more than one restaurant, you’ll know they never taste the same twice. They can include a multitude of ingredients. And be served many different ways. Since I’m too lazy to find out how you’re really supposed to make them, I went with a pretty fool proof recipe. I’m pretty sure this recipe isn’t exactly authentic, but you know what? When it tastes this good, I’m not too concerned about how authentic it is.

Huevos Rancheros
(serves 2)
Ingredients:
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
12 oz ground chorizo (since I didn’t go hunting for chorizo, I used spicy Italian sausage, out of the case, diced into small chunks)
1/2 can refried beans
1/2 can fire roasted tomatoes (which you can find at any grocery store on the canned tomato aisle)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 corn tortillas
1 tbsp butter
5 eggs
1 tbsp milk

Additional:
sour cream
mexican cheese blend
(3 skillets)

The original recipe can be found here, on Life’s Ambrosia, but again, I switched a few things up.

To make:
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 of the diced onions and cook until softened. Stir in sausage/chorizo. Cook 5-7 minutes until sausage is cooked through. Stir in refried beans. Cook an additional 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

In another skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add in remaining onions and cook until softened. Stir in fire roasted tomatoes and add salt. Cook for 5 minutes over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low.

Heat last remaining tbsp of oil in yet another skillet. Cook tortillas for 30 seconds on each side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Once tortillas are cooked, drain oil from skillet. Melt butter over low to medium heat. Meanwhile, scramble up eggs using the tbsp of milk. Add to the skillet and scramble until eggs are done. Top with cheese and melt through. Remove from heat.

To assemble:
Place one tortilla on a plate, top with sausage/refried beans. Top with second tortilla. Add scrambled eggs. Spoon tomatoes over top. Add cheese and sour cream.

Enjoy!

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Guest blogger: Becki D!

I suck.
There, I said it. I’ve been a horrendous blogger. No real reason other than being exhausted and kind of burned out on the computer as a whole. No lie. Where I once used to come home from work and spend the night religiously on the computer blogging, reading other’s blogs, I now avoid the computer entirely.
It’s crazy. I know.

But I promise I’m going to try harder.
Because in all honesty, I’ve missed you guys.

And even though I’m blogging right now, this is still a tad bit of a lie. Because Becki D. from becki bakes is taking over after this point to guest blog for me.

So thanks guys. Thanks for sticking with me and my sheer laziness. And now, I’m turning the mic over to Becki and her insanely delicious Chicken Alfredo and Dip’Um Recipe.

***************************************************************************************

Elastic Waistband Club: Man-Pleasin’ Meal

Let’s be real – this meal is definitely woman-pleasin’, but it makes me feel better if I can blame the consumption of this creamy, buttery, carb-loaded goodness on the Hubs. 

So.

Dave’s absolute favorite home-cooked meal: Chicken Alfredo and Dip’Um (Lauren’s name for spicy oil and vinegar bread dip).

Chicken Alfredo with Artichoke Hearts
Ingredients:
-1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
-1 box mini bowtie pasta (or pasta of your choice)
-1 can artichoke hearts, drained (optional, but they are totally awesome)
-1 stick butter
-1 cup heavy cream
-1 1/2 cups fresh grated parmesan cheese
-3 tbsp olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:
-Pour olive oil and minced garlic in large saucepan over medium heat. Saute diced chicken until thoroughly cooked.
-Bring saucepan of water to boil while cooking chicken.
-Add artichoke hearts and butter, continue stirring until it is completely melted.
-Add pasta to your boiling water and cook as directed on package
-Add cream and parmesan to chicken, stirring until everything is completely incorporated and sauce has slightly thickened.
-Drain pasta and pour into large serving bowl, pour chicken mixture over top and mix thoroughly.

Dip’Um
Ingredients:
-1 cup extra virgin olive oil
-2/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 1/2 tbsp dried basil
-1 tbsp dried oregano
-1 tsp dried thyme
-1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
-1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Can be made up to 1 day in advance – the further ahead you make it, the better the ingredients meld. Though we often make it right before dinner, and it’s good that way too!

Serve with warm, crusty Italian bread.
becki d

Thanks so much to Becki D. for sharing this butter filled pasta goodness!

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WTW – Fun With Leftover Halloween Candy {guest blogger- amy}

Hi guys! Katie here. I’m taking a mental holiday today (for no real reason) so I’ve asked the incredibly brilliantly humorously talented Amy from Fix It Or Deal to help fill in for today’s White Trash Wednesday installment. And in typical Amy fashion, she has brought her A-Game. And instead of taking up anymore time, I’m going to let Amy get right to it….

I did not have any trick or treaters visit my house this Halloween. I expected as much because there are not many young children in my neighborhood and the few that there are get chauffeured to nicer, more brightly lit neighborhoods for candy. Even though I knew that I probably wouldn’t have any goblins begging at my door, I still bought enough candy to choke a zombie. Why? I don’t know. Call me an optimist. My candy cauldron is always half full.

 
Now, there is the pressing issue of what to do with all the leftovers. Well, I filled a gallon size freezer bag and left it in the break room at my office with a sign stating, “My chronic over-preparedness is now supplying your 3 o’clock sugar fix.” That put a large dent in my candy stockpile, but it did not exhaust it.
 
Then, one evening while enjoying a glass of red wine in front of the television, inspiration struck. The following drink recipes are the results of my little brainstorm.
 

Sangria

1 small orange Pixy Stix
1 glass red wine
Mix together in glass or just chase a mouthful of candy with a swig of wine.
 

Mulled Wine

1 small orange Pixy Stix
1 glass red wine
1 Atomic Fireball
Mix together and zap in the microwave for one to two minutes. Stir and enjoy!
 

Chocolate Martini

1 fun size Milky Way, chopped
2 oz vodka
Combine in a blender and liquefy on high for one minute. Don’t bother looking for your martini glasses. Who are you trying to impress? Just drink it straight from the blender pitcher you prima donna.
 

Chocolate Covered PB&J

two Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped
two small grape Pixy Stix
4 oz vodka (or more for courage)
Combine in a blender and liquefy on high for one minute. Drink straight from blender pitcher while contemplating exactly how your life went horribly, spectacularly wrong. Seriously. And call your mom, she’s worried sick about you.  

 

 Reason #412 why I love Amy. Thanks sweets for what might rank as the best WTW post to ever grace this little blog.

For those of you who are new to Amy, why don’t you head on over to her little corner of the internet at Fix It Or Deal. Trust me, you may never want to leave.


 

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A White Trash Wednesday Miracle

I made you a promise and I actually kept it.  And in a (semi) timely manner no less. It’s shocking really because I’m one of those people who has all of these grandiose plans…made with the sincerest of intentions. Then life gets in the way. Really, it does. Between that 9-5 gig that pays for the roof over my head and the clothes on my back, the weekends away, the long commutes, the early morning workouts (say what?), the tv watching, and that side gig I’ve got going now, following through with certain commitments tends to fall by the wayside sometimes.

But I said I would make this meal and that’s exactly what I did.

And I’m thrilled I did for two reasons:
1. it was goooood.
2. it means I am, deep down, a little white trash.

And I’m okay with that.
Because deep down, I think that’s why you like me.

If you’re wondering what all of this nattering is about….it’s about the first official White Trash Wednesday poll.
It’s about the Tater Tot Casserole.
109

If you’re game and need a white trashy recipe to test out, by all means try this one.  But I do have a few thoughts. Mind if I share? Good. Thanks for playing along.
The recipe calls for cream of mushroom soup to be mixed with the ground beef. If you’re not one for the soup taste (my husband loathes the stuff), I say go for sour cream instead and while you’re at it, toss in a Lipton Onion soup mix for good measure.

I’m pretty sure I may go that route the next time I make the stuff.
And there will be a next time.

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Witch’s Brew

While visiting with my neighbors the other night, their son, this little guy:

052

gave me the cutest little Halloween treat ever…
a bag of Witch’s Brew.

005

And since we’re in the home stretch for all things Halloween, it needed to be shared…

Because who doesn’t love bat bones?
Or pigeon poop?
Or ghost noses?

I know I do.

So if you’ve got any last minute Halloween treats to whip up, this one should definitely go on your list.

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