Sunday, January 30, 2011

Garlic Bread Pizza-Sauce Optional

Thick crust, airy, slightly crisp on the bottom, layered with melted cheese and yummy toppings. Serve with a big green salad to keep some balance!
My son and I are not much for pizza smothered with bland tomato sauce so I have been serving this white pizza with sauce on the side for quite a few years, it's always a hit with guests and family. So do yourself a favor and order a copy of "The Free Ride" from Sanctum Entertainment and have a family movie/pizza night, chocolate milkshake optional.
1 1/3 cups warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour (I use spelt)
3 tablespoons olive oil to grease pan
Into a large mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water. Allow to rest and get frothy, 10 minutes.
Add the salt and flour. Mix then knead for 10 minutes. Let rest 20 minutes.
Spread the olive oil onto a 10x15 inch sheet pan. Then spread the dough evenly onto pan with your finger tips, working it into the corners, as it rises it will fill the the pan.
Garlic Butter:
5 tablespoons butter
5-6 cloves of garlic
Press garlic into the melted butter.
Brush this onto crust.
Top with shredded mozzarella or provolone.
Toppings of your choice, I used onions, banana peppers, black olives, and mushrooms.
Sprinkle with a pinch of Italian seasoning.
Allow to rise for 15 minutes, unless it took that long to top it, the crust should have doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 425F.
Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. Like this:
You want a piece don't you--did you finish all your salad? :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Refreshing Quinoa Salad

This was really tasty, and packed with nutrition, low fat and mostly raw. Who can ask for more?
You can adjust the vegetables to different seasonal varieties or ethnic flavors, Greek, Italian, Tex-Mex, you choose the possibilities are as endless as the combinations of produce available to you.

The health benefits of quinoa are outstanding not only is it gluten free but it is a complete protein, loaded with magnesium, copper, manganese and fiber. Pair it with lots of fresh veggies and cheese, if you like, and it is one tasty bowl of goodness.

I started with one cup of dry quinoa.
Add 2 cups of water.
 Simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Now this looks interesting. My son wrinkled his nose.
Set this aside to cool.
 Chop the veggies, this is what I used this time.
1 cucumber
2 cloves garlic
2 small tomatoes
1 medium tomatilla
1 small onion
1 avocado
3-4 tablespoons cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil, more or less
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup feta, crumbled, optional
Put all in a bowl and toss.
Add the cooked, cooled quinoa.
Top with cheese if desired, cheese is always desired here. And maybe some olives.
Next time I am going to try corn, tomato, garlic (always), onion and cheddar.
Good food, good for you!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hot Bubbly Raspberry Cobbler

While rooting around in the freezer for cooked chicken I found a large container of raspberries I had stashed away in July when I picked them, alone, which is the only way to get any into the freezer. Since I was baking a pot pie and would have the oven running it seemed to be a good time for a cobbler.

No need to thaw the berries or if they are fresh, well then, pop a handful into your mouth then proceed.

I used a baking dish which is an odd size (every thing around here is odd ), but the recipe will be perfect in a 9x9x2 inch square.

7-8 cups berries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour ( I used white spelt )
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cold, in chunks
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Start by breaking up the berries. Then toss with the corn starch and spread evenly in the greased baking dish.
Into the food processor put the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar.
 Pulse a few times to mix. Then add the cold butter pulsing until it looks like coarse crumbs or oatmeal.
Then add the milk, lemon juice and egg, pulse just until mixed, don't over mix or it will be dry and tough.
Spread over the berries with a spoon or spatula.
Spread as evenly as possible.
Bake at 350F. for 45 minutes, the berries should be bubbling and the cobbler topping should be golden brown and crisp on top.
This is wonderful as is or serve with vanilla ice cream or a splash of cream or half and half. Wow!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Brandon's Perfect Griddle Cakes

My son has many talents, many, and among them toward the top is pancake making. He is the best, and is teaching his son all the ins and outs early. This post has a good amount of photos because, well, they are so cute.
The sun was just starting to stream into the kitchen when Brandon gathered all the ingredients and set them on the counter.
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (I use white spelt)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 tablespoons melted butter or oil
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
Butter and syrup or whatever you like on top of your cakes
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
Next, you get a chair for the "extra special assistant" and let him help crack the egg.
Add the milk and oil, stirring until combined. 
Sprinkle the baking powder across the top of the mixed batter.
Add the vinegar.
Watch it foam, home school science fun in the kitchen. Now ask some questions, what caused this reaction? How long did it last? Will it happen every time? And...may we do this again tomorrow morning?
Okay, now give it a couple stirs to combine but don't crush the bubbles because that's how the griddle cakes get so fluffy.
Heat a frying pan over medium high heat until a drop of water dances. Put a pat of butter into the pan and drop 1/3 cup of batter into the pan.
After the middle bubbles a bit the edges will look more solid and cooked. Flip it carefully.
This one is for the "special assistant".
 A couple chocolate chips for eyes...
Master pancake flipper and "special assistant's" Daddy!
He also humors his Momma with a photo.