Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pizza Pockets

Pizza usually flies with everyone. Around here there are no two people who like the same combination of toppings on a pizza,  we do however have a few in common. Cheese, lots of it, then onion,s and mushrooms, that is the base, peppers on half, olives on the other half, turkey pepperoni down the middle so there is some pepper with pepperoni and some olive with pepperoni but not on all of it. Sound like too much trouble? I only do this the last few years, after two of my children have moved out. I used to make the whole pie the same except for the pepperoni which one of us absolutely won't eat, since that person is the cook then she gets what she wants, pure and simple.

This is a simple version of pizza, hand held, single serving, very convenient if you need portion control, or want to freeze some for lunches, snacks, or "crazy busy" nights.

I used the French bread dough found here: and our favorite toppings.To make them super easy just use some frozen dough from the supermarket.
 The one in the photo is mine, cheese, a little sauce, mushrooms, olives, and onions.
 Mmmm, can't wait for leftovers!
Roll out the dough.

Cut into pieces, I have four here. Load with toppings, remember that you have to fold each one over and roll and crimp the edges so don't put so much that the dough tears.
 About that much.
Now fold half over and roll the ends up slightly to seal. Place on a parchment lined, or lightly greased, sheet pan.

Brush with garlic butter, or olive oil, sprinkle with oregano.
Set aside to rise for 45 minutes.
Bake at 350F. for 25-35 minutes, depends on how large and full you made them, or until golden. Let rest for 10 minutes so the cheese settles and doesn't run out, dribbling all down your shirt.
For freezing, wrap well in freezer paper, freeze for up to 4 months. I like to place individually wrapped pockets in a large ziploc bag so they stay together.
My family likes extra pizza sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rich, Smoky, Cheddar Noodles

 One cold wintry day, ...who am I kidding, what day isn't perfect for pasta and cheese! Warm, creamy, slightly smoky with just a hint of spice, so good! I should also mention it was quick and easy.
 1 12oz. bag egg noodles, I like the wide because they seem to hold more sauce
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2-3/4 cup milk
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to salt water
1 cup (or more) finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon ancho chile pepper powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook noodles until tender.
While noodles boil, in a medium sauce pan, melt butter. When butter is melted, add the flour, stirring until thick, immediately add the milk, stirring to incorporate.
Press the garlic, or mince and add, into the milk mixture. Add the salt, cheese, ancho chile, smoked paprika, and dry mustard.
 Stir over medium low heat until all is combined and sauce is creamy.
Don't forget to keep checking the noodles, drain in a colander when tender. Add drained noodles to sauce, stir gently.
Don't forget the vegetable to round out the meal!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Angel Biscuits, Everything You Want in a Biscuit Then Some

I know, that's a lot of butter, but that is how I like my biscuits, no excuses. These came out light and fluffy, with a mellow, yeasty flavor. You don't usually think of biscuits with yeast but it added not only depth of flavor but a bit more airy-ness (not sure that is a real word, but it works). Still mixed up in only a few minutes but had to rise for 30 minutes before baking, worth the extra time.
2 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup real butter
1 cup buttermilk (See below for substitutes)
Dissolve yeast in water, set aside for 5 minutes until frothy. This photo shows it after it became all frothy, sometimes it gets this much higher and sometimes not, as long as it appears foamy you know the yeast is working.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. 
Cut in the cold butter.
Stir in the buttermilk and yeast mixture.
Turn out onto floured counter, sprinkle top with flour, roll to 1/2 inch. 
Cut with floured biscuit cutter or a drinking glass.

Re roll the rest of dough, repeat until it is all used, after a couple times all that's left is a small ball, just roll it and shape in your hands. Place all the biscuits on a lightly greased sheet pan. Cover with a clean towel for 30 minutes. 
Bake in a 400F. oven for 12 minutes or until lightly golden.
Enjoy hot with (or without) butter, or honey.
Substitute for buttermilk:
For 1 cup, put 2 teaspoons lemon juice or cider vinegar into the 1 cup measuring cup, top off with fresh milk. Allow to set for 2-5 minutes, it will thicken and sour. Bonus--this is called "clabber", during a conversation regarding coffee cake and how to get a light airy rise, my friend's mother was explaining the use of milk soured with apple cider vinegar, or "clabber". I had been substituting milk soured with lemon juice for buttermilk for years but had no idea it had a name. Thank you Donna!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hot Cheese Dip, Mildly Spicy Yet So Much Flavor!

We threw together a game night with some great friends and lots of snacks, easy, fun, and relaxing!
This gooey, cheesy goodness mixed up in about 5 minutes (including the time it took to fish it out of the fridge), and baked for 20 minutes.
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup mayo
1- 4 oz. can diced, green chilies
1- 4 1/2 oz can sliced, black olives
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
Several drops of hot sauce, like Frank's
1 medium tomato
1/4 cup chopped onion
4 green onions, sliced thinly
Tortilla chips
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, place the cheese, mayo, chilies, onion, garlic, hot sauce, and half the black olives.

Stir well.
Spoon into a pie plate or 8x8 baking dish.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Ohhh, myyy!!!
Top with the tomato, remaining olives, and green onions. Serve warm with chips. Caution, watch for stampede!