Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chicken, Sun-dried Tomato, and Broccoli Pizza

A few days ago I found this Rachael Ray pizza recipe on the Food Network website and decided immediately that I had to make it. So I had a few friends over for dinner tonight and we made the pizza, minus the basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano, mostly because I don't care for basil and I didn't realize the recipe called for Parmigiano-Reggiano. Don't worry, you won't miss it. I was incredibly satisfied with this pizza, everyone else liked it, and it even felt fairly healthy for you. The prep also went by really quickly.

My adapted recipe:
1 16-oz whole wheat pizza dough
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 chicken breast
handful of broccoli florets
handful of sliced sun-dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil
skim ricotta cheese
shredded mozzarella
minced garlic
salt and pepper

Preheat over to 500 degrees.
Bring small pot of water to a boil, salt the water, and cook broccoli florets for a couple minutes. Drain.
Heat olive oil in small frying pan, add garlic and chicken, season with salt and pepper, and brown.
Roll out pizza dough. Spread ricotta cheese, then top with broccoli, chicken, and sun dried tomatoes, then finish with mozzarella. Lower oven to 450 degrees and bake 12-14 minutes.

Monday, January 26, 2009


The first time I had ever a snickerdoodle was when a good friend of mine came to Tucson for a visit and brought cookies from her mom. Don't be shocked when I tell you that I was about 19 at the time. Apparently, snickerdoodles just weren't to be found in my childhood and that is a shame because they are delicious. And I don't even really care for cinnamon! I have got to stop baking cookies with ingredients I think I don't like. But here is a snickerdoodle recipe from my handy-dandy Better Homes & Gardens, 14th edition cookbook. Also, best cookie name. Ever.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (lacking this ingredient, a quick google search told me I could sub in three times the called for amount with lemon juice; that would be 3/4 teaspoons lemon juice)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

In a medium mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add the 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar (lemon juice). Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in sugar mixture to coat. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 11 minutes or until edges are golden. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Peanut Butter Cookies

While this might be blasphemy to some, I don't actually care for peanut butter. I don't dislike it so much that I refuse to eat it, but it's also not a staple for me. In fact, I pretty much never buy peanut butter. But I've got a friend who loves peanut butter cookies, and as a thank you for a favor, I made him some. And oh my, they were so delicious. I'm not a peanut butter convert, but I think I could definitely enjoy a good peanut butter cookie every once in awhile now.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook, 14th edition:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

Beat butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour. If necessary, cover and chill dough until easy to handle. (I don't find it necessary to chill the dough).

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten by making crisscross marks with the tines of a fork. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes (I bake for about 7 1/2 minutes) or until bottoms are light brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas in Sour Cream Sauce

For some crazy reason, I really felt like having enchiladas this week. I invited a friend over and made us some chicken enchiladas in a sour cream sauce with a side of calabacitas, a cheesy squash dish. I've made this recipe once before, using a prepared roast chicken from the grocery store. This time around, I just boiled a couple of chicken breasts. Next time around, I'm either going back to the prepared chicken or finding another way to prepare the chicken breasts. Just a plain boiled breast makes for a pretty plain chicken and the sauce isn't enough to cover it up. The original recipe also calls for frying the tortillas, but the first time I prepared this recipe, I was told by a former coworker that all the Mexican moms she knows just microwave the tortillas. For sake of time and lack of mess, I choose to just microwave them too. This also however might explain why they break a little easier.

Slightly modified recipe from

One boned chicken, skinned, and diced
1 doz. corn tortillas
1/2 c. cooking oil
2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 c. butter
3/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/4 c. all purpose flour
2 c. chicken broth
1 c. dairy sour cream
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies

In large bowl combine cheese, onion and chicken. Fry
tortillas in large skillet, one at a time in hot oil for 15
seconds each side (spread newspaper or paper sack for
draining tortillas as you cook them.)* Spoon chicken mixture
on all twelve tortillas, roll up and place seam side down in
large baking pan.

In saucepan, melt butter, blend in flour, add chicken broth,
and cook until mixture thickens and bubbles. Stir in sour
cream and green chilies. Cook until heated through, but DO
NOT BOIL. Pour sauce over tortillas and bake at 425 degrees
for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve piping hot.

*Tortillas can be microwaved instead of fried.

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

1 box pound cake mix
Eggs and milk as per box
1 can strawberry pie filling
1 can whipped cream

1. Preheat oven as per box.

2. Mix batter as per box.

3.  Spoon about 1 tablespoon of batter into the bottom of your lined cake cups.

4.  Spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling over batter.

5 . Cover filling with another tablespoon of batter.

6. Bake as per box (my mix took 35 minutes at 350).

7. Remove cupcakes from pans, let cool.

8. Once cool top with whipped cream.


Pretty good. My pie filling tasted a bit like jelly, so maybe next time I will make my own filling (cut strawberries into slices, cover with sugar, let sit overnight in fridge). I used the new canned Cool Whip as a topping and cut x's into the top of each one before putting it on so that it would melt in a little.

I enjoyed it and believe that the recipe would work well with any type of pie filling (next time I'm going to try cherry, which is my favorite type of pie). 

Friday, January 9, 2009

Italian Pot Pies

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound ground beef sirloin thawed
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 450 with the rack in lowest position.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onion, carrots, salt and pepper and cook till tender (6-8 minutes). Add beef and cook until no longer pink (you'll want to break up the beef into smaller pieces). Add tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Stir occasionally until the sauce thickens. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, wisk flour, Parmesan, baking powder, rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add butter and milk. Stir until dough comes together.

4. Spoon meat mixture into 8-ounce ramekins or a medium sized pyrex container.

5. Mound dough on top.

6. Bake until dough is golden brown (10-12 minutes).


Brandon and I both agreed that this one was a keeper, even though I messed up a few ingredients here and there.

If you use 1/4 cup of milk instead of 1/2, the dough will be somewhat grainy but still good. Something to think about. Also, we used a canned marinara sauce that we found cheap at Trader Joe's, but I think that Newman's Own with everything in it would be amazing.

Also, we used ground turkey instead of ground beef, which is a classic Brandon and Sarah move. The turkey tasted great and is a good way to healthy up the recipe a little. (Though it looks like slime when you put in in a pan, so maybe if you're a queasy type you should stick with beef or chicken.)

Everyday Food issue 58.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

Tonight, I decided to go for a baking frenzy, but only succeeded in making blueberry muffins because I ran out of flour. So much for the baking frenzy. But now I at least have breakfast for the rest of the week. This recipe comes to you by way of Pioneer Woman, one of my favorite daily blog reads. I made a couple adjustments to the recipe due to what I had on hand, but I was pleased enough with the result. The color of the muffins was a little too dark for my tastes, and I tried to adjust the cooking time by five minutes when I put in the second batch, but then it didn't seem long enough. Looks aside, the muffins are pretty tasty and will make a perfect quick breakfast.

3 cups minus 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
Dash of nutmeg
Heavy pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup veggie oil (I used canola)
1 egg
1 generous cup plain yogurt (I used light vanilla)
2 cups blueberries
vanilla extract
softened butter (for muffin tins)
Turbinado sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 385 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, cap-ful of vanilla extract, egg, and yogurt. Add the dry ingredients and stir to a count of 10.

Add blueberries to mixture and stir 3 times.

Add mixture to well-buttered muffin tins. (I skipped the buttered tins and just put down cupcake wrappers). Sprinkle berries on top and press down. (I also skipped this step). Sprinkle turbinado sugar over top. Brown sugar can be substituted. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Turkey Paprikash

Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 ounces whole-wheat egg noodles
1 small boneless, skinless turkey breast half (about 2 ounces) cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (14.5 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1. Cook noodles al dente according to package and drain. 

2. In a bowl, toss turkey with 1 tablespoon paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Heat oil over medium. Brown turkey (3-5 minutes) and transfer to plate. 

3. Add onions to skillet and cook till tender (4-6 minutes).

4. Return turkey to skillet. Add tomatoes, paprika and 1/2 cup of water.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until turkey is opaque throughout (2 to 4 minutes).

5. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream and season with salt and pepper.

6. Serve over noodles.


This is a light version of a Hungarian favorite. I'm pretty sure an original recipe would call for pork, which isn't really my thing. If I made it again I would probably sub chicken for the turkey, just out of habit.

Pretty easy to cook, little to no prep needed. Takes about 30 minutes total to make. Brandon liked it a lot, but it tasted a little too "old world" to me. Brandon claims that he has won my Hungarian-ness because of this.

If you like paprika, this is a good recipe for you.

I'd suggest a regular egg noodles, but I'm not big on whole wheat noodles anyway. (They get a little squishy.) Also, we used crushed tomatoes spiced with basil and garlic, which I think added some complexity to the flavor. Crusty bread would be great with it.

Recipe from Everyday Food, issue 59.