Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 29, 2012

I love the quiet time of the morning. All is still. The only sound I hear is chimes lightly blowing on the patio and the flames of the fire. 

I'm enjoying my first cup of coconut coffee with whipped cream on top. I made a cherry-coconut cake yesterday so I'm having a small slice of that too. I've posted a picture here on the left. As you can see, it's a sheet cake. I usually like to drizzle a bit of chocolate on top but I didn't have any this go-round so I had to settle for only cherries-and-coconut. It's the first cake I've made since we moved and it felt good to bake again.  - - - With laptop in hand I can't think of a better morning before sunlight. Now here's the holidays & Events for the day.

Holidays & Observances

  • The most notable reason for celebration on this day belongs to the Sherlock fandom. The 29th of January marks the day on which Sherlock Holmes and John Watson were introduced through Mike Stamford.

  • National Corn Chip Day - "Corn chips are most often eaten alone or with a chip dip." "They are a common ingredient in homemade and commercial party mix." "In the Southwestern US, a popular dish is made by adding chili to a bag of corn chips and eating the mixture from the bag."

  • National Carnation Day - is celebrated each and every year in America on January 29th. Many are not aware that the carnation is the "Birth Flower" for those born in the month of January.

  • World Leprosy Dayobserved internationally on January 30 or its nearest Sunday to increase the public awareness of the Leprosy or Hansen's Disease. This day was chosen in commemoration of the death of Gandhi, the leader of India who understood the importance of leprosy. Leprosy is one of the oldest recorded diseases in the world. It is an infectious chronic disease that targets the nervous system, especially the nerves in the cooler parts of the body - the hands, feet, and face.

  • Curmudgeons Day
  • Freethinker’s Day
  • Puzzle Day

Events

Sneak Peak for February (our website)

Friday, January 27, 2012

RECIPE: Mocha-Hazelnut Cream-Filled Cake

RECIPE: Mocha-Hazelnut Cream-Filled Cake
Perfect for National Chocolate Cake Day which is celebrated every January 27th!


I wanted to pass on this Pillsbury photo & recipe because as far as a chocolate cake goes... you can't get any better than this. I say this because I enjoy the flavor of hazelnut mixed with chocolate & this recipe uses a whole 16oz. bottle of hazelnut coffee creamer. It also has a 8oz. pack of cream cheese & those who know me well know I cook lots with cream cheese.  Last but not least, nuts & chocolate just go together & this recipe has a touch of chopped hazelnuts too.


RECIPE: Mocha-Hazelnut Cream-Filled Cake

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 box (18.25 oz) butter recipe chocolate cake mix
  • Butter
  • Water
  • Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules or crystals
  • 2 bags (12 oz each) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bottle (16 oz) refrigerated hazelnut-flavor coffee creamer
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts (filberts)


DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of two 9-inch round pans. Prepare cake mix as directed on box using butter, water and eggs and adding coffee granules; pour batter into pans. Bake as directed on box. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans and place on wire racks.
2. In 3-quart saucepan, cook chocolate chips and coffee creamer over medium-low heat about 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until melted. Remove from heat; beat in cream cheese with wire whisk until smooth. Cover; refrigerate about 30 minutes.
3. In small microwavable bowl, reserve 1/2 cup of the chocolate mixture; set aside for topping. Beat remaining mixture on medium-high speed 8 minutes or until it forms a light and fluffy frosting.
4. Place 1 cake layer on serving plate, rounded side down. Spread 1-inch-thick layer of frosting over cake. Top with second cake layer, rounded side up. Spread frosting on side and top of cake.
5. Microwave reserved 1/2 cup chocolate mixture on High 30 seconds or until soft; spread over top of cake. Sprinkle hazelnuts around top edge. Cover loosely; refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

RECIPE: Double-Delight Peanut Butter Cookies

RECIPE: Double-Delight Peanut Butter Cookies
Perfect for National Peanut Butter Day!

I like this recipe because, Well... it's all about the peanut butter! Not only is it a great cookie with a surprising touch of cinnamon and chopped peanuts but it's filled with peanut butter too! I think it's a perfect cookie for those who want to celebrate peanut butter. :)


Note: Our Food Calendar also celebrates National Peanut Butter Lovers month the month of November.


DESCRIPTION BY PILLSBURY
"It's a twist on the classic peanut butter cookie! Crunchy outside, creamy inside, with just a hint of cinnamon. A real winner!"

RECIPE: Double-Delight Peanut Butter Cookies
INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup Fisher® Dry Roasted Peanuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup JIF® Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated peanut butter cookies, well chilled
DIRECTIONS
1.Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix chopped peanuts, granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
2.In another small bowl, stir peanut butter and powdered sugar until completely blended. Shape mixture into 24 (1-inch) balls.
3.Cut roll of cookie dough into 12 slices. Cut each slice in half crosswise to make 24 pieces; flatten slightly. Shape 1 cookie dough piece around 1 peanut butter ball, covering completely. Repeat with remaining dough and balls.
4.Roll each covered ball in peanut mixture; gently pat mixture completely onto balls. On ungreased large cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart. Spray bottom of drinking glass with CRISCO® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray; press into remaining peanut mixture. Flatten each ball to 1/2-inch thickness with bottom of glass. Sprinkle any remaining peanut mixture evenly on tops of cookies; gently press into dough.
5.Bake 7 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Store tightly covered.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Today I'm Happy and Sad at the same time.

I was born and raised in Alabama... and as a kid I always said I would move to Florida. Well around 18 years old I did just that! That was so long ago but I so love the beach, the sand between my toes, the warm weather, the beaming sun, the smell of the ocean, the sway of the palm trees, the wonderful breezes and sounds of the sea gulls. Florida has been my home for most of my life but today I sadly say goodbye to the world and life style that I love so much- and hello to a southern life style I also love, but must get reacquainted with.

The moving truck is on it's way... and before the day is out I will be packed and on my way to Alabama. The last 2 years have been hard. Many of you know I've made trip after trip after trip to Alabama because of my Mother being sick and then again after her death. Well today me and the hubby will be leaving Panama City Florida and moving in my Mother & Daddy's home for good. As I said I'm happy and sad at the same time. You see we were all born and raised in this home so it means a lot to me. My grandfather built the house and the memories go on and on. But the truth is.... We can't keep up 2 houses. I'm just too old to keep up the money fight now so I have to let one go.

So today... I trade in my palm trees for pine trees. I trade in my seafood dishes for pinto beans and cornbread. I trade in the sand on the beach for clay on the creek banks. I trade in my pina coladas for sweet tea. I trade in my swim suits for hiking boots. Goodbye Friday night pizza delivery and hello deer meat and gravy. Today I get ready for mud on my feet instead of sand between my toes.

The positive side is... I will be cozying-up to a roaring fire in the fireplace now. My 2 brothers will be my neighbors so we get to share in a lot more family gathering. I will be living in the country instead of in the city limits so I get to enjoy nature which I love. I get to take long walks down little mountain streams and pick wild flowers. I get to look out my window at the deer feeding. I get to make pine-comb wreaths and mint tasting treats. And last but not least... I have a lot more room to garden. :)

Time to turn a page in life, 
Pam

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bistro-Style Onion and Artichoke Galette

Bistro-Style Onion and Artichoke Galette


For my 7th and last pizza post in honor of National Pizza Week I wanted to pick a recipe I've never made before. I think this was a winning recipe at a bake off contest at pillsbury.com.  When I saw how beautiful the pizza was I knew I had to post it for all to see. I really want to make this.


Bistro-Style Onion and Artichoke Galette

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon Crisco® Pure Vegetable Oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced sweet onion (such as Maui or Walla Walla; about 1 large)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt-free garlic and herb seasoning blend, if desired
  • 1 Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 oz Gruyère cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 1 jar (6 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, well drained, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped well-drained fire-roasted red bell peppers (from 7.5-oz jar)
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 EGGLAND’S BEST egg white, beaten
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
DIRECTIONS
1. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft and golden brown. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in vinegar and seasoning blend; cook 3 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375°F. Unroll pie crust on ungreased nonstick cookie sheet. Lightly brush mustard over crust.
3. Sprinkle 2/3 cup of the cheese over center of crust to within 1 1/4 inches of edge of crust. Spread onion evenly over cheese; top with artichokes and red peppers. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon chopped thyme and remaining 1/3 cup cheese. Fold 1 1/4-inch edge of crust over filling, pleating crust as necessary. Brush egg white over crust edge. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool 15 minutes.
4. To serve, cut into 8 wedges. Garnish with thyme sprigs. Serve warm.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tropical Chicken Pizza

Tropical Chicken Pizza

Here it is! My husbands favorite pizza. Tropical Chicken Pizza!
If there's one thing my husband is crazy about it's pineapple. He can't get enough of this sweet juicy fruit and he can't eat a pizza without it either. I say.... leave the pineapple off please. So to settle our differences we always end up making 2 pizzas. One without pineapple and one with pineapple. Hubby likes to remind me, it's not tropical chicken pizza if you leave the pineapple off.

Ohhh and check out the other ingredients! It also has coconut in it.  :)
INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated classic pizza crust
  • 1 tablespoon Crisco® Light Olive Oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce (thick variety)
  • 1 cup chopped deli rotisserie chicken (from 2-lb chicken)
  • 1 can (8 oz) pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (1 oz)
DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 425°F. Spray 15x12-inch cookie sheet with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
2. Unroll pizza crust dough on cookie sheet; press dough to edges of cookie sheet. Brush with oil. Sprinkle with garlic, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro and 2 tablespoons of the coconut. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until crust is just beginning to brown.
3. Spread teriyaki sauce over partially baked crust to within 1/2 inch of edges. Top evenly with chicken, pineapple and cheeses. Bake 8 to 10 minutes longer or until cheeses are melted and crust is golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons each cilantro and coconut.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pizza Bubble Ring Recipe

Pizza Bubble Ring Recipe

I'm a huge fan of pull-apart food and here's a recipe to add to my "pull-apart recipe list."  Looks like it's going to be my 5th pizza post in honor of National Pizza Week too.


Now let's talk about the recipe....
Like I mentioned above, I'm crazy about pull-apart foods. I think they're so much fun to make and just as much fun to pull apart and eat too. My experience with pull-apart food is that you have to eat it as soon as it comes out of the oven. It always pulls apart better and it's always ooie and gooier too. Especially when it's made with mozzarella cheese like this recipe. We all know how any recipe made with stringy and stretchy mozzarella cheese is always better HOT.

INGREDIENTS
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons LAND O LAKES® Butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cans (12 oz each) Pillsbury® Golden Layers® refrigerated original biscuits
  • 40 small slices pepperoni (about 3 oz)
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into 20 pieces
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups pizza sauce, heated


DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 12-cup fluted tube pan with CRISCO® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. In small bowl, mix melted butter, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
2. Separate 1 can of dough into 10 biscuits; press or roll each into 3-inch round. Place 2 pepperoni slices in center of each biscuit round. Top each with piece of mozzarella cheese. Bring dough up around filling; press edge to seal and shape each into ball. Roll in butter mixture; place 10 balls in pan.
3. Sprinkle dough balls with Parmesan cheese. Repeat with remaining can of biscuits, placing balls over balls in pan. Pour remaining butter mixture over top.
4. Bake 33 to 38 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Gently loosen bread from sides of pan. Place large heatproof plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. Remove pan. Serve warm with warm pizza sauce for dipping.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft) Bake 35 to 40 minutes.
Find more recipes at www.pillsbury.com.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Layered Pizza Dip

Layered Pizza Dip
Recipe by Pillsbury.com
Pizza Post #4. Happy National Pizza Week! For todays pizza post I wanted to keep in mind game days and football. So pull out those chips, crackers and bagel crisps because todays post is all about the dipping. Yep here's a dip that full of the flavors of pizza. 


Now let's talk about the recipe:
What can I say.... it's a dip that tastes like pizza. lol! Anything that tastes like pizza has to be good and anything that is a dip has to be good too. Especially when it has cream cheese in it. And looks at the ingredients ya'll. Remember that post I did a couple of days ago? It was a breakfast pizza (smoky brunch pizza made with salmon) Those of you who have been following my posts will remember how thrilled I was of the taste the soft cream cheese with chives and onions in the recipe made. Well here it is again! Yummie!


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (8-oz.) container soft cream cheese with chives and onions
  • 1/2 cup chunky pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pepperoni
  • 2 oz. (1/2 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 oz. (1/2 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese
DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°F. In ungreased 9-inch pie pan or 1 to 1 1/2-quart baking dish, layer all ingredients in order listed.
2. Bake at 350°F. for 10 to 15 minutes or until dip is hot and cheese is melted.
3. Serve warm with bagel crisps, bagel chips or crackers.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Deep-Dish Sausage Patty Pizza Recipe

Deep-Dish Sausage Patty Pizza Recipe
A Pillsbury.com recipe
Today I'm posting Pizza #3 in honor of National Pizza Week.


All I can say is thank God for cast-iron skillets. I love them! I cook most everything in a cast-iron skillet and it's always my first choice when I'm making a deep dish pizza too. Now you can use any kind of skillet you want for deep dish pizza but once you've tried cast-iron for pizza you won't go back to a regular skillet again.

Now let's talk about this recipe.
Sausage Patty Pizza: I think this was a winning recipe at a bake off contest at Pillsbury. I don't remember what year but it seems like it was just a couple of years ago.  My siter-in-law makes this exactly by the recipe because her kids really love sausage and since this pizza has a big sausage patty layer it's perfect for die-hard sausage lovers. For me.... I love deep-dish pizza made this way but I tend to only use half the sausage the recipe calls for. What can I say.... sausage doesn't like me as much as it use to. Do you know the way to heart-burn city?  I do remember when I could devour slice after slice without needing a whole bottle of tums. Ahhh those were the days. :)


INGREDIENTS:

Sauce
2 tablespoons Crisco® 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Pure Olive Oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes, drained, 1/2 cup juice reserved and tomatoes coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 dried bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 or 3 dashes pepper
Pizza
1 lb bulk sweet Italian pork sausage
2 tablespoons Crisco® 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Pure Olive Oil
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated classic pizza crust
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (1 lb)
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 400°F. In 2-quart saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook about 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until onion is tender. Stir in tomatoes, basil, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in reserved tomato juice. (Sauce should be thick.) Remove and discard bay leaf.
2. Meanwhile, spray 12-inch skillet with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Spread sausage over bottom of skillet into large patty. Cook over medium-high heat 5 to 8 minutes on each side, turning once, until no longer pink in center. (If necessary, cut patty in half or into quarters to turn.)
3. Coat bottom and side of 12-inch cast-iron skillet or other ovenproof skillet with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with cornmeal. Unroll pizza crust dough in skillet; press on bottom and at least halfway up side. Brush dough with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; prick bottom and sides of dough with fork. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over dough. Top with sausage patty, keeping patty in one piece.
4. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until crust is light golden brown. Spread sauce over sausage. Bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Significant January 2012

  • New Year's Day – January 1
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day - third Monday in January
  • Independence Day in Haiti – January 1
  • Handsel Monday in Scotland and northern England – First Monday
  • Three Wise Men Day, or Epiphany, in Latin America, Spain, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, and is, although not celebrated as widely or in the same way as in countries with a Spanish history, an official holiday in many European countries, for example Austria, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Liechtenstein, Slovakia and Croatia, as well as in parts of Germany and Switzerland.  – January 6
  • Russian and Ukrainian Christmas Eve, also known as Svyat Vechir – January 6
  • Coptic and Russian Orthodox Church Christmas – January 7
  • Plough Sunday in Scotland and northern England – Sunday after January 6
  • Coming of Age Day in Japan – Second Monday
  • National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the United States – January 11
  • Feast of the Santo Niño in the Philippines – *Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States – Third Monday
  • Third Sunday is Pongal in India
  • Republic Day in India – January 26
  • Australia Day in Australia - January 26
  • Makara Sankranthi (Festival of Harvest) in India – January 15
  • Auckland Anniversary in Auckland, New Zealand – Monday closest to January 29
  • Burns night in Scotland – January 25
  • The uniting of Moldavia and Wallachia under the same ruler in 1859, Romania – January 24
  • National Thank You month
Note: Weird Holidays & National Food Holidays are not listed on this list.

Smoky Brunch Pizza Recipe

Smoky Brunch Pizza Recipe
By Pillsbury.com
Yesterday we talked about 4-ingredient-pizza-bake and today I'm posting pizza recipe #2 in honor of National Pizza Week

Now how many of you eat breakfast pizza? How many of you eat it with smoked salmon on top? Not many of us I would imagine. In fact I bet most of us wouldn't even think about putting salmon on pizza at all. Now for me... I love a thick salmon steak that's grilled with a baked potato smothered in butter and sour cream. Add fresh crusty bread and you have one of my favorite meals. Well last night we used up the last of the gas in our grill by grilling 3 salmon steaks. 2 for supper and 1 to put aside for breakfast this morning. I really wanted to give this recipe a try.

Happily the pizza turned out as pretty as the pillsbury picture. I was so surprised at how tasty it was. I have to tell you to.... I was "thrilled" about using the chives-and-onion cream cheese. Wow! Where have I been?? I can't tell you the ideas racing through my head on ways to use spreads now. LOL. I think next time I'll use a bit more than the recipe called for. Anyway, I can see why this pizza was named "brunch pizza". It would really be good served at a brunch. What do ya'll think?

INGREDIENTS:
1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated classic pizza crust
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
8 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 package (4 oz) smoked salmon, flaked
1/2 cup chives-and-onion cream cheese (from 8-oz container)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 425°F. Grease 12-inch pizza pan or 13x9-inch pan. Unroll dough; place in pan. Starting at center, press out dough with hands. Bake 6 to 7 minutes or until crust begins to brown.
2. Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add bell pepper and onions; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until tender.
3. In medium bowl, beat eggs, milk and pepper. Add egg mixture to skillet. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked but still moist. Fold in salmon. Remove from heat.
4. Spread cream cheese evenly over crust. Spoon cooked egg mixture over cream cheese.
5. Bake 9 to 12 minutes longer or until toppings are hot and crust is deep golden brown. If desired, garnish with additional green onions.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Dark Chocolate Apricot Cookies Recipe

Dark Chocolate Apricot Cookies Recipe
By Betty Crocker Recipes
January 9 is National Apricot Day! So not only did I post a pizza recipe in honor of pizza week but I'm posting this beautiful cookie recipe in honor of National Apricot Day too.


I have to tell you.... I'm not a fan of apricots. I know it's shocking there's a food I don't have a taste bud for but it is. My Mother loved them with a passion and baked with them all the time; so I did eat food cooked with them but I didn't dare eat one "alone." Nope apricots are right up there with persimmons in my book. BUT having said that... look at these beautiful cookies by Betty Crocker. The colors are beautiful and dipped in dark chocolate is sinful to say the least!


INGREDIENTS:
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1 egg
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 package (12 oz) dark chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, orange extract and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in apricots until blended.

2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chips are melted. Dip each cookie halfway into melted chocolate, letting excess drip off. Place on waxed paper and let stand until chocolate is set, at least 2 hours. To quickly set chocolate, refrigerate cookies 15 minutes. Store between sheets of waxed paper in tightly covered container at room temperature.

4-Ingredient Pizza Bake

It's time to start celebrating pizza! Pizza Week is here and today I've picked "4 ingredient pizza bake" as my first recipe to post. You know... the first time I ever cooked with bisquick I made a pizza with it. Yep, not biscuits or pancakes but pizza. That was many moons ago but I still find myself making it when younglings show up at my door and I need something quick to fill their bellies. I really love recipes you can just through together by using what ever you've got for toppings. It reminds me of a casserole. I always called it a "cheater cheese pizza." lol  Pam


Ingredients:
2 pouches (7.5 oz each) Bisquick® Complete buttermilk biscuit mix
1 cup water
1 jar (14 oz) pizza sauce
1 package (8 oz) sliced pepperoni
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix and water until soft dough forms. Drop half of dough by spoonfuls evenly in bottom of baking dish (dough will not completely cover bottom of dish).
2. Drizzle about 1 cup pizza sauce over dough. Arrange 1/2 of the pepperoni slices evenly over sauce. Top with 1 cup of the cheese. Repeat layers with remaining dough, pizza sauce, pepperoni and cheese.
3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into squares to serve.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Pizza Week: Second week of January

The second week of January is National Pizza Week. We celebrate this observance every year and I always look forward to the new and improved pizza recipes that are posted on food blogs. For this week I'm going to try and post a few pizza ideas and recipes myself and also list an ongoing link list to some other great pizza posts. If your posting about pizza in your blog, make sure you leave us a comment about your post ok. We'll celebrate pizza together :) 



Pizza In The United States
The United States has developed quite a large number of regional forms of pizza, many bearing only a casual resemblance to the Italian original. During the latter half of the 20th century, pizza in the United States became an iconic dish of considerable popularity. The thickness of the crust depends on what the consumer prefers; both thick and thin crust are popular. Often, "Americanized" foods such as barbecued chicken and bacon cheeseburgers are used to create new types of pizza.

Ingredients:
American pizza often has vegetable oil or shortening (often, but not always, olive oil) mixed into the dough; this is not as common in Italian recipes (for example, the pizza dough recipe in the influential Italian cookbook Il cucchiaio d'argento does not use oil). This can range from a small amount in relatively lean doughs, such as New York style, to a very large amount in some recipes for Chicago-style deep-dish dough. In addition, American pizza (at least thin-crust) is often made with a very high- gluten flour (often 13–14% protein content) of the type also used to make bagels; this type of flour allows the dough to be stretched rather thinly without tearing, similar to strudel or phyllo dough.


In some pizza recipes, the tomato sauce is omitted (termed "white pizza"), or replaced with another sauce (usually garlic butter, but sauces can also be made with spinach or onions). In the Philadelphia area there are also tomato pies—sauce only, or sauce with ripe Roma tomatoes and spices but no cheese—and upside-down pizzas, i.e., the cheese on the bottom and topped with sauce. Pizza is normally eaten hot (typically at lunch or dinner), but is sometimes eaten as cold leftovers. (I like it cold for breakfast myself)     wikipedia.com - thefreedictionary.com - gone-ta-pott.com -


•  How to make dessert pizza
•  Joandsue.blogspot - califlower crust pizza
•  Pizza Tips


1 Week Celebration Recipes
•  Recipe #1 - 4 ingredient pizza /what I call a cheater cheese pizza
•  Recipe #2 - Smoky Brunch Pizza
•  Recipe #3 - Deep-dish sausage patty pizza
•  Recipe #4 - being posted Thursday
•  Recipe #5 - being posted Friday
•  Recipe #6 - being posted Saturday
•  Recipe #7 - being posted Sunday


Other Pizza Holidays to Remember!
  • October:  National Pizza Month.
  • October 11: National Sausage Pizza Day.
  • January: National Pizza Week is the second week of the month.
  • May 15:  National Pizza Party Day.
  • November 12: National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Red and White Turkey Chili Recipe

January is Soup Month and January 6 is National Bean Day so I picked this Pillsbury recipe to post in their honor. I don't know is this soup... is this chili... or is this stew? Oh well I'm posting it anyway in honor of soup and beans. :) I actually made this the day after New Years. I love any recipe that includes great northern beans and I had a cup of left over black eyed peas from New Years so I added that to it as well. It was actually really good and the brown and tan color scheme seemed warming some how. lol!  We at it in front of a blazing fireplace and enjoyed every bite.

Red and White Turkey Chili Recipe 
Originally uploaded by Pillsbury.com
INGREDIENTS:

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 can (15.5 oz) great northern beans, drained
1 can (15 oz) Progresso® dark red kidney beans, drained
2 cans (4.5 oz each) Old El Paso® chopped green chiles, undrained
3 1/2 cups Progresso® chicken broth
2 lb turkey thighs, skin removed
1 cup Green Giant® frozen white shoepeg corn, thawed
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup water
1 lime, cut into wedges, if desired

DIRECTIONS:

1. Spray 4- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients except turkey, corn, flour, water and lime in cooker. Place turkey on bean mixture. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 to 10 hours.

2. Place turkey on cutting board. Remove meat from bones; discard bones. Cut turkey into bite-size pieces. Add turkey and corn to cooker. In small bowl, mix flour and water; stir into turkey mixture. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook 20 to 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated and slightly thickened.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Januray 5: Epiphany and Holiday Fun Facts & Traditions

Free Stock Photography - Christmas decoration
© Photographer Eros Erika | 
Agency: Dreamstime.com
  • The Twelfth Night of Christmas is always on the evening of 5 January, the Twelfth Day can either precede or follow the Twelfth Night.
  • "Twelfth Night" is followed by the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6.
  • Twelfth Night marks the final night of the Christmas season. It is the night before Twelfth Day, known as Epiphany.
  • Epiphany (holiday), a Christian holiday on January 6 celebrating the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus.
  • The greenery & nativity scenes put up at Christmas are taken down at Epiphany. In other cultures these remain up until Candlemas on Feb 2.
  • In the United States / Colorado Manitou Springs, Epiphany is marked by the Great Fruitcake Toss. Fruitcakes are thrown, participants dress as kings, fools etc., and competitions are held for the farthest throw, the most creative projectile device, etc.
  • In Louisiana, Epiphany is the beginning of the Carnival season, during which it is customary to bake King Cakes.
  • What is a King Cake? It is round in shape, filled with cinnamon, glazed white, & coated in traditional carnival color sanding sugar.
  • In Colonial Virginia Epiphany, or 12th Night, was an occasion of great merriment, and was considered especially appropriate as a date for balls and dancing, as well as for weddings. On 12th Night, Great Cake was prepared, consisting in two giant layers of fruitcake, coated and filled with royal icing. Custom dictated that the youngest child present cut and serve the cake and whoever found the bean or prize in the Twelfth Night cake was crowned "King of the Bean" similar to the European king cake custom.
  • On January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany has long been an important celebration in Wales, known there as Ystwyll. In Glamorganshire, a huge loaf or cake was prepared, which was then divided up into three parts to represent Christ, the Virgin Mary and the three Wise Men.
  • Another Welsh custom associated with Epiphany was the Hunting of the Wren. A group of young men would go out into the countryside to capture a wren (the smallest bird in the British Isles after the goldcrest / firecrest). The bird would then be placed in a small, decorated cage and carried around from house to house and shown in exchange for money or gifts of food and drink (if a wren could not be found then a sparrow would have to undergo the ritual.)
  • In England, the celebration is also known as Twelfth Night, and was a traditional time for mumming and the wassail. The yule log was left burning until this day, and the charcoal left was kept until the next Christmas to kindle next year's yule log, as well as to protect the house from fire and lightning. In the past, Epiphany was also a day for playing practical jokes, similar to April Fool's Day.
  • In France people eat gâteau des Rois in Provence (made of brioche) or the galette des Rois (puff pastry with almond cream) in the northern half of France and Belgium. This is a kind of king cake, with a trinket (usually a porcelain figurine) or a bean hidden inside. The person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket becomes "king" for a day.
  • In the German speaking lands, groups of young people called "Sternsinger" (star singers) travel from door to door. They are dressed as the three Wise Men, plus the leader carrying a star, usually of painted wood attached to a broom handle. Often these groups are four girls, or two boys and two girls for the benefit of singing their songs in four part harmony, not necessarily three wise men at all.
  • Germans eat a Three Kings cake which may be a golden pastry ring filled with orange and spice representing gold, frankincense and myrrh. More often in West Germany and Switzerland, these cakes take the form of Buchteln but for Epiphany, studded with citron, and baked as seven large buns in a round rather than square pan, forming a crown. Or they may be made of typical rich Christmas bread dough with cardamom and pearl sugar in the same seven bun crown shape.
  • Celebrations in Guadeloupe have a different feel from elsewhere in the world. Epiphany here does not mean the last day of Christmas celebrations, but rather the first day of Kannaval (Carnival), which lasts until the evening before Ash Wednesday. Carnival in turn ends with the grand brilé Vaval, the burning of Vaval, the king of the Kannaval, amidst the cries and wails of the crowd.
  • In parts of southern India, Epiphany is called the Three Kings Festival and is celebrated in front of the local church like a fair. Families come together and cook sweet rice porridge called Pongal.
  • The Irish call Epiphany Little Christmas or "Women's Christmas". On the feast of the Three Kings the women of Ireland in times gone by had a bit of rest and celebration for themselves, after the cooking and work of the Christmas holidays. It has long been a custom for women to gather this day for a special high tea, but on the occasion of Epiphany accompanied by wine, to honor the Miracle at the Wedding at Cana. Today Irish women may spend the day shopping, take a meal at a restaurant or spend the evening at gathering in a pub. Women may also receive gifts from children, grandchildren or other family members on this day. Other Epiphany customs, which symbolize the end of the Christmas season, are popular in Ireland, such as the burning the sprigs of Christmas holly in the fireplace which have been used as decorations during the past twelve days.
  • Epiphany is the time for bonfires in Macedonia, to symbolize the light of Christ. These are very festive gatherings, and hot mulled wine and brandy are served.
Resources: wikipedia links, dictionary, gone-ta-pott.com,



Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Frozen Chocolate Granola Cream Cake Recipe

I have to tell you January 5th is National Whipped Cream Day and since I love whipped cream so much I knew I couldn't miss posting for this holiday. I go through at least 2 bowls of whipped cream every week. I just love it! I put in on all my dessert, in my hot cocoa and even on top of my coffee when I have it. ha ha! Here's the recipe I've picked to celebrate.

Frozen Chocolate Granola Cream Cake Recipe 
Originally uploaded by Betty Crocker Recipes
INGREDIENTS:

2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 box (6 oz) Nature Valley® dark chocolate granola thins, unwrapped
1 cup Cocoa Puffs® cereal

DIRECTIONS:

1. Line 8x4-inch loaf pan with foil. In large bowl, beat cream, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.

2. Spread 3/4 cup of the whipped cream evenly in bottom of pan. Place 3 granola thins, chocolate side up, on top of cream. Top with 3/4 cup whipped cream. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cereal evenly over top. Spread 3/4 cup of the whipped cream over cereal.

3. Repeat layering with 3 granola thins and 3/4 cup whipped cream. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cereal, 3/4 cup whipped cream and 3 granola thins. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.

4. To serve, let cake stand at room temperature 5 minutes. Remove plastic wrap. Place serving platter upside down over pan; turn platter and pan over. Remove pan and foil. Break remaining granola thin into pieces; sprinkle over top. With sharp knife, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

To all you spaghetti lovers, January 4 is National Spaghetti Day and this is the recipe I've picked to post in it's honor. I just wanted to remind everyone that spaghetti sauce cooked in a slow cooker turns out fantastic every time so pull out that crock pot and let it simmer slowly while your at work! Pam

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce Recipe 
Originally uploaded by Betty Crocker Recipes
INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package (8 oz) sliced fresh mushrooms (3 cups)
2 large onions, chopped (2 cups)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cans (15 oz each) Muir Glen® organic tomato sauce
1 can (28 oz) Muir Glen® organic diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 oz) Muir Glen® organic tomato paste
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS:

1. Spray 4- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onions and garlic; cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender and translucent.

2. Spoon vegetables into cooker. Stir in remaining ingredients.

3. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours.

Flower Basket Day: January 4

Heads Up! January 4th is Flower Basket Day so those of you who have'nt shopped for your baskets yet; this is your reminder to get started now.  Once you get your basket you need to decide what type of flower your going to put in it. Then you decide who your giving it to.


Now let's talk about this holiday:
The way I understand it, the idea is to build a basket with a flower inside which is made from the heart. Sometimes other things are placed in the basket as well but the focus is on the flower and the basket itself.

When I placed a questionare about this holiday, my readers who celebrate it said they like to place other things inside the basket that related to the flower. For instance: If it's an african violet you could place a small tub of african violet food with it. If it's a houseplant you could place a hand shovel with it.

I read on the Internet that some people take a different approach and send a basket of flower shaped cookies. You could even add a flower shaped cookie cutter to the basket. Come to think of it... what a great housewarming gift this would make for those moving in a new home.

Personally.... I always gave my Mother a Christmas Cactus the first week of Christmas because they bloom in December and frankly she collected them. LOL! The house was always full of blooming cactus when I was growing up. Anyway, a Christmas cactus would be a fine basket gift too. There always an easy plant to take care of.

Now I'm not sure about the origin of this holiday at all. There's very little information to find at all. At first glance I figured a garden center or a flower shop must of started it to boost sales but I just couldn't find any background on the subject. I think what may of been a sales promotion could of turned out to be a homemade gift instead. My readers tell me this is when they like to divide their houseplants and basket up the babies to share. :)

One of my favorite ideas is to share herb plants. It seems to be popular to give a mixed basket of herbs. Now I think this is a fantastic idea. Especially since it's so hard to get nice herbs in the winter and a basket of herb plants may be all someone needs to have their own window seal herb garden. One can never have enough fresh herbs if you ask me.

Start a new December Tradition:
I think traditions are wonderful and giving a flower basket is a good way to gift a friend and put some Christmas cheer in someones home. I think the kids would have fun fixing baskets too. Have fun with this one ya'll. If you have any neat ideas please do share with our readers.

There's even Flower Basket Day Greeting you can send on January 4th too.


Monday, January 02, 2012

Beer Cheese Soup Recipe

This recipe post is in honor of: January beings National Soup Month and National Soup Swap Month! The month of January even has a National Soup Swap Day too. And... February 4 is "Homemade Soup Day." How's that for soup season?

Beer Cheese Soup Recipe 
Originally uploaded by Pillsbury.com
INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup quick-mixing flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
3 cups Progresso® chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
1 cup whipping cream
4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (16 oz)
1 can (12 oz) beer

DIRECTIONS:

1. In 4-quart Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion; cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until celery and onions are transparent.

2. Stir in flour, paprika, black pepper and ground red pepper. Add broth; heat to boiling over medium heat. Boil and stir 1 minute.

3. Reduce heat; stir in whipping cream and cheese. Heat until cheese is melted, stirring occasionally. Stir in beer. If desired, serve with popcorn.

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