Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Homemade Pizza

Pizza is one of our favorites around here. Holly devours it. Hubby will eat half of it. Remember how much I loved Gino's in Chicago? I seriously could eat it everyday! My homemade pizza probably isn't as good as Gino's (I guess it depends on who you ask!), but it is still delicious with its homemade crust and mounds of toppings. I baked one of these up last night for supper and it was a hit!

Homemade Pizza Crust
1 1/2 cups flour
2 TBSP sugar
1 package quick rise yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP melted butter
2/3 cup warm water

First, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a small bowl.

Add the melted butter and the warm water. I use tap water that has been running on the hottest setting for about a minute.

Mix with a fork to form a soft, sticky dough. Sometimes I add more flour.

Cover and let rise until double.

Roll out on a greased and floured surface. I love my Pampered Chef Baker's Roller. It is the best!

Roll the ends and press down to make a crust.You could stuff the crust at this point with cheese. We've done it before and it is scrumptious! Just use string cheese cut in half.

Prick the crust all over so it doesn't bubble up too bad. The Baker's Roller has a prick in the handle to use.

Bake for about 5-10 minutes at 425 degrees until it starts to brown. You want to see little brown spots like this.

Add your favorite toppings! We love pepperoni!

And our homemade Italian sausage! I usually add mushrooms too but didn't have any.

First add the sauce. Add as much or as little as you like.

Then the pepperoni.

Then the sausage. Mmm.......

And don't forget the cheese! I love the mix of mozzarella and cheddar!

Bake until the cheese starts to brown like this. Maybe about 20 minutes. It depends on how many toppings you have.

Once it is out of the oven, let is cool for about 10 minutes before you eat. We ate ours with salad topped with homemade ranch dressing!

The best thing about pizza is that you can adjust the toppings to your taste and experiment with different kinds of toppings. The possibilities are endless!

Linking up to these great parties today!

Hunk of Meat Monday at Beyer Beware

Hunk of Meat Mondays

2 Maids a Baking at Two Maids a Milking

Made From Scratch Tuesday at From Mess Hall to Bistro


Monday, July 25, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

My husband will eat anything as long it has bacon (well, almost anything!). I really like chicken but I don't cook with it often because of my bountiful supply of beef and pork. I came up with this recipe after eating something similar at a conference once. I thought it would be a great addition to my collection of dinners since it includes chicken and bacon. It is one of our favorite dishes to eat now!

Bacon Wrapped Chicken
3-4 chicken breasts
9-12 slices bacon
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper, to taste
chopped onion, to taste
1 small can mushrooms, drained

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and greasing a casserole dish. Then wrap each chicken breast in 3-4 strips of bacon. Secure with a toothpick. Place wrapped chicken breasts in the casserole dish. For extra bacon, you can lay strips of bacon in the bottom of the dish and then put the wrapped chicken on top.

Put the canned mushrooms on top. I use canned because that is what I usually have in the cupboard, but I am sure you could substitute fresh if you want.

Stir the cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, salt, pepper, and onion together in a small bowl to make the sauce.

Smother the wrapped chicken breasts with the sauce mixture.

Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for about an hour. While this cooks, I make the rice to go with it.

Cool slightly to let the sauce thicken a bit. Serve over rice. The rice is especially good with the sauce on it!

Happy cooking! Linking up to Hunk of Meat Monday with Beyer Beware!

Hunk of Meat Mondays

Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

And I'm not talking about Christmas. It's sweet corn season! Oh, how I love me some sweet corn! Earlier today I shucked the corn and cleaned it for eating later.

All my yummy corn!

A hole - a sure sign of a little worm!

There he is!

Peaches and Cream!

The leftover husks, perfect snack for the cows!

I usually freeze up quite a bit to last us through the year, but I have not done so yet this year. Maybe in the next few days. But I thought I'd share my frozen sweet corn recipe for those who are little more ambitious than me lately!

Frozen Sweet Corn
15-16 cups corn (about 3 dozen ears)
4 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup salt
Mix water, sugar, and salt. Let the sugar and salt dissolve. Shuck and clean the ears of corn. Cut off the kernels and put them in a big bowl. Add the sugar and salt water mixture and mix. If you have a little more corn than 16 cups, you can add some more water. Pack into quart size freezer bags. Be sure to get an equal amount of the sugar and salt water in each bag! Then store the bags in your freezer for fresh sweet corn anytime of year!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chocolate Coca Cola Cake

Is there anything better than chocolate and coca cola? Probably this chocolate coca cola cake! It is super moist, super chocolately, and super yummy! I found this recipe on pinterest and I just had to try it because it looked so good! You can find the original recipe here at Confessions of a Chocoholic. I think I like chocolate just as much as this chocoholic so I will be checking out more of the recipes there!

First, I mixed my dry ingredients together. I added 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Then I put the other ingredients in a saucepan. I added 1 cup butter, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 cup coca cola, and 1/2 cup buttermilk.

 Heat in the saucepan until it boils. Then add it to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla. Put in in a greased 9X13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Be sure not to overbake it!

The cake is done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Now for the frosting! Every cake needs a good frosting! In another saucepan, boil 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1/2 cup coca cola. 

Remove from heat and add about 4 cups powdered sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost your cake!


This cake tastes a lot like the Texas sheet cake recipe that I have. The only difference is that this cake calls for coca cola. Both are delicious!


Also check out 2 Maids a Baking at Two Maids a Milking!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Aren't slow cookers super helpful? You put your food in and it cooks it for you. All day while you are at work. Or the pool. Or shopping. Or whatever else you might be doing. I love my slow cooker. Especially during the school year when I am not home to cook all day. I recently came across a recipe for slow cooker beef stroganoff. It was divine! The meat turned out super tender and the sauce was perfect. You can find the original recipe here at the Taste of Home website.

Here is how I made it. First, I cut up my beef into small slices and bits. I used a chuck steak that I think was roughly 2 pounds.

I cooked it over medium heat in some olive oil (about 3 tablespoons) until it was done. Then I added 1 cup of water and a packet of beef stroganoff seasoning that I bought at the grocery store.

Once that was mixed through, I put the meat and all the drippings into my slow cooker. Then, in the same pan I cooked the meat in, I melted 3 tablespoons of butter. I cooked the onions and the mushrooms in it until they were soft. I used about 1/3 of a large onion and an 8 ounce package of mushrooms.

Then I made a sauce with 1/4 cup beef broth, 2 teaspoons of ground mustard, 1 teaspoon sugar, and a splash of red wine vinegar. I added this to the mushroom and onion mix.

Then I added the onions and mushrooms to the slow cooker with the beef and stirred. Let it cook for around 6 hours on low.

Before serving, add about 1 1/2 cups our cream.

Serve over egg noodles cooked according to package directions. This was so good that we didn't have any leftovers! If you're looking for a new slow cooker recipe I'd definitely try this one out!

I'm linking up to Hunk of Meat Mondays with Beyer Beware!

Hunk of Meat Mondays

Also linking up to Made From Scratch Tuesdays with From Mess Hall to Bistro!