Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Magic Pizza Dough

Yep, I still make pizza about once a week. Turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, and a 75% whole wheat crust. Now I have been making batches of dough, putting a portion in the freezer, and sticking it in the fridge a day before I want to use it. Then the next night after dinner, I assemble the pizza, then bake it the next day to minimize actual prep time before dinner/after soccer practice!

I found a tie for a favorite. This is from Good Things Catered, and I see why it's called Magic Pizza Dough. I made this with my kids and they got really creative with their toppings! They could not believe how good homemade pizza is. Only one of them had ever even had homemade! A lot of them put fresh jalapenos on theirs, which turned out to be my personal favorite topping choice of them all!

Here is the link to the dough: Magic Pizza Dough. Give it a try! It's so easy--drop the ingredients in your food processor, stick it in a Ziploc until the next night, assemble your pizza, and bake. Since you can pop your food processor into the dishwasher, the only thing you'll have to wash is your pizza pan! I don't have a pizza stone, so I baked them on regular pizza pans and they were excellent!
Magic pizza dough:
2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp honey
3/4 cup water (105-110 degrees)
scant 1/4 cup olive oil
In bowl of food processor, add flour, yeast, and salt. (If you're making it the same day you're using it, use 2 1/4 tsp yeast)
Turn food processor on and while running add honey and water.
Slowly add olive oil until dough just comes together around the blade.
Turn food processor off and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter.
Pull dough together with a few throws against the counter. If you need a little extra water or flour, add it.
Place dough into large gallon size ziploc and refrigerate overnight (or if using it the same day, put the bag in a warm spot like the top of the fridge for an hour or two)
remove dough from fridge and place on counter to come to room temp (if you used the fridge)
Roll out dough, top it, and bake for about 10 minutes in a 500 degree oven.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Oven Baked Okra

Grandma, I feel like I've gone behind your back having okra not at your house and not fried! Let me say first that nothing will ever beat yours!!:) Once (sometimes twice, if I'm lucky!) per year I go to my grandparents for an okra dinner. I call it okra dinner because I don't even know if there's other stuff served because all I care about is the fried okra!! She makes the BEST!!

Well, I was craving it, and knew I could only do the fried stuff once a year, so I went in search of an oven recipe. I found a bunch of different ones that lookes good, all following what I expected to--the basic dredging, dipping in liquid, dredging, and baking, but I was most interested in this simple recipe from A Year in the Kitchen. It's even more simple than the dredging stations! I put it all in a bag, shook it up, baked, and yum!! Serve with ketchup for the true experience:)
Oh, be warned--just like other breaded foods, if you want to reheat, you should do it in the oven, not the microwave!

Oven Baked Okra
from A Year in the Kitchen

1 bag of frozen cut okra, thawed (or fresh from your garden!)
1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

In a ziploc bag, toss okra with breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Spread in single layer on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

My favorite of all the muffins made for the staff. These froze well--we glazed them after we thawed them and warmed them up in the oven. I loooove lemon poppyseed and looooved these muffins :)

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
from Annie's Eats/Joy of Baking

yield: 12 muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
½ tsp. salt
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
Zest of one lemon
1 cup vanilla yogurt (do not use non-fat)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For glaze:
½ cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together flour, poppy seeds, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lemon zest, yogurt and vanilla and beat until well blended. Stir in the flour mixture until just moistened. Do not over mix.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan and glazing.

Glaze: If glazing, while muffins are baking stir together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. The mixture should be runny. Once the muffins are removed from the oven, wait five minutes and then drizzle the glaze over the muffins with a spoon.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Coffee Cake Muffins

Another muffin made for Staff Appreciation. They also froze well. Make sure to save enough batter to top the muffins so you can get that gooey streusel layer in the middle!

Coffee Cake Muffins
from Better Homes and Gardens

3 tbsp all purpose flour
3 tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp butter or margarine

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 beaten egg
½ cup buttermilk or sour milk**

Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper cups; set aside.
For topping, in small bowl stir together the first 3 ingredients. Cut in the 2 tbsp butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts; set topping aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the 1 ½ cups flour, sugar, baking powder, the ½ tsp cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the ¼ cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In another bowl, combine egg and buttermilk. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter will be lumpy).
Spoon half of the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each one-third full. Top with half of the topping, the remaining batter, and the remaining topping. Bake in a 400 F oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.

From Better Homes and Gardens

**to make sour milk: for each cup of sour milk needed, place 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup total liquid; stir. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes before using.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Berry Cream Muffins

You just have to try these! I got the recipe from a coworker. They are wonderful! We made 4 dozen of them for staff and they were devoured! We made them ahead of time and froze them for a week and they still tasted fresh out of the oven. You can do this and then pull enough out for each week, or prepare for a brunch ahead of time!

Berry Cream Muffins

Muffin Ingredients:

· 2 cups all-purpose flour
· 1 cup sugar
· ½ teaspoon baking powder
· ½ teaspoon baking soda
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries or blueberries
· 2 eggs, lightly beaten
· 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
· ½ cup vegetable oil
· ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Streusel Topping Ingredients:

· 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 3 tablespoons quick cooking oats
· 2 tablespoons sugar
· 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
· 2 tablespoons butter

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. Add berries and toss gently.
3. Combine eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla in a separate bowl, mix well.
4. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened.
5. Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full.
6. Combine flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter. Sprinkle over muffins before baking.
7. Bake at 400 F for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
*If using frozen berries, do not thaw before using.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Chocolate Heaven

If you love chocolate, you will absolutely love this cake from Hershey's. I even liked the cake--it tastes like fudge! The boiling water part of the recipe may throw you off, but follow those instructions--it's great! This frosting is really good, too.

I didn't worry about making mine pretty, considering the audience eating it (teenagers). They would eat it if I cut it up and put it in a pile on a table, so they'll love it even more actually iced like this :) I bet it would be SO good with crushed oreos on top and in the filling..

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. 2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans. 3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.
VARIATIONS:ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.
CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.
Note: I didn't use Hershey's cocoa and the world did not end.

Then I had to throw in some proof (mainly for my dad, because it reminds me of him!) that I have been doing something else with all my time..coaching! It's really fun and I have an awesome group of girls!
My dad pretty much has a watch/wedding ring tan all year round. It cracks me up:)

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Sadly, I haven't had any time to do much cooking lately at home. We have made some wonderful things at school that I will share soon, though! I normally don't get pictures of the food we make there, but I will for four new muffin recipes this week that are all excellent! Hopefully I'll remember to share some awesome Mongolian beef, too!!
This is how I feel when I get home from school and practice/games--except this was on a weekend, oops! I am normally dog tired :)

A nice group photo.. friendly, huh?
Bear has at least doubled in size. Passed out on my sister.
But really, how precious is this? They spoon and cuddle when they sleep! This has happened lots of times, and I love it :)