Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pepperoni & Cheese Stuffed Chicken

When I saw this recipe on the Delicious Meliscious blog, I knew I had to make it. This recipe combines my husband and I's favorite foods: chicken, cheese and pepperoni. How good does that sound?? We give this recipe a HUGE THUMBS UP!

Plus, this is my 50th post! YAY! Time to celebrate :)

Pepperoni & Cheese Stuffed Chicken
Source: Delicious Meliscious

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Sliced Pepperoni
Cheese (I used mozz)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Italian Seasoning
Salt & Pepper

-Between wax paper pound out the chicken breasts until thin
-Layer the sliced pepperoni- however much you would like
-Layer the cheese, however much you would like
-Roll the chicken up and secure it with toothpicks, seam-side down
-Place in oven safe dish- drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with S&P and Italian Season to your liking
-Bake on 325 for about 30 minutes or until done

We served this with spaghetti and sauce, it was awesome! Enjoy - this is so yummy :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Blackberry Buckle

I went with my parents to the Farmer's Market this weekend, and on the way there we saw a place to pick-your-own blackberries! Between the 3 of us, we ended up with about 1.5 gallons of berries! Yumm! But I had to figure out something to make with it! After searching for recipes online, I came across this one - and it sounded perfect. Here is the recipe, straight from All Recipes!

Blackberry Buckle

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar, divided
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter

In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition.
Spread into a greased 9-in. square baking dish. Toss the blackberries with lemon juice; sprinkle over batter. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and remaining sugar and flour; cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over berries.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Refrigerate leftovers.

School Bus Cake

A few years ago, I took cake decorating classes. Then I took them again with my husband shortly before we got married. So, everytime someone needs a cake made, they come to me! This cake is my most recent. My mom has an inside joke with her department at work about a bus - so she asked me to make a cake for a dinner get-together they were having. One of the ladies she works with, found this cake, and asked me to replicate it.

We pretty much replicated the cake exactly, except I decorated in stars instead of plain icing. But the structure is made from 2 pound cakes, then we iced and decarated. The lights are Hershey's kissables, the wheels are chocolate iced donuts with white chocolate chip headlights. The stop sign is a piece of licorice. But you can follow the directions found in the link above, or be creative with it!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


This is how I create my mastepieces! I began "collecting" things for my future home when I was about 15. I bought dishes, silverware, mixing bowls - everything. I was so ready to be on my own! Well, my awesome parents gave me their spare Henckel knives (is that how it's spelled?). Anyway, they've been great.
But - it's time to upgrade. These knives get dull very easy (hmm, maybe I should try sharpening them!) and the tips bend really easy - actually, one of my knives has a permanent bend on the tip. I hope to get an awesome set, I just don't know what I want yet. Any ideas?
**This post is being submitted to Joelen's Knives Set Blog Event. Joelen is one of the most helpful and sweet girls on the WC board. She is truly an inspiration in the kitchen and is going to be an awesome Food Network Star someday! I just know it! Thanks for hosting so many great events, Joelen!

Lean Mean Ketchup

As a Sooperhero on Blake Makes, I get to participate in several "contests" to win different food products. You may recall I won some Amano chocolates a few months back. The latest win, is Lean Mean Ketchup, from Chef Bradley.

Chef Bradley is a firm believer that sauces and condiments can be healthy as well as nutritious - so he created his own sauces, check them out here. I won my favorite condiment - ketchup. I can't wait to adorn my favorite meal (chicken nuggets and french fries - how klassy!) with the new and improved ketchup.

Thanks Chef Bradley and Blake Makes - this is an awesome gift!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I was in the mood for something quick, easy and different - as always, the girls on What's Cooking pulled through for me. This recipe for pulled pork sandwiches could not be easier, or tastier. In fact, I walked my husband through how to make it - and he did it all on his own! (Trust me, that's a huge accomplishment!)

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

your favorite cut of pork (shoulder, butt, whatever you like)

8-12 ounces of root beer (some girls use Coke)

spices (I used Emeril's essence)

your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Dinosaur)

Put pork, root beer and seasonings in the crock pot and cook on low for 7 hours. Drain the crockpot, and add the BBQ sauce. Cook on low for 30 more minutes. Remove from the crock pot and shred, adding more BBQ sauce if you like. Serve on sandwiches!

Yumm - sorry my picture is terrible, it was taken on my husbands Blackberry because my Dad wouldn't let me borrow one of his camera's - what a snot ;) !!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Home-made Bread

I've been wanting to try my hand at making my own bread for a while now. But really, it's got to be hard to make your own bread, right? Well, I needed some "me" time yesterday, so I took a 1/2 day at work, and came home to relax. But - I got bored. So I decided it was the perfect time to try my hand at homemade bread. I found a recipe for Classic White Bread from Chelley, over at Sugar & Spice. I thought this would be the perfect base to my bread. In the end, I'm not terribly happy with my bread. It didn't rise correctly - but, I'm going to try again this weekend with warmer ingredients.

I am copying the recipe from Chelley, with the changes I made in red.

Classic White Bread

(Source: Peter Reinhart The Bread Baker’s Apprentice pages 265-269)
Makes two 1-pound loaves, 18 dinner rolls, or 12 burger or hot dog buns

4¼ cups (19 ounces) unbleached bread flour (I used 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 white flour)
1½ teaspoons (.38 ounces) salt
3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons (.22 ounce) instant yeast
1 large (1.65 ounces) egg, slightly beaten, at room temperature
¼ cup (2 ounces) butter, margarine, or shortening, at room temperature, or vegetable oil
1½ cups (12 ounces) buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
1 egg, whisked with 1 teaspoon water until frothy, for egg wash (optional)
sesame or poppy seeds for garnish (optional)

1. Mix together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Pour in the egg, butter, and milk and mix with a large metal spoon (or on low speed of the electric mixer with the paddle attachment) until all the flour is absorbed and the dough forms a ball. If the dough seems very stiff and dry, trickle in more milk until the dough is soft and supple.

2. Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook), adding more flour, if necessary, to create a dough that is soft, supple, and tacky but not sticky. Continue kneading (or mixing) for 6 to 8 minutes. (In the electric mixer, the dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick ever to slightly to the bottom.) The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 80° F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

3. Ferment at room temperature for 1½ to 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size (the length of time will depend on the room temperature).

4. Remove the fermented dough from the bowl and divide it in half for sandwich loaves, into eighteen 2-ounce pieces for dinner rolls, or twelve 3-ounce pieces for burger or hot dog buns. Shape the pieces into boules for loaves or tight rounds for dinner rolls or buns. Mist the dough lightly with spray oil and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Allow to rest for about 20 minutes.

5. For loaves, shape as shown on page 81. Lightly oil two 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pans and place the loaves in the pans. For rolls and buns, line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment. Rolls require no further shaping. For hamburger buns, gently press down on the rolls to form the desired shape. For hot dog buns, shape as shown on page 80, although without tapering the ends. Transfer the rolls or buns to the sheet pans.

6. Mist the tops of the dough with spray oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Proof the dough at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, or until it nearly doubles in size.

7. Preheat the oven to 350° F for loaves or 400° F for roll and buns. Brush the rolls or buns with the egg wash and garnish with poppy or sesame seeds. Sandwich loaves also may be washed and garnished, or score them down the center and rub a little vegetable oil in the slit.

8. Bake the rolls or buns for approximately 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown and register just above 180° F in the center. Bake loaves for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through for even baking, if needed. The tops should be golden brown and the sides, when removed from the pan, should also be golden. The internal temperature of the loaves should be close to 190° F, and the loaves should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

9. When the loaves have finished baking, remove them immediately from the pans and cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing or serving. Rolls should cool for at least 15 minutes on a rack before serving.

Enjoy! Once I make it again, if I'm happier with the results I'll post new pictures!

Mexican Pizza

My mother-in-law loves a pizza from Cici's that is their mexican pizza. I have no idea what it has on it, because quite frankly I think it looks funny - so I'm not touching it. Anyway, I wanted something mexican for dinner the other night, but didn't want the usual. So as I was menu planning, I decided to make a mexican pizza, my way.

Mexican Pizza

1 pillsbury pizza dough (cook before assembly of pizza)
sour cream
shredded cheddar cheese (or mexican mix cheese)
lean ground beef

To assemble:

Prepare pizza dough. In a small bowl, mix equal parts sour cream and salsa (use as much or as little as you like, depending on how saucy you like your pizza). Once combined, spread evenly over pizza. Sprinkle ground beef over sauce, then cheese, then lettuce. Cut into triangles like a pizza and serve!

This is so yummy - I can't wait to make this again!