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Often times I get frustrated because I cannot find a recipe that is exactly what I want. So what do I do?? Make up my own recipe! Such is the case for this one. I have been craving this kind of muffin since I LOVE cranberries and it is such a festive holiday food, not to mention very good for you. Cranberries are full of antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, among many other important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Add heart healthy walnuts, vitamin C rich orange juice, and healthy whole-wheat flour and these muffins are a delicious and guilt-free treat. Eat them warmed spread with a little bit of butter and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Zest of one orange
  • Juice of one orange
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tins with muffin cups (of course I use festive Santa ones :))
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, gently combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. Mix together eggs, vanilla, sugar, canola oil, orange zest, and orange juices. Slowly add in flour mixture. Then gently add in walnuts and cranberries.
  4. Scoop into muffin tins- I filled them up to the top using one scoop of a big spoon. It will look like a lot but they do not rise too much.
  5. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Test with a toothpick to make sure they are fully cooked.

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Lately I have been making a lot of pizza…boboli makes it so easy with their yummy pizza crusts and once you top them you just need to bake them for 8-10 minutes…dinner in an instant which is what I love! The other night I put together this yummy pizza with ingredients in my fridge…and it was DELICIOUS! I will definitely be making it again soon!

Ingredients:

  • 1 boboli 8 inch pizza crust
  • Basil pesto
  • Fresh spinach (washed)
  • Mushrooms, washed, sliced, and uncooked
  • Fresh garlic (just put a little since there is already lots in the pesto…I love garlic so I always include it in here but if you are not a garlic lover feel free to skip it)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Place pizza crust on a cookie sheet. Top pizza with pesto, garlic (and spread it into the pesto), spinach, and mushrooms. Drizzle olive oil over the mushrooms since they are going on uncooked.
  • Top with cheeses, sat, and pepper.
  • Place in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!
Note: I didn’t put specific amounts of ingredients since you can really put as much as you like of anything on the pizzas. To each their own! 🙂

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I have been craving pizza lately but I feel like when I order it in or go out it is so unhealthy. So tonight I decided to make my own healthy pizza! I love the boboli crusts because you just throw all your topping on, pop it in the oven, cook for 8-10 minutes, and it’s all done and ready to eat! This is a fun thing to make with a lot of people since the pizzas are personal size so everyone can make theirs to their liking. Tonight I used some fresh and healthy ingredients that I had in my fridge…tomatoes, spinach, garlic, and of course cheese. It was so yummy and I can’t wait to make it again soon!

Ingredients:

  • 1 boboli pizza crust (8 inches)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Fresh spinach
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Fresh garlic
  • Tomato sauce of choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Note: For all the ingredients just use as much as desired! 
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place pizza crust on a cookie sheet. Top with tomato sauce, spinach, tomatoes, mozzarella, feta, fresh garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place in the oven to cook for 8-10 minutes until cheese starts to brown and bubble.
Enjoy!!!

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The other day I was craving something filling for a late breakfast so I looked to see what I had in my fridge and put together this brunch dish, combining several of my favorite ingredients. This meal is packed with important and healthy nutrients, including lots of protein in the eggs and ham, whole grains in the english muffin, calcium in the cheese, and omega-3’s in the avocado. Add some fruit on the side and you have a perfectly balanced breakfast!

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • Butter
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices ham (I like Black Forest)
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced into strips
  • 1 whole-grain english muffin

Directions:

  1. Scramble 2 eggs in a small saucepan. Add salt and pepper and cheese toward the end, mixing in well to make sure it is fully melted.
  2. Heat ham in the microwave or in the saucepan.
  3. Toast english muffin, butter it, top with avocado, then ham, then the eggs.
  4. Eat and enjoy!

Note: Want to make this breakfast a bit healthier? Try any or all of these tips… Use only egg whites, use just 1 piece or cheese, or use turkey instead of ham.

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My mom has been making pesto bread for as long as I can remember and it is one of my favorite appetizers. The combination of warm, fresh bread and flavorful pesto is oh so delicious and just thinking about it right now is making me crave it! This is a great party appetizer and it’s so easy to make. If you keep pesto frozen in your freezer, you can make pesto bread at any time of the year!

Ingredients:

  • Pesto (homemade or store bought, but homemade is best :))
  • 1 large loaf of fresh French bread (or your favorite bread)
  • Olive oil 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. You can also cook this on the grill in the summertime, just turn up your grill to high.
  2. Coat one side of the bread with olive oil and the other with pesto, as much as you like.
  3. Place bread on cookie sheet (or grill) oil side down and pesto side up.
  4. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until pesto starts to melt into the bread a bit.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes and then enjoy!

Note: Want to spice up your pesto bread a bit? You can add mozzarella and/or tomato, prosciutto, or whatever else you like!

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Photo Credit: Ifinite Trends

I got an email from Auntie Martha yesterday with a note about a bruschetta she was making to take to a friend’s house for dinner that evening – the ingredients were decidedly summery (namely the fresh peaches) and the combo sounded delicious so I thought I would share…

Topping: fresh tomatoes, fresh peaches, basil, parsley, onions, garlic, olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar to liven it up. Served over toasted bread which she brushed with olive oil before hand. Yum!

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I got the following e-mail and accompanying photos from my mom today.  My question to her was who are these friends and when can we go over and make some pizza!  Until then I’m thinking I will coerce Tori into another pizza night and bring some sweet toppings for one of the pies…

Ann took these pictures last night. We made our own pizzas and cooked them in a friend’s outdoor pizza oven. This was my dessert pizza, half blueberry, pineapple and honey and half almond butter, banana and brown sugar – ohhh yea!  Xxx, Mom


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The red pepper and pancetta concotion....this photo really doesn't do it justice - clearly I was too distracted by the food, wine & friends to take any more photos...

This past weekend I had the pleasure of going over to Tori & Justin’s for a little dinner party consisting of wonderful company, superb wines, and the most delicious food….it was all so good we were there until 2 a.m. 🙂  Tori agreed to make her homemade pizza for me which I have literally been craving for, oh, a month now since I last had it.

A self-professed perfect-pizza-dough connoisseur, Tori’s is light, healthy, and just the right thickness.  For sauce she keeps it simple and throws a few ripe tomatoes in the food processor, spooning as much as she wants onto the dough before adding the delectable toppings.  This time the combos included red pepper and pancetta (angel bacon indeed), lamb with garlic sauteed mushrooms, and of course, a traditional Margherita.  They were all amazing, as usual.

Not the quickest recipe in the world (the dough takes two hours to rise, although Tori speeds it up a bit by letting it rise in the warmth of her car trunk sometimes) it is well worth the wait.  Now I just need to get myself a pizza stone and peel!
Ingredients

1 1/4 tsp active yeast
2 c. all purpose flour
2 c. semolina flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

With pizza stone in oven, preheat to 500.

1. In a small bowl stir yeast into 2 Tbsp lukewarm water.  Let stand until creamy – about 3 min.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours and salt then mound them in the center of the bowl.  Create a well in the center of the mound and pour in the yeast mixture, olive oil, and 1/4  cup of lukewarm water.  Using your fingers or a fork, swirl the liquid in a circular motion, slowly incorporating flour from the sides.  As the dough begins to form slowly add 1 cup of lukewarm water to the well until the ingredients are well combined and a rough dough has formed.  Knead vigorously stretching and pressing the dough against the work surface until the dough comes away cleanly from your hands and is smooth and soft (about 10 minutes).  To check if dough is sufficiently kneaded, cut away a small section – surface should be pocked with small holes.

3.  Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 5 min.

4.  Wash the bowl thoroughly and wipe down with olive oil.  Put the dough back in the bowl, cover again and let rise at room temperature (placing it near a warm stove top or dishwasher expedites the process a bit) until doubled in volume (about 2 hours).

5.  When ready to roll out the dough, divide into 4 even sections, punch down and flatten each into a disk – lightly flouring along the way.  Flip the disk over and sprinkle with additional flour, rolling out onto a pizza peel with a rolling pin.  Continue to flip, stretch, flour, and roll until desired thin-ness is obtained.  Sprinkle the top of the disk with a sturdy amount of semolina and give it one last flip onto the pizza peel before adding toppings to prevent sticking.

Quickly top pizza and place it on the pizza stone – bake each pizza for 9 – 11 minutes.  Upon removing the pizza from the oven Tori follows up every single one with a few twists of fresh ground sea salt and a drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil.

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(Larry Crowe, The Associated Press)

I saw this recipe in today’s Denver Post and wanted to share it. I think it will make a perfect summer party appetizer. I love asparagus, peas, and brie, so I will definitely be trying it out soon! 

FOOD | RECIPES

Asparagus and Pea Toasts with Brie

By The Denver Post

POSTED: 06/02/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT 

Recipe by J.M. Hirsch, Associated Press. Start to finish: 20 minutes. Servings: 4.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 large slices rustic sourdough bread ( 1/2 inch thick) 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced 
  • 1 bunch asparagus, bottoms trimmed, cut into 1-inch lengths 
  • 1 cup fresh peas 
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint 
  • 6 to 8 ounces brie 

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to broil. 
  2. Divide the butter between the bread slices, spreading it evenly over one side of each. Set aside. 
  3. In a large skillet over medium, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, asparagus and peas. Saute until the asparagus is just barely tender, about 4 minutes. 
  4. Remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the mint. Set aside. 
  5. Place the bread slices under the broiler. Toast until just lightly browned and the butter is melted. Remove bread from the oven and smear a quarter of the brie over each slice. Return to the broiler for another minute. Top each slice with a quarter of the asparagus and pea mixture. 

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 596 calories; 224 calories from fat; 25g fat (13g saturated; 0g trans fats); 65mg cholesterol; 67g carbohydrate; 27g protein; 7g fiber; 1,063mg sodium.

Source: The Denver Post

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Biscuit lovers, here is a recipe for you! We made these in my cooking class last night and they were surprisingly so easy! I’ve never made biscuits before and I am so glad that now I know how! Flaky and buttery, these biscuits are to die for. You can eat them plain, with butter, with your favorite jam, or as my boyfriend loves them, with biscuits and gravy! The recipe makes a lot, so you can make them for a special occasion, or just share them with your friends and neighbors, which is what I am doing! 🙂


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb 4 oz Bread flour
  • 1 lb 4 oz All purpose flour
  • ¾ oz Salt
  • 2 oz Sugar
  • 2 ¼ oz Baking powder
  • 14 oz Butter, cold
  • 1 lb 10 oz Milk                                                     

Directions:

  1. Rubbing or Biscuit method
  2. Do not over mix
  3. Roll and cut according to directions
  4. Egg wash before baking
  5. Bake at 350° in a convection oven
  6. Bake at 400° in a conventional oven
  7. Bake until golden on the top and bottom
  8. Serve warm 

For cheese/jalapeno biscuits: add 12 oz grated cheddar and 8 seeded and finely chopped jalapenos

Cheddar Jalapeno Biscuits... a must-try!

 

For orange/cranberry biscuits: increase sugar to 4 oz, substitute the juice of 2 oranges for part of the milk and add the zest of 2 oranges, add 6 oz chopped cranberries. Unfortunately we didn’t make these ones, but I will make them on my own sometime! 🙂

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