Thursday, July 28, 2011

Grilled Pizza{s}

I've come to the realization that when I make pizzas, I never use specific toppings. It's really just whatever I have lying around. I'm super excited about this post though because this will be the first time I grill a pizza. We finally completed the paver project in the backyard so that we could use our grill. It's a pretty awesome one at that, there are interchangeable inserts included with it... one being a pizza stone!

My main concern with grilling the pizza was "How will I get the pizza on there?" Usually when I've made pizzas, it was in the oven. I'd use 2 spatulas to move the pizza around in the oven which was not fun. So I took a trip to the store today and picked up a wooden pizza peel. Hopefully it will help make this experience easier.

Sausage and Mushroom Pizza
tomato sauce
mozzarella and italian cheese blend
hot italian sausage
sautéed mushrooms
basil, for garnish

Vegetable Pizza with Goat Cheese

mozzarella and italian cheese blend
red onion
sautéed mushrooms
sun-dried tomatoes {homemade}
red peppers
goat cheese
basil, for garnish

Because I cooked these on the grill, the temperature varied. I had it heated between 400-500 degrees, and each pizza was cooked for about 10-15 minutes. I also let them cool for 10 minutes before cutting them. 

I make my own tomato sauce for pizzas, but because I had leftover sauce from another time I just used that up. When I make more eventually, I will post the recipe.



Thin Crust Pizza Dough

A great pizza starts with the dough, this recipe is very flavorful because of it's resting time. 

Thin Crust Pizza Dough
Recipe from Cook's Illustrated

3 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon rapid-rise yeast
1 1/3 cups ice water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • In food processor fitted with metal blade, process flour, sugar, and yeast until combined, about 2 seconds. With machine running, slowly add water through feed tube; process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough stand 10 minutes.
  • Add oil and salt to dough and process until dough forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of work bowl, 30-60 seconds. Remove dough from bowl and knead briefly on lightly oiled counter top until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape dough into 2 tight balls and place on a large baking pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.
  • One hour before baking pizza, adjust oven rack to second highest position {rack should be about 4-5 inches below broiler}, set pizza stone on rack, and preheat the oven to 500 degrees. 
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 1 hour.
  • Coat 1 ball of dough generously with flour and place on well-floured countertop. Using your fingertips, gently flatten into 8 inch disks, leaving 1 inch of outer edge slightly thicker than center. Using hands, gently stretch disk into 12 inch round, working along edges and giving disk quarter turns as you stretch. Transfer dough to well-floured peel and stretch into 13 inch round.
  • Bake each pizza for 10-12 minutes, rotating pizza halfway through. Remove pizza and place on wire rack for 5 minutes.

Obviously this is just a recipe for pizza dough, but I've included the last steps for the baking process as well.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chile Verde Pork Tacos

Obviously "verde" means green, but I had 1 leftover red pepper so I substituted that for a green pepper. I really liked this recipe the first time I made it and since we have a ton of extra pork in the freezer, I figured I'd make it again.

Chile Verde Pork Tacos
Recipe adapted from Cooking at Home {William-Sonoma}

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lb boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 green peppers, diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 jalapeno peppers, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 lb tomatillos, rinsed, husked and chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup water

  • In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the pork in a single layer and turn to brown on all sides, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions, peppers and jalapenos, and sauté, stirring occasionally until the onions are very soft, about 10 minutes. 
  • Add the garlic and cumin and continue to sauté, stirring for 1 minute.
  • Add the tomatillos, cilantro and water. Return the pork to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the pork is very tender and the mixture is thick, 2-2 1/2 hours.


tortillas, warmed
sour cream
avocado, diced
pico de gallo
cheese, shredded

I made the pico de gallo with our roma "grape" tomatoes. They gave the tacos a hint of sweetness.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tuna Pasta Salad

Oh what a long weekend it's been for me. I worked about 41 hours in 3 days! So glad I could make it a "Lazy Sunday", but not without making a great pasta salad recipe from my mom. She used to make this all the time when I lived at home. She didn't have a recipe to give me so I've gone through and made exact measurements.


Tuna Pasta Salad

2 cups of pasta, cooked
5 oz pouch of tuna
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, cubed
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup sweet peas
1/4 cup dressing {recipe below}

  • In a large bowl combine the pasta, celery, red pepper, cheese, onion and dressing and mix together.
  • Add in the tuna and peas and mix lightly.

1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon dill
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic {granulated}
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Combine all of the ingredients above and mix well.

I served this salad with some grilled spicy sausages that we bought on our trip to the store, we also got a great sweet hot pepper mustard to go with them. It was all very delicious!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Meatball Subs

Ah Park City... usually when we make a day trip up to Main Street we stop by a couple of the art galleries and occasionally the High West Distillery. But it's always a guarantee that we are going to grab a bite at The Red Banjo. This place is one of the gems of Park City, and I've found that they have the best meatball subs that I've ever had! I've been in the mood for some lately so I figured I would try my hand at making them at home.

Meatball Subs

marinara sauce {recipe below} 
1/2 loaf of italian bread
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb hot italian sausage
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic {granulated}
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons parsley
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated

  • Add the bread to a food processor and blend until it makes medium to small breadcrumbs. Place the bread in a bowl and add the milk. Let it soak for about 5 minutes.
  • In another bowl add the remaining ingredients, set aside. 
  • Once the bread is done soaking, add it in to the other bowl and combine everything with your hands until it's all incorporated. Sizing of the meatballs depends on how it's being served. I'm making them big enough to fit into my sub rolls {2 per}.
  • In a large saucepan, add the marinara sauce and place the meatballs in. Spoon the sauce over the tops of the meatballs. Simmer the meatballs and sauce for 45 minutes, or longer.
  • Once the meatballs are fully cooked, take them out of the sauce and place on a plate. 

butter, melted
italian bread, cut into thirds
mozzarella cheese, sliced

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Split each roll in half. Take melted butter and brush the inside of each roll with it. Toast the bread until golden brown.
  • Add 2 meatballs to the rolls and cover with some of the marinara sauce and 2 slices of mozzarella cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted.

Marinara Sauce:
Adapted from Cooking at Home {William Sonoma}

1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon basil

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly golden, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to the pan and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low ans cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and taste and adjust the seasoning 


Monday, July 18, 2011

Pork Tenderloin Chops with Mushroom Cream Sauce

From time to time, I start to crave meals that my mom used to make when I still lived at home. One of the things that she would make was similar to this... pork chops with mushroom cream sauce. I don't have the exact recipe, but I know the essential items needed for the dish. In addition, I'll be using some of the lemon thyme from the garden, as well as capers.

Pork Tenderloin Chops with Mushroom Cream Sauce

6 pork tenderloin chops
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon thyme, chopped
2 cups cream
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

  • Cut the pork tenderloin into 1/2 inch thick chops and season with salt.
  • In a large pan on medium-high heat add 1 tablespoon of butter and the olive oil. Add the chops to the pan. Cook them for about 5-7 minutes on each side. After it is done, remove the chops from the pan as well as the juices.
  • Add the rest of the butter and let it melt, add the mushrooms and caramelize them. Add in the garlic, capers and thyme and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the mixture from the pan and place with the chops.
  • Now the pan should have some brown bits on the bottom, add the wine to deglaze. Add the cream and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. The sauce should be done when it coats the back of a spoon. Add in the mushrooms and chops and let everything cook together for about 10 minutes.

I like to serve this on a bed of basmati rice, it's one of the more flavorful rices and my favorite. You can also serve it with any vegetables that you like, this time I went with sweet peas with dill. Timmy really enjoyed dinner, when he walked in he said "It smells so good in here". It makes me happy that he enjoys my cooking!



Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Harry Potter Day

Usually our Sundays are reserved for grocery shopping and other fun activities. And because I work on Friday and Saturday nights we occasionally go to an afternoon movie on Sundays. It's a good way to avoid crowds. We went to go see: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. I've been super excited for this day all month! I made a little breakfast for Timmy and I before we left.

Eggs sunny side up on a piece of buttered toast and bacon. A simple breakfast always hits the spot!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Eggs Benedict

I haven't made this in a while so I figured since Chris was going to be in Scofield for the weekend I'd give it a go. He's not one who enjoys the flavor of hollandaise sauce. Lucky for Timmy and I! Traditionally, eggs benedict is served on an english muffin with a poached egg, canadian bacon and hollandaise sauce. I don't particularly love canadian bacon, so I'm just using regular. I would however be using english muffins, but we have a ton of leftover french bread loafs from when Timmy and Chris went out to Colorado last weekend. Instead, I'll be toasting those and using them as my base.

Eggs Benedict

canola cooking spray
4 eggs, poached
4-6 strips of bacon, cooked
french bread, split and toasted
hollandaise sauce
cayenne pepper, garnish

  • Bring water to a boil in a large shallow pan. The water should be enough to cover about 2/3 of the ramekin. 
  • Spray each ramekin with cooking spray and add an egg.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the ramekins, cover and cook for about 6-7 minutes until the egg white is set. 
  • Remove from the pan and let cool for about a minute.


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Brush the bread with butter and toast until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Cook the bacon {anyway you choose}.
  • Put 1-1 1/2 strips of bacon on each piece of toast.
  • Add the poached eggs.
  • Finish with the hollandaise sauce {depending on how much you like}.
  • Sprinkle the top with cayenne pepper.

I served this with my roasted potatoes. All of the flavors went well together!


Hollandaise Sauce

Whenever I think of "Brunch"... eggs benedict comes to mind. And of course the main feature of the dish is the wonderful hollandaise sauce that it's topped with. But this sauce is actually pretty versatile and can be used for so much more than just that. You can serve it with asparagus or even salmon!

Hollandaise Sauce

2 egg yolks
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt to taste

  • Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a bowl until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl.
  • Continue to whisk, be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly add in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. 
  • Cover until ready to use.
  • If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I had this a couple of year ago when Tims' mom brought it out when she was visiting us. I absolutely loved it and got the recipe from her. I've been making it ever since. 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
10.5 oz chicken broth
1 1/4 cup water
15 oz can hominy, drained
15 oz can corn, drained
15 oz can black beans, drained
4 oz can chilies


sour cream
cheese, shredded
green onions, chopped
cilantro, chopped
tortilla chips, crushed
avocado, diced

  • Heat a pan to medium-high heat, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the chicken breast whole for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Take the chicken out and cut into cubes and return it back to the pan and cook for about 5 more minutes. Put the cooked chicken in a bowl until needed.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the onions until they are translucent. Add the garlic, chili powder and oregano and cook for another minute.
  • Drain the hominy, corn and black beans.
  • Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, water, hominy, corn, black beans and chilies; stir. Add the chicken.
  • Bring the soup to a boil, turn down to simmer and cover for an hour. Once it's done, add the cilantro and serve when ready.

The soup is so much better with all of the condiments. Just add any or all of the ones listed above.



I had some leftover tomatoes from the pico de gallo I made a couple of weeks ago. They were in need of using, so I trimmed them up and diced them for my bruschetta. 


3 tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon olive oil plus extra for brushing
1/2 tablespoon sugar

french bread
garlic, for rubbing on the bread

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut the french bread into 1/4-1/2 inch think rounds and place on a baking pan. Brush each with oil olive {each side as well}. Put in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, turning each piece over once.
  • Once the toasted bread is done cooking, remove it from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Rub each piece with a clove of garlic.
  • Cut up the tomatoes and set aside.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients and mix well. Add the tomatoes and let marinate for 10 minutes or longer.
  • When you're ready to serve, top each piece of toasted bread.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Egg Salad

I haven't made egg salad in a while so I figured that's what Timmy and I would have for lunch this week. I love my egg salad recipe, I can genuinely call it my own. The flavor combination of sriracha, curry powder and dill weed is wonderful. 

Egg Salad

6 eggs, medium to hard boiled
1/8-1/4 cup mayonnaise
1-2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 tablespoon dill weed {dried}
2 tablespoons sriracha
salt to taste

  • Add the eggs to a pot and fill with water. Bring the eggs to a rapid boil, about 5 minutes. Turn down the heat to medium and let sit for another 5 minutes. Run under cold water so that you can handle them for peeling.
  • Peel the eggs and with a fork, chop them up. Let the eggs cool for about 5 minutes. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix until combined.

{I like when the yolk is still a bit soft, it makes for a creamier salad}

red onion, sliced
alfalfa, broccoli or daikon sprouts

Because the salad already has mayonnaise in it, I just leave the bread dry. Put a couple of spoonfuls of the salad and spread it around. Place some onion slices, a nice mound of sprouts and some lettuce on top. Voilà... deliciousness!


Monday, July 11, 2011

The "Is It Really Better Than Sex?" Cake

I've actually made this cake once before. It was Easter and we decided to stay home and invite a couple of friends over. I figured that on such short notice this would be a quick and easy fix. I'm glad I made it because it was such a light and refreshing dessert. My favorite part is probably the toasted coconut {on and off the cake}!

Is It Really Better Than Sex? Cake 
Recipe from Paula Deen

1 box yellow cake mix {plus ingredients to prepare} 
3.4 oz box french vanilla pudding {plus ingredients to prepare}
20 oz can crushed pineapple
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup flaked coconut, toasted

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare yellow cake mix as directed using a greased 9x13 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.  While cake is baking, combine the pineapple, 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan,  and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Remove cake from oven and using a fork, pierce holes into cake.  Pour pineapple mixture over hot cake and set aside.
  • Prepare pudding according to package directions.  Spread pudding over cake and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.  
  • Whip heavy cream and remaining sugar until stiff.  Cover top of cake with whipped cream and sprinkle toasted coconut on top. 



    Fettuccine Alfredo with Asparagus, Portobello and Bacon

    I had an interesting weekend. Tim and Chris went to visit their parents and brother, Nick, in Colorado for their moms birthday. Sadly, I had to work on Friday and Saturday so I did not get to join them. But they had a great time! They went on a hike, stopped by a distillery and had dinner with neighbors. While they were there, Dianne (mom) made spring rolls and rhubarb upside down cake... I absolutely love both of those. I was happy to get leftovers!

    I personally like when Tim and I aren't always together, it makes us appreciate each other more. I was told how much I was missed over the weekend by him and his family. It's a great feeling to be loved.

    Now on to dinner... since I had leftover portobello mushrooms as well as asparagus, I figured I would make a pasta with it. A frittata did come to mind though, but that seemed better for a weekend brunch. This also gave me a reason to make fresh pasta, which I love to do!  

    Fettuccine Alfredo with Asparagus, Portobello and Bacon

    1 lb fresh pasta, cooked
    4 oz bacon
    2 tablespoons butter
    4 oz portobello mushrooms
    6 oz asparagus
    1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
    alfredo sauce {recipe below}

    • In a large pan, cook the bacon. Remove it from the pan as well as some of the fat that's left over.
    • Add the butter and mushrooms to the pan and sauté until the mushrooms are nicely cooked. Add the asparagus and red pepper flakes and cook until the asparagus are slightly cooked, about 3 minutes.
    • Add the vegetable mixture to the sauce and pasta and mix thoroughly.
    • Sprinkle with the bacon once ready to serve so that it stays crunchy.

    Alfredo Sauce:
    Recipe adapted from Cooking at Home {William-Sonoma}

    4 tablespoons butter
    5-6 cloves garlic, finely minced
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup heavy whipping cream
    3/4 cup parmesan cheese

    • Place a large pan over medium-low heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the garlic and turn the take off of the heat. Let the garlic absorb the butter so it doesn't burn. 
    • Return back to the heat and add the cream and salt, heat just until the mixture begins to bubble, and then simmer until slightly thickened, bout 5 minutes. 
    • Remove from the heat and add the cooked pasta and parmesan to the pan, tossing thoroughly to combine. Adjust the thickness of the sauce with some of the pasta cooking water, if needed, then serve right away.

    I paired the pasta with a side salad. I went outside and picked the roma "grape" tomatoes from our garden. They are so sweet and delicious.


    Fresh Pasta Dough

    There is nothing quite like fresh pasta. If you've ever eaten it, the flavor is just so much better than your average dried version. It's super easy to make as well, which makes it well worth the little bit of extra work involved. I got this recipe when I was watching Kelsey's Essentials on The Cooking Channel. I loved that she adds olive oil to the dough!

    Fresh Pasta Dough
    Recipe from Kelsey Nixon 

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    3 eggs
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon olive oil
    • Mound the flour on a clean work surface. Hollow out the center making a well in the middle of the flour with steep sides.
    • Break the eggs into the well. Add the salt, and olive oil to the hollow center and gently mix together with a fork. Gradually start incorporating the flour by pulling in the flour from the sides of the well. As you incorporate more of the flour, the dough will start to take shape.
    • With your hands or a bench scraper continue working the dough until it comes together. If the dough is too dry, add a little water; if too wet or sticky, add a little flour.
    • Begin kneading the dough and keep kneading until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. At this point, set the dough aside, cover it with plastic, and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. You can store the dough in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, but allow it to return to room temperature before rolling it out.
    • Divide the pasta dough into 4 even sections. Keep each section covered with plastic wrap or a clean towel while you work with each one. Flour the dough, the rollers of a pasta roller {or your rolling pin}, your hands, and the work surface.
    • If using a pasta machine: Flatten 1 of the of the dough pieces between your hands or with a floured rolling pin until it forms a thick oval disk. Dust the disk, the roller, and your hands with additional flour. Flour a baking sheet to hold the rolled out finished pasta.
    • With the roller on the widest setting, pass the pasta through the machine's rollers a few times until it is smooth. Fold the dough over into 1/3, and continue to pass through a few more times until the pasta is smooth again. Begin adjusting the pasta machine settings to become thinner, passing the dough through a few times at each setting.


    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Portobello and Black Bean Quesadillas

    I'm not sure what it is about this week but I've been on a vegetable kick. I was actually going to make this yesterday but I didn't get off of work until 4 PM and had ordered food from there. A pepperoni pizza with mushrooms and spicy peppers. It was amazingly heavy and I just didn't see the point in eating again after that.

    This recipe comes from a Cooking Light magazine that I picked up over a year ago. I have made a couple of the recipes out of it but was always interested in trying this one.

    Portobello and Black Bean Quesadillas
    Recipe from Cooking Light

    4 flour tortillas
    canola cooking spray

    portobello mushrooms, chopped
    2 tablespoons
    balsamic vinaigrette
    1 cup
    black beans, rinsed and drained
    2 oz jar diced pimiento, drained
    1 cup
    pre-shredded mexican cheese blend
    1/4 cup
    green onions, thinly sliced
    fresh cilantro, chopped and salsa for garnish

    • Stack tortillas; microwave at high for 1 minute. Leave in microwave to keep warm while preparing filling.
    • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms; sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Add vinaigrette, beans, and pimiento; cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, or until liquid evaporates. Mash bean mixture slightly with a potato masher.
    • Spoon about 1/3 cup bean mixture onto each tortilla. Sprinkle evenly with cheese and onions. Fold tortillas in half.
    • Wipe skillet with paper towels; heat over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place 2 quesadillas in pan; cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and cheese melts. Repeat with remaining 2 quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 3 wedges. Serve immediately with salsa and cilantro, if desired.

    I absolutely love mushrooms, maybe that's why I've been eating them all week. I had purchased an extra package of portobello mushrooms just in case I needed to make extra of this dish. Luckily, it doesn't seem I'll be needing them so I get to use them for something else!


    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Veggie Paninis

    I'm so in love with these it's not even funny. Ever since I've gotten the idea to put one together it became one of my favorite things to make and eat. I make these about twice a month now but I'm sometimes tempted to make them ever more. All of the flavors go so well together! 

    I'm not specific on portion sizes when it comes to this recipe, but I usually make enough for 3-4 servings. You can add or take away however much of the ingredients that you like.

    Veggie Paninis

    red pepper, roasted and cut into strips
    zucchini, cut lengthwise
    red onion, sliced
    mushrooms, sliced
    asparagus, ends trimmed
    sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
    marinated artichokes, chopped
    olive oil
    pesto mayo {recipe below}
    goat cheese
    sandwich rolls, you can use what you like

    • Turn on the broiler and place the red pepper on the top rack. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini, red onion, mushrooms. Trim the ends of the asparagus as well.
    • Keep an eye on the red pepper, you want the skin to be almost completely black so that you can peel it off easily. Once it's like this, take it out and set it in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap for 5 minutes.
    • Chop the sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes. The pepper should be good to peel now, so do that and cut it into strips.
    • I usually use a George Foreman grill to cook my vegetables on. I put a little bit of olive oil on the vegetables so that they cook nicely. Grill the zucchini, red onions, mushrooms and asparagus {all separately}. Once you're done with that, clean the grill and get it ready for pressing the sandwiches.
    • Cut the rolls lengthwise but not all the way through. Spread on the pesto mayo and break up the goat cheese and sprinkle it on top.
    • Now layer the vegetables on top of that until you feel that you have enough of each. Don't put too much or you won't be able to close it.
    • Place on the grill and close the lid, they will take about 5-6 minutes. You can turn them if you want to make different grill marks. Once they are finished, let them sit for a minute and cut on a diagonal.

    Pesto Mayo:


    •  Combine the ingredients until mixed thoroughly.

    You can serve these with a side salad if you want but because they are so filling, I usually just serve them without anything. 



    Monday, July 4, 2011

    Caprese Pasta Salad

    On Saturday I made this pasta salad to take to Lagoon. We decided it would be a better idea to bring our own food to the park and it was for sure. Nothing like a great picnic with homemade food!

    Caprese Pasta Salad

    2 1/2 cups spiral pasta, cooked
    1 ball of mozzarella, cubed
    1 container of grape tomatoes, halved
    1/2 cup arugula pesto
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

    • Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. 

      We had a great day yesterday... tons of fun rides at Lagoon and then off to a friends house for fireworks!


        Chocolate Chip Cookies!

        Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies, but if they don't, they'll love these. They are full of deliciousness!

        Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
        Recipe from Cooks Illustrated

        1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
        1/2 teaspoon baking soda
        14 tablespoons unsalted butter
        1/2 cup sugar
        3/4 cups brown sugar
        1 teaspoon salt
        2 teaspoons vanilla extract
        1 large egg
        1 large egg yolk
        1 1/4 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
        3/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

        • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
        • Heat 10 tablespoons butter in a pot over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1-3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
        • Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
        • Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons {or use #24 cookie scoop}. Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. {Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches}.
        • Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10-14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.