Saturday, September 30, 2006

Breakfast for Dinner

Lately I've been inspired by cooking shows on The Food Network. In the past I used to watch the shows and if a recipe called for an expensive ingredient I would pretty much write off ever making it. But these days, since we're on a tight budget, I've been looking at the recipes in a new light.

Take, for example, two shows I watched yesterday - Everyday Italian and 30 Minute Meals. Giada made a frittata using, among other things, prosciutto, an ingredient I never buy. I remembered that I had some broccoli, a small nub of cheddar cheese and potatoes, so for dinner tonight I made a frittata using those ingredients. We also had some tater tots in the freezer from the last time SP had breakfast club at work and we always have bacon on hand. Dinner = done.

As for Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals - she was making mini meatloaf muffins, smashed potatoes and green beans with bacon. My plan for dinner tomorrow is to make my own recipe for meatloaf, but cook it in my muffin tins like she did. I'm going to make garlic mashed potatoes like I made a few nights ago and depending on how the green beans look in the store, I'll either make green beans with bacon or Emeril's recipe for smothered green peas, modified a bit to make it more flavorful.

Tomorrow is Sunday, my day of cooking. I'm looking forward to the mini meatloaves, making tomato sauce for dinner later in the week and prepping for the rest of our meals.

UPDATE: Here's the frittata recipe I used last night. Remember, this is just a method. Frittatas are incredibly versatile - you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand. It's a good way to clean out the fridge.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 small potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 onion, chopped
a few pieces of broccoli cut into small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup cheddar cheese cut into cubes

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy 12-inch-diameter oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the potato, onion, broccoli and garlic. Season the potato mixture with salt and pepper. Saute over medium-low heat until the potato is golden and crisp on the outside, tender inside, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Preheat the broiler (I don't have a broiler that will fit a skillet so I just preheated the oven to 350 degrees). Whisk the eggs, cream, salt, pepper and cheddar cheese in a medium bowl to blend. Stir the egg mixture into the potato mixture in the skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until the egg mixture is almost set but the top is still loose, about 3 minutes.

Place the skillet under the broiler (or in the oven). Broil until the top is set and golden brown, about 4 minutes (I had to cook the frittata for about 15-20 minutes in the oven). Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittata from skillet and slide the frittata onto a cutting board. Cut into wedges. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Pin It!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli

Comfort food is a very good thing. Tonight I made chicken, mashed potatoes and broccoli. Homey and delicious.

I cut the chicken breasts into tenders, dipped them in beaten egg and then dredged them in a mixture of Italian seasoned bread crumbs and Pecorino cheese. I gave them a quick saute in a skillet over medium-high heat. They took about 2 minutes per side.

For the mashed potatoes I finally tried The Food Pornographer's recipe for garlic mashed potatoes. Her partner adds a clove of garlic to the potatoes while they're cooking and then mashes the potatoes and garlic together. One word - yum! I added two crushed cloves because we really like garlic. Once the potatoes were tender, I mashed them with some milk, leftover heavy cream from last night's fettucine alfredo, salt, pepper and butter. I think this is my new favorite way to make mashed potatoes.

The broccoli I just steamed and then tossed with butter, salt and pepper.
Pin It!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fettucine Alfredo with Sausage

Creamy sauce coating thin strands of pasta accented by chunks of sweet sausage. It just doesn't get any more luxurious than Fettucine Alfredo with Sausage.

I used Lidia Bastianich's recipe, which is my standby. We had some sweet Italian sausage in the freezer and since SP is a sausage fiend, I cooked up a few links to go with the fettucine. I removed the casings and broke the links into large chunks then browned them in a tiny bit of oil. I did this last night so all I had to do tonight was cook the pasta (SP was kind enough to start the water for me before I got home so it was ready when I was) and make the sauce. Once the cream, butter and chicken stock was boiling, I added the sausage so it could reheat in the sauce. I even used some of the pasta cooking water to warm the pasta bowls.

Fettucine Alfredo
Courtesy of Lidia Bastianich

1 lb fettucine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup heavy cream (I usually use a full cup)
½ cup chicken stock
2 egg yolks
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black peppercorns

Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Cook the pasta, semi-covered, stirring occasionally, according to package directions.

Meanwhile, drop the butter into a large skillet and place over medium heat. Before the butter has a chance to melt fully and separate, pour in the heavy cream and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and season lightly with salt and finely ground pepper.

If the skillet is large enough to accommodate the sauce and pasta, fish the pasta out of the boiling water with a large wire skimmer and add it directly to the sauce in the skillet. If not, drain the pasta, return it to the pot and pour in the sauce. Bring the sauce and pasta to a boil, stirring to coat the pasta with sauce. Cook until the sauce is reduced enough to form a creamy, gliding sauce, then drop in the egg yolks, one at a time, stirring well after each. (If the sauce becomes too dense, thin it a little with more chicken stock or a little of the pasta cooking water.)

Remove from the heat, sprinkle the grated cheese and coarse black pepper over the pasta, toss well and serve immediately in warm bowls.
Pin It!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Easy meals are the name of the game these days.

I assembled this lasagna on Sunday, SP baked it last night and I nuked a piece for dinner tonight. I also made some cheesy garlic bread. Dinner was ready in less than 15 minutes.
Pin It!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Chicken Sandwiches and Spicy O'Nuts

Warning: I'm going to toot my own horn for a second. I know I'm a good cook, but sometimes I surprise even myself.

Tonight's dinner was simple yet sublime: chicken sandwiches topped with caramelized onions and green peppers and smothered with melted cheddar cheese served alongside Rachael Ray's Spicy O'Nuts.

I marinated the chicken with some olive oil, Italian seasoning and garlic powder and then sauteed it in a skillet since I didn't feel like dirtying my table top electric grill. I thickly sliced an onion and a green bell pepper and cooked them in another skillet until they were soft and caramelized. We got some nice pillowy soft Kaiser rolls at the supermarket and I toasted mine before layering on the chicken, onions and green bell pepper, topping it with sliced cheddar cheese and running it under the broiler. A nice slathering of mayo on the top bun completed my utterly delicious sandwich.
Pin It!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Wedding Food

Tonight was C & M's wedding. Even though I didn't cook any of the food I thought it would be nice to take some pictures for this blog anyway, as a tribute to our dear friends.

I forgot to take pictures of the cocktail hour. Needless to say there was a ton of food. I sampled maybe a fourth of what was available. Favorites included roasted beets with onion, penne with vodka sauce, meatballs, eggplant rollatini, calamari and coconut shrimp. There were also a ton of pasta salads, shrimp cocktail, pigs in a blanket, eggrolls, mozzarella and tomato salad, etc. etc.

I apologize in advance for the horrible lighting. I blame the reception hall.

Dinner started with minestrone soup:

...a light broth with pasta and vegetables.

The salad course:

...consisted of lettuce, tomato, cucumber and radish with a balsamic vinaigrette

For my entree I got the chicken francaise:

...which was lightly breaded with a lemon sauce and served with roasted potatoes, zucchini, squash and carrots.

In addition to wedding cake:

...there was a Viennese table with a chocolate peanut butter cake, eclairs, cream puffs, mini cheesecakes and a chocolate fountain with strawberries and bananas for dipping.

CONGRATULATIONS, C & M!!!! We wish you many years of happiness together!
Pin It!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Pizza Friday

Another Friday, another pizza. This week's toppings included Italian sausage, pepperoni and black olives. I also used some of the leftover fire roasted tomato sauce I made last week.

Pin It!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Pork Chops a la Dijon

Tonight SP was in charge of dinner. Pork chops had been on sale a few weeks ago so we had a package in the freezer. I was kind of sick of pork chops after the binge we'd had a few weeks ago, but the brief hiatus was all I needed to get excited about them again. And SP's Pork Chops a la Dijon are always mighty tasty. The secret is in the sauce, which he reduces with some white wine and a few healthy teaspoons of Dijon mustard. It's creamy, tangy and the perfect compliment to the chops. To round out the meal we had skin-on red bliss mashed potatoes and corn.
Pin It!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Moroccan Beef Patties

Tonight's dinner was another meal from Everyday with Rachael Ray, with the addition of an Emeril recipe that, surprisingly, used less than 40 ingredients and came out tasting rather good. All in all, we were very happy. We really enjoyed the complex seasonings in the beef patties and it's always nice to spice up something as boring as frozen peas.

Moroccan Beef Patties with Couscous
Courtesy of Everyday with Rachael Ray

1 1/2 cups couscous
1 1/2 cups beef broth, or water
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound lean ground beef
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

In a small saucepan bring beef broth to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover and remove from heat. After 5 minutes, fluff the couscous with a fork. Season with pepper and keep warm.

In a bowl combine the beef, garlic, onion, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons parsley and 1 teaspoon salt. Form into 8 patties.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef patties and cook for about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Smothered Green Peas
Courtesy of Emeril

2 slices bacon, diced
1/4 cup diced ham (I left this out because we didn't have any on hand)
1/2 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 cups fresh or frozen sweet green peas
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until the fat begins to render and turn golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the ham, onion and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peas, stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the peas are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a warm dish for serving.
Pin It!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Macaroni and Cheese

A few years ago I became obsessed with finding the perfect mac & cheese recipe. This might sound crazy, but my college cafeteria had the most amazing mac & cheese I had ever tasted. It was rich, creamy and cheesy and when I saw it on the menu I would literally squeal with anticipation. And they always served it with stewed tomatoes, which just made me even happier.

Bubbly, cheesy goodness:

My quest for the perfect mac & cheese took years and resulted in a lot of heartache. I tried countless variations, different kinds of cheese, different preparations and none satisfied me. Finally I cracked open the bible for all home cooks - The Joy of Cooking - and lo and behold, I found the perfect recipe. It's the only one I'll make anymore because nothing else can compare.

An inside shot:

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Courtesy of The Joy of Cooking

2 cups (8 ounces) elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter, divided plus extra for greasing pan
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1/2 onion, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Bring 6 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to rolling boil in a large pot. Add macaroni and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and put in large bowl.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Stir in onion, bay leaf and paprika. Simmer gently, stirring often, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and remove bay leaf. Stir in 2 cups of cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in macaroni.

Pour half of mixture into greased, 1 1/2-quart baking dish and sprinkle with half of remaining cheese. Top with remaining macaroni and then remaining cheese.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and toss to coat. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over top of macaroni.

Bake at 350 degrees until bread crumbs are lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Pin It!

A Simple Breakfast

I was all set to make a huge Sunday breakfast but SP didn't get home from his gig until 4 a.m., so he slept until after 11. I also realized that I was out of potatoes, which meant no homefries. So I settled for the old breakfast standby.
Pin It!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hoagie Time

A friend of ours owns a hoagie shop in the town where we're buying a house. SP took his mom to check out our new neighborhood today, so for lunch they stopped at the hoagie shop. He was sweet enough to pick me up an Italian hoagie with lettuce, tomato, onion, oil, vinegar and mayo for dinner. What a guy!
Pin It!

Summer in a Jar

What a sight to behold:

At the end of every summer, my mother and I can tomatoes. Come winter it's comforting to see row after row of jewel-like jars of bright red tomatoes in my pantry, knowing that I can open one up and transport myself back in time.

I also really enjoy spending the quality time with my mother. We talk as we work, painstakingly peeling each tomato and removing all the seeds. We catch up on one another's lives and talk about the future when we hope to teach my children how to can. We form an efficient assembly line to sterilize the jars and fill them up, then we listen expectantly for the distinct popping sound that lets us know a jar has sealed and squeal with delight when they all do.

And at the end of the day we marvel at the bright red beauties sitting on the counter, happy in the knowledge that we've captured and bottled the last essence of summer.
Pin It!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Pizza Friday

Seems like pizza is becoming our dinner of choice on Fridays. Not to pat myself on the back too hard, but I think I'm getting damn good at making a tasty slice.

I was looking for a change of scenery from the Buffalo Chicken Pizza of late, so I opted for a more traditional pie. We had a large can of whole fire roasted tomatoes, so I made a quick sauce using some minced garlic and olive oil, a pinch or two of salt and a sprinkling of sugar. Toppings included thickly sliced pepperoni, sliced black olives and shredded mozzarella. The best part - I've got enough sauce leftover for two more pies.

Here's a view of the pie, prebaked:

Pin It!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Steakhouse Classic

A steakhouse meal at home:

...Steak au Poivre smothered in a silky sauce made with shallots, beef broth, brandy and a healthy dose of butter, a baked potato with more butter, sour cream, salt, pepper and some snipped chives for color and Romaine hearts with a tangy Caesar vinaigrette.


Here's the recipe for the anonymous reader that requested it.

Filet of Beef au Poivre
Courtesy of Ina Garten

6 filet mignon, cut 1 1/4 inches thick (I used sirloin steak because I'm on a budget)
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped shallots (3 to 4 shallots)
1 cup canned beef broth
1/2 cup good Cognac or brandy (I used brandy)

Place the filets on a board and pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the filets with salt and then press the black pepper evenly on both sides. Allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until the butter almost smokes. Place the steaks in the pan and lower the heat to medium. Saute the steaks for 4 minutes on one side and then for 3 minutes on the other side, for medium rare. Remove the steaks to a serving platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Meanwhile, pour all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the saute pan. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the beef broth and cook over high heat for 4 to 6 minutes, until reduced by half, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the brandy and cook for 2 more minutes. Off the heat, swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Serve the steaks hot with the sauce poured on top.
Pin It!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Spaghetti all'Amatriciana

And so begins three months of making tasty, filling meals on a budget. Tonight was Spaghetti all'Amatriciana:

...a wonderful combination of bacon, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and crushed tomatoes blended into a thick sauce, served over long strands of spaghetti with a dusting of grated Pecorino. To make the pound of pasta stretch farther, I also chopped some hearts of Romaine for a simple salad. I dressed mine with Caesar vinaigrette; SP had his with blue cheese. If I had remembered to buy a baguette at the supermarket I would have made some cheesy garlic bread to go alongside.

Looks like we're off to a good start. A dish made entirely of items I always keep on hand.
Pin It!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

It Feels Good To Cook Again

Well, it's happened. We are embarking down a very scary, but ultimately fulfilling, road. That's right, we're buying a house. We aren't moving until at least December, but the budget is extremely tight until then so that means no family dinners on Sunday, no expensive ingredients, no entertaining. I'm planning to make a lot of casseroles for SP and I like macaroni and cheese, lasagna, chicken with apples...basically anything that uses inexpensive ingredients.

Tonight, in celebration of our offer being accepted, we ate shrimp. I doubt we'll be buying it again until next year, but I had half a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer already so I made one of our favorites: Shrimp with Ginger, Garlic and Scallions. I served it over white rice alongside green beans cooked with shallots.
Pin It!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Muffin Mania

This afternoon I had three bananas ripening on my kitchen counter and a lot of nervous energy, so I made banana chocolate chip muffins. I can't wait to have a couple for breakfast tomorrow.
Pin It!

Salad Bowl

We have been insanely busy, so busy that I haven't had a chance to cook since Friday. Usually I spend my weekends cooking up a storm, especially now that the weather is getting cooler. But (fingers crossed!) if all goes well in the next few days, our weekends will be getting even busier. I don't know what that will mean for cooking, but I'm sure I can still make time for that.

Since we have a very long appointment tonight, we're probably going to junk it at a fast food restaurant to save time and money. To combat the greasy food, I opted to have a simple salad for lunch. I chopped some Romaine into large pieces and topped it with grated Pecorino cheese and some Caesar vinaigrette. Satisfying and light.
Pin It!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tastes Like Chicken (Wings)!

SP was such a fan of last Friday's Buffalo Chicken Pizza that he asked me to make it again this Friday. This time I used two chicken breasts instead of three and I think it was the perfect amount.

Now that we know how easy it is to make pizza at home we never go out for it anymore. I can't say that's a bad thing since we're trying to save every penny for a house.
Pin It!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tuna Sandwich

Sometimes you just want a simple, no frills dinner. I've been craving a tuna melt for a couple days and since SP had class tonight I decided to kick up my ordinary tuna melt. I mixed the tuna with salt, pepper and mayo and toasted two slices of white bread, then I put the tuna mixtue on one slice of bread. I topped the tuna with cheddar cheese and ran it under the broiler while I thinly sliced some red onion. Once the cheese was melty and bubbly, I topped the tuna with a leaf of Romaine and the red onion slices. A thin coating of mayo went on the other slice of bread. I filled the other half of the plate with some Terra Frites, sour cream and onion and sour cream and cheddar potato chips. A dill pickle slice completed the meal.
Pin It!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

An Old Standby

Tonight we had an old family favorite - pierogies with bacon and onions and broccoli with cheddar cheese. I did a whole how-to of this meal here. Next to spaghetti carbonara, this is one of my all-time favorite dinners. And leftovers for lunch always make me excited to go to work.

As an aside, I don't think I will ever understand why this combination of flavors works so well. I know anything coated with a sheen of bacon fat is invariably going to taste magnificent, but what I don't get is why the combination of bacon, onions, sour cream, broccoli and cheddar cheese works so well together. The time I made broccoli with cheddar cheese to go with Sticky Chicken was a total flavor disaster. They just didn't mesh well. I told SP I think it's the sour cream that really brings everything together. Whatever the reason, I'm only making broccoli with cheddar when I make pierogies. They were just meant to be together.
Pin It!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

More Pork Chops

I think I outdid myself. The menu: breaded pork chops, couscous and roasted vegetables.

Dinner tonight was incredibly simple and yet all the flavors alive! Everything came out perfectly. The chops were tender and crispy, the couscous had a great garlicky-chickeny flavor and the roasted vegetables tasted like I had magnified their very essence. And I had dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes.

I roasted the vegetables - two yellow squash, one green and one red pepper, an eggplant, an onion and three tomatoes - on Sunday to save time. I just cut the vegetables into large bite-size pieces, tossed them with olive oil, salt, pepper and some herbes de Provence and roasted them at 475 degrees for about 20 minutes.

For the breaded pork chops I dipped the chops in beaten egg and then into Italian bread crumbs seasoned with shredded Pecorino Romano cheese. The chops then went into about a 1/2-inch of very hot vegetable oil so the breadcrumbs had a chance to get nice and golden brown. They cooked for about 5 minutes per side.

For the couscous I just brought one cup of chicken broth and one clove of minced garlic that I made into a paste with some salt to a boil, added one cup of couscous, turned off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and bob's your uncle!
Pin It!

Breakfast Strata

I was staring at an entire uneaten loaf of bread, milk that was about to expire and eggs when it came to me - breakfast strata. Strata is the perfect way to use up breakfast foods and with the weather starting to change, I've been craving comfort food. I put together the strata (a.k.a Christmas Morning Strata because we always make it on Christmas morning) on Sunday, baked it yesterday and SP and I will eat it for breakfast all week.


1 pound ground pork sausage
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
8 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese (I use a pound because SP loves Swiss)
1 1/2 cups milk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Brown sausage in a skillet over medium heat, stirring until it crumbles; drain well. Stir in mustard. Fit bread into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish; top with sausage mixture and cheese. Combine milk and remaining ingredients; pour over bread mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until golden brown.
Pin It!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Milk and Cookies

It doesn't get much better than chewy, chocolately cookies and a nice cold glass of milk before bed.

Pin It!

Fall's Coming

I always know fall is coming when I start craving comfort foods. Macaroni and cheese, pot roast, eggplant rollatini, roast chicken - all those dishes you don't want to cook during the spring and summer because they're too heavy and require turning on the oven.

Since SP didn't have to work today he was in charge of dinner. Whole chickens were on sale at the supermarket, so we picked up a 6-pound bird. SP slathered him with garlic butter and cooked him until he was nice and juicy. He also whipped up some skin-on red bliss mashed potatoes and steamed green beans.
Pin It!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Ultimate Shrimp Scampi

At least that's what Tyler Florence claims.

Tonight I made Tyler's recipe for the Ultimate Shrimp Scampi. All the recipes from his new show, Tyler's Ultimate, sound absolutely amazing. I can't wait to try his meatloaf and fajitas. Yum!

I have to say, this recipe was pretty good, although I've always made shrimp scampi pretty much the same way. The recipe called for a pound of pasta, but I think a half pound would better showcase the flavors of the shallot, garlic and lemon juice. All in all, though, a success.

On a related note - did you notice the new plates? We took a trip to IKEA yesterday and got 12 place settings. I'm a very happy camper!
Pin It!

Sunday Cooking

I like to use my time on Sundays to get ready for the week's meals. Since I get home around 7:30 every night, it's nice to have everything prepped and ready to go. I cleaned and trimmed green beans for dinner tomorrow, as well as some broccoli to go with pierogies and broccoli on Wednesday.

My mom gave me some yellow squash, an eggplant, tomatoes, a red pepper and a yellow pepper from this week's box of veggies. I decided to roast them today so I could serve them with pork chops later in the week. I cut everything (including an onion) into long, matchstick pieces, tossed them on a cookie sheet with some olive oil, salt, pepper and herbes de Provence and baked them at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

I've been craving something sweet after lunch, so I decided to bake chocolate chip cookies. I used another one of Debbie's recipes. They're still cooling, but they smell and look divine.

And since the weather is getting cooler, I decided to bake a strata so SP and I could have something hearty for breakfast. This is my Christmas Morning Strata, a staple in our house every year. It has sausage and Swiss cheese and is mouthwateringly good. A strata has to be assembled the day before it's baked to give all the ingredients time to come together, so that'll be a post for tomorrow.
Pin It!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Whenever I do my laundry at the Laundromat where my mother-in-law works, we like to go to the pizza place across the street for lunch. Their regular pizza is pretty tasty, but it's their buffalo chicken pizza that has me coming back time and again. It's like eating buffalo wings, only without having to pick apart all the tiny bones to get to the good stuff.

SP and I like making pizza at home and I had some leftover chicken breasts from a family pack I bought this week, so I decided to try recreating the buffalo chicken pizza at home. I think I did a pretty good job.

I cooked chicken breasts in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes (I think 30 would have been plenty) in a few tablespoons of Frank's hot sauce. Once the chicken had cooled a bit, I diced it into bite-sized pieces and mixed it with 1/2 cup of Frank's and 1/3 cup of melted butter. I used fresh pizza dough from the Italian bakery down the street. After I rolled out the dough, I spread a thin layer of Marie's blue cheese dressing on top and then added shredded mozzarella cheese. The chicken went on last. There was a lot of chicken - too much chicken, in fact - so next time I'll use about half the amount. I baked the pizza on our pizza stone that had been preheated in a 500 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
Pin It!