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Tidbits

Mrs J found this Regal Moth in her flower garden, it seemed to be some distress.  She left it in a little concealed nook and has since seen it a couple of times in different spots.I had an oops! moment last week – I left the butter dish atop the toaster oven and needed something to use up all that melted butter.  Pineapple upside down cake worked admirably.  It could have used a bit more oven time to caramelize the pineapple layer.  Inverting the cake onto a sheet of parchment paper was a stroke of genius, he said, patting himself on the back.More sous vide rib-eye.  I made a pan sauce in the cast iron skillet used to sear the steaks.  Deglazed it with white wine and then added the sealed bag liquids and the garlic butter left from the mix used for the bread.While I was searching the freezer for the rib steaks I came across a couple of strip steaks.  I knew them to be tough so I put them in the water bath with the rib-eyes and let them run overnight.  I sliced off a bit to sample in the morning and found it very tender.  Mrs J started chanting “cheesesteak!  cheesesteak!” And that’s the rest of the story.My cayenne peppers are nearing harvest, they’ll be dried and processed into red pepper flakes.The habaneros are starting to ripen.  They are just too hot to use up in the small amounts we can tolerate – I still have ground habs from two years ago.  They are pretty, though, and I’m sure I’ll want some growing next year, too.Naan pizzas!  These are just great for quick and tasty dinners.  These have olive oil and garlic, provolone, cherry tomatoes, fresh thyme, deli sliced turkey, salami, shredded pizza blend cheese, and fresh grated Parmesan.I’ll bookend this post with moths.  Here’s a hummingbird moth browsing through the flowers on the catmint.

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Pizza Pr0n

I picked the first batch of cherry tomatoes, probably about a pint and a half.  Mrs J looked at the bowl and thought they would go good on a pizza.  She was right.

These are more of those naan loaves we bought at the International grocery.  They are about 8 inches in diameter and make great little individual pies.  I brushed them with garlic infused olive oil, added pieces of sliced provolone, and the sliced tomatoes.  They went into a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  Add the fresh basil after they come out.  Shredded parmesan works well.  I use a microplane grater on a small block of hard cheese.

Pizza, Quick

There were two packages of naan in the “oops, we baked too many” bin at the Kroger deli/bakery.  Marked down by half seemed a bargain so I brought both of them home.  We had the gyro burgers using one package yesterday and used the other one last night for pizzas.Mrs J made her fave – ham and pickled banana pepper rings with mozz on a base of my Awesome Sauce©.  I piled on most of my favorite toppings: olives, sausage, salami,onions, mushrooms, and fresh jalapenos with mozz & sauce.  Cayenne pepper flakes and fresh grated Parmesan were added at the table.

Tidbits

20161110_1937411600x1200I’ll start this off with a pie than should have been great but ended up only fair to poor.  It’s a Brown Butter Apple Pie with a Cheddar Crust.  Sound great!  It turned out to be a lot of effort for a disappointing result.  Mrs J swears that she will not try this one again.20161108_1511411600x1200This was a pretty good pie.  Somehow I got the water/flour ratio wrong on the dough – it ended up too wet and sticky.  I kneaded in more flour but gave up and poured it onto the pan.  It got an Awesome Sauce base for the mozzarella, onions, mushrooms, sausage, and ham.20161106_1055061600x1200I broke out my slicer for that big sous vide tenderloin I did, and also sliced some ham.  Most of it I vac-sealed and froze but kept some out for my midwestern version of the classic Cubano sammich.20161031_1357191600x1200More chili!  This is about half chorizo and half ground beef. I don’t usually put sour cream on mine but many people do.  I can take it or leave it.  It does make for a pretty picture, so there’s that.20161103_1701261600x1200I used the slow cook feature on the toaster oven, they got 2 hours on high and some more time on the low setting because we weren’t quite ready to eat.  I used a flat lid for the shallow pan and it touched the chicken quarter, that’s the black patch on the thigh.  The rest was quite tender, the leg came off as I plated it.20161105_1206141600x1200Here’s another sammich made with the pork and ham I sliced.  I need to make more slaw, bake more beans, and make another potato salad.20161109_1619231600x1200Classic spaghetti with meat sauce.  When the pasta drained after cooking, instead of spooning some sauce into it I used half a stick of butter that I zapped in the microwave with several cloves of garlic.  Add a little Parmesan and you can eat it just like that but I like a nice meat sauce.  Mrs J isn’t fond of mushrooms so I sauteed a few to top my plate with as a garnish instead of mixing them into the sauce.dsc03224-1600x1200Here’s a few kittehs.

White Chicken Pizza!

20161028_1556201600x1200The white sauce was made with garlic infused butter and olive oil for the roux, stir in milk and whisk until it thickens then start adding cheeses.  This one has Monterey jack and Parmesan.20161028_1625291600x1200I have mozzarella string cheese rolled up inside the edge.  It was brushed with more of the garlic butter and sprinkled with kosher salt.  Dough for the crust was made yesterday, it proofed some then and spend the night in the fridge.20161028_1643271600x1200The crust isn’t a thin one, it’s more like bread than a limp cracker.  The recipe called for 3-1/2 cups of flour and would easily make enough for two.  That thick, chewy, mozzarella infused crust eats like one of those soft pretzels.20161028_1651181600x1200Mmm… pizza!  The white sauce is such a prominent part of the toppings that, compared to the usual profusion on my pizzas, chicken, broccoli, and red onions are deemed sufficient.20161028_1707091600x1200Caution!  Leftover zone!  I put this straight into the freezer and will bag the individual slices when they are frozen solid.  Remember to separate them on the tray so they are easy to remove.

Carnitas Pizza

20160612_172223(1600x1200)This is on a basic wheat flour crust.  I suppose if you were to go all in on one of these you could make a crust with masa but I chickened out.  I spread refried beans over the crust as a sauce analog.20160612_173322(1600x1200)A good measure of roast pork was laid down over the beans along with tomato slices and fresh jalapenos (on my half only).20160612_173344(1600x1200)My first thought for cheese was sharp cheddar but I opted for queso quesadilla.  It’s a good melting cheese.  Quesadillas are named for the cheese, not the other way around.20160612_173606(1600x1200)I gave the pie an overall sprinkle of my favorite Tex-Mex seasoning and baked it for  about 20 minutes at 350.  I added a little hot sauce to mine just to kick it up.

Pizza Pr0n – Sausage, Prosciutto, and Honey Ham

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Pizza Pr0n!

DSC_1808 (1600x1060)Lots of love out there for thin crust pizza but we really like these cheese crust pies with plenty of toppings.  This one has sausage, prosciutto, onions, mushrooms, and pepper rings.  We use the snack type string cheese to roll in the edges, it comes in various flavors and types but get the good stuff to be sure it melts nicely.DSC_1809 (1600x1060)I like to brush garlic infused olive oil on the crust edge and then give it a generous sprinkle of kosher salt.

Friday Recipe Exchange: Breakfast Pizzas

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I wanted to tackle breakfast because with lots of people visiting over the holidays, it can be fun to do something special for breakfast. I had a breakfast pizza recipe tucked away for a while and I was on the hunt for the perfect crust. I finally stumbled upon some terrific flat bread, something I have been looking for since moving to Colorado. I was spoiled in Boston and LA, where every store had a locally made brand stocked. So with a nice flat bread I was ready to tackle tonight’s featured recipe.

But let’s begin with something sweet that was great fun to get the kids involved with, French Toast Rollups, recipe here.

I like this Sour Cream Pecan Coffee Cake because, well, pecans and streusel, but also because I can make it and leave it out for everyone to enjoy at their leisure with coffee.

I also have a Blueberry Coffee Cake, along with a full dinner menu and recipes here (because coffee cake, not just for breakfast).

Finally, for Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes, click here.

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What’s on your plate for the weekend? If you’re cooking for Thanksgiving, what’s on your menu?

For tonight’s featured recipe, I snagged some of JeffreyW’s photos (top and middle of the post) to illustrate the many forms these pizzas can take. I made single pizzas, topped with an egg and lots of cheese. The ideas are endless. But below is a recipe for the basics.

Breakfast pizza

Breakfast Pizzas

Crust: flat bread, naan, pita bread or a pizza dough

Toppings: I used olive oil, breakfast sausage, mozzarella, spinach, garlic and an egg for each individual pizza.

To assemble: on a baking sheet arrange the crusts, brush lightly with oil, then spread roasted garlic, add crumbled (uncooked) breakfast sausage and shredded cheese, leaving a space in the center for the egg. I used the sausage and cheese to create a well for the egg.

At this point you have two choices, you can leave it on the baking sheet or move it to the oven rack. Because I was using flat bread and it was stable, I moved it to the oven rack and then added the egg into the well (I cracked the egg into a bowl and then transferred to the pizza, it seemed a smarter way to manage it all). You can also scramble the egg and pour slowly over the ingredients.

Bake at 450 degrees until the egg is cooked. I lost track of time and let the egg cook too long, I would have preferred a soft yolk. Remove, top with chopped spinach and serve immediately.

That’s it for this week. No recipe exchange next week because I’m assuming we will all be in a food coma. Have a great weekend and an excellent holiday. – TaMara

And for those who missed it, dinner menu this week is Spicy Potato Soup and Mocha Cake, menu, recipes and shopping list here. Great for a non-turkey meal to serve to company.

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Pizza Pr0n – Pastrami and Pickles with Swiss

DSC_1283 (1600x1060)The International Grocery, a store in the next town past the closest, carries a good selection of Lebanese style pitas, delivered from an upstate bakery.  This is a loaf of  tannour bread.  It’s thin and about 14″-16″ across.  When I saw it I thought “instant pizza!”.DSC_1287 (1600x1060)The sauce is a whole grain mustard cut with plain yellow mustard with a ton of minced garlic.  There are provolone and Swiss cheese slices atop the mustard and then a layer of pastrami broken into rough pieces, a little more shredded cheese, and then some of my refrigerator dills.DSC_1286 (1600x1060)We give this two thumbs up – especially given how quickly it comes together using that pre-baked crust.  I did take it out of the oven a little sooner than I would have liked but I feared the crust would turn brittle.  The edge crust – we call that part the “pizza bones” – did get hard but the mustard and cheeses kept the rest pliable.DSC_1290 (1600x1060)