Margherita Pizza

margherita pizza

This is a favorite of mine which makes no sense to me because I usually only like saucy pizzas. I LOVE this pizza.

*If you want a fluffy crust please see this post for Kayla’s Pizza Dough: https://misszocooks.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/kaylas-pizza-dough/

Time: 30 minutes

Effort: Low

Amount: 1 pizza

You need:

  • 1 Jiffy Pizza Crust or Kayla’s Pizza Dough
  • 2 tomatoes – peeled, seeded and sliced (Note we did not seed  our tomatoes as you see in the picture and it was too much moisture. I recommend seeding them)
  • Sliced mozzarella patted dry
  • Fresh basil – sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar (Optional but highly recommended)

Do this:

  1. Follow instructions to prepare  your pizza crust
  2. Drizzle a small amount olive oil on crust and spread around evenly. Should be a thin layer.
  3. Layer your tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.
  4. You can sprinkle a little balsamic vinegar on now or wait until end. Or BOTH!
  5. Bake until crust is crisp and cheese is melted (7-10 minutes)
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

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Chicken Hara Masala

Hara Masala

I love Indian/Pakistani food, and this is one of my favorite dishes of all time. I first heard of this recipe from a good friend who also has a food blog!

http://achigoribivi.blogspot.com/

It’s filled with the most amazing food and she posts pictures of each step in making the food. It’s a fantastic blog and you should check it out.

This dish is SPICY! But there are ways to make it less so if you would like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time: 50-60 minutes

Effort: Low effort

Amount: 4 servings without rice, 6-8 with rice

You need: (Please note my recipe may vary from the original slightly)

  • 3 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken – This could be a whole chicken or I prefer chicken thighs. Dark meat is harder to overcook and they always turn out better than all white meat.
  • 3 Tbl oil
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese (Easier to find than Puk cream. Although it takes a bit to melt in the pot, in the end you will not be able to tell the difference)
  • 4 Tbl of ginger/garlic paste (Large jars of mixed ginger&garlic are sold at your local middle-eastern grocer and a must have if you cook a lot of Indian or Pakistani food. If you don’t have it just do 2 Tbl of minced garlic and 2 Tbl of minced ginger)
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 4 Tbl lemon juice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 6 whole dried red chilies (Leave out if you don’t want spicy)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 chopped green onions
  • 3-4 jalapenos (Do one or none if you don’t want spicy)
  • 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves – aka: Kasuuri Methi (this is an odd ingredient and I have a whole bag of it that I use specifically for this recipe. You can probably leave it out and be fine.)
  • kasuuri methi
  • 3/4 cup WHOLE MILK yogurt
  • 1 bunch of spinach chopped
  • Cooked rice for serving (optional)

Do this:

  1. Place washed and trimmed chicken in a large pot.
  2. Add the oil, cream cheese, ginger/garlic paste, garam masala, lemon juice, salt, chili powder, turmeric, dried red chilies, cumin, jalapenos, and green onion.
  3. Mix and cook on medium-high heat until most liquid has evaporated and chicken is fully cooked (30-35 minutes)
  4. Meanwhile, boil the chopped spinach. Drain off liquid.
  5. To the chicken pot add the spinach, yogurt, and fenugreek leaves.
  6. Cook for about 5 minutes to thicken.

 

 

Steak with creamy mushroom sauce and rosemary red potatoes

steak and red potatoes

 

I have never cooked steak myself. It actually turned out great. My husband was shocked at this meal and loved every bit of it.

The potatoes are from my father-in-law, and the rest was on the fly mine.

Time: 30 minutes

Effort: A fair amount. This recipe takes some timing to do both at the same time. And if you’re like me and never cooked a steak before it’s slightly nerve racking to try and get it to the perfect medium rare doneness.

Amount: 2 servings if you both want a full steak. We probably should only eat half a steak but hey this is America.

You need:

  • 2 steaks of your choice.
  • 1/2 lb baby bell mushrooms – sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbl flour
  • 6-8 small red potatoes – cut into 8 piece chunks
  • salt and pepper
  • rosemary
  • Butter…Lots of butter

Do this:

  1. Salt and pepper your steaks and let sit out to get to room temperature before cooking.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F
  3. In a large skillet heat 1 Tbl of butter over medium high heat
  4. Add the potatoes
  5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and rosemary
  6. Fry until golden brown on all or most sides
  7. Add 1 Tbl of butter and transfer your pan to the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  8. In a sauce pan heat 1 Tbl of butter over med-high heat.
  9. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook until mushrooms are softened
  10. Add 1 Tbl of flour and mix
  11. Add 1 cup of heavy cream and bring to boil.
  12. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened
  13. In a large skillet or grill pan heat 2 Tbl of butter over med-high heat.
  14. Add your steaks and cook until desired doneness. (If the middle isn’t cook but the outsides are charring, place in your oven until desired doneness so it doesn’t burn.)
  15. Top your steaks with the mushroom sauce and serve with the potatoes.

*Paired well with the Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Crockpot Chicken Lettuce Wraps

chicken lettuce wraps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These were good, and I will definitely make them again. They are messy but when are lettuce wraps not? This was another Pinterest find. My version varies slightly; no rice, no chestnuts, chicken browned on stove, and everything put in crockpot at once.

Original link here: http://www.cookingclassy.com/2015/02/slow-cooker-asian-chicken-lettuce-wraps/

Time: 6-8 slow cooker hours + 15-20 minutes prep

Skill Level: I AM NO LONGER PUTTING SKILL LEVEL. I believe 90% cooking is easy but some recipes take more effort than others and that’s really what drives a person to make a meal or not. SO, from now on I will put an effort level instead of a skill level. 

Effort: Minimal effort required

Amount: Approximately 10 lettuce wraps.

You need: 

  • 2lbs ground chicken (not chicken breasts)
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 red bell pepper – chopped
  • 1/2 onion – chopped
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 TBl soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 green onion
  • 1 Tbl rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 head of iceburg lettuce

Do this: 

  1. I’m not sure this is absolutely necessary but I cooked the chicken in a large skillet on the stovetop until almost cooked through and drained off the water before adding to the crockpot.
  2. Add everything to the crockpot, except your lettuce of course, and set on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Cut the head of lettuce in half. The inner pieces are the best to use for the wraps.
  4. Enjoy

 

Mini Key Lime Pies

key lime pie

These are SOOOOOOOOOOOoooooo good. So good you must plan on sending to work with your significant other because you will eat them all otherwise.

Another Pintrest find. Original post here: http://thissillygirlslife.com/2014/07/individual-frozen-key-lime-pies/2/

Time: 20 – 30 minute prep. 4 hour freeze

Skill level: Easy

Amount: 24 pies

You need:

  • 3/4 cup key lime juice (OK I don’t know if there is a difference between regular lime juice or key lime juice. I ended up buying small limes that looked more like internet pictures of key limes. I squeezed half a cup of juice by hand until giving up and filling the remaining 1/4 cup up with regular ol’ green squirt bottle lime juice. The end product was still amazing)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 oz container of whipped cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter melted
  • 2 sleeves of honey graham crackers

Do this:

  1. Crush graham crackers and mix with butter in medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer mix the cream cheese until smooth and add the condensed milk. Mix again until smooth and then add the lime juice. (Filter lime juice if squeezed by hand)
  3. Fold in the whipped cream until fully combined.
  4. Avoid eating this whole of whipped delicious goodness.
  5. Scoop mixture into baking cups to 3/4 full
  6. Top each one with the graham cracker mix.
  7. Cover and freeze for 4 hours.

NOTE: These can stay frozen and then heated for 10 seconds in the microwave before eating. Otherwise they can stay in the fridge and be just fine.

 

 

Strawberry and Banana Popsicles

popsicle

These are simple, delicious, and great source of fruit. My almost 30 years of life experience has taught me that summer WILL come. These are super good even without summer but they will be better on a hot hot summer day.

You can do this with w/e fruit you like. I think next time I will do blueberries instead of bananas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Pintrest find. Original post here: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/06/22/3-ingredient-strawberry-banana-popsicles/

Popsicle holders on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Clearance-Sale-Ozera-Reusable-Popsicle/dp/B00KW1ZEV2/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1460678896&sr=1-1&keywords=popsicle+mold

Time: 15 minutes prep, 6 hours freeze time

Skill Level: Easy peasy

Amount: It says six….I got 4.5 whole ones or 5 mostly whole ones. Any extra is just a smoothie so maybe more more. 

You need:

  • 1 banana or 1 cup of other fruit
  • 12 large strawberries or as many as you want because strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of juice (I choose Simply Orange with Pineapple Juice….MMMMMmmm)

Do this:

  1. Blend fruit and juice in blender
  2. Pour into molds
  3. Freeze
  4. Eat

 

 

 

Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

blueberry bars

These bars are a highly requested and beloved item by not only us but my husband’s coworkers. I can’t say much more about them other than SUPER delicious. These are sweet and more suited for dessert than a breakfast bar.

I learned about these from Pintrest. Original post here: http://delightfulemade.com/2014/08/20/blueberry-oatmeal-breakfast-bars/

 

Time: 1 hour 20 mins

Skill level: SUPER Easy

Amount: ~18 bars 

You need:

  • 2 1/4 cup Old Fashioned Oats
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) – melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3-4 cups frozen blueberries or fresh
  • 1 Tbl sugar
  • 1 Tbl corn starch

Do this:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large mixing bowl add oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter. Mix to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl or large 1 gallon bag add the blueberries, sugar, and corn starch. Mix to combine.
  4. Grease a 9×13 pan and add 3/4 of the oatmeal mixture. Press down to create a firm layer.
  5. Add the blueberry mixture and spread evenly.
  6. Top with remaining oatmeal mixture.
  7. Bake until top becomes golden brown. The original recipe says 20 min. It has always taken me at least an hour.
  8. Cut into squares and enjoy!