Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Stuffed Crust Pizza

The kids are home all day with summer vacation.  You know what I mean don't you.  I can't keep food in the house.  There is nothing good to eat.  They are always hungry.  To make matters worse in my house I need to go grocery shopping - so the kids aren't totally off base when they say there is nothing good to eat.  The reality is that there is nothing easy to eat.  What I have in the house requires some preparation, but trust me no one is going to starve.  I decided to make a stuffed crust pizza for lunch today.  I will admit that I have never made one of these but how hard could it be?  I make homemade pizza all the time. 
 Here is my crust recipe:

Pizza Crust

1C. warm water
1 T. Yeast (or 1 pkg)
2 T. Olive Oil
2 1/2 - 31/12 C. Flour
1/2 tsp. salt.

Mix the water, yeast, and olive oil together.  Add 2C. flour and the salt.  Stir with a fork.  Gently work in an additional 1/2 C. flour and let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.
It will look like this:
While the dough is resting brown 1 lb. ground beef with some onion and garlic - just as much as you like - nothing magic about this.  Once the beef is cooked and the fat is drained then stir in 1C. pizza sauce.  This would be a step you could choose to do differently but I really don't like a lot of sauce on my pizza, so rather than cover the crust with sauce I mix it in with the meat.  I probably use the same amount of sauce but it is blended in and not overwhelming to me. Now the dough can be rolled out.  If it is sticky you will need to work in more flour - but you should not need more than another cup at the most.  Go slow because too much flour will make a tough crust.  Just put in enough so you can work with the dough and it won't stick to everything. 
Roll the dough out into a circle a little bigger than your pan.
Spray your pan with some cooking spray and put your crust on top.  Use a fork and poke holes in the bottom of the crust.  I then took about 6 oz. of Mozzarella cheese and sliced it into strips.
Line the strips around the edge of your crust and then
 fold the dough over sealing the cheese in.
Now you can put your meat mixture on to your pizza and then
grate about 8 oz Mozzarella cheese on top.
Bake at 375* for 20-25 minutes
Oh my gosh that looks so good!   See how that crust has just risen. 
You can see the cheese just stringing when you slice it
and look at that stuffed crust.....
Needless to say I did not hear any complaints about lunch today!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Wilson Bars

We call them Wilson Bars.  They are really called Revel Bars.  This recipe is my go to recipe for pot lucks, church events, whatever thing I have to go to and bring a large quantity of dessert.  We brought them so much to Church events that people started calling them Wilson Bars.  I got this recipe from my sister - in - law several years ago.  I do not know what her source was.  This recipe is super easy and can be baked as a bar cookie and cut into 4 dozen good sized servings.

Mix -
1C. softened butter or margarine, 3/4 C. Creamy Peanut Butter, 2 C. Brown Sugar, 2 Eggs, 2 tsp. Vanilla and 1 tsp. Baking Soda
in a mixing bowl.
Add 2 1/2 C. Flour and 3 C. Quick Cooking Oats.
On your largest ungreased cookie sheet scoop out
3/4 of the cookie batter.
Save the remaining 1/4 of the batter for later.  Put a sandwich baggie on your hand and press the cookie dough evenly over the cookie sheet.
In a microwave safe bowl put 1 bag of mini chocolate chips and
1 can of sweetened condensed milk.
Microwave on high for 1 minute and stir.
If you still see chocolate chips like I do here then
 microwave for 1 minute more.
Stir until chocolate is glossy.  You will need to work fast as this chocolate will set up quickly.  Pour the glossy chocolate all over your cookie dough that you have spread out on the cookie sheet
and spread it evenly over the top.
You do not need to go clear to the edges.  Take the remaining cookie dough and crumble it all over the top of the chocolate.
Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes
This is a super fast recipe - and once the pan cools you can cut it in 48 pieces.  I like to cut the pan 4X6 making 24 squares and then cut the squares in half diagonally.  Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Plantation Supper

I have no idea why this is called Plantation Supper.  This is a recipe I got a long time ago out of a Taste of Home magazine.  I of course changed it a bit from the original recipe, and I like it quite a bit.  Probably a little more than my family members like it.  But when you are the cook then you get to make what you want...right? First I cooked a 1 lb box of pasta.  I used Mini Penne for this.
 Next I browned 1 lb ground beef with about 2 T. minced garlic and
 1/4 C. dehydrated onion.
I added 1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup, 1 pkg. Cream Cheese,
1 T. Beef Bouillon, salt and pepper to taste and
 1 soup can of milk to the ground beef.
Then I added 1 can of sweet corn. If your sauce is thick you can add the juice from the corn but if you think it looks fine then drain the corn first.
Then I added the cooked pasta.
And mixed it all up.
This meal is so easy to make and super fast. If you try my Plantation Supper I would love to hear what you think!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Beef Enchiladas

My husband mentioned about a week ago that he was hungry for Enchiladas.  It took me a while but I got to them.  He sure was glad today to walk into the house and smell dinner.  This is a super easy casserole enchilada recipe.  I don't roll individual enchiladas.  I find this to be just a good and much easier to make.  I make my own Enchilada Sauce, adapted from a version I found while surfing the Internet on  You can compare their version to mine.  There is not a lot of difference but just a little.  It is a pretty good recipe and makes about 3C. of sauce.  Because it goes pretty quick I did not take step by step photos of the sauce.  The recipe is: Heat 2 T. Oil in a sauce pan (I used Olive Oil)  Add 2 T. Flour and 2 T.  Chili Powder.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add 2 C. Water, 8 oz. Tomato Sauce, 1/2 tsp. Cumin, 1 tsp. Salt, 1 T. Minced Garlic and 1/4 C. Dehydrated Onion.
Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes.
While that is simmering brown 1 lb. ground beef with some
 onion and garlic. Drain off the fat once browned.
Once the sauce is done ladle about 1/3 of the sauce
 into the bottom of a 9X13 pan.
Cover with a layer of Tortillas.
Cover with the browned Ground Beef.
Ladle on 1/3 of the Sauce.
Cover with 1 C. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese.
Cover with Tortillas.
Put remaining sauce on top.
Cover with 1 C. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese.
Cover with foil and bake at 350* for about 30 minutes.  While this is cooking you can put together a tossed salad, or some corn or Spanish rice to go along with dinner.  This recipe also works well to make in advance and then cook at meal time - you will just need to increase cooking time to heat the casserole completely through before serving.  And here is the finished product - ready for the table.
Looks good right?  Tell me what you think!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pasta Salad

Tomorrow we will be attending a family dinner.  My job is to bring the Pasta Salad.  It is so simple, and there are so many ways to make a pasta salad.  You can put your own spin on things but here is what I am bringing tomorrow.  The first thing I did was put 2 16 oz boxes of Tri Color Pasta into a big pot to boil.  Then I started chopping. I grated 3 carrots, chopped 2 green peppers, 2 broccoli crowns, cleaned a pint of grape tomatoes, diced 16 oz of marble jack cheese,
and drained 2 cans of jumbo olives.
Nice bowl of veggies...and by the time I was done chopping, cleaning, dicing and draining the pasta was done cooking.  I put the pasta into a colander and ran cold water through it until it was no longer hot.  The cold water stopped the cooking process and cooled the pasta so it did not melt the cheese in with the vegetables.
I put the pasta on top of the veggies and added about
24 oz. of Italian Salad Dressing.
I gave the pasta a good stir and tested it for flavor.  For some reason I thought this was a little sweet, so I added 1 T. Apple Cider Vinegar into the bowl and it tasted pretty good.  I always like to make my pasta salad the day before so all the flavors can blend together.  It always tastes better the second day.  Looks good...right?
How do you make your pasta salad? 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Elephant Ears

I think that if I had known how easy these were to make I would have been doing them for a long time.  My daughter needed a food item to bring for a Mexican Fiesta at school.  She had to bring an authentic Mexican food and the recipe.  I don't know if these are authentic but I do remember going into Mexican markets when I lived in Houston, TX and buying elephant ears.  I was glad to find an easy recipe with minimal ingredients.  All it took is Puff Pastry, Sugar, Cinnamon, and Salt. 

Thaw your sheet of Puff Pastry
Mix 2 C. Sugar with desired amount of Cinnamon - I like mine pretty dark so I put in a good Tablespoon or more.  Add 1 tsp. Salt and mix.  Sprinkle 1/4 sugar mix on your rolling surface, place your Puff Pastry on top and and sprinkle 1/4 sugar mix on top of the Puff Pastry.
This has been rolled to an approx 13 inch square. 
 You will use the remaining sugar for the second sheet of Puff Pastry .
Fold the outside edges to the center.
Fold the edges in again to the center.
Fold in half and slice into cookies
Place cut side down on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 450* for 6 minutes.  Take out of oven and turn the cookie over.
Return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes. 
 This is a picture at the half way mark.
Cool on a rack and enjoy!
These become more crisp as they cool.  I don't think they should be stored air tight because that would make them soft again.  I have always had these crisp.  Have you ever had Elephant Ears?