Tag Archives: baking

Pizza Party

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We have really enjoyed making pizza lately. There is something so relaxing about making homemade pizza, drinking wine, and watching a movie (or catching up on one-hour dramas) on a lazy Saturday evening. Last weekend we went to Las Vegas for our anniversary, so it’s especially nice to have some down time this weekend!

I use the Pioneer Woman’s pizza crust recipe, because it rises really well for me.  Once you have your dough of choice, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Roll out your dough to be very thin, then brush with olive oil and place on a baking tray (or pizza stone).  Use a very light hand with your toppings so that the dough can crisp up without being weighed down. Bake for 10-13 minutes. Enjoy!

Here are some of the variations we’ve tried:

Calabrese, mushroom, and red onion:

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Roasted eggplant, cherry tomato, and mozzarella, from the Pioneer Woman:

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Calabrese, pineapple, and jalapeno:

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Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips

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Peanut butter cookies are Paco’s favorite, and I usually add chocolate chips to them for good measure. Today I decided to mix things up a bit by making chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips. The chocolately cookies are perfect with a glass of milk.

 

Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter
(Makes 2 dozen)

1/2 c of butter, softened (1 stick)
3/8 c brown sugar
3/8 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 c of flour
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c peanut butter chips (or a combination of peanut butter chips and chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy.  Add the egg and mix to combine. Add the salt, baking soda, cocoa powder, and flour, and stir until fully combined. Stir in the peanut butter chips.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop the dough onto the cookie sheet by rounded teaspoonfuls, two inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes.

Spinach and Cheddar Quiche

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I made this quick quiche for book club. It’s a really easy vegetarian meal, and it’s delicious at room temperature.

I forgot to take a picture after it had cooled, but it looked much better when the eggs had deflated a bit!

Spinach and Cheddar Quiche

1 frozen pie crust
1/2 T olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
3 c raw spinach
kosher salt
pepper
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c milk
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese (I used habenero cheddar)
3/4 c cherry tomatoes, halved

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small skillet, saute the shallot in olive oil over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Once the shallot is soft, and the spinach and saute until wilted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the eggs and milk.

Arrange the spinach mixture and cheese inside of the frozen pie crust, in an evenly distributed layer. Gently pour the egg mixture over the spinach and cheese, then arrange the tomatoes in the quiche.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the eggs are set and the quiche is golden brown.

S’more bars

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We went to our friends’ house for a barbeque on Sunday, and I woke up with the urge to bake a s’more pie.  This pie has been on my to-make list for years. Unfortunately, I was missing several key ingredients, and at 7:30 a.m., I didn’t feel like a trip to the grocery store.

What I did have were stale graham crackers, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips, so I made a modified version of these deluxe chocolate marshmallow bars from Allrecipes.com. Using graham crackers instead of Rice Crispies made them more like s’mores and less like Rice Crispy Treats. They were a hit! They are not the prettiest of baked goods, but I love the chewiness that the marshmallow layer brings to them.

S’more Bars
(Adapted from Allrecipes.com)

3/4 c butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 large eggs or 1 jumbo egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 T baking cocoa
2 1/2 c mini marshmallows

Topping:
2/3 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c peanut butter
2 T butter
3 crushed graham crackers

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 X 9-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla, stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and baking cocoa), then stir until the batter reaches a thick consistency and there are no lumps. Spread the batter evenly in the pan.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the edges of the cake are set, but the insides are still soft. Remove from the oven and top with the mini marshmallows. Bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, until the marshmallows are a little bit brown.

Remove from the oven, and with a knife or the back of a spoon, spread the marshmallows around so that they are more even. Allow to cool.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, chocolate chips, and peanut butter. Stir until melted. Add the graham cracker crumbs and stir to combine. If the mixture seems too thick to be spreadable, add a touch of milk.

Spread the chocolate mixture over the marshmallow layer. Chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate has hardened.

Pizza!

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I have been craving pizza for weeks, and we picked up some burrata at the farmer’s market on Sunday, so we had to make pizza with it.

For the dough, you can buy some pre-made from the store.  We used The Pioneer Woman’s recipe. I have tried others before, but they did not rise as successfully.

To make the sauce, I simmered half of an onion (diced), 3 cloves of garlic, 1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes (pureed in the food processor), a pinch of sugar, salt, pepper, oregano, olive oil, and butter, for an hour.  You can also use a jarred marinara.

We made a few different types of pizza, using a mix of the following toppings:

  • Burrata
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Jalapeno-infused olive oil, jalapenos
  • Sweet Italian chicken sausage
  • Salami
  • Mushrooms
  • Red onion
  • Fresh basil

They were delicious!  We love thin-crust pizza, so we baked them at 500 degrees for 12 minutes and they were crisp and delightful.  If you are making yours thin-crust, resist the urge to use a ton of sauce, cheese, and toppings.  You will end up with soggy pizza!