Thursday, March 31, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower

I know, I know, I roast a lot of vegetables. How is this different? Well, truthfully it's not very different. However, the seasonings are slightly different for this one so I figured it was blog worthy. I love buying whatever fresh vegetables are on sale and finding yummy ways to prepare them. I think it's easy to get stuck in a rut of eating the same vegetables from a can, raw, or steamed. Add something a little different once in awhile and you are less likely to get bored and more likely to eat more vegetables!

Roasted Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower
olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1-2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Chop the cauliflower by first pulling off the leaves. Then cut out the core from the bottom. Then you can use the stems as guides to cut into bite-sized florets. Toss the cauliflower in about 2 Tbs. olive oil. mix together the bread crumbs, cheese, curry, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Then toss cauliflower in the bread crumb mixture. Dump onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 375 until tender and slightly golden brown (about 20-25 minutes).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Green Eggs and Ham Cups

Remember way back on St. Patrick's Day when I said I was going to make a green meal in honor of the holiday, but with no food coloring? Well, I did it and it was mighty tasty. These Green Eggs and Ham Cups or mini quiches were the stars of the meal. They are yummy any time of year for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Our "green without dye" meal. Clockwise from the top: green eggs and ham cups, cilantro-lime-cream cheese toast, steamed broccoli, spinach salad.
Green Eggs and Ham Cups
dough for one pie crust
1 dozen eggs
3/4 cup diced ham
3/4 cup shredded swiss or cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper
1/4-1/2 cup steamed or frozen spinach with the liquid squeezed out, chopped

Roll out the pie crust. Using a round cookie cutter or a large cup cut the dough into 12 circles about 4-5 inches in diameter. Grease a muffin tin and press one piece of pie crust into each spot. Sprinkle about 1-2 tsp. ham into each muffin. Repeat with the cheese. Sprinkle just a couple pieces of onion on top of the cheese. Whisk the eggs together in a mixing bowl with the milk. Season with salt and pepper. Then whisk in the spinach until well mixed and the eggs take on a slight green hue. Carefully spoon the egg mixture into each muffin. Do not fill to the very top, as they will rise some. Sprinkle with extra cheese if desired. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out dry. I like these dipped in ketchup, but they are great plain as well!
Press your crust into the muffin tin,
Chop up everything for the filling,
 Whisk together the eggs, milk, and spinach,
Pour in the egg mixture and bake.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sweet Potato Fries

I love sweet potatoes and I could not resist these sweet potato fries. The seasonings are perfection. Don't doubt the addition of extra sugar, it is key to their carmelized, goodness. These are especially good served along side the Chipotle Chocolate Chili from yesterday. This one comes from

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
3 large sweet potatoes or yams
3 tablespoons olive oil (Don't make the same mistake I did and think you need more. More oil prevents them from getting nice and crispy.)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place two rimmed baking sheets in the oven while it preheats and while you prepare the potatoes (about 10 minutes). Peel the potatoes and slice the potatoes into about 1/4- to 1/2-inch strips or wedges. Try to keep most of the pieces the same size so they bake evenly. (Use a very sharp knife. Sweet potatoes are denser and more difficult to chop than regular potatoes.)
Place the potato strips/wedges in a ziploc bag or bowl. Toss the potatoes with the oil. Add the seasonings and mix until the potatoes are evenly coated.
Carefully remove the hot baking sheets from the oven and divide the potatoes evenly among the two sheets, taking care the potatoes are not touching so they have plenty of room for the air circulate to circulate and bake evenly. Also, try to leave any excess oil in the bag or bowl so the potatoes don’t get too soggy while they bake.
Bake the potatoes for about 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through, if desired, until they are tender and well-browned. Serve immediately.
 Chop 'em up,
Toss in the oil and seasonings,
Carefully dump onto your pre-heated pans,
Bake and enjoy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chipotle Chocolate Chili

In honor of the snow today, enjoy some yummy home made chili! This is seriously the best chili recipe I have ever eaten. A word of caution though, it can easily go from a comfortable medium/hot to a blazing four-alarm fire. The flavors in this work so well together you might just find yourself licking the bowl at the end. Seriously, it's that good. Also it's a fairly lean chili since it's made with ground turkey instead of ground beef. This one comes from my favorite girls over at

Chipotle Chocolate Chili
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, minced (I just used half)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 14.5-oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz. can beef broth
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (NOT Nesquik! That would be very bad!)
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
Chipotle sauce-from a can of chipotle chilies (This was the hardest ingredient to find. I ended up finding a jar of Chipotle chilies in Adobo sauce on the Mexican food aisle that worked great. However, the liquid was so thick I had to dump the whole can into a fine-mesh strainer and push the liquid through in order to get any. It was only about 1 Tbs. liquid, but it was plenty.)
1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate (1/2 unsweetened baking cube), chopped (optional; use to taste as needed; be careful, because too much will make your chili bitter--I ended up using about 3/4 of the 1/2 oz. piece)
Light sour cream
Chopped green onions
3-4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (I used white wine vinegar and it was fine)
Shredded cheddar cheese

Heat some olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, bell pepper, and ground turkey until meat is cooked through. Add salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, brown sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, tomatoes, beans, and beef broth. Add all of the chipotle sauce from a small can of chipotle chilies. Heat to boiling and then reduce to a simmer (uncovered), stirring occasionally, until thickened as desired (I like it about 30-40 minutes). If desired, add some chopped chipotle chilies. (This is where it can go from a comfortable amount of heat to out of control very quickly, so be careful.) Add 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar and a small amount of chopped chocolate at a time until desired richness is reached. If necessary, add more red wine vinegar to cut the sweetness of the chili. This is where you can play around a little with the flavors.
When thickened and seasoned as desired, serve with chopped onions or green onions, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese.
 Saute your vegetables and meat,
Sump in your cans and seasonings and let it simmer,
Chop the chocolate,
Add chocolate and vinegar to your desired richness and sweetness,
Add your favorite toppings and devour!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Go Cougars!

So in honor of tonight's big Sweet 16 game I made some awesome treats in the Cougar blue and white. These of course can be adapted to match whatever team or color scheme you are going for. Let's hope these bring us good luck! This idea came from

Blue and White Cupcakes
white cake mix
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Mix everything together until smooth. The batter will be thicker than a normal cake batter. The thicker batter helps with the color distribution and produces a delightfully delicious cup cake! Divide the batter into 2 different bowls. Add food coloring until you get your desired richness of color. Alternate spooning blue and white into each cupcake paper until 1/2-2/3 full. use a toothpick to swirl the colors together a little bit. Bake according to directions on box. Let cool, then frost. I just used white frosting with blue sprinkles, but there are lots of cool frosting ideas out there too.
thick batter
Alternate blobs of each color.
They're pretty enough even without frosting
but then they would probably be called muffins.

Key Lime Pie

The first time I had key lime pie was when I went to my future in-laws for Thanksgiving 4 1/2 years ago and I was hooked! You can get a good frozen version at the grocery store, and when they go on sale I definitely bring one home! But for those times in between the sales, this is easy, affordable, and delicious!
(photo courtesy of via google images)

Key Lime Pie
1 graham cracker crust
1-14oz can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh lime juice: about 2-3 limes (You can, of course, use key limes, but they are so small and hard to work with. Regular limes work just great!)
2 tsp. lime zest

Whip the egg yolks until they are pale and fluffy. Then whisk in lime zest until the yolks get a slight green tint. Beat in sweetened condensed milk, still keeping it fluffy. Then stir in lime juice. Pour filling into a prepared graham cracker crust and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, until set. You want it to wiggle a little, but not be totally jiggly. Refrigerate, and serve cold with lots of whipped cream!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cafe Rio Salad

I know so many people who are obsessed with this salad. You may think it is just a salad, but you have to understand that it is so much more! If you aren't lucky enough to live close to a Cafe Rio or if you just want to feed a crowd or enjoy a home-cooked version where you can control the portions (those salads are HUGE!), you have come to the right place. The authentic salad is made with several different meats to choose from. I would recommend either the sweet pork from yesterday, or my taco chicken in a crockpot.
(photo courtesy of

Cafe Rio Salad
large flour tortillas (I would recommend the Costco uncooked tortillas)
shredded cheddar, mozzarella, or Monterrey jack cheese
black beans (straight from the can, rinsed and drained)
rice (there are cilantro lime rice recipes available out there, but I usually just make Spanish rice in the rice cooker)
meat (sweet pork or taco chicken)
lots of chopped Romaine lettuce
diced tomatoes or pico de gallo
tortilla strips
cilantro lime ranch

Cook the tortilla in a dry frying pan. Sprinkle lightly with cheese while the second side is cooking. Place the tortilla on a large plate with a lip around the edge. Top with the other toppings in the order listed. Serve with a lime wedge on the side if you'd like. Start eating it with a fork, then use your hands to rip off pieces of the tortilla with the toppings rolled inside as you get near to the bottom.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sweet Pork

This is the best knock-off of Cafe Rio's sweet pork I have found. I'll be the first to admit that I am not a Cafe Rio expert, so it may not be exact, BUT this recipe is absolutely delicious. It is sweet, but not too sweet with lots of good flavor thrown in there as well. Lots of knock-off recipes for this pork call for Coke. I just don't like Coke, so I was glad to find a yummy knock-ff that does not call for Coke. Eat this in the classic Cafe Rio Salad (full details coming tomorrow) or in a burrito, tacos, on top of nachos, etc.
(photo courtesy of via google images)

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork
3-4 lb. pork roast or tenderloin
12 oz. can tomato sauce
8 oz. can "El Pato" Mexican tomato sauce (found on the Mexican food aisle in a yellow can)
1 cup brown sugar
1-2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1/2 cup water

Cook pork on low for 6-8 hours until cooked through. Shred pork and drain off any fat if necessary and add all the other ingredients. Continue to cook on low at least one more hour until ready to serve.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cilantro Lime Ranch

This is a twist on a classic ranch dressing that is so good you could almost eat it with a spoon! It is great as a dip, a condiment in burritos, or of course, on a salad! There are a few versions of this out there that are all knock-offs of Cafe Rio, but this one is my favorite. I got this recipe from an Enrichment activity after we were first married. The recipe for the knock-off sweet pork at Cafe Rio is coming tomorrow with the whole salad coming Wednesday. Yumm......
(photo courtesy of via google images)
Cilantro Lime Ranch
1 envelope buttermilk ranch dressing mix (I recommend Hidden Valley)
1 cup mayo
1 cup milk
1/2 bunch cilantro, washed
2 tomatillos, peeled, rinsed, and quartered
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime (about 2 Tbs.)

Put everything in the blender and blend until smooth and creamy!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bacon and Corn Chowder

This one is ridiculously easy and ridiculously delicious! This recipe comes from the book Five-Star Recipes from Well-known Latter-day Saints. This particular recipe comes from Dian Thomas. I love the combination of the crispy bacon, the potatoes, and the corn. The best part about this is that I almost always have these ingredients on hand.
(photo courtesy of

Bacon and Corn Chowder
4 slices (or more!) bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups chicken broth
2 (15 oz) cans creamed corn
1 cup heavy cream or milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

In a 2 quart sauce pan or large soup pot, saute onion and bacon over medium heat. (I would recommend starting the bacon first and adding the onion about halfway through if you want your bacon crispy.) Pour off drippings, then add potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Add broth and corn. Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender (about 40 minutes). Stir in cream or milk, salt and pepper. Cook until warmed through.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup

This one is easy and delicious! I haven't made it in awhile, it almost makes me wish winter would stick around a little bit longer. Wait, did I just say that?! I take it back. There's always next winter! Here's a basic and delicious broccoli and cheese soup to add to your soup repertoire.This recipe comes from The Essential Mormon Cookbook by Julie Badger Jensen.
I realize this isn't a very festive St. Patrick's Day recipe, but it does have some green in it! I have a goal to make a green meal tonight with no food coloring. Wish me luck! I'll let you know how it goes!
(photo courtesy of via google images)

Broccoli Cheese Soup
about 1 lb. fresh broccoli
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chicken broth
4 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Cook broccoli until just tender. Drain and chop, set aside. Saute onion in 1/4 cup butter until tender, set aside. In a large sauce pan prepare white sauce by melting 1/2 cup butter then stir in flour until well blended. Gradually whisk in chicken broth, milk, and salt. Stir constantly until it boils. Cook 1-2 minutes until thickened. Add broccoli and onion. Stir in cheese until melted and combined. Cook briefly over medium heat until it boils again. Serve immediately or keep warm over low heat. Serves 6-8

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pasta e Fagioli

I love the soup, salad and bread sticks at Olive Garden. I ALWAYS get the Pasta e Fagioli (basically Italian chili). So when I found this knock-off recipe that could be cooked in a crock pot, I knew I had hit the jackpot! This makes a TON of soup! But we like leftovers at our house, so that's a good thing. This recipe comes from via google.
(photo courtesy of via google images)

Pasta e Fagioli

  • 2 lbs ground beef, browned and drained (I only used 1 lb.)

  • onion, chopped

  • 3 carrots, chopped

  • 4 stalks celery, chopped

  • 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 (16 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used another can of red kidney beans, or you can use cannolini beans)

  • 3 (10 ounce) cans beef stock

  • 3 teaspoons oregano

  • 2 teaspoons pepper

  • 5 teaspoons parsley (I left it out since I didn't have any)

  • 1 teaspoon Tobasco (optional)

  • 1 (20 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce

  • 8 ounces pasta (any small pasta, I used a mini shell)

  • Dump everything EXCEPT pasta in a large crock pot and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. (I prepped everything the night before and cooked on high first thing in the morning so I could serve it for lunch.) Add the pasta the last 3o minutes on high and 1 hour on low.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Cheesy Potato Soup

    There are many variations of this soup, but this version comes from I love a good potato soup with scallions, cheddar, and bacon bits on top. Mmm...not many things are better on a cold, wintery day.

    Cheesy Potato Soup
    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • 1-2 tbsp butter
    • 3/4 cup of sweet yellow onion, diced (really whatever onion you have would be fine)
    • 3/4 cup of celery, diced
    • 8 cups of russet potatoes, peeled and diced
    • 6 cups of chicken broth
    • Sea salt and white pepper, to taste (black pepper works too)
    • 1 1/2 cups of half and half (whole milk works fine)
    • 10 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
    • 1/2 tsp sugar
    • Chives, chopped for garnish (I prefer green onions/scallions)
    • Bacon, chopped for garnish
    • Cheddar cheese, shredded for garnish
      Heat the olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over medium low heat. Add the onions and celery and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until tender. Do not let the onions brown. Add the potatoes, chicken broth, sea salt and white pepper, to taste. Simmer over medium low heat for 30 minutes.
      Once the potatoes are tender, mash them slightly with a potato masher, leaving most of them in chunks. Reduce heat to low then stir in the half and half, cheese, and sugar to the soup. Stir until the cheese has completely melted and dissolved into the soup. Taste and re-season with salt and white pepper, if needed. Simmer slowly for 10-15 minutes, making sure not to let the soup boil. Serve topped with chives, bacon, and more cheddar cheese. Serve immediately and enjoy.

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Brazilian Black Bean Soup

    So, it's not exactly soup weather here in Denver, but I'm not holding my breath. I know better than to think that spring is here to stay. I love a good soup recipe, so here is a whole week's worth of some of my favorite soups!

    The first soup I wanted to feature this week is a Brazilian Black Bean Soup I got from, where else, I serve this with the pao de queijo (but a good crunchy bread would be great as well.) from last week and a good salad. I love the flavors and textures of this soup. It is especially good with the toppings, even though the toppings are not authentic Brazilian. They are oh so good, so don't skip them.

    Brazilian Black Bean Soup
    1 T olive oil
    4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    3/4 C diced carrots (about 2 med carrots)
    3/4 C diced celery (about 2 ribs)
    1 C diced onion (about 1 sm-med onion)
    2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 3.5oz can green chilies
    2 cans low-sodium beef broth (last time I made this I used 1 can chicken broth and 1 can beef broth and it was equally delicious!)
    1 t kosher salt
    1/8 tsp black pepper
    1/2 t chili powder (I used closer to 1 t)
    1/4 t cumin (I used closer to 1/2 t)
    1/2 t dry oregano leaves
    1 bay leaf
    Optional Toppings: sour cream, tortilla chips, grated cheese, chopped cilantro, etc. (I also really like croutons)

    Place a large stock pot on the stove-top and set to medium-high heat.  When pan is warm, add olive oil.  Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and saute 4-5 minutes.
    Add in the black beans, chilies, and beef broth. Stir to combine and then add the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf.

    Simmer uncovered for about 20-25 minutes or until carrots are tender.

    Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf from soup. 

    Place soup in a blender. (You could use an immersion blender in place of this step) Place lid on blender, but remove the stopper in the lid to let heat escape. Place a paper towel over the hole to avoid splatters. 

    Puree soup until completely smooth.  Optionally you could pulse until a semi-chunky soup is achieved. Squeeze in the juice from one lime and pulse to combine.

    Ladle into bowls and top with desired toppings. Serve with extra lime wedges.  Makes about 8 C soup.

    Nutritional Information (1 C soup, w/o toppings):
    125 calories, 2g fat, 8g fiber
    2 Weight Watchers points
    South Beach Diet Phase 2 (eat carrots sparingly)
     Saute the vegetables
     Add in your canned items
    Don't forget the seasonings
    Blend it
    Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Pao de Queijo (Brazilian cheese bread)

    If you have eaten at Tucanos or any other Brazilian steakhouse, I'm sure you have enjoyed those little cheesy balls of goodness known as Pao de Queijo, literally bread of cheese. My husband, having served two years in Brazil for our church, speaks longingly of those little balls of dough and cheese. He claimed (notice the past tense) that there was no real way to make authentic pao de queijo in the States. Even the ones at Tucanos were not quite right. Well, my friends, all that has changed. Thanks to Sara over at (love them!) we have a new addiction in our house. I'm serious. I've made these 3 times in the last 2 weeks and every time the WHOLE batch is gone by the end of dinner. They are ridiculously easy, and were deemed "authentic" by my sweet husband. So, if you are a lover of Brazilian culture and cuisine, if you are a lover of quick breads, if you are a lover of cheese, if you have a gluten intolerance (yes they are gluten free!) or simply if you are a lover of food, you must try these. I'm serious, you must, you have no choice! You can thank me (and Sara) later.
    P.S. These are Sara's words with my photos.
    (Don't be deceived by the muffin tin, these are light, fluffy, airy, and cheesy!)

    Pao De Queijo

    Recipe by Our Best Bites
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup milk
    1/4 cup canola oil
    1 cup tapioca flour (sometimes labeled tapioca starch) no substitutions
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    1/4 C grated cheddar cheese* (preferably medium or sharp)
    1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
    *you can play around with the cheese.  I’ve used Monterey Jack, low-moisture mozarella, swiss, and even gruyere in place of the cheddar.  All great!
    Optional:  extra cheese to sprinkle on top and any herbs/flavorings you’d like to add.  Try rosemary and or garlic powder, my favorites!
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place egg, milk, oil, tapioca flour, and salt in blender and blend until smooth.  Add cheeses and pulse 2 times.  Immediately pour batter into a mini muffin tin (if your muffin tin isn’t non-stick, spray lightly with non-stick spray first), filling each well about 3/4 full, or just slightly less.  If desired (and I recommend), sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese on top and/or a tiny sprinkle of kosher salt.
    Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden.  Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before removing rolls from pan.  Serve warm. {Que Gostoso!}  These actually don’t re-heat well so I recommend making and eating fresh.
     The trickiest part about this is tracking down the flour. I found mine at Sprouts Market. I'm sure Sunflower Market, Whole Foods, or any other store with a good gluten-free section would carry it. But once you find the flour, you have it. Then you can make these over and over without any problems!
    These are the little balls of goodness straight out of the oven!

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Roasted Beets

    I love beets! If you think you don't like beets, I would recommend trying this method of preparing them. If you still don't like them, then so be it! I love the sweet flavor, the intense color, and the wealth of nutrients beets provide. Until recently, I had a difficult time finding a way to prepare them that I really loved. But, thanks to the Taste of Home cook book I got for Christmas, I found the perfect way to enjoy them!

    Roasted Beets
    olive oil

    Preheat your oven to 400. Cut off the stems of your beets and the very end of the roots if they are long and stringy. Wash them. Wrap each beet individually in foil. Place in the hot oven for 45-60 minutes, until you can skewer them easily all the way through with a fork or toothpick. Open the foil and let them cool for 5-10 minutes until they you are able to handle them but they are still warm. Using a paper towel, scrub the peels off. The texture of the paper towel should easily take the peel off and expose that rich red color that beets are known for. Slice or chop the beets into large chunks. Toss lightly in olive oil (about 2 Tbs. for 1 lb. of beets) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    A variation that I would recommend is to toss them in your favorite vinaigrette, instead of the olive oil. The contrast of the sweet beets and the tangy vinaigrette is fantastic!
    Wrap them up
    Cook them up
    Peel, chop, and toss them up
    Eat them up!

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Glorified Rice Krispy Treats

    You have probably had these. I've had them lots of different places. But they are one of my absolute favorite desserts, so how could I not share them with you? So easy, so addicting!

    Glorified Rice Krispy Treats
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup light corn syrup
    1 cup crunchy peanut butter (I suppose you could use creamy instead)
    1/2 bag (about 1 cup) butterscotch chips (essential)
    1/2 bag semi sweet chocolate chips
    4-6 cups Rice Krispies

    In a medium sauce pan bring  sugar and corn syrup to a boil. Boil for one minute, no more! Remove from heat and add peanut butter. Pour over Rice Krispies and stir until all the cereal is coated. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. In another sauce pan melt together both kinds of chips. Stir constantly so they don't burn! (I used a double boiler to be extra careful) Pour over Rice Krispy mixture and spread until even. Let cool and harden. Cut into squares and devour!
     Spread Rice Krispy mixture in pan
    Melt the chips, spread, cool, and devour! 
    I must have gotten really wrapped up in that last step because I don't have any pictures of the final product...

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    Artichoke Spinach Pizza

    This is a yummy pizza that is far from ordinary. I love the flavor combination of spinach and artichoke hearts. I found this one on . These girls have some seriously awesome recipes! Next time you want a gourmet pizza, this is the one you want! And if you use skim milk and skim milk cheese, it is relatively low-fat! (I think it would also be yummy with chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, or roasted red peppers on top...mmm!)

    Spinach Artichoke Pizza
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    2 tablespoons flour
    1½ cup milk (any fat content)
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ½ ounce (¼ cup) parmesan plus 1 ounce (½ cup)
    7 ounces fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped (I think frozen, thawed and well-drained would work as well)
    1 pizza dough recipe  (my favorite can be found here with my BBQ pizza recipe, remember this dough recipe makes 2 pizzas)
    6 ounces (1½ cup) shredded mozzarella (skim works great)
    1 (14-ounce) can artichokes, drained, rinsed and dried, quartered

    1. Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 525ºC.
    2. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the garlic and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the flour; continue cooking and stirring for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and ¼ cup (½ ounce) of the parmesan.
    3. (skip this if you use frozen spinach) Meanwhile, add the spinach (if the spinach isn’t damp from being washed, also add a couple tablespoons of water) to a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until the spinach just wilts, about 1 minute. Remove the spinach from the pan and place it in a clean kitchen towel. Squeeze the spinach as dry as possible, then add it to the béchamel from step 1.
    4. Flatten the dough, then pick it up and gently stretch it out, trying to keep it as circular as possible. Curl your fingers and let the dough hang on your knuckles, moving and rotating the dough so it stretches evenly. If it tears, just piece it together. If the dough stretches too much, put it down and gently tug on the thick spots.
    5. Dust a pizza peel (or the back of a large baking sheet) generously with cornmeal and transfer the round of dough to the peel. Rearrange the dough to something reasonably circular; stab it several times with a fork. Spread the spinach mixture over the dough, then top with the mozzarella, artichokes, and the remaining Parmesan.
    6. Transfer the pizza to the hot baking stone, and bake for about 6-10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is spotty brown. Let the pizza cool for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
     The sauce is the trickiest part of this pizza, but it's not hard. This is what it should look like.
    This is your delectable pizza with sun-dried tomatoes on half.