Monday, November 29, 2010

Grilled Pizza

I was so excited to find this recipe for grilled pizza.  We had never done anything like this before, but it turned out so good!  It wasn't too hard or complicated; it just takes some careful attention at the end.  We'll definitely do this again soon.

Here are some notes on the actual recipe: I'm not sure what the difference is in pizza crust yeast and regular yeast, but maybe the pizza crust yeast just works faster; I really don't know.  The recipe calls for 1/3 cup of oil, but it didn't say what kind, so I just used vegetable oil.  At the end, though, when it says to brush the dough with oil before putting it on the grill, I switched to olive oil for some reason; you can do whatever.  The recipe also said not to load the dough up too heavily with sauce and toppings, but we still had four toppings plus cheese, and it was fine.  The list of ingredients also calls for 3 cups of flour, but the first step says to mix just two cups in with other ingredients.  The remaining cup is to add to it when stirring and kneading, but I never measured it out.

The recipe makes eight individual pizzas, but if you're serving big eaters, allow two pizzas per person; leftovers never hurt anyone.  We could only fit two pizzas on the grill at a time, and we made four total.  The rest of the dough is in the fridge for later this week.

The grill is supposed to medium-hot, but we really weren't sure how to gauge that.  It took a trial run of one burned pizza, but the later ones turned out perfect.  You'll see if you need to adjust the heat of the grill or the time of cooking; our pizzas did better at 2-3 minutes instead of 3-4 minutes.  I'm sure you could do this on a grill pan too, especially if it's too cold to be outside.

You'll be so impressed with this!  You should try it!  Here are some pictures from start to finish.

Grilled Pizzas

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope Fleischmann's Pizza Crust Yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups very warm water (120-130 degrees F)
1/3 cup oil
Additional flour for kneading
Additional oil for grilling
Pizza sauce
Mozzarella cheese
Other toppings as desired

Start charcoal or preheat gas grill to medium-high heat.  Combine two cups of flour, undissolved yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Add water and oil, and mix until well blended, about 1 minute.  Gradually add enough flour to form a soft dough.  Dough should form a ball and be slightly sticky.  Knead on a floured surface, adding more flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic and not sticky, about 5 minutes.

Divide dough into 8 portions.  Pat or roll dough on a well-floured counter to about 8-inch circles.  Brush both sides of the crust with additional oil.  Using hands, lift each crust carefully and place on grill.  Cook for 3-4 minutes or until bottom is slightly browned and top looks set.  Using tongs, remove crust from grill, and place grilled-side-up on tray or baking sheet.  Lightly add sauce and toppings to the grilled side of the crust.  Carefully slide each pizza back onto the grill and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until bottom of the crust is lightly browned and cheese is melted.  Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone has a full day of family, friends, and food.  This is a wonderful day to thank the Lord for all of his many blessings!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Teak Dog Tuesday!

Here's Teak hanging out by his barrel in the backyard.  The cement blocks are around the perimeter so he won't dig out while we're at work.  He has a history of doing that.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

I'm starting to believe that you can create anything with Pillsbury products.  We love their pizza crust and have experimented with different uses for it, and now here's yet another delicious way to use their cresent rolls.  This would be an excellent appetizer for any get-together, and it was really quick.  (Of course, I already had cheese, bacon, green onions, Ranch, and crescent rolls, so that made it even easier.)  The hard part is not eating all of them and thus making them into a meal.  Enjoy!

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

1 can crescent rolls
1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup green onions, finely sliced
2 Tbsp Ranch dressing

Preheat oven to 350.  Unroll dough and separate into two triangles; pinch seams together.  Spread Ranch over each triangle to edges, and cover each with green onions, bacon, and cheese.  Starting with the short side, roll up each rectangle, and press edges to seal.  With a serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices.  Place cut-side-down on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 12-17 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.  Remove immediately from cookie sheet, and serve warm. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

These were good!  They were quick and easy, and I had all the ingredients without having to go to the store, which is always nice.   Next time I think I'll add white chocolate chips for even more flavor.  It's also great because of how well it freezes.  If you don't want to bake the cookies immediately, just roll the dough onto wax paper, roll it into the log, and stick it in the freezer. 

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 stick butter, slightly softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix dry ingredients together, and then stir in oats and set aside.  In a large bowl, beat the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and scrape down the bowl.  Add honey and vanilla, and beat until well blended.  Stir in the cranberries and pecans.  Drop by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart on lightly greased sheet pans.  Bake for 9-11 minutes, and allow cookies to rest on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teak Dog Tuesday!

Here's Teak, being a champion bumper-retriever.  Duck season starts Saturday, which will be a big day for Teak and Bizzuck alike.

Monday, November 15, 2010

King Ranch Chicken

This is another classic that is just so good.  I think there are a dozen different variations of King Ranch Chicken, but this one was healthier than others and still incorporated tortilla chips, which is what I live on.  Plus, it was a great way to use up the crushed chips at the bottom of the bag!  Any variation you use will probably be tasty!  Give this one a try!

King Ranch Chicken

1/2 stick butter
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (10.75oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10oz) can diced tomatoes (mild or hot)
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
Tortilla chips (or tortillas torn into bite-size pieces)
2 cups shredded Cheddar or Mexican-blend cheese

In a large saucepan, cook pepper and onion in melted better until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add soups, diced tomatoes, and chicken, stirring until well-blended.  In a sprayed 13x9 pan, alternately layer chips, chicken mixture, and cheese, repeating for two layers, ending in cheese.  Bake 40 minutes or until hot and bubbling.  Serves 6-8. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Grilled Cheese, Apple, and Bacon Sandwich

One of my favorite things on a Saturday morning is mindlessly watching Food Network shows, and last weekend I was lucky enough to catch Tyler's Ultimate.  He's was making the ultimate soup and sandwich, and his sandwich was a grilled cheese, apple, and bacon sandwich.  Umm, yes please.  I had to make it that afternoon.

This was honestly delicious.  This could easily be a Saturday afternoon (or laid back Sunday night or Friday night or whenever) staple.  Tyler's recipe called for country-style white bread, but I just used by regular wheat bread, and he also said to generously spread Dijon mustard on the bread before starting to assemble the sandwich, but I forgot to do that. 

You HAVE to try this.  It's so good!

Grilled Cheese, Apple, and Bacon Sandwich

4 slices of bread
6oz sliced Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 Tsbp butter
6 slices bacon, cooked to desired doneness
1/2 green apple, thinly sliced
(Dijon mustard, if desired)

Heat griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat.  Assemble sandwich: if desired, spread Dijon mustard on bread.  Top with slices of Cheddar, 3 pieces of bacon, apple slices, and additional Cheddar.  Place the remaining bread on top, and spread the outsides of the bread with butter.  Cook until cheese is slightly melted and bread is browned.  Flip the sandwich and continue to cook until cheese is thoroughly melted and bread is golden brown. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Teak Dog Tuesday!

We took the boat out for a rather chilly ride on Saturday (no one got in the water--we're not that crazy), and Teak loved every second of it!  He can't get enough of that boat.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Crawfish Etoufee

Maybe it was LSU's awesome win over Alabama on Saturday.  Maybe it was my excitement over my upcoming trip to New Orleans.  Maybe it's just homesickness; I don't know.  Whatever it was, I decided to make some crawfish etoufee last night, and it was quite good.  The recicpe is an old one from The Times Picayune; I cut the original recipe in half (I'm posting the half), and it could feed 3-4 people.  One serving is SO filling!  You serve the etoufee over rice, and you really only serve some crusty bread and maybe a salad with it. 

It's not exactly crawfish season (that's more in the spring and summer), and it's not like we get many of them in Georgia anyway, but I bought some frozen crawfish tails over the summer and used one a pound in this recipe.

The recipe says to season the finished product with salt and cayenne.  If you're afraid of cayenne pepper, just go with freshly ground black pepper.  It needs quite a bit of salt.  I was hesitant to season the whole pot just in case I put in too much or more than Bizzuck might like, so we seasoned our own bowls. 

Crawfish Etoufee

1/2 stick butter
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 pound peeled crawfish tails
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup water
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp chopped green onion (green part only)
White rice

Heat the butter in a large, heavy pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery; cook, stirring until soft and lightly golden, 8-10 minutes.  Add the crawfish and cook, stirring occasionally, until they give off a little liquid, another 8-10 minutes.  Add the cornstarch-water mixture and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 8 minutes.  Season with salt and cayenne.  Remove from heat.  Serve over rice, and garnish with parsley and green onions. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Crescent City Crunch (and An Announcement)

I don't know much about making granola, but luckily, my friend Erica does!  If you want some delicious granola, check out Crescent City Crunch on etsy or Facebook.  She's located in New Orleans, but she ships everywhere, so order some! 

It'll make you feel healthy and good about what you're eating during the winter, when you're probably normally eating a lot of sweets and just generally not working out very much (at least, that's what I do).

However, I'm ready to work out now because WE'RE GETTING MARRIED!  Bizzuck proposed about a month ago, and I'm ecstatic!  We set the date for July, so I have many miles to run between now and then to fit into the dress and look good for the pictures.  So, you should order some granola while I get on the treadmill.  :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sausage and Cheese Muffins

YUM.  These muffins are amazing!  Biz and I were lucky enough to be invited to the LSU/Auburn game two weeks ago at Auburn, and we brough these to contribute to the awesome tailgate where we were. (Of course, LSU was unlucky enough to lose, but that's a different story.)  This recipe is from my sister, who has perfected it, and now we're all lucky enough to learn from her.  I promise--you want these for your next breakfast, brunch, tailgate, or whenever.  You'll love them!

Sausage and Cheese Muffins

1 lb. hot ground pork sausage
1/2 - 1 small onion, chopped
3 cups all-purpose baking mix
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup water

Cook sausage and onion in a large skillet over medium to med-high heat, stirring until it crumbles and no longer pink.  Drain and cool. 

Preheat oven to 375.  Combine sausage, baking mix, and shredded cheese in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center of the mixture.  Stir together the soup and water; add to sausage mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Spoon until lightly greased muffin tins, filling to tops of cups.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Teak Dog Tuesday!

It was finally cold enough to pull out the softest blanket, and Teak decided that he'd like to try it out as well.

We also decided to do something that we've needed to do for a long time: we tried to brush Teak's teeth.  This was more of an introductory session, as we only used some water on the toothbrush.  We'll have to build up to toothpaste.  The key to doing this is doing it when he's too tired to object.  (Amanda, please do this before Zoe's breath burns a hole in the ozone layer.  Thanks.)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Green Bean Casserole

This green bean casserole is a classic for a reason: it's delicious.  You know you're going to have some green beans at Thanksgiving, and you might be looking for new recipes, but why try to fix something that isn't broken?  You've probably forgotten how good this is.

Green Bean Casserole

1 (10.75oz) can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp balck pepper
1 1/3 cups French fried onions
2 (14.5oz) green beans, drained (or 2 9oz pkgs frozen green beans, thawed)

Mix soup and milk, then add pepper, gren beans, and 2/3 cup onions in a 1-1/2 qt. casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until hot.  Stir, top with remaining onions, and bake 5 minutes.