Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Favorite Pizza Crust

{This time I made margherita pizza}

When it comes to dough, I am all about having my bread machine do most of the work whenever possible, which is one of the reasons I love this pizza crust recipe. The other reasons are: 1) it's delicious and 2) I can get two pizzas (one regular round and one slightly smaller) out of it.


1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups bread flour

1 cup white whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves


Combine water, olive oil, sugar, salt in pan of bread machine Add flour, then sprinkle garlic on flour. Lastly add yeast.
Turn machine on dough cycle. As the dough mixes, sprinkle on oregano and basil until it suits you for color and taste.

Let mix for at least 20-30 minutes, then let the dough rest from 5 to 30 minutes (longer is better. To be honest I often just let it run the whole dough cycle which is 1 and 1/2 hours total).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Divide dough and press into two pizza pans.
Add sauce, cheese, and toppings, and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tomato Basil Soup

I am huge fan of tomatoes and basil. The fresh tomatoes, basil, whipping cream, and butter make this soup taste so good and well, fresh! Fabulous. Original recipe here.

4 tomatoes - peeled, seeded and diced (drop tomatoes in boiling water for a minute, then they peel easily)
4 cups tomato juice
14 leaves fresh basil
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste


Place tomatoes and juice in a stock pot over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves, and return the puree to the stock pot.
Place the pot over medium heat, and stir in the heavy cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Do not boil.

Menu Plan Monday

Here's what's for dinner this week. I'm trying to clean out the freezer and pantry a bit.

Spaghetti and meatballs, breadsticks (meatballs pre-cooked already in the freezer)
Split pea soup (leftover ham in the freezer to use up)
BBQ chicken pizza
Southwestern BBQ chicken salad (crock-pot cooking a bunch of chicken in BBQ sauce to use for this and the pizza)
Grilled salmon, baked potatoes
Chili (canned) and cornbread (the kind with creamed corn--I need to find a recipe)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Weekly Menu Plan

Here's what's for dinner this week:

Grilled Chicken Grande bowl (my take on the one at Rubios)

Chicken Tortellini soup (from a new recipe book I got for Christmas - it's a compilation of recipes from my mom's women's group at church--my favorite kind of recipe book!)

Roast in the crock pot with mashed potatoes

Quiche (here)

Monte Cristo sandwiches and Tomato soup

Teriyaki Ranch Chicken

Other non-dinner recipes on the menu:

Mini Cheesecakes - I'm making these for the ladies at book club - lucky them!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Blueberry Cream Muffins

These are so moist and delicious--much better than from a box. The recipe makes a very generous dozen--I actually got 15 muffins out of it. Adapted from here.


2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour (I used 1 cup all purpose, 1 cup white whole wheat)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sour cream
1 cup blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. In large bowl beat eggs. Gradually add sugar while beating. Continue beating while slowly pouring in oil. Stir in vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda.
  3. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture alternately with sour cream. Gently fold in blueberries. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Meal Plan Monday - on Tuesday

The holidays were so delicious, and I got a little sugared out because I had NO self control when it came to all of the chocolate and goodies. It felt really good yesterday when I made my menu plan for the week and came home from grocery shopping with lots of fresh produce and zero sweets. Now if only that bowl of stocking candy on the counter would disappear ... I'm still snacking on it between (mostly) healthy meals.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Clam Chowder and rolls

Roasted chicken and veggies (a modified version of this) - This is cooking at my house right now and oh my does it smell GOOD!

Meatball subs

Copycat Applebees salad, corn bread

Black bean burgers with cilantro lime mayo

Soft tacos

out to eat/leftovers

Non-dinner recipes on the menu:

Blueberry cream muffins

Egg/cheese/ham on English muffins (my version of a McMuffin)

Monday, January 3, 2011

What We Ate - Christmas Around the World

Back to life, back to reality. We had a very enjoyable two weeks with the girls out of school. We spent Christmas at home, then headed to Disneyland for a few days, visited family for another few days, and then came home.

We call one of our Christmas food traditions "Christmas around the World." Every Christmas Eve we make food from a different country or culture. In past years we've done Switzerland (fondue--yum!), Greece, and India. This year, we did France. What is not to love about French food? (The answer is NOTHING, in case you were wondering.)

We made Supremes de Volaille a Blanc (Breast of Chicken with Cream), pasta, and French baked beets. We purchased the baguette and the brie, and we received the sparkling cider as a gift.

We topped it all off with these delicious cream puffs (minus the heart shape) for dessert. There are several steps to making the cream puffs, but they weren't too tricky, and the results were worth the time.

I love our Christmas around the world tradition, but I think this is going to be hard to top next year. Maybe we should quit while we're ahead and just make it a Christmas in France tradition??