29 April 2012

Mexi-Stuffed Peppers with Cilantro Sour Cream

Peppers are on sale...hooray!  I love munching on these sweet little veggies.  They're great raw or cooked, and amazing stuffed.  Typically we go Italian with our stuffed peppers...marinara, beef and lots of garlic.  Yum.  However, we were feeling more spicy this evening, so we went south of the border for dinner inspiration.

Ridiculously Easy Oatmeal Nut Bars

Lately, I've noticed a ton of bars, bites and cookies popping up on Pinterest.  And why not?!  They are delicious, egg free, healthy recipes for a girl, guy or pup on the go.  With the wonderful mix of options out there, one is bound to find one they'd like to try.  Unless you're the most indecisive person on the planet...a.k.a. me.  I've been waffling back and forth between about 5 recipes for the past month or so without trying a single one.  In retrospect, I should have just tried them all, but it's never too late for that!

Zucchini Fritters au Fromage

I am a zucchini fiend.  If  you do not like zucchini, I cannot be your friend.  Savory or sweet, raw or roasted, grated or au gratin, side dish or star, this vegetable is a blank canvas just waiting to be painted upon.

It all started with our garden when I was growing up.  Zucchini is one of those vegetables that thrive in the Pacific Northwest, and we were bursting at the seams.  Zucchini ratatouille was our favorite summer side dish and zucchini bread was my favorite packed lunch treat.  To this day, I will pass up a cookie for a slice of zucchini bread.

Chicken & Kale Pasta Bake

I am slightly embarrassed to admit that my first experience with kale was two weekends ago.  A good friend made these amazing quinoa kale cakes with which I was so enthralled, I immediately went out and bought the biggest bunch of kale I could find.  Since then, I've made kale chips, kale scrambles, kale cakes and kale pasta.

15 April 2012

Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

The goodness of pizza gone whole wheat!  This is a heavier, nuttier crust with a lot of texture, but delicious.  It makes a great thin crust on anything.

Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (makes 2 crusts)

  • 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 c warm water
  • 1 tsp honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 c whole wheat flour
Combine warm water, yeast, honey and 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil in a bowl and whisk until well blended.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes until the top of the mixture is foamy.

By Hand:  Add the salt and 1 cup of the flour, then mix until well combined.  Continue to add flour in 1/4 cup increments until dough is tacky but no longer sticking to your hands (you may use a little less or more).  Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until smooth.

In Mixer:  Add the salt and 2 cups of flour, then combine on lowest setting with a dough hook.  Add additional flour in 1/4 cup increments as needed until dough is no longer tacky.  Continue to kneed on lowest speed for 5 minutes.  

Form the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl.  Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top and rub all sides to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free area (laundry room is the spot in our home) for 2 hours.  It should be about doubled in size.

Divide the dough into two equal portions, then cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle a pizza pan or parchment paper with cornmeal and spread the crust to your desired thinness.  Voila, pizza crust!

The second crust can be stored in a refrigerator for 5 days or the freezer for several months.  To store, shape the dough into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Place in a ziplock bag, removing as much air as possible.

Fun Additions!

  • 1 tsp dried oregano & 1/4-1/2 red chili flakes
  • 1/4 c fresh grated parmesan
  • 1-2 cloves garlic & 1 tsp rosemary or basil
  • infused olive oils such as harissa or lemon herb

Garlic & Herb Baked Brie

One of my hub's signature dishes is baked brie.  It's the one he always pulls out for a "wow" factor.  And it always does.  Any time you have a food that you cut into and hot goodness runs out of the middle, you have a winner.  Especially when the hot and melty is cheese.

Knockoff "The Rock" Brown Sugar Mozz Bread

There is a pizza joint in the Northwest called The Rock that makes simply spectacular pizza creations.  I've tried about half of the menu and loved it all.  I was very wary, however, of an appetizer that they offered by the name of Brown Sugar Mozz Bread.  I'll take a garlic, olive oil and cheese pizza any day....but brown sugar?!  No thank you.  I don't care if it's my big brother's favorite.  Cheese, garlic and brown sugar?  It sounds wrong!

14 April 2012

Rosemary Buttermilk Scones

I looked forward to the Puyallup fair every year growing up.  The wooden roller coaster, the horses, hobby hall, caramel apples....I loved it all.  A perfect day of fun.  However, there was one thing that kept me going through high school and college....and that, my friends, is the Fischer Scones.  Made constantly and served up hot by dozens of little old grannies in hairnets, these things were the best part of the fair.  We would buy 2 dozen and take them home to eat and freeze.  The thought was to save them, but that never ended up happening.

This is where my love affair with scones began.

Rustic Smoked Salmon & Goat Cheese Flatbread

The hubs and I are originally from the Pacific Northwest.  The land of evergreens, natural bodies of water, breathtaking scenery and amazing seafood.  Sadly, we are currently land-locked in Ohio.  While this is a great place to live, it's just not home for us.  And being the foodies we are, one of the things we miss the most is the fresh seafood.

04 April 2012

Linguine with Shiitakes & Taleggio

I am a sucker for the cheese counter at our local market.  Particularly their discount cheese bin.  In the evenings, they wrap up tiny bits from the day that weren't sold or packaged and sell them at half price.  Basically, it's the best introduction to cheese you could ever ask for....enough to taste, but not so much that you're stuck with something you hate.