Thursday, October 18, 2007

Quick and delicious

I love my pre-fab food. There was talk yesterday on the What's Cooking board about calzones and I had to have some. However, I wasn't feeling adventurous enough to spend precious after work time attempting my first homemade pizza dough, so I bought a tube of the processed, preservative-laden kind from Super Target. Someday I'll get with it and stop wasting my money on stuff like this, but it sure hit the spot tonight :)

1 tube Refrigerated pizza dough
Tomato sauce
Italian seasoning
Garlic powder
Shredded mozzarella
Black olives
Green pepper
Olive oil

Unroll pizza dough and separate into two pieces. Spoon a few tablespoons of tomato sauce on one half of dough (alternatively, use pesto in place of tomato sauce). Season with Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Chop olives and pepper to desired size. Sprinkle cheese and vegetables over sauce. Fold over dough and pinch edges to contain toppings. Brush top of dough with olive oil, sprinkle additional cheese if desired. Bake according to dough instructions (mine said 13-18 minutes at 400°, they were nicely done at 18 minutes).

They may not be the prettiest, but this was a fun meal to make with my husband and tasty to boot :)

When it rains it pours

It's rained just about every day this week here in Minnesota. I really don't mind so much. After all the summer heat and unusual fall weather we had been having, it's nice to sleep with the window open and listen to the rain. Plus, I get to make comfort food! I'm not very motivated to heat up my apartment when it's sweltering already, so now that it's nice and cool I'm all over it. What better way to welcome fall than with chili! This was really my second round of the dish for the season, but there weren't any leftovers the first time and I was still craving it :) I don't follow a set recipe, just whatever sounds good, so the following is what I wanted this time. I needed to use up some potatoes, so I mashed them up to go with. Talk about comfort food!

1 lb. Ground Beef

1 packet Chili seasoning (I used McCormick)

1/2 Large onion, diced

1 can Kidney beans

1 can Tomato sauce (15 oz.)

1 can Diced tomatoes

1 Green pepper, diced small

1/2 Large bag frozen corn

Chili powder, garlic powder and other seasonings to taste

Brown beef and onion; drain. Add all other ingredients. Simmer until chili reaches desired consistency, at least 10 minutes. Serve with assorted toppings.

My husband likes his with yellow mustard, sour cream (if we have it) and saltines. I like cheddar cheese. Next time I'll have to make corn bread!

No pictures of the mashed potatoes (a white lumpy mound doesn't make the most interesting subject). I don't have any special tricks with them, just boil and mash with lots of butter and a few splashes of skim milk.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Welcome cookies

Welcome to my blog! It's been so helpful reading everybody else's blogs on the What's Cooking board that I thought I'd better start my own so I can contribute too! As a thank you for coming to visit, I baked you some cookies :)

I got this recipe off the back of th
e almond extract box and thought it looked like a good one to try. They're definitely tasty, though very similar to my regular sugar cookie recipe. I wanted to try it exactly as written (minus the slivered almonds - I don't like nuts in my baked goods), but next time I'll go back to half butter, half shortening so they're not so thin and crispy. And look at my pretty blue mixer!

Almond White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract

2 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

8 oz. white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 1/3 cups (6oz.) slivered almonds

Beat butt
er and sugar in large bowl with mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Add eggs and extract; beat until well blended. Mix flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture until well mixed. Stir in chocolate and almonds. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls 1 inch apart unto ungreased baking sheets. Bake in 375° oven 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from baking sheets. Cool on wire racks.

The recipe claims it makes 72 cookies. I got about 33. I guess my idea and McCormick's idea of a "heaping tablespoonful" differ slightly. I tried to take one off the sheet right away and it got mutilated - so I had to eat it. The others I left on the sheet for a few minutes and they all made it in one piece. Enjoy!