Burst media_leaderboard

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pizza Quesadillas

Pizza Quesadillas @menumusings.com
The new school year is just a few weeks away, and that means starving kids walking through the door in the afternoons!  It also means lots of busy "taxi cab" moms and dads in a hurry to get everyone to this practice, that club meeting, and all sorts of other activities before dinner time.  Over the summer break, I was telling my kids that I used to make pizza out of all sorts of things when I would come home from school as a kid.  It was one of my favorite "go to" snacks before starting my homework.  

These ingredients are fairly common items that most of us have on hand in the fridge and pantry, so we got creative and had some fun for lunch over the summer.  Everyone agreed that while they weren't what you would typically find in a quesadilla, they sure were darned good!  And just like pizza, you can customize each of them to everyone's tastes.  You could even set up a "design your own" bar with different toppings... er... fillings.  :)  By all means, though - don't forget the warm pizza sauce or marinara to dip them in.  Yummm! 


Ingredients:  
  • flour tortillas
  • jarred pizza sauce
  • shredded cheese
  • pepperoni slices (or meat of choice)
  • dried oregano
  • optional red pepper flakes 
Step-by-Step:
These are our players.  By all means, feel free to choose your players of choice.  I've loved Pizza Quick sauce since I was a child. (giggle)  I'm using a shredded "pizza" cheese blend, dried oregano to make it smell and taste like pizza, pepperoni slices which I'm cutting in half first, and a little bit of red pepper flakes for a little bit of a kick.
To a dry skillet, add the flour tortilla.  You don't need to add oil or cooking spray.  The size tortilla you use is up to you.  I had some leftover tortillas in the fridge.  The point of this is to use what you have.  Add a couple spoons of pizza sauce (I didn't measure), and a handful of cheese.  I had the fire on about medium.  I added the cheese near the bottom to give it time to start melting while I was adding the other stuff.
Next I added the pepperoni pieces.  I cut them in half with a pizza wheel.  That seemed to work great. I felt like whole pieces were too large and may just pull out when you bit into the quesadilla.  Feel free to use deli meats (leftover ham/turkey/ground beef/Italian sausage) cut into small pieces. 
Season this baby up!  I added dried oregano as I mentioned.  But you could use Italian seasoning, or dried basil as well.  If you have older kids (or men watching a ballgame), they may like the red pepper flakes.  Consider leaving them off for the younger kids.  
Now notice that I have TRIED to keep my ingredients contained on one side of the tortilla.  Now take the other side (the side without the goodies), fold it over to match, and press it down.  If you don't have a panini press, use another skillet.   This first side shouldn't take too much longer before you need to flip it to the other side.  
Slide it onto a cutting board, cut with a long knife or pizza wheel, and watch them go fast!   Isn't ooey gooey cheese just the BEST?!
Don't forget that warm pizza sauce for dipping!  - oh.  And some extra napkins.  Ha! 
Pizza Quesadillas @menumusings.com

I hope you enjoyed this simple and delicious recipe!
There are hundreds more in my Recipe Index, just waiting to be chosen and cooked!  You can also visit my Film strips for pinning page, to see whole recipes at a glance, and to click-and-go right to the recipe.


The Menu Musings cookbook is sure to be a hit at your house, and will make great gifts!  For more information, here is a link!
Order a signed copy of the Menu Musings Cookbook!  
Connect with me.     
If you are new to MenuMusings, click here to subscribe so you won't miss a thing!  I'll send you notifications of new posts to help you avoid that proverbial cooking rut.  You can also follow me on Pinterest and on the MenuMusings facebook page.

Also, Please be sure to visit my YouTube Channel for short video tutorials on selected videos.  Watch me explain the steps of the recipes in just a few minutes!  Just one more way that I'm giving you the tools to get in that kitchen!!! Aren't you curious?  Click and see how many there are!  :)
Here's just one example - Buffalo Chicken Dip

Here are some bonus recipes for you!
Mongolian Beef

Beefy Mexican Cornbread

Baked Chicken Parmesan

Creamy Grape Salad

Sun Dried Tomato Chicken

Spicy Garlic Shrimp
Written Method:

To a dry skillet, add the flour tortilla.  You don't need to add oil or cooking spray.  The size tortilla you use is up to you.  Add a couple spoons of pizza sauce (I didn't measure), and a handful of cheese.  I had the fire on about medium.  I added the cheese near the bottom to give it time to start melting while I was adding the other stuff.  Next add the pepperoni pieces.  I cut them in half with a pizza wheel.  Feel free to use deli meats (leftover ham/turkey/ground beef/Italian sausage) cut into small pieces.  Season this baby up!  I added dried oregano as I mentioned.  But you could use Italian seasoning, or dried basil as well.  If you have older kids (or men watching a ballgame), they may like the red pepper flakes.  Consider leaving them off for the younger kids.  

Now notice that I have TRIED to keep my ingredients contained on one side of the tortilla.  Now take the other side (the side without the goodies), fold it over to match, and press it down.  If you don't have a panini press, use another skillet.   This first side shouldn't take too much longer before you need to flip it to the other side.  Slide it onto a cutting board, cut with a long knife or pizza wheel, and watch them go fast!   Isn't ooey gooey cheese just the BEST?!  Don't forget that warm pizza sauce for dipping!  - oh.  And some extra napkins.  Ha! 


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Strawberry Basil Jelly

Yep, this one might be a little bit different folks... but I just love the combination of fruit and herbs together!  Several weeks ago (because I'm so far behind on my posts), my parents were over for the weekend and my husband had brought home an entire flat of the most wonderful strawberries!  As a fun "project,"  I asked my mom to show me how to make jelly/jam.  This is definitely not something I've ever done, and I was curious.  So this post really belongs to my parents and my daughter - the Lovely Lily!  You'll notice that these are not my hands.  Ha.  

You are wondering about the basil, right?  Well of course during the process of serving as the official "project photographer,"  I got to wondering... "Wow, that sure is beautiful and so fragrant!  I betcha that would be amazing with some chopped up basil or thyme in there!"  And that little kernel of thought is all it took.  We made some with and some without the herbs; but honestly, the jelly with the herbs was super awesome!  Feel free to make yours both ways as well, if you just want to make plain old jelly.  But hey, playing with your food is always a lot of fun!  


Before anyone leaves me snarky comments, I know this is technically "jam,"  but in my house, somehow it all gets called "jelly."  So please do me a favor and play nice.


Ingredients:  
  • 8 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and cored
  • 11 cups + 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 boxes SURE-JELL (fruit pectin)
  • herbs of your choice
    • chopped basil
    • fresh thyme, stripped (optional)


Step-by-Step:
Prepare the strawberries.  All the strawberries need to be hulled and cored... and smashed.  Lily used a potato masher for this.  Smushing up the berries is a great job for a kid if you have one hanging around.  It also turns out that the recipe calls for an insane amount of sugar.  :(  So Lovely Lily leveled off each cup and measured it all out.
The only pot I had that was large enough to accommodate this whole operation was a pressure cooker (without the lid on), so that's how they did it.  In went the berries and the SURE-JELL.
Lastly, a teaspoon of butter.  We'll call this "grandmother magic."  And off the berries went to begin the cooking process.
For the next part of the process, my mother took over.  The jars and lids need to be sterilized and prepared.  They need to be submersed and boiled for at least 10 minutes.  

 Allow the hot water to remain in them while the berries are cooking.
Bring the berries to boil on medium heat.  
Boil the berries for at least a couple of minutes on a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat.
Add sugar to the fruit mixture in the pot.  Return to a full rolling boil.  Boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly.  DO NOT REDUCE THE SUGAR IN THE RECIPE SINCE THAT WILL RESULT IN A FAILURE TO SET. *This statement comes directly from the package.  Don't blame me for this crazy amount of sugar.
granulated sugar
Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling each to within 1/4" of top.  Check the canning section of your grocery store for these wide mouth canning funnels.  They are the perfect size for fitting into the top of the jars.
Long handled tongs work great to add the sterilized lids to the jars to avoid contamination with your fingers.  Also, both the jars and the jelly are like hot molten lava right now!  If you have any drips on the jar rims and threads, you will want to make sure you wipe those clean.
You will want a rag or some sort of protection while screwing the rings onto the lids.  These jars are super HOT right now!
Here we have one perfect little jar of strawberry jelly.  But was I happy with that?  Nooooo... I had to somehow start thinking of something different to do with it.  
So I ran out into the herb garden and picked some fresh basil and some fresh thyme and decided that we were going to have some fun!  :)  Of course this is completely optional, but I don't think you'll be disappointed.  For this first one, I chopped the basil and for this small jar (about 1 cup of jelly), I added a large pinch (probably about 1 - 1 1/2 tsp) of chopped basil.  
chopped basil
I gave it a little stir to distribute it throughout.
For this one, I did the same with some thyme leaves.  Aren't the colors pretty together?
fresh thyme
Now place the jars of jelly back into the pot.  If you don't have a canning rack, you can place a towel in the bottom of the pot to keep them off of the bottom and to keep them from bumping around in there.  They need to be completely covered in the water by about 2 inches.  Bring the water to a gentle boil and allow to boil for around 10 minutes.  You can see that we have them labeled according to which herbs we added.  We also left some plain.  
Carefully remove them from the boiling water and set them upright on a towel to cool completely.
You can see that my mother used a two-tong method to accomplish this.  Now during this cooling process, you will start to see the lids pop down.  You may even hear them "pop."  After they cool, you can check the seals by pressing the center of the lids with your finger.  If they spring back up, then they are NOT sealed, and refrigeration is necessary.  If they are sunk in, and do not pop up, then they are sealed and you can store them unopened in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.  Refrigerate opened jams/jellies for up to 3 weeks. 
Well of course we had to test some out, so we made some quick muffin tin drop biscuits, some homemade whipped cream, sliced up some more fresh berries, and used that gorgeous strawberry basil jelly as part of an absolutely killer strawberry short cake! 
Now I will fully admit, there's also nothing wrong with just having some jelly on your toast with a cup of tea on a rainy day, either.  That's real life, folks.  :)

The Menu Musings cookbook is sure to be a hit at your house, and will make great gifts!  For more information, here is a link!
Order your copy of the Menu Musings Cookbook!  
Connect with me.     
If you are new to MenuMusings, click here to subscribe so you won't miss a thing!  I'll send you notifications of new posts to help you avoid that proverbial cooking rut.  You can also follow me on Pinterest and on the MenuMusings facebook page.

Also, Please be sure to visit my YouTube Channel for short video tutorials on selected videos.  Watch me explain the steps of the recipes in just a few minutes!  Just one more way that I'm giving you the tools to get in that kitchen!!! Aren't you curious?  Click and see how many there are!  :)
Here's just one example - Louisiana Crab Claws Bordelaise
Here are some bonus recipes for you!
Korean BBQ Shish Kabobs

Pizza Poppin Muffins

Ham Cups

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Oreo Cream Crunch Layer Dessert

Spinach and Apricot Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Written Method:
Prepare the strawberries.  All the strawberries need to be hulled, cored, and smashed.  We used a potato masher for this.  Smushing up the berries is a great job for a kid if you have one hanging around.  It also turns out that the recipe calls for an insane amount of sugar.  

The only pot I had that was large enough to accommodate this whole operation was a pressure cooker (without the lid on), so that's how they did it.  Add the berries and the SURE-JELL. Lastly, add a teaspoon of butter.  We'll call this "grandmother magic."  Now start your berries went to cooking.

For the next part of the process, the jars and lids need to be sterilized and prepared.  They need to be submersed and boiled for at least 10 minutes.  Allow the hot water to remain in them while the berries are cooking.

Bring the berries to boil on medium heat.  Boil the berries for at least a couple of minutes on a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat.  Add sugar to the fruit mixture in the pot.  Return to a full rolling boil.  Boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly.  DO NOT REDUCE THE SUGAR IN THE RECIPE SINCE THAT WILL RESULT IN A FAILURE TO SET. *This statement comes directly from the package.  Don't blame me for this crazy amount of sugar.

Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling each to within 1/4" of top.  Check the canning section of your grocery store for these wide mouth canning funnels.  They are the perfect size for fitting into the top of the jars.  Long handled tongs work great to add the sterilized lids to the jars to avoid contamination with your fingers.  Also, both the jars and the jelly are like hot molten lava right now!  If you have any drips on the jar rims and threads, you will want to make sure you wipe those clean. You will want a rag or some sort of protection while screwing the rings onto the lids.  These jars are super HOT right now!

Here we have one perfect little jar of strawberry jelly.  But was I happy with that?  Nooooo... I had to somehow start thinking of something different to do with it.  So I ran out into the herb garden and picked some fresh basil and some fresh thyme and decided that we were going to have some fun!  :)  Of course this is completely optional, but I don't think you'll be disappointed.  For this first one, I chopped the basil and for this small jar (about 1 cup of jelly), I added a large pinch (probably about 1 - 1 1/2 tsp) of chopped basil.  I gave it a little stir to distribute it throughout.  I did the same with some thyme leaves.  

Now place the jars of jelly back into the pot.  If you don't have a canning rack, you can place a towel in the bottom of the pot to keep them off of the bottom and to keep them from bumping around in there.  They need to be completely covered in the water by about 2 inches.  Bring the water to a gentle boil and allow to boil for around 10 minutes.  Carefully remove them from the boiling water and set them upright on a towel to cool completely.  

My mother used a two-tong method to accomplish this.  Now during this cooling process, you will start to see the lids pop down.  You may even hear them "pop."  After they cool, you can check the seals by pressing the center of the lids with your finger.  If they spring back up, then they are NOT sealed, and refrigeration is necessary.  If they are sunk in, and do not pop up, then they are sealed and you can store them unopened in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.  Refrigerate opened jams/jellies for up to 3 weeks. 

Follow me on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest