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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Video Recipe for Skinny Mexican Pizza


Now you can follow along with me as I demonstrate the steps to making one of our family's favorite dishes!  We are going to "fake out" the ground beef by using the very lean ground turkey, along with some other lower fat substitutions.
Click on this recipe link to watch my YouTube Channel cooking demonstration for:  Video Recipe for Skinny Mexican Pizza

 If you enjoy the video presentation, subscribe to my YouTube Channel and new video recipes will be routed directly to you when they are posted! :)  Also, check out my Video Recipe tab on this blog.

For full written directions, visit the original blog post - Original post - Baked Chicken Taquitos.

Video Recipe for Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Pesto Penne


Cook this delicious meal in the time it takes to boil the noodles!  Follow along with me each step of the way as I demonstrate this super easy recipe on my YouTube channel. 

Click here to view:
Link to Video Recipe for Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Pesto Penne

If you enjoy the video presentation, subscribe to my YouTube Channel and new video recipes will be routed directly to you when they are posted! :)  Also, check out my Video Recipe tab on this blog.

For full, written directions, visit the original blog post - Original post - roasted red pepper and basil pesto penne.

Video Recipe for Meatball Stuffed Buns


Click this link to take you to my YouTube Channel link for: Video Recipe for Meatball Stuffed Buns

Follow my every step as you make these awesome little pillows of goodness!  Perfect for after school treats and some pre- trick-or-treating snacking!


If you enjoy the video presentation, subscribe to my YouTube Channel and new video recipes will be routed directly to you when they are posted! :)  Also, check out my Video Recipe tab on this blog.

For full written  instructions for this recipe, visit the original post - Original Post - meatball stuffed buns.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Video Recipe for Inside Out Caramel Apple Slices

Click this link to take you to my YouTube Channel to make these: Inside Out Caramel Apple Slices

Follow me each step of the way as I make these yummy treats! 

 

If you enjoy the video presentation, subscribe to my YouTube Channel and new video recipes will be routed directly to you when they are posted! :)  Also, check out my Video Recipe tab on this blog.

For the original post and full written directions, visit the original post for this recipe - Original post - inside out caramel apple slices.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Prosciutto and Spinach Pinweels ... and pepperoni with cheese for the kiddos

Some evenings at our house find us with 8 people, sometimes only me and two toddlers.  On nights like this, we sometimes want something laid back and "snacky" for dinner.  Yesterday evening, we chose to make pinwheels - hand food, perfectly fit for sitting out on the back porch and sharing a "picnic" dinner together on a beautiful early Autumn evening.  We made two varieties:  Prosciutto, spinach, mozzarella pinwheels - a little more exotic and elegant; and the more familiar Pepperoni and cheese pinwheels.  Interestingly enough, they ate some of both.  Turns out it was a good way of sneaking some spinach into them without complaint.  

The process of making these was a lot of fun and totally kid friendly for YOU to do with YOUR kids.  No making homemade dough, etc.  We went with convenience items for this recipe.
Ingredients:  (for prosciutto and spinach pinwheels)
  • 1 can refrigerated pizza dough
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 packs of prosciutto
  • 1 - 2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped small
  • Italian seasoning
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
Ingredients:  (for pepperoni and cheese pinwheels)
  • 1 can refrigerated pizza dough
  • 2 cups cheese - either mozzarella or pizza blend
  • pizza sauce
  • pepperoni slices, cut into quarters
  • Italian seasoning

You know - there are always components of a recipe that even young kids can help with.  My two are working on product knowledge and fine motor skills with the scissors. 
Chop spinach into small pieces.  You need 1-2 cups total.

Cut pepperoni slices into 4 pieces.  This way they won't "pull out" when you are biting into the pinwheels. 

Roll out pizza dough onto a floured surface.

We are looking for a large rectangle.

Sprinkle with half the cheese.

Add Italian Seasoning.
Add the thinly sliced prosciutto

Add chopped spinach.

Add another layer of cheese.
Roll up the dough.

Now we have a nice log.
Drizzle with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake at 425 degrees about 25 minutes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Let the baked product sit for 4-5 minutes so all the cheese won't run out.  Then slice into thin pinwheels.  I like to cut them on a diagonal.  They look prettier that way.

Method:  (for pepperoni and cheese)
Roll out pizza dough on flour surface into a large rectangle.  Spread some pizza sauce over the dough (I did not measure it).  Add 1 cup of cheese. Sprinkle dough with Italian seasoning.  Add the chopped pepperoni.  Add remaining cup of cheese.  Roll up into a log.  Rub the top of the dough with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and black pepper. Bake at 425 degrees about 25 minutes until golden brown.  Allow to sit 4-5 minutes and slice thinly into pinwheels.  
Unroll...

Roll out into a rectangle...
Cover with a layer of pizza sauce.

Sprinkle with half of the cheese.

Add the chopped pepperoni.

Sprinkle with a little Italian Seasoning.

Drizzle with EVOO.

Sprinkle with coarse salt and black pepper.

Slice into pinwheels.
So altogether we have a very simple dish to prepare that your kids can TOTALLY help you make!  Great quality time together. :) 






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Written Directions
Method: (for prosciutto and spinach)
Roll out pizza dough on flour surface into a large rectangle.  Add 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle dough with Italian seasoning. Lay prosciutto out in a single sheet, slightly overlapped.  Sprinkle prosciutto with chopped spinach.  Add the remaining mozzarella cheese.  Roll up into a log.  Rub the top of the dough with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and black pepper. Bake at 425 degrees about 25 minutes until golden brown.  Allow to sit 4-5 minutes and slice thinly into pinwheels.

Method:  (for pepperoni and cheese)
Roll out pizza dough on flour surface into a large rectangle.  Sprinkle dough with Italian seasoning.  Spread some pizza sauce over the dough (I did not measure it).  Add 1 cup of cheese. Add the chopped pepperoni.  Add remaining cup of cheese.  Roll up into a log.  Rub the top of the dough with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and black pepper. Bake at 425 degrees about 25 minutes until golden brown.  Allow to sit 4-5 minutes and slice thinly into pinwheels.  

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Macadamia Nut Crunch Cake with Mascarpone and Chocolate


A couple of years ago, Canon and I made this cake together.  I had sort of forgotten about it until I was trying to organize some recipes the other day for something.  I remembered how FABULOUS this cake was - rich chocolate cake with fluffy creamy mascarpone filling, offset by the crunch from the macadamia nut brittle, and then topped with more of the brittle and the classic pairing of orange and chocolate crumbles.  
This cake has several components to it, but none of them are difficult. 
Ingredients:


Cake
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Devil's Food) and any additional ingredients needed to make the cake.
  • + 1 tsp vanilla














Macadamia Nut Crunch
  • 2 cups macadamia nuts, toasted 
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cups water






  Filling
  • 2 (8 ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla




Topping Crumbles
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet   chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest

 

 

 

Step-by-Step Method:


For the Macadamia Nut Crunch -
Toast the nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  I put them in for 7 minutes at 400 degrees F.  I shake them around every couple of minutes.
Cook the toasted nuts on parchment lined baking sheets.





Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir until sugar has dissolved over medium-high heat.
Continue to boil until the mixture is light brown, about 8 - 10 minutes.





Remove from heat and allow the bubbles to subside.  Then pour the caramelized sugar over the nuts.




Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator and let the nut crunch cool about 30 minutes until hard.  When it has hardened, place it on a cutting board and cut into small pieces, saving a few larger ones for decoration.  Set these aside.



Note*

  The first time I made this, the brittle worked beautifully.  The next time, the weather was changing and the humidity in the air was not conducive to the brittle getting...well... brittle.  It still tasted awesome, it just didn't do what I wanted it to do.  But you know what?  It's okay if this happens.  I just shingled the pieces of nut crunch on top of the cake in a different design (verses making them stand up like I did on the photo above).  No one knew the difference, except me... and there CERTAINLY were no complainers!!  Don't stress!

For the Cake - 
Begin by preheating the oven according to directions on your box of cake mix and then preparing your cake pans.  I spray my pans with nonstick spray, then coat with granulated sugar, and finally I like to line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.  The pans need to be ready and waiting for you when the cake batter is made.
Prepare the cake mix according to package instructions.  For mine, this was to first add 3 large eggs..
 


Note* Allowing the eggs to come to room temperature before adding them to the cake batter will give you a better rise and fluffier cake than cold eggs.  I can not seem to remember to take my eggs out that far in advance, so I usually make a small bowl of warm/hot water and let them sit in there for about 5 minutes while I get out all the other stuff.

Add in 1 cup of water, and 1/3 cup vegetable oil.



Add in 1 tsp vanilla.



Mix the batter on high for 2-3 minutes so it gets really fluffy.   Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans.






Find someone to lick the spoon... :)


Let the cakes cool completely on racks.  Don't forget to remove the parchment paper.



For the Filling -


To the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the mascarpone cheese.




Canon helped me make the filling today. 




Add in the heavy cream.




Add in the confectioners sugar.




Add in the vanilla.





Mix to combine.  Be sure to set the mixer on LOW until combined so your kitchen isn't covered in the confectioners sugar.  Once combined, crank up the speed and whip until the cream mixture forms soft-medium peaks. 




Fold the chopped nut crunch into the cream mixture.




Stir to combine and set aside.



For the Orange Chocolate Crumbles -


Place the chocolate chips in a small food processor/chopper.

Add in the granulated sugar.  This will provide an abrasive grit to help break up the chocolate.

Zest an orange, being super careful to avoid grating any of the white pith.

Add the zest into the chocolate mixture.



Give the mixture a whir and blend until the chocolate is all broken up into tiny pieces. 

Now we have orange chocolate crumbles.

Assembly -
Add in about 1 inch of filling to the first cake layer.




Add the next layer of cake and ice the whole cake with the mascarpone crunch filling.




Add the shards of nut crunch brittle to the top of the cake and sprinkle the top and sides of the cake with the ground chocolate topping. 





Add some mint leaves just before serving as garnish if you'd like.







Heaven!


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