January 23, 2012

No-Rise Pizza Dough

Although I had previously posted this recipe on another post, I thought it really deserved it's own. I really haven't tried many other pizza dough recipes, but I finally mastered this after many, MANY tries. I've had pizzas that stuck to the pan, that were too gooey inside or were overdone. I finally can say that I make a really good pizza. It's all about mastering the dough and knowing how it cooks. My favorite thing about this recipe is that it doesn't need to rise. I don't have the patience or time for dough to rise and this dough always puffs up in the oven anyway. So here's a post for the best pizza dough.

No-Rise Pizza Dough
1/2 cup flour    
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar     
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. oil     
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 cups flour     
1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Mix with fork 1/2 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add warm water and oil. *Add 2 1/4 cups of flour. Knead the dough by hand or using a stand mixer. Roll out dough to desired size. Spray pizza pan or baking sheet. Spread dough with the palms of your hands until it fills the pan and so there is a raised edge for the "crust" as pictured above. 
2. Place dough in oven for 3 minutes. (This is to ensure the dough is thoroughly cooked.)
3. Remove and add sauce, cheese and toppings. Bake for 15 minutes.

*If dough is sticky, add a little more flour: about a tablespoon at a time.

January 22, 2012

Fettuccine Carbonara with Roasted Tomatoes

I found this recipe on Our Life in the Kitchen over a year ago and it's one of my favorites. I had never had carbonara before, which is a pasta sauce based with bacon, eggs and cream, but I absolutely love it. I have adapted the recipe a bit to make it a little healthier and have substituted bacon instead of pancetta. I love the creaminess the egg creates in this dish. It's so simple, but so tasty. The roasted tomatoes also make this dish great.
Fettuccine Carbonara with Roasted Tomatoes
8 oz. fettuccine
6  slices bacon, cooked and cut into bits
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 eggs
3/4 cup half & half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 dozen grape tomatoes

1. Put the water for the fettuccine up to boil.
2. Rinse the tomatoes and spread them on a baking pan. Heat the broiler.
3. Slide the tomatoes under the broiler. When the tomatoes begin to brown take them out and set them aside. {About 2-3 minutes}
4. Whisk together the garlic, eggs, half & half, cheese and black pepper.
5. Once the water is boiling, start cooking the fettuccine.
6. As soon as the pasta is done, drain it and add it to back to its pot. Pour the half & half mixture over the top and cook, tossing it all together over low heat. {Make sure the eggs get cooked, but not overcooked. The sauce will be done once it thickens.}
7. Add the bacon, tomatoes and stir together just until it’s mixed. Serve with additional Parmesan on the side and enjoy!

January 21, 2012

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

Alright, so Our Best Bites never ceases to amaze me. Those two women are geniuses. Seriously. I love these stuffed pizza rolls and love the possibilities! I went with some standard pepperoni stuffed rolls, but I'm excited to try ham and pineapple or even Chicken Bacon Ranch Rolls. Overall these are very easy to make, but a little time consuming. Add some marinara or ranch for dipping and you'll be a happy camper.
Stuffed Pizza Rolls
1 roll refrigerated pizza dough or {make your own}
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan and/or cheddar cheese 
1 Tbsp. olive oil or melted butter

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning or seasoning of your choice
mozzarella cheese

Pizza toppings of your choice: ham and pineapple, pepperoni slices, sausage, etc.
Ranch or marinara for dipping {best I've ever had}

1.     Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2.     Unroll your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll the dough so it’s about 12″x8″. You’re going to want to cut it into 24 squares, so just eyeball it if you need to. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 24 squares.
3.     Place cheese and desired toppings on each square. (Note that you’re not putting the marinara sauce on the dough- it’s for dipping after) You just need to be able to enclose the toppings in the dough so keep that in mind.
4.     When all of your dough squares have cheese and toppings on them, carefully lift up each square and wrap the dough around the toppings. Pinch to make sure each ball is sealed shut and then place them seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan (or similar sized dish).
5.     Brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil or melted butter and then sprinkle with the garlic and Italian seasoning and top with Parmesan and/or cheddar cheese.
6.     Cook them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Keep an eye on them! Doughs vary, so I’d check them after even 10 minutes.
7.     Serve warm with marinara sauce or ranch on the side for dipping.

January 10, 2012

Mini Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

So this is probably the best and worst recipe I have ever found. Not only have I always been obsessed with cinnamon rolls, but I absolutely love the Cini-minis from Burger King. Now that I can make my very own in about five easy steps, I might just go hide in a closet with a whole batch and eat them all by myself. I saw these on Pinterest and then found the recipe at Iowa Girl Eats. Holy moly these are good and extremely easy, which is a bad combination. Anyway, go buy a tube of crescent roll dough and make these now! Seriously.
Mini Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing
Makes 16 mini cinnamon rolls
1 (8oz) tube crescent roll dough
 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
brown sugar

Maple Icing:
1 tsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven according to crescent roll dough package directions. Lay out half the dough (4 triangles) and pinch all the seams together. Flip over and pinch the seams on the backside as well. 
2. Using a rolling pin, smooth the seams and roll the dough into a square about 1/4″ thick. Brush with half the butter, and sprinkle with as much cinnamon and brown sugar as you want. Roll into a log and cut into 8 pieces with kitchen shears or knife.
3. Place mini cinnamon rolls into a non-stick sprayed mini muffin tin. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the other half of the crescent roll dough.
 4. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
5. Meanwhile whisk together maple syrup and milk in a bowl. Add in powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over warm cinnamon rolls.

January 4, 2012

Waffle of Insane Greatness

Jordan and I got a Belgian waffle maker for Christmas because our little wimpy waffle/panini/sandwich maker wasn't cutting it. I think I've only had Belgian waffles once or twice before these ones, but they really are so much better than normal ones. There's something awesome about a waffle being crispy on the outside and softy and fluffy on the inside. I got this recipe off of Food Network's website and really liked it. The title is a little over the top, but these really were good. And don't forget to pat on some butter and pour plenty of syrup over top.
Waffle of Insane Greatness
Makes: 2 Belgian waffles
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Butter and syrup, for serving

1.     In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.
2.     Preheat a waffle iron. Do not use non-stick spray on the waffle iron; the oil in the batter will allow the waffle to release easily. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Serve immediately with butter and syrup.