Chicken Crust Pizza

It’s been a crazy couple of months for this girl. I went right from working full time at my favorite place in the world, to a long term subbing assignment at an inner city school, moved out of my parents into what would be our first apartment, started a new long term assignment at a different school with my own classroom, finished planning a wedding, and got married. Needless to say, I haven’t had too much time to breathe. BUT I have an entire collection of recipes, classroom freebies and adventures, wedding pictures and vendors, that I’ve been stock piling for when I was finally able to join the blogging world again.

Being that I have a special affinity for food, it’s only fitting that my return post be one of my new favorites, and one that Ethan LOVES- chicken crust pizza. This recipe was cooked in a 10in cast iron skillet, to give you an idea of space: ingredient ratio.

What you’ll need:

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breast (ground chicken is fine too)

1 egg

About ½ cup bread crumbs

Tomato sauce of choice (I use canned stuff from my parents garden)

Spices of choice (to add to your sauce- I do onion, garlic, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes)

PIZZA TOPPINGS! This is my favorite part! I get good mozzarella, pepperoni, and fry up some bacon

Preheat your oven to 375.

  1. In a food processor, ground the chicken with the egg. It will be a fairly mushy consistency. Mix in the bread crumbs by hand or with a spoon. The egg helps keep the chicken from shrinking and the bread crumbs help bind it all together.
  2. Smoosh the chicken into the bottom of a baking dish, or skillet. Make sure it is pretty even. I like to make the edges a bit thicker like a real pizza crust. Put in the oven for at least 20 minutes or until it’s no longer pink.
  3. The sauce can be done a number of ways. I usually start my sauce on the stove well before I’m ready to use it to give the flavors time to meld and develop. You could also just use a jar of Ragu, the choice is really up to you. I do however recommend heating the sauce before using it.
  4. After the chicken crust is done baking, assemble the toppings! This is a great chance to get the kids or your spouse involved. I fried bacon, then sautéed onions in the bacon fat. I added some of the onions to the sauce, and used the rest as a topping on the pizzas. Bacon makes everything better.
  5. Since the chicken is already cooked and the sauce is already warm, you’re really only putting it back in the oven to melt the cheese (clearly the best part). I put it back in the oven at 375 for about 10 minutes to get it started, and kick on the broiler to really finish bubbling the cheese.

EAT! 😀

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Shrimp and Chicken Pasta

Home alone. Well, kinda. Does having 4 dogs with you really count as “alone?” Is it kinda like “you’re not drinking alone if your <dog>/<cat> is with you?” Either way, after surviving on Cheerios for the last 3 days {no exaggeration, I eat like a toddler 95% of the time}, it was time for a “big kid meal.”

Ingredients:

1-2 lb shrimp (my bag was a 40-50 count)

Chicken (breasts, legs, what ever. I had some left over legs I chopped up and threw in)

Garlic clove

Butter

Olive oil

Pasta (penne is perfect!)

6 cups water

Tomato sauce (I used a pint mason jar of our homemade stuff)

1/2 cup red wine (optional but oh so yummy)

Salt/Pepper

Basil

Onion

Parmesan Cheese

Oh the best part, all done in ONE pan!!! BOOM!

*THAW AND PEAL YOUR SHRIMP BEFORE YOU START IF NEEDED! DONT FORGET TO DEVEIN! Prep what ever chicken you are using as well!*

  1. In your pan, melt butter with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. While they are heating chop cup your garlic and onion.
  2. Once your butter has melted, on medium/high heat, add in your garlic and onion to sauté. While they are going, cut up your chicken, get your ingredients in order.
  3. Add in your shrimp and chicken to the butter goodness in the pan. Sear for 2-3 minutes.

13672090_10209826670848571_74546087_n4. Add in your tomato sauce, water, pasta, red wine, and sauce seasonings

13652707_10209826670768569_1814399578_n5. Cook at a low boil until the pasta is cooked through.

6. Serve nice and hot with parmesan on top!

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Total prep (including shrimp for me) 30 min. Clean up- 5 minutes, we have a great non-stick pan.

 

1 Dish Chicken and Veggies

Tonight my family is all over the place. My brother came home from work, turned around, and left for job number 2. My parents came home, loaded 2 of the four dogs into the car for a quick trip to the vet for a manicure. I was left home. As my mom ran out the door, she said “Why don’t you throw some hot dogs on the grill?” Now I like hot dogs as much as the next person. There was a solid 2 years of my small life where I ate nothing but hot dogs and chicken nuggets (my mother still talks about it). But having just had kielbasa the night before, I wasn’t feelin it. So, what could I make relatively quickly that would be done by the time my parents got home and wouldn’t make a giant mess? 1 dish chicken and veggies.

What you’ll need:

2 cups chicken stock or water with 2 bullion cubes

Salt

Pepper

Onion (we had yellow so that’s what I used)

Chicken Breasts

Potatoes

Green Beans (we have fresh, frozen ones from our garden)

Carrots

Thyme

Parsley

  1. Thaw your chicken breast. We buy chicken in bulk, and my mom usually cuts thick breasts in half so they’re not as thick and cook a bit quicker.
  2. Dirty peel and cut your potatoes and carrots. If you can’t stand the skins, feel free to peel them completely. If you are worried about them cooking all of the way in the oven (like me) you can pre-boil them for a bit to kick start the cooking process.
  3. Cut a slice of onion about 1/2 inch thick. Simply cut into quarters so you have pretty decent sized pieces.
  4. Prepare your chicken broth and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. The chicken broth helps cook the potatoes, carrots, and green beans while also keeping the chicken nice and juicy!
  5. Lightly grease the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish. dump in your veggies and mix a bit. Lay your chicken breast on top. Pour your chicken broth over it all, it won’t cover all of the veggies but it will come about 1/2 up.
  6. Sprinkle salt, pepper and a bit of thyme and parsley.

13177273_10209214354421043_6736157662262300396_n.jpg7. Cover with foil and put into your oven. Cook until chicken and veggies are cooked through.

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If you’re feeling adventurous, you could remove the chicken and veggies to a platter and make a thicker sauce with the juices and chicken broth by adding cornstarch. I did not do that this evening.

You could easily make this in a crock pot, or use additional vegetables like asparagus. If you were to do this in a crock pot, I would add an extra cup of broth/water just to be on the safe side, especially if you plan on leaving it unattended.

Cinnabon Rolls

I have an inherited disease. It’s a love of Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls. Once upon a time, before Google and Pinterest were things, before restaurants released “secret recipes,” and my mother was a stay at home mom, she made many batches in an attempt to replicate the Cinnabon Roll. They used to be much more popular than they are today. It is once in a blue moon to come across a store/stand. I am lucky enough to have a mall that has a Cinnabon kiosk. *Yes, be jealous.* Thankfully we are beyond the Pintrest-less years, and most recipes can be found online. Even though I’d just had Cinnabon Center of the Rolls on Wednesday, I needed some more. So I made them. Prepare yourself for butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and frosting, to take over your weekend breakfast.

Depending on how tall you cut your rolls, this batch makes 8-12 cinnamon rolls. I suggest cutting them at least 2 inches though.

Ingredients:

Dough
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
½ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup softened butter (not melted)
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 cups all purpose flour
Filling
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons cinnamon
⅓ cup softened butter
Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
Half the juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Milk until desired consistency
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a stand mixer with a sprinkle of sugar. Let sit a minute or two.
  2. Add sugar, eggs, and half of the flour flour to the bowl of a mixer and mix well using the dough attachment.
  3. Cut and add in the soft butter along with the rest of the flour. Continue to knead until well combined.
  4. Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. 12736031_10208509233113451_1755304200_n.jpg
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. My dough patch was HUGE!
  6. To make filling, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.12736046_10208509232873445_184962519_n.jpg
  7. Spread the filling butter on the surface of the dough. I literally squished it in my hands to soften and spread it. Dump and spread the mixture evenly over the surface of the dough. 12746440_10208510359821618_423696633_n.jpg 12769407_10208510359661614_741690829_n.jpg
  8. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge. Cut I used a cerated knife. 12736431_10208510227058299_249941488_n.jpg
  9. Place the cut rolls in a lightly greased pan. Cover them with a . Let them rise again for another 30 minutes until they double in size. 12736337_10208510226618288_1088431460_n.jpg
  10. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  11. Bake for about 20 minutes or until light golden brown. I baked mine for 18 and they were perfect!  12767385_10208510226298280_1408391615_n.jpg
  12. While the rolls are baking make the icing by mixing all ingredients and whisk until combined. Using a whisk attachment on your stand mixer would add additional fluff if you like that sort of thing.
  13. When the rolls are done, spread generously with icing.12721777_10208510225178252_1344450237_n.jpg

EAT WARM! If you can’t eat them right out of the oven, warming them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds is PERFECT! Drink with a nice hot cup of coffee or tall glass of milk!

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

My most favorite Christmas cookie ever is the Chocolate Crinkle cookie. I realized while making them the other night that it’s pretty close to a brownie batter…maybe that’s why I love them so much! They are soft, chewy, chocolatey and classic.

Ingredients:

1/2 vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 cups of flour

4 oz bakers chocolate

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

  1. Melt your bakers chocolate in the microwave
  2. In a mixer combine sugar, vegetable oil and melted chocolate
  3. Very SLOWLY add in your 4 eggs. The chocolate is hot so if you dump them all in at once they’ll scramble!
  4. Sift 2 cups of flour with baking powder and a dash of salt- slowly add to your chocolatey mix. Your batter will be thicker than a cake batter, but not as dry as a regular cookie batter.
  5. Transfer to some plastic wrap to chill in the fridge. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!! 3hrs-over night is best. I left mine in over night.
  6. In a bowl add powdered sugar. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

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  1. Using teaspoons or a small ice cream scooper, scoop small portions of chilled dough, roll and drop into powdered sugar to coat.

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  1. Place on parchmented cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE or they will end up crunchy and they are best nice and soft. I bake mine for 9-10 minutes.
  2. Remove from baking sheet and place on cooling rack.

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ENJOY! These guys are best with a giant glass of milk and no care for your waist line. This is a hard cookie to have just 1 of. 🙂

Makes about 5 dozen cookies!

Antietam Valley Farmers and Artists Market

A very lovely friend of mine recently moved to the Antietam area. She discovered and shared with me that they have an awesome farmers market on Saturday mornings. Their grand grand opening for the season was earlier this summer. The event is usually all outdoors but because of the rain they moved it into the rec center there at the park. This alone was super awesome.

We first did a circle to see everything. The worst thing to do at a farmers market is to buy at the first stand you see. You must walk around, see what everyone has and THEN go around and purchase.

My first purchase came from Conebella Farm. They are a dairy farm that has been owned by the same family since 1923, a whopping 5 generations. They have AMAZING cheese. After trying a few samples I was HOOKED and left with a 10oz block of Hickory Smoked Colby Jack. I purchased the Old Bay cheese  spread the last time I was there. It’s so good with pretzels. The prices are great for a local, fresh cheese!

Next came HONEY! Griesemer Beekeeping has fresh honey made out of Wernersville. I did not buy a jar of honey this time, but couldn’t resist a few honey sticks 5/$1. They have a variety of flavors and it was hard to pick just a few! Fun fact- buying local honey is also great for allergies!

Grow Your Own Freedom was my next stop. I am addicted to this stand. I’m just going to leave their website right HERE! I’ve been using their bug sprays all summer. At least once a year like this because of bites-IMG_7001

I usually swell and hurt and throb, it’s a nightmare. This year, I got ONE bug bite on my hand because I forgot to spray once. Even with working in the garden. Even in the middle of a swamp in North Carolina on vacation. NO BUG BITES. Seriously. This stuff is MIRACLE spray. The last time I was at the market I got their Vanilla Mocha chapstick. Uh. Holy. Moly. I can’t even. Or odd. So yummy. It leaves my lips nice and soft without being sticky. I am in LOVE. They make soaps, salves, scrubs- tons of all natural and locally grown/made stuff. Garden care is also a service that they provide and help with. Seriously. I think I’m in LOVE. 

We bought a few other goodies, but I will write about those in a later post. For now, enjoy this picture of me with a purple tongue from eating a pint of black raspberries all by myself.

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Strawberry Blueberry Pie

Guys. I am sooooooo far behind. Summer is usually my time of frequent posts, desserts, gardening, and all of the fun things. I have spent my summer doing all of the usual things, with the exception of working a full time teaching job and a part time job at a craft store- yeah, cuz I need that temptation. SO, between the two things, I have had no life and blogging has sadly fallen to the wayside. BUT alas, I am FINALLY able to find time to blog again. In the next 2 weeks, I will catch up on my summer. By the time that is done, I will be starting my student teaching!!! Along with my regular foodie posts, I will be posting about activities and fun! Oh yeah, not to mention WEDDING THINGS! Not for me, but I’ve got plenty of them coming up to blog about! Woo Hoo!

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, now it is time for me to finally post my recipe for my strawberry blueberry pie that I made for the 4th of July….yeah. I’m way behind. But, it’s PERFECT for a picnic and even boasts red, white and blue!

To start, you will make a double crust pie crust. I always use the tried and true Betty Crocker recipe. You can find that HERE! I do add a tablespoon or 2 of sugar to the dough when making a sweet/fruit pie. But it’s not a necessity.

Filling-

1 qt strawberries cut

1 pint blueberries

1 cup water

1 tablespoon sugar

2-3 tablespoons flour.

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

  1. Rinse and cut strawberries into smaller pieces. Rinse blueberries.
  2. In a medium saucepan on medium-low heat, combine strawberries, blueberries, flour, sugar, and water.
  3. Stir regularly to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pan. It will begin to thicken and break down. Mine too about 20 minutes. While this is cooking, roll out the pie crust into the bottom of a pie tin/glass. Poke holes in the bottom and bake for 15 minutes to prevent the bottom from getting soggy.
  4. Pour the strawberry/blueberry mixture in to partially baked pie crust.
  5. IMG_6110
  6. Roll out the rest of the crust, using a cookie cutter, I used a star, cut out pieces. Lay out your cutouts on top of the pie. I tried to do mine in some kind of circular pattern that allowed you to see the fruit underneath.
  7. Bake until the top crust is browned and the fruit is bubbling. Mine took 20 minutes.

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Sadly, this was eaten so quickly I was unable to get a picture of what it looked like done. Serve warm with nice cold vanilla ice cream!

 

Homemade French Onion Soup

It’s cold out-EW! Dad doesn’t feel well- double ew. I am home on break and in between jobs right now- YAY! This combination means killer dinners. I was going to make French Onion soup last night but decided on the Tortellini instead. When my dad found out that French onion had been an option, he was quite upset, hence making it tonight. It also happens to be one of my favorites! Between last nights dinner and tonights, we are going to have a killer left over night tomorrow night!

Ingredients:

1 pack beef stew meat/cubes- I know, FOS doesn’t usually have meat in it, well, mine does.

2-3 onions, we used yell

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tablespoon gravy master

5 beef bullion cubes or 6 cups of beef stock

6 cups of water *if using beef stock you will not need the water!*

Shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese

1. Cut stew meat into smaller bite sized pieces- halves or quarters. In a pan on medium heat, brown the cubes.

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2. While the cubes are browning, slice up your onion! We used 2 1/2. You can choose how you’d like to cut them. We quartered them and sliced them length wise so we had onion strips about an inch to 2 inches long.

3. After the cubes have browned, add the onions, stir and put a lid on them. You want the onions to sweat, soften and mix in with the cubes. This took about 10-15 minutes.

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4. Once the onions and cubes are done, put them in the crock pot. Add 3 cups of water or stock, depending on which you are using. Put the pan back on the stove and turn the heat up to high.

5. Add the remaining 3 cups of liquid to the pan, using a spoon, make sure there’s no good stuff stuck to the bottom. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, gravy master, and if you are using water, the bullion cubes. Bring to a boil and stir until the bullion cubes are pretty much dissolved.

6. Pour the yummy mixture into the crock pot with the onions, beef, and other liquids. Set on low and let simmer for the day.

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As with most of my crock pot recipes, this can be “sped up” by just doing this all in a big pot on the stove. This could technically all be done in the crock pot as well by just throwing everything in and turning it on high, but I feel like the flavors would not be as developed. It would be great to throw in the night before to have for lunch the following day as well!IMG_4718

If you’re like us and don’t have the cute little crocks, have mozzarella cheese shredded/sliced to put on top of the soup with a good, hearty crust of bread. Best if served nice and HOT. Nothing beats that stringy mozzarella with that bread dipped in the beefy, onion broth!

Simple Garlic Parm Potatoes

Potatoes are one of the most versatile foods out there. Seriously. Think about it. Oh, and they’re just generally awesome. I make these more tame potatoes to go with my Mmm Mmm Meatloaf, since the meatloaf already has loads of flavor. They’re quick, easy and sure to please.

Ingredients:

6-8 red potatoes really as many as you need

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup chopped onion

Parmesan Cheese

Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350

1. Dirty peel and rinse potatoes

2. Chop potatoes into cubes, put in a pot of COLD water and begin to bring them up to a boil

3. Rough chop about 1/4 of an onion, you should get about 1/2 of a cup

4. Mince 2 cloves of garlic

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5. Add the garlic and onion to the pot

6. Boil the potatoes until you can cut them with the spoon and strain.

7. Drizzle olive oil into a baking dish and dump in potatoes

8. Crack fresh black pepper and salt on top. Grate or sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top-as much as you’d like. Give it a little drizzle of olive oil on top.

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9. Put dish in the oven uncovered. The potatoes should be pretty well cooked through, so putting them in the oven just finishes that process, melts the cheese and helps the flavors meld. I left mine in for about 20 minutes. 🙂

Serve nice and hot! Sour cream on the side is an option…but then it’s always an option in my life! 🙂

2 Ingredient 5 Minute Fudge

One day I will read a book again and post another book review…I’m still working on that since finishing the semester. So for now, it is recipes and planner things. This happens to fall under the latter of the two.

My mom makes awesome fudge. Melt in your mouth best stuff ever. But I was watching The Pioneer Woman on Food Network the other day and she made this two ingredient stuff. I don’t know how Ree Drummond came up with this recipe, and I don’t care. It is AWESOME! You can find the original recipe HERE.

Ingredients:

1 bag of chocolate chips- I used dark chocolate, the recipe says semi-sweet, I’m sure you could use peanut butter or combinations of them

1 14 oz can sweetened condense milk

Pre-line a container with foil, suran wrap or wax paper so that the fudge pops out once it has cooled. I would not use a dish any smaller than 9×9.

1. Set a pot on the stove with a metal bowl or use a double boiler and get it going

2. Dump in the bag of chips and can of sweetened condense milk- whisk or stir until all of the chips have melted and the chocolate and milk are combined

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3. Once the mixture is fully melted, mixed and smooth, dump the goodness into the lined dish.

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4. Pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours

5. Pull the lining with the fudge out of the dish and put on a cutting board. Cut the fudge using a serrated knife. You can replace the fudge back in the dish in the lining to reduce clean up.

Oh yeah. EAT IT! 🙂

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Possible additions- peanuts, walnuts, peppermints, orange zest, or anything else you like with chocolate!!!