Monday, November 24, 2014

Quick and Easy Pizza Crust

1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or baker's peel dusted with cornmeal. Spread with desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.



This is a great fall dinner food. Most everything is in season. You can add more eggplant if you want, or leave out the yellow squash and add more zucchini if that is all you have. I like it with less bell peppers, so I just added 1 cup instead of two. Delicious served with bread.

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups medium diced eggplant, skin on (1 medium eggplant)
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (1/8 tsp dried)
1 cup diced green bell peppers
1 cup diced red bell peppers
1 cup diced zucchini squash (1 zucchini)
1 cup diced yellow squash (1 yellow squash)
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes (1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes)
1 Tbs thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (1 tsp dried)
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley leaves (1 tsp dried)
salt and pepper to taste

Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil.
Once hot, add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the eggplant and thyme to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant partially cooked, about 5 minutes.
Add green and red peppers, zucchini and squash to pan. Cook additional 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, basil, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Cook additional 5 minutes.
Serve hot or at room temp.

From Food network

Green Bean Casserole - Pioneer Woman (from scratch)


  • 2 pounds Fresh Green Beans, Ends Cut Off (or frozen is okay--still blanch)
  • 4-6 slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/4 Inch Pieces
  • 1-3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 whole Large Onion, Chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 2-1/2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Half-and-half
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (I didn't add this)
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs (I do a thin layer of panko and a think layer of fried onions)
  • Chicken Broth If Needed For Thinning

Preparation Instructions

Cut green beans in half if you like pieces to be a little smaller.
Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow green beans to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they're cool and set aside.
Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon for two minutes, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. If sauce is too thick, splash in some chicken broth as needed. Turn off heat.
Add add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with panko crumbs.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and panko crumbs are golden.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Simple Black Beans

1 lb black beans pre-soaked in 2 TBSP salt and 8 cups water (I soak 24 hrs) and drained
1/4-1/2 onion (whole)
1-2 garlic cloves
3-4 bay leafs
1 TBSP oil
1 tsp salt

Add the above ingredients to a pressure cooker with 7 cups of water and cook for however long your pressure cooker suggests. Mine cooks for 30 minutes after it gets to a boil. After it finishes cooking and the pressure is released, I removed the bay leaf and cook for an extra 30 minutes with the lid off. I then mash up some of the beans.