Tag Archives: recipes

Pizza in the oven!

One of my favorite things about coming home is the use of a full-size, clean, well-stocked kitchen. Of course, I’m not without when I’m away, but there’s always more at home. I think this is one of my mother’s favorite things too, because that means less work for her on the dinner front. So over the past couple of days, I’ve been working up to tonight’s dinner: Homemade Pizza! I used recipes out of Pizza to create 2 pizzas and also my own recipe for cheesy bread.

Part of the inspiration for this is having the time and materials, and the other part is the many posts about pizza at The Kitchn, one of my favorite foodie blogs.

Here’s the biggest secret:

Coat your hands in oil when working with the dough. Lots of people use flour. I’ve never gotten the hang of it, so I pour way more veggie oil on my hands than is natural, and it works beautifully! If I’m getting ready to spread the dough, I pour over the dough and the excess falls onto it and it makes the spreading so much easier.

But anyway, onto the recipes!


1 package active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 ¼ cups ice-cold water
1 tsp sugar
1 tablespoon table salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 ¼ cups bread flour

Dough, post-mixer form

Dough, post-mixer form

1.    In a small bowl, stir the yeast into the lukewarm water. Set aside until it dissolves, about 5 minutes.
2.    Combine the cold water, sugar, salt, and olive oil in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.
3.    Mix the two bowls and flour together in a mixing bowl using a dough hook. Mix on low speed for four minutes. Rest for 2 minutes. Mix for another 6 minutes.
4.    Divide dough into thirds and place in bags. This is much easier to do with vegetable oil all over your hands. Put the bags in the fridge for 2 days.


Prepare to be sauced! (Cheesy, yes.)

Prepare to be sauced! (Cheesy, yes.)

1 can diced tomatoes in juice
1 can tomato paste
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon minced garlic
¾ teaspoon table salt

Combine all the ingredients together!

Meatball Pizza, ready to go

Meatball Pizza, ready to go

Meatball Pizza:

1 portion dough
½ of the sauce recipe
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups mozzarella cheese

1.    Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
2.    Roll the dough until it forms a 12-inch crust. This is much, much easier to do if your hands are coated in vegetable oil.
3.    Spread the sauce over the dough. Sprinkle the garlic over the sauce. Sprinkle the cheese over the garlic. Cut the meatballs in half and place on top of the cheese.
4.    Cook for 12 minutes.

Italian Sausage and Bell Pepper Pizza

Color is very important

Color is very important

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow bell pepper
1 small red bell pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon table salt
1 portion dough
½ recipe sauce
1 Italian Sausage, sliced into ¼ in. pieces
2 cups mozzarella cheese
¼ pound bulk Italian sausage, separated into chunks

1.    Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
2.    Warm the olive oil in a skillet. Sauté the bell peppers until crisp-tender. Add the garlic, oregano, cayenne pepper, and salt and sauté for another minute.
3.    Roll the dough until it forms a 12-inch crust. This is much, much easier to do if your hands are coated in vegetable oil.
4.    Spread the sauce over the dough. Place the peppers on the sauce. You’ll probably have more pepper than space, so feel free not the place all the peppers on. Place sausage slices around the pizza. Top with the cheese. Spread the bulk sausage around the top.
5.    Bake for 13 minutes.

Warning: The dough may not hold all the toppings well. Be prepared to use a fork.

Cheesy bread is an excellent appetizer

Cheesy bread is an excellent appetizer

Cheesy Bread:

1 portion dough
Shredded cheese of any sort
Select spices. The ones I use are:
Black pepper
Garlic powder
Cayenne pepper

1.    Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
2.    Roll the dough until it forms a 12-inch crust. This is much, much easier to do if your hands are coated in vegetable oil.
3.    Sprinkle liberal amounts of spices and herbs on top of crust. Use more than you think you need because that’s going to be most of what you taste once you eat it.
4.    Sprinkle liberal amounts of cheese on top.
5.    Bake for about 7 minutes.

Pork Chops with Apples

I know that I haven’t posted anything in a week, but its finals week and life is a little…hectic.  However, for my apartment’s end of year dinner, I’m making Thick Pork Chops with Spiced Apples! It’s a Tyler Florence recipe that I’ve adapted to fit my budget/life.

Here’s the adapted recipe:


1 gallon water (free)
1 cup brown sugar (roommate had some)
2/3 cup salt (in the cupboard)
1 cup frozen apple juice concentrate (.88 a container)
1 tsp pepper (in the cupboard)
1 tsp thyme leaves (in the cupboard)

Pork Chops:
4 pork chops (on sale for $4.47)
Olive oil (in the cupboard)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (in the frig)
3 Granny Smith apples ($2.27)
1 tsp thyme leaves (in the cupboard)
¾ cup Apple Juice concentrate (.88 a container)
3 tablespoons brown sugar (roommate had some)
¼ tsp cinnamon (in the cupboard)
lemon juice (roommate had some)

Combine ingredients for the brine. Let sit in the fridge for an hour and a half. (I started ridiculously early on this experiment and didn’t realize it. You’re actually supposed to stir to dissolve the sugar and salt, but I figure letting it sit for a long time will do the same thing.) Submerge the chops in the brine and let sit for 2 hours — no longer.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the chops and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Put skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil. Lay 2 pork chops in pan and brown for 4 minutes per side. Remove to baking pan. Brown the remaining chops and add. Put in oven and roast for 30 minutes.

Melt butter in a clean skillet. Add apples and thyme and coat in butter. Cook and stir for 8 minutes. Toss in the apple juice concentrate. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon. Squeeze in lemon juice and simmer for 10 minutes. Spoon apples over the pork chops.

If you compare the recipes, you’ll see that there’s a lot missing, and that’s because I wasn’t going to go and buy a bunch of spices the week before moving home, or because I don’t like raisins.

Overall, it was a big hit. I used way more apple juice concentrate than the recipe called for, but even that worked out really well. I highly, highly recommend this recipe.

I wouldn’t use it as a quick, family meal, but would work really well for one of my family’s Sunday suppers that fortify us for an entire week. And it served really well as the end-of-year dinner for us too. Something special, but not over the top.

Way to go, Tyler Florence!

Spring has arrived, and I don’t know what to cook…

As I was browsing through a very large number of blog posts that I recieve each day, I found a recipe that looked scrumptious.  It’s called Chinese Five Spice Eggplant, and I found it on the blog, The Kitchn.  I must say, it inspired me.  It inspired me so much that I’m going to wake up early, on a Saturday, and go to the Farmer’s Market here in town.  And hopefully buy some spinach.  Because now I’m craving it.  I would love to make a spinach salad with bacon bits and a hard-boiled egg.  And then I’d spray it with the spray salad dressing that’s been sitting in my cabinet unopened for awhile now.  But I also need some cheap recipes or ideas that are portable and cheap.  I’d love to be able to try something new for spring!  Any ideas?