Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Make Your Own Pizza Night

A while back Little Devil asked if her BFF could come over for dinner.  She's from an Italian family and they enjoy cooking just as much as we do.  When they were younger, the girls would make homemade pizzelle cookies when Little Devil spent the night at her house.  I figured rather than just making dinner and all of us sitting down to the table, it would be more fun to do something interactive where we could all be in the kitchen.  Several years ago Little Devil took a Sushi Making Class.  She got quite good at it, and we bought her all of the tools to make it.  (Which was an economic decision on our part because we could not afford to buy enough sushi to fill that kid up.)  She even had her own sushi knife that she purchased herself.  That she was quite proud of.  So proud she felt the need to take it in and out of the sheath to show it off.  I think you know where this is going.  ME:  Put that up, you're going to cut yourself.  LITTLE DEVIL:  Ouch!!!!!  Followed by tears, panic, bloodshed, a trip to the E.R. and stitches.  That knife has not been out of the drawer since.  When I asked if she and Missy would like to make sushi, her reply was, "How about homemade pizza?"  (The sushi making days are over I guess.)  That's what we did.  Homemade Pizza.  Make Your Own Pizza Night.  It was delicious and a blast and we all came up with some pretty creative combinations.  My Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe is super easy.  From there the sky was the limit on toppings.  So much fun.  You definitely need to have a Make Your Own Pizza Night as soon as possible!

So much fun and safer than sushi...
I started with my Homemade Pizza Dough
It makes 4 thin crust medium-sized pizzas.
A huge variety of toppings....
Pepperoni, prosciutto and green chiles...
Spinach, mushroom and pork sausage...
Words to live by lol
We had a blast!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread

No-knead bread recipes are all over the place.  And as usual I'm late to the game experimenting with one.  Probably because I don't eat gluten, so I don't make much bread anymore.  Poor Mr. Devilish Dish is bread-deprived.  (Unlikely.  I'm sure when he goes out to lunch he gets extra bread to make up for it.)  It is truly simple to make, with little effort and the result is a lovely, crusty, rustic loaf.  Mr. Devilish Dish loved it.  Little Devil (who really isn’t that little anymore and doesn’t even live at home) was having trouble finding bread at the store last week. I said, “Get some flour and yeast and I will send you a recipe to make your own.”  She’s a great baker but I’m not sure she has ever made any breads besides pumpkin or banana. I assured her this truly is a fool-proof recipe and a few days later she sent me a picture of a gorgeous loaf of bread browned and crisp in her Dutch oven. It even makes the whole house smell amazing while it bakes and it is just so simple!  While I can't enjoy it myself, it is so easy to, I don't mind making my husband his own loaf of bread. I made my Dad a load just yesterday. When you see how simple this is and how delicious it tastes you'll know why this bread is such a hit!

You won't believe how easy this is!
No kneading required.
Weigh your ingredients if possible.
Reliable scales are fairly inexpensive,
and weighing versus measuring your baking
ingredients does make a difference.
Add the ingredients together
to create a shaggy, sticky dough.

Cover and let rest 8-18 hours.
Quickly shape the dough on a floured surface.
You don't need to knead :)
Just form a loaf shape.

Place on a piece of parchment paper
and set into a Dutch oven that has a lid.
Let rise 1-2 hours.

Bake covered for 45 minutes, resisting
the urge to peek!  Bake uncovered an
additional 10 minutes to brown the crust.

Let cool before slicing.

Show off your quality bread knife with
that lovely crusty bread.


Monday, March 16, 2020

Baileys Irish Cream Pot de Creme

Since I've been gluten-free for a while now, people often ask me for good gluten-free dessert recipes.  And I'm honest with them.  I've had some marginal success with gluten-free baking but not a lot of stunning, wow factor recipes.  So if they are looking for a dessert to really impress their guests, I recommend they go for desserts that don't require gluten at all.  A lovely flour-less chocolate cake or a decadent mousse.  My favorite go-to dazzling dessert is Pot de Creme.  French for "pot of cream," it is a creamy, rich custard traditionally served in a pot-shaped cup.  To me the texture is lighter than pudding, but thicker than mousse.  It is an impressive ending to a meal, and this quick version is not difficult at all.  Traditionally it is flavored with vanilla, but often times like this recipe chocolate and coffee are used.  Liqueur is often used too.  Kahlua, Licor 43 or Grand Marnier are all delicious choices but to round out our St. Patrick's Day Dinner, I'm opting for Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur.  Bailey's is a traditional and tasty addition to coffee, so of course the flavor is the perfect compliment to the coffee in this dessert.  We will be enjoying "Irish Nachos" which are really like Loaded Fries made with potato slices, a relish tray with Homemade Green Goddess Dip and Bailey's Irish Cream Pot de Creme to end the meal.  Look for those in upcoming posts.  For now, wow your guests with a fantastic, fancy,  make-ahead dessert, fitting for St. Patty's or any day of the week!
A make ahead dessert that will impress the guests!
Just in time for St. Patrick's Day
Luscious custard with a delicious Baileys
and Coffee flavor...
Garnish with freshly whipped cream.
Since we are celebrating St. Patrick's Day
I added green sprinkles of course.

A "fancy" dessert perfect for any occasion.
Who needs cake when you can have Pot de Creme?

Monday, March 9, 2020

Meatball Minestrone Soup

It's National Meatball Day, and I'm super excited to share this quick and easy soup with you.  It has a few pre-made components so it goes together in about 30 minutes, making it the perfect weeknight meal.  You could certainly make the meatballs yourself if you wanted, or if you had some leftover meatballs in your freezer even better.  I took the shortcut route and bought a bag of ready-made Italian meatballs, but I did take a little extra time and make some homemade croutons.  That really gave the soup the homemade touch.  I also added a Parmesan rind since I happened to have one in the fridge.  If you use authentic Parmigiano Reggiano, then be sure and save the protective outer rind.  It has the rich, nutty flavor of the Parmesan cheese, and when added to a soup or sauce will instantly kick up the flavor.  It is edible, but I usually remove it before serving (although when simmering away for a long time in sauces it can just melt away.) If you don't have a Parmesan rind lying around, just be sure to garnish your soup with a generous helping of Parmesan cheese for the extra flavor. This soup is also a terrific way to use up other little leftovers like carrot, zucchini, beans, mushrooms and pasta.  Make everyday National Meatball Day and enjoy a bowl of this hearty soup!
Delightful homemade flavor, ready in about 30 minutes.

Hearty and full of Italian flavor from the meatballs,
stewed tomatoes and seasonings.

Use a Parmesan rind to flavor your soup if you have one.
If not, be sure and garnish with a generous helping
of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Serve with homemade croutons or garlic bread to
round out the meal.  To make the croutons,
I used about half a loaf of stale French bread, cubed.
I tossed the cubes with a mixture of 1/2 cup melted butter
and 1/4 cup olive oil, mixed with 1 teaspoon granulated garlic and  1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt.  Then I spread them on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a 375 degree F oven for about 15 minutes. Watch carefully so they don't burn.
Mr. Devilish Dish LOVED them!
Happy National Meatball Day!
Enjoy a bowl of Meatball Minestrone Soup to celebrate.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Dr Pepper Cake

If you know me at all you know I'm addicted to Diet Coke.  If you know my friend and co-worker Sandy, then you know she is addicted to Diet Dr Pepper.  In fact the recycling bin at work consists of a mound of empty Diet Coke and Diet Dr Pepper cans because that's what we run on.  Last summer when she had surgery on her knee, I knew she would need a supply of Diet Dr Pepper to keep her running.  Now Sandy is a great cook and baker, so I'll admit I was a little embarrassed to take her a cake that consisted of 3-ingredients, but I was set on giving her a treat with a Dr Pepper theme.  As it turns out I was worried for nothing because the resulting cake was flavorful, moist and super delicious.  Especially served with ice cream or whipped cream.  Of course I couldn't stop there since I know from experience that knee surgery SUCKS, I had to add some suckers, powdered sugar garnish and a Diet Dr Pepper for decoration.  I'm happy to report that not only did this cake cheer Sandy up, but she is healthy and running on Diet Dr Pepper again! 
The perfect cake when you RUN on Dr Pepper!

Only 3 ingredients
Bake in a Bundt Pan and allow to cool.

Decorate with powdered sugar.
If you love a good pun like me and know from
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE how much knee surgery
sucks, garnish with some suckers!

A cake to brighten anyone's day!
If you love Dr Pepper, you might also enjoy my:
Dr Pepper Ice Cream
Dr Pepper Stew

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Egg Roll in a Bowl {Gluten-Free}

January 13th is National Gluten-Free Day which is every day for me.  It's fortunate (or unfortunate really) that there are enough gluten-allergy sufferers that there is a food holiday devoted to us!  It has been a few years now, so eating a gluten-free diet is part of our daily life and I normally don't give it a second thought.  Developing recipes and adapting old ones to become gluten-free are something I enjoy doing most of the time like taking our family's Indian Fry Bread Recipe and coming up with a Gluten-Free Version.  Occasionally though I'm in a hurry or I'm not in the mood to experiment and it's easier to just eat a hamburger without a bun or a taco fillings without a tortilla.  Sometimes I can get my Asian fix with a good spring roll since the wrappers are rice paper but since I have to be cautious about soy sauce, it's safer to prepare Asian recipes at home.  That's when I realized I can have the delicious flavors of an egg roll without the gluten-y wrapper.  And it's prepared as a satisfying meal instead of an appetizer!  This recipe comes together super fast and if you go light on the sauce, it's pretty healthy too.  All the flavors of an egg roll, minus the gluten and minus the hassle of rolling and frying.  Win Win for everyone!

All the flavors without the wrapper!
Saute onions and garlic
Add additional ingredients and cook until
cabbage is wilted slightly.
Add shredded chicken and garnish with green onions.
Whip up a quick sauce with mayonnaise and
sriracha sauce.
Drizzle sauce over and enjoy.
Bonus: Gluten-Free!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Copycat Beaver Nuggets - I'm "Eager" to be your Valentine + FREE Printable Valentines

They saying goes, "Everything is bigger in Texas" and it's true.  If you've ever traveled around Texas, chances are you've stopped at a Buc-ee's.  To call it a convenience store would be a serious understatement.  Buc-ee's typically has it's own dedicated highway exit and 35 locations around Texas.  The New Braunfel's location is the largest convenience store in the world.  It is so big you could fit 22 average-sized 7-11 locations inside this location.  Buc-ee's is known for their famously clean restrooms, beef jerky bar, homemade fudge, a WALL of candy choices, home decor shopping, t-shirts, lawn chairs, hunting accessories and of course Buc-ee's Beaver Nuggets.  With their unmistakable Beaver Logo, it's only natural that they would have their own world-famous snack food:  an addicting caramel coated puffed corn snack.  We buy a bag or three every time we visit, usually diving in before we even leave the parking lot.  Imagine a treat, similar in texture to a Cheetos puff, minus the savory cheese.  Add a caramel-y, buttery, slightly maple flavor.  Now you know why Buc-ee's is a MUST VISIT when you're in Texas.  If you aren't visiting anytime soon, you can satisfy your addiction until the next trip by making them at home.  With Valentine's Day tomorrow, they are the perfect treat for family and friends.  In the past I've made Red Hot Applesauce (Valentine You're Awesome Sauce) and Strawberry Brownies (Shooting For Brownie Points Valentine) So a Beaver- Themed Valentine seemed  silly and appropriate.  I made little Valentine Tags, perfect for gift giving: I'm EAGER to be your Valentine.  Whether you're sharing the Beaver Nuggets with people you love, or hoarding them all to yourself, whip up a batch immediately for a true Taste of Texas!                         
Careful, these are addictive and anyone you
gift them to will LOVE you forever!
Step One: Locate Chester's Puff Corn.
Step Two:
Boil together butter, brown sugar,
and corn syrup.
Much like you're making caramel corn.
Step Three:
Remove from heat and add baking soda
(the mixture will foam up, so use a good-sized pan)
vanilla and maple extract which is key for the authentic
Buc-ee Beaver flavor.
Combine this mixture well with the
puff corn in a large bowl.

Step Four:
Make sure your puffed corn is well-coated.
Place onto couple of pans lined with parchment paper
and bake in a 250 degree oven for 45 minutes,
stirring every 15 minutes.
Allow to cool before breaking into pieces.
Step Five:
Now you can consume the Beaver Nuggets
all for yourself OR you can share with your
family and friends, especially for Valentine's Day
using the tags I've provided.
I'm EAGER to be your Valentine.
(These almost said, "Are you a Beaver cuz Dam" but
I'm not sure the grandparents would appreciate my humor AND
in the unlikely event you make these for school-aged Valentines-giving...well inappropriate)
Copycat Beaver Nuggets,
the quintessential Texas Road Trip Treat!
I found little treat bags at Dollar Tree.
Since these are going to adults and not school
Valentines, I was generous and scooped about
4 cups per bag, tied them up with a cute ribbon
and added my adorable homemade gift tags.
Here are the FREE Printable Gift Tags.
Click on the image to enlarge.
Right click to save to your computer.
Open with the software of your choice and print onto cardstock.

These images are my exclusive artwork.
Please be courteous when using these printables
and remember they are for personal use only.
Happy Valentine's Day Friends and Foodies!
I'm EAGER to be your Valentine
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