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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mama Mia!

Its pizza night over here!
Fresh & Easy ( I know, they should give me an endorsement already...) has this FANTASTIC pizza dough!
So, tonight I picked up all the fixin's (pepperoni for Bry, and tons of veggies for me) and we made some fabulous pizzas for dinner!
It's so easy, and so cheap!
First, I took out the dough (2 bags, for 2 separate medium sized pizzas) and let it sit out for 20 minutes. Then we covered our counter (and the floor, and Bryan from head to toe) in flour and flattened out our pizzas 'til we got them just right. (we tossed it in the air of course!) and then used some store bought sauce, tons and tons of cheese and topped them how ever we wanted to. Sometimes I use pasta sauce because then you can mess around with yummy flavors, like tomato basil or 4 cheese.
The pizza dough calls for the pizza to be cooked for 8-12 minutes, but we cook 2 at a time (and I like mine a little more done) so it usually takes about 20-30 minutes.  All in all, the whole process takes about 45 minutes, just about the same amount of time to order and get one delivered, and its just as good if not better.

before we baked them

after we baked them ( I left mine in a little too long because I was distracted blogging about my pizza!!)

Now we're all set! Bryan with his freshly poured beer, and me with my iced tea... Happy Saturday night!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm back!

Armed with Katy Perry and my trusty apron, I forced myself back into the kitchen tonight and tried something new!
A few weeks back, we tried a couple of different stuffed chicken breasts from F&E and I decided it couldn't really be that hard.  So, this morning I did a little research and found a recipe I thought sounded delicious, and not too difficult.  The result?

Mozzarella and roasted tomato and broccoli rabe stuffed chicken breast with roasted tomatoes and marsala sauce. (except I changed the marsala sauce to my own creation which became balsamic sauce.)

It was surprisingly easy.  I'm sorry I only have pictures of after product... I tend to be a little messy and all over the place when I cook.

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the tomatoes in to quarters and de-seed them. The recipe originally called for them to just be cut in half, I chose to cut them once more to make them manageable.  after roasting them,  I think it would be even better to dice them or cut them into chunks.  Roasting the tomatoes makes them very mushy and hard to deal with.  I think if they were diced, you could just scoop them onto the chicken with out as much of a hassle. Then cut the brocolli rabe into chunks. (broccoli rabe is kind of like a long broccoli. its also called broccolini.  It's a little more expensive, but it's my favorite veggie and  I think it's worth the extra couple bucks!) After the veggies are all chopped, I just tossed them in a little salt, pepper and olive oil and threw them on a cookie sheet and roasted them for about 10 minutes.  It doesnt take long for them to get just roasted enough.  In the mean time, I butterflied two chicken breasts, seasoned them and pounded them out...using an empty wine bottle since we don't have a mallet. (for easy clean up, and less salmonella, I covered the cutting board and the top of the chicken with saran wrap) Then I sliced the mozzarella and placed it down the middle of the pounded out chicken. Then I put the tomatoes and broccoli rabe on top of the mozzarella and rolled the chicken closed, securing it with toothpicks. (just don't forget to take the toothpicks out before you eat!!) and placed them on a foil covered cookie sheet, toothpick side down.
I did the potatoes the same old way, just with different potatoes.  Every few weeks, F&E changes the type of potatoes they carry, sometimes they are baby yukon golds or tiny white potatoes, right now they are summer medley potatoes.  They have a little bit of everything...red, yellow, white and these little purple potatoes.

This picture doesn't do the actual color justice. It's so pretty!

The recipe said to turn down the oven to 350 to cook the chicken for 40-50 minutes. However, I chose to cook the potatoes and the chicken at the same time, so I stuck them in the oven while it was still at 400 then turned it down to 375 once they were in the oven.
For the sauce, I chopped up half of a large shallot and browned it in a small frying pan then I added some balsamic dressing and just let it simmer.  It was a little acidic, so I added just a pinch of sugar. Word to the wise, cook this at the very end...I did it too early, and the balsamic caramelized and got a little lumpy...still tasted good, but it didn't look so nice. I didn't put it on the plate for the picture.

Ahh, it felt good to make something new.  I always get anxious and excited to try it. And then, of course tell you guys about it!
Question: does the format of my blog work? or would it be easier to list it more like a recipe? I have a hard time figuring out which is easier, since I rarely follow proportions in recipe. I'm more....free spirited haha. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I suppose I've been feeling uninspired as far as cooking goes.  I'm always cooking the same things, or I haven't been cooking at all.  I've been feeling like I want to take a cooking class, but I tend to be a pretty picky eater so I don't want to take a class if I don't think I'll like the things on the menu and it will cost me money, so I really don't want to pay for it if it isn't something I'll use later on.  I spend a lot of time looking up recipes online, but for some reason nothing is sounding appealing. I wanted this blog to inspire me to cook new things, so I could share them with you.  Instead I feel like I've cooked the same things I always cook, and told you about them, and now I have nothing to share...

So I guess I'm in a cooking rut....any ideas??