If I crave anything it is usually Pizza. I don’t know why. Maybe because I don’t get to have it very often. But I do love it. Usually it is full of sauce and cheese and lots and lots of calories. But then Bittman gets into the act and suddenly I can have a nice healthy pizza anytime I want.

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What we have here is a No-Work Mostly Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Chewy! Lots of healthy toppings. Chewy! I love a chewy crust and I really don’t care for lots of tomato sauce so I simply left it off. Call it the “artisan” in me but you get so much more flavor when there is no sauce.

    2 cups whole wheat flour
    1 cup AP or Bread Flour
    1/2 tsp instant yeast
    1 tsp salt
    2 or 3 tsp Italian seasoning
    2 Tbl olive oil, plus more for greasing.

Mix together the flours, yeast, Italian seasoning, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in l 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups water.
You will have a relatively sticky and wet dough, like biscuit batter. If it’s two dry you can add a little more water {which is why I put a range of water}.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover, and put it in a warm spot for at least 6 hours but up to 12 hours. {More hours = more complex flavor.}
Heat the oven to 500C. Generously oil a baking sheet or large ovenproof skillet. Dust your hands with a little white flour and lightly fold the dough over in the bowl a few times. It will be sticky, but resist the urge to use too much flour; dust your hands again only when absolutely necessary. You can make one large pizza or divide the dough into 1/2 or quarters for smaller ones. Gently, you don’t want to tear the dough, Press the dough into an oven proof skillet or baking sheet;.
Brush or drizzle the top of the pizza or pizzas with 2 tablespoons oil, cover, and let sit while you get the toppings together, but no more than 60 minutes or so. Toppings can be just about anything you want.
Mine:

    mushrooms
    roasted red pepper
    spinach
    black olives
    Mozzarella Cheese

So Colorful!!

The addition of the Italian seasoning added more flavor to the pizza since there was no sauce where the seasoning usually is. (Does that make sense?) The amount of the fillings are up to your tastes. You caould also add goat cheese or ricotta. Anchovies or Sardines. Broccoli or cauliflower. It’s your choice.

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The recipe is from Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook on page 533.

For more Potluck dishes visit I Heart Cooking Club

Fajitas became a regular part of our menu several years ago and I love finding new ways to make them. When Glennis chose this recipe for us this week I was excited to have just one more recipe for fajitas.

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What the recipe calls for is steak, onion, red and yellow peppers, and garlic that is seasoned with generous amounts of cumin, coriander, and cayenne. ‘Nuff said. The recipe also called for lime {no, thanks}, avocado {DEFINITELY NO, thanks} and Greek Yogurt {not this time, thanks}. So I added some of OUR faves for fajitas:

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    …Fiesta cheese mix and ‘shrooms…

I changed the recipe just a tad to fit our tastes, did the others? Check out their posts from our Website – Eating with Ellie.

And if you liked to join us we are ONLY cooking from Weeknight Wonders right now and all the recipes are posted on the right. Just cook/bake blog and leave a comment. We’d like to see you at the table with us.

If you need a VERY quick and VERY simple side this is the one. Provided you like fresh asparagus with lots of flavor.

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I didn’t really like asparagus until a couple of years ago. Mom had always used the canned stuff and the ‘fragrance’ was enough to send me screaming from the house. But then, one day, I tried fresh and now I look for new ways to cook it. And this was my pick for this weeks Wednesdays with Donna Hay. How simple is it, you ask. Melt butter. Add some balsamic vinegar. Throw in a bunch of asparagus and cook until it is tender. Top with Parmasean cheese. How can you say to no to THAT??? Definitely a keeper.

Check with the rest of the cooks on our website – Wednesdays with Donna Hay

The recipe is on page 134 of Donna’s New Food Fast.

And if you would like to join us – just look at our choices for the next few weeks (on he right) then cook/bake, blog and leave us a comment below. Love to have you!

There are times when our lives take a tumble. Time when we want what we cannot have. Times when we feel failure. Times when we lose someone important in our lives. Times when we feel sorrow for someone else’s loss. This was the case this week when we found out that Deb, one of our administrators in I Heart Cooking Clubs, had lost her Mom. So we are virtually sending her hugs with comfort food. Food that wraps you up and makes you warm inside. Food that brings back memories, feelings, joy. Deb – this is for you. It’s all we can do from afar.

If you look on page 30 of Donna Hay‘s Off The Shelf: Cooking from the Pantry you will see the recipe for baked carbonara. She lists it as ‘short order’. Presumably because it is quick. And it is. By the time the sauce is put together the pasta is al dente and ready to be mixed with some nice crispy bacon. What you end up with after baking the mixture for 30 minutes is….

…which you use as a main or a side. Either way, it is GOOD. The cream, milk, egg, and Parm cheese all comes together resulting in a creamy pasta.

I would not change anything except instead of just pouring the cream/milk/egg mixture over the pasta I would mix it all up in larger bowl with the the bacon and then put it into the baking dish. Good Stuff Y’all.

    14 oz ziti or pasta of your choice
    4 slies bacon
    4 eggs
    2 cps heavy cream
    1 1/2 cups milk
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese.

Cook pasta til al dente and drain.
Cook bacon until crsip
Whisk the eggs together with the cream, milk and Parmesan Cheese.
Place pasta in an ovenproof dish large enough to hold all the ingredients.
Top with the bacon and egg mixture.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until set.

What else is on the Potluck this week? I Heart Cooking Clubs is cooking for Deb this week.

First!

    You make a Roux!

That is how so many good Southern, especially Louisiana, recipes begin. And make sure you have the Trinity – celery, onion, bell pepper – handy. And that is exactly what Ellie did with this healthier version on Shrimp Creole.

    My PaPa…

    papa

    …was Acadian French from South Louisiana and his creoles, gumbos, etouffees were fantastic. I learned from him and have been using his recipes for years.

But I tried Ellie’s and it was pretty good. Spicy! And really NOT that much different from PaPa’s.

Canola instead of shortening. Tabasco instead of Cayenne. A little less roux. And I don’t remember him ever putting spinach in the creole!

I was pleasantly surprised.

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This could just become my new creole recipe. Sorry, PaPa.

How did the rest of the Eating with Ellie group like Gaye’s pick of Shrimp Creole? Visit our EwE group site and find out.

The reicpe is on page 184 in Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders

What is Rocky Road? Well, if you are ice cream lovers, like we are, you would know it is Chocolate Ice Cream filled with nuts, and marshmallows. Invented in 1929, William Dryer named it Rocky Road to give the population, during the depression, something to smile about in the Depression. Rocky Road. Clever. And tasty, too. Originally it had walnuts. Those were replaced with almonds. And it did not have chocolate chips. Today, the ice cream has changed and is one of the most popular flavors in the US.

You can even find vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips, marshmallows, and almonds.

I found out that in some other countries it isn’t necessarily an Ice Cream Flavor, it’s a cupcake or brownie with additional ingredients: coconut, cherries, raisins, biscuits. Interesting! I always knew this group could be not only delicious, but educational as well.

But, I digress….. on with the cake!

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    1 3/4 cup sugar {I used 1 cup Stevia in the Raw and 3/4 cup sugar}
    2/3 cup butter, softened
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    3 cups all purpose flour
    1 2/3 cups milk
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
    2/3 cup mini marshmallows, frozen
    2/3 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts, almonds, peanuts)
    1/4 cup cocoa powder
    1 tablespoon baking powder.
    3/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 325°. Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup Bundt Pan. If using a 10 cup pan.
In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and almond extract until very light and fluffy. Add all remaining ingredients; mix well. Spoon 3/4 batter into prepared pan. Add cocoa powder to remaining batter. Add the cocoa batter to the top and gently swirl through entire cake.
Bake at 325″ for 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.
Remove from pan; cool completely.
Drizzle with chocolate glaze, and if desired, marshmallow cream.
16 servings.

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I was disappointed that the marshmallow melted into the cake even tho I started with frozen minis. But they did add a great texture and a lot of moisture to the cake itself. Maybe small ‘globs’ of marshmallow fluff would have worked better. But all the ingredients are there, so…… I chopped some minis into small pieces and scattered them on top but the cake wasn’t as pretty with them on it.

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.

Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

Third Monday in May.

The end result – meeting a new foodie and cooking something or things from their collection of good things. I have found over the years that cooking just one thing is not a good way to learn about what makes a person tick. Or in the case of my ‘assignment’ this month – people. This month I was matched with Feast on the Cheap which is run by Mother and Daughter Duo Mary Ann and Mariel. Mary Ann is caterer and Mariel is writer with extraordinary culinary skills learned at her mother’s side. Between the two of them there is an awesome collection of great recipes.Not only that – the cost of every recipe is laid out for you with the ingredients. Thus the name “FEAST ON THE CHEAP”!! It was great to see how much each dish would cost.

I usually make three different treats. Usually a side and an entree and maybe a sweet treat. But it seems everything I went looking for something I was in need of something sweet. So here are two desserts – unusual for me – and a nice little quinoa dish.

I had a quart jar of pears in the pantry. We have a couple of trees so I put up pears every year. Finding this…

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was perfect. It is easy to make and yummy with the Maple Brown Butter Syrup and Pecans on top. Merial called for walnuts but we aren’t big fans and I always have lots of pecans in the freezer. Another change I made – I subbed out 1/2 of the AP flour for Whole Wheat. This is a grown up {what we used to call} Poke Cake. After the cake is cooked and cooled a bit holes are poked all over which lets the lovely syrup soak into the cake. Oh, Yeah!! Since I used my canned pears I skipped the “boil the pears, cinnamon, and water” part and just heated the pears and their juice with the cinnamon (and a little extra). Make this cake!!

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The next time I wandered through the site I found another sweet treat and since I was completely out of cake I deemed it absolutely necessary to make another. This time…

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Our garden yielded a lot of butternut last year. We could not eat all of them or give all of them away. There is just so much butternut one can eat. So I had cooked up quite a few, scooped out the good part, and froze packages of butternut squash. Lucky me to have found this cake, also from Merial.

This is supposed to be a quick bread but I changed it up just a tad and made ‘brownies’ with them. I poured the batter into a 11″ x 7″ pan and baked them for about 24 minutes. Merial made a Ginger Apple Butter for her bread but I chose not to use a ‘frosting’. But I did use some Sweet Potato Butter on some and they were wonderful!! Slicing these was a cinch since I had Mom’s special brownie pan (she loved gadgets like I do)

P1060546 PRESTO!! 18 perfect snacks!!

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Okay, I just couldn’t make another sweet treat. I HAD to go along another path.
For Lunch:

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Quinoa Salad with Sweet Bell Peppers, Dried Cranberries and Turkey Bacon

    1 cup organic quinoa
    2 cups water or chicken/vegetable stock
    ½ Teaspoon salt
    1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
    1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
    ¾ cup pecans, lightly toasted and chopped –
    ¾ cup dried cranberries
    4 scallions (green onions), white and green parts thinly sliced
    5 ozs. Montrachet or plain goat cheese (NOT Feta)
    ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    1/2 lb. bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled

    For the dressing:
    ¼ cup cider vinegar
    1 Teaspoon Turmeric or dry mustard
    1 Teaspoon Cumin
    3 Teaspoons honey
    ¾ cup olive oil
    salt and pepper

If not using organic quinoa, rinse in a fine mesh strainer under cold, running water.

In a 1½ quart lidded saucepan, combine the quinoa, salt, and water or stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff the grain with a fork and set aside. Allow to cool to about room temperature.

In the mean time, prepare the remaining ingredients and dressing. Set the dressing aside.

Toss the peppers, cheese, nuts, cranberries, cucumber, onions, cilantro, and crumbled bacon with the quinoa. Season the Pilaf with salt and pepper. Add the dressing if serving all at once, combining well.

This was definitely a hit with me. The sweet cranberries and pecans mixed with the sweet pepper and green onions was a nice contrast. The tangy sweet dressing brought it all together. I made 1/2 of the recipe and it was plenty for two light lunches (with cake!). And so colorful which means lots of good things in the dish that are good for you.

So many recipes, so little time. I did make the Whole Wheat Parmesan Drop Biscuits. I couldn’t pass those up. Now I want to go back and try

And that’s just my short list.

Visit with Mary Ann and Merial – you WON”T be sorry!!

And visit the rest of the Secret Recipe Club Members and see what they cooked/baked this month.

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