Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pizza Dough

Hey Look basic Pizza dough with yummy Italian spices. Now the toppings are endless! I try and add something new when I make pizza at home. Last night I put green beans, broccoli, and potatoes. I have to admit it was a little weird. It doesn't help that I added dried beet and sweet potatoes to my tomato sauce. While I was eating I felt strangely healthy and wanted to rebel. But alas I sucked it up and ate it. Needless to say it wasn't a hit in my house. The boys didn't even know about the beets or sweet potatoes.  If you make this dough a head of time and keep it in the freezer it's great for last minute dinner ideas, just defrost on the counter for a few hours or defrost in the microwave. * Next time I make this I am going to try and use mostly whole wheat flour. I will  report back if it was a success. (UPDATE 3/6/13) I used 1/2 wheat flour and 1/2 all purpose- it turned out great, and not too dry!

Pizza Dough: makes 4 medium pizzas

2 cups warm water  (105-115*F)
2 packs active dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
6 cups flour-
1 TBS chopped Rosemary (fresh)
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS dried Basil (or fresh)
1 tsp Red Pepper flakes- more if you like some kick
1 TBS Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt

In a large bowl combine the yeast, sugar and water; let stand for  5 min until bubbly. Note: if you water is too hot it will kill the yeast! While the yeast is activating measure out the flour and all the spices and mix together. Once the yeast is ready add all the flour and spices. In a mixer mix with a dough hook for about 8 min on medium speed. If doing by hand, knead on a floured surface for 8 min or till smooth and elastic. Put in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat. Let sit in a warm place till doubled in size.  Once ready to use, I would divide in 4 pieces for medium sized pizzas. I usually make 2 pizzas so we can have leftovers, and with the other 2 balls of dough I wrap up in plastic and freeze.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

High 5 EX

The other night I went out with a few of my friends. We went to Ballard, I don't hang out in Ballard as much as I used to, but since both of them live over there I made the journey over. At first we started out in a sleepy bar that was pretty dead. We had some food and beers and were on our way. Then moved to a a very busy bar, Wow so much more action then the previous bar. In the back they had a skee ball game to play, we played that for a few rounds. The scores were J-1100, C-1440, L- 1240. No I didn't win.
 After we ran out of quarters we settled down in a booth that a good amount of traffic to and from the back. While we were chatting I noticed that people around us were not that fun. I thought of the High Five Experiment I know every time I get a high five I feel about 1000 times better then before regardless of my mood. I first started out with my hand up ready to receive high fives, this didn't work. The lack of enthusiasm  was my fault. J pointed out that my hand was too low to be in any one's eye line. So I put my hand down, I did look rather silly it's looked like I had a question. Then we decided I just put it up high when someone would walk by.
The first revision was made and that's when we went high five crazy. I believe that I gave out about a hundred of high fives on Friday night. It was funny to see people's faces. Some were very excited to get a high five, others glared at me a left me hangin'. Sorry to say it but girls were in the minority of fun high fivers.  The busser was the one of the funniest guys every time he walked by he wanted a high five. And on the side of the spectrum the other busser said "really again?" to me after attempting a 2nd high five- needless to say he was cut off after that. I wasn't trying to annoy anyone, just have a little fun.
Then walks in Jay. I give him a high five, then high fives the whole table-  then asks to sit down. We all start chatting away. Turns out he is from the same area as C and they were 1 year apart in rival H.S. Now that's a small world. Just a small hint neither of them are from Washington. We never would have met him if it wasn't for the High 5 EX.
Now it was time to go, and it was such a fun night. I went to restroom where of course there was a line. While in line I passed the experiment down to some really cool girls. They said they would continue my work. But who knows. As we were leaving we gave more high5's and as we were walking around high5ing  everybody.  So if you are out at a bar and some puts their hand up for a high5, just high5 them back!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

CocoCherri & RazzleMelon Pops

Last week's HEAT was unbearable . I couldn't do anything in my kitchen that involved a heat source. We did a bunch of grilling instead. The only things I managed to make in the kitchen was POPS. Heaven forbid we run out of yummy cool treats during this heat! I made a few kinds. I am including them in this same post since the instructions are the same. I had a bunch of cherries that needed attention among a few other things in my fridge. The first pops are CocoCherri- since my cherries were so ripe and sweet I didn't need to add any sugar. Second I had a watermelon and some raspberries I thought they sounded perfect together. My raspberries were a little tart so sugar was added. Hopefully we have some more warm days that you can enjoy some frozen treats. I personaly love pops in the winter I just enjoy them in front of the fire and dream of summer.
CocoCherri  (Cherry & Coconut Pops)
1 liter of cherry juice/ compote from fresh cherries
1 can of Coconut Milk
*Note I pitted my cherries and mashed them up, but bottled juice can be used. For the coconut milk- make sure it's pure Cocnut Milk- NOT coconut water or that creame de coconut (it's way too sugary). Always taste the mixture before freezing, if it's too tart just add a few tablespoons of sugar at a time till it's at your desired sweetness. - See freezing instuctions after the  RazzleMelon Pops

RazzleMelon (Raspberry & Watermelon Pops)
1 Small seedless Watermelon- rind removed, cut in chunks
2 cups fresh/frozen Raspberries- washed
1 Lime zested and juiced
1/2 cup sugar
Blend everything together. Run through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds.  Taste before freezing adjust flavor to desired sweetness.

Molding and Freezing Instructions:
Now divide into Popsicle molds, freeze for about and hour and add the sticks. Don't add the sticks right away because they will sink to the bottom. I always freeze my pops overnight before removing from the molds. To release from molds, just dip in warm water and pull out. Wrap the pops in wax paper or plastic wrap,then stack in a freezer bag. It's so much better then store bought pops!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fruit Leather

 I made fruit leather! What is this so called "fruit leather"? Well it's not exactly like leather, it's a lot like a fruit-roll-up.  However a million times better! Did you know fruit roll ups contain: "pears from concentrate, corn syrup, dried corn syrup, sugar and partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil. Fruit Roll-Ups also contain 2 percent or less than 2 percent citric acid, sodium citrate, acetylated monoglycerides, fruit pectin, dextrose, maltic acid, ascorbic acid, natural flavor and the following food coloring: blue 1, red 40 and yellows 5 and 6." from this website: http://www.livestrong.com/article/523619-fruit-roll-up-ingredients/#ixzz231AhB95O
Wow that took up a ton of space! MY fruit leather contains 3 things: Fruit, orange juice, sugar. I can pronounce all of that! I only sweeten a little with sugar and it depends if the berries are way too tart. If they are super sweet I don't add any sugar. The orange juice is just me layering my flavors.
I gave some tastes out to two little girls: and one said "hey there are seeds in this!" I said "Yeah there are seeds in Raspberries!" She still liked it. Even my fruit hating fella was snacking on them. He likes fruit flavored things, but not actual fruit. Well I figure this is as close as I can get for him. 

The easiest and "lazy" way to make, is by having a food dehydrator, I mix up pour into my trays and plug in. About a day later it's done! But for all of you who don't have this handy tool, it can be made in the oven. It still takes about a day to do so. It slowly takes the moisture out of the fruit, leaving the yummy slightly sticky snack. Since it is berry season right now I have been stocking up on them. I predict that come fall I will be taking advantage of pears, apples, and other fall fruits. This works best with fresh fruit- not canned.  Enough with the long winded talk of equipment, and yummy fruits. Here is my basic fruit leather recipe- Feel free to play around with flavors. Comment below if you try any that are good!

Raspberry -Orange Fruit leather
4- 1/2 pints of fresh raspberries
1 orange - zested and juiced
1/4 cup sugar or more to taste

Puree in a blender, food processor or by hand with a potato masher.
If using a oven preheat to lowest setting mine is 200*
prepare your pans Line a sheet pan or dehydrator trays with parchment paper
 Pour puree into pans/ trays- (for each tray I used 1 cup of puree)
Dehydrate / bake 10-12 hours. I do it overnight so I don't constantly check to see if it's done.
You are thinking how do I know it's done? Well it will be slightly tacky and it will hold it's shape.
Next to keep them rolled up- I put down a piece of wax paper and put down a single layer and cut into 2-3 inch strips, and simply rolled them up. Since it has been so hot this last week I am keeping them in the fridge. I am not sure how long they will keep, but they won't last that long here.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Habanero Steaks!


Yes that is correct I made Habanero Steaks.  In my house we like spicy,  and every time I think something is spicy - Ryan says it's not that bad, but this time he said it was spicy! I added some pickled Habanero that I  put up did last year. The pickled habanero  caramelizes a bit and just melts in your mouth.  I made a non-spicy one for the kiddo. If pickled habaneros are not available just use fresh. Be warned fresh is pretty intense, the pickling kinda mellows them out. I simply made a quick habanero BBQ sauce and let the steaks marinate for a few hours. After pouring the marinade on the steaks, I placed thin strips of habanero pieces over the top. When grilling the steaks I left the habanero slices on top and removed them before flipping, then added them back to the top. I didn't want to lose them to the grill.  Easy right?! **WHEN HANDLING HOT PEPPERS- wear gloves and don't touch anything. The oils from the pepper will burn your skin. TRUST ME! It hurts for days if you have a ton of exposure.
Habanero Marinade:
1 TBS pickled habanero  chopped up
1 bottle BBQ sauce- spicy or plain
2 TBS Vinegar
2 TBS water
mix together- and pour over steaks, put slices of habanero on top of steaks. let marinate for at least 1 hour. Grill up and enjoy!