Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Caprese Grilled Pizza

In the summer my husband and I love to grill pizza, my last post which was from October of 2012 ( I can't believe I haven't blogged in almost a year!) I grilled BLT pizza, this is another great summer recipe.  We actually grill pizza almost all year round, it's a great alternative to baking it and it gives it almost a brick-oven taste.

4-5 thin sliced chicken breasts
Fresh mozzarella
Sliced tomatoes 1-2
Roasted red peppers- I use jarred
Fresh basil to use as garnish

For Balsamic Reduction
Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar

First I grill the chicken and cut into small cubes. While the chicken is cooking fill a small saucepan with 1/2-1 cup balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.  Reduce vinegar mixture until it has a syrup consistency, careful not to burn it.  Next, I cut my dough into fourths and stretch them out.  Spread a little olive oil on side and place it oil side down on your grill.  When the bottom is nice and crispy flip your dough.  Then, spread your mozzarella cheese on the face up side of the dough.  Close the grill and let it melt, the fresh mozzarella is a little more watery than the shredded mozzarella.  Once the cheese is melted add the chicken, tomatoes, red peppers and basil.  Drizzle the pizza with the balsamic reduction.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

BLT pizza

We love California Pizza Kitchen for their different types of pizza, but we don't eat there often.  We got the idea for the BLT pizza from our favorite pizza to order at CPK.  We happen to grill this pizza, but you can do it in the oven as well.   I LOVE to grill pizza, it comes out so crispy.

6- 8 slices bacon- cooked
1 pizza dough (we get ours from our local pizzeria)
1 package mozzarella cheese
head of iceberg lettuce
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 Tbsp mayonaise

Cook your bacon, I happened to cook mine in the oven, but anyway you like to cook bacon will do.  If you want to do it in the oven place your bacon on a large jelly roll sheet lined with foil and put in a cold oven and turn the oven on to 400 degrees.  Should take about 10-15 minutes for the bacon to cook.  Next, I cut my dough into fourths and stretch them out.  Spread a little olive oil on side and place it oil side down on your grill.  When the bottom is nice and crispy flip your dough.  Then, spread your mozzarella cheese on the face up side of the dough.  Close the grill and let it melt.  While the cheese is melting, cut your lettuce so that it is shredded and place in a large bowl.  Cut your tomatoes into small slices as well and put with your lettuce.  Next, mix the lettuce and tomatoes with your mayo.  When your dough is ready, layer your bacon, and then top with lettuce mixture.  YUMM!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi

I just made this for dinner tonight and it was sooo delish and healthy too!  I got the idea from my pilates instructor when she was talking about making spaghetti squash last week and decided instead of a marinara sauce I wanted a white wine sauce, which made me think of scampi.

1 lb raw shrimp (cleaned, peeled, and deveined)
olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic
juice of one lemon
1 cup white wine
salt (use as much or as little as you like)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp butter
fresh parsley
parmesan cheese
1 spaghetti squash

Cut your spaghetti squash in half and microwave it cut side down for 10-20 minutes, depending on the size.  You can tell it is done when it is soft to the touch.  While squash is cooking, add about 1-2 Tbsp olive oil in a large sauce pan.  Add in garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, but do not burn the garlic.  Add in your shrimp, juice of one lemon, salt and red pepper flakes.  Cook for about 2 minutes and then add in the white wine.  Simmer and reduce, about 10 minutes or so.  Add in butter and let it melt.  Chop up some fresh parsley and sprinkle on top of shrimp and sauce.  Use a fork to "rake" your squash into strands into a large serving dish.  Pour shrimp and sauce over squash and serve.  Top with some grated parmesan cheese.

* Please excuse my horrible photo, I had already started eating and decided to just take a photo with my phone.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Baked Tilapia with Tomato and Basil (courtesy of Paula Deen)

So surprisingly this is a healthy recipe by Paula Deen, and there is no butter called for.  I know you might be thinking that this is because Paula Deen has turned over her diet because of her diabetes, but this recipe dates back to 2008.  I have to say this is one of the best fish dishes I have had in a LONG time. So thanks Paula!  Oh, and I did change it a little from her original recipe.

Nonstick cooking spray
4- tilapia fillets
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp minced fresh basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp onion powder
3 small cloves garlic minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 tomatoes sliced ( I used a variety of smaller tomatoes and larger tomatoes and just made sure they covered the fish)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a shallow baking dish with nonstick spray.

Arrange the fish in the baking dish and sprinkle evenly with salt, pepper, basil, oregano, onion powder, garlic and 2 Tbsp olive oil.  Arrange the tomatoes evenly over the fish and drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Bake until the fish flakes easily with a for, about 20-25 minutes.

I served mine with orzo pilaf and steamed green beans from my garden.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Watermelon Infused Vodka

Last week I bought a huge watermelon for the kids.  As I was cutting it up I started to think about how people put a hole in watermelons and fill them with vodka, which then made me think about my strawberry infused vodka from last summer, so naturally I decided to try the same process with my watermelon, and boy am I glad I did!

Here's what you do...

Fill a mason jar with cut up pieces of watermelon.  Fill it as much as you can.  I actually shoved the pieces in and squished them down so that I had the most amount of watermelon I could.  Then fill the jar with a good vodka.  Put the vodka in the fridge and every day turn it over a few times to mix.  I let mine sit for about 5 days before I tried it in a drink.

The first time I used it I left it as is and muddled the chunks of watermelon, which was good, but I decided to blend it and strain it for my next drinks...I think I like it better this way.

Here is the cocktail I made:
Fill a glass with ice
Fill 1/3 with watermelon vodka
Fill 2/3 with lime flavored seltzer
Use a little simple syrup to sweeten to your liking
Garnish with a sprig of mint

Saturday, June 30, 2012

S'mores Bars

I made these for my nephew's birthday and they were good, but extremely rich!  I got the recipe off pinterest, but it is a Betty Crocker recipe and quite easy.

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz.) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1 cup graham cracker crumbs ( I just crushed mine in a ziploc bag)
1 cup melted butter
3 cups chocolate chips
4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, stir together cookie mix and graham cracker crumbs.  Stir in melted butter until a soft dough forms.  Press into ungreased 13x9 inch pan.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until set. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over crust.  Let stand 3-5 minutes.  Once chocolate becomes shiny, spread the chocolate evenly over the crust.  Set oven to broil and sprinkle marshmallows over melted chocolate. Broil the top until the marshmallows are toasted.  Cool 10 minutes and serve warm.

Iced Coffee

I love to drink iced coffee in the summer and luckily stumbled across The Pioneer Woman's iced coffee post last year.  I LOVE that I can keep the coffee in my fridge ready to go and that I don't need to brew it and wait for it to cool.

Start out with a bag of coffee.  It can be any kind you want, but I used the same as Ree, Cafe Bustelo.

Next, you need to empty 8 oz. of the coffee grinds into a large container.  I actually use the inside of my crockpot (without turning it on of course) because it can hold all the liquid.  Next you need to pour in one gallon of cold water.  The ratio is one pound coffee to two gallons water, and sine I don't have huge containers, I do a half pound coffee to one gallon water.  Then stir the grounds and make sure they are all wet.  Put the lid on it and leave it on the counter to sit for at least 8 hours. If you let it sit for longer you will just get a stronger brew.

After 8 hours, you will need to strain your coffee.  This takes a bit of time and patience, but it is worth it.  I use a large empty container, a strainer and coffee filters. Line your strainer with a coffee filter and place it over the container, then ladle the coffee mixture into the filter and let it strain.  Once the filter gets clogged I like to wring it out and then use a new filter.  I probably use at least 5 filters.

Store your coffee in a large container.  I store mine in the fridge in two large 1/2 gallon mason jars.

Now when you want iced coffee just pour, add your milk and sweetener. ( I prefer simple syrup, which I keep in a syrup container in my fridge).