Pizza Roll Ups

 

At least once a week now I’ve been making home made pizza (one of Caleb’s favorite meals!).  Tonight, instead of making the deep dish pizza I thought I’d give this a try.  I’ve seen people make it for parties or as an appetizer.   Pizza is pizza and we’ll eat it any way it comes.

I used the same ingredients as the deep dish recipe but just rolled it up into a log and baked it.  How easy is that?   And the kids got to help make it as well.  Kept them busy and out of each other’s way for the time being!!

 

Kids in the kitchen

 

Brooklyn & Calebs roll

Nana's Pizza roll

For the recipe and how to, click on the deep dish pizza or recipe link above and it’ll bring you to the page for everything you need!

Here’s the short version for you:

Whole-Grain Pizza Crust

1 cup warm water

2 (1/4 ounce )  packages active dry yeast

1/2 cup skim milk

2 tbs honey

2 tbs olive oil (I used light olive oil)

1/2tsp salt

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup cornmeal

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups bread flour

For the sauce:
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. grated onion
Pinch of dried oregano
¼ tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper

For assembling and topping:
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. mozzarella, shredded (about 2 cups)
¼ oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 tbsp.)

I added green olives and more onions to my roll.  You can add just about any pizza topping you want!!

Pizza Roll Ups

This was a great start for the weekend.  I’m afraid I could eat the entire thing.  But I’ve stepped away from the pizza!  Leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Enjoy!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

 With Christmas approaching faster than I’d like and the cookie exchange even closer, I did more baking tonight.   These turned out to be a bigger hit than the Apricot Cookies last week.  Dare I say that I got an email from Betty Crocker today and found these on the site?  Do I say that I made the sugar cookies that came out of a bag  Yep, the mix sure did.  I know that Jodi has a recipe on our site for sugar cookies that she made for the holidays, but I wanted to see how these would turn out before attempting them with the homemade dough first.

Before I even got the 2nd pan in the oven there were only 5 left out of the 12 that came out.

I put the 2nd pan in the oven and Brooklyn couldn’t wait for them to come out!

When Craig ate the first cookie, he asked me what I did different from the cookies I had made last week.  I wanted to giggle a bit and tell him not much.  But the Betty Crocker bag was on the counter!  So I picked it up, showed him..he said he was going to tell on me that I didn’t make these by scratch if I brought them to the exchange.  Go ahead Mr. Craig, I already told Mary I may use this recipe and she said it was fine! Ha!

If you’re looking for ideas for baking cookies for the holiday visit Betty Crocker, there are many more to choose from.  And more that I may be trying before Santa comes for a visit to our house!!

These were super easy.  They were really good (I ate at least 4 of them myself).  I even used a jelly that had less sugar added and you can’t even tell the difference.  Though I’m not sure at this point in time it really matters!!

 

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
3 tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 cup white vanilla baking chips
Red or green sugar, if desired (I only had pink so I left this out).
  • Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, egg and flour until dough forms.
  • Roll dough into 3/4-inch balls; place 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Using thumb or handle of wooden spoon, make indentation in center of each cookie. Spoon about 1/4 teaspoon jam into each indentation.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
  • In small microwavable bowl, microwave baking chips on High 1 to 2 minutes or until chips are melted; stir until smooth. Spoon melted chips into small resealable plastic bag; cut small hole in corner of bag. Squeeze bag gently to drizzle melted chips over cookies. Sprinkle with colored sugar.
Happy Holidays to you and yours.  I am am actually having a good time trying to find what I’m going to bring to this party.  Some may turn out and some might not. But either way the kids and I are having a good time.  
Have a great week.
Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Christmas Baking 2012

2012 Xmas Baking

I have said this time and time again.  I cannot bake.  I don’t enjoy it (though I’m really trying – I am), I typically have to start over at least, at least once.  And this time is no different than any other.

But it’s Christmas time and Santa needs cookies to eat right?  Oh and there’s this other little matter called a cookie exchange that I’ve been invited to.  Caleb played football and now basketball on Saturdays.  You get to know the parents.  Well there is a boy that was on his football and now basketball team.  I sit by his mom every Saturday.  Two Saturday’s ago she told me about this cookie exchange that she’d like to invite me to.  I sit and wonder if I had this terrified look on my face because that’s exactly how I felt.  Me?  To a cookie exchange?  The first thing I did was text my other Two Girl, Jodi and told her I’d pay her to bake me 5 dozen cookies.  She gladly agreed if I would watch her new little bundle of joy.  And though that thought sounds much better than me in the kitchen baking, I decided to give this a try.

For some odd reason I thought that I needed to bring a dozen of 5 different kinds of cookies.  So today I gave it some thought and started to put a list together.  I went to my favorite baking site www.browneyedbaker.com and started searching.  It’s not hard to find something on her site.  She does this well.  She can bake.  Her pictures are amazing.  I even wonder to myself who the heck eats all of this sugary food that she bakes almost daily.  On her site I found these four recipes:  Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies, Toffee Pretzel Bark, Peppermint Bark and Home made Peanut Butter Cups.  The fifth recipe I got from a friend from work on the Betty Crocker site.  They are called Caramel Fudge Turtle Cookies.  When searching on the site I found the Dark Chocolate Apricot Cookies.  Since the family prefers white chocolate, I’m going to give this one a try for now.  If it works, then I’ll try the Turtle ones as well.  Hey, if I’m baking, I may as well go all out!!

In the mean time, I send an email to Mary asking her about the cookie exchange (since this is my first time – and hopefully not the last time) needing more information.  She got back to me and told me that I need to make one type of a cookie and 4 1/2 dozen on eight different plates.  Still, I’m in a panic.  What if I can’t do this?  What if these other ladies have these fancy cookies decorated beautifully while mine are either made by Jodi or store bought!!!

Then I remember I made cookies last year and put them on our blog.  They were THE softest cookies I’d ever made.  So I looked up the recipe on our site and combined it with the Betty Crocker recipe.  The Betty Crocker recipe calls for the bag of sugar cookie mix (and I can still fall back on that if this home made dough doesn’t turn out).

Craig comes home from work…asks what I’m making.  He too, knows that this is a rough subject for me.  He tasted the first batch with the Wheat Flour.  Gave me that look and asked me what was in them.  When I told him apricots, he said he didn’t’ like them.  However, and I say, however….when the second batch comes out of the oven with the All Purpose Flour, he tastes one…then takes two more.  And that’s before I even put the white chocolate no them!! <big smile on my face>

Here’s the recipe that I have for the Softest Sugar Cookies on our site (under Softest Sugar Cookie):

1 cup BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
1 tsp.  baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1-1/2 cups  granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp.  ground nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla

4 cups  flour

MIX sour cream and baking soda; set aside. Beat butter and granulated sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs; mix well. Blend in nutmeg, vanilla and sour cream mixture. Gradually add flour, beating well after each addition. Refrigerate 30 min.

 

HEAT oven to 350ºF. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto greased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 min. or just until centers are set and edges are lightly browned. Let stand on baking sheets 3 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

From the Betty Crocker site I added the dried apricots and used the orange extract and  1 bag of white chocolate chips instead of the chocolate.  The nutmeg in this cookie mix just pops in your mouth.  You can smell it before it’s even in the oven baking.  (Wow did that really come from my mouth)!

I’ll admit, I tried to substitute All Purpose Flour for Wheat Flour.  Why?  Because I do not know any better, that’s why.  I baked a batch, let them cool, tasted them, and realized that I should not have made that change without first checking with someone who knows what they’re doing.  So I just pulled the second batch out of the fridge and have the oven warming to start this over again.

Cookie dough with wheat flour

Here’s to family fun and tons of baking for this Christmas season!  Wishing me luck on my baking adventure!

Yay! I did it!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking.

Apple-Nut Crisp

Apple-Nut Crisp

This has been a busy blogging time for me!  It’s the fall time with winter coming and I find there’s more to cook (dare I say bake) at this time of the year.  At least for me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I’m not a huge “dessert” person but people in my family are.  For the longest time I didn’t even dare try to bake anything because I’ve had ay too many fair share of ruin on my end.  But I’ve had more opportunity to bake things that are a bit healthier for us so I’ve been giving it a try.                                                                                             This recipe is actually called Apple Pear-Nut Crisp, but Craig wanted something with just the apples, so I added more apple and cut out the pear.  (I’m wishing now that I had either added more apple or used the pear).

I won’t call this a failed attempt on my end because it did taste pretty good, but there wasn’t enough fruit in it for us.  I felt that this was a bit high in calories for me.  If you’re watching what you’re eating, I’d rather use those calories on a “salty” food rather than the sweet food.  Since candy is not an option for me I settle for these types of things now to get the sweet from somewhere!

Here’s what you need (Yep, this came from the infamous The Everything Low Cholesterol Cookbook).

2 apples (I used 5) sliced

3 pears (I replaced the pears with more apples)

2tbs lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar

1tsp cinnamon

1/2tsp nutmeg

1 1/2 cup quick cooking oatmeal

1/2 cup flour (I used Better for bread flour)

1/4 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted (I used salt free organic butter)

What you need to do:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9″ round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside

2.  Prepare apples and pears, sprinkling with lemon juice as you work.  Combine in medium bowl with sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Spoon into prepared cake pan.

3.  In same bowl, combine oatmeal, flour, whole-wheat four, and brown sugar and mix well.  Add melted butter and mix until crumbly.  Sprinkle over fruit in dish.

 

4.  Bake for 35-45 minutes or until fruit bubbles and topping is browned and crisp.  Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

From the cookbook:  Leave the skins on the apples and pears for more fiber and nutrition.  You can peal if you’d like.

This was a good apple dessert that would go well with a cup of hot cider while reading your favorite book.  (I don’t have time for reading when the kids are awake!!!!)

Serves 8

Calories 353.77; Fat 9.97; Saturated fat 5.25; Dietary fiber 6.54; Sodium 61.78; Cholesterol 20.34mg

Finish your weekend well.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Pork Chops w/Mustard Sauce

Pork Chops w/Mustard Sauce

I’ve been posting quite a few new recipes that I’ve gotten from this cookbook.  Its’s not only just to get my cholesterol levels down, but to help my family eat better as well.  How can I set a good example to the kids by telling them certain foods aren’t good for them, if I’m not showing them how to make them and eat them myself?

I’ve only done a repeat so far once or twice from this book.  There are that many good recipes in it.  I highly recommend you getting it if you’re trying to either lower your cholesterol or just plain eat better.    Here’s a link on Amazon so you can see for yourself: http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Low-Cholesterol-Cookbook-delicious-low-carb/dp/1598694014.  The first chapter of the book even describes what cholesterol is, how it affects you, when it’s too high, risk factors, etc.

I use this app on my iPhone called MyFitnessPal.  If you’re not sure what this app is, you log your daily food intake, your workouts, track your weight progress…And the best part is you can have your friends follow you and be a support system for you!  On the daily portion of the app, it shows you how much fat, carbs, potassium, sugars, etc. your intake is.  I look at this daily to make sure that I’m staying within the range I need to be.  I’m not so much worried about the caloric intake as I am the fat and sugars.

Yesterday when I looked at the sugar intake I was shocked to see I had already gone over my limit by lunch time.  I had eaten a bowl of cereal (fiber cereal too) and for lunch I had a salad with onions and green olives with ranch dressing and low fat cheese.  I had an apple and some grapes.  So I look at the content of the grapes…A bowl of grapes have 24.8 grams of sugar.  I search online to see if natural sugars affect your triglycerides and sure enough they do.  So each day I’ve been wondering how I’m exceeding the sugar limit to find out it’s from the fruits that I thought were supposed to be good for me!  What’s a sugar addict supposed to do?!

Back to my pork chop dinner!  Since the weather is getting colder, and the snow is right around the corner (literally), I took the opportunity to make this recipe because I got to use the grill.  Not that you can’t grill in the winter, I just choose not to!

Here’s a note from the cookbook:  Spreading the meat with yogurt and mustard mixture before grilling helps keep the meat moist and tender and adds great flavor.

And I’m telling you it really does.  Some of my family are not a huge mustard fan, so I used a bit less than suggested so it wasn’t too much for them.  But I love this one.  I’m sure it would be just as good baked in the oven as well.

Here’s what you need:

2tbs Dijon Mustard, divided

2tbs plain yogurt (I used fat free with less sugar content)

1/8tsp pepper (or as much as you like – pepper is one of my favorites after garlic)

4- 3 ounce bone in pork chops (I used the boneless and cut the fat)

2tbs olive oil (I used light extra virgin olive oil)

1 onion, chopped (I used half onion because the family isn’t a fan)

1tbs flour

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (I used store bought)

1/4 cup dry white wine (I substituted with more chicken broth)

Here’s what you do:

1.  Prepare and preheat grill.  In a small bowl, combine 1tbs mustard, yogurt and pepper and mix well.  Spread mixture on both sides of pork chops; set aside for 15 minutes.

2.  In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add flour; cook and stir until combined and bubbly.  Add broth, wine and remaining 1tbs mustard; bring to a boil, stirring with a wire whisk, until sauce is slightly thickened.

3.  Grill the chops for 4-6 minutes on each side; turning only once, until pork is just slightly pink in the center.  Serve with sauce.  I added some parsley to the top of the meat and sauce.

I put some potatoes in the microwave and cooked them until almost soft.  I cut them into bite size chunks and put in a large skillet with the olive oil until they were nice and crisp.

Pan fried potatoes

This was another great meal.  Caleb even ate the mustard sauce (and it had onions!  Of course he didn’t know that).  This was really good.

Have a great week.  Enjoy your food and know that eating healthy doesn’t always have to be “boring”.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking