Recipe Index

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Basic Pizza Dough (By Hand)

This recipe is courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, from FoodNetwork.com.

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour plus more if necessary
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, combine yeast with water, olive oil, salt and stir well to proof. After 5 minutes, add half of the flour and mix well to thoroughly incorporate. Add all remaining flour except 1/2 cup and mix well with your hands.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead dough for at least 5 and up to 7 minutes, adding enough additional flour as necessary to form a smooth and elastic dough. Dough should not be sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled 2 or 3 quart bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually at least 1 hour.Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. and if you have one, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven.

Divide dough into 2 portions (for 2 (12-inch) pizzas) and form into balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface, shape as desired and roll out to a thickness of 1/4-inch.

Transfer dough to a pizza peel and top with toppings of choice. Transfer to the preheated pizza stone and bake until crispy and golden brown, usually 12 to 18 minutes (depending on the toppings). Remove from the oven with a metal peel or spatula and serve immediately.

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Spectacular Spaghetti

(As seen in this post)


Ingredients

-Thin Spaghetti (as little or as much as you want)
-Chicken (I believe they used a chicken breast, boiled, then pulled apart or shredded, not sure what the cooking terminology is for that)
-Spaghetti sauce (not homemade in this case. We used “Traditional Ragu”.  )
-Frozen Spinach
-Fresh garlic (not sure how many cloves, but I’m sure it was at least a couple since A LOT of spaghetti was made. Crushed in a mortar, or in a food processor, or use whatever you have around.)
-Salt
-Pepper
-Green olives (sliced into “rings” or to your liking)
-Shredded Cheese


To make it:

1. Boil Spaghetti until “al dente” (firm to the bite, or to your preference). At the same time, but in a separate pot, boil the chicken until it is completely white and fully cooked. It should be soft and easily torn apart with a fork.

2. Pour the spaghetti sauce into a large pot (make sure it is large enough to hold ALL of the spaghetti, sauce, and have room left at the top to stir). Add in the chicken and mix in well. Continue to add the mashed up garlic, the olives, and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Take the frozen spinach, and defrost in the microwave. Drain it of excess water. Add to the pot with the spaghetti sauce/chicken mix. Make sure there is plenty of sauce, if it gets at all hard to stir, add more!

4. Stir in the cooked spaghetti. Make sure it is evenly distributed and that there is plenty of sauce to go around! Again, if it looks like it needs more sauce…it probably does!

5. Pour the entire spaghetti/sauce/chicken/spices mixture into a casserole dish and even it out. The final step is to add a layer of shredded cheese over the top. (Make sure none of it can overflow or go over the top of the casserole dish!)

6. Place in the oven (not sure at what temperature…I’d say 350? But I’m no cook…) until the cheese is completely melted, perhaps bubbling and slightly golden.

7. Remove from the oven and let cool.

8. Mmmm-mmm….Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I didn’t actually cook it, so amounts aren’t included. Results may vary, so I don’t guarantee success. I think the trick was in the fresh garlic, and perhaps the olives.

Also, you don’t need to use boiled chicken breast, necessarily. If you’re not up to it you can use canned chicken, but the flavor will not be nearly as good. You can also use a different kind of pasta or spaghetti sauce. We actually made one casserole with spaghetti, and another casserole with rigatoni (I think) and other varied pastas…I just didn’t love it as much.

 

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Kahlua Ice Cream Surprise

 Ingredients:

-12 or 24 pack of ice cream sandwiches
-12 oz. tub of cool whip
-Kahlua
-9×13 glass (baking) pan, or even 8×8 if preferred
Other optional ingredients: Pecans or walnuts, chocolate syrup

To make it:

  1. Pour a very thin layer of Kahlua on the bottom of the pan.
  2. Line the pan with ice cream sandwiches, cookie side down, by placing them side by side with as few gaps as possible. If necessary break apart some sandwiches to fill in spaces.
  3. Pour a layer of Kahlua over the ice cream sandwiches.
  4. (Optional) Pour a layer of chocolate syrup over the entire surface.
  5. Cover the entire surface with an even layer of cool whip.  
  6. Place another layer of ice cream sandwiches, cookie side down.
  7. Pour a final layer of Kahlua
  8. Cover the entire surface with cool whip, making it as even (and attractive) as possible.
  9. (Optional) Sprinkle chopped pecans or walnuts all over.
  10. Place in freezer until frozen (around 30 minutes).
  11. Remove from the freezer and enjoy!!

I made this dessert without the optional parts and it was delicious! While I used a 9×13 baking pan I’m pretty sure you can make an 8×8 with just a 12 pack of sandwiches. You might even be able to make it without the glass pan (just on a dish), but I’ve never tried it that way.

 

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Watermelon Salad

(Ingredients are approximations. Prepare to your taste!)

Vinaigrette:
Pomegranate vinegar 
Avocado oil (3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar) 
Extras (you can add a white wine, or any extra flavoring….if using white wine, use a dessert wine)

Salt
Creole Seasoning
Cilantro
Watermelon (seedless, cut into 1″ or larger cubes)
Red onion, chopped
Feta cheese, crumbled

Pour oil and vinegar (plus wine, optional) into a large bowl. Whisk to completely mix and “emulsify” (Mix until uniform, no separation of oil and vinegar). Add salt, seasoning, and cilantro right into the bowl and mix in. Add watermelon cubes, red onion, and feta cheese into the bowl. Mix in and make sure vinaigrette is well distributed. Let it sit a few minutes.

Serve on a plate.
(After sitting the watermelon will release additional juices. If you leave it in a bowl the juices will just sit on the bottom.)
Pour excess juices over the top of the salad.

Tips:
-If you are preparing in advance, don’t combine the watermelon with the vinaigrette until the last minute. Otherwise it may get overly watery.
-Budget Friendly options:
Use White wine vinegar instead of pomegranate champagne vinegar (which is about $15 in whole foods)
Use canola oil, or some other mild oil instead of Avocado oil (which is also about $15 in whole foods). Don’t use olive oil, its too strongly flavored!
You can leave out the Creole seasoning if you don’t have it at hand
-Feel free to go all out with the feta. Yum!

-You can make other substitutions, such as canteloupe instead of watermelon, and mint/lime instead of vinegar/cilantro. It’ll obviously taste way different, but both are good!

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One Response to “Recipes”

  1. GG Says:

    Now this is a page I could get into. I love it!

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