Monday, April 30, 2012

Portobello Pesto Pizza

I came up with this super delicious pizza cause I wanted a version similar to one I used to get at a favorite pizza joint. And it worked. A memory is good thing! This pizza is loaded with mushrooms, roasted red pepper, pesto and goat cheese over a bed of marinara and mozzarella. Deliciousness. Make one today - you won't be sorry! Start by preparing your favorite pizza crust - you can make one from scratch, use a store bought, whatever works best. Heat a skillet over medium heat and coat with a bit of olive oil. Add the garlic and the sliced mushrooms,

and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and fragrant. Spread the marinara evenly over the crust and top with the mozzarella.

You can use shredded or sliced - I used sliced cause I had it on hand. Top the cheese with the mushrooms and the roasted red pepper.

Now spoon dollops of pesto over the pizza - about 1/2 teaspoon at a time.

And finally, sprinkle goat cheese, or queso fresco, whichever you prefer, randomly over the top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden. It will be hard to wait. Just thought I'd warn you. But it will be worth it.

One year ago: Mediterranean Shrimp and Pasta
Two years ago: Pear Cake with Pine Nuts
Three years ago: Beef Stroganoff

Find more inspiration at Mangia Mondays, Menu Monday, My Meatless Monday, Midnight Maniac Meatless Monday, Mop it up Monday, Seasonal Inspiration, Mix it up Monday, Melt in your Mouth Monday, the Sweet Spot Recipe Party, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday (#3), A Little Birdie Told Me, Tuesday Talent Show, Hearth and Soul, Cast Party Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Foodie Friday.

Portobello Pesto Pizza

One pizza crust for large pizza
1 tsp. olive oil
4 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup marinara sauce
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
1/2 of a large roasted red pepper, sliced
1/4 cup basil pesto
2 oz. crumbled goat cheese or queso fresco

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Saute garlic and mushrooms for 2-3 minutes until mushrooms are tender and fragrant. Spread marinara sauce over pizza crust. Top with mozzarella, then mushrooms and peppers. Dollop pesto over the top, and then crumble goat cheese over the entire pizza. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden. Serves 4.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Buttermilk Banana Bread

You probably have a favorite recipe for banana bread - I have a couple. But I was still anxious to try this version which uses white whole wheat flour and has very little fat. Because of the buttermilk, the bread stays moist, bakes up beautifully and tastes delicious. Now I can have another favorite banana bread! Start by combining the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon

in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, egg whites and egg on medium high until the eggs are about doubled in volume. Combine the buttermilk and oil in a measuring cup and add it to the sugar mixture

along with the bananas. Beat on medium speed until well combined. The stir in the flour mixture just until combined. 

Transfer the batter to a greased loaf pan and bake for about an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 20 minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 

If you want, you can wrap the loaf in foil and freeze it, too! 

One year ago: Swedish Apple Pie 
, Ingredient Spotlight.

Buttermilk Banana Bread 

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites
1 egg
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
1/3 cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In large bowl, with mixer on medium-high speed, beat sugar, egg whites and egg until doubled in volume. On medium speed, beat in bananas, buttermilk and oil until well combined. Gently fold in flour mixture until just combined. Pour batter into greased loaf pan, smoothing top. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan 20 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes

True confessions: I am not a huge fan of pancakes. Given the choice, I would rather have waffles, french toast or crepes. However, that just applies to "plain" pancakes - I really like pancakes with blueberries, or bananas, and be still my heart, now I can have this lemon poppyseed variety.

To say that these are good would be the understatement of the year. Need to liven up your breakfast rotation? Give these delicious lemon poppyseed pancakes a whirl - topped with strawberries, these are a delicious way to start the day!

Start by combining the wet ingredients in a large measuring cup or batter bowl. I like to do this for two reasons: your wet ingredients get measured out in the same dish that everything is combined - so fewer dishes to wash, and a batter bowl or measuring cup has a nice spout so you can just pour the batter right onto the griddle. Start with the buttermilk (so you can get an accurate measurement), then add the eggs, melted butter, poppyseeds

and lemon zest.

Whisk this all together so it's well combined. Then in a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, soda, baking powder and salt. Add it to the wet ingredients

and whisk just until the ingredients are combined. Your goal is NOT a smooth batter -don't overmix! Now heat your pan over medium high heat and brush it with a little bit of butter. (I actually just brush my pastry brush over the top of a stick of butter, then brush that onto the pan.) When the pan is ready (you'll know because if you sprinkle water on it, it will spring up from the pan) pour the batter onto the pan. (For large pancakes, you want about 1/3 cup, I actually just pour to the size I want and don't measure exactly!)

Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the pancakes are deep golden on the underside, and starting to look a little "dry" on the top side.

Then carefully flip over and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Repeat with the remaining batter, brushing the pan with butter between each batch.

Top with strawberries,

and dig in!

One year ago: Blender Bread
Two years ago: Balsamic Chicken with Spring Vegetables
Three years ago: Frozen Strawberry Pie

Find more great ideas at Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Made from Scratch Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday (#3), A Little Birdie Told Me, Hearth and Soul, Cast Party Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Made Famous Linkz Party, It's A Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Sweet Treats Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Kidz in the Kitchen, Ingredient Spotlight: Citrus.

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup poppy seeds
zest of 4 lemons
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a large measuring cup or batter bowl combine the buttermilk, eggs, butter, lemon zest and poppy seeds. Add the dry ingredients to the batter bowl and stir until they are just combined. (A little lumpy is ok, just don't over mix.)

Heat a skillet, pan, or griddle to medium-hot and brush it with a bit of butter. The pan is ready if a drop of water dropped onto the pan starts to "dance." Pour about 1/3 of a cup of batter into the skillet. Wait until the pancake bottom is deep golden in color, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter, brushing the pan with butter occasionally. Makes 12 large pancakes.

(If you can't eat them all at once, simply wrap each pancake in plastic wrap and put in a zip top freezer bag. Freeze, and reheat in the toaster oven or microwave.)

Recipe Source: Picky Cook

Monday, April 23, 2012

Crockpot Carnitas

I've wanted to try my hand at carnitas for a long time. So I was really excited to see this crock pot version on Jo's blog when I was assigned it for Secret Recipe Club. Her version has amazing flavor - this delicious meat will need very little doctoring (with salsa or such) and can be used in so many ways - taco filling, with rice and beans, in enchiladas, or even in a sandwich as a sort of Mexican pulled pork.

I used boneless, country style ribs for this but you can use pork roast too. Use whatever is on sale or what you have in the freezer.

Cut the meat into large chunks

then place in the crockpot. Cover with the herbs and spices. You might think it's too much, or that you misread the recipe, but you didn't - it's 4 whole teaspoons of each variety. And it works! And your house will smell amazingly good while this cooks... Anyway, back to the spices. Sprinkle with salt


and cumin.

Then top with sliced onion and garlic.

Put the cover on the crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours. When the meat is tender, use two forks to shred it

and then serve any way you like! I used mine in corn tortillas and topped them with red onion and queso fresco. Thanks, Jo, for such a great recipe!

One year ago: Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
Two years ago: Carrot Souffle
Three years ago: Chicken and Pasta with Peppery Cheese Sauce

Scroll down under this recipe to see all the great SRC entries. For more great recipe ideas, visit Mangia Monday, Menu Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Mop it up Monday, Mix it up Monday, Seasonal Inspiration, Melt in your Mouth Monday.

Crockpot Carnitas

2 pounds boneless pork country style ribs or shoulder roast
4 tsp. salt
4 tsp. black pepper
4 tsp. oregano
4 tsp. cumin
1 large onion, sliced
5 cloves garlic, sliced
corn tortillas
favorite fixings - salsa, guacamole, onions, tomatoes, etc.

Cut pork into 1 1/2 inch chunks and place in crock pot. Cover with salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, onion and garlic. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Shred meat with two forks. Spoon into tortillas and serve with your favorite toppings.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Peanut Butter and Jelly Crepes

Who doesn't love PB and J? Possibly the only better combination is PB and C (peanut butter and chocolate). So I was excited to see these as the two ingredients for this month's Improv Challenge.

There are lots of fun things you can do with peanut butter and jelly, but it was easy for me to choose a crepe application - I love crepes and it's so fun to try new fillings!

For the crepes, combine the milk, eggs, flour,


and salt and whisk super well until there are no lumps. If you like, you can process this mixture in a blender until it's super smooth. (I'm not that picky, but if your blender is easily accessible, go for it!)

Now heat a small skillet over medium low heat melt a small piece of butter in it. Pour in about 1/4 cup batter,

and tilt the skillet so that the batter coats the bottom of the pan. Let this cook for about a minute, then use a spatula to lift up the edges of the crepe

and carefully flip it over. If it's hard to pull up, it's probably not ready. The crepe will start to release a little bit from the pan when it's done.

Cook on this opposite side for another minute,

then remove the crepe to a plate. Repeat with the remaining butter and batter. Now, fill 'em up! Spread the peanut butter down the middle (I used chunky cause it was all I had but creamy would be easier to spread!)

then add the jam

and the blueberries.

Now fold over the edges

to roll up the crepe.

Top with additional blueberries and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Yum. Yum. Yum.

Unfortunately, I can't get the linky to work, so head on over to Kristen's to see all kinds of great peanut butter and jelly combos!

One year ago: Cherry Coffeecake
Two years ago: Shrimp Melts
Three years ago: Carrot Cake

Find more great recipes at It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday and Sweet Treats Thursday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Friday Food, Feed Your Soul, Foodie Frrrrrrriday, Ingredient Spotlight.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Crepes

4 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. butter, cut into 12 cubes
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup raspberry jam (or your favorite kind)
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
Powdered sugar, for dusting

In a blender, combine the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, and salt. Blend until the mixture forms a smooth batter. Preheat a 10-inch nonstick crepe pan or skillet over medium-low heat. Melt 1 cube of butter in the pan. Add 1/4 cup of batter and quickly tilt the pan to form an even coating of batter on the bottom of the pan. Cook until set and slightly browned, about 1 minute. Carefully loosen the sides and gently flip the crepe over. Cook for 1 minute. Repeat with the remaining butter and batter.

Add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter to each crepe and spread down the middle of the crepes. Spread 1 to 2 teaspoons of jam over the peanut butter. Line 5 to 6 blueberries along the center of each crepe. Fold the edges into the center. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut each crepe in half horizontally and arrange on a platter. Dust with powdered sugar and serve. Makes 4-6 servings.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fruity Coconut Cake Roll

Oh, how I love this cake. It is an impressive presentation and even more impressive tasting! I made it for Easter and it got rave reviews, and I will admit than when I finished the leftovers the other night, I was pretty sad. I guess I will have to find reasons to make this again, which shouldn't be too difficult.

If you've never made a cake roll before, don't be scared! It's not difficult. This one is filled to the gills, so it doesn't roll up very tightly, but that's ok. All the filling is worth it!

This cake uses a lot of convenience products so even though there are several steps (and you should make it early in the day or the night before you need to serve it) it will come together easily.

Start by making the cake. Combine the cake mix and water in a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on low for 2 minutes, then on medium for 2 more minutes.

I had never made an angelfood mix before and I was surprised at all the volume! Be sure to use your biggest mixing bowl for this!

Line a jelly roll pan with waxed paper, then coat the paper with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the cake batter into the pan,

then spread it evenly. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown. While the cake bakes, prepare the dish towel that you'll tip it out onto. Spread it out on the counter, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

When the cake is done, tip it out onto the dishtowel. The key here is to be decisive. If you want to see what happens when you're not decisive, check out my first cake roll attempt. Carefully peel back the waxed paper

then sprinkle with more powdered sugar.

Now roll up the cake, in the towel, starting with the short end.

Roll it up as tightly as you can, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cake cools, slice up the fruit. Slice it up thinly so that it lays nice and flat on the filling later.

Now prepare the filling. Combine the pudding and the milk

and whisk for 2 minutes, then let stand for 2 minutes. Reserve about 3/4 cup whipped topping for the top of the cake. Fold the remaining whipped topping into the pudding.

Toast the coconut by spreading it out on a small cookie sheet and baking for 5-8 minutes. Check the coconut frequently and shake the pan a bit until it's all golden.

When the cake is completely cool, unroll it and then spread the pudding over the cake. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the coconut over the pudding,

then arrange the fruit over the coconut.

Now roll up the cake again, same as before, but without the towel this time!

Put the cake on the serving plate, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Before serving, spread the remaining whipped topping over the cake

then sprinkle with the reserved coconut.

This looks so good!!!

Store the cake, and any leftovers later, in the refrigerator. To serve, slice with a serrated knife.

One year ago: Chicken Taquitos
Two years ago: Chocolate Raisin Cake
Three years ago: Tacos

Get more inspiration at Mangia Mondays, Menu Monday, Mouthwatering Monday and Mop it Up Monday, Seasonal Inspirations, Recipe Sharing Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Sweet Spot Recipe Party, Mix it Up Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday (#3), A Little Birdie Told Me, Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Cast Party Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Bake with Bizzy.

Fruity Coconut Cake Roll

1 package angel food cake mix
1/4 cup powdered sugar, divided
3/4 cup milk
1 small box coconut cream pudding mix
1 - 8 oz. carton whipped topping
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup coconut, toasted, separated

Line a 15x1x1 baking pan with waxed paper, then spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Prepare cake batter according to package directions then spread evenly in the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown. Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with 1 Tsbp. of the powdered sugar. Gently peel of waxed paper. Sprinkle with remaining powdered sugar. Roll up cake in the towel starting with the short end. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For filling, in large bowl, whisk pudding mix and milk for 2 minutes, then let stand for 2 minutes. Set aside 3/4 cup of the whipped topping. Fold the remaining whipped topping into the pudding until smooth.

Unroll cake and spread with pudding mixture. Top with 1/2 cup of the toasted coconut, and then the sliced fruit. Roll up again (without the towel) and place on serving platter; refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.

Before serving, spread the remaining whipped topping over the cake and sprinkle with the remaining coconut. Refrigerate again if not serving right away. Cut into slices with a serrated knife. Serves 12.
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