White Pizza

We have made it a tradition to have homemade pizza every Friday night and the topping can vary greatly.  We enjoy pepperoni, sausage, ham and pineapple, buffalo chicken, bbq chicken or pork with jalapeno and red onion, and various others.  But they all contain meat and that’s a no go for us on Fridays during lent.  So, I was very happy to see this white pizza recipe over on Pink Parsley.  I’m sure we’ll enjoy it long after lent too.

Sorry about the terrible picture!

White Pizza

Source:  Pink Parsley

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough – I follow the instructions on Fleishmann’s no-rise pizza dough yeast, posted about here

White Sauce

  • 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs heavy cream
  • 1/2 large egg yolk
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 tsp minced fresh oregano – I used dried
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves – I omitted
  • 1 scallion, minced, plus more for garnish – I omitted

Topping

  • 1/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Pecorino-Romano cheese

For the sauce: Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

To bake the pizza:
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, and adjust the oven rack to the lowest position.

Coat the dough with flour and flatten into a 12-inch disk.  Use a rolling pin if necessary.  Transfer to a pizza pan.

Brush the outer edge of the dough with olive oil.  Use a spatula to spread the white sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border around the outside.  Sprinkle the Pecorino cheese over the white sauce, followed by the mozzarella.  Using a 1/2-teaspoon measuring spoon, drop the ricotta over the mozzarella.

Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, browned, and bubbly, rotating the pizza halfway through.  Remove the pizza and sprinkle with the reserved scallions.  Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Cream Cheese Lasagna

First of all, I’m really happy I made this lasagna even though there was one major thing I didn’t like about it.  I actually learned a lot by making this recipe.  In the past whenever I made lasagna, I always used an entire box of noodles, creating several layers and when sliced, the pieces never held their shape and they would go sliding all over the plate.  That fact was part of the reason I started making lasagna rolls most recently – they stay neatly rolled and are easy to serve.  But, this recipe calls for just 6 noodles {I used 8} which means less layers and it held together extremely well when sliced.

Another thing I learned, and probably the most obvious, is that cream cheese makes a wonderful lasagna filling!  I never would have thought of that.  Of course ricotta and/or cottage cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan are obvious ingredients.  The cream cheese creates a thicker filling, which also helped to hold the layers together I would guess.

Now, the thing I didn’t care for at all – the lemon zest.  I should have went with my gut and omitted it from the start, but I decided to stay true to the recipe.  We could taste the lemon in the very first bites we took.  We did not like it, but were able to get past it and eat it because there was no way I was going to throw the whole thing out!

Lastly, I concluded that the pepperoni is completely optional.  Sure it added nice flavor, but I could have done without it.  Again my gut told me to leave it out, but I used it anyway.  I don’t regret it like I regret the lemon, but I will probably skip it next time.

Cream Cheese Lasagna

Source:  Runs with Spatulas

6 or 8 Lasagna noodles
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup onion, chopped
salt and pepper, for seasoning
1 pound ground beef
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/4 cup fat-free low-sodium beef broth – I omitted
1 (8 oz) package reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup 2% cottage cheese
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons lemon zest – OMIT
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 (4 oz) package pepperoni or salami slices – I used turkey pepperoni
2 cups (8 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large stockpot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles and 1 teaspoons olive oil and cook according to package directions until al dente.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add in the onion, and cook until they start to become fragrant and soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the ground beef, breaking up into smaller bits with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle with garlic powder and red pepper flakes and cook until brown (about 8-10 minutes) stirring often. Turn off heat and stir in tomato sauce, paste, and broth until the mixture is fully incorporated.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the cream cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream. Stir in the eggs until well mixed, then add in the salt, nutmeg, parsley, basil, lemon zest, and Italian seasoning.

Spray a 12x8x2 glass {I used a 13×9 which is why I used 8 noodles} or ceramic baking dish with nonstick spray.  Spread part of meat mixture on the bottom of the pan so it is lightly covered. Layer with 3 {4} lasagna noodles. Spoon half of the cheese mixture over the noodles, spreading evenly across the noodles. Top with 1/2 the pepperoni, followed by 1/2 the mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining meat mixture, lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, pepperoni, mozzarella and finally the shredded Parmesan.

Cover lasagna with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes, dabbing off excess grease from the pepperoni if necessary prior to serving {This wasn’t necessary for me because I used turkey pepperoni}.

Serves: 12

Brie en Croute

Baked brie is something I have spotted on blogs and in magazines for many years.  I always knew I would enjoy it, but I guessed that Tim never would.  So I had to wait for an occasion where it could be enjoyed by a crowd.  Well, the opportunities finally came this year.  I prepared it for Thanksgiving at my house and for Christmas at my mom and dad’s.  It was excellent.  Gooey, buttery pastry, tart cranberries, and flaky are a few ways to describe it.  I definitely recommend it!  I hope you don’t wait as long as I did to try it!

Brie en Croute

source: adapted from Pepperidge Farm

Ingredient measurements are approximate:

1/2 package of puff pastry {one sheet}

1/4 cup honey

1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries

1/4 cup finely chopped nuts – almonds, pecans, or walnuts

1 wheel of brie – approx 1 pound {I cut the rind off}

egg wash {one egg + 1 Tbs water}

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Thaw pastry sheet at room temp for 40 minutes, then unfold and roll into a 14″ square.

Place nuts, dried fruit, and honey in center of dough.  Place brie on top, fold the dough to close and press seems to seal, cutting off any excess dough.  Invert and decorate with pastry scraps.  Place seam side down on baking sheet.  Brush with egg wash.

Bake 20 minutes or until golden.  Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving {or up to one hour}.

Serve with crackers, apple slices, crusty bread, etc.

Enjoy!

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Sometimes I’m torn about whether or not to post certain food pictures.  I personally like to see a picture with every recipe that I want to make, but some of my pictures are so bad that I think they detract from the food itself.  This is one of those instances where you probably won’t want to make this dish based on the picture, but it’s there anyway.  You’ll just have to trust me that it tastes good.

I’ll point out that this makes a ton of dip, but the kind person who I found this recipe from also has a use for the leftover dip.  I took advantage of that recipe too and its coming up in my next post.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

{source:  adapted from a blog that I couldn’t find again????}

dip:

3-5 slices of bacon, diced

5-6 fresh jalapenos, coarsely chopped {can use more or less to taste}

two 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened {I don’t know why I bothered, but I used low-fat cream cheese.}

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 cup shredded cheese {Mexican blend was listed, but I just used cheddar}

two 4 oz. cans of chopped green chilies

1 clove of garlic, peeled

topping:

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese

1/2 stick {1/4 cup} butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 2 quart baking dish.

In a frying pan, saute bacon over medium heat until starting to brown.  Stir in the chopped jalapenos and continue to saute until bacon is fully cooked but not burnt, about 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

In a food processor, add the rest of the dip ingredients and process until smooth.  Add the cooked bacon and jalapenos and pulse until incorporated, but not smooth.  Spread into the prepared dish.

Make the topping by combining the breadcrumbs and cheese in a bowl.  Pour melted butter over the top and mix well.  Sprinkle evenly over the dip and bake for about 25 minutes or until top is browned and dip is heated through and bubbles around the edges.

Serve hot with chips.

Buffalo Chicken Cups

This recipe creation was born from 2 of our favorite meals – bbq beef cups and buffalo chicken pizza.   They were spicy and delicious!  I’ll definitely be making them again.

Buffalo Chicken Cups

1 tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits {8 in a can}

about 1 cup of cooked chicken, chopped or shredded

about 1/4 cup Buffalo hot wing sauce

about 4 tablespoons Ranch dressing

about 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press biscuits into holes of a muffin tin to form cups.  Set aside.

In a bowl, mix shredded chicken with hot sauce.  Add a few tablespoons to each cup.  Top the chicken mixture of each cup off with a few teaspoons of ranch dressing.  Then add shredded cheese on top of that.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.

Enjoy!

Chicken Enchilada Roll-ups

I love spicy chicken enchiladas so I knew I would love this recipe.   One great thing about it is that it can be served as a chip dip instead of rolls too.  It is great to have that option.  It is also ideal that it can be made ahead of time which I always look for when searching for party recipes.

Chicken Enchilada Roll-ups

{source:  adapted from Sing for you Supper originally from Gooseberry Patch “Come on Over”}

Ingredients

one 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic (I used 2 cloves)
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
salt to taste
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded {about 1 cup}
1 bunch cilantro, chopped – I omitted
3 green onions, chopped  
10-oz. can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained well

approximately 6 tortilla shells

Directions

Cook chicken and allow it to cool, then shred and set aside. {Or buy chicken already cooked from the store 🙂  }

Mix remaining ingredients together until well blended; add the chicken and combine.

Spread a layer of filling over tortilla shells and roll.  Place on cutting board and cut into 1″ pieces.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Serve cold or at room temp.

For the shower, I also made a different kind of roll-up.  I spread the tortilla shells with store-bought veggie cream cheese or chive and onion cream cheese, added a layer of deli meat {I used smoked ham, but turkey or anything else you like would be fine.}  Roll and slice.  The addition of sliced olives between the cream cheese and meat is also good, but I left them out this time.

Hot Pizza Dip

Update 9-9-10:  added pictures 🙂

This was a new recipe that I made for the first time at my sister’s baby shower and I thought it was wonderful.  In the future it will definitely be a party staple just like the famous buffalo chicken dip.  Tim quickly gobbled up the leftover dip after the party!

The recipe says that you can heat it in the microwave for 5 minutes.  But I made it in advance and kept it in fridge overnight.  Then before serving, I baked it at 375 degrees {uncovered} for 20-25 minutes.

Hot Pizza Dip

{source:  allrecipes.com}

Ingredients

1 {8 ounce} package cream cheese, softened

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1/4 tsp dried basil

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese {I used 1/2 monterey jack and 1/2 mozzarella}

1 cup grated parm cheese

1 cup pizza sauce or tomato sauce

2 tablespoons chopped green bell peppers – I have omitted before and have also substituted sliced jalapeno

2 ounces turkey pepperoni, chopped

2 tablespoons sliced black olives

Directions

In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese and dried spices.

Spread mixture in the bottom of a 9″ pie plate that is microwave/oven safe.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mozz and 1/2 cup parm on top of cream cheese.  Spread pizza sauce over all.  Sprinkle with pepperoni, olives, and peppers.  Then top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Cover and microwave for 5 minutes.  Serve HOT with crackers, Italian bread, crusty french bread, or tortilla chips.

Ravioli Casserole

Sorry for my absence.  I really haven’t made anything blog worthy in over 2 weeks.   I haven’t stuck to my menu in over a month and overall just haven’t been in the mood to cook anything new lately.

However, I did make this casserole a few nights ago and it was excellent so I thought I’d share.  I used meat sauce and beef ravioli, but if you’re Catholic and looking for meatless meals for the remaining Fridays during Lent, this would be an excellent meal if you use meatless sauce and cheese ravioli.  It is very filling so you won’t even miss the meat.

Sorry no picture though, just imagine lasagna and that’s what it looks like!

Ravioli Casserole

{source:  given to me by one of Tim’s aunts at my bridal shower}

Ingredients

1 jar {28 oz} spaghetti sauce {I used about 4 cups of my homemade meat sauce}

1 package any flavor {25 oz} frozen ravioli, cooked and drained

2 cups small curd cottage cheese {or ricotta cheese}

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 baking dish.  Layer with half of the prepared ravioli, 1-1/4 cup sauce, 1 cup cottage cheese, and 2 cups mozzarella cheese.  Repeat layers.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly.  Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

Yields 6 servings.

Pesto

Finally!  I found one lonely package of basil at the store.   I guess I have never tried to buy basil at the store before {especially in the winter} because I grow my own in the summer.  It is one of the few herbs I can successfully grow in my garden!

Anywho, I was finally able to make a batch of pesto that I have been craving for a few weeks!  I love to use pesto to just simply coat some pasta for a vegetarian meal as I am showing here {gnocchi}.  You can add grilled chicken breasts to the pasta if you chose, but it is definitely wonderful without.  Pizza sauce is another great use for pesto.  And also, the pasta with pesto is great hot or cold.  Enjoy!

Pesto

1 slightly packed cup of basil leaves

2 peeled garlic cloves

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 – 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

salt and a lot of black pepper

1/3 cup EVOO

Process the garlic, nuts, and basil in a food processor to make a paste.  Add the cheese and s&p and process some more.  Then stream in the EVOO while the processor is on.  Taste and adjust as needed with more s&p if needed.

If using as a pasta sauce, reserve some of the pasta’s cooking water to add as needed when mixing the pasta with the pesto.  It just makes for a smoother and evenly coated pasta dish.

Enchilada Casserole

This is a really versatile dish inspired from a Pillsbury recipe booklet from the grocery check out lane.  You could use cooked chicken, beef, or pork.  I thought about adding beans and  I omitted the green onion and tomato topping.  This was a great and fast meal to whip up.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cut-up cooked chicken {I used 2 cups of ground beef that I cooked with onions and peppers}
   
1/2 cup salsa
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
2 cups coarsely broken tortilla chips
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
1 medium tomato, chopped (3/4 cup)
1 cup shredded Cheddar

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, mix cooked meat, salsa, enchilada sauce and corn.
2. Place tortilla chips in lightly greased 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish. Top with meat mixture. Sprinkle with onions, tomato and cheese.
3. Bake 30-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. If desired, arrange additional tortilla chips around edge of dish.
 
   

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