Friday, October 28, 2011

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

I know like me there are many pizza lovers out there!!My little family and I went to eat at a pizza place a few months back that makes chicago style deep dish pizzas and they were awesome. So me being the food crazy person that I am started on the hunt for a good homemade recipe for it. I came a cross one that looked good so we tried it out a few weeks back and let me just tell you it was AMAZING!!! My husband and kids loved it!! If you like pizza as much as I do you must give this a try. It takes a little bit of time but is so worth the time. Believe me!!

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza
3 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant or rapid rise yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 T. butter, melted-plus 4T. softened
1 tsp olive oil-plus 4T

Mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and yeast in a bowl of stand mixer fitted with the dough hook on low speed until incorporated. Add water and melted butter and mix on low speed until fully combined(1-2 mins.)scraping the sides and bottom of bowl occasionally. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is glossy and smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl, 4-5 minutes.(Dough will only pull away from sides of bowl while mixer is on. When mixer is off dough will fall back to sides) Using fingers, coat a large bowl with 1 tsp olive oil, rubbing excess oil from fingers onto blade of rubber spatula. Using oiled spatula, transfer the dough to oiled bowl, turning once to coat dough with oil. Cover tightly and let rise at room temp. until nearly doubled in volume,45-60 minutes. To laminate the dough. Using a rubber spatula turn dough out onto a dry work surface and roll into a 15 inch by 12 inch rectangle. Using offset spatula spread softened butter over the surface of the dough leaving 1/2 inch border along edges. Starting at the short end, roll dough into a tight cylinder. With seam side down flatten cylinder into 18inch by 4 inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle in thirds crosswise. Working with 1 third, fold into thirds like a business letter;pinch seams together to form a ball. Repeat with remaining thirds. Return balls to oiled bowl;cover tightly, and let rise in refrigerator until nearly doubled in volume, 40-50 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to lower position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat 3-9 inch round cake pans with 2 tablespoons olive oil EACH!! Transfer 1 dough ball to a dry work surface and roll into a 13 inch disk about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to pan and lightly press dough into pan, working into corners and 1 inch up the sides of pan. Repeat with remaining dough. To assemble pizza, layer a tiny bit of sauce in bottom of crust(because chicago style has the sauce on top)sprinkle with 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Spread desired toppings over cheese such as sausage, pepperoni, ham, peppers, onion, olives,etc.Spread pizza sauce over top of toppings and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake until crust is golden brown, 20-30 minutes. Remove pizza from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!!!

Note: Original recipe says the dough only makes two pizzas but we found that there was too much dough for our first pizza so we made 3 instead and we like that better(having a little bit thinner crust)

Note:do not skip any of the steps and use the butter where it says to use the butter no substitutes or it won't be as good!!

Note: I doubled the dough recipe so that we had plenty of leftovers plus 2 or 3-9 inch cake pans is not a lot of pizza especially with a husband with a big appetite!!

Pizza Sauce:
2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 onion
2 T. garlic, minced
2 28 oz(each) cans crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt

Heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat, add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent. Add all the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 25-30 minutes(the longer it simmers the better the flavor)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Chowder

Oh boy this is true comfort food!! Not so healthy for you but oh so good on a chilly fall or winter day!!. Sometimes we all need to indulge and have yummy fattening food for us. We ate this with some nice fresh homemade whole wheat bread. So so so tasty!!!

2(32 oz) boxes chicken broth
3 cups peeled,diced potatoes
2-3 cups diced carrots(i used three)
1 1/2 cup diced celery
1 onion diced
2 T. Minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
4 cups milk or cream(I used half milk half cream)
4 cups cheddar cheese shredded
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup frozen corn

In a large pot,bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, onion,garlic, salt and pepper. Bring back to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the veggies are tender 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour, mix well and let it bubble(simmer) for 1 minute, while stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk/cream and cook over low heat until slightly thickened. Stir in the cheese and cook until melted. Add the cheese mixture to the broth and cooked vegggies along with the chicken and frozen corn. Cook and stir occasionally over low heat for another 20 minutes or so. Serve with warm rolls or bread!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cookie Dough Truffles

So these little truffles are heaven!!! Especially if you are one of those people who prefer the cookie dough over the cookie. If you need a little bit of heaven in your life go make these quick!! Just try to not eat the whole batch!!

Cookie Dough Truffles (if you do 1 inch balls makes about 5 dozen)
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/4 cup flour
1(14 oz)can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans(optional, I didn't add them)
1 1/2 pounds milk chocolate (I used milk choco chips)

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla;mix well. Stir in Chocolate chips and nuts if using. Shape into 1 inch balls;place on cookie sheet. Loosely cover and freeze for 1-2 hours or until firm(the dough softens quickly and works best if frozen)In a microwave safe bowl, melt 1 1/2 pound chocolate;stirring often until smooth. Dip the frozen dough balls in chocolate;placing back on cookie sheet. Refrigerate until firm.Enjoy!!!

What the inside looks like. SOrry it is such a bad picture just take my word for it you've got to try these!!!

Recipe source:Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Friday, October 14, 2011

Chicken Bundles

I have had these wonderful little bundles many times but with store bought crescent rolls and so when I saw these over at Mel's kitchen Cafe with homemade crescent rolls I knew I had to try them out. Oh boy were they good. Takes a little bit more work but they are so much better than store bought. Give these a try you will love them. Just awesome for Sunday dinner!!


3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2(8 0z) pkgs of cream cheese, at room temp.
4 T. melted butter
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Mix all together until well combined. Set Aside.

Rolls and Coating:
1 batch buttery crescent rolls(recipe below)
1 stick butter, melted
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Parmesan Sauce:
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
1 chicken bouillon cube or 1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup sour cream, light or regular

Make the buttery crescent rolls according to the recipe but after the first rise deflate the dough and seperate into two pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a 13x20 inch rectangle and cute each rectangle into 12 pieces.(cutting lengthwise in half and then each half into 6 pieces) One by one flatten each dough piece slightly and spoon about 1/4 cup chicken mixture into the center of each. Fold up the edges and pinch them together to seal well.
When all the chicken bundles have been formed, combine the panko crumbs and paremasan cheese in a flat dish. One by one dip each bundle in the melted butter and then the bread crumbs. Place seam side down on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until bundles are lightly golden brown and the dough is baked through.
While the rolls are baking,prepare the sauce. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixtures is golden and bubbly. Slowly whisk in the milk, chicken bouillon, salt, and pepper. Stir constantly over medium heat until sauce thickens and bubbles. (about 5-10 minutes) Make sure you don't burn it turn down the heat if needed. Stir in the parmesan chees and cook until the cheese is melted. Remove the sauce from the heat. Add in the sour cream.
Serve the rolls warm from the oven with the Parmesan sauce drizzled over the top.

Buttery Crescent Rolls

Note: if you need/want to use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, change the amount of yeast to 2 tablespoons active dry and dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let the yeast mixture activate and foam (approximately 5 minutes) before adding it to the cornmeal mixture with the butter and 1/3 cup sugar.

Also, as with all yeast doughs, I never use the flour amount called for in the recipe as a hard fast rule (unless a weight measure is given and then I pull out my kitchen scale). Because humidity, temperature, altitude and a multitude of other factors can impact how much flour you need in your yeast doughs, I always judge when to quit adding flour by the texture and look and feel of the dough rather than how much flour I’ve added compared to the recipe. This tutorial on yeastmay help identify how a perfectly floured dough should be.

*Makes 2 dozen rolls

2 cups milk
2/3 cup yellow corn meal
1 ½ tablespoons instant yeast
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
5 ½ – 6 cups flour

Heat the milk to just below a boil so bubbles are just appearing around the edges (this is called scalding milk). Add the cornmeal and cook and stir until thickened, lowering the temperature if needed so the mixture doesn’t boil (see picture below the recipe for an idea of what the consistency should be). Pour the cornmeal/milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl and let cool until lukewarm. Add the yeast, butter and sugar (if you dissolved active dry yeast with a bit of water and sugar until it foamed, add it now). Mix. Add the salt and eggs. Mix well. Add the flour gradually until a soft dough forms. Knead for 5-8 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl covered with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.

Divide the dough into three portions and roll each into about an 8-10 inch circle. Brush the top lightly with butter. Cut into 8 wedges and roll each wedge up starting from the wide end so it forms a crescent roll shape. Place each roll on a lightly greased or silpat- or parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing about 1-2 inches apart to allow for rising. Cover lightly with greased plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise until doubled.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Brush with butter while still warm.

Recipe source:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Well in our household we love hummus but I hate buying it in the store because it is expensive. So I decided to make it one day. Man was it awesome and so cheap to make. If you love hummus go make yourself a big ol batch of it now. Don't buy it at the store go make some. If you are not familiar with hummus and wondering what you would eat it with. We dip veggies, crackers, pita chips, pita bread, naan bread, and pretzels in it. We also put it on sandwiches. My kids even gobble this stuff up!! They even ask for me to put some in their lunch with crackers or pretzels. Another great thing about it is that is it super good for you as well.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
3 cups cooked garbonzo (chickpeas) beans
1/2 of a 16 oz jar of roasted red peppers(or you can make your own)
2 tsp minced garlic
juice of 2 limes or lemons(I only had limes so that is what I used)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1-2 T. olive oil

Blend all together in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve with crackers, pretzels, pita chips or bread, veggies,etc. Store in the fridge.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Black Bean Salsa Chicken and Lime Rice

I found this recipe awhile back and finally got around to making it. Boy was it super simple and delish. We ate it over rice the first night but for leftovers we ate it in a tortilla with the rice and it was just as good. This is super simple also you just throw every thing in the crockpot and forget about it. The rice I made turned out awesome as well and was nice to have a change from regular old spanish rice.

Black Bean Salsa Chicken
4 chicken breasts
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup green salsa
2 cups frozen corn(or you can use 1 can drained corn but I don't like canned)
1 package taco seasoning
2 tsp corriander
1 T. chili powder
2 cans black beans, drained
1/2 cup sour cream(you can use light)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

Place chicken in the crockpot. In a bowl mix all the remaining ingredients except the sour cream and cheese and dump over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Remove the chicken and shred then return to the sauce. Stir in the sour cream and cheese. Serve over lime rice or in flour or corn tortillas.

Lime Rice
3 cups long grain rice
6 cups chicken broth ( you can do half chicken broth half water)
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
juice of 2-3 limes
3 T. butter
3 T. olive oil
3/4 tsp cumin
2/3 cup cilantro

Melt the butter in a pot, add the olive oil and all the seasonings and cilantro. Add the rice and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes stirring constantly. Add the chicken stock or water and lime juice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Serve with any mexican food!!!