fancy pants pizza

Pizza rules.   The end.

Just kidding, but pizza does rule.   I don’t get to eat it often but I dream about it a lot.   I was craving pizza on Friday, but not just any pizza, fancy pizza.   Like the champagne of pizza.   What’s a fancy pizza?   Well my fancy pizza involves fresh figs, goat cheese, caramelized onions and rosemary.   Win.

I followed this awesome recipe, but sans cranberries.

Ingredients

1 lb prepared pizza dough, room temperature (I used Pizza Dough Bread Machine for one pie)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small sweet onion, sliced
4 -6 fresh figs, cut in half
5 ounces goat cheese (if you can get goat cheese with cranberries it fabulous)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
olive oil
semolina

Directions:In a pan saute onions in oil till a caramel color, set aside to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Roll out dough on a floured surface to 1 inch thick. You can make it round or square all a matter of taste.

Place on a pan that is dusted with semolina.

Spread a thin coat of olive oil on dough.

Arrange goat cheese, figs cut side up, cooled onions around on crust.

Top with mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with rosemary.

Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

I’m not a pizza making expert, so obviously I need to work on my topping to crust ratio.

Before:

After:

When I was thinking about the recipe I kept imagining making the pizza with arugula, so glad I didn’t.  The rosemary was perfection, arugula was a nice little side.    Awesome EASY recipe to try, just make sure you’re better at your topping to crust ratio!

cozy

It’s 27 degrees out right now.   Winter’s coming, there’s no avoiding it, all we can do is prepare for it with all things cozy.

Big Chunky Sweaters (Nordstrom’s)

Fluffy Boots (Uggs)

Mac & Cheese  (Bacon and Caramelized Onion edition)

via all-recipes

Ingredients

1 16oz. package elbow macaroni

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup sour cream

1 egg, beaten

2 tbs cream cheese softened

4 cups grated Asiago Cheese

4 cups grated Vermont cheddar cheese

4 slices bacon

2 tbs butter

1 large onion, sliced thin

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 tsp brown sugar

1/4 c chopped parsley (fresh)

1/4 c panko bread crumbs

2tbs butter

5tbs all purpose flour

3 cups milk

1/2 tsp ground mustard

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Directions

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add macaroni and cook for 8 minutes (noodles will still be slightly hard). Drain noodles and transfer to a large bowl with 1/4 cup of butter and toss to coat. Whisk together the sour cream, egg, and cream cheese; add to the pasta and mix well. Stir in 3 cups of grated Asiago and 3 cups of grated Cheddar cheese, reserving the remaining 2 cups of cheese for the topping.
Microwave the bacon as needed, cut into small pieces, set aside.
Stir 2 tablespoons butter, the onion, and garlic iand cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes until the onions are very soft and golden brown. Mix the cooked bacon, parsley, and panko breadcrumbs into the onions, transfer mixture to a small bowl and set aside.
Return the skillet to the heat and melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour, and stir until the mixture becomes paste-like and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk the milk into the flour mixture and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook and stir until the mixture is smooth and thickened. Stir in the ground mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Remove sauce from heat and let cool for five minutes.
Pour the sauce over the macaroni mixture, stirring well. Transfer to a greased 9×13 inch pan and sprinkle with the remaining 2 cups of Cheddar cheese. Top cheese with the onion breadcrumb mixture.

Bake in preheated oven until bubbling, hot and golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.

It’s definitely a once a year (or once every 2 years) recipe, but it makes a ton and tastes even better reheated.

run to the store

I’ve found your dinner for tonight.   Brown Sugar Balsamic Pork Loin.   Heads up, you’ll need a Crock Pot, but it’s ahhhmazing.  I found this on Pinterest via C+C Marriage Factory

Ingredients:
1 (2 pound) boneless pork tenderloin (or regular pork loin)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water
Glaze
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Directions:
Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.


I’ll admit, the first time I tried this, I’d never used a Crock Pot (or slow cooker, whatever you call it) before and I was convinced it was a fire hazard, I came back to the house about 3 times to check on it.    It ended up taking a little longer than anticipated because I kept taking the lid off to check on it, but when it finally finished up (about 9 hours) it was outstanding!!!   I paired it with flashed green beans and mashed sweet potatoes.

Great idea for tonight, but if you wanna eat before 8pm you better run out and get started now!

get your eat on

With colder weather here, it was time to try out a few new recipes. Hattie’s Jambalaya and Lobster Pot Pie (fo’ real.)

First up, the jambalaya.   Hattie’s is an amazing southern restaurant in Saratoga.  Everything there is shove in your mouth delicious.  The chicken, mac and cheese, bloody mary’s and of course the jambalaya.   I was surprised that I was even able to google the Hattie’s jambalaya recipe, I figured that stuff would be under lock and key, but there it was via the Food Network.    While the recipe itself is fairly simple, it was a lot of prep, a lot of shopping and a lot of chopping, but all well worth it.

Andouille sausage, chicken, shrimp (I skipped the crawfish) okra, peppers and TONS of flavor make this recipe outstanding, and pretty spicy.  Now I’m not saying my attempt is even close to the amazing dish you can get at Hattie’s but it was fun to try.  If you’re looking for a great weekend meal to savor through the week give this a try.   Heads up, the link to the recipe will give you enough to feed a village so you may want to go in and half the ingredients before you go shopping.

Alright, now let’s talk Lobster Pot Pie.   I actually stumbled across this recipe from COSMO of all places, and I’m so happy I did, CRAZY DELICIOUS (not even remotely healthy.)   This recipe is so simple, like even if you have issues using your toaster, you’ll be able to execute this:

Lobster Potpie

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

½ onion, diced 

1 carrot, diced 

½ cup frozen corn

 ½ cup frozen peas

 ¼ cup all-purpose flour 

1 cup milk 

1 cup chicken broth 

½ pound cooked lobster meat (can be bought at the seafood counter) 

½ teaspoon dried thyme 

Salt and pepper 

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (keep refrigerated until ready to use) 

1 large egg, lightly beaten 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set out two 2-cup individual ovenproof bowls. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add corn and peas. Stir in flour, and cook 1 more minute. Add milk and chicken broth, stirring constantly. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Then remove from heat, add lobster and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Remove the puff pastry from the refrigerator. Cut the dough in half, and reserve one half for another use. On a lightly floured surface, flatten out the pastry, using a floured rolling pin, to about 1⁄8-inch thickness. Using one of the bowls as a guide, cut the pastry into two circles. Spoon the filling into the bowls, and place one circle of dough on top of each potpie, pressing the edges to seal the pastry to the bowl. Cut a vent in the center so air and moisture can escape. Using a pastry brush, cover the entire surface of each pie with beaten egg. Place the potpies on a baking sheet. Bake until the pastry is puffed and becomes a dark golden brown shade, about 35 minutes.


Sweet baby tastebuds, this was good.    I used a combination of fresh lobster and imitation lobster for the meat, no complaints there.   The sauce is what really makes this dish.  The thyme seals the deal.   I love this, can’t wait to make it again.   Lobster Pot Pie, go make this ASAP!!!

On a totally separate note, I must say I do feel a little guilty about posting vegan recipes for the last year and then suddenly switching it up to GAME ON, MEAT AND DAIRY’S HERE-esque recipes.   My appetite hasn’t fully returned, but what makes me really happy is making meals people enjoy.    I realize I’m being hypocritical with a big ole vegan category to the right, but I just feel like cooking right now so that’s that.