Sunday, January 31, 2010

mexican + italian = taco pizza!!

after i finished knitting my fingerless gloves, sunday i stuck in the house with nothing to do.  i wasnt about to go out in the snow and didnt really feel like getting dressed to do so anyway.  i was hungry and pizza always sounds good.  after amanda and i's thursday night mexican adventure didnt live up to its expectations, i was still craving mexican food.  i remember having taco pizza from pizza hut when i was a kid and though... what the hell?  why not give it a shot!

before i get started... have i mentioned the newest addition to the family?  this is eleanor rigby!!  she is a maltese and the cutest damn thing i have seen in awhile.  sometimes i think she might be retarded since she runs into stuff a lot and the house training thing isnt all that great but she is lovable and cuddly... even her puppy breath kisses make me all warm and fuzzy inside.  hahah.  :)

ok, so pizza.  i made the crust from the cookbook that came with my kitchen aid mixer.  what?  i didnt mention her either?!  geez... im really slacking on this blog thing huh?

here she is... mean, green and an absolute beauty!  she fits in quite nicely in my andy warhol kitchen :)


1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cups flour

1.  dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixing bowl.  add salt, olive oil and 2 cups flour.  attach bowl and dough hook to mixer and mix at speed 2 for about a minute.
2.  continue on speed 2.  add the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time.  mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of the bowl.  kneed about 2 minutes longer.
3.  place dough in oiled bowl, turning to grease top.  cover and let rise in a warm place free from draft for an hour or until doubled in bulk.  punch dough down.

while the dough was rising, i prepared everything else for the pizza.  there are 3 different recipes i used in making this.  the first one is for the actual taco pizza itself.  the second one is for the taco sauce and the third is for the pizza sauce.  i sure am glad i had everything needed in making my own sauces from scratch.  its so much better that way :)

im not going to walk you through every single step but ill walk you through how i put the pizza together.

after punching the dough down, i spread it out on a greased cookie sheet.  i like square pizza and i didnt have a round pizza pan.  i followed the directions from the recipe above pretty much exactly.  i combined the pizza sauce, the taco sauce and the refried beans.  i added more than 1/4 cup because 1/4 cup didnt seem like enough.  (it wasnt and im glad i added almost a cup instead of 1/4)  after mixing all of that together, i spread it on the dough.  i of course didnt use real meat, i used the morningstar ground beef crumbles instead.  i didnt even have to cook them, i just added the taco seasoning and water in a bowl and mixed it all together.  i spread that on top of the sauce mixture and then added a generous amount of pizza cheese and chopped onion.  i put it in the oven at 475 for about 20 minutes.  once i let it cool a little and cut it into squares, i topped it with a little lettuce and tomato.
not the greatest picture in the world since i took it with my camera phone but it will have to do.

the pizza turned out excellent and i will be making it again at some point.  :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

just the best party dip ever

i'd been wanting to make this dip for awhile now and finally had an excuse to!  now, there arent any pictures but trust me... the recipe alone speaks volumes!

blt dip

1 cup mayo (my recipe)
1 cup sour cream (low fat)
4 ounces cream cheese (neufchatel cheese)
bacon (morning star)
lettuce (pre shredded)
tomato (cherry tomatoes)

so, i used my own mayo recipe (made in my new artisan kitchen aid mixer) once the mayo was done, i added the sour cream and cream cheese into the mixer and mixed well.  i (of course) used fake bacon and i used about 2 packages of morning stars brand.  the first time i made this, i cut up the bacon using a pizza cutter thinking that was the simplest way.... no.  it wasnt.  the second time i used my ninja.  duh... i dont know why i didnt think of this the first time!!  once the bacon was chopped up, i added it to the mayo/cheese/sour cream mixture and mixed well.  i also used the ninja to chop up the tomatoes.  i didnt drain them after chopping, and now i wish i would have.  once those are chopped up, layer those along with the shredded lettuce on top of the bacon mixture.

viola!  yumminess!!!  i wasnt expecting this great of a dip but it really really was!  i used triscuits for the crackers and when those ran out, i just used saltines.

i plan on making this dip again this weekend.  this will be the third time in 2 weeks.  this time, i am thinking about mashing an avocado in with the mayo.  :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

because everyone loves cupcakes

just a little reminder to be fabulous at all times... :)

Friday, January 1, 2010


wow, it sure has been awhile since ive posted something worthwhile on here.  i apologize for neglecting this blog for so long.... let me try and make it up to you! :)

ok, lets see.  its 2010 (crazy) so that means the holidays are over!  woo hoo!!  im not a big fan of the holidays.  i hate cold weather.  i dont like the crazed shopping (or shoppers) and all the typical holiday stress that comes along with this time of year.  but i will say, the past few months havent been too bad and i have actually enjoyed it.  so, whats been going on you ask?

... lets start with thanksgiving.  i stayed in town instead of going to my moms like i usually do.  richards bff, bobby, came down from cleveland and stayed with us for awhile.  there was a massive amount of cooking going on and it was awesome!!  bobby is a chef so it was a lot of fun.

this is most of the food that was made for thanksgiving dinner.

i made a very excellent pot pie-ish type dish.  it was basically a pot pie that wasnt pie shaped and i used biscuits for the crust.  it was awesome.  so awesome in fact, i made it again for christmas :)

not the greatest picture in the world but i promise you... looks are deceiving.  it was sooo yummy!!

i used a recipe from my friend johanna and made my own modifications.  this such a simple dish and it is so versatile.  and simple and versatile are two of my favorite words in cooking :)

so, i cut up green, yellow and red bell peppers.  (nicer dicer style)  i also used some frozen veggies i had like green beans, corn, broccoli, carrots... probably some other stuff that i cant remember. i put all of that in a baking dish and threw some olive oil and a little seasoning on them.  i roasted them for about 15 mins or so.  now, the sauce is really the best part.  i think there are a million ways to make a sauce/gravy but this is how i made mine.

i melted a little over a half a stick of butter in a cast iron skillet.  i added some flour until it was kinda pasty.  i added about 2 cups chicken broth (veggie) and some shredded cheddar cheese.  after mixing all of that i added quite a few different seasonings and that is what made it so good.  a little salt, black pepper, oregano, rosemary, basil, garlic, thyme... no set amounts, just adding a little here and a little there.  once you have that all mixed in you have to make sure it is a good consistency.  i usually add more flour or broth depending on how thick it is.

i like pot pies with a crust on top and bottom.  so on this one i used biscuit dough in the can.  i had to stretch those out to cover the pan and honestly, that was probably the worst part about making this dish.  next time i will know better...
so, once i had the dough spread out i covered it with the veggies and then covered those with the sauce.  i threw some cheddar cheese on top and then once again, stretched out more dough to cover the top.

i did make two of these but only because i had too much to put into one dish.  (i froze the smaller one for later)

i put them in the oven for about an hour at 350.  just check on them every once in awhile to make sure the "crust" isnt getting too brown.

well... there you have it!!  i guess it is a pot pie casserole :)  i also made a pumpkin roll, blueberry lemon cheesecake bars, mashed potatoes and gravy and a few other goodies.  but, those will have to wait until another time... i feel the wii calling my name :)