Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Italian Tortellini Soup

I recently got a free package of Rana Cheese Tortellini to try so I decided to put it to good use with a delicious soup.

1lb ground pork
1 TB balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper(for mild, double for hot!)
1/4 tsp fennel
1/4 tsp oregano
salt to taste

1 medium sweet onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup tomato sauce
1lb roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (approx, 1-14.5 oz can, undrained)
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 small zucchini, diced

4 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 TB fresh basil, minced (1 tsp dried)
10 oz cheese filled tortellini
Fresh cracked black pepper and crushed red pepper to taste

Mozzarella or Parmesan for sprinkling

Mix first 12  ingredients(pork-salt) together and allow to mingle for at least 30 minutes.

In a large deep pot crumble and cook the pork sausage with the sweet onions and garlic.

When the pork is cooked through add next 6 ingredients(chicken broth-zucchini)

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add last 4 ingredients and simmer 10 minutes more.

Serve it up into bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Taco Pizza with a Quesadilla Crust

My son had suggested "Quesadilla Tacos" and he had a plan to make them but we just never got around to it....so tonight I decided to take his idea and expand it.

3 cups corn masa
1 3/4 cups water
1 tsp salt

2-3 oz cheddar
2-3 oz pepper or monterrey jack cheese


3/4 lb ground beef
3/4 cup water
3/4 packet taco seasoning (1 1/2 TB this recipe)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup tomato salsa
6-8 oz shredded cheese(chedder, pepper jack, monterrey jack, or whatever mix you like)
1 cup crushed tortilla chips
1 large tomato, diced
shredded lettuce

Any other taco toppings you enjoy.

Preheat oven to 350
Mix corn masa and salt with the water(add the last 1/4 cup slowly it may or may not all be necessary) mix until it is holding some together but still a bit crumbly.

Gather it with your hands and knead into a smooth ball. 

Cut the ball in half


On a lightly greased 16 inch pizza sheet roll/press the 1/2 of the dough all the way out to the edges. I used a rolling pin then hand pressed the outer edges, if you get a hole, no big deal, just pinch some from a thicker spot and press it in.

Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on pan for 3 minutes

GENTLY transfer to a clean towel or parchment paper.
Repeat with the second ball of dough.

When the second tortilla is cooked add the shredded cheese(feel free to add more to taste) and top with the first tortilla.

Bake 5 minutes until the cheese is melted, remove from oven. Set aside.


Mix Black Beans with Salsa in a small sauce pan, over low heat, mash and stir together well.

Spread Black Bean mixture over the crust

In a deep pan crumble and cook meat until no pink remains, add seasonings and water, cook over medium heat until the liquid is mostly evaporated.
 Spread meat over bean mixture

 Top with cheese
 Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and it is hot all the way through.

Top with shredded greens, fresh tomatoes, crushed tortilla chips and any other toppings you like(I used banana peppers, sour cream and a splash of habenero sauce!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

I was going to do Spaghetti and Buffalo Chicken Meatballs but I decided I wanted more of a casserole type dish since it is Taekwondo night. This turned out delicious and super easy to make ahead of time to throw in the oven.

1lb elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained well

Buffalo Chicken:

1 lb ground chicken (Ok I accidentally took out grd turkey, but it worked just fine!)
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 small carrots, julienne cut or sliced thin
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup(plus/minus to your tastes) Hot Sauce(Frank's Tabasco, Louisiana)
1/2 tsp paprika
salt, black pepper and extra cayenne pepper to taste

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour OR 3 TB corn or potato starch
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup fresh parmesan
1/3 cup ranch (or bleu cheese) dressing
* optional for an extra kick, add 1-2 TB (or more) hot sauce!

Gently mix together chicken with celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, hot sauce, paprika and seasonings...

In a pan over medium heat cook the chicken ingredients, breaking apart gently. Cook until no pink remains. Set aside.

Melt butter over medium heat, add flour and whisk well.....(If you are using starch, whisk directly into the milk instead of adding to butter)

Add milk to the butter and cook/whisk until thickened.

Add cheeses and dressing(and extra hot sauce if using), whisk well.

In a 9 x 13 greased dish mix cooked pasta, chicken mixture and sauce. Toss together well.

Top with some extra cheeses if you like, and a squirt more of hot sauce too.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pancake Breakfast Pockets

I wanted to make breakfast hot pockets. I decided to modify my "McGriddle" pancake and make it thicker and more bread like so I can make it into a pocket.


2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 cup buttermilk, warmed to 110-115
3TB  brown or maple sugar
2 TB butter, melted
1 egg
3 cups flour
1/3 cup maple crystals (See bottom of McGriddle's Recipe)

8 eggs
3 TB milk
8 links sausage, cooked and sliced*
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar

* you can use bacon, diced ham, bulk sausage, meatless, or veggie crumbles if you want to sub


In a stand mixer mix milk with sugar, add yeast and stir gently. Allow yeast to become foamy for 5-10 minutes.
Add butter and egg, mix well.

Slowly add flour changing to a dough hook about 1/2 way through. Add remaining flour and allow to knead for 5 minutes adding in crystals in the last minute of kneading.

Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes.

Divide dough into 10 pieces.

Whisk eggs and milk together until pale yellow, add to a greased skillet heated over medium low,

Cook and stir gently every few minutes but don't OVER stir..... cooking LOW AND SLOW is the way to go for good scrambled eggs.

When the eggs are almost done, add sliced sausage(or what ever meat you are using) and cheese, toss together gently.

Preheat oven to 350.
On a floured surface roll each dough piece into a 6 inch circle.

Add about 1/3 cup of the filling, fold over and seal the edges well.

Transfer to a greased baking sheet and repeat with remaining ingredients

Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown, allow to cool completely, wrap well and freeze.

To reheat, wrap in a slightly damp paper towel and heat in 1 minute increments until hot!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Root Beer Pork Pizza

Happy New Year Everyone!!! Thanks for following and here is to another great year of yummy food!

Earlier this week I pulled out my new smoker, spent all morning smoking a pork roast, then shredded it up, put it in the slow cooker and made a modified Root Beer Pork  but then after all that work, I started feeling lousy and ended up coming down with a bug that had been passing around our house(It had been a few days so I thought I lucked out but NOOOPE). So it got reassigned for another day and stuck in the freezer. I decided to pull it out and instead of just making it into sandwiches I decided to make it into a pizza!

Cornmeal Crust:
3/4 cup warm water
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 TB olive oil
1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups flour (GF mix is fine!)
1/2 tsp salt

2-3 cups Root Beer Pork (see link above)
BBQ Sauce, I use Honey Bourbon
8 oz shredded provolone
Fried Pickles and/or JalapeƱos
Coleslaw Mix (I prefer it dry, you can add a dressing if you like)

Crust: (Sorry no process pics!)
 Mix water with yeast and sugar, allow to proof for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
Add in olive oil.
Combine flour, cornmeal and salt. Add to yeast mixture and mix well until it forms into a ball. Add 1-2 more tb flour until it is not too sticky,
Pour into a greased bowl and set in a warm draft free location, Allow to rise until doubled.

Preheat oven to 425
On a greased pizza sheet pat/roll the crust to the edges, taking care not to tear it.

Spread a thin layer of BBQ sauce.

Add pork, being careful not to overload.

Top with shredded cheese

Add fried pickles/jalapeƱos.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Allow to set for 5 minutes, slice then top with coleslaw and extra pickles/jalapenos if you like and serve!