Caprese With Balsamic Glaze and Pizza

I’m having a hard time keeping up with every lately. I have filled pretty much every weekend up for us for the whole month of October. So I have had to keep myself organized as much as possible. My favorite thing recently is to put a to do list up on the fridge and list everything that I would like to get done for the week. I do a weekly instead of a daily so I don’t feel like a failure at the end of the day. With my days super full I need some cheese in my life to get me through it. Any cheese lovers out there?

I recently found fresh mozzarella at our grocery store. I honestly didn’t think they had it for the longest time but I wasn’t looking hard enough. So of course I had to make Caprese and semi-homemade pizza.

Caprese with Balsamic Glaze

1 Fresh Tomato

1 Ball of fresh mozzarella

Basil if you have it

Balsamic

Salt and Pepper

This is so easy just slice your tomato and mozzarella and layer them like this on a plate.

If you put your mozzarella in the freezer for 5-10 minutes this makes it a little easier to cut if you are having a hard time. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper. Next top with a balsamic glaze which you make by boiling about 1/2 cup of balsamic over low heat until you can drag a spoon down the center and it doesn’t instantly come back together. Take it off the heat and it will become thicker as it cools. This makes it a sweet candy like taste that is seriously to die for. I could just eat this stuff by the spoon full it is that good. Although, I do have a slight obsession with balsamic some my opinion might by bias.

Next of course is pizza!!! Everyone’s favorites. Except my daughter she is an odd girl! I made two different kinds because one is just not enough. My version of a supreme and taco pizza.

I buy the Pillsbury pizza dough because I am definitely not a baker. You cook this first for 8 minutes and then put all your topping on. Then put back in the oven for 8-10 minutes longer. Or until you obtain melty goodness.

Taco Pizza- seasoned refried beans on the bottom, then salsa, cheese and taco seasoned cooked ground beef. When it comes out of the oven top it with lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream.

Supreme Pizza- diced sweet peppers, onions, jalapenos, ground beef, pepperoni and fresh mozzarella.

All I can say is I’m in heaven! This was all about me though because my daughter doesn’t like pizza and my husband doesn’t like cheese. They are clearly not related to me I think they are aliens that I just happened to fall in love with.

Happy Cooking!

Chicken Noodle Soup- cooking with my two year old

I made this over the weekend but haven’t had time to post yet. The weekend completely surprised us and decided to snow about an inch. No one was expecting this because the weekend before it was 80 degrees.

The leaves are still on our trees so the snow pulled all the branches down. Of course with cold weather you have to make some soup and my daughter loves chicken noodle.

Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 cups chopped chicken
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3-5 Carrots chopped
  • 5-7 celery stocks chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp salt this will need to be adjusted if you are using salted chicken broth but mine was homemade so there was no salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1-2 cups pasta of choice I used mini farfalle

Start with putting your aprons on this really helps your child feel special and involved.

Start with a large soup pot and saute the carrots, celery and onion in the butter. Wait until these are softened and then add flour and all your spices.. Stir! Please be very careful with your kids standing this close to a hot pan and open flame. A lot can happen when you walk away for just a second. Lexi loves to stir and when she puts spices in she always asks if she can “pat pat”. This just means she wants to hit the end of the spice bottle to make more come out.

Add chicken broth and chicken. I had this left over from my whole roasted chicken. Just take all the chicken off the bone that you can and throw the bones into a crock pot. Cover the chicken all the way up with water and cook on low over night. This chicken bone broth is so easy to make. This save you money on buying the broth at the store and its incredibly healthy for you.

Let this boil for 15 minutes. Then add milk and cream cook for 15 more minutes. Last add your pasta! Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Taste and see if you need to add any more spices.

Oh I forgot to tell you I added some broccoli in. When I make soup its also an opportunity to empty out the fridge so I put any random vegetable I have in the fridge in. This soup is so delicious and gets even more amazing after it sits in the fridge.

Happy Cooking

Easy Amazing Fudge

I am all about something easy and sweet. I think I have one of the biggest sweet tooths in the world. I try to keep it under control because I would be 300 pounds if not. Sometimes it has a mind of its own though and I have to let it loose. Towards the beginning of this blog I stated that I’m not a vegetarian I’m a dessertarian and its unfortunately still true. If you balance this out with a ton of vegetables you can still maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle. Everything in moderation!

These are the two cookbooks I go through if you buy them through these links it helps support this blog. The Pioneer Womans Cookbooks Dinnertime and Come and Get It. This recipe is on page 362 of the Dinnertime Cookbook

Quick Fudge

Delicious Scale- 9 out of 10

Prep Time- 2 hours 15 minutes just because it has to set up in the frig

Clean up- Two pans super easy

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • One 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • Cooking spray

In a double boiler or just in a regular saucepan on low heat, melt together the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. When it is all melted and smooth spread in a foil lined pan sprayed with cooking spray. Place in the frig for at least two hours. Peel off the foil and cut into small squares. This is a good way to know how many you can have in a day. Maybe two, one after lunch and dinner. Don’t eat 3 maybe 5 right away like I did.

The nice part about this is you can spice things up with different toppings.

Some Ideas

  • Smores
  • Rocky Road
  • M&M’s
  • Nuts
  • Caramel
  • Crushed Peppermint

The options are endless. I hope you all our having a wonderful week.

Happy Cooking

Terriaki Burgers

I am reposting this as its own post because it was stuck under another and it is so strange and amazingly good you guys have to try it.  This is on page 153 of the Dinnertime Pioneer Woman Cookbook.

Hawaniian Burger

Delicious Scale 9 out of 10

Husband Delicious scale 7 out of 10 (he wasn’t sure what to think of pineapple on his burger)

Prep Time 25 minutes

Clean up SEVERE but I have a tip, do all your cooking on the grill outside not on a flat top grill like I did.

The idea of this burger is genius to me. Teriyaki sauce on the burger kinda caramelizes and makes it so juicy. The sauce is teriyaki and mayo mixed together. How weird does that sound? This burger was already out of my comfort zone and then I added a grilled pineapple on top.  Add some provolone cheese and roasted bell peppers. What could be better?  Surprisingly I absolutely loved all these flavors together. When a burger drips down your hands, that makes a perfect burger. I paired this with sweet potato fries with a dipping sauce of Sriracha and mayo mixed together.

Best way to make fries quickly is to use a mandoline slicer. If you don’t have one of these, buy one.

I would like to tell you guys that I am getting cleaner and more organized with my cooking, but I’m not. If anyone has advice on how to be cleaner and more organized I’m all ears. Haha

Happy Cooking!! Try something new sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised

Clog Your Arteries Mac and Cheese

That is best way to explain the deliciousness of this recipe because I have never seen so much cheese in my life.

Yesterday was a lot of cooking for one day and I was totally worn out. I had to make chicken noodle soup with the broth that I made from the roast chicken. I had to make fudge because you know it’s chocolate and mama needs her chocolate! Also it was my mother in laws 60th birthday party that night so I had to make two large batches of the Mac and Cheese that she wanted. Man I got tired just writing that. Totally worth it though.

Mac and Cheese

  • 3 cups macaroni noodles
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Cayenne to taste
  • 1 Tbsp steak sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 3 cups pepper jack cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 pound bacon

Melt the butter in a large enough pan to fit all the ingredients. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, mustard, cayenne and steak sauce. Mix until smooth. Add milk and heavy cream. Stir! Cube the cream cheese and put that in. Stir until that melts but don’t let it boil, it gets too sticky. Looks like yummy curdled milk. Haha

Then add the shredded cheeses! I have never seen so much cheese in my life. But you must know I am making a double batch so this is huge!

Add more salt and pepper to taste. When the mixture is smooth and super sticky and the cooked macaroni.

If that doesn’t make your mouth water I don’t know what will. At some point during this process cook your bacon. I did mine in the oven at 350 for about 15-20 minutes. Half way through I pour some of the grease off. I was looking for something to pour it in and found this plastic cup. My husband told me several times that it would melt but did I listen? Nope!!!

See totally not melted!

Chop the bacon and add half in the Mac and cheese. Place this in a 9×13 pan and add the other half of the bacon on top. I also through some breadcrumbs on top because I like a little crunch.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350!

Tadda! As my daughter would say. My mother in law was one happy camper she got her grand daughters, horses and Mac and Cheese. What could be better in life!

Happy Cooking!

Whole Roasted Chicken

Is there anything better than roasted chicken? I don’t think so. I hope I’m not the only one that would love to just rip off the skin and just eat that, it is so so good. One of the other reasons I love roasted chicken is because I can make an amazing chicken noodle soup from soaking the carcass. Don’t worry I will do a post about that too because everyone needs that with this cold water coming.

Unrelated subject everyone thinks that Arizona in the United States is only super hot desert. Nope! This is the beautiful place that I live in fall.

And winter

We have every beautiful season here!

On to the main subject:

Whole Roasted Chicken

Cook at 450 for 15 minutes and 350 for about 1 hour to an hour and fifteen minutes until internal temperature reaches 165.

1 Whole Roasted Chicken

2 onions cut into quarters

1/2 stick of butter

1 Tbsp paprika

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp Dash

Lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon and a couple tbsp of honey mixed together

I use a stone baking dish for this similar to this oneBaking Dish– click this link to get one!

Preheat your oven to 350.

Mix your softened butter with all of the spices.

Clean your chicken very well and pat dry.

Put your butter and spice mixture all over the chicken and put on top of a bed of onions in the baking dish.

Cook uncovered at 450 for 15 minutes. This helps crisp up the skin.

Then put the cover on cook at 350 and baste the chicken with the honey and lemon juice mixture every 15 minutes but do it really lightly so you don’t brush all the spices off.

Repeat this process until internal temperature reaches 165.

What a pretty bird!! Haha

I also made some gravy from the drippings, completely optional though.

Take all the chicken off the bone and put it in a crock pot with water covering the whole thing over night. You can make soup the next day or keep it in the freezer for whenever you need chicken broth.

This bone broth is actually extremely healthy for you as well. All the collagen is good for bone and joint health.

Happy Cooking!

Quinoa Caprese

Quinoa is one of my favorite ingredients to keep in my pantry. It is an absolutely wonderful substitute for rice and way healthier. Quinoa is a vegan and gluten free product that is high in protein. It also contains high amounts of fiber, antioxidants, magnesium and potassium. All essential for feeling great and looking your best. My husband even likes when I substitute it for rice because he likes the texture that it adds.

Some of my favorite recipes include:

  • Southwest Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
  • Tabbouleh
  • Quinoa Burrito bowls
  • Quinoa Fried Rice
  • Quinoa Chili
  • Mexican Quinoa casserole (crock pot meal)
  • Quinoa Caprese

The list goes on and on but we will stop here with Quinoa Caprese. Let me know if anyone wants me to write a blog for the recipes on any of the above that your interested in. This recipe is on page 64 of the Dinnertime Pioneer Woman Cookbook. These are the two cookbooks I go through if anyone is interested in buying them. Dinnertime and Come and Get It

Quinoa Caprese

Delicious Scale- 9 out of 10

Husband Delicious Scale- 8 out of 10

Prep Time- 20 minutes

Clean up- Two easy pans

This recipe was really simple. It contains quinoa, (she used red quinoa) cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper. I also added cucumbers because I like the crunch.

Now let me as you this. Is there anything better then fresh mozzarella? I don’t think so it’s so creamy and delicious. I got to use some cherry tomatoes from my sister in laws garden and they were the perfect pop of sweetness for this salad.

Serve of the side of some roasted chicken and you have an amazing healthy dinner.

Get to Know Me

I thought that now that I have had my blog for a couple months I would tell you all a little about me.

Married- Yes for 6 years to the most wonderful man in the whole world!

Children- Two beautiful girls, Lexi who is 2 1/2 years old and Bailey who is 5 months old.

Job- Computed Tomography Tech

Home- We own a beautiful home in the mountains of Arizona. We have been remodeling every square inch of this home.

Husband- Wonderful man from Kansas, sells insurance for Statefarm

Things I love- My family, my job, cooking, blogging, God, my amazing friends

What are my hobbies- city league volleyball and softball, cooking, remodeling and decor

Why do I blog- I started this because I love the movie Julie and Julia and I love cooking. So I decided to do a blog kinda like Julie and Julia but more like Julia and Ree. Plus I wanted something to force me to go through my cookbooks and try new recipes.

What is your biggest screw up in the kitchen- mine was not in the kitchen but on the grill instead. I put about five pieces of bacon on the grill at the same time, which was super dumb. I started a grease fire in the bottom of the grill and by the way I’m just in a little balcony of an apartment. I run inside and grab some water to poor on it (now you must know I was younger and dumb) which started a bigger fire. Don’t ever throw water on a grease fire! Black smoke was coming out of everywhere. I ran inside grabbed the baking soda and dumped it all over the place. This finally got the fire out but the whole side of my apartment was black. My husband has made fun of me for years because of that.

Now you know a lot about me and I would love to know more about you so please answer the last question with a comment.

Quick Shells and Cheese

Today is all about my daughter and preparing for Halloween. That means getting Lexi’s costume and decorating for Fall/Halloween. She insisted on being a super hero. This came from us watching the new avengers movie with her. Ever since she runs around and whispers to us that there is a bad guy over in the corner. We tell her to go get him and she punches the air getting the bad guy. It is hilarious and she came up with that all on her own.

Of course after all the work we did we needed some Mac and Cheese to fill our bellies.

The Pioneer Woman calls these Quick Shells and Cheese on page 214 of the Dinnertime Pioneer Woman Cookbook. If anyone would like to follow along these recipes I use two of her cookbooks. Just click on this link: Dinnertime and Come and Get It

Quick Shell and Cheese

Delicious Scale- 7 out of 10

Lexi Delicious Scale- 8 out of 10

Prep Time- 15 minutes

Clean Up- 2 pans really easy

This recipe is the easiest one I have done by the Pioneer Woman. You just heat together butter and milk then add your cheddar cheese and Velveeta cheese. Put some salt, pepper, season salt and cayenne in if you like a little heat. Add this to cooked shell pasta and you are done. This was a pretty good dish but if I’m honest not my absolute favorite Mac and Cheese. I think it’s because Velveeta seems to leave a little bit of a film in your mouth afterwards. Like you just want to brush your teeth afterwards. Of course my daughter still ate it all but she likes the box mix better than this one. I know it’s not good for you but its so good I agree with her haha.

Velveeta is the best in dips though am I right? I would love to here what your favorite Velveeta recipes are and I will share some of mine this month with you all.

Happy Cooking and Happy Fall

Quick Taco Ring

I love to take an everyday item and make something delicious with it. One of the items that I always keep on hand is crescent rolls in the can. These are so versatile! You can do appetizers, entrees or desserts.

Some wonderful ideas are:

Appetizers:

Ham and cheese roll ups

Bacon and cheddar pin wheels

Spinach and artichoke stuffed crescents

Pizza stuffed crescents

Entree:

Italian Sandwich Ring

Taco Ring

French Dip Crescents

Chicken Pot Pie Crescents

Dessert:

Apple Dumplings

Peach Dumplings

Churro Cream Cheese Bake

Chocolate Crescents

The options are endless and it is all so delicious. Today we are going to make a

Taco Crescent Ring

Crescent Rolls in the can

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 large yellow onion chopped

1 Tbsp taco seasoning

Cheddar cheese

Toppings

Sour cream

Pico de Gallo

Salsa

Avocado

Lettuce

Tomatoes

Start off with cooking the ground beef with onions and taco seasoning in a sauté pan. Then arrange the crescent rolls into a ring like this.

Around the inside part of the ring start layering the beef with cheddar cheese on top. Take one piece of the crescent at a time and wrap around the beef at an angle. It ends up looking like this.

Cook according to the directions on the crescent rolls that you bought. Keep an eye on this because it can burn on the bottom quickly.

It’s so cute!!

Cut off a slice and put whatever toppings you would like. I just did sour cream and Pico de Gallo.

So so delicious. Even my husband was so surprised how good this was.

For portion sizes me and my husband were able to finish this whole ring by ourselves. We indulged a lot in this though. It could probably feed four though if you eat small amounts. Haha

I would love to hear what else you guys do with crescent rolls.

Happy Cooking