Monday, February 28, 2011

A Hero for Hubby

Happy Monday!

Today is a day that we have been waiting forever for and frankly we didn’t think would ever happen. Keith is finally back to work after many, many long months of unsteady work.


Today’s economy and job market has been very unkind to professional carpenters and the like! We have definitely changed the way we spend money, shop  and I have really learned how to stretch a dollar when it comes to the supermarket.

So to celebrate I made one of his favorite sandwiches for dinner tonight! This recipe is adapted from a recipe that was given to me by a friend. One of his favorite sandwiches is a greasy steak n’ cheese, tonight I tried to lighten that up while still keeping the flavor!

Steak Hero

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef  sirloin (93%)
  • 3/4 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • salt & pepper
  • wheat ciabatta loaf
  • basil
  • mozzarella cheese
  • provolone cheese
  1. Cook the onion, garlic, pepper, mushrooms until soft. Add the ground beef, break into small pieces and cook until done. Add the beef broth, tomato paste, s&p and cook on low for 10 minutes, it should thicken up nicely.
  2. Cut the ciabatta loaf into sandwich size pieces, drizzle with olive oil and place under broil until lightly browned and crispy.
  3. Place some provolone cheese on bottom half of sandwich, next add the beef mixture, then some mozzarella cheese and finally top it off with some basil leaves. Press sandwich down and grill over low heat for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Yield: 4 sandwiches







This was right up Keith’s alley, it was a huge hit! I’m not a huge red meat fan but I did steal a bite and I loved the hint of provolone and the sweetness of the basil! Did I mention the bread was amazing?!  I love ciabatta!!!

Best of all? There are leftovers for his lunch tomorrow! Open-mouthed smile

Hope your week is off to a great start!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sweet Ending Sunday

The last day of  vacation is always bitter sweet around here. So ready for the kids to get back to school yet not so ready for the early morning routines.
Today for a treat we decided to make a sweet pizza and let me yell ya, there was nothing bitter about it! The girls loved it! 
This recipe is originally from Buddy Valastro, we love watching his new show Kitchen Boss. He is so enthusiastic when he cooks n’ bakes and his family recipes look amazing! Although they definitely aren’t calorie friendly but everything in moderation and having a little indulgence every now and then is perfectly fine in my book!
We followed his recipe loosely, click here for the original.
Sweet Pizza
I used the other half of the pizza dough from Friday’s pizza to make this.
Spread about 1/2 tbl. of butter on dough
Prick the dough all over with a fork to prevent it from rising too much.
Sprinkle to your hearts content with cinnamon and sugar. Bake in 400 degree oven for 7 minutes.
While the dough is baking, slice up some strawberries and bananas for topping. The girls are using my safe cutters by Pampered Chef, I love these knives!
Here’s the cooked cinnamon/sugar dough, I could have stopped here and devoured it.  lol
Add some more love to the dough and spread a layer of Nutella over the pizza, I probably used 1/4 cup.
Top with strawberries and banana slices.
Drizzle with some melted dark chocolate with a touch of vanilla or chocolate sauce as in the original recipe.
If you’re a nut lover like my husband, sprinkle some chopped nuts over your slice!
Hope your Sunday was as sweet as ours!
Back to reality tomorrow!!
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway if you haven’t already, it ends on Tuesday!

This recipe is linked to 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Roasted Pepper Pizza n’ More

Its Friday!!!! Normally I would be overly happy but since this is school vacation week,  Friday means that its coming to an end. The school bags, lunch packs and uniforms will be back into existence before I know it. No more lazy mornings with second cups of coffee for this momma!

Well I have a lot to cover so lets get started! Today I decided to make my own pizza dough for a change. A few years ago my SIL, Jane and I took a bread baking class and one of the things we learned  how to make was pizza dough. Super easy, people, it’s simple to make and to work with! One of the things we learned was that when it comes to making any type of dough or bread, most things  get weighed and not measured. So if you have a kitchen scale pull it on out.

Pizza Dough

  • 2 oz. warm water
  • 1 tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 14 oz. bread flour
  • 6 oz. cool water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 oz. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  1. Stir the yeast into the warm water  and let it sit for 5 minutes so it can do its thing and get all bubbly. Next, add the flour.
  2. Stir the cool water, salt, olive oil and honey into the flour mixture. Place dough in a stand mixer with dough hook attachment and let it knead for 5 minutes, until the dough comes off the sides and forms a ball.
  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover. Allow it to rise for 20 minutes in the warmest part of your home. Next, punch the dough down and if desired divide into portions*. Roll out into very thin rounds or you can store it in the fridge for up to 2 days.

* This recipe yields one very large pizza,  2 regular pizzas or 8 individual pizzas














And there you have it! For tonight’s pizza I used one half of this dough recipe which makes 8 good size pieces.

Ready for the pizza recipe? Not so fast! hee hee For this recipe you will need a roasted pepper. I used a yellow pepper, you can use whatever color you want. Here’s a quick way to roast a pepper if you have a gas stove, if not well then you’ll have to roast it in the oven or buy a jar already roasted.

How to Roast a Pepper

Place your pepper directly on the stove over low heat. DO NOT walk away or get distracted in any way, i.e. cell phone. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience. That is all. lol


As the sides get nice and charred, carefully turn until all sides are done. Don’t be alarmed by the smoke or the “camp fire” smell, as Jordyn called it. It’s all good!


Now quickly put the pepper in a bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Let it sit so the steam can do it’s work.


After about 20 minutes uncover and peel the skin off, it should come off very easily and leave you with a delicious sweet, roasted pepper. Mmmmm!


Now that we’ve got the star of our recipe ready lets get this pizza made!

Roasted Pepper Pizza

  • 1 roasted pepper
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic, 3 minced & 3 sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp.  olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • pizza dough ( I used one half from the dough recipe from above)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out your pizza dough into a thin round. Slice roasted pepper, tomatoes and basil, place in a bowl. Slice onion into thin half moon slices and cook in a pan with the minced garlic over medium heat until onions are golden. Add onions and garlic to the bowl with the pepper mixture, add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. With the same pan you used to cook the onions, add a touch more olive oil and toss in the sliced garlic for 1 minute. Drizzle the garlic infused olive oil over the pizza dough. Top with the provolone and mozzarella cheese, then add the pepper mixture.
  3. Bake in oven until the crust is golden and crisp and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle some feta cheese before serving.

Yield: 8 slices









This pizza was amazing or as we say in our house, “it’s a keeper”! The dough is thin and crispy, perfect to hold all those veggies. I love that its not all about the cheese with this recipe.  The sweetness from the peppers, onions and tomatoes really stand out and I love the little bit of saltiness you get with the feta!

Want to know what I’m making with the other half of the pizza dough?! I’ll give you a hint, it’s something sweet!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guests for Breakfast

We have some new renters!!!
Is this a sign that Spring is finally around the corner? Lets hope so!  The birds were chirping away as I was making breakfast this morning!
Speaking of breakfast, today was one of those days where I just didn’t feel like having oatmeal. Surprised smile
Do you ever feel like that? You eat almost the same thing everyday and one day ya just not in the mood, happens to me a lot lately. I’m just going to blame on the long winter.
So instead of oatmeal I made some stuffed french toast. It may not have been as nutritious but it was delicious and hit the spot for a cold winter’s day.
Banana Stuffed French Toast
  • 2 eggs
  • splash of milk
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 6 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 1-2 ripe bananas
  • peanut butter
  • nutella
  • pure maple syrup (optional)
  • powdered sugar (optional)
Whisk the eggs with a splash of milk and a dash of cinnamon until light and fluffy, set aside. Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread and nutella on the other slice of bread. Thinly slice up the banana and place on top of the nutella then add the peanut butter slice on top to form a sandwich. Dip sandwich into the egg mixture and cook on a non stick skillet until cooked through and  lightly browned. Top with maple syrup and powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!
makes 3 sandwiches
IMG_2583 1
I think every morning should start off with some sort of chocolate and peanut butter, they are a perfect pair!
What’s your favorite breakfast in the winter?