Sunday, June 29, 2014

Whole Wheat Thin Crust Barbecue Chicken Pizza

I enjoy making pizza recipes from scratch.  It's a little more work, but typically the crust recipes make multiple crusts, so the next time around, all I have to do is pull a pizza crust out of the freezer and in just a few minutes pizza is served.  I also like to modify a regular pizza crust recipe to incorporate a little whole wheat my head it seems like a healthier pizza option :-)

Pizza Crust

1 1/2 cups hot water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a pizza stone in the oven.  Combine hot water, yeast, and sugar in a large measuring cup and stir until sugar is dissolved and yeast is well mixed in.  Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes.  Meanwhile whisk the rest of the ingredients together.  Add yeast mixture to flour mixture and stir until well incorporated...there may be some flour still not thoroughly mixed in.  Turn on to a floured surface and knead the dough for 5 - 10 minutes until smooth.  Let rest for 10 minutes, then divide into 4 equal balls.  Roll each ball into a 14 inch circle, using either parchment paper or tin foil as the base to make transfer to and from the oven easier since this is a thin crust.  Use a fork to put a few holes in the crust to prevent large bubbles during baking.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Repeat for the other three balls of dough.  If you are not using all 4 pizza crusts, you can freeze these for another time.  I typically flash freeze the crust by putting it in the freezer uncovered, then once it's frozen wrap in foil to use another day.

Pizza Crust Ingredients

Rolled out pizza crust

Ingredients for Barbecue Chicken Pizza

1/4 - 1/2 cup your favorite barbeque sauce
1  - 2 chicken breast cooked and shredded (I put mine in the crockpot for 2-3 hours on high with a cup of chicken broth)
1/4 cup red onion sliced
2 cups cheddar/monterrey jack cheese mix - or your favorite pizza cheese

If you are making your pizza right away, next spread the barbecue sauce over the pizza crust

Add shredded chicken

Add red onion - we only covered half the pizza due to individual's tastes

Next add the cheese.

Bake for 5- 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is brown.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Chipotle Lime Soft Shrimp Tacos

I found this recipe at a site called "a little goes a long way".  It was pretty easy to put together and tasted delicious - that's my favorite kind of recipe.  The salsa recipe for the shrimp tacos is slightly sweet and got a thumbs up from everyone at the dinner table. (OK, so there were just three of us :-)


1 Chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped (I froze the rest of the can for later use)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 lime - zest and juice
2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
1 pound shrimp - tails removed

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can sweet corn, drained
1 red pepper, diced
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and diced
2 green onions, chopped

First mix all the salsa ingredients together and let the flavors meld for 1 -2 hours.
Next mix from Chipotle pepper through to shrimp together...toss to ensure shrimp are well coated.  The original recipe calls for using a Foreman grill - I just cooked in a fry pan.  These cook up fast - less than 5 minutes.

Serve shrimp and salsa on tortillas.  Enjoy!

Salsa Ingredients

Finished Salsa

Shrimp ingredients

All tossed together

Cooking the shrimp - they cook fast....and looked so good I forgot to take a picture of the finished taco!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Emeril's Baked Chicken Wings

Here is another one of our Father's Day appetizers.  We enjoy chicken wings, but prefer not to deep fry them.  I found this recipe here several years ago and it's got great taste and is fairly simple to make.

        4 pounds chicken wings, cut in half at joint 

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme or italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • Blue cheese or ranch dressing, or barbecue sauce, for dipping

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. In a large bowl, toss chicken wings with lemon juice. Add pepper, garlic and onion powders, and salt. Add thyme, crushing it between your fingers as you go. Add cayenne and melted butter. Stir mixture thoroughly, then arrange wings in one layer on baking sheet.
  2. Cook 20 minutes, then rotate sheet and flip wings. Cook until wings are browned and cooked through, 10 minutes. Serve with desired dipping sauce.


Chicken Wings cut and mixed with Lemon Juice

Ready to go into the oven

Finished appetizers!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

In honor of Father's Day, we had everyone over for appetizers.  We used many of the recipes already posted on the blog, but we also included Buffalo Chicken Dip.  This recipe is straight off the Frank's Red Hot Sauce bottle, but instead of baking it, I put my 1 quart crock pot to work.


2 cups shredded chicken
1 8 ounce package cream cheese softened
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce - more or less according to spiciness desired
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup ranch dressing

Mix all ingredients together.  Put in the crock pot on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours.  Serve with pretzel cracker, regular crackers or tortilla chips.

Alternatively, you can back at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.


Finished Dip

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Fresh Corn, Avocado, and Millet Salad

I like trying some vegetarian recipes and also trying new grains.  I picked up some millet at the store.  According to the package, millet was first farmed 10,000 years ago, is one of the five sacred crops of China, was mentioned in the old testament writings of Herodotus, and also in the journals of Marco Polo.  This that kind of esteemed history, I thought I should give this grain a shot.

In addition, it is high in protein.  I decided to try this is a salad type recipe since it was a pretty warm day outside.  What I found is this recipe stored well for me and there were plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day too.

  • Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked millet
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 6 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed, kernels cut from cobs
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled cored and diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup crumbled Feta cheese

Cook the millet according to the directions and set aside.  In a fry pan, add olive oil and lightly sauté
the ginger, garlic for 2-3 minutes.  Add corn and green onions and saute for 3 minutes longer.
In a medium size bowl, mix lime juice, cilantro, basil, sea salt and pepper together.  Add millet, and items sauteed in the frying pan.  Add avocado, tomatoes and feta cheese.  Gently toss to mix all ingredients.  Serve.

Finished Salad

Monday, June 2, 2014

Strawberry Asparagus Salad

Springtime is a great time to enjoy the early fruits of the harvest.  I saw a recipe for strawberry asparagus salad and decided it was just the ticket for a springtime salad.  I modify the recipe slightly for my own tastes and it got a good taste rating from the family at dinner.


2 cups strawberries, hulled and diced
2 cups asparagus, sliced and microwaved for 1 minute (microwave is optional)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix first two ingredients in a medium size bowl.   If you like your asparagus a little less raw, microwave it for a minute.   In a small bowl, whisk the rest of the ingredients together.  Pour dressing over the strawberry and asparagus mixture.  Chill for 2-3 hours.  Enjoy

Raw Ingredients

Finished Salad