Tag Archives: easy

Pizza dough (totally from scratch!)

If you’re a long-time blog reader (are there any of you out there?) you’ll know that the first summer of this blog’s existence we made grilled pizzas from scratch. But this is going to be like the one I made with store-bought dough, except I made it myself. 🙂

This post will include the recipe for the dough I made (which makes enough dough for 2 medium pizzas) and the finished result of each pizza. The recipe claims this will make dough for 4 pizzas, but seriously unless you’re feeding children I’d say it makes 2 medium pizzas unless you like the crust super thin and then maybe it could make 4, but they won’t be substantial.

I used this recipe for the pizza dough, but used 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 2 cups of bread flour instead of 3 cups of all-purpose flour. Keep reading to see my results!

Ingredients:

1 package of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water
2 cups bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
(desired pizza sauce, cheese, & toppings!)

Recipe:

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water.

yeasty

2. Combine the flour and the salt in another bowl.  Add the oil, yeast mixture, and remaining 3/4 cup of warm water and combine until it forms a dough ball. Turn out onto a flat surface and knead 2-3 minutes until smooth and firm.

dough ball

3. Cover dough with a clean, damp towel and let rise for about 2 hours. Divide into 2 equal dough balls and knead these 4-5 times each until smooth. Place under towel and again let rest for about an hour.

stored

covered

risen

4. Roll out your dough on a greased pizza pan, or press dough for a thicker crust.

pizza rolled

5. Top with sauce, cheese and toppings! Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes (may take more or less time depending on thickness and toppings, and desired crispness of crust.)

pizza~

And here is my second pizza.

meaty

Dough will keep in the fridge for about 2-3 days. If you’d like to freeze it, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store this way for up to a week.

Post & photos by: Melissa

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Strawberry banana smoothie

This isn’t going to be the longest (or best, or most original or most interesting) post but if you’re interested in a quick, easy breakfast or snack and you possess a blender, keep reading!

I used to be a person who never ate breakfast. At other times I would eat cereal, fruit, eggs, toast, or a full breakfast of eggs, hash browns and bacon/sausage. Lately, I’ve been making this smoothie. Not every day, and not always as breakfast but sometimes as a snack. It’s really simple but tastes amazing, almost like a dessert.

The interesting thing about this smoothie is the chia seeds. They really add a nice texture and make this a lot more substantial than just some blended fruit. The greek yogurt adds a nice thickness and the vanilla adds some flavor (though you could use plain if you wanted, I prefer the added flavor and sweetness.) You can, of course, use regular yogurt if you don’t like greek yogurt and adjust the amounts to your liking.

Ingredients:

1 banana, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup-1 cup chopped strawberries
1/4-1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
(water if needed for blending, less water will make a thicker smoothie)

Recipe:

1. Add all to blender.

lookin good

2. BLEND!

mmmm

3. Enjoy.

yay

Post & photos by: Melissa


Sweet potato chips take 2

I had some sweet potatoes left over from when I last made sweet potato chips, and I figured it was about time to use them. I decided to make sweet potato chips again, but to fry them this time. Here’s a recipe for some slightly BBQ-flavored fried sweet potato chips. You can also use regular potatoes, (I’d use yukon gold given the choice) but this is what I had to work with and they tasted great!

Ingredients:

2-3 medium sweet potatoes
Enough oil to cover the bottom of pan about 1 inch

For the seasoning (all can be adjusted to taste):
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Recipe:

1. Prepare your seasoning mix while you heat the oil over medium-high heat to about 350 degrees.

seasoned

2. Slice your sweet potatoes to desired chip thickness (if you have a mandolin or v-slicer that would be great too, but I just used a sharp kitchen knife.) You may peel them or not, just be sure to clean them well.

slices

3. Add sweet potatoes to oil in batches (careful not to splash hot oil!) and cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. When cooked, carefully remove (I used a slotted spoon) and drain on paper towel-lined plate. Repeat in batches until all are cooked!

frying

chips

4. Add chips to bowl and toss with seasoning. Enjoy!

yum

Post & photos by: Melissa


Almond Poppyseed Muffins

Somehow this post got erased, even though I wrote it before. No matter, I’ll write it again..

It started off with something to the effect of a rant about how almond poppyseed muffins and mixes aren’t available here, so I had to make my own. Lemon poppyseed isn’t the same. So I went through a few recipes and decided on this one with a few modifications. I also halved it to make 12 instead of 24 because 24 muffins would be so many.

Ingredients:

1.5 cups flour
1.25 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
~1/2 cup vegetable oil (this suggests much more oil, but I think that makes it too oily)
~1.5 eggs (as close as you can get)
1 teaspoon almond extract (or more)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or more)
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds (or more, to your preferred amount)

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or line your muffin pan. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 

all the dry stuff

 

2. Add your milk, eggs, oil and extracts to preference. Add more for more flavorful muffins. Stir to combine.

mixxxxxxed

 

3. Stir in your poppy seeds.

poppies

 

4. Fill muffin pan carefully and bake for 25-30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Mine took about 27 minutes.

batter

 

baked

 

5. Enjoy! These are so easy to make. 😀

muffinnssssss

 

Post & photos by: Melissa


Chicken Teriyaki

Here’s my attempt at chicken teriyaki. First attempt, so don’t judge too harshly! As an introduction to this post, let me say that chicken teriyaki is possibly my favorite food. I have 2 favorite restaurants to get it from, but I am very far from them, so I attempted to make some on my own. Let me very honestly admit that I couldn’t get it perfect, but that will not stop me from trying, and if you haven’t had the amazingness that I’ve experienced, this teriyaki may satisfy you just as much. Here is a picture of what I was attempting:

so perfect

This is the chicken and gyoza from Teriyaki Garden. I love this place. But enough about the inspiration. I used this recipe .

Ingredients:

Sauce (would also be good as a marinade)
1/3 cup mirin
2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sugar

Chicken:
~1 lb. boneless chicken breast or thigh (If using breast, as I did, pound out with meat tenderizer or pan to flatten prior to using. Mine was also skinless, but chicken with skin would be crispier.)
Salt and pepper
Oil

Recipe:

1. Add all sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan, stir, and let come to a boil.

pan ingredients

2. Upon boiling, reduce heat to simmer, and simmer until ingredients have thickened into a sauce. Remove from heat.

3. Heat large pan with oil to medium/high heat. Salt and pepper your chicken.

here's my chicken

4. Add chicken to pan. You’ll want to space it better than I did mine. I adjusted it after the picture.

chicken in the pan

5. Allow to cook ~3-4 minutes, browning on one side. Then flip.

so nicely browned

6. Once chicken has browned on both sides, remove from pan.

all cooked up

7. Slice chicken into strips and pour sauce over it. Serve with your choice of sides (I would’ve chosen rice and gyoza if available) and enjoy!

lovely teriyaki sauce

ready to eat!

Notes for recipe adjustments: Grilling may get your chicken closer to the texture I was trying to achieve, but I do not have a grill. The sauce was almost spot on,  I couldn’t tell if it was different because of the ingredients or because of the chicken not being similar enough itself. Chicken thighs may be more tender and produce a better result for the chicken overall, so I will try this in the future. This chicken was a bit drier than the restaurant chicken, and I will experiment with 1. chicken thighs and 2. grilling, when possible in the future.

Post and photos by: Melissa


Baked sweet potato chips

I’m always interested in healthier alternatives to snack food, so when I came across this recipe on Minamalist Baker (yet another food blog I’m addicted to now) I knew I wanted to try it.

I was pretty satisfied with how these turned out. Overall I think I should have added a bit more salt and baked adjusted the baking time and temperature a little so some wouldn’t be overly-brown. But they were crispy and delicious, despite the look. These also would’ve been easier to make if I had a sharper knife to chop with, or a mandolin slicer. I halved the recipe for my experiment, but will reproduce the original for you here.

Ingredients:

2 large sweet potatoes
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
A pinch of salt (to taste)
(I also peppered mine, but don’t think it added much)

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cut sweet potatoes thinly into rounds.

sweet potato

cut it up

2. Coat slices in olive oil.

3. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt or desired seasonings. Make sure they are not touching.

waiting for baking

4. Bake for 1.5- 2 hours, flipping at least twice to ensure even cooking. I flipped these around 5 times because I get paranoid. I also took a few off the sheet earlier than others, because they were slightly smaller. Make your own judgments about your chips. Remove from sheet and cool on wire rack when golden brown and crisp.

crispy

5. Let cool, then enjoy! They’re a great snack and alternative to store-bought chips, and I would definitely make them again!

piled high

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Nutella walnut brownies

As I had a rather large quantity of leftover Nutella, and a desire to bake, I searched online for a Nutella brownie recipe. I came across this one and decided to use it, with the addition of walnuts (because I had those too and brownies are always better with nuts!)

It was super easy to follow and they turned out really well, so I thought I’d share my experience with anyone who wants to make something special for Valentine’s Day or really any other brownie-appropriate occasion.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup Nutella
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted, melted butter (room temperature)
Walnuts (if you’d like, I think I used 1/2-3/4 cup)
A dash of cinnamon

Recipe:

1. Melt your butter. Let it cool till it is room temperature and set aside. You may also preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit at this time, because the prep time for these brownies is minimal.

2. Mix your flour and salt in a bowl.

salty flour mmmmm

2. In another bowl, combine your eggs, brown sugar, Nutella, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. This is also when I chose to add my walnuts.

appetizing

all the walnuts!

walnuts!

3. While mixing at a low speed, alternate adding dry ingredients and the melted butter.

texture

4. Butter or grease your square baking dish, or use parchment paper, with the parchment overhanging the lip of the pan to make for easy removal. Spread your mixture evenly in the pan. I greased mine a bit too vigorously but in the end it was fine. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top.

spread it out

5. Put your brownies in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes (mine took about 40.) Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted in the center (or a fork/knife which is what I had to resort to as I don’t own toothpicks)comes out clean. Allow to cool for two hours, after which you can easily cut them into squares to serve.

brownies

6. Enjoy!

closeup deliciousness

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa