Category Archives: Savory Meals

The Pepperoni Pizza Cake

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Last week I saw a pizza cake for the first time on Instagram, and was quite intrigued by the idea. I knew I had to make one. I discussed my pizza cake strategy in depth with Stephen, and we decided that the best approach would be to precook the pizza layers, then stack and wrap the layers with an exterior crust. I used a standard Food Network pizza dough recipe, and kept the toppings pretty simple with pepperoni and mozzarella 😛

Pizza Dough:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 packet instant yeast
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Toppings:

  • 1 can pizza sauce
  • 1 large bag shredded mozzarella
  • 1 package pepperoni

Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.

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Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a large bowl with a splash of olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size (about 1 hour). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll the dough out to a 1/2 cm thickness. Using a six inch bowl, trace and cut out four circles. Place on a non-stick baking mat, and cover completely with pizza sauce. Spread 1/2 cup of cheese and several pieces of pepperoni on top of each pizza layer. Back for about 10 minutes, until the edges of each pizza begin to brown. Remove from oven and let the cool for 10 minutes.

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While the layers cool, roll out the dough scraps, and cut a rectangle 6 inches by 19 inches. Stack the four, cooled pizza layers on top of each other, and wrap the rectangle of dough around the pizza stack. Roll the extra dough at the top of the pizza into a crust, and top with an additional handful of cheese. Bake the pizza cake on a silicon baking mat for 15 minutes, until the exterior crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting. Serve warm with additional pizza sauce. This recipe comfortably serves about six people.

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The Search for the Ultimate Wing Recipe

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Wings…where do I even begin. The ultimate bar food? The tastiest type of chicken? The perfect Friday night dinner? Yes, to all of the above. Wings have a special place in my heart, and I think it’s high time I learn how to make them myself. I had some friends over, and we tested out three different recipes. The ingredients included:

Baked Brown Sugar Wings:

  • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. In a large bowl, combine wings, olive oil, brown sugar, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper, to taste. Toss the wings in the seasoning, the place wings onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, using metal tongs to turn at halftime.

Traditional Buffalo Wings

  • 12 whole chicken wings
  • 2 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce

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Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan on medium high, and brown the wings/drumsticks (about 3 minutes on both sides). Place wings on wire rack, and roast wings on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes, until meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown. While the chicken is roasting, melt the butter in a small bowl along with the garlic. Pour this along with hot sauce and salt into a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken and stir to combine. Remove the wings from the oven and transfer to the bowl and toss with the sauce. Serve warm.

Oven-Crisped Wings Recipe

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 10 chicken wings, tips removed

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Be sure wings are thawed and dry them well with paper towels. Combine flour, paprika, garlic salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a plastic bag. Shake to mix ingredients and add wings. Line a large baking sheet with foil and melt the butter on it. ( Makes for easy clean up). Add wings to pan and turn to coat. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn wings over and bake for 15 more minutes or until crispy and done.

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We all agreed that the traditional hot wings and the brown sugar wings were the winners! Both were absolutely delicious, with just the right balance of spice and flavor. The dry rub wings developed a great crispy skin, but needed a little more flavor. I think they would be great tossed in a sauce, or dipped in some blue cheese.

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What are your favorite wing recipes? Feel free to share them with me! I’d love to try them 😀

Breakfast Pizza

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Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. When I get to eat breakfast for dinner, it’s even better. This train of thought is what inspired dinner tonight. I used freshly-made, store-bought dough to make the pizza crust because I was short on time, but you can always make your own. The ingredients included:

  •  1 ball of prepared pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup cooked bacon, diced
  • 1 ½ cups grated mozzarella
  • 4 large eggs
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

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Start by preheating the oven to 500 degrees and flour the cookie sheet for baking. Spread the pizza dough out, onto the floured cookie sheet, until it evenly covers the entire sheet, remembering that the dough will contract slightly during the cooking process. Then sprinkle half of the cheese and bacon onto the dough, and let this cook. After about 5 minutes in the oven, take the pizza out and crack the eggs on top. Put the pizza back in the oven and let it cook for another 2 minutes. Once the two minutes pass, sprinkle the pizza with scallions, chives, and the remaining bacon and cheese. Finally, pop the pizza back in the oven for another two minutes. Once the edges are golden brown, pull the pizza out and let it cool slightly before serving. It’s important you serve the pizza promptly because the eggs will continue to cook from the heat of the pizza.

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I absolutely loved this dinner! I let the pizza cool a teensy bit too long, so my yolks weren’t as runny as I would have liked. But other than that, this meal was a home run!

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Tender Braised Short Ribs

I have been waiting to make this recipe for quite a while, but it is a meal that should be eaten in good company. I invited a friend over for dinner, and realized it was the perfect opportunity to finally make this dish 🙂 I started the prep work for this meal in the morning, and started by getting my ingredients:

  • 4 pounds beef short ribs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 0.5 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 0.66 cup ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

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I started by sprinkling a generous amount of salt and pepper over ribs. In large pan on medium-high heat, I then browned the ribs on all sides and removed them from the pan (keeping the drippings in the pan).

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Next I sauteed the onions in same pan until they were translucent, and added the garlic. I let this cook for another minute, then placed the ribs in my crockpot, covering them with the onion/garlic mixture.

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I whisked together the wine, ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and dark brown sugar, and poured it over the meat. The last step was to add fresh thyme sprigs on top of meat.

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I let this cook in my crock pot on low for 7-8, and served it over a mashed potatoes. Robert and Jonathan helped me taste test the mashed potatoes.

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Everyone gave it their stamp of approval 🙂 We finished off our meal with gratineed pineapples. Food always tastes best in good company!

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Skinny Alfredo Spaghetti Squash

I’ve seen it, heard about it, and I just HAD to try it. You know what I’m talking about….spaghetti squash!! I can’t even tell you how excited I was when I picked up a spaghetti squash at whole foods. I went off of this recipe, which appealed to me because it was a lighter recipe! I did change it a bit by adding chicken and spinach:

1 medium-sized spaghetti squash

1 chicken breast

1 cup spinach

1/2 cup cut up veggies (I used some zucchini, green onions, and yellow squash I had in the fridge)

1 Tablespoon butter

3 cloves of garlic, finely minced

2 Tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1 Tablespoon cream cheese

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Crushed red pepper flakes and fresh parsley, for garnish

First things first, I preheated my oven to 350 degrees. I then cooked my spaghetti squash by cutting it in half length-wise, placing it skin side up in a glass tray, and filling the tray with a centimeter of water. I let it cook for about 40 minutes, then pulled the squash out and let it cool.Image.

Once it was cooled, I shredded the squash with a fork and began on the sauce. I cooked the chicken breast while the squash was in the oven, and put it aside as I started the sauce. I melted the butter butter in a small pot over medium-low heat. Once it was hot, I added garlic and sautéd the mixture for a couple minutes. Whisking in the flour, I cooked it for another minute while stirring until no lumps remained. I then added the cream cheese and stirred until it was smooth.

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The last step was to remove the sauce from the heat, and stir in the spinach, parmesan, salt and crushed red pepper.

I then poured half of the mixture into each shredded spaghetti squash, and BAM! I could not have been happier with how this recipe turned out! It is healthy, delicious, and filling 😀

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Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

I was feeling a little homesick, and while thinking about all the great things Seattle has to offer..Thai food popped into my mind. My favorite thai place in Queen Anne, Bahn Thai, makes the most delicious tom kha gai soup! As I reminisced about all the meals I’ve had there with my family, I decided that it was high time I made my own coconut curry soup.

The recipe that I based my soup off of came from this blog, but I made some tweaks to this recipe. It definitely is different than traditional tom kha gai soup, with the rice and miscellaneous vegatables, but it just seemed so right to me to add these things into the soup when I was making it.

ALSO, if you want that truly authentic, creamy taste, DON’T use light coconut milk. It does NOT taste the same. However, if you are watching your waistline or are trying to make a lighter version, use light coconut milk! It is like half the calories and has wayyy less fat.

The ingredients I used included:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 lb chicken, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 big cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Chopped/sliced vegetables (ex. red pepper, onion, mushrooms, asparagus, etc.
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Once all my ingredients were chopped up and ready to go, I heated the oil, red curry paste, and garlic in a large pot on medium-high heat and went wild. I added ALL my vegetables at once (because I’m not a patient person), which included a red bell pepper, an onion, a bunch of white mushrooms, a couple handfuls of spinach and some squash. I included pretty much every vegetable I had in my fridge…I let that concoction cook down a bit, then added the coconut milk, water, rice and fish sauce. After letting it simmer about 2-3 minutes, I added the chicken and let the soup simmer for a good ten minutes. As I removed the soup from heat, I threw in the cilantro and the rest is history 😀

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