Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pizza Sauce

  • 1 (14-to 15-ounces) can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 5 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 basil leaves plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

Pulse tomatoes with juice in a blender briefly to make a chunky purée.

Cook garlic in oil in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat until fragrant and pale golden, about 2 minutes. Add tomato purée, basil, sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 40 minutes. Season with salt and cool.

Pizza Crust


  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups 00 flour, plus more for dusting


In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until all the flour has been incorporated. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium; stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Get a feel for the dough by squeezing a small amount together: if it's crumbly, add more water; if it's sticky, add more flour - 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until the dough gathers into a ball, this should take about 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times; kneading until it's smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it over to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot (i.e. over a gas pilot light) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. This is a good time to stick a pizza stone in the oven and preheat them to 500 degrees F.

Once the dough is domed and spongy, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll and stretch the dough into a cylinder and divide into 3 equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes so it will be easier to roll out.

Roll or pat out a piece of dough into a 12 inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Dust a pizza paddle with flour and slide it under the pizza dough. Brush the crust with a thin layer of olive oil, and top with your favorite flavors. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp. Repeat with the remaining dough.


Jared is not a breakfast eater, but he's a snacker. This creates a problem because he eats horribly during the day when he gets hungry from his lack of morning food.

I was determined to fix this... and the solution was granola! I don't love store bought granola so I decided to use a few recipes to fashion one that was the perfect blend for us.

Here's what I came up with:


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup craisins
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300°F. Spray large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Mix next 6 ingredients in large bowl. Combine oil, honey, and sugar in small saucepan; bring to simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour hot liquid over oat mixture; stir well. Using hands, toss mixture until thoroughly mixed.

Spread granola on prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Transfer sheet to rack; cool granola completely.

My granola doesn't clump... it stays loose like a cereal. That's how Jared eats it - with milk and a banana sliced up. So, if you'd rather it clump add some more honey and don't toss it during the baking.

Chili Crab

Tonight Jared and I discovered a great deal on crab meat at Byerly's. I just knew it was time for some Chili Crab!

Chili Crab is a dish introduced to us by my aunt and uncle. They lived in Singapore for a while and brought this yumminess back with them. It's a fascinating meal because it's served over french bread - owed to the influence of the french over the colony. It's usually made with whole crabs, but then eating it is a lot of work. I'm looking more for the shovel it into my mouth (it's THAT delicious) method so having just the meat from the store was ideal.

Here's the recipe:

1 lb. crab meat
4 T vegetable oil
4 T garlic, minced
3 T ginger, grated
1 egg
3 T siracha (adjust this depending on how hot you like it)
1 cup ketchup
2 T sugar
2 T soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
1 T cornstarch
1 cup water

In a small bowl combine the ketchup, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch and water.

Heat oil in wok, then add the garlic, ginger and siracha. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add contents of bowl and heat until boiling. Add crab meat and heat through. Beat egg in bowl then add to the wok. Heat through for 2-3 minutes

Serve with french bread.

Here are some pictures Jared took during the prep...

Grating ginger:

Our delicious crab:

Ginger, garlic and siracha:

Sauce added:

In goes the crab:

Then the egg:

Finished product!

Served up with some french bread:

And seriously, who could resist cannoli for desert?!?!?? (yes, I know cannoli and chili crab seem like an odd combination.. but two delicious things are always ok in my book)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Corn Dip

Not Healthy. AT ALL. But it's really, really, really good if you need another appetizer - particularly if you are making some Tex Mex food or something similar. I highly recommend it!

1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 16oz. bag of FROZEN corn
1 stick of butter
1 jar of jalapenos
Chips. I always use fritos, but all are good.

Using the microwave or the oven, melt the butter in a good size dish (I like to use my corningware.) Then, add the corn, jalapenos, and 1/2 of the jar of the jalapeno juice. You can add more or less, depending on how spicy you want it! Microwave or put in the oven until it's good and hot. You might have to stir and reheat so that it thoroughly heats. Serve! It's so good!

Fruit Salsa and Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Chips

Ok, Allison. I am putting this recipe up specifically with you in mind. You tirelessly provide me with food to feed my husband, so I owe you one great recipe at least!!! This is it. It's not hard AT ALL, but it's a pretty impressive little appetizer, and people RAVE about it!

2 kiwis- peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas (these are the really small ones!)
butter flavored cooking spray
2 cups cinnamon sugar (you can make your 1 or 2 tbsp cinnamon to every cup of sugar or such. Just mix til it looks right!)

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.
Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. (I usually spray a tortilla, then lay another one on top and spray it, then another, until I reach about 4 or 5 layered tortillas. Then I cut with a pizza cutter. It saves time.) Sprinkle wedges thoroughly with cinnamon sugar, coating them as best as you can. Spray one more time with the butter cooking spray.

Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture. Great, great appetizer!