Pizza Quesadillas!

Pizzadilla!

Wednesday night is “Pizza Night” at our house! This tradition started years ago when the kids were younger. In those days we had at least two of the three, if not ALL three, busy with soccer, baseball, swimming, wrestling, marching band or water polo! It was far easier to pick up a pizza than figure out dinner on a weird time-table. For whatever reason, we’ve kept that tradition. Not so much that our favorite pizza place knows us by name, knows our order and feels free to harass us every time we come in on a night that ISN’T Wednesday. No. Not that much. That would be weird.

ANYWAY…

Earlier I made Garlic Tomato Marinara Sauce, and was trying to find something wonderful to pair with it.

We missed our usual pizza night this week and I knew this marinara would make a spectacular pizza sauce! I had all the ingredients in the refrigerator for pizza quesadillas, so I simply swapped out the pizza sauce for my wonderful homemade version. Lunch has never been more delicious!

Pizzadilla with Garlic Tomato Marinara Sauce!

Pizza Quesadillas
Inspired by Closet Cooking-Pizzadilla recipe

2 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella, divided
3/4 cup Garlic Tomato Marinara Sauce, divided
pepperoni slices
sliced black olives
sliced mushrooms
OR a mixture of your own favorite pizza toppings!

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Place one tortilla in the pan. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese over tortilla, sprinkle 3 TBLS of the marinara sauce randomly over the cheese. place HALF the pepperoni, olives and mushrooms on top of the cheese. Top with second tortilla.
Cook quesadilla until light brown on both sides and the cheese is melted, approx 2-4 minutes per side.
Take the skillet off the heat. Spread 1/4 cup of the remaining marinara sauce across the top of the quesadilla. Sprinkle with all the remaining cheese and adorn with the other half of your pizza toppings!
Put the skillet in the oven and let it bake for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
While the pizza-dilla is baking, warm the remaining marinara in a small saucepan to use as dipping sauce.
Remove pizza-dilla from the oven and let it set for about 3-5 minutes. Cut into eight pieces and enjoy!

This is a quick and easy meal! It is very filling too! It has me thinking about other dishes I could turn into something-dillas! Hmmmm… Of course, it also has me thinking we might be seeing less of Bob, Frankie, Adam and Chris. Not that I know the names of the owner or the rest of the guys at our pizza place. I’m just sayin’. 🙂

Pizzadilla
Enjoy Foodie Friends!

Veggie Frittata!

Earlier this week, I was blessed to Guest Post at Lauren Kelly Nutrition! It’s so important to have versatile, healthy recipes! I hope you enjoy it!

I’ve heard you’re supposed eat the colors of the rainbow in fruits and vegetables. I found these amazing bell peppers at our local Farmers Market this week. The bag included red, orange, yellow and green peppers (seven of them!) for just $1.25. How can you pass that up? Besides, they’re so pretty! Just like a rainbow!

I made our youngest son do a taste testing of the different peppers! Don’t they look like candy?

He liked the red ones best! Even chopped, they are gorgeous!

These were perfect for a quick, easy and good for you Frittata! Frittatas are so versatile! You can put any kind of fresh veggies in them. I went with our colorful chopped bell peppers, green onions, mushrooms, spinach and feta cheese.

Combine that with a few scrambled eggs and VIOLA! It’s dinner time!

Veggie Frittata (Serves 4)

6 eggs
1 cup diced red, yellow, orange and green peppers (or your favorite veggie combination)
3 stalks green onion, sliced
4 large mushrooms, diced
5 leaves fresh spinach, hand torn
3 TBLS Feta cheese, crumbled
Fresh cracked pepper
flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Spray a small skillet or small frittata pan with non-stick cooking spray. Whisk the eggs and pepper together, then stir your veggies into the egg mix! Pour the whole thing into your pre-heated skillet. Over medium-low heat cook the eggs until they just begin to set, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally during the first 2 minutes of cooking.

If you are using a frittata pan, spray the top half of the pan before placing it on top of the deep side. Flip the pan and continue to cook covered for another 5 minutes or until the eggs are completely set. Loosen the frittata by shaking it gently and then sliding it onto your serving dish.

If you are using a regular skillet, cover the eggs with a dinner plate to continue cooking until the eggs are completely set, approx 5 minutes. Monitor the heat carefully so the bottom doesn’t get too brown. Loosen the frittata by shaking the pan slightly and sliding it out onto your serving dish. You can also put your serving dish over the top of the skillet and flip it over onto the dish!

Let the frittata stand for a few minutes before you cut it. Cut equally into four pieces. Sprinkle with Feta and garnish with the parsley!

A beautiful fresh and simple dinner!

“The Brunch Class”

I love spending rainy days in the kitchen! Saturday, it was pouring rain and though the kitchen wasn’t mine, it was still fun! I attended “The Brunch Class” at The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories. We made Homemade Ricotta, a Broccoli Mushroom Cheddar Egg Bake, Homemade Lemon Curd, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, a Mediterranean Frittata and Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes!
Of course, it didn’t hurt that class started with a cup of coffee and a Mimosa (or two…)

I went to class alone but was paired up with a very nice woman named Javi! (Hi, Javi!) We started with the Ricotta because it takes the longest. I’ve made Ricotta before, but their recipe is different from mine. It was still easy and ours came out beautifully!

I love getting new variations of recipes!

As the Ricotta was draining, we made the Broccoli Mushroom Cheddar Egg Bake. This is one of those dishes you can make the night before and let it sit overnight in the fridge. In the morning, pop it in a hot oven and an hour later you have breakfast!
We browned some onions and mushrooms in a small skillet…

Then we cut up these warm, amazing sourdough baguettes and spread them on a buttered baking dish. Thank goodness there was half a baguette left for of us to nibble as we were cooking! Mmmm… bread…

Next we beat eggs and milk together, then added onions and mushrooms, broccoli and cheddar cheese! We poured all of it over those wonderful bread chunks and it looked like this:

We wrapped everything in plastic and put it in the fridge for an hour so the bread had time to soak up all that eggy goodness!

The Lemon Curd to top our Ricotta pancakes was next! Lemon Curd has about a million different recipe variations! Seriously. Google it sometime and you’ll see. 🙂 This was a great version for pancakes. Very light and fluffy with a light tang from the lemon. Javi and I took turns whisking and this was the result!

Next up were the banana muffins! Now that I think about it, all these recipes would be perfect for my daughter. Everything is vegetarian friendly! We mixed bananas, sour cream and fresh vanilla in a food processor, then added eggs, lemon zest and pulsed it together. We added the typical dry ingredients and the most important ingredient – chocolate chips!

This is what it looked like when it was all together!

Into the baking cups! Can you see the flecks from the vanilla bean?

Delightful!

We took a break for a few minutes… What? Refresh my glass? If you insist.

We started the Mediterranean Frittata next. This was super cool! We roasted red peppers on the stove top!

After a few minutes they were blistered and toasty.

We put them in a plastic bag to steam while we chopped olives, zucchini, tomatoes and red onions.

We put it all together in a skillet to sauté, then we peeled and chopped the roasted red pepper and tossed that in too. We whisked eggs together, added feta, fresh basil, oregano and parmesan cheese.

While the frittatas were cooking, we made the last menu item – pancakes! We whipped egg whites until we had stiff peaks!

Then we folded the egg whites into the rest of the ingredients, including our beautiful ricotta from the beginning of class!

The pancakes were cooked on a hot, buttered griddle and topped with our lemon curd! I’ve never had ricotta pancakes before and these were fluffy with a rich, slightly nutty flavor from the cheese.

Everything came out of the oven and off the stove at the same time. You know what that means? Time to eat! A pancake with lemon curd…

Another muffin…

And a slice of our Mediterranean Frittata…

What a lovely (and delicious) way to spend a rainy morning! I know I’ll be trying these recipes with my family (and sharing with all of you) very soon!

Egg Rolls


Recently, I shared my Egg Roll recipe at Bakeaholic Mama! This was the second time I’ve been blessed to share on someone else’s blog. It’s a great experience and a lot of fun! Carrie at Bakeaholic Mama is awesome! Check out her blog at: Bakeaholic Mama!

This is the same recipe I shared with Carries readers! (This just has a few more photos and descriptions!) Egg rolls date all the way back to ancient China. The dough is traditionally made with egg, hence the name! When we go out, Egg Rolls are one of my favorite appetizers. I love the crisp crunch of the wrapper, the variety of savory fillings and the salty finish of dripping them in soy sauce. It’s the perfect starter! We make ours without meat, but you can add shredded, seasoned pork or chicken if you’d like. Don’t they look good?

I started with a hot wok, some oil and a few beaten eggs! I made a simple egg pancake, let it cool and then sliced it up!


Then in the same pan, with a bit more oil, I added the cabbages and carrots.

After those cook down a bit, I added soy sauce, sugar, mushrooms, green onions and bamboo!

Now, you add those delicious egg pancake slivers and let the whole thing cool.

When this was cooking, everyone in the house wanted to eat without rolling them up! The fun part is the rolling through, so we got right to work!


Evan, our youngest, helped roll them. Here is his stack of egg rolls!

Time to deep fry! We heated four cups of oil to 350 degrees. You can use your deep fryer, but we used a pan so I could flip them easily.


Now, it’s time to eat!!

Try them yourself and see what you think!

Ingredients:

1 package egg roll wrappers
3/4 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1/2 can (8oz) bamboo shoots, julienned
1 fairly large carrot, peeled and julienned
1/2 head purple cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 head green cabbage, finely shredded
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
4 cups, plus 4 tsp vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 egg white, beaten (to seal the wrappers)

Directions:

In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tsp vegetable oil over medium flame. Put the 2 beaten eggs in the wok and cook until they are firm. Do not stir the eggs. Flip them over and cook briefly on the other side. No more than 30 seconds. Essentially you want a mini omelette pancake. Slide the egg out of the pan and let it cool completely.

Heat 3 tsp of vegetable oil in the same pan over high flame. Stir in the carrot and the cabbage and cook until just wilted (about 2 minutes) Add the green onions, bamboo, mushrooms, salt, sugar and soy sauce to the mix and continue to cook for about five minutes until the vegetables are softened.

While the cabbage mix is cooking, slice the cooled egg into julienned strips.

When the vegetable mixture is cooked, spread it out on a cookie sheet and stir in the sliced eggs. Allow the mix to cool. You can refrigerate it at this point if you’re going to assemble the egg rolls later.

To put the egg rolls together, lay a wrapper on the counter with one corner pointed towards you. Place approx 4 TBLS of the cooled filling across the bottom end of the wrapper. Fold the bottom corner over the filling and roll away from you just once. Brush the remaining exposed edges of the inside of the wrapper with the egg white. Fold the left corner of the wrapper to the center of the roll, then the right corner of the wrapper to the center, then continue rolling until it’s sealed. It should look like a little envelope wrapper. While you are rolling the rest, keep your finished egg rolls covered a kitchen towel or plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.
Heat the remaining 4 cups of oil in a pan or use your deep fryer and heat to 350 degrees.

Fry the egg rolls 3 or 4 at a time until they are golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve with soy sauce! Enjoy!

Boeuf Bourguignon!

Boeuf Bourguignon. It’s the classic french dish. Beef Stew in Red Wine, with Bacon, Onions, and Mushrooms. Julia Child made this famous and since I received her cookbook for Christmas this year, how could I not try it myself?

Julia says “Carefully done, and perfectly flavored, it is certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man…”

I’d have to say, I agree with her.

At first, I was intimidated by all the steps involved in creating this dish. I mean, simmering, sautéing, browning, baking, braising, more simmering, basting, draining, and reducing! Not to mention the crazy amount of pans you use, plus the time. Start to finish, it took me about five hours to make. FIVE HOURS! I can understand why you would make this for a special occasion. It’s not a typical weekday meal. All that aside, it has the most incredible depth of flavor of anything I’ve ever made before. Simply fantastic! I would make it again in a heartbeat. A five-hour long heartbeat, but still, you get the point. 🙂

You want to see some pictures now, don’t you? I don’t blame you!

It starts with bacon… How can you go wrong with a dish that starts with bacon?

Slice the bacon into lardons (sticks, 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer the bacon in water for 10 minutes, drain and dry. Saute the bacon in oil to brown it slightly.
Remove and drain.

Brown lean stew meat in the bacon fat.

Don’t crowd the pan – take your time so you get a rich brown crust on each piece!


When that’s finished, you brown some veggies in the bacony-beefy fat.


Put the beef and bacon in an oven proof casserole dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and flour and bake in a 450 degree oven for four minutes. Remove from the oven. Stir. Return to the oven for another four minutes to create a nice crust on the meat. Remove from the oven, reduce the heat to 325.

Stir in red wine and enough beef stock to cover the meat. Add some lovely garlic, herbs, the sautéed veggies and a bacon rind. Bring it to a simmer on the stove-top. Cover and set back in the oven, regulating the heat so the liquid continues to simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Don’t think you’re off the hook for the next 2 1/2 hours! There will be no checking your Facebook page, catching up on the latest novel or painting your toe nails. You still have work to do!

While the meat is cooking, you need to create “Oignons Glaces A Brun” or brown-braised onions.

Use peeled boiler onions and sauté them in butter and oil over moderate heat for about 10 minutes so they get nice and brown.

Pour brown beef stock and red wine over the onions, again adding lovely herbs in a herb bouquet tied in cheesecloth. Simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are tender and the liquid has evaporated. These onions taste amazing! You can do these as a side dish. They are incredible! Plus the syrupy goodness at the bottom of the saucepan… you may want to save that to add to the sauce at the end. It tastes so good!

Still no Facebook! You have “Champignons Sautes Au Beurre” to make! Yep, time to sauté the mushrooms.

Of course, more butter and oil is required!


Now you have about 10 minutes to go tell your friends how amazing your kitchen smells! That’s what I did! 🙂

When the meat is tender, you’re going to pour everything through a sieve set over a saucepan. Wipe out the dish and return the beef and bacon to it. Put the cooked whole onions and mushrooms over the meat.
Simmer the sauce for a few minutes, skimming off the fat as it rises. At this point, if you saved that delicious syrup from the onions, stir it in. You’re going to simmer the sauce until you have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Try not to slurp it all down, dinner still isn’t ready.
Adjust seasonings and then pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.

Cover and simmer for an additional few minutes, basting the meat and veggies several times. I served this with steamed white rice, but Julia recommends serving it with boiled potatoes. So add that to your list of things to do while the meat is cooking and you are simmering onions and sautéing mushrooms. 🙂

This is what it looked like on the table!

I would highly recommend you try this dish. Invest the time. Learn and experience the different techniques and layers of flavors that go into making it. It’s a phenomenal experience!

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