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Welcome to my collection of recipes and cooking related ramblings. Please don't expect culinary perfection during your time here... for I am a frustrated foodie with very little patience and more than a tendency for often unnecessary creativity in the kitchen. I have a hard time following instructions (Never fear, I can read, I just don't like being told what to do), so cooking is a good exercise in discipline for me. Luckily I have a willing husband to taste test these creations, good and bad, so I don't have to suffer alone in my experimentations.  

If you dare - learn along with me as I try out recipes, tweak them to my liking, learn what NOT to do and share all the mundane details with you! Let's do this... 

Entries in Cheddar Cheese (2)

Sunday
May272012

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I take terrible food pictures! It tasted delicious, I promise.

Happy Memorial Day folks! If you are celebrating like approximately 98% of Americans - there is most likely some barbecued meat somewhere in your weekend plans. If you're lucky, you may have some leftovers. If you're even luckier, it'll be chicken and you can whip up this delicious barbecue chicken pizza for Monday night dinner and help close out three days of fun in the sun.

If you're a 2 percenter, like me, then you will be grabbing a bag of fully-cooked frozen chicken strips (fajita-size and shape) and preserving your precious skin inside in the dark watching a Turner Classic Movie war-flick-a-thon. Either way, you and I can both enjoy this delicious pizza pie and toast to our fallen heroes. You can shred up and use your leftover chicken... I'll heat mine up in a futuristic manner and we'll both end up satisfied. Potato, po-tah-to.

Note - as a picky eater - I have a hard time finding bbq sauces that aren't super sweet and overpowering. In this recipe, I usually use Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory & Brown Sugar barbecue sauce. I like the brown sugar flavor with the chicken... makes it the right kind of sweet to compliment the savory onions. I'm starting to drool, so I'll get on with it.

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

INGREDIENTS:

  • ~3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 onion, sliced in moon shapes
  • 2 cups chicken, cubbed or shredded
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 refrigerated pizza crust (in tube, I use Pillsbury's)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Unroll refrigerated pizza crust onto baking sheet and prebake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, sauté your sliced onions in 2 Tbsp of olive oil until translucent. if you are using frozen chicken, throw chopped chicken in with onions after the first five minutes. Continue to sauté together for an additional 8 minutes or until chicken is warmed through and beginning to brown. If you are using shredded (not frozen) chicken, then toss it in for just a minute or two with the onions to warm it through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Assemble your pizza by spreading the sauce evenly over the prebaked crust. Next, spread the onions and chicken over the entire pizza andtop with two types of cheese. Salt and pepper to your taste. Bake pizza for approximately 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Slice and serve. Bring a fork to help you fight your way in for a slice - this pizza goes fast!

Saturday
Apr072012

Time for a little Bacon Mushroom Breakfast Muffin love

 

So... I was spring cleaning today and decided I'd start with the easiest place in the house (and the one where I will get the most distracted and thus abandon all other spring cleaning) the refrigerator. What's a girl to do with half a package of bacon, a tub of mushrooms and a block of cheese, you ask? Make these savory muffins, I say! My husband said it was like eating a whole sandwich in a muffin!

Well, the plan worked. I haven't cleaned a thing except the dishes used to make this recipe as I conveniently got caught up in sharing this edible delight with you instead. If we had anything else worth eating in the fridge... I'd pair this with some fresh fruit and honeyed yogurt.  Instead, I ate two over the sink and snuck one upstairs as a reward for writing this post. 

Lucky for you, this easy recipe is flexible, takes little skill, looks artisanish and tastes like Christmas. It's perfect for a brunch or lazy family weekend breakfast.You can tailor it to your tastes or what's left over in your fridge by substituting a variety of meats and cheese for the bacon and cheddar. Prosciutto and gruyere would be a delicious combination as would a smoked Cheddar and Canadian Bacon. So, go on, do your thing.

Cheesy Bacon Mushroom Breakfast Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour, plus 2Tbsp.
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated 
  • 8 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, chopped
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 7 Tbsp. butter, melted

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a regular muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. 

Fry bacon pieces until crispy and drain on paper towels, reserving 1-2 Tbsp. grease. Using the bacon grease, saute the chopped mushrooms for approximately 5 minutes until softened, set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour (reserving the extra 2Tbsps.), baking powder, salt, pepper and grated cheese. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs and melted butter. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the bacon. Toss the mushrooms with the 2 Tbsp of flour and mix until just combined. The flour will keep the mushrooms from sinking to the bottom.

Scoop the muffin mixture into prepared tin- filling each tin even with the top.  Bake for approximately 15-16 minutes until tops begin to brown. As soon as you can handle them, remove muffins to a cooling rack to prevent them from getting rubbery.