February 6, 2013 § 1 Comment
My husband and I used to eat at CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) a few times a week. Sometimes twice a day!!! My favorites there changed over the years and the last few years it was their thin crust pesto chicken pizza. I LOVED that pizza. Doesn’t matter if I was full on appetizers and bread before my pizza came, the entire pizza had no chance of survival.
Notice how the pizza is referred to in past tense? Well not too long ago they revamped their menu. I had a break from them because I was pregnant with my second baby and was so sick I barely left the house. Anyway, when I managed to make it back there to order the pesto chicken pizza….. It was gone. GONE! I asked the waitress and she verified it was no longer on the menu. They couldn’t even make a close copy with what ingredients they had on hand. I was so sad and could barely eat a few bites of the other pizza she suggested. It was probably half a year since that day and I’ve gone back just two other times. Once for pasta and then recently to see if there’s any pizza they could make to be just a little close to my much missed pizza. They couldn’t do it.
Now when I crave that pizza I have to make it myself. Although the crust isn’t as good as theirs (I still haven’t invested in the whole pizza stone process), its still a pretty tasty pizza. I used the no-knead method for the dough and it’s one of the easiest dough ever!
So if you’re missing CPK’s Pesto Chicken Pizza or just like pesto chicken this is a good pizza to try. Enjoy!
- 3-3/4 c ap flour
- 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
- 1-1/2 c warm water
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
Slowly add warm water, mixing with a spoon until all water is incorporated.
Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a clean bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled (up to 18 hrs). I let mine rise overnight.
Transfer dough onto a floured work surface and divide into three equal portions.
For each portion, take the dough and gather the four “corners” to the center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and roll into a ball.
Let dough rest, uncovered, for an hour before use.
The other portions can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to a month. Just let it defrost in fridge for a day (if frozen), then sit out at room temperature for 2-3 hours before using.
Pesto Chicken Pizza
- 1 portion pizza dough (see above)
- 1/3 c pesto sauce
- 1/2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/4 c Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1/2 c chicken, cooked and cut into strips
- pine nuts, as much as you like
- sun-dried tomatoes, as much as you like
- basil leaves
Preheat oven to 500-550 degrees. (depends on how high your oven can go)
Shape the dough into about a 12″ circle, or whatever shape it becomes since mine did not want to be a circle.
Spread the pesto sauce on the dough.
Top with ingredients.
Bake for about 10 mins or until the bottom is golden and crisp and cheese is melted.
Top with torn basil leaves.
March 6, 2012 § 4 Comments
This is a pretty healthy and filling soup that can be made in one pot (well a baking sheet AND a pot). I’ve only had cauliflower in stir fry and raw, and love both. But this is my new favorite way. As soup and with a lot of cheese! I was skeptical of this recipe because there isn’t that much going into it, but it makes a hearty and creamy soup that could be a meal.
I’ll take this on a cold day with mounds of cheesy, crunchy croutons and some green onions sprinkled on top.
Recipe adapted from closet cooking.
Roasted Cauliflower and Asparagus Soup
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 5-6 big stalks of asparagus with tough ends broken off and tips broken into smaller pieces
- 2 tablespoons oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 3 c vegetable broth
- Parmesan rinds if you have it
- 2 c extra sharp cheddar, shredded
- 1 c milk
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the cauliflower florets, asparagus, oil, salt and pepper and arrange them on a single layer on a large baking sheet.
Roast for 30 mins.
Heat the oil in a pot on medium heat.
Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
Add the broth, cauliflower, asparagus and parm rinds and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
Take out the Parmesan rind.
Puree the soup until it reaches your desired consistency with a stick blender. (I didn’t have this so I did this in batches in a food processor)
Mix in the cheese, let it melt and season with salt and pepper.
Mix in the milk and remove from heat.
February 27, 2012 § 2 Comments
You can never have enough treats for your pets, especially homemade ones. I’ve been wanting to make Charlie (my rottie) and Lucky (my brothers shihtzu) fresh treats for awhile and now realize how quick and easy it is! The first ones I made were a peanut butter and banana batch, which went really quick. This is a cheddar cheese treat. Charlie loved (but charlie literally eats everything), Lucky not as much. So maybe I’ll try a teeny tiny bit of bacon in it to see if Lucky takes to it more. With bacon I think I might take to it. ;P
These are super easy to make and smell great while baking. I’m still having trouble getting the biscuits to get super crunchy and dry like the commercial stuff. Next time I’m planning to double bake them like a biscotti and hopefully they get crazy crunchy.
Recipe adapted from All Recipes: Dog Treats 1 by doughmama
Cheesy Dog Biscuits
- 1 c rolled oats
- 1/3 c applesauce
- 1 c hot chicken stock
- 3/4 c ground flax
- 1/2 c milk
- 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 – 3 c whole wheat flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, applesauce, and stock.
Let stand 10 minutes.
Thoroughly stir in flax, milk, cheese, and egg.
Mix in flour, 1 cup at a time, until a stiff dough has formed.
Knead dough on a lightly floured surface, mixing in additional flour as necessary until dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
Roll or pat out dough to 1/2″ thickness. Cut with cookie cutter or with a knife, and place 1/2 inch apart onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
Bake 50 minutes to an hour in the preheated oven, until golden brown.
Cool before serving. Store in a loosely covered container. You can freeze in a airtight container if you won’t be using it all within a week or two.
February 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Nothing says comfort like meatloaf, especially the ones with a thick slather of tomato sauce. Seems like not many people are that into it lately. I love how versatile it is, you can add really any spices, meats, and veggies to suit your taste.
Originally I planned to make a turkey and quinoa meatloaf, but figured meatballs are way more fun and easier for little hands. My son’s, not mine. Haha.
Also a note to myself for next time and to whoever might try to make these recipes….it makes a ton. I ended up with like 8 cups of pasta, a huge bucket of potatoes (more like 8-9 cups, but just seemed like sooo much more at the time), and 24 1.5″ to 2″ meatballs. You end up with about a cup of sauce, which is enough to spread over all the meatballs and have it drip all over the potatoes. Yummm…..
Turkey Quinoa Meatballs
- 1 1/4 lb ground lean turkey
- 3/4 c cooked quinoa
- 1/2 c shredded carrot
- 2 lg eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 c fresh basil, cut into thin strips (or 1/2 to 1 tsp dried basil, depending on your preference.)
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 c Italian breadcrumbs
- 2/3 c ketchup
- 4 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 4 tsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Fluff/loosen the turkey with a fork.
Add all ingredients from the quinoa to the pepper, mix well, but don’t compress mixture.
Add breadcrumbs and mix to incorporate.
Shape mixture into 24 balls. Each are about 1.5-2 inches.
Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
Prepare glaze: mix ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, tomato paste, and Worcestershire together.
Brush or pour tomato sauce over meatballs.
Bake for 40 mins.
Mashed Red Potatoes
- 3 lbs red potatoes, unpeeled and cubed into 1 – 1.5 inch pieces
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 c milk
- 1/4 lb unsalted butter
- 1 c sour cream (1/2 c would be good, but my husband loves sour cream, so it became a whole cup)
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Boil potatoes until soft, about 15 mins.
Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl and mash with fork to desired consistency.
Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan until butter is melted.
Mix in the milk mixture.
Fold in sour cream, salt and pepper.
Cheesy Stove Top Pasta (adapted from Evil Shenanigans)
- 16 oz macaroni, or any small pasta
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 c milk
- 1 1/2 c freshly grated cheddar cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
- 1 tsp sriracha sauce
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Boil the pasta according to package directions
Drain and pour back into the cooking pot.
Over medium-low heat, add the butter and stir until melted.
Mix the egg, milk, and spices and pour over the pasta.
Stir until it begins to thicken, about three to five minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat then add the cheese.
Mix well so cheese melts.