Pizza time!

When you make a home-made pizza, you want it to be better than what you’re going to get from a pizzeria. That’s the point, right? You put in all that work, so you want it to be freaking awesome! But making a home-made pizza can be tough. You want the crust, sauce, and toppings to be good. You’d think this wouldn’t be that hard to achieve, but it’s more difficult than it appears. At my house we have been experimenting, and we have finally figured out how to make the perfect home-made pizza. 

 Over the last couple of months, my mother and I have been playing around with pizza dough recipes. We have had a difficult time finding a really good pizza dough recipe, one that comes out crispy and flavorful. Most of the pizza dough recipes we tried were good, but they were all just missing something. While deciding what foods to make for my son’s birthday picnic in March, we found a recipe for home-made bread rolls. We baked them, and they were delicious! They were soft in the middle, crispy on the outside, and full of flavor. And then a little light bulb went off in my mother’s head. What if we took this recipe and made a pizza dough out of it? So we tried it, and the results were perfect!

Now that we had discovered the trick to awesome pizza dough, the next hurdle was the sauce. To have a truly good pizza, you must have a good sauce. I will love or hate a pizza based on the sauce. You can’t just use tomato paste, that will make it bland. You can’t just use a spaghetti sauce either, it’s missing something. With a little tweaking, we found the perfect combination. A mixture of tomato paste, spaghetti sauce, and sugar make the best pizza sauce.

And last, but certainly not least, you’ve got your toppings. Usually you just throw on your cheese and your toppings and you’re good to go. But I wasn’t completely satisfied with that, so I stole a trick from a popular pizza chain. If you’ve ever had Papa John’s pizza, you’ve notice the meat and veggies are under the cheese versus on top of it. I think the reason this idea was born, is because putting the meat and veggies directly on the sauce gives the sauce more of a flavor. Plus it makes your pizza seem much cheesier without having to go overboard.

Okay, enough of the teasing! Here is our complete recipe for the best home-made pizza ever!

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For the pizza dough, I used this bread roll recipe found on Picture Perfect Meals. I highly recommend using the bread flour as the recipe suggests. If you don’t, it’s not going to come out right. The only thing you’re going to do differently as far as ingredients are concerned, is to omit the use of the extra egg. This recipe makes enough dough for two 14-inch pizzas. Although for this pizza I used a 12-inch pan, so you’ll need to increase the measurements for a larger pizza.

For the sauce:

  • One can traditional Hunts spaghetti sauce
  • One small can tomato paste
  • One tablespoon sugar

For the toppings:

  • One cup shredded mozzarella
  • 3/4 cup pepperoni, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bacon bits
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • Two tablespoons pizza seasoning
  • One teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put a layer of sauce on your pizza dough and spread evenly. Lay your meat and veggies over top the sauce, and then the cheese. Sprinkle pizza seasoning and salt on top, and bake for 14-16 minutes, until the bottom of the crust is lightly browned. Enjoy!

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Nutella madness!

When Nutella became popular, it cracked me up how many people were under the impression that it was healthy and better for you than other nut-butters. All you have to do is look at the ingredients, and if you’ve got half a brain, you’ll see that it is anything but good for you. I mean hello! Anyone that has a love affair with Ferrero Rocher will tell you they about died and went to heaven when they tried Nutella for the first time, as that is the chocolatey goodness that’s been placed inside those candies by the hands of the baby Jesus.

Once everyone finally admitted to themselves that Nutella was actually not healthy, the awesome Nutella recipes began to surface all over Pinterest. Today I decided to check out some of these recipes, because I’ve been dying to make some kind of a delicious dessert with Nutella in it. So I went on Pinterest, and put “Nutella recipes” in the search bar. I practically had a stroke just from looking at the hundreds upon hundreds of recipes. There were recipes for brownies, cheesecake, donuts, mousse, pancakes, pizza, sticky buns, french toast, truffles, tarts, cakes, cupcakes, the list goes on. People are fucking mad for Nutella.

And I am about to jump on the crazy train as well. Time to look for my extra-fat-pants.

With all the recipes there were, I just started opening the recipes that made me go holy Jesus! and then narrowed it down to the most delicious looking Nutella recipes.

Here they are!

NutellaBrownies

Nutella brownies is first up on the list. This would make you a hero at the bake-sale if you brought these! The recipe for these brownies is featured on My Baking Addiction, and you can find the recipe here.

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Nutella french toast roll-ups. To the woman on her period that created these, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. French toast is so awesome, and you just made it awesom-er. This recipe is on Diethood, and you can find it here.

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Nutella brie bites. This made me cream my pants a little bit…. It’s squares of puff pastry with wedges of brie, topped with Nutella. It’s on Bevcooks, and you can find the recipe here.

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FUCKING NUTELLA TRUFFLES!!!! Clearly I love truffles…. They are so good. And with Nutella? Yes, please! This recipe is also on My Baking Addiction, found here.

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Nutella sticky buns, need I say more? Didn’t think so! This recipe is on Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice, and you can grab this insanely awesome recipe here.

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Aaaaaand Nutella pizza. I saved the best for last 🙂 This gem of a recipe is on Manu’s Menu, and you can find it here.

I will be making ALL THE NUTELLA RECIPES.

Spinach and prosciutto quiche

I love Quiche, like a lot. You can do so much with it. You can make it for breakfast, brunch, or dinner. Whatever you decide to put into decides for what meal it belongs with. It’s also very easy to make, which means it’s perfect for busy moms! It’s great for a family meal(it can be very kid-friendly!), or for serving at a brunch with friends. I stumbled upon this recipe because I was looking for a new way to make Quiche. The ingredients instantly made my mouth water. You can find the original recipe on Relish, although I did make some changes to this recipe. It didn’t seem like it had enough eggs or cheese, so I added a little extra of both.

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  • One pie crust, brought up to room temperature
  • Eight eggs, beaten
  • One and a half cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Two cups raw spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 pound of prosciutto, cooked and chopped
  • Two cups Gruyère cheese(this cheese can be pricey, but if you get it at Wal-Mart, it’s much cheaper!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Fit pie crust in a 9-inch glass pie plate.

Place eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a stand mixer and mix on high-speed for 15 seconds. Or you can whisk for one minute. Either way, you want the heavy cream in the mixture to fluff up a bit. Fold in one and a half cups of the cheese, spinach and prosciutto. Pour into pie plate and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set.

This tastes the most amazing the next day, because the flavor is much more prevalent!

Gordon Ramsay’s beef wellington

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Beef Wellington is one of the few “fancy foods” I have really wanted to take a stab at for a while. I mean it’s beef filet(my favorite cut) and covered in a puff pastry. Hello delici-gasm! That being said, it is an intimidating recipe to consider. I mean if you’ve ever watched Hell’s Kitchen, surely you’ve seen too many chefs screw this one up under pressure. Those wankers! But after going over the recipe, it actually doesn’t seem too terribly difficult. Here is the recipe for beef Wellington straight from my Gordon Ramsay’s cookery source app(that can be downloaded here). The original recipe calls for chestnut mushrooms, but I’m omitting them from the recipe because I’m sure most of you(myself included) don’t know where the fuck to find these mushrooms, or probably cannot justify paying a high price for mushrooms(unless they’re the magic kind, of course!). If you would like the full recipe, you can find it on BBC Good Food.

  • Two pounds beef filet
  • Twelve slices prosciutto
  • One pound package puff pastry
  • Flour for dusting
  • Two egg yolks, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a roasting pan, lay beef filet in the center and brush with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes(medium rare) or 20 minutes(medium). Please, for the love of God, no matter what your level of picky-ness tells you, do not roast it to anything above medium. Beef filet is best at medium rare or medium! Do this sexy piece of meat some justice! When it is finished roasting, take it out of the oven too cool. AFTER you let it cool(putting any food that is hot directly in the fridge is BAD BAD BAD), chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

While your beef filet is cooling, lay two pieces of cling film(serran wrap) over your surface. Make sure they overlap. Add prosciutto slices on the cling film, slightly overlapping each other in a double row. Place the cooled filet on top of the prosciutto slices, and use the cling film to assist in wrapping the filet in the prosciutto. Roll it like a sausage(mmmmm, sausage!), twisting the cling film at the ends. Chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

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Dust your work surface with a little flour. Roll 1/3 of your puff pastry into a strip large enough to place the filet on and place on a baking sheet. Roll the remainder of the puff pastry and set aside. Carefully unwrap the cling film from the wrapped filet, and place in the middle of the strip of pastry. Take your beaten egg mixture and brush the pastry’s edge that the beef filet is on, and the sides of the filet. Carefully drape the larger piece of pastry over the filet. Trim the excess so there is just enough to join the two pieces with a fork(just like you would when you are putting the top crust on a pie). Take the remainder of the yolk mixture and brush over the entire top pastry. With the back of a knife, mark the wellington with long diagonal lines, but make sure you don’t cut the pastry. Chill for 30 minutes, or if you’re not doing this this right now without having read the instructions ahead of time, you can chill it for up to 24 hours.

Bake 20-25 minutes for medium rare, 30 minutes for medium. Stand for ten minutes before serving in thick slices.

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Spinach artichoke bites

A couple weeks ago I was at the grocery store, and I saw these delicious looking appetizers called “bags of gold”. It was like artichoke dip wrapped in pastry, definitely one of the tastiest things I’ve tried. I love spinach and artichoke, so they were a real winner for me.

Last night while I was on Pinterest, I saw a recipe on Recipe by Photo called spinach artichoke bites. Yes! I am making these tonight or tomorrow, depending how stressful my annoying ass customers are today. For now, you can find the recipe here, and enjoy this food porn I am about to unleash upon you!

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UPDATE: I made these last night, and they were delicious! I did, however, make a few changes to the recipe. I swapped out the mayonnaise for sour cream, and used fresh spinach instead of frozen. I also added some shredded mozzarella to the mixture instead of sprinkling it on top before baking.

 

Happy Easter, bitches!

The boy decided to rise and shine at 6:30 this morning, after having a night of waking up several times. I wanted to put my own head through the wall, this is how tired I was. At first he was in a good mood, but right around the time I needed to start making our Easter brunch, his mental state started to crumble. So I busted out the Easter basket. What better way to cheer up a pissed off toddler than a basket full of toys and candy?

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The blur is my son going straight for the bunny cooper with the candy on the inside!

Twenty minutes later he was bouncing off the walls. He was screaming, running, jumping on me and rolling across the floor. Exhaustion plus candy equals a mega sugar high. Parenting win! Finally after about a half hour he settled down started playing with his hot wheels and the bunny cooper!

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While the food was finishing up, we had our Easter egg hunt! I gotta say, I’m very proud of my little guy. He’s a pro at hunting eggs! He’s also a pro at crushing them….

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My family was very satisfied with the food! The brunch bake was absolutely delicious. The crust was perfectly flaky, and the ricotta cheese made the egg mixture very creamy and flavorful.

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I was not at all happy with how the bacon came out. Martha Stewart, I am very disappointed in you! You’d think prison would have given her plenty of time to master a bacon recipe, but no. I’ve never baked bacon before, and I will probably never bake it again. It didn’t come out crispy at all, it was rubbery. Who the hell wants to eat rubbery bacon?! I ended up pan frying the bacon some to achieve some crispness, but it was still sub par. The glaze tasted good, but next time I will pan fry the bacon, and drizzle the glaze on it after it is cooked.

Everyone’s favorite was the fruit tarts. Paula Dean recipes never fail to delight my taste buds. The crust was amazing, with just the right amount of sweetness. The cream cheese mixture was amaze balls, and the fresh strawberries on top made it a perfect spring time dessert.

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All in all, my Easter this year was fantastic. You will never hear me bitching about holidays and how “fake” or “corporate” they are. Holidays are what you make of them, and for me they are all about showing my family a few times a year just how much I adore them.

If you would like to see the recipes for what I made today, go to my previous post about my Easter brunch here.