Friday, December 31, 2010

Cheesesteak Pizza

Yeah, that's right. Cheesesteak Pizza. I saw this on Fake Ginger and thought it sounded like the perfect way to use up some leftover steak. And a good excuse to buy garlic-herb spreadable cheese.

I've been making pizza for a while now but I really want to make it more often. If I plan ahead and make the dough the night before, it can rise in the refrigerator overnight and then it's not too much work to put together the next day. As it was, I did not plan ahead with this and I had a hard time waiting long enough for the dough to completely rise (my apartment is not very warm). Anyway, it was still delicious and fun to make. I didn't get a chance to photograph an individual piece because we gobbled it up too quickly!

Step 1. Cut one green pepper and one small onion (I used half a large onion) in thin strips about two inches long. Get out your pizza dough, whether homemade or storebought. And get out your leftover steak (about 4 ounces, 1/4 pound) and slice it into thin strips too.

Step 2. Cook the veggies in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat for about 15 minutes until well browned, stirring every few minutes. In the meantime, make the sauce: in a small bowl mix together 1/4 cup milk and about 1/2 cup garlic-herb flavored spreadable cheese - Anywhere from Alouette or Boursin to Laughing Cow or even a soft goat cheese could be nice.

 Step 3: Add the sliced steak to the veggies, turn the heat to medium-low, and pour the sauce on top. Mix it up and let it all melt together. Also, roll out your dough at some point.

Step 4: Place the dough on an oiled baking sheet.  Pour the toppings on the dough, then top with a cup of shredded cheese - I used a mozzarella/provolone blend. Add some parmesan too if you like. Place in a preheated 450 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.

 Step 5: Dig in!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Weekly Lunch: Quick Barley Salad

I'm only in the office for three days this week, so my lunch is pretty minimal. Barley with some chopped raw bell pepper and cucumber, dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. And a sprinkle of feta of course. Some carrots with peanut butter on the side. Simple and filling. (Sorry for the crappy smartphone pic)
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Monday, December 27, 2010

Caramel Monkey Bread

So sometimes I get totally ridiculous and make things like monkey bread, which is ridiculous enough already, and I add things like swirls of homemade sticky caramel. In other words, one of the best things I've made this year.

If you, like me, find yourself in the position of having made a batch of too-soft, too-sticky caramel candy, consider making some monkey bread and drizzling layers of this caramel in between layers of cinnamon-sugar-crusted biscuit pieces.

  (And yes, I do use canned biscuit dough to make monkey bread. Eventually, perhaps, I will make "real" monkey bread, with yeast and everything. But for now, this stuff does the trick.)

And if you, like me, decide that this is not ridiculous enough, consider drizzling the leftover melted butter and cinnamon-sugar on top of all of your cinnamon-sugar-crusted, caramel-layered biscuit pieces. Then stick it in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Take it out of the oven, then flip it over onto a plate.

What happens next is up to you.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Epic Sandwich

I haven't felt much like cooking lately, so I've been eating a lot of sandwiches. I tend to go on sandwich kicks for a few weeks, then I get sick of them and don't eat them for months. This epic sandwich was really fun to make (and to eat).

Step 1: Gather your ingredients. Clockwise from top left: hummus, multigrain bread (with nuts and seeds!), sharp cheddar cheese, sundried tomatoes, clover sprouts, and an egg.

Step 2: Fry the egg in some butter, and toast the bread.

Step 3: Spread one piece of toast with cream cheese (whoops, left that out of the picture) and the other with hummus.

Step 4: Put the cheese on top of the egg so it gets all melty.

Step 5: Slide the egg onto one of the pieces of bread.

Step 6: Add sprouts and chopped sundried tomatoes.

Step 7: Put the second piece of bread on top.

Step 8: Cut the sandwich in half, diagonally please.
Step 9: Dig in.

What's your favorite epic sandwich?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Double Apple Oat Muffins

These hearty muffins have both diced fresh apples and a dollop of homemade apple-pear butter in each one. I also tried putting the apple-pear butter on top rather than in the middle - but the surprise is kind of fun. They contain a bunch of healthy ingredients - whole grain flour, wheat germ, walnuts, and being full of apples and buttermilk they are very moist and tender too. No cardboard-y whole grain pastries here!


Ready to bake.

Next time I might cut the apples a bit smaller, but I do like having apple chunks rather than grated apple as I've done previously.

Double Apple Oat Muffins
Adapted from Vegetarian Times, 2006.


  • 2 cups peeled, finely diced apples - I used one giant Jonagold apple(seriously, this thing was like 6" in diameter)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup wheat germ
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk (or 1/4 cup yogurt plus 1 cup milk, stirred together)
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 
  • About 1/4 cup apple or apple-pear butter, divided
  1. Heat oven to 400F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray or use paper liners. 
  2. Peel and dice the apple(s) and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, wheat germ, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, walnut oil, and vanilla.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Stir gently until just mixed, then stir in the apples and walnuts. 
  6. For apple-pear butter centers: spoon batter to fill muffin cups 1/3 full, then dollop 1 tsp apple-pear butter in the center. Add more batter to fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Alternatively, fill muffin cups 3/4 full, then create a small well in the center. Dollop apple-pear butter into the well.
  7. Sprinkle a few oats on top if you wish.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
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