Monthly Archives: August 2015

Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Flatbread

This is for my fancy friends!  I’m pretty sure I have a few of you worldy guys & gals out there…I think.  Anyway, if you want to something different on your tastebuds or perhaps throwing together a cocktail party or girls night and need a new idea, try this recipe out!

This is an easy to eat party food that only needs a few ingredients and you’ll look like and feel like a gourmet chef!

The Starting Lineup

  • Flatbread (store bought or Flatbread | RailroadWifeinTexas)
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 oz goat cheese (1/2 log)
  • 3 Tbsp evoo, divided 2:1
  • Splash of milk
  • Dash of salt & pepper
  • Fresh basil or arugula (optional)  

Heat two tbsp of evoo in a skillet to medium heat and add in the sliced onions along with a generous sprinkle of kosher salt.  Allow to cook down for at least 20 minutes, stirring often.  Halfway through drop the heat down to med low and just let them caramlize and sweeten up.  *Mine generally cook for 30-40 minutes. 

         Meanwhile, preheat your oven AND a pizza stone or baking sheet to 400 degrees.

Ok, now let’s mix together the goat cheese with a splash of milk and a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper.  I like to use a fork to fully incorporate and soften the spread.  *keep checking on them onions! 

   Next we’re going to prebake the flatbread.  Drizzle 1 Tbsp of evoo over the flatbread and smear it all over the top with your fingers (I’m pretty certain that olive oil is great for your skin ūüėČ 

 Lay the already made flatbread onto the preheated stone/baking sheet.  Allow to bake for about 5 minutes so it starts to create a tougher exterior. 

 Remove from the oven and schmear the top with the peppered goat cheese and top with the caramelized onions.  Return this to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.  The goat cheeese will warm through and the flatbread will really crisp up creating great texture. 

 
Serve as is or top with a bit of fresh basil or arugula and a glass of vino, enjoy! 

  

Flatbread 

This is such a versatile dough…There are a few types of “flatbreads” out there such as naan, pita, focaccia, lavash, pizza dough.  I could go on and on and on….They may have a one or two different ingredients or a slightly different preperation method, but they’re really all one in the same.  Delicious!! 

You can use this dough to make flatbread style pizzas or wrap up grilled chicken, lamb or veggies for gyros.  The options are almost endless.  ..I even ate one just by itself ūüėČ

The Starting Lineup

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 packet Active Dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder     

First off you want to combine the warm water with the honey in your mixing bowl.  Stir together until the honey has just about disolved into the water and they ‘become one’.   

 Next add your yeast packet contents into the warm honey water.  Give a quick stir and let this sit for about 10 minutes.  The yeast will start to activate and create almost a foam on the top of the water.   *Science is neat ūüėČ 

   Flour time!  With your stand mixer on a low setting and the dough hook attached, slowly add in the flour.  I do about a 1/2 cup at a time until you reach the 3 1/2 cup mark.  Right after the flour add in the yogurt, egg, salt & baking powder and turn your mixer up to medium speed.   Let it do its thing for about 3-4 minutes till it starts to form a dough ball.  *This dough is rather sticky, also feel free to scrape the sides of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula if the ingredients arent incorporating well. 

 While the dough is kneading, coat a large bowl with a bit of oil or non-stick spray.  You’re now going to add the dough ball to this bowl for its “rise”.  Lay a damp towel over top of the bowl and place in a warm spot for one hour.  *By a sunny window or Ill preheat my oven to 350 degrees, then turn it off and put the bowl on the back of my stove top.  The stove top is slightly warm to the touch and and keeps warmth to the bowl. 

   After the hour is up your dough will have doubled in size.  The magic of yeast my friends!  On a heavily floured flat surface, plop that dough right onto and section into 8.  You’ll likely need to keep adding flour to each dough ball and your rolling pin, and that’s perfectly alright. 

   Preheat a skillet to med/med-high heat while you roll out each dough ball as thin as you can.  It doesnt have to be a perfect circle or rectangle or anything.  The rustic look is great here!  Once you have a few rolled thin you can start adding them one by one to the hot skillet to cook up.  I do about 1 minute on the first side (you’ll start to see bubbles puff up) then flip it and cook for another 30-45 seconds. 

     Once cooked keep them covered so that they do not dry out and keep their soft texture.  *On a dish under a towel, a large plastic baggie, a tortilla warmer.  Enjoy! 

 

Spiced Buttermilk Waffles

What a way to wake up in the morning!  With that apple pie spice fragrance swirling through the air, it’s like your at grandmas house!  Well…not a certain grandma of mine, but someone’s I am sure.  

If you’re slightly strange and do not like warm, comforting spices than you can just omit the apple pie spice altogether, but I don’t recommend it.  Which is why these waffles are perfect for the upcoming holiday season!

The Starting Lineup

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg, seperated
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 5 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp sugar  

You’ll need three seperate bowls for this as well as a waffle iron, but to begin let’s preheat the oven to 225 degrees.  You want the oven on to help keep the waffles warm as you cook them.  Also, have a baking sheet with a wire rack on top.  The waffles will sit on the rack allowing them to NOT get soggy.  No one likes soggy waffles..

In your first (largest) bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder & baking soda, salt and the apple pie spice.  Give it a quick stir with a fork to combine. 


In your next bowl (I use a 2-cup measuring cup), combine the buttermilk, vegetable oil and the egg YOLK.  Whisk together.  *The seperated egg white is added to the 3rd bowl.

In your 3rd bowl, whisk the egg white till it starts to stiffen up a bit.  Then finally whisk in the vanilla extract and Tbsp of sugar to the white.

The buttermilk, oil and yolk….egg white mix behind in metal bowl.


Slowly mix the buttermilk dish into the dry ingredients.  You do NOT have to get all the lumps out.  That would be overmixing and will result in a flat, chewy waffle.  *The same applies with pancake batter ūüėČ

After those to are combined, gently fold in the sugared egg white mix.  This helps add some more “lightness” & “airiness” to the waffle batter. 

Can you see that beautiful apple pie spice in there?? Smells heavenly!


Now start by pouring about 1/2 cup batter into each waffle well and let your machine do its thing.  Mine makes a ‘beep.beep.beep’ sort of sound when its done and I get to take all of the credit for its magical golden browning   abilities!  

 

One by one, lay the finished waffles on the wire racked baking sheet in your preheated oven.  Remember, this keeps them warm with that great outside crust. 

 

Once you’ve (and by *you’ve I mean that genius machine) cooked all of your waffles, serve with butter, warm syrup or a fruit compote!  Happy Breakfast!! 


OPTIONAL: Fruit Compote

  • 2 cups berries, straight from frozen is fine
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar

In a saucepan add in 1 cup of berries, the water, sugar and lemon juice.  Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.  Add in the remaining cup of berries and cook for another 10 minutes, drop heat to low.  Serve over waffles, pancakes or even ice cream!

      
 

 

Toddler Crescent Roll Pizza

Despite this recipe’s title, everyone can enjoy these, but they were concocted with lil ones in mind. ¬†I have two toddlers of my own and the youngest still has yet to get his molars in…making it hard to chew some foods, Friday night pizza being one of them.

After opening a can of crescent rolls one day I noticed the triangular shape and I also just happened to have some pizza like toppings on hand. ¬†I tried it, it worked. ¬†Wonderfully might I add! ¬†My boys (then only 2 & 1) ate it up with no problem! ¬†We’re talking a one-year-old with little to no teeth!

You can add WHATEVER toppings you like as well.  Sneak in some veggies, add sausage or fun cheeses, you can even make this a dessert pizza with Nutella and sliced strawberries or bananas.  The options are endless!!

So if you have some youngin’s, first time eaters or are just searching through your pantry for somethig quick and easy, give these a go!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 roll crescent dough
  • 1 jar pizza sauce
  • 1 package pepperoni
  • 1 mozzarella/cheddar cheese¬†

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (or according to crescent roll package instructions).

On a baking sheet, lay out the crescent rolls and flatten with your fingertips just slightly. ¬†You want to push the dough out just a bit so the “slice” is wider. ¬†*Be brave when opening those dang delicious crescent rolls. ¬†If ¬†there’s one thing in this world that scares me, its opening one of those!*POW*…I shudder…


Next, place about 1 Tbsp of pizza sauce onto each triangular slice.  Spread with the back of a spoon to cover.

Next top with the shredded cheese of your choice.  Follow that with your kiddos favorite toppings and then a bit more of that yummy cheese!

  


Pop these into your preheated oven for 10-12 minutes and you’re done!

Allow them to cool for just a minute for those tiny mouths, but I guarantee these will be an easy lil guy & gal crowd pleaser in your home!!  

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings

With Fall right around the corner and Texas already having a few chilly days this late summer, I am getting in the mood for some cold weather goodness.  The best way to kick that off is with a bowl of warm, pillowy chicken & dumplings.   This recipe from start to finish can easily be done in an hour or less, and if you use pre-cooked chicken (i.e. rotisserie) cut the time down yet again!

The Starting Lineup

  • 3 chicken breasts, uncooked *if this method, poach as directed OR if using a rotisserie chicken proceed to the dumpling stage
  • 2 quarts chicken broth/stock*if poaching your chicken you can use that liquid instead of store bought

Poaching Ingredients

  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorn

Dumpling Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp butter, cubed
  • Pinch of salt   

We’ll start this off by poaching our chicken.  This method is fantastic for cooking and infusing flavor into your chicken.  Once cooked the poultry will shred easily, so this is great for chicken salad, stuffing into enchiladas, soups, etc.

In a large stockpot or dutch oven combine 8-10 cups of water (once your chicken breasts are in, the water should come about 1″ over them) along with all of the above poaching ingredients and the chicken. 

 Bring to boil and keep on a low boil for about 20 minutes, till chicken is cooked through. 

While the chicken is poaching, now is time to start those dumpings!  In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Next add in your butter and mix in using either a pastry cutter, two knives or even your fingers. Break up that butter into the flour mixture till it almost resembles coarse crumbs. 

   

After the butter is evenly distributed, pour in the milk and stir with a fork or wooden spoon till a dough ball starts to form.  *This dough WILL be very sticky!  On a HEAVILY floured surface plop that dough ball down. 

 

Coat the dough ball in more flour along with your rolling pin.  *All of this extra flour helps for non-sticking AND helps to thicken up the broth.  With your floured rolling pin, roll out the dough till fairly thin.  Then using a pastry cutter, pizza cutter or even a knife cut into squares, rectangles or diamonds.  They do not need to be perfect as I assure you it will be gobbled up to fast to notice. 

  

You can either transfer these to a floured plate or leave where theyre at before you cook them.  Its not a worry if they dry out too much.

By this time your chicken is likely cooked so remove from the boiling broth and set aside to cool slighty.  *Now this is where Ill do my best to type out directions depending on if you bought precooked chicken & broth or poached and made your own.

Take that same water & spices your chicken cooked in and strain into a large bowl (your trying to catch any large chunks of onion, lemon & peppercorns).  Once strained, pour back into the dutch oven.

OR IF YOU BOUGHT BROTH OR STOCK, SIMPLY POUR INTO A LARGE DUTCH OVEN

Bring the broth to a low boil and one by one gently drop your dumplings into the pot, stir with a wooden spoon at the same time.  You’ll immediately start to see the dumplings puff up and gain that ‘pillowy’ appearance.  Keep this going till all the dumplings have been added and cook for 15-20 minutes stirring often.  This allows for that floury taste to cook down and out.  

 

While the dumplings are doing there thing  (remember to stir  so they do not stick), shred your chicken with two forks or your fingers.  I always chose my hands over utensils when I can, just remember it’s hot!  *If you bought a rotisserie chicken, do the same..start tearing that apart into bite size pieces.

Add the chicken into the dumplings and broth and its ready!  You can of course let this sit for a bit…but I dont think thats ever happened at my house, so you’ll have to let me know how that goes ūüėČ    

  
Ladle into bowls and serve with a crisp salad, some warm rolls & butter and a large glass of sweet tea! 

  
 

Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs

What are two of the most popular party appetizers to you?   Growing up in my household, we always had creamy deviled eggs and spicy jalapeno poppers for every family gathering.  So of course I had to combine the two and what a wonderful combo it is!

So for your next family grill out, holiday party or football game….make these delights! ¬† My only tip is to possibly double the recipe because they’ll go fast!! ūüôā

The Starting Lineup

  • 6 eggs, hardboiled
  • 3 heaping Tbsp cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp mayonaisse
  • 3 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (I prefer seeds in)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 cup cooked chorizo (Optional..but delightful)

Garnish

  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1 strip cooked bacon, pieces¬†

Start by peeling the outer shell of your cooled hardboiled eggs.  Slice each egg in half and carefully scoop out the yolk.  Lay the sliced egg white on to a serving tray and place 4 of the 6 yolks into a bowl (discard the other two yolks).

Along with the 4 yolks, add in the cream cheese, mayo, crumbled bacon, diced jalapeno and a pinch each of salt & pepper (add in chorizo here if using).  With a fork, combine these ingredients thoroughly.  You can now spoon into the egg whites or spoon all of the mix into a plastic baggy and pipe into the egg white.  *cut small tip off the baggy to pipe in.

After all of your eggs are complete (those hot jalapenos are really making the “deviled” in their name come to life huh?) you can garnish them with a thin slice of jalapeno and a small piece of bacon. ¬†These garnishes help your guest know what is inside the yolk filling!

Grilled Bloody Mary Kabobs & Salad

We’ve all been there on those headache filled Sunday mornings, where you put some big sunglasses on and head to your nearest cantina for the “hair of the dog”.  Often times, you’re also a bit hungry, so what better way to kill two birds with one stone than with these skewers!

The Starting Lineup

  • Sirloin, large cubed
  • Large shrimp, peeled & deveined, tail on
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Green olives
  • Cheese, cubed (horseradish flavor)

Marinade & Dressing

  • 1 can spicy V8 juice
  • 1 cup vodka (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp horseradish, prepared
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire 
  • 1 tsp hot sauce, (Tabasco) 
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 5 Tbsp oil  

We’ll start this typical Sunday morning cocktail turned dinner with the marinade & dressing!   In a 1-gallon size ziploc bag, combine all of the above marinade ingredients, zip bag tight and give a good shake to mix. 

 Next, BEFORE you add the raw meat, take out about 1/4-1/2 cup of this marinade and place in a different sealed container or smaller ziplock bag.  Set this aside in the refrigerator.

We now need to try to remove most fatty pieces from your sirloin cut and then cube.  I like to cut at least fat 2×2 cubes, but if you prefer smaller than go right ahead!  These raw chunks of sirloin will now go into your 1-gallon bag o’ marinade.  Zip securely and place into dish (to avoid leakage) and put in your refrigerator.  Ideally you’d like this to marinate for a good 8 hours, (so before you head to work perhaps?), but I like to do mine overnight…it gets about 24 hours of that boozy marinade! 

   

Hours later or even the next day we’re going to assemble these kabobs! *If using wooden skewers make sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes.  If you have metal skewers than rub lightly with vegetable oil first so the food won’t stick. 

 Have your shrimp defrosted and peel away!  I personally like to keep the tails on for added affect, but you’re more than welcome to shuck those too.  Once all of the shrimp has been peeled, add these straight into the same marinate bag as your cubed steak.  Let sit for 20 minutes. 

     I skewer all my shrimp together and all my steak together.  You can absolutely alternate them, but they cook at different speeds so I find this is better do nothing is undercooked..or worse, overcooked!  *After I skewer them all, I like to sprinkle a bit more pepper over top along with a pinch of cayenne, totally optional. 

 

Set these skewers aside for a minute and wash your hands well!!

On a cutting board, thinly slice your celery and halve your cherry tomatoes.  Place into bowl along with the cubed spicy cheese and green olives.  Season lightly with a bit of salt & pepper.  Now take that smaller (uncontaminated) dressing that you made earlier and pour over the veggies & cheese.  Toss to coat and place in fridge while you grill the steak & shrimp. 

 

Once grill is ready to go (gas or charcoal), cook the shrimp through and the sirloin to your desired doneness.  Place on serving platter and allow to rest.

Scoop a serving of salad onto plate and top with a skewer each of the shrimp & steak.  Serve with a big slice of crusty garlic bread! 

 

*If you cannot find horseradish cheese in your deli’s specialty section, cheddar or even Bleu cheese would be fine.

*You can leave the vodka out completely or at the very least in the salad dressing if served to children.  I myself like it all..

*You can really use any veggies here that you like served alongside your Bloody Mary cocktail (I.e. okra, pickles, cheeses, bacon, etc).

*Garlic bread: halve a French loaf from your bakery, slather each cut side with a generous amount of butter, garlic and a sprinkle of parsley or italian seasoning.  Place on baking sheet under your broiler till melted and slice.


%d bloggers like this: