Posts Tagged ‘mozzarella’
Ohio State lost to Michigan State last night in the Big Ten Conference Championship, and therefore lost the chance to go to the National Championship. To add insult to injury, it’s been miserably cold all over the country, including here, with sleet, freezing rain, and below freezing temperatures. Campus was closed on Friday and the St. Jude Marathon was cancelled Saturday as were the group fitness classes at my gym. I lost power on Friday but thankfully only for an hour. All day Saturday I kept expecting it to go out because my lights flickered constantly. As a result I didn’t dare prepare anything that took more than a couple minutes to cook. Which meant it was time for some microwave cooking!
Baking cakes in a mug with the microwave has been a huge trend and has expanded beyond baked goods to meals. Microwave mac and cheese isn’t a new concept, as it can be purchased at your local grocery store, but this is a homemade version using white cheddar for this much needed comfort food. With a cook time of 6 minutes and 30 seconds it was perfect to sneak in before the power finally decided to fail.
Two years ago: Toffee Apple Dip
With my dissertation behind me and only 21 days until I graduate and get hooded for my Ph.D. you’d think I would be care-free and excited. Not so much, more like the same old stress and anxious. I am still working on a couple last experiments per reviewers comments on my paper, job hunting, and worrying about what I am going to do if I don’t have a job lined up by the end of January when my lease runs out. With any luck that last item won’t become a reality, but in the meantime it’s a good time for some comfort food.
Stuffed shells are great comfort food. Those big shells hug in their cheesy goodness of a filling while being wrapped up in a warm blanket of sauce. Sounds like the life, doesn’t it? This sauce happens to be extra special because it is a pumpkin alfredo sauce with sage. Now wait, don’t get discouraged thinking you have to make your own alfredo sauce (but you can if you want). This recipe uses a premade jar of alfredo mixed up with pumpkin puree and a couple other flavor additions to create a great fall pasta dish.
One year ago: Individual Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
Two years ago: Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup
I don’t know what it is about pizza but I have a very hard time capturing appetizing photos of pizza slices. No matter what angle or lighting I use, I rarely enjoy looking at the photos I take of pizza slices. As a result I tossed every single one for this pizza and was left with just unsliced photos. Maybe that’s why I don’t make pizza as much as I used to these days, because of its unphotogenic nature? Thankfully, I always take pictures before I slice into anything just in case so I at least have a shot of the whole pizza itself.
Pictures aside, the toppings on this pizza are perfect for fall and butternut squash happens to be one of my favorite fall/winter squashes to cook with. In fact, at the end of the season last year, it went on sale so I stocked up and froze it after being peeled and cubed. But that’s long gone and this pizza was made with fresh butternut squash from this season.
Did you remember to turn back your clocks yesterday? I changed mine right before I went to bed Saturday night which made me feel like I was going to bed crazy early. Although it will now get darker earlier, at least waking up early is a cinch. I find it difficult to wake up before the sun rises (and sleep when it up) so this will be good for me. But on to the food!
When it comes to comforting soup and sandwich pairings, tomato soup and grilled cheese is my go-to. So that slow cooker tomato-basil soup I shared last week? You better believe there was some grilled cheese action going on there too. But not just any ol’ grilled cheese, grilled cheese stuffed with macaroni and cheese! You can use any leftover (or fresh) macaroni and cheese you have on hand, but I used a spicy version and it was excellent.
Pizza for One – most commonly found in the frozen food section at your grocery store but now you can make it at home almost as fast! This pizza dough doesn’t require any rise time or yeast which means you can whip up this little guy in the same amount of time that it takes your oven to preheat. Single-Serving-Sunday-win!
I rolled my dough out thinner than 1/4-inch because I tend to like thin-crust pizzas, so mine ended up being about 6-inches in diameter and therefore used a bit more toppings. In you don’t roll yours out as thin you may not need as much toppings but have fun with it! Maybe even make yourself a single serving calzone?
One year ago: Buckeye Rice Krispies Treats
Every day is a battle to actually prepare a meal at dinnertime for myself instead of opening a blue box of mac and cheese or swinging by Taco Bell. I am actually impressed by only caving once thus far. Oddly enough I spruced up that blue box by topping it off with some lentil soup and fried okra. That is what happens when you are hungry and rummage through the pantry and freezer for random items. Oddly enough it was quite delicious and I may have to do it again the next time I cave.
But on the days I do manage to cook it is rarely anything that takes more than 30 minutes of preparation. And yes, this recipe today falls into the category. It may look fancy and difficult but the hardest part is slicing the eggplant, unless you’re smart and pull out your mandoline (I own one but always forget). The next hardest part? Not eating the entire pan by yourself in one sitting. The creamy pesto was freaking amazing and I wanted to bathe in it.
It is a rare day to find flights for under $300, even more so under $200, but yesterday was one of those days and I snatched it up as fast as I could confirm the time and place of events for that weekend. This flight purchase was for my friend Amber’s wedding in October, another of which I am a bridesmaid! The flight actually ended up being free because I had accrued enough miles to do so. I should have signed up for the Amex Delta Skymiles CC a long time ago. Imagine all the free flights, free 1st checked bag, and group 1 seating I could have been enjoying all these years!
But anywho, to go along with the theme of frugality, here is a pizza taco recipe that I was able to make almost without a trip to the grocery store. Lately I have been trying to cook more with the items I already have stocked, and surprisingly for this meal I had every ingredient on hand except for the ricotta. That goes to show how well stocked my kitchen is for a girl living with no one else besides her cat. Sometimes I try to estimate how long I could survive without leaving my home, and appreciate that I do not need to test it for real because I covet fresh fruit far too much.
P.S. This recipe is a great, quick weeknight meal!
One year ago: Easy S’mores Ice Cream Sandwiches
How is it that I cannot remember the details of a memory long ago or things of importance, yet when a song comes on the radio that I haven’t heard in over 5 years I can sign along as if I never stopped listening? Funny thing, the brain. Random thought of the day… on to this pizza!
Since my revival of pizza night last week I’ve been toying with the idea of other kinds of pizza crust. So take a wild guess as to what is my new favorite way to use Greek yogurt? In pizza dough! Its addition results in a fluffy interior with the perfect amount of crustiness on the exterior. I cannot believe how long it took me to put Greek yogurt into dough, but I foresee many Greek yogurt-bread products in my future.
This brilliant brain-child of a pizza dough was also topped off with some special ingredients to create a Greek pizza: artichokes, tomatoes, red onion, red pepper, olives, garlic, feta mozzarella, and tahini. Have I ever told you that I don’t even like olives? Or at least I used to, but lately I don’t seem to mind their presence. Either my taste buds are going numb or I’m growing up. But I don’t wanna grow up!! ::cue ToysRUs theme song::
It’s been way too long since I’ve posted a pizza recipe. The last one was a Cast Iron Skillet Brussels Sprouts Bacon Pizza back in April due to the fact that I don’t usually have time to let the dough rise during the week. Sometimes I get around that by mixing the dough before going to the gym and by the time I get back it’s ready to go.
This pizza uses pizza yeast for the dough which means homemade pizza on a weekday without any tricks! Pizza yeast requires zero rise time, which at first kind of worried me but it really does work. And to make this dough even more special it is made with beer and rosemary. It was the perfect base to be topped off with chicken, roasted red pepper and feta cheese.
One year ago: Baked Turkey Ricotta Meatballs
You may recall the Kitchen Challenge I participated in a couple months ago for macarons, hosted by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil. Well, I am back in it this month and June’s Kitchen Challenge was homemade mozzarella! This particular challenge was perfect for me because I have had this on my list of things I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. Finally got to cross it off my list.
To make mozzarella all you need is a gallon of 2% or whole milk, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 of a rennet tablet, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of citric acid. I bought the last two off Amazon (links provided), but I know Whole Foods carries rennet and most grocery stores sell citric acid. As far as non edible supplies go, you will also need a 5-quart or larger pot, thermometer, knife, slotted spoon, microwaveable bowl, and rubber gloves. You probably own all of that already, but if not now is the time to invest!
I followed the directions provided on The Kitchn, and the process was surprisingly easy although it does require your full attention for most of the time. In under an hour I made one half pound ball and several bite-sized bocconcini with the other half pound. In the end my mozzarella didn’t turn out as smooth and shiny as the store-bought stuff but the freshness? Dear cheese-god it was incomparable. Homemade mozzarella cheese will definitely occur more in the future, especially since I have tons of rennet and citric acid! As an extra bonus the leftover whey liquid can be used for making dough. Yes, I would love some homemade carbs to go with my homemade cheese.
But I didn’t stop there! My bocconcini were then marinated overnight and made caprese salad skewers with them, using fresh basil right off my basil plants on my porch. After all, the best way to use homemade mozzarella is to eat it and it’s always more fun to eat things off a skewer. Check out every one else’s results here.