"Of soup and love, the first is best."
Spanish Proverb

Monday, July 19, 2010

BLT Pizza

We have pizza night around here about once a week. It's a happy, cheesy night. So, I was making this pizza PW's Potato Bacon Leek Pizza which has been an adult favorite around here, and I had all this leftover bacon. What's a girl to do? I also had a lot of ripe tomatoes on my counter and some lettuce in the fridge. What happened next was nothing short of miraculous: BLT Pizza. I had my doubts, but it ended up being every one's favorite. This will definitely be made again and again and again. And again. Enjoy.

BLT Pizza

Favorite pizza dough for one pie
Olive oil
4-6 slices Thick-Cut Bacon, cooked until nice and brown
Mozzarella, grated
2-3 ripe Tomatoes, sliced
1 head of Romaine, washed, dried and chopped
1/2 cup Mayo
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 450*. Sprinkle baking sheet with cornmeal. Form fresh pizza dough on the baking sheet until it's about 1/4 inch thick. Drizzle with olive oil and spread around the crust with your fingers. Cover generously with mozzarella. And then just as generously with bacon. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Layer entire pizza with tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Dress the lettuce with the mayonnaise and serve on top of the pizza.

PW's Potato Bacon Leek Pizza
(and don't' forget the goat cheese; it really does give it that something special)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sausage and Spinach Baked Pasta

This is the only casserole in my cooking repertoire. I make it when I don't want to mess around. It's easy and quick to make, and everyone always likes it, no whining for PBJs two hours later. It's based very loosely on a casserole I grew up eating and loving that my Mom and her Mom called Tyrolean Casserole. It's comfort food to me and mine.
Sausage and Spinach Baked Pasta
1 lb. any Tubular Pasta, I use Archer Farm's Rigatoni
1 jar Archer Farm's Pomadora Sauce, or your favorite jarred pasta sauce
6 links Mild Italian Sausage
1 block Cream Cheese
1 small container Cottage Cheese
4 large handfuls of Fresh Spinach (or 1 small grocery store bag)
Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preparation Instructions:
Brown sausage until nice and carmelized, and add pasta sauce. Stir and turn off heat. Prepare pasta according to package instructions, keeping pasta al dente. Drain but do not rinse. Immediately add pasta back to pot and add cream cheese and cottage cheese. Stir until pasta is creamy and coated thoroughly.
In a medium to large casserole dish, spoon the sausage sauce over the bottom just until it's covered. Add a layer of creamy pasta, followed by two large handfuls of spinach and a good handful or shaving of cheese. Keep layering until you run out of ingredients. I usually end with pasta or sauce, either will work. Bake, covered, in a 350* oven for 35-45 minutes or until bubbly.
(Sometimes I add fresh garlic or basil from my Summer herb garden)

Slab Cookies

I married a cookie person, which is only unfortunate because I'm a cake person and I don't like making cookies, which is why (can you use "which" twice in a sentence?) I'm always looking for a way to make cookies without really making them. This may be just the thing. Thank you, Pioneer Woman. For the step-by-step instructions, straight from the source, go to Pioneer Woman Cooks.
Slab Cookies
or Spreads or the Lazy Man's Chocolate Chip Cookie or CCC Deconstructed
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Butter
1 whole Egg
2 cups Flour
½ teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Chocolate Chips
1 cup toasted Walnuts or Pecans, chopped finely (optional)
Preparation Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together brown sugar and butter. Add egg and mix together. Add flour, salt, and vanilla, and mix together well.Spread dough onto cookie sheet to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/2-inch.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until slightly brown. At this point, pull out of the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top. Return to oven for 1 minute. Remove and spread melted chips over the top. Sprinkle with nuts or MnMs. Cut into squares.