Thursday, June 28, 2012

Zesty Pizza Crust

I thought after I finished school that life with a newborn would slow down but... I was wrong! Life is so busy. Yesterday I was looking for a quick pizza crust recipe to be ready before my husband got home from work and didn't fail me. I figured if over 1,000 people had tried it and liked it I probably would too! 

The one thing I have to add to this recipe is a secret I learned from my husband. When he was in high school he worked at a pizza place and when he took me there for the first time I loved it! When I asked what the secret was... my husband said, "ranch seasoning powder." They sprinkle ranch powder on the crust before it's cooked and it is delicious! Go ahead, on a day you are pressed for time but still want pizza... try this crust with some ranch seasoning powder and enjoy! :)

Zesty Pizza Crust
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp. Hidden Valley Seasoning Mix

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in flour, salt and oil. Knead until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or stone. Spread the crust with the softened butter and sprinkle the ranch powder on top. 
  5. Bake crust for 5 minutes before adding toppings. Remove from oven.
  6. Spread with desired toppings and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Creamy Yogurt Jell-O Salad

In the summer it is so nice to eat cool and creamy things and I love a good fruit salad with my dinner. This one is so creamy and light you might catch yourself eating a few too many helpings! The ingredients compliment each other so well and best of all it can be made ahead of time. Enjoy! :)

Creamy Yogurt Jell-O Salad
1 large container strawberry yogurt (any variety works)
1 tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 small box Jell-O cheesecake pudding
2 cups mixed fresh or frozen fruit
 (I used fresh raspberries and strawberries) 
Empty yogurt and Cool Whip into large mixing bowl. Fold together until evenly blended. Next, sprinkle dry pudding mix into the yogurt/Cool Whip mixture. Lastly, add fruit and mix together and refrigerate until serving. Yummm!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Best Brownie Trifle

This trifle was served at our wedding luncheon. For a wedding gift the lady that catered the luncheon gave us a trifle bowl and the recipe to this delicious dessert! Yummm... We have had it quite a few times over the past 2 years because it is chocolate at its finest. Plus it is easy. No need to have any decorating skills just layering skills. So let's get to it!

The Best Brownie Trifle

1 box Duncan Hines Milk Chocolate Brownie Mix 
(Prepared "cake-like" with 3 eggs)
1 large pkg. chocolate Jell-O pudding, prepared and refrigerated
1 large container Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 pkg. Heath toffee bits

* Prepare the brownies as directed on the box and allow to cool completely.
1. Cut up the brownies into one inch cubes and break apart in pan. Place about 1/2 of the brownie cubes on the bottom of the trifle bowl. This is your first layer.
2. Spread 1/2 of the prepared pudding over the brownie cubes.
3. For the third layer, spread 1/2 of the Cool Whip over the pudding.
4. Finally, sprinkle desired amount of toffee bits over the Cool Whip.
* To finish the trifle simply repeat steps 1-4! Voila!

And here I am... eating it! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

BBQ Meatballs

Just wanted to prove that I still can cook! I was looking back on my previous posts and I haven't posted a main dish since Luke was born... and well, that has been 5 months next week! I am going to do better with that. In fact, I have set a goal to make 2 posts a week for right now. One every Tuesday and one every Thursday. So stay tuned for some delicious recipes to come. :)

These BBQ Meatballs came from The Pioneer Woman. She is an amazing cook and has a great sense of humor. I love reading her blog posts and looking at her cookbooks. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE cookbooks?? But not just any cookbook, the ones with pictures! Yummmm... Well, she takes wonderful looking pictures that make me want to try every last one of her recipes. I have a link up on the top right to her cookbook just so you all can see what I am talking about! If you get the cookbook, you will love it too!
BBQ Meatballs 

1-1/2 pound Ground Beef
3/4 cups Old-fashioned Oats
1 cup Milk
3 Tablespoons Very Finely Minced Onion
1-1/2 teaspoon Salt
Plenty Of Ground Black Pepper, to taste

1 cup All-Purpose Flour (coating For Frozen Meatballs)
Canola Oil

1 cup Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Tablespoons white vinegar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
4 Tablespoons (to 6 Tablespoons) Onion
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

* Combine all meatball ingredients. Roll into medium-small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place sheet in freezer for five minutes.

* After 5 minutes, remove meatballs from freezer and immediately dredge in unseasoned flour.

* Brown meatballs in canola oil until just brown. Place into a baking dish.

* Combine all sauce ingredients. Pour over meatballs and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

* Serve with egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or crusty French bread.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes

What if I said that I really don't like Oreo's? Would anyone believe me?? Probably not. I really don't like Oreo's plain but I LOVE Oreo's in things. Yummm... Oreo cheesecake, Oreo shakes, Oreo salad, etc. Yes, that is when I love Oreo's. I found this recipe on Pinterest. I love Pinterest. I have found so many delicious recipes that I could spend the next year just making them and not run out of things to make. Every recipe I have made from Pinterest I have loved, and this recipe for Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes is one of them. :)

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from:
25 Oreo cookies: 18 whole, 7 crushed 
2 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
Pinch of salt

Now for the How-To:  
1. First, preheat oven to 275 F and line 18 regular muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Place 1 whole Oreo in the bottom of each lined cup.
3. Beat the cream cheese in a mixing bowl on medium speed. While you are mixing, slowly beat in the sugar and vanilla. Next, pour in the beaten eggs, a little at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. This helps to make sure everything is evenly incorporated.
4. Now, beat in the sour cream and salt. Then, stir in the leftover chopped Oreo's by hand. 
5. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared tins. 
6. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, 22-25 minutes. 
Cool in pans for about 15 minutes on a wire rack, then let cool on a plate in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
After they have cooled, you can either eat them as is, or you can drizzle a little melted chocolate on top. Either way you decide is absolutely delicious!