Broccoli Arugula Pepperoni Pizza

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Eek! The day is speeding by and I needed to get this dish made and posted! Food ‘n Flix is celebrating its 5th birthday this month and to celebrate, we could make a recipe based on ANY of the past movies hosted by the fun monthly challenge. I’ve participated in and hosted a ton of the Food ‘n Flix months in the past.

The past movies I hosted included Eat Pray Love, Delicatessen, Elf, Like Water For Chocolate, and Lady and the Tramp. And! In October I’m hosting Hocus Pocus!

Anyway, Food ‘n Flix has been such a fun monthly thing to participate in. It’s truly one of my favorite food round-ups. Heather, our fearless leader, is hosting our big party this month.

I decided to watch a movie I’d seen before, but one that I didn’t cook from for Food ‘n Flix because it was before i found out about this community. I watched Mystic Pizza!

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Mystic Pizza (starring Julia Roberts who is always my favorite,) is about three girls who work at the Mystic Pizzeria. A true coming of age story, this movie follows sisters Kat and Daisy and their friend JoJo. When not following their own young loves, these girls work at a pizza parlor known for its secret (and delicious) sauce.

This was the perfect movie for me to watch, because I LOVE PIZZA. I love pizza so much. And I always have. When I was a little girl (probably around 3 or so,) my parents had ordered a pizza and brought it home for dinner. I sat down at the table and burst out crying. “What’s wrong Betta?” my parents asked.

“You can’t eat pizza! Pizza’s my friend!”

I didn’t cry over the chicken we ate or the cow or the pig – you know, living things. No, I cried because they were eating my dear friend Pizza. My friendliness with pizza has clearly changed, because now I’d eat it any day of the week.

I didn’t have time to make the dough for this pizza and tried the Pillsbury Pizza Crusts that were in a tube. It was surprising good and super easy! I need to get some more of those for some easy dinner nights.

FoodnFlix

Broccoli Arugula Pepperoni Pizza

Ingredients
pizza dough for one pizza
2 cups chopped broccoli
5 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup pesto
spicy pepperoni
1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450. Stretch your pizza dough on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. While the dough is baking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 3 minutes. Add the arugula to the water and let wilt. Drain. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Spread the pesto on the pizza crust.
  4. Spread the broccoli and arugula over the pesto.
  5. Sprinkle the cheese over the top. Place the pepperoni on top of the cheese, covering the pizza.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before attempting to cut.
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Cheddar Cheese Pasta with Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Fried Capers

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Pasta Please is one of the challenges I try to participate in every month, though sometimes the month passes before I get to it.. This was not one of those months! I’m trying to participate in all the fun round-ups that I normally do. This month’s Pasta Please was hosted by Allotment2Kitchen who also hosts a new round up I’m going to start participating in called Eat Your Greens. The idea of Eat Your Greens is to share your vegetarian dishes made with green veggies. This month’s Eat Your Greens was paired together with Pasta Please.

I decided to use cabbage in my recipe for the challenge. My quick google search tells me cabbage may have cancer fighting qualities, as it contains a good amount of sinigrin, which has been in the attention of cancer researchers in developing a cure. However, the way to get the most benefit from the cabbage is to steam it which is not how I cooked it.

For a quick cabbage story, I love cabbage but I hate the smell of it. When I was in college one of my roommates decided she was going to go on a cabbage soup diet or something. She made this huge batch of cabbage soup which just made the house reek. In the end, she couldn’t stomach the soup because of the strong cabbage scent – so that diet was incredibly short lived, but the smell has definitely made an impact on me forever.

But, I haven’t let that get in the way of eating cabbage. It still tastes good to me at least.

This cheesy pasta recipe was delicious. The fried capers were a big hit. I’d never prepared capers like that before, but I definitely will again!

pasta please

Cheddar Cheese Pasta with Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Fried Capers
(source)

Ingredients
1/3 cup + 3 tbsp olive oil
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 cabbage, cut into strips
1 onion, chopped
3 sprigs thyme
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup capers, drained and patted dry
8 oz rotini pasta
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Place a baking sheet in the oven. Preheat oven to 425. Once preheated, remove the sheet from the oven. Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil over the baking sheet. Place the cauliflower on the sheet and drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil over the cauliflower. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, shaking the baking sheet halfway through.

2. While the cauliflower is roasting, heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the cabbage, onion, and thyme sprigs. Saute for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add the white wine to deglaze. Set aside.

3. In a small skillet add the 1/3 cup remaining oil. Once the oil is hot, add the capers. Fry for 2 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon to a plate covered with a paper towel to drain.

4. Cook pasta per the directions on the box. Drain, saving 1 cup of the water the pasta cooked in.

5. Once the pasta is cooked, pour the noodles into the skillet with the cabbage. Put over medium heat. Add the cheese. Add the saved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time. Cook until you have a sauce develop. Add the thyme.

6. Serve and top with capers.

* serves 4
* besides Pasta Please and Eat Your Greens, this recipe is being shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Cheesy Pecan Chicken Casserole

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It’s been casserole month here at our very own Pantry Party. It’s the day before entries are due and I’m finally getting my own entry published. It’s about time. I’ve been slacking at updating. But I did make a casserole!

From my pantry, it used: pecans and cream of chicken soup. I actually didn’t have to buy very much for this at all. I love having a stocked fridge.

Cheesy Pecan Chicken Casserole
(source)

Ingredients
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 tbsp onion, finely diced
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup (mine was herb flavored)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup cheddar and sour cream chips, crushed
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

1. Mix together all the ingredients except the chips and the cheese in a casserole dish.

2. Combine the chips and the cheese together. Sprinkle it evenly on top of the casserole.

3. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes at 375.

* serves 6
* Shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Sriacha Mac and Cheese

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If you may or may not know, this month’s Pantry Party theme is cheese. The goal for this month is to open that pantry of yours, see what needs to be used in there, and make something cheesy! And I realize cheese doesn’t fit a vegan diet, so I’m also including dishes using vegan cheese.

When I started thinking cheese this month my brain automatically went to mac and cheese. Rather than trying to be horribly creative, I went the mac and cheese route. I decided to use something more than just pasta from my pantry and found a bottle of sriacha. After googling around I found the perfect recipe: Sriacha Mac and Cheese.

This is probably the easiest mac and cheese I’ve ever made. It doesn’t use a roux, like many do. Rather, you kind of just mix everything in there and let it bake. The flavor of the sriacha and the cheese was a great combination. Loved it.

This pantry party really used my pantry. I used:

Noodles
Sriacha
Breadcrumbs
Red chili flakes

I may make another recipe this month for the party . . . We’ll see! I do love my cheese.

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Sriacha Mac and Cheese

Ingredients
1/2 lb dry pasta
2 cup breadcrumbs
3 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
2 tbsp sriacha, divided
4 tbsp butter, divided
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions

1. Boil a large pot of water. Cook the pasta to package directions until al dente. Set aside and let drain.

2. Preheat oven to 350. Melt 3 tbsp of the butter.

3. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, 1/2 the cheese, 1/2 the sriacha, and the melted butter. Add half of this mixture to the bottom of a baking dish.

4. With your cooked pasta, stir in the remaining cheese, sriacha, butter, and red chili flakes. The cheese will strt to melt around the pasta, stir until everything is well coated. Next pour in the beaten egg and the cream. Stir to combine. Pour into the baking dish over the breadcrumbs. Top the pasta with the remaining breadcrumbs. Spray the top with a cooking spray.

5. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

* serves 4
* Besides Pantry Party, this dish is shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Baked Lasagna Sandwich

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I had no idea studying for the bar exam would be such a soul sucking feat. On days when I have the review class I’m there for at least 4 hours, to come home to 4 hours of homework (at least). The weekends provide me no break. For instance, today, I woke up and did an hour and a half of work, went out for an hour with my mom, did another hour and a half of work, drove from San Francisco to Sacramento with traffic for a total of 2 1/2 hours, and then worked from 6-11. I had no idea studying would be this awful. It’s not that this information was unknown to me, but I think not knowing made it more bearable to graduate. I mean, knowing that I was graduating just to study nearly eight hours a day would have been kind of devastating.

Anyway, bar prep isn’t taking away from my cooking (thought it will from my updating.)

I got this recipe through a swap. It was easy, filling, and kind of reminded me of being a little kid (though I never got these when I was little.)

Baked Lasagna Sandwich

Ingredients
4 hoagie buns
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 cup ricotta
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Make a wide V-shaped cut in the center of each of the buns, cutting down 1-inch from the bottom. Remove the cut out portions and save for another use. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet cook the beef over medium heat, until no longer pink. Drain off any fat. Add the spaghetti sauce, garlic powder, and basil. Cook for  minutes.

3. In a bowl combine the ricotta, Parmesan, half of the cheddar, and half of the mozzarella. Spoon the meat mixture into the buns. Top with the cheese mixture. Place on a baking sheet. Cover loosely with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

4. Uncover. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Return to the oven for 3 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

* serves 4
* shared with Weekend Cooking

weekend cooking

Taco Salad

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I’m part of the website swap-bot. I participate in a lot of recipe swaps. Recently one of the swaps I participated in was called Send Me Some New Recipes. The swap required that you mail an envelope with at least 25 recipes in it, taken from anywhere. I sent recipes to my partners cut from magazines, handwritten from my personal collection, and printed from blogs online. One of the envelopes I received was a ton (25) recipes written on neon index cards. I added these to my recipe box collection, which has become significantly fuller since I started swap-bot.

This recipe was written on a neon green index card. This was a super easy recipe and was very delicious.

Taco Salad

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
2 tbsp Penzey’s Bold Taco spice
3/4 cup water
10 cups romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup onion, chopped
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup salad dressing of choice
1/2 cup tortilla chips, crushed
sour cream, optional (also, guacamole could work!)

Directions

1. In a large skillet cook the ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain. Stir in the taco spice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl combine the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and cheese. Stir in the ground beef. Drizzle with the salad dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the crushed chips. Serve with option sour cream or guacamole (or both!) on top.

* serves 5
* shared with Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, & #Foodie Friday

Mediterranean Mac and Cheese

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This was a yummy and easy dish – besides that there isn’t much to say! This is my study break from finals studying tonight. 🙂

Mediterranean Mac and Cheese
(source)

Ingredients
3/4 cup dry elbow noodle
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2/3 cup feta cheese
1 cup milk
2 1/2 tsp unsalted butter
2 1/2 tsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp black olives
1/2 cup canned fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook to package directions. Drain and set aside.

3. In a heavy pan over medium-high heat, melt  the butter and mix in the flour. Whisk together and cook for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup of the milk and whisk until smooth. Add 1/2 cup milk and whisk together. Cook for several minutes, whisking continuously, allowing the mixture to thicken.

4. Add the cheddar cheese and 1/2 of the feta.  Stir well, allowing the cheese to melt. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, the remaining milk, fire roasted tomatoes, and olives. Stir together well.

5. Once the sauce is smooth, pour of the noodles and mix together well. Pour into a casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes.

* serves 3
* Shared with Full Plate Thursday, Catch A Glimpse Thursday, The Busy’s Bee’s Blog Hop, & Showcase Your Talent Thursday

Spicy Roasted Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese

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This month’s Pasta Please theme was chilies and was hosted by Shaheen.

I’m looking at the picture of this dish, and I’m realizing there is way too many breadcrumbs on the dish. Once scooped out of the dish, they obviously got lost in the noodles – but oh my goodness – this picture looks like a breadcrumb dish.

Anyway, after poking around different corners of the internet and looking for something that would work for this challenge, I found a delicious looking mac and cheese. I didn’t venture out as much as I could have with this challenge. I should have bought a red chili to substitute the crushed red chili flakes – but alas, I did not. I like spicy food. I just really hate cutting chilies. Without a doubt, for as careful as I try to be, I touch my eyes or rub my nose or get the chili juices somewhere that just doesn’t feel great – and oh my goodness, it’s hard to get rid of it once you do it. Even when I wear gloves, I somehow manage to just create so much pain for myself. I love the taste, I just hate the process.

Because of this, I rely on red chili flakes to add the heat from a fresh chili (though.. obviously not the same, I know.)

Anyway, this was a yummy mac and cheese. It created a lot of dirty dishes, but was delicious!

Spicy Roasted Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese
(source)

Ingredients
1 cup broccoli florets, cut into pieces
1 yellow squash, diced
1 orange bellow pepper, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cups elbow pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried chili flakes
2 tbsp bread crumbs

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400. Set a medium pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles per package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil covering it. Toss the broccoli, squash, bell pepper, and carrots on a baking sheet. Coat with half the olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes.

3. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet. Once hot, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk, stirring until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar, allowing to melt. Add the red chili flakes and cayenne. Add the macaroni and vegetables.

4. Place the mixture in a casserole dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Place under the broiler for 4 minutes.

* serves 6
* Besides Pasta Please, this recipe is being shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Foodie Pen Pal Reveal: February

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Once again I received another wonderful box in the mail full of food. I love participating in this program and foresee continuing in it so long as it exists.

This month I received a box from Alyson at Simply Nutricising. In the email I sent Alyson with my likes I told her I liked hazelnuts, chocolate, candy, and spices. I also told her that I rely on snacks during the week when I have my late night classes but that I love to cook. The box Alyson sent me hit the mark perfectly. I love everything in the box.

The box I sent this month was sent to Kiersten. I sent her some Annie’s Mac & Cheese, some jam, some herbal coffee, and some other things.

So if you haven’t heard about it already, I’m assuming now you’re wondering “WHAT IS FOODIE PEN PALS!?” I mean, when I first read a blog post about it that’s exactly what I thought. So here, let me tell you.

Foodie Pen Pals is a program that Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean put together, where she pairs people together to send boxes of food to each other, based on likes and dislikes.

  • On the 5th of the month you receive an email pairing you with information about who you’re paired with. You email that person to get information pertaining to allergies and dietary restriction.
  • By the 15th you put together a box of treats and mail them to your partner.
  • On the last day of the month you post a blog post about your box of treat

So.. What did I get this month?

IMG_8632I had opened my box so late on Tuesday night. I have class Tuesdays until almost 9:30 p.m. I got home and I shoved some food into my face and realized there was a box sitting on the counter that I hadn’t seen when I walked in. After shoving food into my face I tore the box open like a ravenous dog.

IMG_8637Among the food varieties packed in the box, Alyson sent me a super cute kitchen towel. I’m always in need of these, so this was excellent.

IMG_8638Whenever I get a FPP box I can’t resist but chowing down on something immediately. I obviously don’t eat everything in the box in one sitting, but I always have to have something. Considering I had just finished dinner Matt and I shared this ka-ka-o milk chocolate peanut butter bark. I have the biggest sweet tooth ever. And I have an even bigger love for chocolate. I probably should have made this bark last longer than the minute it took to eat it so I could have savored it a lot more than I did, but it was excellent and was a perfect way to start the February FPP box.

IMG_8639Speaking of chocolate, Alyson sent me a handful of chocolate hearts for Valentine’s Day. I did restrain myself a little bit – I haven’t eaten them all yet.

IMG_8640Alyson really listened when I said that there are some days when I could really use some snacks. She sent me multiple 100-calorie snack packs in three different varieties: chocolate pomegranate, dark chocolate roasted almonds, and dark chocolate blueberry. I’ve tried the almonds and the blueberries so far. I’m actually going to need to find these on my own because they are really satisfying when sitting in a class that feels like it’ll never end and your stomach is rumbling. On top of that, chocolate!

IMG_8641I haven’t had a Dum-Dum in forever. When I was in elementary school I recall having them a lot. I vaguely recall a teacher handing them out as rewards. I love the bouquet she created with the lollipops. They bring me right back to childhood!

IMG_8633Alyson also included this box of instant oatmeal called OatFit. I brought the box to work because when I get hungry after court it’s super easy to pop this in the microwave and have a big bowl of oatmeal. The coolest part about this is the convenience factor. The packet that the oatmeal comes in is also the measuring cup for water. Such a great product!

IMG_8635I’m feeling like this is the endless box of goodies! Alyson also sent me these flavored vinegars in calamansi (citrus) and cherry. Though I haven’t used them yet, I have found several ideas online for things I’m going to make with them. I plan on using the calamansi on roast salmon. Alyson also suggested using it in a salad dressing.

IMG_8636Last but not least, Alyson sent me two Penzey’s spices. One was in Bold Taco and the other is cinnamon. I love spices (and told Alyson that) so I was very excited for these. Also, I’ve been wanting to order Penzey’s for some time now, but I just hadn’t been able to justify the cost of their spices to myself plus shipping. But after trying the Bold Taco spice (I haven’t opened the cinnamon yet) I think I’m going to have to change that and start exclusively buying Penzey’s.

With the Bold Taco spice I made a pasta dish. It was delicious.

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Enchilada Pasta Casserole
(inspiration)

Ingredients
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into small pieces
1/2 tbsp Penzey’s Bold Taco spice
3 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp heavy cream
1/4 cup red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 can diced green chiles
6 oz egg noodles

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot boil water. Cook the egg noodles to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large skillet, cook the chicken until no longer pink. Stir in the Bold Taco spice until the chicken is all covered.

3. Add in the cream cheese until melted.

4. In a large bowl combine the heavy cream, enchilada sauce, half of the cheddar, half of the monterey jack cheese, the corn, and the diced chiles.  Stir to combine. Pour the sauce over the chicken and simmer for 3 minutes.

5. Add the pasta to the chicken. Mix well until everything is coated in the sauce.

6. Pour the pasta into a casserole dish. Cover with the remaining cheese.

7. Bake for 15 minutes.

* serves 3

Curry Chili over Noodles with Cheese

Chili + Noodles

 

This chili was actually supposed to be a homemade version of Cincinnati chili. However, as I was making the chili I realized I was all out of ground cumin! I use cumin a lot, so I just assumed I had some. I also didn’t have an onion. How does this happen? However, I was committed to having chili for dinner so I made some substitutes that changed this Cincinnati chili into some other delicious style chili. Maybe I’ll call it Elizabeth Chili. That’s easy enough. 🙂

I’m hoping that I eventually get paired up with a foodie pen pal in Cincinnati. Before I went to law school my dad and I drove cross-country to Ohio to help my cousin move into college. While we were there we packed the car with our favorite foods: goetta, bratwurst, barbecue sauce, Big Boy sauce, and a flat of cans of Skyline Chili. The chili almost made it through my 3 years of law school. But now that I’m out.. I need more. And it costs way too much to have it shipped from Skyline. If you’re reading this and you’re a foodie pen pal of mine, please send me Skyline Chili.

If you’re reading this and you’re going to be a foodie pen pal of mine and you don’t live in Cincinnati, you can also send me chili that’s local to you if there’s some special kind. The one thing is I can’t eat beans. I mean, I love beans. But I can’t eat them.

Now, if a future foodie pen pal of mine reads this or not, I’ll never know.
I just need to remember to tell March’s Foodie Pen Pal to send me chili.
I’m super excited for my next box though for February. I’m expecting it to be great.

In the mean time, I should keep experimenting with chilis. And hopefully I can eventually make this version with the correct ingredients. Though.. I clearly liked my version enough to share with you. Without further ado, here is the recipe.

Curry Chili over Noodles with Cheese
(the base recipe)

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz tomato sauce
2 cups beef broth
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp curry powder
pinch cumin seeds
1/4 tsp allspice
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
12 oz uncooked spaghetti noodles
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

1. Brown the ground beef and garlic together in a deep pot. Drain the grease and add the broth. Simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt, chili powder, tomato sauce, curry powder, cumin seeds, allspice, cocoa powder, and cayenne pepper. Simmer for about a half hour, though the longer you simmer the better.

3. Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Once cooked, drained.

4. Serve the chili on top of the noodles. Cover with cheese.

* serves 4
* shared with Weekend Cooking