Broccoli Arugula Pepperoni Pizza


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!


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.


Broccoli Arugula Pepperoni Pizza

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


  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.

Jalapeno Bacon Cornbread


Alphabakes letter of the month is J! I love the Alphabakes challenge hosted monthly by either Ros or Caroline. It always gets me brainstorming of ingredients or recipes I can make in a way that I usually don’t. J wasn’t the hardest letter to use. I got stuck on jalapenos – and with that, I made cornbread with jalapenos in it!

What a delicious bread. The combination of the sweet cornbread, the bacon, and the peppers was perfect. I served it alongside some fried chicken (which I might be sharing in the next post.)

I am now incredibly full. And have a lot of cornbread leftover.

AlphaBakes Logo

Jalapeno Bacon Cornbread

8 slices bacon, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup corn meal
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
11/4 cups skim milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup + 3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 jalapeno, deveined and seeded, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a pie tin with cooking spray.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the pieces of bacon. Once they are crispy place them aside on a plate covered in paper towels.
  3. In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients. Stir together until all the dry ingredients are mixed into the wet ingredients.
  4. Pour into your baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

Belgian Carbonnade


I’m getting this dish submitted at the last minute for Formula 1 Foods hosted by Caroline Makes. This food challenge is following the Formula 1 Grand Prix, but in food. I don’t watch racing, but I do eat food, so I can participate.

This round was in Belgium, so we had at it and made food from that part of the world. Googling told me about carbonnade, essentially beef stew. Clearly, this did not photograph incredibly well, but it did taste good. Per what I read online, I served it with bread and applesauce. I think it would have been great with some roasted potatoes.

F1 Foods 1

Belgian Carbonnade

1 lb beef chuck, cut into bite size pieces
2 cups flour
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 slices bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 onions, sliced
1 cup dark beer
1/2 cup beef stock
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs tarragon
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Place the beef in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the flour.
  2. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a dutch oven. Brown the beef in the butter, cooking about 8 minutes. Remove the beef from the dutch oven and set aside.
  3. Add the bacon and cook for 8 minutes.
  4. Once the fat is rendered off the bacon, add the garlic and onion. Caramelize the onions. This takes about a half hour. Stir every 5 minutes or so.
  5. Add half of the beer and reduce. Scrape the bottom of the dutch oven.
  6. Add the remaining beer, browned beef, beef broth, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, thyme, parsley, tarragon, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then cover. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Fish out the herbs. Serve with applesauce and bread.
    * serves 4

Baked Zucchini with Parsley and Oregano


This felt like such a long week. Being my first full week back to work after vacation, I had a hard time getting myself moving. I was still on vacation time. The first few days I was back I couldn’t bring myself to cook, because I was just so tired. But with the week back to work, I also made a point to cook dinner every night. On Monday this week I made chicken and this baked zucchini for dinner.

There is so much zucchini at the farmers’ market right now, so I figured it would be a good be a good entry for this month’s AlphaBakes – the letter being Z! I know in some parts of the world, zucchinis have a different name: courgette. Courgette sounds so much fancier than zucchini.AlphaBakes Logo
The zucchini was so tender. The herbs I used were so mild, so the taste of the zucchini really shined through. It was also a really easy dish to make. I loved it! It’s perfect for my submission to this month’s Eat Your Greens.

eat your greens logo

Baked Zucchini with Parsley and Oregano

1 lb zucchini
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tbsp oregano, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
6 tbsp olive oil


  1. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Sprinkle salt on the cut side of the halves and place cut side down on a wood cutting board , allowing some of the liquid to drain away.
  2. Heat the oven to 350. Put the parsley, oregano, garlic, and breadcrumbs together in a bowl and mix together. Add half of the oil gradually and beat together with a fork. Season with pepper.
  3. Oil a baking dish and place the zucchini halves in it, cut side up. Spoon the herb mixture over the zucchini and drizzle 1 tbsp of the olive oil over the zucchini.
  4. Cover the dish in foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil and bake for 10 to 20 more minutes, until the zucchini is tender.
  6. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil.

* serves 4
* Besides Alphabakes and Eat Your Greens, this dish is also being shared with Weekend Cooking

Asian Noodles with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Tofu


Sometimes I have problems with movies with subtitles. Eat Drink Man Woman provided me some trouble in that regard with paying attention. I kept seeing food, but I hardly followed the story line. Because of that, I can’t tell you what the movie was about.

Why am I talking about the movie though? Because this month’s Food n’ Flix hosted by Kahakai Kitchen features this movie. To participate I made some Asianesque noodles. Perhaps not the most inspired dish this month, but at least I’m participating? That’s more than I can say from the last few months.


Asian Noodles with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Tofu

12 oz ramen noodles (without the spice packets)
12 oz firm tofu
2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3-inch piece of ginger, minced
1 tbsp mirin
4 green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb asparagus, with fibrous ends removed cut into 3 inch pieces
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame seeds
pinch of red chili flakes


1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a cast iron skillet. Once sizzling hot, add the tofu and cook 2 minutes per side. Remove and place on a plate.

2. In a pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the ramen noodles and cook per package directions. Drain and set aside.

3. In the cast iron skillet, add some more oil. Add the mushrooms, ginger, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the mirin on top. Pour into a large bowl.

4. Add some more oil to the skillet. Cook the green onions for 2 minutes and place in the large bowl with the mushrooms. Then cook the asparagus in the skillet for 2 minutes. Place in the large bowl.

5. Add the noodles, tofu, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and chili flakes to the vegetable mixture. Toss to combine.

* serves 4
* Besides Food ‘n Flix, this dish is also shared with Delicious Dish Tuesday

Shrimp Pasta with Spinach Sauce Topped with Crispy Brussels Sprouts


I didn’t really know what I was making when I was making dinner tonight. I had three recipes in front of me, that somehow morphed into one dish. It all worked together very well. I had the pasta, a dipping sauce for the shrimp, the shrimp and tomatoes, and the brussels sprouts all separate. I took a step back and realized this dish would be perfect as a pasta dish (instead of having the pasta on the side.) And I was right.

Had I known I was going to do this, I would have thickened the spinach sauce up a bit – but the flavors were all great.

Though this was not the dish I had intended to make for this month’s Pasta Please, I figured I should share it, because as life seems to prove time and again, I’m bad at getting blogs done. So if I have something that qualifies, I should get it in!

Pasta Please is a fun monthly roundup, hosted by Tinned Tomatoes, but this month at SliceOffMe.

pasta please

Shrimp Pasta With Spinach Sauce Topped with Crispy Brussels Sprouts

8 oz dried spaghetti noodles
juice from 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb uncooked shrimp, deveined and peeled
1 lb Brussels sprouts
olive oil, enough to fry the brussels sprouts
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2/3 cup baby spinach
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp milk
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
salt and pepper to taste


1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook per the box’s directions. Drain and set aside.

2. When the pasta is cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. Add the shrimp and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

3. To prepare the Brussels sprouts, trim the stems. Peel back and separate the leaves of the Brussels sprouts. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In a cast iron skillet pour in the vegetable oil to sufficiently cover the bottom. Heat until sizzling. Add the Brussels sprouts leaves and fry, flipping continuously so they don’t burn. Once they have browned and begin to fold, remove them from the skillet with a slotted spoon and place on the lined baking sheet.

4. In a blender or food processor combine the spinach, green onions, yogurt, milk, vinegar, mustard, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Process until smooth.

5. Place the drained Brussels sprouts leaves in a bowl and toss with red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Heat a skillet with Pam over medium heat. Cook the shrimp and cherry tomatoes, for approximately 3 minutes or until the shrimp are no longer pink.

7. Toss the pasta with the sauce, shrimp, and tomatoes. Sprinkle the Brussels sprouts leaves on the top.

* serves 4
* Besides Pasta Please, this dish is being shared with Small Victories Sunday

Eggplant Meatballs


I really need to find my camera charger for my Canon. The battery is totally dead. I know the charger is somewhere and actually . . . there’s TWO chargers somewhere but until I figure out where that is, my iPhone camera is going to have to suffice. It’s better than nothing and it’s better than some digital cameras, so that’s okay.

In all honesty, I didn’t cook this. My boyfriend did. He cooked it with me in the kitchen guiding him. We’ve decided he needs to learn to cook. So for the past two weeks we’ve been having cooking lessons. He’s been a great student. I’m no expert, but I’m better than nothing. He’s starting to get better than nothing, but we will see what happens if he has to cook for himself. We probably need more lessons.

I had chosen this recipe to make for January’s Pasta Please, hosted by Ren Behan: healthy pasta. I love meatballs of all types, whether meaty or vegetarian. These meatballs were in my most recent Food Network Magazine and were perfect for the challenge.

The original recipe called for white beans. I can’t eat most beans so was going to replace them with chickpeas (which I can eat.) Unfortunately, the leftover chickpeas I had were moldy. So we used shredded potato instead. These were great.

pasta please

Eggplant Meatballs

1 small eggplant
1 large egg, beaten
2 small fingerling potatoes, shredded
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup basil, chopped
2 tbsp onion, diced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 cups marinara sauce
8 oz pasta


1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place an eggplant on the sheet. Poke a few times with a fork. Roast the eggplant for 40 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the oven and let cool, but leave the oven on.

2. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise. Scoop the meat of the eggplant out from the skin and place in a bowl.

3. Add the egg, potatoes, garlic, basil, onion, parmesan, and salt and pepper to the eggplant. Mix together with your hands. Then add the breadcrumbs and mix together with your hands.

4. Form balls in the size of golfballs out of the eggplant mixture. Place on the foil lined baking sheet. Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes.

5. While the meatballs are cooking, cook the pasta per the instructions on the box. Also, in a small pan heat up the marinara sauce.

6. When the meatballs are done, mix together the meatballs, pasta, and sauce. Serve with some extra parmesan cheese on top.

* serves 4
* besides Pasta Please, this recipe is shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Vegetable Fideua (but not really)


Where did this recipe go wrong?

– I should have used thinner noodles.
– I misunderstood what it meant to break the noodles – I didn’t interpret that as smaller pieces than how I broke it up. But afterwards, when I looked at other recipes for this dish, it’s obvious the noodles are supposed to be substantially smaller than I had them here.

The dish wasn’t bad, but I’m sure it’s nothing like what fideua is supposed to be like. For what it was though, it wasn’t bad. Nothing like a standard noodle dish.

And truly, that was the point. Rachel of Rachel Cotterill is hosting this month’s Pasta Please, a monthly blog round up of pasta dishes based around a certain theme. Rachel set the theme this month as fusion. She challenged us to make a vegetarian pasta dish that steps away from the Italian influences.

So what did I do? I googled “Spanish noodles” and I got this dish. I followed this recipe loosely in making the dish that wasn’t very Spanish nor like fideua, but still tasty.

So here’s my tips for you, future fideua makers: break your noodles A LOT smaller than mine are. And maybe use angel hair pasta instead or something thinner than a spaghetti noodle.

pasta please

Vegetable Fideua

8 oz thin noodles
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2/3 cup onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
6 oz frozen green peas
3 tomatoes, diced
1 1/3 cup vegetable broth
salt, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400. Lay the noodles on a baking dish. Bake the noodles for 5 minutes, or until they start to brown. (mine got too brown)

2. In a large oven safe pan heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the green bell pepper and cook until it softens. Add the green peas and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for several more minutes.

3. Add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Crush the noodles and sprinkle them over the vegetables. Stir the noodles into the dish. Simmer until the noodles are tender.

4. Place the pan in the oven set at 400 for a few minutes, so the remaining liquid can be cooked off.

* serves 4

Butternut Squash Parmigiana


I was going to make eggplant parmigiana, but I decided last week mid-week that I wasn’t going to do any grocery shipping and I was going to use the ingredients I had in the house. I had planned to make this eggplant parmigiana, but didn’t have an eggplant . . . so I searched through my fridge and found a butternut squash that was asking for me to use it. I’ve made mini pizzas on butternut squash before, so I figured this was a good choice of foods to make parmigiana with. I really love butternut squash. This meal turned out to be decadent – with the sweetness of the squash mixed with the salty of the tomato sauce . . . YUM!!! I’m going to not go grocery shopping more and force myself to make do with what I have in the house, because this was magical.

Butternut Squash Parmigiana

3 cups crushed tomatoes
2 medium butternut squash
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated


1. Preheat oven to 350. Slice the squash into slices 1/3 of an inch thick. Make sure you clean out the center of the squash, disposing of the seeds.

2. Brush the squash slices with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until tender.

3. Raise oven heat to 400. Place the tender squash slices in a casserole dish, layering the bottom of the dish. Spoon the tomato sauce on top, followed by the mozzarella, and then the parmesan.

4. Cover the casserole dish with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

5. Cool for 10 minutes before enjoying!

* serves 4
* shared with Tasty Tuesdays

Cheddar Cheese Pasta with Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Fried Capers


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

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


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