Archive | February, 2012

Bubble Up Pizza

29 Feb

I’ve had this recipe in my “to make someday” folder for several months now, and finally decided to give it a try.  I enjoy pizza as an occasional treat, and thought this might be a fun way to try making it on my own.  This is a supremely easy and quick way to make pizza, and I’m sure kids would love it!

****

  • 2 containers refrigerated biscuit dough
  • 1 jar pizza sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup pepperoni (or other favourite toppings)
  • 5 fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven as per directions on dough.  With a sharp knife, divide each biscuit into 4.  In a large bowl, add diced biscuit dough, sauce, 1 1/2 cups cheese and toppings; stir.

Pour mixture into greased oven safe skillet or 9×13 pan.  Chiffonade the basil and sprinkle over top, along with remaining cheese.  Bake according to directions on dough, checking to make sure dough is cooked through and cheese is bubbling (10-14 minutes).

****

I prefer thin crust pizzas, so I decided to cut the recipe in half so it wouldn’t be so “doughy.”  I used Parmesan instead of Mozzarella, since that’s the only cheese that I can eat without getting sick, but I’m sure any of your favourite cheeses would be great on this.

Before:

After:

This was fabulous!  The taste of the biscuits as pizza dough was interesting, but I liked it.  I had some farmer sausage in the freezer, and it worked perfectly.  It only took a few minutes to prepare and bake, so it’s the perfect thing to cook if you’re feeling as lazy as I was the other night! 😉

Crab Cakes with Herb Salad

23 Feb

Recently I helped out with the cooking for a fundraising event.  Over the course of the weekend so many delicious meals were made, and this was one of my favourites.  It’s very light yet filling, and the vinaigrette is packed with flavour!  This recipe serves 16, so you might want to reduce it a few times if you’re not serving that many people.  It’s perfect for a weekend lunch, and what’s even better is that you can do most of the preparation ahead of time.

****

Vinaigrette: 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon minced green onion
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Crab Cakes: 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced green onions
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons minced fresh dill
4 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound blue crabmeat or Dungeness crabmeat
2 cups panko breadcrumbs, divided
2 tablespoons (or more) butter
2 tablespoons (or more) grapeseed oil

Salad:  2 5-ounce containers herb salad mix
fresh sprigs of dill, tarragon, cilantro

Vinaigrette preparation: Whisk oil, lemon juice, dill, tarragon, cilantro, green onion, and mustard in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
 Can be made one day ahead – cover and chill.

Crab cakes: Line baking sheet with waxed paper. Whisk first 10 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in crabmeat and 1 cup panko,breaking up crabmeat slightly. Let stand 10 minutes. Place remaining panko on rimmed baking sheet, spreading slightly. Form crab mixture into sixteen 2-inch diameter patties, using about scant 1/4 cup for each. Press both sides of patties into panko. Transfer patties to waxed-paper-lined baking sheet. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil in each of 2 heavy large skillets over medium-high heat. Add crab cakes to skillets and cook until golden on both sides, adding more butter and oil as needed, about 5 minutes total.

Place salad mix in a very large bowl. Add 1/2 cup vinaigrette; toss. Arrange crab cakes on platter. Garnish with herb sprigs, drizzle with some remaining vinaigrette, and serve with a salad.

We added a few cherry tomatoes to add a pop of colour:

Happycakes in Surrey

8 Feb

Happycakes is a cupcake shop in Surrey, on the corner of Fraser Hwy and 68th Ave.  It’s in the relatively new set of little strip malls in that area.  They’ve been there since October, and seem to be doing fairly well.  They recently had a Groupon, and since I was going to be driving in that direction a few times in the past week, I decided to treat myself to some cupcakes.

With my deal I got 6 of their regular cupcakes, so I chose 2 Peanut Butter Supreme (back), Red Velvet, Chocolate Delight, Vanilla Sprinkle (middle) and Pretty n Pink (front).  These cupcakes are fabulous!

The Peanut Butter Supreme is a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting and chocolate sprinkles. Peanut butter and chocolate is probably the best combination on the face of this earth, so it’s hard to go wrong with that.  The Chocolate Delight is simply that – delightful and perfect for the chocoholic in your life.  I was so impressed with the Red Velvet.  I’ve had this flavour before from other bakeries, and didn’t like it so much.  This one was PHENOMENAL!  The cupcake was light and moist (and turned my teeth a lovely shade of reddish-pink), and the frosting complimented it perfectly.  The Pretty n Pink was fantastic as well.  Chocolate is my favourite, so I wasn’t anticipating loving the vanilla cupcakes as much as I did, but Happycakes makes a MEAN vanilla cupcake!

They also sell filled cupcakes, which sound (and look) AMAZING!  I’ll definitely have to try some of those in the future.  This is a great cupcake shop, and I highly recommend giving them a try if you’re looking for some excellent cupcakes.  You can find them on Facebook, as their website has never been accessible any time I’ve tried to look it up (using various browsers) in the last week or so.

HappyCakes on Urbanspoon

Chicken and Lime Soup

2 Feb

I absolutely LOVE Mexican food, and generally eat something from that cuisine at least once a week.  Last week I decided to sort through my huge stacks of magazines, and once and for all decide which were worthy of being kept and which ones needed to be tossed.  In that stack I found a special Mexican edition of Better Homes and Gardens from 2007.  I have no clue where I got this, but I was excited to pore through it and find something cool.

I came across this fascinating sounding Chicken and Lime Soup recipe, and decided to give it a try, since I had all of the ingredients on hand.

****

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green sweet pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • Tortilla strips/chips

Rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels.  In a large Dutch oven, bring broth to boiling.  Add the chicken; reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink.  Remove chicken from broth; let stand until cool enough to handle.  Shred chicken; set aside.  Strain the broth through a large sieve or colander lined with two layers of 100% cotton cheesecloth; set broth aside.

In the same Dutch oven, cook onion, pepper and garlic in hot oil until tender.  Stir in strained broth, tomato and oregano.  Bring to boiling.  Stir in lime peel and lime juice.  Reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.  Stir in chicken; heat through.

Top each serving with tortilla strips/chips.

****

*

*

I don’t have a sieve or cheesecloth, but the soup looked (and tasted!) fine to me.  It was probably a bit greasier as a result, but that’s okay.  When I first tasted the soup after adding in the lime, it was VERY tart.  But after allowing it to simmer for those 20 minutes, the flavours melded and it was so scrumptious.  It is a tangy soup for sure, but the flavour is incredible.  I highly recommend it!