Hot Pink Smoothie

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A friend of mine first introduced me to the idea of the hot pink smoothie - she was making them all the time and telling me how good they were.  I found this video of the Green Smoothie Girl making her Hot Pink Smoothie and I've based my recipe on that.

Hot Pink Smoothie

1.5 cups pure water
5-6 baby carrots (or 1 whole carrot)
1/2 a medium beet
1/4 cup cashews
1 Medjool date
12 whole frozen strawberries

Place all ingredients except strawberries in blender and blend for 90 seconds. Add strawberries and blend on high until smooth (helps to use the chop ice function to start). Pour in glass and enjoy!

Pizza! Pizza!

Monday, March 22, 2010

This is a staple at our house. I really hate buying frozen pizzas - one, they never have very much toppings on them and two, they are so expensive!  With this recipe you can make 4 frozen pizzas that are healthy and delicious!

I usually make the dough for the pizzas in the morning and pre-bake the dough at 500 F for 5 minutes.

Then I set things up assembly line style and start putting on the sauce and toppings.

Put these in the freezer for a couple hours then take them out, wrap up and back in the freezer until you're ready for pizza night!

Homemade Frozen Pizzas

2 batches of pizza dough
3 cups pizza sauce
32 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
1 pound Italian Sausage, browned
1 pound ground beef, browned
8 ounces pepperoni slices
8 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
salt & pepper to taste
any chopped veggies or other pizza toppings you love


Preheat oven to 500°F

Prepare pizza dough and pizza sauce as directed. Sprinkle corn meal over 4 round pizza pans (I use the disposable aluminum ones so I can put them in the freezer and not be without my pans later).  Divide pizza dough into 4 and gently stretch pizza dough to fit pan, forming a raised edge at lip. Let sit for about 10-20 minutes. Take a fork and poke holes over bottom of crust. Bake in oven for 5 minutes. Let cool then lightly brush crust with olive oil to seal crust.

Cover each crust with 3/4 cup pizza sauce (more or less depending on your tastes), top with 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Italian sausage, 1/2 cup ground beef, 2 ounces of pepperoni, handful of chopped veggies that you like, 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese and sprinkle of salt and pepper.

At this point I put the pans in the freezer to flash freeze.  After a couple of hours I take the pizzas out of the freezer and wrap in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil.  I've had a pizza in there for as long as 2 months (that's the longest I can keep them around) wrapped this way and there was no freezer burn or anything.

To bake, place frozen pizza on a pizza pan on the middle rack in a cold oven and set oven at 400°F. Check at 20-25 minutes and remove when crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack for 2-3 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.


Homemade Pizza Dough

Monday, March 15, 2010

This has been my go-to recipe for homemade pizza dough for about the last 5 or 6 years at least.  You can easily make this dough in your bread machine (just follow manufacturers instructions) or you can make it the old fashioned way.  It's very easy and I think it's the perfect pizza crust.  I hope you'll give it a try next time you make pizza for your family.

Homemade Pizza Dough

1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 TB olive oil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or you can use 3 cups all-purpose flour)
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

Place ingredients in your bread machine in the order listed.  Set machine for dough setting and press start. When dough cycle is complete, take dough out of machine and place on a well floured counter.  Roll or pat dough out and place on a well greased pan. Add toppings of your choice and place in a 425 F, until cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Pasta Pi Pie

In honor of Pi Day (3.14) I decided it was only fitting to make Pasta Pie.

This recipe of course comes from the genius of Martha. Yes, that Martha.  Really it isn't that difficult to make and I'm sure if you wanted to be creative you could adapt it many ways - thinking chicken and an Alfredo sauce maybe?  The presentation is definitely a wow factor - I know my kids thought it was pretty neat.

Pasta Pie
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 pound rigatoni
2 TB olive oil, divided
1 pound ground beef (I used ground sirloin)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 jar spaghetti sauce (+ 2 TB salted water from boiling pasta)
Butter, for pan
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces coarsely grated mozzarella

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until slightly underdone (approx 12 minutes) When done, rinse in cold water and drain again. Toss pasta with 1 Tablespoon olive oil to coat. Set aside.

Heat remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes more. Add spaghetti sauce and heat through.

Toss pasta with Parmesan cheese. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Tightly pack pasta into pan, standing each piece on end. Spread meat sauce on top of pasta. Push the meat sauce into the pasta holes filling each one up.  (I did this in steps - spread some sauce over, push meat into pasta, then I tapped the pan on the counter a couple times and repeated the process until I had used up all the meat sauce.)

Place in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake another 10-15 minutes until cheese is golden. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen and then unmold. Cut into wedges and serve.

Check out Noble Pig's pictorial step by step version of this recipe.
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