Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Recent recipes

Cooking is my therapy. There is nothing like a little [a lot of] alone time in the kitchen! Since we were snowed in this weekend, I cooked to my heart's content.

Barbecue Chicken Pizza
1 package Fleischman's rapid-rise yeast
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 c. warm water
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. barbecue sauce
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 c. cooked chicken, chopped
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 1/2 c. shredded cheese (any combination of sharp cheddar, colby jack, fontina, mild/medium cheddar, etc.)
1/2 c. fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 425.

Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil to medium heat in a skillet. Add onions and cook 10-15 minutes or until golden and caramelized.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add warm water and mix with a fork until combined. Briefly knead the dough and form into a ball. Coat with 1 tbsp. olive oil and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.

Press dough onto a pizza pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Poke surface with a fork to prevent air bubbles. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until about 80% done.

Top with barbecue sauce, garlic, onions, chicken, and cheese. Bake an additional 10-ish minutes or until cheese is melted and crust has continued browning.

Top with fresh chopped parsley, slice, and enjoy!

We are big fans of this pizza in this house! I make it every few weeks, and we rarely have leftovers. I'll admit that I undercooked the dough a little this time in my haste to sink into a plate of yummy sweet, tangy, cheesy goodness. It was still delicious, even if it looks underdone in the picture. Major plus: this only takes about a half hour start to finish!

Next! I've had a can of crushed pineapple in my cabinet for months, and I just couldn't seem to find a use for it. A Facebook friend recently shared a great recipe for pineapple cake, and I saw my golden (ha!) opportunity! This cake has no butter or oil, so it's pretty healthy, as cakes go.

Easiest Pineapple Cake*
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
A pinch salt
20 oz. can crushed pineapple (undrained)
(Optional: 1 c. chopped nuts, which I didn't add. I'm not a huge fan of the nuts + cake texture.)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake for 30-ish minutes.

My tip: really watch this cake while it's baking. The original recipe said to cook for 35-40 minutes, but mine was done way early. Maybe glass baking dish vs. dark baking pan matters. I always go with my dark metal pan. So, yeah. Just watch.

Now, here's my favorite thing about pineapple cakes: they get an awesome caramelized edge. The natural sugars in the pineapple turn into golden-brown perfection when heated.

I kicked up the sweetness factor by frosting with a homemade buttercream while the cake was still warm, but the cake itself would be moist and plenty sweet all on its own. The original recipe calls for a cream-cheese icing, which might be nice, too. I didn't have any cream cheese on hand, though, and I'm actually not a huge fan of cream cheese in sweet dishes. (I like it more in savory things like dips and casseroles.)

I'm not sure what's on the menu for tonight, but who knows--maybe I'll be posting that adventure in the near future!

More later.


*recipe credit: