Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I scream, you scream

We all scream for Ice Cream!!!!  Especially when it is hotter than HELL like it has been here in Aridzona.  So why not go for something cool, cheap, and tasty?

First of all a shout out to Andrea for sending this one over. Your timing on this one is Awesome! since we were away showing and no time to be cooking or making anything...

One ingredient? I know it sounds crazy, but that's it.  Frozen bananas...
From the website in case you cannot access it-
Choose two bananas- not too ripe
Peel the bananas, cut them into 'coins'.
Set them on a plate and freeze them for 1-2 hours. 
Put them into a food processor or blender.
Blend on high.
Initially it will look crumbly, and it will stick to the sides. Keep scraping it down into the blades and eventually it turns into....
creamy ice cream!
Now is when it is recommended to add, chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, peanut butter, milk (if you want it creamier) cinnamon, nuts, honey, hazelnut cocoa mix- the options are endless. It is the texture of soft serve, but says you can freeze it in an airtight container for the standard, harder ice cream. In the comments someone else suggested adding cottage cheese (?), mango's and even alvacado.
I am looking forward to trying this one soon...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lotsa Pasta...

A while back on another blog, I posted a pasta recipe I had found in the newspaper several years ago.  Last night I made Chicken Alfredo from the recipe I had posted here before.  The only thing that would have made it better- home made pasta of course!  It is really easy to make and the taste is definitely worth it. 

One egg pasta and variations

One egg - 2 servings
3/4 cup semolina flour
1 egg
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 or 2 teaspoons of water or milk

Two egg- 3-4 servings
1 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs
3/4 Tablespoon oil
2-3 teaspoons water or milk

Three egg - 5-6 servings
2 1/4 cups flour
3 eggs
1 Tablespoon oil
3-4 teaspoons water or milk

Mix flour oil and egg(s) in a bowl or mixer until it has a course, crumbly look like corn meal. Add water or milk 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the mixture starts to hold together.

Switch to the dough hook on the mixer or knead by hand.Knead in mixer 7-10 minutes. Dough should not be sticky or in separate pieces. Add liquid if separating, flour if sticky.

If kneading by hand, turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 7-10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15-30 minutes. (Now is a good time to get out the pasta machine and set it up)

Set the pasta machine to the widest opening and roll out a ball of dough a little larger than golf balls. Roll through pasta machine to make a thick oblong shape. Fold in half and run through again. Repeat 3-4 times then roll out to the desired thickness.

Let dry as you roll out each ball of dough. Lightly flour the sheets of pasta and run them through the blade attachment. (*if you choose, if making lasagna noodles, cut them to size and let them dry.)

Hang the strips on a pasta rack , floured surface or cooling racks to air dry. (*I like to let them dry overnight if possible. Lasagna noodles definitely overnighters.)

To cook, be sure the water is at a full boil. Fresh pasta cooks very quickly and floats when done. Drain in a colander, but do not rinse. Because pasta will continue to cook after it's done, be careful not to overcook. 


I make the two egg version and get 9 pasta noodles- good for rolled lasagna in a 9 X 9 baking pan.

I use a full Table spoon of oil (vegetable works just as well as olive) and a Tablespoon of milk right out of the gate.

When I let the dough rest, I don't cover it. Did the first few times, haven't since- no differences, so don't waste the plastic wrap.

I hang my pasta over the metal cooling racks- turned on their sides. Just the right height to get noodles on both sides.
Once dried, the noodles can be stored in a plastic bag until you use them.  I will be making some lasagna noodles soon and making rolled lasagna, pics and all to post here.... I also found a homemade ricotta recipe. I think I will post that one next, then make the lasagna.  Good stuff and rarely any leftovers... 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pizza, calzones & snack sized treats

I have this recipe for pizza crust that is super easy. Which is why I love it. No need to wait for the dough to rise, just mix it up, roll it out and add the toppings.

3 cups of flour
1 packet or 2 tablespoons of quick rise yeast
1 teaspoon of salt*
1 tablespoon of sugar*
3 table spoons of vegetable oil
1 cup of warm water

*I have used and skipped both the salt and sugar. They are not necessary and can be left out to adjust for any dietary issues or concerns.

Combine the dry ingredients, add the oil & water. mix to form a light dough. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until it is well combined. I have found this makes 2 very large pizzas with a thinner crust. If you let it sit for a little bit, the dough will rise and become thicker, yet lighter.  
-Cut up for hot pockets type snacks, this will make about 8-10 depending on the size. Maybe more, maybe less. 
-Calzones 2 giant ones.
-Personal size pizzas- 4-6 dinner plates depending on thickness.

1 jar of pizza sauce  (not sure of the size or oz, but I will add it after I check)
1-2 lb of mozzerella cheese (depending on how much you like)
package of pepperoni or other toppings to taste- ham, sausage, pinapple, green peppers, onions, black olives...

The one jar of sauce will cover both pizzas. I have used these to make pepperoni, ham & pineapple, plain cheese, or combinations.  Over the weekend I made my own Hot Pockets, type food. Easy to freeze and bring for lunch... Guess what I'm having today?

Pepperoni pizza, ham & cheddar, turkey & cheddar, roast beef and swiss...  Sliced sandwhich meat is great for this and leftover meat can be used for sandwiches too.  I rolled out the dough, used an old rack from a toaster oven or a plastic take out lid, to mark out my rectangles, cut the out with a pizza cutter, added sauce, meat & cheese to one side, fold the other side over, wet the edges, press together to seal and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.  Once cooled I put them (2 each) into zipper lock bags- $1 store- and freeze for later.  They are good hot, warm and cold I have found since our microwave is still on the fritz.