Cauliflower Crust Spinach & Feta White Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Spinach & Feta White Pizza.

I love pizza!

But I’ve been trying to avoid it in an attempt to lose some weight.

I also adore cauliflower, so I finally jumped on the cauliflower crust bandwagon, and O M Geee!  It is awesome!

Have you tried yet?

I did some reading on it before trying and found an important tip that causes many people to be unsuccessful and create a soggy crust…   It is super important to squeeze the water out of the cauliflower rice.  I got almost a whole cup of water out of my large head of cauliflower rice, and the crust turned out so nice and so delish!

I made this last weekend when the family came over for Father’s Day brunch.  It is quite healthy and low fat/calorie.  I used fat-free mozzarella cheese, fresh sauteed spinach and crumbled feta for my toppings.  YUM!

Here is how I made it.  Would love to hear your thoughts if you try it and/or your tips if you’ve made it other ways.

I loved it hot and also loved it cold the next day for lunch at work.  (Though I am one of those crazy peeps who loves everything cold as well!)

Cauliflower Crust Spinach & Feta White Pizza

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Topping:

  • 1 lb fresh baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
  • 6 oz. feta cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut cauliflower into florets and “rice” in food processor in batches.  Place in microwave-safe glass bowl with lid and cook for 8 minutes on high.  Allow to cool slightly and place cooked riced cauliflower in 3-4 even batches at a time in a dry tea-towel.  Roll up and squeeze water out of the riced cauliflower.  Squeeze hard and get as much out as you can.  This is an important step in creating a crust that will not be soggy.  You may get up to a total of a cup of liquid out.

Add eggs, cheese and seasonings to cauliflower and blend well using your hands.  Place on a parchment-lined baking stone, and pat into a crust.  Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.

While crust is baking, saute minced garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil until soft and fragrant.  Add fresh baby spinach and cook until just wilted.  It only takes a minute or two.  Remove from heat and set aside..

When crust comes out of the oven, top it with the shredded mozzarella followed by sauteed spinach and then topped evenly with crumbled feta and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Place back in oven for about 10 more minutes.  Tastes wonderful hot (and cold!)

You can also add other favorite toppings like sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, grilled chicken – the possibilities are as endless as your personal palate!  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Iced Orange Cookies

Iced Orange Cookies.

Summer baking calls for bright, citrusy flavors; and ever since painting my lemons last week, I have had citrus on the brain!

I found a great old-fashioned cookie recipe for these cakey iced orange cookies from Taste of Home.   I had just bought a bag of clementines, so I knew they would work great for this.

I gave some to my Dad for Father’s Day and served some to our kiddos at our Father’s Day brunch for Hubby.

Be sure to use freshly squeezed orange juice and zest for the best flavor.  These cookies freeze well and taste amazing right out of the freezer on a hot summer day!

Iced Orange Cookies

  • Servings: 2 1/2 dozen
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Butter Crisco shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp freshly-grated orange zest
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Icing
    • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
    • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
    • 2 Tbsp butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In an electric mixer, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in orange juice and zest.  Add baking powder, salt and then flour to creamed mixture until well combined.

Drop by tablespoon or cookie scoop onto baking stone or ungreased cookie sheet about two inches apart.   Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until edges just begin to brown.  Cool on wire racks.

In a small bowl, combine icing ingredients until smooth.  Drizzle generously over cooled cookies.

TIP:  I refrigerated the cookie dough for a couple hours making it easier to work with and hold its shape.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Brussels Slaw

Brussels Slaw.

Who is a Brussels Sprouts fan?

Yes?  No?  Not sure?  Maybe not?

I was chatting with a friend at work last week that said she doesn’t like Brussels Sprouts, but said she wondered how they would be raw in a coleslaw like salad.  She commented that she likes cabbage in coleslaw, but not cooked cabbage.

It got me thinking…..  I am a Brussels sprout fan…. adore them roasted….  but I, too, wondered how they would be shredded and served raw in a slaw-type salad.

Then the universe poked me with a nudge, when I saw bags of  Shaved Brussels at my local Whole Foods Market!  

I bought a bag for me and a bag for my friend.

Trying to eat healthier these days, I decided on a vinaigrette slaw.  My friend made a creamy version using Marzetti slaw dressing, and she and her family loved it.


Here is the recipe for how I made mine.  Hope you will give it a try!

Brussels Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 12oz bag Shaved Brussels Sprouts (or you can slice/shave your own)
  • 1/4 cup finely minced onion
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Sugar (or sweetener)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all together and let marinade in refrigerator for at least a half hour before serving.

You can change it up by adding sliced almonds or chopped apples or anything else you like.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

St. Patrick’s Day Pretzel Shamrocks

Pretzel Shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day.

How FUN are these??!!

When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I knew I had to create some of these.

A few simple ingredients and two minutes in the oven make for a winner of a special holiday treat.

I had a bag of Rolos left over from Christmas, and I knew I could pull some green M&M’s out of the jar I keep full most all the time.  I had some pretzel sticks, but didn’t have mini pretzels, so that is all I had to buy.  The ones I picked up at Fresh Thyme were Gluten Free and made from rice flour, so a bit lighter color, but completely delish!

Here is the super simple “recipe.”  Do you have some friends or loved ones you’d like to share them with?

St. Patrick's Day Pretzel Shamrocks

  • Servings: as many as you like
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Mini Pretzels
  • Pretzel Sticks
  • Rolo Chocolate Candies
  • Green M&M Candies

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  Lay pretzels out in the shape of shamrocks on parchment paper lined baking sheet or stone.  Place a Rolo where all three pretzels meet.  Bake for 2 minutes for Rolo to soften.  Remove from oven, and press M&M in center of Rolo.  Cool completely and/or place in freezer to chill.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Fresh Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Fresh Beet and Goat Cheese Salad.

I found another gem at our new Fresh Thyme Farmers Market this week – beautiful fresh golden beets!

I love beets – red or gold – but since these are a little harder to find where I live, I was excited to get them.  Golden beets are slightly sweeter and a little less earthy than red beets.  I actually love the earthiness of red beets, but those that don’t might enjoy these.

I love beets hot or cold, plain or fancy, so I decided to make a bit of a fancier salad for our Sunday supper this past week.  Here is my recipe.  Hope you will give it a try.

Fresh Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 large or 2 small gold or red fresh beets (or a combination of both), cooked* and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Small bunch of arugula or mixed greens of your choice
  • ¼ cup pecans or walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 small clementines or oranges
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a small skillet, heat pecans or walnuts until warm and beginning to toast.  Add maple syrup and cook and stir to coat.  Remove from heat.  Spread out on cutting board or parchment or waxed paper to cool.

Prepare dressing by squeezing juice of clementine or orange into a small bowl.  Drizzle and whisk in vinegar and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Place a small bunch of arugula or mixed greens on each of two salad plates.  Top each plate with equal portions of the cut-up beets, followed by clementine or orange slices, toasted candied pecans or walnuts, and crumbled goat cheese.  Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with additional coarse black pepper and salt to taste.

*To cook fresh beets, cut greens off top to about an inch from beet.  Place unpeeled fresh beets in a saucepan of water to cover and bring to a boil.  Boil for 20-40 minutes, depending on size, until beets are fork-tender.  (When you stab with a fork, the beet should slide right back off when done.) Drain under cold water and remove skin with paper towel.  Cool completely for salad.  Cut up after beets have cooled.

Enjoy!

Nothing beats a fresh beet!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Homemade Sweet Potato Chips

Homemade Sweet Potato Chips.

I’ve been trying to eat a bit healthier and make better food choices.

It’s hard.

While some people crave chocolate and sweets, I am a salty, savory girl.  I will take a crunchy pretzel or chip any day over a Hershey’s Kiss or cookie.

So when I heard about making homemade sweet potato chips, I had to try.

And HOORAY!  They totally satisfied my salty, crunchy chip-loving craving.

These are so easy to make, so delicious to eat, and healthy enough to not feel guilty!

The only tricky part is baking them long enough to get crispy without burning them.

This recipe is what works in my oven in my area.  I have an electric convection oven.  Your baking time may vary.  Just keep watching – and tasting – until you achieve your best results.

The batch pictured here is ONE sweet potato!

Here is how I made them:

Homemade Sweet Potato Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp. chili powder or dry rub or your favorite seasoning (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Thinly slice sweet potato with a mandoline slicer and layer on a baking stone or cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and combine to coat well.  Sprinkle with salt and seasoning.  Re-spread evenly on the baking sheet.

Bake 20 minutes.  Toss and flip slices.  Continue baking for 10 minutes.  Toss and flip slices.  Bake 10 more minutes or until edges are browned and chips become crisp.  Remove to paper towels to dry and drain off any excess oil.   Serve immediately and enjoy!

TIP:  Some type of mandoline slicer is really a must as well to get super thin, even slices.

Hope you enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

P.S.  Do you see a familiar furry, four-legged friend in the first photo who also loves these sweet potato chips?  (Charlie says “Hi” and wants you to know how good these are!)

Homemade Apple Fritters

Homemade Apple Fritters.

Last Sunday, Hubby had to get up very early – really the middle of the night – to work during a winter weather event in our area.

Missing Sunday breakfast, I wanted to make him a special treat for when he returned home.

With some wonderful Misfits Market apples in the crisper, I thought I’d try my hand at homemade apple fritters.

Who can resist a fresh apple fritter??!!

A couple tips from a first-time apple fritter maker:

  • Don’t heat the oil too hot.  Be patient and use a medium heat.  Better to fry them a little longer and get a golden brown than to overcook the outside and undercook the inside with high heat.  (Which, by the way, is what I did with the first batch of three, resulting in us only having three total!)
  • Spread them a little flatter than I did so you get more icing in each bite as the dough itself only contains a small amount of sugar. (This was hubby’s suggestion!)
  • Use a sweeter, less firm apple for best results.  I would not recommend Granny Smith.  The recipe calls for 3 medium apples, but you could really add another apple, which I will do next time.

Let me know if you try and/or if you have made and have any of your own tips.  We sure enjoyed these on a cold, snowy, comfort food, stay-in kind of day.

Here is the recipe I very slightly adapted from I am Baker‘s blog.

Homemade Apple Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Canola or Vegetable Oil  for frying
  • Glaze
    • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
    • 4 tsp. water (or enough for best consistency)

Directions:

In a small bowl, drizzle lemon juice over diced apples.  Stir to coat.  Set aside.

In electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs on medium-high speed until combined.  Reduce speed to low, and add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix until combined.  Add milk, and mix until incorporated.  Fold in apples with spatula.

Fill a frying pan halfway full with oil.  Heat over medium heat to 375 degrees F.

Drop three 1/4-1/3 cup portions of batter into the oil.  Let fry for a few minutes until golden brown.  Flip and fry until other side is golden brown.  Test for doneness by inserting a small knife in center.  If uncooked batter remains, fry longer.

Remove fritters from oil with slotted spoon to wire rack layered with paper towels or napkins to drain.  Allow to cool.

Repeat with remaining three portions of batter.

Prepare glaze by combining powdered sugar, vanilla, and water.  Drizzle over cooled fritters on cooling rack.  When glaze has set, turn to coat other side with glaze that dripped through, if desired.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies.

It’s December, and that means time to start Christmas cookie baking!

These cookies are a wonderful version of pecan pie in a cookie!

They are similar to Pecan Tassies, but a lot easier.

The cookie is buttery and shortbread-like, while the filling is nutty and sticky and sweet and AMAZING!

I had a little bit of extra filling left that I just couldn’t throw away, so I spread it on a sheet of crescent roll dough, rolled it up, and sliced it into 8 easier-than-pie pecan “sticky buns!”

So
worth
it!

Hope you will give these yummy cookies a try for something new on your Christmas cookie baking list.  I do believe these will become a regular in our home!

Here is the recipe I found at  Crazy for Crust, which I only slightly altered.  Thanks for a great recipe, Dorothy!

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients:

Cookie Batter:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Pecan Pie Filling:

  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse or flaked salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4-5 Tbsp. Half and Half or Heavy Cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Optional:  Powdered sugar for sprinkling on top of cooled cookies.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat brown sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in electric mixer until creamy.   Add in baking powder, salt, and flour, and mix on low speed until well combined.

Shape dough, two tablespoons at a time, into balls, and place the balls two inches apart on a baking stone or cookie sheet.  Indent a hole in center with your thumb.

Prepare filling by stirring pecans, salt, brown sugar, and vanilla with cream until it forms a thick mixture.  Spoon approximately one teaspoonful into thumb indentation of each cookie.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes on stone or cookie sheet before removing to rack to cool completely.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

Cookies freeze well for up to a month.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Old-Fashioned Beef Stew

Old-Fashioned Beef Stew.

The weather has turned blustery here, and we are “turkeyed” out from Thanksgiving, so the other day, I made a comforting pot of bubbling, thick, hearty, old-fashioned beef stew.

I finally made a trip to a local pantry I’ve been longing to visit in the quaint town of Zelienople, PA (not far from Mars) – Penn Pantry, where I purchased some local, organic grass-fed beef (amongst many other wonderful treasures) that seemed to be made just for stewing.

I also had an abundance of fresh vegetables from my latest Misfit Market shipment that I knew would work perfectly in a stew – potatoes in sweet, red and white, carrots, parsnips, and onions.

So a stewing I did, and oh how we enjoyed!

Here is how I made ours.  Shake it up with your favorite ingredients, but feel the warmth and comfort in this great classic recipe.

Old-Fashioned Beef Stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. beef, trimmed and cut into one-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt (or your favorite)
  • 1 tsp. coarsly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh sage, finely minced
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into chunks
  • 4 cups chopped potatoes, sweet potatoes, and/or parsnips
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery

Directions:

Combine flour, seasoned salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.  Add beef cubes, and toss to coat.

Heat oil in a large pot.  Add coated beef cubes and brown on all sides.

Remove beef from pot, and add vinegar and wine to oil and beef drippings in pot.  Stir and scrape browned bits from bottom of pan until all combined and boiling.  Add beef back in, followed by beef broth, tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and sage.  Bring back to a boil, then reduce to simmer for about a half hour to an hour – until beef is tender.  (Timing will depend on the cut and quality of beef.)

Add onions, potatoes, carrots, and celery, and continue simmering until vegetables are tender and broth thickens – approximately one hour.

Ladle into bowls and serve with fresh, crusty bread to soak up every bit of gravy goodness to comfort your appetite and warm you from the inside out.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Cheesy Chicken Prosciutto Roll-Ups in White Wine Sauce

Cheesy Chicken Prosciutto Roll-Ups in White Wine Sauce.

This past Sunday, I made a new recipe with chicken that turned out so yummy, I couldn’t wait to share.

With a few simple ingredients, but also the finest you can find or afford, you can create this amazing dish in just a few minutes before putting in the oven for a half hour.

Turn your sound on for just a few seconds, and click the arrow below to experience the glorious sizzling of these little gems as they brown in olive oil and a bit of butter!

These chicken breasts, pounded as flat as possible, are stuffed with thinly sliced salty, high-quality prosciutto,  fresh, creamy mozzarella cheese and a few simple spices before being rolled in flour and browned in olive oil and butter.

Once browned,  white wine is poured in to blend with the browned bits and juices to create the most amazing gravy!

We enjoyed our Cheesy Chicken Prosciutto Roll-Ups with a fresh garden salad.  The only thing we were missing was some crusty bread to sop up every last bit of gravy.

I cannot recommend this winner of a chicken dinner more highly.  I slightly revised a recipe I found at mangiamichelle.com.

Here is how I made it.

Cheesy Chicken Prosciutto Roll-Ups in White Wine Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. (3 large) chicken breasts, sliced in half horizontally to create 6 pieces
  • 6 paper-thin sliced high-quality proscuitto
  • 1 lb. fresh mozzarella ball, sliced
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning (or your favorite i.e. oregano, sage, thyme)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1/2 cup flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Pound the chicken pieces until they are as flat as possible to about 1/3 inch thick.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and seasoning.  Lay a slice of prosciutto on top followed by a slice of mozzarella.  Roll up and secure with a toothpick or two to secure.  Dredge each chicken roll-up in flour.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat.  Brown each roll-up on each side for about 4-5 minutes.  Pour wine over all, and stir up browned bits and butter to incorporate.  Baste sauce over chicken.  Place in oven, and bake for 30 minutes. 

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi