Favorite Pizza

Fresh mozzarella makes the biggest difference. I will admit, I doubted. But then I partook. And I don't know that I can ever go back to the other stuff. It made it taste like a restaurant, like Lombardi's or something. Very yummy.

Favorite Pizza

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water {110 degrees F}
2-3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil

marinara sauce
sliced roma tomatoes {drain extra moisture and seeds between paper towels}
fresh mozzarella {This made a HUGE difference.}
dried oregano
extra shredded mozzarella {optional}

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, olive oil, salt, white sugar and the yeast mixture; stir well to combine. Beat well until a stiff dough has formed, adding flour as needed. Cover and rise until doubled in volume, 1-2 hours.
Heat oven to 375. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Form dough into a round and roll out into a pizza crust shape. {I roll it out right on a flat cookie sheet or pizza stone sprinkled with flour or cornmeal to prevent sticking.} Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven. Top with favorite sauce, slices of fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, pepperoni, and extra shredded cheese if desired. Sprinkle with oregano. Brush crusts with olive oil if desired. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crusts are just starting to brown and cheese is bubbly. Makes 1 medium pizza.

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com


Alabama Pulled Pork w/ White BBQ Sauce

You might want to serve this with regular barbeque sauce as well, for those who are less adventurous. The white was awesome though. We tried homemade BBQ sauce that was fantastic.

Alabama Pulled Pork w/ White BBQ Sauce

½ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon coarsely ground fresh pepper
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
dash of salt

1 ¼ lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground red pepper
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1. Prepare sauce: Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill.
2. Prepare pork: Cut pork in half lengthwise; cut crosswise into 2½-inch chunks. Combine apple cider vinegar and remaining pork ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Add pork to pan. Cover, and simmer 1 hour OR until tender. Keep the heat LOW LOW LOW. Stir partway through. Check it to make sure it doesn't overcook or cook too fast. Remove pork from cooking liquid; shred with 2 forks. Place pork in a serving dish; pour cooking liquid over pork. Serves 8.

Recipe from The RecipeGirl.

Homemade Barbeque Sauce

Sweet and tangy with a little kick.

1 1/4 cup ketchup
1 cup water
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses {you could just add extra b-sugar and omit this}
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cayenne

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir constantly for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sauce should be thick. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container. Refrigerate.

Banana Cupcakes

An attempt to copy Butter Lane's famous confection. It hit pretty dang close to the mark. I would definitely make these again.

Banana Cupcakes

½ cup shortening {or butter}
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
¼ cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour {you could do half cake flour* if you want.}
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, bananas and buttermilk. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to banana mixture. Fill 18 paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

*Note: Cake flour makes cakes more light and fluffy. If you don't have any, there is a substitute. Put 2 Tbs cornstarch in the bottom of a 1 cup measuring cup, and fill the rest with flour. This creates 1 cup cake flour.
Also, I read a recipe for banana cake which suggested that taking it out of the oven and putting it straight into the freezer for 20-30 minutes would arrest the baking process and make the cake extra moist. I gave it a try with these and they're moist. Don't know if it was the freezer trick, but it was worth a try.

Cream Cheese Frosting

½ cup butter, softened
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
3 ½ cups confectioners' sugar

Cream butter/cream cheese till smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add sugar and beat on low til combined, then on high till nice and smooth.



I'm not going to lie to you. I am slightly obsessed with these. They present a problem because they are so easy to make and I usually have all the ingredients on hand. Way too accessible. But I shall refrain from making them three times a week. Maybe just a quarter-batch, once a week...?


1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 cups Rice Krispies or Special K cereal
1 cup semi-sweet {or milk} chocolate morsels
1 cup butterscotch chips

Place corn syrup and sugar into large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 80-90 seconds (don't overheat), remove from microwave and stir. Stir in peanut butter till it melts. Add cereal, stir until well coated. Put mixture in 13x9-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.
Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips in microwave by heating 30 seconds and stirring till melted. It will melt eventually, do not over microwave chocolate or it will dry out and clump. Spread evenly over cereal mixture. Let stand until firm, or eat when warm, gooey and delicious. Makes 24 bars.

Recipe via Allrecipes.com.

Chicken Tenders with Creamy Honey Mustard

Super easy, super fast, super delicious. The chicken was nice and crispy but not fattening.
Thanks, Martha.

Chicken Tenders with Creamy Honey Mustard

⅓ cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
coarse salt and ground pepper
4 cups crisp rice cereal
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ lbs. chicken tenders {I used breasts cut into strips. Whatever works}
½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
4 medium carrots, cut into sticks
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into sticks

Preheat oven to 475. Place flour in a shallow bowl, and egg in a second one; season both with salt and pepper. Pulse cereal and oil in a food processor until fine crumbs form. {It also works to put the cereal in a plastic bag and crush it with a rolling pin or other hard object; i used a bowl. Then stir olive oil into the crushed mixture.) Season with salt and pepper; transfer to a third shallow bowl.
Coat chicken: first in flour, shaking off excess; then with egg, letting excess drip off; and finally in cereal mixture, pressing to help it adhere. Place on a baking sheet, and bake until light golden brown and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes, turning over halfway through.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together sour cream, mustard, and honey; season with salt and pepper. Serve tenders and vegetables with creamy honey mustard on the side. Serves 4.


Philly Cheesesteaks

Oh. My. Gosh.

Philly Cheesesteaks

1 lb. steak of your choice (we used some cheap sirloin, i think)
Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
1 medium green pepper, cut into strips
1 small onion, sliced
cream cheese
mozzarella cheese, grated
sandwich rolls

I don't know exactly how it happened. Just do what feels right. The onions and peppers will take longer than your steak to cook, so saute them first in some olive oil. I cut the steak into thin strips (helps if you put it in the freezer for 15 minutes first), then added it once the peppers and onions were cooked. Add lumps of cream cheese as desired to the mix and stir it around till it melts. You'll end up with this gooey deliciously creamy mess. Put it on rolls and if you're feeling extra sinful like us, add extra grated cheese on top. Oh my. These are delicious.


Meatball Subs

Klane likes to order these at Subway, so we tried them at home. Just another way to use meatballs, which are easy and we like them. I had never had a meatball sub so I was dubious, but I'd make it again! Just make sure you make the meatballs small enough for your mouth to fit around the sandwich...

Meatball Subs

1 lb. ground beef
½ cup bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 small onion, finely chopped (or grated on a box grater)
A few drops Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

1 medium red pepper, cut into strips
1 small onion, sliced
marinara sauce, heated
mozzarella cheese, grated
sandwich rolls

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix ingredients for meatballs in a medium-size bowl. Form bite-size balls and place on nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, saute the peppers and onions in a little olive oil. Put meatballs, sauce, peppers/onions, and cheese on rolls and put in the oven so the cheese melts. You may want to serve it with extra sauce. (I am a huge sauce person though!) Serves 4-6.