Thursday, December 30, 2010

Steak and Sauteed Veggie Pizza

This pizza is fricking amazing. For real.

I remembered seeing this post over at How to Cook Like Your Grandmother some time ago and wanted to try something similar. One thing I wanted to change up though was I wanted some vegetables on there, specifically peppers and onions. I also wanted them sauteed, which if you've never done for pizza I highly recommend.

I didn't get any step by step pictures because my girlfriend was home when I was making this and she was all up in my cooking space.

"When's it going to be ready?", "Is it ready yet?", "Why aren't I eating it now?", and so on.

But I have this one showing how the steak is mostly raw before I put the pizza in. See? Exciting, I know. Heh.

Ok, this is what I did. First I took some steak tips and seasoned them with some salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Then I just seared them real quick, just enough to brown the outside and put a little fond in the pan. Next I sliced them very thin.

Then I sauteed the peppers and onions real quick in the lovely mess that was left in the pan. Not enough to make them real soft, just enough to coat them in the flavors and oils. Then I made a pizza with it. And it was wicked good.Keeping the steak mostly raw meant it was nice and tender, if I had thoroughly cooked it first it would have been like jerky. I used barbecue sauce for my girlfriends pizza, because she likes that the best, and a spicy tomato sauce for mine.

As for the veggies, not only does sauteing them give them that extra flavor, but the oil coating them helps them brown a bit in the oven and just makes them extra good.

This method is great for steak since even if it doesn't quite cook all the way it's no big deal, but I don't think I'd recommend it for chicken or pork. You know, just in case.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Cats #73

The holidays are a special time for our cats. My girlfriend hangs up their stockings and if they are good, they each get a can of wet food. Well, even if they aren't good. Because we're suckers. (Fancy Feast did not endorse this. However, if any of their reps are watching and want to pay me, that would be awesome.)

They go nuts for the stinky stuff, it's the most vocal the real Bob ever gets. Noodles of course goes right after his before she's even finished hers. Because she doesn't like it when Bob has nice things. Or possibly because he was too close to the tattered remains of her most recent lover. It's hard to tell, she's ... well, not exactly complex. Inscrutable? I don't know, she's nuts. Good thing for her she's so cute.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Pudding

A while ago a buddy of mine came over and brought a couple mini banana breads. We ate one while he was here and the other on got wrapped up and, sadly, forgotten for a week. So it was pretty stale by the time I rediscovered it. I certainly didn't want it to go to waste, so I decided to make some bread pudding out of it. You might have already figured that out by the title. Heh.

Now, I'm not known for following recipes, especially when I'm doing something on a whim. And this was no exception. Also it was quite a while ago that I made it, I really kind of tossed it together and frankly, I don't have any idea what I did. But I'm going to post about it anyway because I have the pictures.

What I do remember is that the banana was frozen, so it put out a bunch of liquid when I thawed it. And I remember there was about two cups of bread cubes. Ah, photography. So much better than my memory. Anyway, I put it together like you would any kind of bread pudding. Eggs, sugar, milk, mixing. Pouring the goop, which I should have made more of, onto the bread and chocolate chips. Then baking the whole thing until it's cooked through and brown on top. It was good, but not great. Needed more goop, like I said before. Tasty though it may be, it isn't really very pretty once you scoop it onto a plate. Heh. The concept is sound though and I'll be doing it again. Maybe even with a recipe.

Weird, I just went to look at the other time I made bread pudding, when I did a croissant one, and it was posted on December 23rd. Apparently something about the end of the year makes me think about bread pudding. Hm.

Anyway, I'm definitely making it again soon and I'd love some advice. Who wants to share their favorite bread pudding recipe with me?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Cats #72

The real Bob is a big baby. Need proof? Ok, here. He loves it. Noodles, on the other hand, thinks she's a princess. Need proof of that? Well, why else would she sit there like this?I mean, really.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Repost: Rolo Cookies

Well, the holidays are almost done, but I bet some of you still need to make cookies and since these are wicked good I thought I'd share the recipe again. Plus it's quicker than writing a whole new post so I can go right back to playing Civilization V. Heh.


1 cup butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup cocoa
2 ¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 packages Rolos (40)

In a large bowl mix butter, 1 cup of sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. In medium bowl mix flour, coco, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture. Roll 1 tablespoon cookie dough into a ball; flatten into palm of your hand. Place 1 Rolo in the center; bring sides together and roll into ball. Roll ball in the remaining ¼ white sugar. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes.


First off, these cookies rule. The cookie part tastes almost like brownies and has a great chewy/fudgy texture. And then there's a Rolo in the middle, so how can you lose? I saw this recipe on Bakespace some time ago and was intrigued. So I copied it down for making in the future. I had forgotten that Spryte has a Rolo cookie recipe too and it looks like it's easier to work with. The recipe I made has very sticky dough that was very hard (as in, impossible) to roll into a ball. But I found that it was less sticky after it sat for a bit. So next time I make these I'm going to let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes before I bake them. Still, next time I make them I'll be using Sprytes recipe, they have a little more flour so shouldn't be quite so bad. She recommends using cooking spray on your hands, but I didn't. I should have.

The recipe I used says to mix together the sugars, butter, eggs and vanilla as the first step. I just couldn't do that, I had to mix the sugars and the butter together first. Is that a bad sign? Am I getting snooty? Anyway, that's what I did. I took the sugars and butter and mixed them together. I didn't really cream them, but I mixed them together pretty well. Then I added the egg and vanilla and mixed it all up. Them came the dry mixture. The recipe didn't call for any salt, which always tweaks me out. So I added a little bit. Forgot to get a picture of the dough. Sorry. Then I took big tablespoons, rolled them into a ball and squished them flat in my palm, like the recipe said. Put a Rolo in the middle and brought the sides up. Well, I tried to. It didn't really work like that, the dough was way too sticky. So I wound up just taking big chunks of dough, stuffing a Rolo in the middle and squishing it around till the candy was covered. Then I rolled them in sugar and plopped them onto a parchment lined sheet. Baked them at 350 and there you go. They looked lovely, nice and dark and chocolaty. And tasted even better. These are my new second favorite cookies. First being chocolate chip, of course. Here are a couple more pictures of the middle. I liked this one because it's a good gooey caramel shot. And this is after sitting for an hour, so the caramel is totally set. So I highly recommend these, they are wicked good. They've got me thinking of what other kinds of candy I can fill cookies with. This is a dangerous path folks. Heh.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pizza Quick Tip: Less Greasy Pepperoni

Hands up, who has made a pizza that looks awesome before you pop it in the oven? Then you cook it and the pepperoni, salami, linguica or whatever fatty thing you slapped on there in a brazen fit of excess has turned it into a pool of molten grease?
(not pictured: lots of grease)

I know it's happened to me plenty of times. Then I learned a trick, although I don't remember from where, and now my pizzas are better for it.It's easy, just microwave the pepperoni, or in this case salami, between some paper towels for maybe ten-fifteen seconds. Not only does this make the pizza less greasy but it helps the stuff crisp up really nice, which is a good time. I don't know why you couldn't do this same thing with any kind of already cooked, thin sliced, fatty meat and cut down on the grease. If you're into that. For those wondering, this is a salami, green pepper and red onion pizza (heh, randomly and appropriately seasonal) with a spicy tomato/roasted red pepper sauce (like this one, without the sausage). It was wicked good.

I usually make it several times a week, how often do you folks make homemade pizza?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Snickerdoodles Two Ways

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt

2 tbls sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
(optional) 2 tsp cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 400. Combine the flour, soda, cream of tartar and salt. Beat the sugar, butter and shortening together. Add the eggs, one at a time mixing well to combine. Add the dry and mix well. Chill the dough for an hour. Mix the cinnamon and 2 tbls of sugar together. Make tbl sized balls of dough, roll them in cinnamon sugar and place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. If you want, mix the cocoa in to the cinnamon sugar and roll some in that too. Bake for about 8 minutes. Cool for a minute on the sheet then transfer to a wire rack.

If you under cook these a little they will be nice and chewy. If you like them crisp cook them a bit longer.


Mmmm, snickerdoodles. I mean really, who doesn't have that reaction when they see these buttery, cinnamony, sugary things? If you don't, well, you're probably a robot. This recipe came to me from one of my lovely sisters and while I was making it I thought it would be fun to add some chocolate in there somehow. It worked out... ok. Maybe working some chocolate into the dough itself.... hm. More experiments are clearly needed.

Snickerdoodles couldn't be easier, here's how you do it.

Ok, first off I didn't use shortening. I know it makes a crispier, lighter texture, but I'm a bit of a butter hound. So, butter and sugar. Mix them together. Then eggs. Well, egg, this is a half recipe. It's just two of us in the apartment and I don't like any of my neighbors enough to give them cookies. Heh. More mixing, then the dry ingredients. More mixing and then it's time to chill. I just cover it with plastic wrap in the bowl as is, can't think of anything easier. Now you have an hour to kill, you should probably start preheating the oven. At least if your oven is as crappy as mine is. But what else you do with the hour is your business, I'm not the nosy type. Then it's time to whip up the cinnamon sugar (and cocoa, if you're doing that) and roll some dough balls in it. I didn't get any shots of the cocoa/cinnamon sugar mixture, but I did get one of the dough balls on the cookies sheet. So that's something. And there you have it, two kinds of snickerdoodles. Like I said, the chocolate ones didn't turn out as I hoped. I'm definitely going to try it again though, there is much promise there. How would you folks add chocolate to snickerdoodles?


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