Sunday, May 2, 2010

DA Sauce

I have a recipe I pulled from the internet ages ago, it was supposed to be a rip off of the Pizza Hut recipe. I'm not sure how close it is to the real deal but we like it. It starts out with tomato sauce, then we add in a lot of different spices etc. We use it for Italian sausage sandwiches too by adding a little tomato paste and red pepper.

Pizza sauce

1 15oz can tomato sauce
1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp basil leaves

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp lemon juice

dash of onion powder

1/2 tbsp sugar

combine ingredients in saucepan. Heat to bubbling then turn down heat and simmer covered for 30-60 minutes to desired thickness.

This time I cooked up a link of Italian sausage I had left over from Italian sausage soup and threw that int he sauce. It just gave it a little extra sumpin sumpin.

Since I was making a double batch of personal sized pizza I decided to try a recipe I found in this months Cooking Light magazine. Oh how I love that magazine....*SIGH* Anyway....I loved the simplicity of it. You saute the garlic in the olive oil and add the crushed tomatoes to the mix with salt and oregano. Now I veered a little from the recipe. I read it wrong and instead of putting in 28 oz of Marzano tomatoes I used 14 oz of a store brand tomato with oregano and basil already added. I couldn't have been more pleased with the result. It was fantastic! I have been on a crusade at my house to get rid of as much of the extra sugars, preservatives, and processed foods as I can. I've found that the big brands have added high fructose corn syrup to many of their varieties. If I want sugar I'll add it myself thank you! This sauce was divine coupled with a little mozzarella and basil for a margherita pizza.


Found a recipe for whole wheat margherita pizza on the Dr. Oz Website. The way the crust was prepared was so different to me I had to try it. First you put your warm water, agave nectar, and yeast in your food processor. That's right food processor! Let it do it's thing for 10 minutes, till it's foamy.

Add in your all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt and olive oil.

Give it a whirl till it comes together in a ball. Knead it a little on a floured surface and then put it in a bowl to rise for about an hour.

Here is where I ran into trouble! HA! The recipe says to divide dough into 3 parts. Then press each part on to a piece of PARCHMENT paper into a 10 inch disk. Well.....I didn't have parchment paper so after reading the box on my waxed paper I decided to give it a whirl. Not good man....The dough was sticky, a problem I fixed with the second batch. I got the dough all pressed out onto the 3 pieces of waxed paper and popped the first one into the oven on my baking stone. Now the idea is that after about 3 minutes you pull out the parchment paper like the ole tablecloth trick. Well that didn't exactly happen. Instead smoke came out of the oven vent...After the 3 minutes I pulled it out to find that the waxed paper was STUCK to the dough! Not good. I peeled it off as well as the outside of my pizza crust and did the best I could. I found that spraying the paper had better results but it still wasn't a breeze.

The second batch I did away with the waxed paper all together. I just floured my counter top and the dough and pressed it out. Transferring it to the baking stone wasn't all that difficult not with the added flour.

I like to partially bake my crust before I add toppings. It ensures that the middle gets baked and doesn't end up doughy.

I decided I really like this pizza dough recipe. I think it had great taste and a wonderful texture. Once I get parchment paper I'll even give that step another try! Hee hee!

Friday, April 30, 2010


Sometimes I get so caught up in trying to exciting recipes that I forget some of the old favorites we love. BBQ beef is one of them. Today I popped a small roast in the crock pot with a sliced onion, a little water and some garlic. I let that cook for about 7 hours on low. I shredded the beef, and poured off all the remaining liquid. (I strained it and saved it in the fridge.) Popped the shredded meat back in the crock pot and poured a bottle of bbq sauce on it.

Served it on whole wheat buns with potato wedges (Store bought.) and some tasty corn.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


When my husband works late I have to feed my family in shifts. Quesadilla's are an easy way to do just that.

First I mixed up some guacamole. My son and I are the only ones that eat it so I don't have to make much. I grabbed a couple of avacados, garlic salt, onion powder, few green onions, lime juice, and a few shots of hot sauce. Came out pretty good considering I just tossed it together.


I've swapped out the sour cream at my house with Greek yogurt. It really does a bang up job impersonating the taste of sour cream.

I decided to go extra cheesy today and ripped some provolone cheese up for my first layer. Followed that up with some seasoned chicken. I cooked it with some spicy v-8 juice for a little extra UMPH. Topped it with some cheddar cheese and some baby spinach.

I like to use a pizza cutter for this sorta stuff. Gotta love a multi tasking kitchen tool!

This picture doesn't quite do it justice. It was WAY tasty and a nice change of pace.

So if you are in the mood for a little change this might be the dish for you.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I have to preface this post by admitting that I have never had a REAL Philly cheese steak sandwich. I have always wanted to try them but didn't want some crappy knock off. That being said..... I found a recipe in Rocco Dispirito's new cook book NOW EAT THIS. I figured I'd give it a try.

I sliced up some green pepper and onions.

Sauteed them with a little salt and pepper.
Here is where I feel the recipe strays from a REAL cheese steak sandwich. Rocco's book is going for low cal but it felt more like a french dip. I poured beef broth and chicken broth in a pan and heated up the roast beef from the deli. I thought it was sorta bland and needed a little sumpin' sumpin'. So I added some Worcestershire sauce and some fresh ground pepper. I topped some toasted bread with the beef, topped with the sauteed veggies and melted the cheese on top. His recipe said to serve the broth to dip the sandwich in.. Hmmm...

Real cheesesteak sandwich or not it was pretty darn tasty. The whole family voted it a "keeper".

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm a bread freak!

I love to bake bread. It's still a work in progress, I am still learning, but I love the feeling of knowing I put it all together from scratch.

In my quest to get rid of as many processed foods and preservatives as I can, I am attacking those tubes of stuff in the dairy section I think I can do better. A couple of packets of yeast, some flour and water and look what you get! Wholesome, tasty light wheat bread!

I only baked up a portion of the dough I made today. The rest I rolled into little balls and I put them into the freezer. It's an effort to make my own CONVENIENCE food. Later I will take out what I need and let it defrost and rise. VIOLA! Fresh baked bread! Let's hope I did it right......


So I have this love of cooking. I enjoy trying new things. I strive to get rid of as much processed food and preservatives as I can. Don't know if I can eliminate them all but I'm doing my best! Care to come along?