Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Cheesy Garlic Monkey Bread

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We eat quite a bit of pasta around here, and yes I know that's not always the healthiest, but it is the cheapest to make, it stretches, it feeds a lot and with prices going up and up lately, it's easy on the budget.

One of our favorite side dishes when eating pasta, is the ever popular garlic bread.

But I don't always want to eat the same, and sometimes I crave something a little different.  This recipe came about when I was trying to figure out what to make with our ravioli last week.  I started by making my usual pizza dough, and thought about making a focaccia but wasn't in the mood for that.

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I sat around for a bit and then thought, well why not just make some sort of monkey bread but garlic cheese and that way people can just rip off pieces.  It will be fun and tasty.  So that is what I did.

The result was this really yummy fun garlic cheese monkey bread.  The hubby and kids loved it and it's now a favorite around here.

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Cheesy Garlic Monkey Bread
 
 
Ingredients
Mozzarella cheese, cubed
Melted Butter
Parmesan Cheese
Italian Seasoning
 
 
Make the pizza dough, then break off small balls of dough, flatten slightly, add some cubed mozzarella cheese and close, making sure to pinch the seams.
 
In a small bowl, melt the butter, and add italian seasoning and some parmesan cheese.  Mix well.
 
Roll the dough balls in the melted butter, and then add to a greased bundt pan.
 
Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until browned and the dough is cooked all the way through.  Invert onto a plate, and serve immediately.

German Pizza - Flammkuchen

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The first time I heard of German pizza was a couple years ago.  I intended to make it and then never got around to it, and actually completely forgot, until I was scrolling through my blog a couple weeks ago, and there it was.  

Me, mentioning wanting to make it, but yeah....never got around to it.

So a few days ago, when I was trying to figure out what to make for lunch for myself and the kids, I remembered the German pizza and quickly threw it together.

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I will say, when I first saw the recipe I was a bit apprehensive, only because it's not the traditional pizza dough and the sauce is not pizza sauce either, it is yogurt and nutmeg.  Strange, not something I am used to, but I just went with it anyway.

Wow, am I glad I did.  What a delicious and easy pizza to make.  I wasn't sure the kids would like it, but they loved it too, so that's always a plus.

So, what exactly is Flammkuchen?

The dish was created by Germanic farmers from Alsace, Baden and the Palatinate who used to bake bread once a week. The Flammekueche was originally a homemade dish which did not make its urban restaurant debut until the "pizza craze" of the 1960s. A Flammekueche would be used to test the heat of their wood-fired ovens. - Wikipedia 

Do give this pizza a try, I know it's not the traditional tomato based sauce, but it's so good, you won't even miss it. 

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German Pizza (Flammkuchen) 
 
 
Ingredients 
 
For the Dough 
2 c unbleached all-purpose flour 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 cup of water 
2 Tbsp olive oil 
 
For the Toppings 
1 c crème fraîche, or 1 c Greek yogurt, or slightly over 1 c plain yogurt, strained (I used greek yogurt) 1/4 tsp nutmeg 
1/4 lb bacon, diced 
2 onions, halved and sliced thin 
ground black pepper 
Cornmeal 
 
 
Preheat your oven to 500F. 
 
 In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, water, and oil. Mix until a dough begins to form, the turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is soft and smooth, 3-5 min. Set the dough aside and cover it with a towel. 
 
 In a small bowl, mix together crème fraîche and nutmeg. Set aside. In a large sauté pan, sauté bacon over medium high heat, until it is cooked about halfway to crisp, 2-4 minutes. Remove the bacon (keeping the grease in the pan) to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside. 
 
Place the sliced onions into the hot bacon grease and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 10 min. Remove the pan from the heat. Roll and stretch the dough out into a rectangle, roughly 11x16 inches. 
 
Place the dough onto a large baking sheet that has been generously dusted with cornmeal. Layering bacon, caramelized onions, and creme fraiche on a thin crust for a classic German Flammkuchen recipe. Spread the crème fraîche mixture over the crust, leaving just a little bare crust border. 
 
Distribute the caramelized onions over the crème fraîche, and sprinkle the bacon over the onions. Finish everything off with a dusting of black pepper. 
 
Place the baking sheet with the pizza into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pizza is crisp and the edges are starting to darken. Remove from the oven, cut, and serve immediately. 
 
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Monday, September 06, 2021

Instant Pot Oatmeal

Instant Pot Oatmeal

Quick, creamy, delicious and perfect any time of year.  With this basic recipe you have a starting point to any variation, favorite flavors or all time favorites like brown sugar and cinnamon.
 
It's no secret that I love my Instant Pot and use it at least once a day.  If I can make it in there,  you better believe it's going in.  

When I learned how to make oatmeal for breakfast, it was like hitting the jackpot.  See, I don't like the oatmeal that comes in the little packets, to me it has to be homemade and creamy, and it's something I could never quite achieve with ready made.
 
Instant Pot Oatmeal

This instant pot oatmeal is so creamy and so delicious, you'll want to have it every morning.

Just a quick note.  You need to use old fashioned oats, but if all you have are quick oats, which is what I mostly have on hand, then you will need to cook it for just a minute and what I even do, is the minute it comes to pressure, I cancel it and do a quick release. 
 
If I don't, then I'll usually get the burn notice because the bottom will start to stick, not that it's a big deal, I still eat it just being careful not to scrape the burning parts on the bottom.

Instant Pot Oatmeal

Instant Pot Oatmeal 
 
 
Ingredients
1 and 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 and 3/4 cups of water
2 and 1/4 cups of milk
4 tablespoons brown sugar
Optional: you can add in dates, sliced bananas, blueberries, chopped apple.  Whatever you wish.  
 
 
Add the oats, water, milk and brown sugar to the instant pot.  Stir to combine.  Make sure it is set to seal, and then click the porridge button and set it at 6 minutes, then do a quick release.  You can also let it do a slow release, but don't let it go too long.
 
Serve immediately.
 

 
 

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Bolo Pudim (Pudding Cake )

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Every weekend, I try to make something special for the family.  Some sort of dessert that is just a bit more special, a little extra, so to speak.

It is usually when I'll pull out my Portuguese or Brazilian recipes, because though they have very simple desserts, they also some really yummy ones that have that little something special.  They also usually take a bit longer to make, so it's easier for me to dedicate more time to them.
 

This one however, is absolutely delicious, simple and pretty quick and easy to make.  The result however is this amazing looking dessert that is half caramel pudding and half chocolate cake.  

How can you go wrong?
 
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This is a recipe that both Portuguese and Brazilians love, and it's not surprise.  It makes the perfect dessert for company, or that special occasion.  I've made mine with chocolate cake, but you can do a simple vanilla cake as well, if you prefer.  Totally up to you.  When I make a vanilla one next time, I'll share that recipe too.
 
Are you ready to wowed?  Alright, let's grab the cake pan, all the ingredients and get into the kitchen.
 
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Bolo Pudim
 
 
Ingredients
For the caramel:
1 cup of sugar
 
For the pudding:
4 eggs
1 can condensed milk
Same measure of can with whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 
For the chocolate cake:
2 eggs
120 grams or 1/2 cup of sugar
136 grams or 1/2 cup of milk 
6 tablespoons of vegetable oil
6 tablespoons of cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
136 grams or 1 cup of flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
 
In a big bundt cake pan, add the cup of sugar for the caramel.  Place on the stove, and turn the heat to low.  Let the sugar dissolve completely, and when done, using a spatula or silicone brush, brush the caramel all over the pan, making sure to go up the sides and up the middle hole of the pan as well.  

Set aside.

In a kitchenaid standing mixer, mix all the ingredients for the chocolate cake, and beat until well incorporated.  

Pour into the bundt cake pan, over the caramel and set aside.

In a blender, mix all the ingredients for the caramel pudding.  When done pour over the chocolate cake batter, try to do it slowly so it doesn't completely mix into the batter.  

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes or until cake is done.  As the cake bakes, the chocolate cake will rise to the bottom as it is lighter than the pudding layer.  When done, remove from oven, cover the cake with aluminum foil, and place into a baking pan with sides.  Add about an inch and a half of hot water, and then place back into the oven for a further 20 minutes for the pudding to finish cooking.

Remove from oven.  Let sit for about 5 minutes, then put straight into fridge for about 4 hours, or you can place it in the freezer for an hour, until completely cold.

As the cake cools down, it will start pulling away from the sides of the cake pan.

The cake should be loose in the pan, if not, just run a knife carefully around the edges and the middle, then quickly invert onto a plate.  If there is any caramel left in the pan, you can place the pan over the stove again at a low heat to liquify the caramel, then pour it over the cake.

That's it.  All done.  Enjoy!!!



Monday, July 19, 2021

Glitter Grapes

July 19, 2021
 
I have always believed in using up what you have, and not letting things go to waste.  For example, when I meal plan, I often look to see if there will be leftovers from a specific meal, that I can use for the next night, or a few nights over.

Roast a whole chicken, count on having leftovers that can be made into enchiladas, or chicken salad.  

I also don't like throwing things away, so I'm always trying to use up what we have in the fridge.  If it is some sort of vegetable that I can freeze, then I do so.  If it's fruit I try to make a fruit salad or jam.

I had some grapes that needed eating up soon, before they went bad, and since we've been having such hot weather here, these were the best excuse to make some glitter grapes.

July 19, 2021 

Now if you've never had glitter grapes, you're probably thinking I've lost my mind. But I assure you, I haven't, and if you've never tried these, you really don't know what you're missing. They are so easy to make, and the good thing is that you can make as much or as little as you want, making it the perfect treat for a get together. 

July 19, 2021 

Glitter Grapes 
 
 
Ingredients: 
Grapes 
Jello powder (flavor of your choosing)
Sugar 
 
 
Directions: 
For every 2 cups of grapes, you need 1 tablespoon of jello powder and 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Mix well, then pour into a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet, and freeze.

If you want to keep them frozen or make a big batch that you won't eat right away, you can place them in ziploc bags or a freezer safe container.


July 19, 2021