Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Goolash is my absolute favorite food. Ever. No seriously, ever.
I know everyone has their own version or idea of what goolash is, (or way of spelling goolash) but my goolash is the one and only goolash worth discussing.

You will need;
a 16 oz. bag of large elbow macaroni
1 pd. ground beef
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 small can of chopped green chilies
1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
4-5 cups of tomato juice

First, heat your ground beef over medium heat. Generousy salt and pepper it.

this looks like a ton of salt, but it was probably 1 tsp.

While the beef is doing it's thang, chop up your onion and bell pepper. Not too small, not too big.

Drain your beef if you have a lot of fat, I used 93/7 though, so no need.
Add the pepper and onion to the beef.

And the can of tomatoes...I like to use whole peeled, and kind of break 'em up with a knife in the pan. But you can use diced tomatoes too.

now the green chilies...
mmmm, smells so good!

and finally, tomato juice, but just about 2 cups for now. Reduce heat to low and cover for about 20 min.

While that is simmering, boil the macaroni in a big pot and drain it. Return the macaroni to the pot. Combine the beef mixture with the macaroni in the big pot and pour another 2-3 cups of tomato juice in with it. Season with more salt and pepper. Heat through.

Now enjoy a bowl, or two, or three :) Did I mention this is my favorite??

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Love Pizza.

I could eat pizza every day, like a lot of people I'm sure. And I love making it. I have so many different pizza ideas floating around in my head! I want to do a tostada pizza, a mac 'n cheese pizza, a breakfast pizza....the list goes on. And honestly, until yesterday I had always used store-bought crust, BUT my wonderful Aunt Gay shared her crust recipe with me the other day. I tried it, it's so easy and so yummy!
Yesterday I was planning on making chicken tacos with the left over chicken from my last post (crockpot chicken), but I was scrolling through some other food blogs and I came cross a Buffalo Chicken Pizza on "Tracey's Culinary Adventures" that literally made my mouth water. So I ran to the store for some yogurt and cheese. The rest is history (that shall be repeated over and over)!

For the Buffalo Chicken toppings you will need;
about 3/4 pd. of cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot sauce
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp. plain yogurt
1 tbsp. mayo
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup red onion, chopped

For the crust you need (and this will make two large crusts);
2 packets of rapid rising yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1.5 cups warm water
4 cups flour
1.5 tsp. salt

IF you're using this homemade crust, preheat your oven to 500 degrees. And IF you're as cool as me and have a pizza stone, preheat it in the oven as well. Otherwise, follow instructions on your pre-made crust packaging.

In a mixing bowl, combine the water, sugar and yeast. Let sit for 5 min, or until bubbly.
Once bubbly, add the salt and flour to the bowl. Mix together for just a few min, until the dough pulls from the sides of the bowl.

Flour a clean surface, and begin to knead the dough, knead for 4-5 min.
I have got to remember to do my nails before pics!
Form the dough into a ball and either cover in plastic wrap and leave out on the counter, or place in a bowl (lightly coated in oil) and cover. Let rest for 10 min.

While that is resting, begin prepping the toppings. Remember the left over chicken? Shred it!

Combine the Frank's Red Hot sauce with the melted butter, and coat the shredded chicken. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the mayo, yogurt and garlic powder.

Now it should be time to roll out your dough. Divide the ball into two pieces. Roll one out into an 18 in. circle, or somewhat close to a circle. Take a fork and poke some holes in the dough.

Grab your hot pizza stone (with gloves of course! ouch!) out of the oven, or grab your not-so-hot pizza pan.
I found that the easiest way to get the dough onto the stone was to kinda roll it up with the rolling pin and then unroll it onto the stone...
Bake the crust all by it's lonesome for 4-5 min.
Now spread your mayo/yogurt sauce on the crust, then add the chicken, onion, and cheese. You can layer in whatever order you prefer, but I like when the cheese starts to brown on top :) This would be a good time to mention that if you are a blue cheese lover, toss some on. I just personally am not.

Bake for approx 12-15 min, keep your eye on it because every oven is different!
But you should end up with this! HEAVEN.

Now of course I can't let my little Toots eat this, it's waaaaay to spicy for her, so I threw together a Sausage & Veggie pizza too, and I'm sitting here right now eating the leftovers for lunch and WOW it's good. Almost better than the Buffalo Chicken, almost.

For this Italian Sausage & Veggie Pizza;
2 Italian sausage links, broken up, or approx 1/2 pd. of ground Italian sausage, mild
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup of your favorite pizza sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella

Once you have baked your crust for that first 5 min, lower the oven temp. to 450.
Spread the sauce onto the crust. Now I layer things a little differently because I have raw sausage going on this pizza, so I want it on last, making sure it browns up. So add your cheese on top of the sauce, then pepper, onion, tomato, and finally the sausage.

Bake for more like 20 min. Again, just keep an eye on the pizza.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

This is a classic, and oh so easy to make. Slow cooked chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, yummmm. Instead of cooking my whole chicken in the oven I use the crock pot. This way I'm not stuck in the house all day keeping an eye on it. Plus, I looooove using my crock pot, it keeps the chicken much more moist.
You will need;
1 whole chicken, thawed
2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. regular salt for gravy
2 tsp. Mrs. Dash's Chicken grilling seasoning (salt free), + 1/2 tsp. for gravy
6 medium potatoes
2 tbsp. butter
3/4 cup of half & half
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk

Rinse off your chicken and place breast side up in the center of your crock pot.

Sprinkle with seasoned salt, and then the black pepper, and also the 2 tsp. of Mrs. Dash seasoning.

Now put a lid on it! And cook on low for 8 hours.

Just before your chicken is done, prepare your potatoes.
Peel 'em, chop 'em, and boil 'em for about 30 min. Now drain 'em, add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of half & half, about 2 tbsp, of butter, and 1 tsp. of salt. Mash 'em.

Alright...8 hours later and your chicken should look something like this!

ohhh yeah
Now you'll want to remove the chicken to a platter so that you can get to that juice to make your gravy. This chicken is so juicy and tender, it will literally fall off the bone, so don't expect it all to transfer to a platter in one piece!

Now you want to take about a cup of that juice from the crock pot and put it into a sauce pan, over med-high heat. Add 1/2 cup of water , and 1/2 cup of milk. slowly stir in 1/2 cup of corn starch. Season with a little more salt, and a little more Mrs. Dash. Now you just stir, stir, and keep stirring. You want the corn starch to competely dissolve. Once the corn starch has dissolved, you can turn the heat to low-med and let sit to thicken.

Don't forget to the veggies! I like having peas with my mashed potatoes :)

Ding Ding Ding! Dinner's ready, come and get it!

Nom Nom Nom Nom