Spinach Pizza Dough!!

The.mr and I kind of have a pizza obsession, so when I saw the original recipe for this Spinach Pizza Dough on The Spiffy Cookie I KNEW I had to try it! It was def worth the effort! Who doesn’t like to find hidden way to eat greens!? Haha! I’m not a huge fan of spinach, but I couldn’t taste it in the dough at all.

I changed a couple of minor things…

The first was I used 6 oz of spinach instead of 5. Why? Because I had 6, and I didn’t want to waste the last ounce. *shrugs shoulders*

I also didn’t boil my spinach for very long… I ran it under super hot water to rinse it off, and it was looking a little wilted at that point, so I plopped it in the (barely) boiling water for just a few minutes. Probably not long enough.  *shrugs shoulders, again*

That left me with more spinach then ½ cup, so I didn’t add any water when I pureed it in the food processor.

When it came time to making the dough I noticed it was kind of dry, so I added the 2 tablespoons of water. I blame the dry dough on the fact that I didn’t add any water to the pureed spinach. And the fact that I only used 1 tablespoon of oil. *shrugs shoulders, aaaaagain*

I mixed & kneaded in the stand mixer the entire time. I probably could’ve taken it out and done it by hand… but I’m kinda lazy like that.

I added my sauce and toppings after I baked the crust for about 10 minutes. I like to “pre bake” the crust so it doesn’t get soggy.

This recipe gets thumbs up from the.mr and I. It’s going to be a great addition to pizza night at our house!!

Here’s the recipe for my version of Spinach Pizza Dough.
-Holly

Guilty Feels Like… I Haven’t Baked Anything New In A While.

I’m feeling horribly guilty about not having posted anything new in (what feels like) forever. I’ve been kind of unmotivated…

well, that’s not true…

I’ve done a lot of baking. But it’s been all repeat stuff and some experimenting.

So here’s a little rundown of what’s been happening in my kitchen!

1. I made my favorite Chocolate Banana Bread into “2 bite muffins”. Then I froze them so I wouldn’t eat every single one. I just took one or 2 out of the freezer and microwaved them for 15 seconds.

2. I made my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies. I used Kahlua in them, and substituted the sugars with artificial sweetener blends. Then I scooped them with a large cookie scoop and flash froze them. After they chilled in the freezer, I bagged them in a Ziploc freezer bag. I baked them at the same temperature as the original recipe, but for a minute or 2 longer. These cookies are kind of problematic… the bottoms got pretty dark and crispy while the tops/ middles stayed underdone. I think this is because I used a big cookie scoop, they were frozen when I baked them, and the artificial sweetener. They’re still pretty delish.

3. I also made my favorite Sugar Cookies. I wanted to lighten them up a little bit so I used the artificial sweetener blend and Egg Beaters. Overall the cookies are OK. They taste a little bit too much like artificial sweetener and they got stale pretty quick. If you eat them the same day it should be a big deal… 3 days later, and you’ll be eating stale sugar cookies. 😦 I’ve noticed that when I use artificial sweeteners I end up baking the cookies for a few minutes less then I would when I use regular sugars.

4. I made Royal Icing with meringue powder (instead of egg whites). I had a little trouble getting it to the right thickness… I had to keep adding water (a teaspoon at a time), until eventually I gave up and left it a little too thick. I’m planning on trying again, and then posting a recipe. I liked it because it dried waaaaaay faster than the icing I usually use for my sugar cookies!

5.  I had some leftover heavy cream in the fridge and I didn’t want it to go to waste. So I made THESE scones… except I used Kahlua. And then I made another batch of those scones (with Kahlua) but I used Egg Beaters, artificial sweetener blend, and substituted half of the AP flour with whole wheat flour. Overall… the “healthier” scones tasted ALMOST as good as the regular ones!

6. I started my New 2 Me Cooking Challenge for 2015! But I’m doing it different this year. I’m pretty excited about it, but I haven’t worked out all the kinks, so we’ll see what happens!

Happy Baking!
-Holly

(Slightly Healthier Than Regular) Banana Bread Muffins!!

I’m super excited about these Slightly Healthier Than Regular Banana Bread Muffins! Know why?! Because they’re (kind of) not bad for you! I mean… it’s got banana, apple(sauce), and wheat flour. There’s no butter or oil and no cholesterol filled egg yolk!

I adapted this recipe from All Recipes. Do you use All Recipes? I usually find a recipe that looks promising and then read the reviews… the people who take the time to review the recipes generally have great tips & adaptations! That’s how this version came about!

I’ve made this recipe 2x in the past week and a half! The.mr and I destroyed them! In my defense, I made them the second time because I realized I didn’t write down the modified directions! Ooops.

The.mr said he couldn’t even tell these muffins are “healthy”. At least until I told him. 😉

These muffins have 165 calories each. You could cut that even more by using a sweetener or a sweetener mix like the one I used in the brownies last week. I haven’t tried it yet… but I assume it would work. You could even leave the chocolate chips out to save a bunch of calories… but why? Chocolate chips make everything better (even if they’re not better for you)!

I loooooove this Slightly Healthier Than Regular Banana Bread Muffins recipe so much I think it’s going to replace my regular banana bread!

Happy Baking!
-Holly

 

Flatbreads- N2MCC32

I’m scared of yeast bread. Actually, I’m scared of MAKING yeast bread. I feel like it’s too complicated, perfect liquid temperature, rising, punching, resting… it just seems like so much effort.

These Flatbreads are totally worth it. The original recipe is from Girl Vs. Dough. I only changed how many I made. Instead of 8 large ones, I made 12 smaller ones.

I rolled my dough out pretty thin, I didn’t actually measure them to 1/8 inch… it was probably less.

These kept well overnight covered with plastic wrap. We used a few the night I made them for a carby salad side, and the rest the next night for mini pizzas.

I’m so glad I tried this recipe! It’s certainly helping me work out my fear of yeast bread!

Wanna make it? Click here for the Flatbread Recipe! Or Check out the other recipes for my New 2 Me Cooking Challenge 2014!

Happy Making!

-Holly

PS. whoever decided “Punching” dough down should be a thing… I love you.

Chocolate Banana Bread!!

This recipe has a small(ish) story attached. Bear with me? Or you could just skip down a paragraph…

Alright. Story time! I love books almost as much as I love food. I’m lucky enough to have friends that enjoy the same type of reading material as me. That being said… I have 2 wonderful friends who went to a signing for Christopher Moore’s new book, The Serpent of Venice. They lovingly ordered me one, AND got it signed! How freaking cool is that!? Do you know who CM is!? If not… go to your local bookstore or get on Amazon and order something! I’d suggest starting w/ Lamb or Bloodsucking Fiends. Christopher Moore is hilarious and I want to be best friends with him.

I forgot to mention that this signing was in North Carolina.

So, how’s a girl who lives in PA supposed to thank friends who live in VA (and went to NC) for such a cool item!? She bakes! Or at least, that’s what I did! I planned on putting their baked goods in the mail, but luckily for me Hubs was heading to VA to play in a golf tournament w/ his dad! Everybody wins!

I sent 2 mini loaves of this amazing chocolate banana bread, 2 mini loaves of strawberry bear bread AND some caramel chocolate chip cookie bars, and a baggie of homemade dog biscuits (recipes soon, maybe) to VA with Hubs for my awesome friends.

 

I kept one loaf of bread behind, because, well, I NEEDED to make sure it tasted good, right? Riiiiiight!?

Holy freaking cow it is GOOD. It’s probably my favorite banana bread. It’s at least tied for first with this PB Banana Bread. I might just start buying bananas in bulk and hiding them from Hubs until they go brown so I can make this recipe over and over and over. Or maybe I’ll do a side by side for comparison. Not because I’m a secret fat kid who can’t get enough, nothing like that.

But, if you think it through, isn’t banana bread good for you? I mean, it’s BANANAS! They’re full of potassium. They’re FRUIT!

I wish I could claim it this recipe as my own! But I can’t. It’s from Smitten Kitchen, which is one of my favorite food blogs. Go check it out. But first make this recipe, and try not to eat it all. Maybe send some to friends… or to me.

 

Happy Baking!

-Holly!

Click here for the recipe!

Slow Cooker Apple Butter Rolls- N2MCC17

I made these Slow Cooker Apple Butter Rolls for week 17 of my New 2 Me Cooking Challenge for 2014. The original recipe comes from A Spicy Perspective.

I didn’t change any of the ingredients. I thought the original recipe’s directions where kinda confusing, so I (IMO) simplified them. I also made 12 instead of 24… because, let’s face it, I have a carb/bread fetish. I’m not ashamed.

For yeast dough recipes that call for “warm” water I like it between 110-120 degrees F. I learned that nifty little fact from the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook.

The original recipe called for kneading the dough for 5-8 minutes. I only needed (kneaded, hahaha) 3. I’m not sure why…

The only thing I’ll do differently next time is check the rolls after 45 minutes. I left the first batch in for the full amount of time, and the bottoms browned WAAAAY too much. They didn’t burn or anything… but they were a little dry. The second batch, I left in for 1 hour, and they looked much better. I’ll check ‘em after 45 minutes just to make sure.

I really love the idea of “baking” rolls in the slow cooker. No reason to heat up the oven! I also think these would work great if you’re cooking a big meal and there’s no room left in the oven…

I’ve never used apple butter before, but I really like the flavor it gives these. I kinda feel like it’s more of a Fall or cool weather thing though. Know what I mean!? I don’t know if this sense, but they I think they’ve got a warm flavor.

I wish I had made some cinnamon butter to go with these, but we ate them with leftover Easter Ham instead.

No matter what we ate with them, I think these Slow Cooker Apple Butter Rolls are going to be in our regular rotation. They got thumbs up from both of us.

Happy “Baking”!

-Holly

Click here for the Slow Cooker Apple Butter Rolls recipe!

PB Chocolate Scones!!

I adapted this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker for Easter brunch last Sunday.

The grocery store was out of small containers of whole milk so I substituted Half N Half (that we keep in the house for our coffee). My dough was pretty sticky, and I think this might be the reason why.

I switched out the kinds of chocolate and added some peanut butter chips… because, who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter together!? The next time I make these I think I’m going to chop up some Reese’s Cups!

I also varied (does that word work?) from the original recipe when it was time to add the wet ingredients. The entire original recipe was done in the food processor, but mine isn’t big enough. I’m kind of kicking myself for not buy the bigger/ more expensive food processor. ;| live & learn.

Like I said before my dough was sticky. Kneading it a few times on the counter (dusted w/ flour) helped.

Overall these stayed moist and they’re dense but not too heavy. They also make a great “snack” with a cup of coffee in the afternoon.  Not that I need an excuse to eat extra chocolate throughout the day. 😉

Hubs liked these so much he wouldn’t share with his coworkers. That’s a winning recipe in my book.

Happy Baking!

-Holly

Wanna see the recipe for these PB Chocolate Scones?

Root Beer BBQ Sauce- N2MCC14

So, I made a pretty good BBQ sauce for week 14 of my New 2 Me Cooking Challenge.

I reduced the amount of ketchup compared to the original recipe because I ran out. Ooops. I used less worcestershire because it has too much salt and the brand we use has a few extra calories. I subbed reduced sodium chicken broth for the missing ketchup & worcestershire. And the last change I made was using a whole can of tomato paste. 3 tablespoons was, like, ¾ of the can… and what the heck am I going to do w/ that little itty bitty bit of tomato paste!?

I was hoping it would have more of a sweet flavor from the root beer. I used diet soda, maybe that’s partly why? It’s also  very tomatoey. Is “tomatoey” a word? I think it should be.

Last Wednesday we slathered this on a pork loin that Hubs cooked on the grill & sliced it REALLY thin. Awesome.

Yesterday, I used it as “sauce” to make a BBQ Chicken Pizza*. Also awesome.

AND later this week? I’m using some to replace the bottled BBQ sauce in my Homemade “Baked” Beans.

It’s that good. Check out my adapted Root Beer BBQ Sauce recipe.

Happy Making!

-Holly

 

*Do you want to hear a story about this? Keep reading. Yesterday was Sunday (my favorite day to bake). I was really excited because I put together a recipe for fudgey brownies and I had a great idea to make Peeps S’mores Brownies. Lets just say it didn’t work out like I wanted. They taste good, but I made the crust w/ too much butter and it basically bubbled up and dribbled onto my oven (I think). But this is supposed to be a story about pizza, right? Yup. Later last night, around dinner time, I set the oven to pre-heat at 425 degrees so I could cook my pizza crust. Then the oven proceeded to start smelling like something was burning… then it started smoking (just a little). Needless to say, I turned it off, turned the vent on, and opened some windows. But what’s a girl to do with an unbaked pizza crust, especially when she’s soooooo hungry, the chicken is cooked and diced, and the cheese is sliced? She convinces Hubs to heat up the grill! And they threw that crust on that grill, shut the cover… and baked it for a few minutes. It worked! The crust was so perfect, I probably won’t use the oven for pizza at all this spring/summer! The only problem we had was that I let it bake on the baking sheet instead of directly on the grate ’cause the crust was so thin (I was afraid it would rip/ sink through the holes), I think we need to invest in a pizza stone. So… did you know “self-cleaning” ovens just heat up REALLY hot and incinerate the gunk, that how they “clean”! That’s sooo not working for me. I might have another funny story about how I’m trying to “naturally” clean my oven…

PB&J Cinnamon Rolls!!

 

My birthday was this past Friday. And nothing says “grownup mature adult woman” like hanging out in sweatpants and baking these PB&J Cinnamon Rolls. Riiiiiiiiight?  They took the place of a birthday cake for me this year… I’m not sure if I’m OK with the fact that I had to bake my own birthday “cake”, but either way these rolls are totally worth it.

The dough is from In Jennie’s Kitchen, and it’s the same one I used for my Cinnamon Rolls.

The filling & icing recipes are adapted from Runs With Spatula.

I had the same problem with these that I do with most things. That is… It’s somehow impossible for me to roll things out into an 11×8 rectangle. Seriously.  I know that sounds stupid, but I really can’t ever get things rolled out to the right size, usually I get these weird lumps and uneven edges! It drives me crazy!

At any rate… these PB&J Cinnamon Rolls (click for the recipe) are a WIN. Get in the kitchen and make them. Right. Now.

Happy Baking!

-Hey Waitress!!

Chocolate Chip Snicker Doodle Scones!!

The original version of this recipe comes from Taste Of Home. It was called Cinnamon Chip Scones… but you know I can’t leave a recipe well enough alone. 😉
I actually made these for one of Hubs’ work buddies who loves Snicker Doodles and didn’t get any of the cookies I made last week (or was it the week before?). Unfortunately for him… he was out in the field all week and didn’t get to taste the deliciousness of these awesome scones. Lucky for me though!
 
This dough is a little different from my other scone recipes as it doesn’t use any eggs. I thought it was going to be weird, but the only problem was that the dough didn’t stick together real well at first. I had to knead it a few times, but it ended up being perfect. The finished product was nice and moist, not dry at all! The cinnamon & sugar coating on top gave it a kinda crunchy outer layer, and the melted chips inside made these perfect!
 
Make these Chocolate Chip Snicker Doodle Scones!
 
Happy Baking!
-Hey Waitress!