Monday, September 29, 2014

Apple & Blue Cheese Pizza

More apples on pizza! I'm still not over it, almost two years after I first made the apple & cheddar pizza, which is still a favorite. I actually haven't made pizza at all in the new apartment because I lost my jar of yeast in the move. I still have not gotten around to buying yeast, so this pizza was made on a Trader Joe's dough. Not as good, but definitely good enough.

I eat a lot of blue cheese, especially on salads, and Twilly always thinks he wants it since it is cheese, but I don't think he actually likes it.
We've been here since mid-July, but I'm still getting used to my new kitchen here. For the first time ever, I'm using an electric stove! Where's the fire?? I think I'm pretty accustomed to it now, but for the first few weeks I kept turning on the wrong burners and wondering why my pan wasn't heating up. As the weather starts cooling down, I'm starting to feel more like cooking again, so I'll get more use out of this apartment's kitchen in the next few months.

Apple & Blue Cheese Pizza

1 pizza dough (I used Trader Joe's this time but see this recipe for my homemade dough)
1 cup mozzarella, grated
1 small apple, thinly sliced
2 tbsp blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 white onion, sliced
honey, drizzled

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dino Kale Salad with Garlicky Vinaigrette

I went to the new Squirrel Hill farmer's market this morning, and it was so nice! I wish I had started going earlier this summer. It's spread out between two parking lots between Bartlett and Beacon, parallel to Murray. Along with a pie pumpkin, I got some dino kale from One Woman Farm. For lunch I made this basic salad with a great garlicky dressing. I'm also making chicken broth right now, and the apartment smells amazing!

Dino Kale Salad with Garlicky Vinaigrette 
Serves 2 or 1 for a huge lunch salad

10-15 leaves dinosaur kale (depending on size)
1/2 apple
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2-3 tbsp dried cranberries, cherries or raisins

3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt & pepper

Chop up the dinosaur kale into little pieces - cut the ribs out and fold up the leaves to make thin slices and keep slicing into they are little 1 inch strips. Put the strip in a bowl and crush them a couple of times in your hands. (Your hands will turn a little green, and the kale will become a shade darker.) Cut up the apple into chunks. Mix the kale, apple, feta, sesame seeds and dried fruit.

Smash the garlic cloves with the side of a knife. Mince the smashed garlic. Mix and stir all of the dressing ingredients (garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper). Toss well with the salad.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pecan Raisin Spaghetti

This is my attempt to copy the sweet pasta dish on the buffet at Zenith. I think I got pretty close! It's one of those things that doesn't sound good at all, but it works somehow, especially as a side dish.

Inspired by Zenith Tea Room & Antiques

2 servings uncooked spaghetti
1/4 cup raw pecan pieces
1/2 cup raisins
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 pinch cinnamon
salt & pepper
1 tsp brown sugar
extra virgin olive oil

Boil up the pasta according to the directions. Toast the pecans until lightly browned (when they start to smell toasty, turn off the heat). Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the shallot and garlic. Once they are lightly browned, add in the pecan pieces and the raisins. Add in the cinnamon, salt and pepper. Let it cook for a minute and then add in the brown sugar and mix it up. Stir it all into the spaghetti and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Blueberry Boy Bait

This boy bait was baked in honor of 2 baby boy dogs and 1 baby boy human.

This baby boy is unconcerned with gender stereotypes. Also, FYI for the lady dogs, his ideal bait would definitely be meat-flavored.
Of course, there is a cute story behind blueberry "boy bait": 

"In 1954 a 15-year-old Chicago teen named Renny Powell submitted a blueberry coffee cake recipe to the Pillsbury $100,000 Recipe & Baking Contest (precursor to today's Pillsbury Bake-Off). Renny took second place in the youth division for her creation, named in honor of its powers with the opposite sex. The recipe has been in circulation for nearly 60 years now, including here on, where our adaptation is one of the most popular recipes in our archive."

Blueberry-Chocolate Boy Bait
Slightly adapted from the Smitten Kitchen

2 cups white flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
16 tbsp unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
3 eggs
1 cup milk (I used 2% but whole milk or even buttermilk would be the all-out way to go)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh blueberries + 1 tbsp flour
1/3 cup chocolate chips

To sprinkle on top:
1/2 cup blueberries
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp Turbinado sugar
1 tsp cinnamon


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