Sunday, December 15, 2013

Pizza Bites

Snowman shaped pizza bites. 

I was looking for a fun appetizer to bring to a Christmas party, and saw a Christmas tree version of this on Pinterest. I`ve changed the recipe a bit to make it easier (lots of kids around), but here`s the original link.

What you need:
 Pizza dough - I just used store bought this time
Italian blend seasoning - or any pizza seasonings you enjoy
Cream cheese - about 115-150 g depending on how much dough you have
Mozzarella or pizza blend cheese - 1 cup, or about 150 g
(You may want to use the entire 200 g container and the entire bag of cheese for the XL dough)
Pizza sauce - I just used one from a jar this time.
Melted butter for brushing over the top
Finely minced garlic - about 1 tsp
Basil for garnishing the top - I used dried, but fresh would be great.

First roll out your dough and slice it into squares. Mine were a bit on the small side, you want them probably to be at least 1.5 x 1.5 inches.

Mix your cheeses together.

Sprinkle the Italian seasoning (or oregano, etc) on your dough. Place a small ball of the cheese in the middle of the dough.

Add a dollop of pizza sauce - a tiny bit goes a long way!

Fold over the corners until you have something resembling a ball. Place it seem side down on either a baking tray or a shaped pan. Don`t squish them together, put put them next to each other.

Put in the oven at 230 C for 12-15 minutes. Until the top is a golden brown.

Just before the pizza finishes cooking, melt some butter and add your finely minced garlic. Brush it over the top of the pizza balls and then sprinkle with basil.


Saturday, November 30, 2013


My only cornbread experience was in 5th grade, and they were serving corndogs for lunch. I`m sure part of it was cafeteria food, but it was horrible. Anything that said cornbread, I stayed away from.  Until last night. We had our Thanksgiving a day late as it`s not a holiday here, and I tried to make some things that my husband`s family would eat, as well as my own. This was my first attempt at cornbread, and so of course, I asked my MIL for her recipe. I really have no idea where it came from, but I can tell you, that from someone who didn`t think they liked it, it was delicious.

 This is a slightly sweetened version. I know you can make it unsweetened as well. Also, I poured a bit of gravy on mine as it was a bit dry/crumbly - compared to normal bread. Not dry like you had to guzzle a glass of water after each bite :). Apparently it was supposed to be. Hubby used butter and honey. Enjoy with your favorite topping!

What you need:
1 cup of flour
1 cup of fine grain polenta
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1/4 cup butter (53g)
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder (1 sachet of backpulver)
1 egg

First, mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.

Mix the liquid ingredients.

In a heavy pan (iron skillet, etc, something that you can bake it in as well as use on the stove), melt the butter.

Add the dry ingredients to the liquid, and mix well. Add the melted butter. Mix thoroughly and pour back into the pan. Bake in a 220 C oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Jellied Cranberry Sauce

Can`t have Thanksgiving without it.  At least I can`t :)  It was so wonderful being home last year and having all the goodies that go with Thanksgiving. Makes it harder to be away from home though when there is a special occasion that you are used to having certain things. No harder really than being married to someone who likes the opposite of what you do for Thanksgiving. Luckily my mom and mom in law both have given me great recipes, so my hubby and I can both be happy. Means more cooking, but only one person eating certain things means Thanksgiving lasts for more days. And that`s a good thing.

We always had jellied cranberry sauce. Out of the can. My favorite thing do do was open it and upend it, hoping to keep it all in one piece before I could knock it over. Of course, this was many many years ago (or maybe last year. ha.) I would always have my mom send me some over here. Hubby`s family preferred the whole berry kind. <Shudder>. Luckily my awesome MIL always provided both so everyone was happy.

This year, I didn`t have my precious can. So I scoured the internet biting my nails in anticipation of all the strange things I would need as I expected anything I made would end up as cranberry juice. So I embarked on an adventure today. I put it off because I was afraid it wouldn`t work. Now I`m worried I won`t be able to wait as I had to try a teeny tiny bite. It`s fantastic. All the goodness of a can, yet better. Oh, and you can make it whatever shape you want. I just used a tuperware container as I need to wait 2 days and wanted it sealed.

What you need:

 340 g cranberries (about 12 oz, or one bag) - I bought mine at Migros. Coop usually has Ocean Spray bags.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
metal sieve for straining

Put the water and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil (about 5 minutes)

Add the cranberries and turn down the heat to a gentle boil. They will start to make popping sounds (I put a top on as I didn`t want cranberry juice everywhere). Mix gently frequently.

Put the strainer over a bowl and pour in the cranberry mixture. Gently press down with a spoon till you get as much of the juice into the bowl as possible, constantly moving the spoon in different directions.

Pour into whatever mold you would like - a bowl, a silicon shape pan, whatever. Let it cool and then put it in the fridge and hope you can stay away until you are ready to use it. :)

And done...seems to be a bit thicker than the canned kind, but still really good. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Snowflake

Cinnamon rolls just call to you on those early cold mornings...unfortunately, the recipe I have takes a really long time to make, so you either have to get organized the night before or enjoy them in the afternoon.  I`ve been looking for ways to make them easier to make...just when we are craving the taste and there isn`t much time. I have seen recipes where you use the crescent roll dough to make them, and I can get the Pillsbury Germany, but I don`t always plan ahead that far, so wanted something closer to home. (all of you with access to it though, feel free to use that dough instead).

The great part about this recipe is how versatile it is.  I made cinnamon rolls. You could use pizza dough and make a pizza appetizer. Or garlic bread. Use your favorite bread recipe and add cheese, or bacon, or herbs. Or chocolate. Whatever hits your fancy. Enjoy.

What you need:
3 circles of kuchenteig  (pie/pastry type dough) - I used an upside down pie tin to make them all the same
4 Tbls sugar
2 Tbls cinnamon
softened butter

For the topping:
powdered sugar
powdered sugar and milk

First, spread out your dough. You can buy circular dough, which would save you an extra step.  If you have rectangular dough, place a pie tin, or other large round dish on your dough and cut around it with a knife. You will repeat this 3 times.

Spread a little butter across the surface of your first circle.

Mix your cinnamon and sugar together well, and then sprinkle about 1 1/2 Tbls across the surface.

Place your second dough circle on a board and cover it with butter. Place it on top of your first circle and sprinkle with more of your sugar mixture.

Place the 3rd circle on top.

Very lightly, score the surface into equal portions

Cut through the dough about 1/4 of the way from the center so you are leaving a circle shape intact in the middle. Repeat all around.

Loosen 2 of the sections and carefully twist twice, or 3 times if you have enough left. (you should) Carefully squeeze the bottoms together so they are connected at the base. Continue for the rest.

I had extra dough, so figured I`d make actual rolls as well.

Bake in the oven, mine were at 220 C for about 25 minutes (the back of the dough said 30-35, but you will need to check earlier unless you are using the entire amount of dough).

Sprinkle with powdered sugar for a snow effect, or mix together 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and 2 tsp of milk until you get a consistency of not liquid and not solid, easy to drizzle, and add to the top for a gooey icing.

with sugar

with icing

Using pizza dough, grainy mustard, ham and gruyere cheese

delicious. mustard on bottom layer, ham and cheese on second

Using the round kuchenteig insted of cutting it. Much bigger, cooks a bit more evenly
Left as a rectangle, cut into a Christmas Tree shape - watch the cooking time though, it doesn`t take as long.