Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Taco Pizza

Tacos are one of the kids' favorite meals around here, so this is nice for something a little different but the same taste they love.

You will need:
1 refrigerated thin pizza crust
1 pound ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1-2 c. cheddar cheese

Additional toppings:
lettuce, tomato, taco sauce, sour cream, crushed corn chips

Depending on the type of pan you use, you may need to spray with cooking spray. Flatten out the pizza crust into a jelly roll pan (15x10x1). Cook ground beef (drain grease and rinse with hot water if needed). Stir in taco seasoning and 1/4 c. water. Spread evenly over crust. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 13 minutes. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Enjoy!!! :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Birthday Ice Cream Dessert

This is the YUMMY dessert that we use quite often for the kids' birthday parties. It was enjoyed by all...and is very easy to make!

You will need:
1 brownie mix (& ingredients listed on package)
1 gallon vanilla ice cream
Hershey's chocolate syrup
1 jar maraschino cherries

Spray bottoms of 2- 9" round cake pans with cooking spray. Cut wax paper to size of bottom of pan; then lay in the pan. Spray the wax paper. Prepare brownie mix as stated on box. Divide brownie batter into the cake pans. Bake according to directions states on box (I did 350 degrees for about 20-22 minutes). Let cool. Sit ice cream out to soften a bit and then spread over the brownies. Freeze. Once the ice cream has hardened some, pull out and drizzle chocolate syrup over the top, divide cherries between the two brownies, drizzle again with chocolate syrup and then put on sprinkles (you can also do the decorating just prior to serving but I think it tends to be a bit messier this way). Freeze until ready to serve. You can either cut it in the pans and serve out of there...or take a knife and remove the brownie and ice cream from the pan edges and carefully lift out of the pan and put on a serving plate.

ENJOY!!! :)

*You can also get creative and change this up a bit...
I think it'd be super yummy with mint chocolate chip ice cream (my FAVORITE!)...or what about making it a turtle sundae type of dessert--caramel, chocolate, some pecans?? You could add fresh fruit...so many options!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cinnamon Crescent Rolls

This is a repost from the Centsible Shopping site. I posted it in May 2009. I thought I'd leave the story as to how these came to be.

My kids REALLY look forward to Saturday breakfast...they were already asking me last night what was for breakfast. Yikes!--knowing that I might need to break "tradition". A lot of times I'll make them cinnamon rolls (the refrigerated tubes) and they obviously LOVE this. Last night they were asking if I was making cinnamon rolls...I had to tell them no. They were on sale this past week, but I didn't buy them because the grocery budget was tight already and this was something I chose to leave off the grocery list. Then they started begging for donuts...another "no" due to needing to stay within budget. Zak, our oldest, says that budgets stink (Tim was in full agreement). I told him I would figure something special out...but I forgot to look through recipes last night. Ooops!! I realized this as soon as I woke up this morning. Hmmmm...what could I come up with...and quickly!?

I knew I had some crescent rolls (again, refrigerated tubes) in the fridge, and thought about spreading some butter on them, sprinkling with some cinnamon & sugar, roll them up and then bake. I thought I could mix up some powdered sugar with water or milk for a drizzle. I looked online to see if I could find similar ideas from others and saw where some people also added brown sugar to their mix. Here is what I came up with:

You will need:
2 tubes of crescent rolls (8 in each)--I used reduced fat...not that it made any difference with all I was about to add!
6 T. margarine, softened--I put mine in the microwave for a few seconds to soften but not totally melt
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 T. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1 T. milk
1/4 t. vanilla

Open the crescent roll tubes and unroll the dough so that you have two big rectangles. Press together all of the perforations. In a bowl, mix together margarine, brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon. Spread over rectangles. Roll up the rectangles, starting on the short end (you could probably start at the long end and get mini cinnamon rolls). Cut into rolls--I cut them about 1" thick. Place in round cake pans (you may want to lightly spray b/c mine stuck a little bit). I baked at 375 degrees for about 12-13 minutes. While they are baking, mix together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. When rolls are done, let them cool for about 5-10 minutes. Then drizzle with powdered sugar mixture and serve. ENJOY!!! My kids did!! :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pizza Crust #2

I've seen this recipe a few places (I printed it from Sharpen Your Scissors)...it is supposed to be a mock recipe for the Pizza Hut crust. Well, I think it is far from tasting like Pizza Hut but it does taste decent and is one of my family's favorite pizza crust recipes that I've used.

You will need:
1 1/3 c. warm water
2 t. sugar
1 1/4 t. salt
2 T. olive oil (plus extra for prebaking)
3 1/4 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder
1 1/2 t. yeast
2 T. cornmeal (optional)

The original recipe was intended for a bread machine. I've done my own thing with it and it seems to work:

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl (except cornmeal...save that for later!), add the wet ingredients and then knead it by hand for about 10 minutes BUT it is SO much easier if you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer with a dough hook to do the kneading for you!!

Once it is all kneaded together, place in a bowl, cover it with a towel and let it rise for about one hour. It should about double in size.

Divide the dough into two balls and make it into two medium sized pizza crusts by stretching the dough. Brush the crust with a little bit of olive oil and then sprinkle with cornmeal.

Prebake the crusts in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes. Then add your choice of toppings and bake for 10-15 minutes longer.

ENJOY!! :)

*I have been trying to use more whole wheat flour in various baking. I tried this recipe with it and used about 2/3 whole wheat and the remaining amount regular flour. The texture of the crust was a totally different consistency than when I had used all white flour and it did not rise as much. It still tasted very good...just a thinner and crispier crust. My family enjoyed it and still say it is the best crust that I've experimented with...so I'll keep messing with it and see what happens!

Pizza Crust #1

This is a pizza crust recipe that I've made for a long time. This is one of our favorites. I am posting another one of our favorites in a separate post.

You will need:
1 packet (.25 oz) of active dry yeast
1/2 t. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. warm water (110 degrees F)
1 t. salt
2 T. olive oil
3 1/3 c. flour

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and brown sugar in warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes. Stir the salt and oil into the yeast mixture. Mix in 2 1/2 c. of flour. Turn dough onto clean, well floured surface and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. (Hint: For easier clean up, I do all of this on a sheet of waxed paper.) Put dough into a well-oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let rise till the dough doubles in size. This should take about 1 hour. Punch down the dough and form into a tight ball. Let the dough relax for 1 minute and then roll out to fit your pizza pan(s). I usually split it in two and make 2 crusts to fit two 12" pans/stones.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place your favorite toppings on your pizza and bake for about 15-20 minutes.