Monday, February 20, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Pizza, From Start to Finish

I've loved Frank's Hot Sauce since the first time I tried my friend Joel's buffalo chicken dip many many moons ago. I can't remember where we were or why he made it, all I remember is that is was goooood.  And then for weeks we would all say, "Remember how good Joel's dip was?!"

Then he told me he made it into pizza. And that was awesome too.

So when I saw this crockpot buffalo chicken recipe on YoungMarriedChic's blog last week, I knew I had to make it!

Shredded Buffalo Chicken
6 raw chicken breasts
1/2 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

I whisked together the sauce and poured it over the chicken.  Mine cooked on high for 3.5 hours.  During that time I flipped it back and forth a couple times. When you think it is about done, take a fork and shred it up really stirring up the juices that have formed.  Let it cook for another twenty minutes.

I have big plans for this shredded buffalo chicken- salads, sandwiches, with sides of veggies.

But first, pizza!

I had gotten into the habit of using Trader Joe's pizza crust- which is great- but I was so excited to have some time to make my own crust again!

I used a recipe for Wheat and Honey crust from eat8020's blog.  Since we're reminiscing, I should tell you this is the same recipe I used the first time I ever made pizza crust before I had the KitchenAid.  

1 1/3 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp honey
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups white flour
1 tsp salt

I used my KitchenAid to make this so in my big mixer bowl I put the yeast, olive oil, honey, and topped it with the warm water. I used my hand mixer to mix the ingredients together for thirty seconds. Then the mixture sat for about ten minutes until it gets foamy.  I added the flours and the salt and mix again for one minute .  I used the dough hook to "knead" the dough for 6 minutes. Next, I put the dough in a nicely olive oiled bowl, forming the dough into a bowl and coating it with the olive oil. I put a nice clean kitchen towel over the top of the bowl and let it sit for about an hour while it doubled in size.

The next part is the best part, punching the dough down!  I punched it down and turned it out on my floured counter.  I knead (kneaded?) the dough a few times, placed the bowl over the dough and let sit for twenty minutes.

After that twenty minutes, put it in the oven on 325 for another twenty minutes.

During this time I got everything together for the pizza.
Frank's Hot Sauce
Celery heart
Buffalo chicken
Shredded cheese

I stirred together some ranch and Frank's Hot Sauce in a 1:2 ratio and found the heart of the celery and chopped it up finely.  II grabbed some tomatoes from the fridge, shredded some cheddar jack cheese, and set aside some of the buffalo chicken.

Pour the sauce on the pizza.  Top with the cheese, chicken, and tomatoes.  Bake for 7-9 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve hot with the celery heart on top!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nothing says Valentine's Day Like Steak & Pasta

Our Valentine's Day tradition continued this year with a freaking awesome dinner.

Every year for the past few years, we've stayed home and cooked ourselves whatever we thought sounded best.  This year was no exception.

Although I wouldn't call myself Valentine of the Year this year, Breeze did an awesome job of making me feel special! I did my part in the kitchen, though and together we made a delicious meal. It doesn't fall under the healthy category, but it just felt special and that's all that matters on this day.

After a little prepping, we had our meal on the table in about twenty minutes.

Breeze made steaks.  He seared a couple filets that he marinated last night in Worcestershire and then cooked them through on the griddle.
While the steaks cooked, he made our salads with romaine lettuce, carrots, celery, and tomatoes. 
I made us tortellini from Pallucas- half cheese, half meat- with garlic butter sauce adapted from here
Some bread sticks from Pallucas rounded out the meal. 

Garlic Butter Sauce for Tortellini
6 tbsp butter (I just used what I had left in my Brummel and Brown container, I think it was less than 6 tbsp)
5-6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Big shake of Italian seasoning

How to-do
On low heat, melt the butter.  Add the garlic and let cook for 10-12 minutes.  Your kitchen will smell ah-mazing.  At the same time, boil salted water and add the tortellinis until cooked through.  Ours were frozen so they took about 10 minutes to cook. When the tortellinis are cooked, pour the sauce over them and stir. Sprinkle parsley over the top.

Enjoy! And Happy Valentine's Day from the Breeze's!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Breeze's Favorite Muffins

Breeze LOVES banana muffins.  Banana chocolate chip, banana peanut butter, banana whateva, he loves them.

He asks me to make them somewhere around 5 nights a week.  Lucky for him I frequently buy bananas with every intention of eating them on the oatmeal I also have every intention of eating for breakfast and then I don't.

I like muffins just as much as the next person so I gave in tonight and made the following muffins.

Banana Muffins with Crunchy Topping
(Muffins adapted from this TastyKitchen Member recipe, topping from HowSweetEats)

For the Muffins
¾ cups Whole Wheat Flour
¾ cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Sea Salt
 Large Ripe Bananas, Mashed
¼ cups Brown Sugar (lightly Packed)
½ cups Sugar
⅓ cups Unsalted Butter, melted

Except the egg, I forgot the egg!

For the Topping

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons softened butter

Except the butter, I forgot the butter too!

These muffins are seriously good.  I ate three (they're mini!) before I came in to write this blog post and realized they had no egg and no butter.