Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Upside Down Pizza (Skillet Pizza)

We tried this "pizza" a month or so ago. It was better once we realized that we should have served it flipped over (crust side down). It calls for using jarred pizza sauce, but I used half a batch of sauce found in Cook's Country.

Upside Down Pizza

12 ServingsPrep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jar (14 ounces) spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until the
meat is no longer pink; drain. Add spaghetti sauce. Cover and simmer
until heated through. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking
dish. Sprinkle with cheese.

In a blender, combine the milk, eggs, oil, flour and salt; cover and
process until smooth. Pour over cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 400°
for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 12 servings.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hamburger Macaroni

I had found a recipe for Skillet Macaroni with Zesty Meat Sauce in an issue of Cook's Country. I tried it but substituted some pickled jalapenos instead of the jarred banana peppers (I didn't have banana peppers). I later learned that this is similar to one of my husband's family recipes for Hamburger Macaroni. The next time I made it I added a diced onion because I put onion in nearly everything. I also had to add a bit more water. If its looking fairly dry before the pasta is cooked, it gets gummy. Add a little extra water and the pasta cooks through and you avoid the gumminess.

Hamburger Macaroni

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
3 tbsp. dried basil
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
12 ounces elbow macaroni (I used whole wheat pasta and just used the full box-13.25 oz.)
1 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese

Brown ground beef in a large skillet. When nearly browned, drain some of the grease if needed. Add onion, some salt and pepper. When onion is tender add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add basil.

Stir in tomatoes, water, and macaroni. Cover and cook, stirring often until macaroni begins to soften, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until macaroni is al dente, about 7 more minutes.

Stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, cover and cook until cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Serve.

Quick Soft Breadsticks

I found this recipe over on Cookie Madness. My boys eat too many breadsticks and biscuits to buy the ones in the tube at the grocery. And really, these are far better. There isn't much work involved as they can be made with a mixer using a dough hook. I only kneaded by hand a few times. Then roll out and cut to bake. I only got 13 breadsticks, but I probably could have cut them a bit narrower. They rose more than I expected in the oven. I'd say these were a hit and will likely make them many times in the future. I just need to make sure I leave about 2 hrs. lead time to allow for the rise and bake times.

Quick Soft Breadsticks

3 cups bread flour or all purpose flour (13.8 oz)
1 packet fast rising yeast (instant yeast)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
optional — 2 tablespoons melted butter mixed with a clove of crushed garlic or garlic powder

Mix the flour, yeast, brown sugar and salt together in bowl of a stand mixer. Add the water and stir until almost blended, then add the oil and stir well. Using the dough hook (you can also do it by hand, of course), knead until smooth and elastic. With the dough hook, this is only takes a few minutes.

Rub a second bowl with olive oil. Turn dough into bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, set in a warm place and let rise for 30 minutes. Punch down dough. Roll out into a 10×12 inch rectangle. Cut into strips (I cut mine lengthwise for long bread sticks) about 3/4 inch wide. Twist the strips and place on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Let rise for 20-30 minutes. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Brush with butter or garlic butter.

Butterscotch Brownies with Brown Sugar Butter Icing

I've been drooling over these for a week now. I found the recipe over on Culinary in the Desert. I made a half batch and baked them in an 11" x 7" pan. I probably should have used a 13" x 9" pan to stay true to the recipe. These puffed up much more than I expected, but the icing didn't all sink down into the center, so it worked well. I'll likely make these again another day.

Butterscotch Brownies With Brown Sugar Butter Icing

For the batter:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (1 cup or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla

For the icing:

16 tablespoons (1 cup or 2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon vanilla

To prepare the batter:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until well combined after each. Mix in vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined.

Pour mixture into a 13" x 18" half-sheet pan coated with nonstick spray, smoothing the top with an off-set spatula. Place pan into the oven and bake until the bars are set and slightly puffed, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

To prepare the icing:

In a medium saucepan, melt butter, brown sugar and salt over medium heat. As soon as the mixture is lightly bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together confectioners' sugar, half-and-half and vanilla until smooth. Pour in the melted butter mixture and beat until combined. Immediately spread icing over brownies and allow to sit for 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

Makes about 30 brownies (though you could get away with cutting them smaller as they are fairly rich).