Graham Crackers aka Cheesecake Crust

 
5/24/12: Let me preface this with, I am terrible with dough. Especially when it’s for something that should be a dessert. I have improved with pizza dough (see earlier post) but I have not even attempted pie crust. Anyway this is a recipe from Dining on a Dime again. This time for graham cracker crust. The purpose of making this is so that I can have a super made from scratch cheesecake. Not sure how it will work, since they seem to be a little less than crunchy (I’m thinking not rolled thin enough as some parts are crunchier).
 
So we will find out in the next couple of days how it works as a crust. I will most likely be blending them up instead of the standard meat pounder to break them up. If I remember I will post the cheesecake recipe as well. It’s a hybrid of 2 that I will be trying out for this weekend.
 
5/26/12: Sorry this post has been taking me a few days.. The graham crackers after sitting overnight became crunchier. I would still make them thinner the next time I attempt them. The cheesecakes are made (2 of the same hybrid) will be coming soon. So we’ll find out then how the graham crackers turned out, when I sampled some they were pretty tasty.
 

Graham Crackers from scratch

2.5-3 c flour (recipe calls for whole wheat, I use a blend of whole wheat, spelt and unbleached all purpose)
¼ c brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp baking soda
¼
tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c applesauce (home made, or oil (which is what the recipe called for))
1/3 c honey
1 Tbsp molasses (or dark corn syrup)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c milk (I used skim)

Combine the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Then combine the wet ingredients into a smaller bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix well. By the end you will need to mix with your hands. If the dough is too sticky add flour, too wet add milk. Preheat your oven to 300°. Divide the dough in half and roll onto 2 large cookie sheets. (My 9*13 was a bit small (not sure what my second tray size was) since rolling thin is good, they do puff up).

You want to cut lines making squares however large you would like. Then prick with a fork, or if you’re using the fancy Pampered Chef double sided roller it has a thing for pricking dough attached. Anyway, bake for 15-25 minutes, mine took more like 30, again roll THIN! Remove from oven once brown on edges (more brown than what it started). Let cool and store in an airtight container, or like me ground up for cheesecake crust. Makes 4-4 ½ cups of crumbs.

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Simple Pork Chop Dinner with Herb Pesto

 
Tonight I needed something easy but super flavorful. It may look like a total mess, but just soak your pan when your done it should be fine. The original recipe calls for some water and all of the spices to be marinated with the pork as least an hour and then grilled. So if that’s something you want to try it can be made that way too. I found this recipe in my Taste of Home (possibly Healthy Cooking) magazine, sent in by Lisa from Mississippi.

Pork Chops with Herb Pesto

150 g pork chops (two boneless pork chops however much you want)
½ Tbsp olive oil (and some non stick spray for your pan)
1 tspish of each of the following: rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, basil, (garlic)
1-2 cloves garlic, mashed then chopped

Put olive oil in the pan. Rub the spices and garlic on the pork chops. Put the pork chops in the pan and cook until 170º. Serve with a side of vegetables or rice or both. I hope you find this as good as me!

BBQ Chicken Pizza from scratch

My lofty goals of the weekend weren’t all met, but I did get a couple of things accomplished. I got through the formals from the wedding. Now it should be pretty smooth sailing.I made pizza yesterday. Completely from scratch too. So if you’re brave and want to make pizza starting with the dough this recipe is for you! I also baked it on an off brand stone which is fun, just because it’s different.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

The Dough

There’s an awesome cookbook called ‘Dining on a Dime’ where I found a recipe for pizza dough. I might be a little odd, but I add spices to the dough instead of to the sauce. I find it adds a lot of flavor to pizza.

1 c warm water (120°)
1 pkg or 1 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 ½-3 c flour
The Optional Spices
2 tsp
garlic (chopped fresh if you’re brave)
1 tsp basil, thyme, oregano, paprika, Jamaican jerk, parsley, fresh ground pepper, or whatever else you would like to add.

Dissolve yeast in a bowl with arm water. Add sugar, salt and oil and spices as desired. Mix well. Gradually add flour to form a stiff dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth. Place in greased bowl. Turn dough over so as to grease both sides in the bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled. Makes 2 medium pizzas or one large.

The Topping

The cheese is something you can choose whatever you have on hand or you think would taste good. For this round I used some Chipotle cheddar, mozzarella, and feta. I also shred the cheese myself because there are a few less ingredients added. Better for you and still tastes great.

1 small can tomato paste
500 g chicken (or about 2 breast halves)
1 Tbsp BBQ sauce (whatever’s your fav)
1-2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/3 c red onion
1 tsp chipotle cheddar
¼ c green onion
50 g chipotle cheddar
50 g mozzarella
¼ c feta crumbled

Once the dough has risen roll it out on your stone or pan, just make sure it’s oven safe (oh and I would put some olive oil down to help it spread. And I just learned that putting a little cornstarch down too to make a more crispy crust). Heat the oven to 400°. While the oven is heating put the crust in for 5 minutes. Once that’s done take it out and put the pan on a hot plate or wire rack. Now put on your tomato paste/sauce and BBQ sauce, make sure to spread it to the edges. Next place everything else on and cover the whole pizza. Once this is done put the pan back in the oven and bake for another 20 minute or until chicken is cooked and the cheese is melted.

There you have it…Some awesome BBQ Chicken pizza made from scratch!

Healthy Snack Mix

Healthy Snack Mix aka Chex Mix

Starting on goal one of the weekend. Making Chex Mix® for the week. My husband and I a while back started reading labels especially the ingredients. We came to find out Chex Mix® prepackaged not the best for you. I know that most of those ingredients are still in the cereal, but makes us feel better by making it.  So while reading through Taste of Home: Healthy Cooking I found a recipe for a new type of snack mix. Below you will find my version of the mix.

I don’t always have the right things on hand, so I improvise with what I normally do have. I know the original recipe called for peanuts, but I make a trail mix with peanuts and apparently the hubby was getting a little peanutted out during the day with 2 of his snacks containing peanuts. I have taken these out so now I believe this recipe is just fine for people with nut allergies to eat. Another thing with this recipe, I’m not always brand loyal, so this time around I have Crispix and Chex (wheat and corn). And now without further ado…

For my latest take on Taste of Home’s Healthy Snack Mix you will need:

2 c Crispix
1 c wheat Chex
1 c corn Chex
1 c (roughly) pretzels, I use regular twists and break them up after measuring.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Worcestershire (this time original)
¼ tsp coarse sea salt
OPTIONAL for extra kick (these can be any amount, I would suggest 1/4 tsp or less)
couple of turns of the pepper grinder
crushed red pepper flakes
Jamaican jerk seasoning
chipotle seasoning
I would also recommend gloves for stirring, the whole toss to coat thing is just a joke to me.

Preheat the oven to 350°. You will need 2 bowls, one really big and one not so big. In the bowl gently stir (with your hands so you won’t break everything) the cereal and pretzels. In the small bowl, mix everything else. For these I would use a spoon. Once mixed pour over the cereal mixture, try to cover most of it. Then put on gloves, if you want, then mix everything until it’s all covered.

Now get out a large baking sheet, the smallest should be 9×13 if that’s all you have. I cover mine with some parchment paper to help with cleanup, but that’s optional. Spread out the mixture as close to a single layer as you can and put in the oven for about 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on it as the cereal can burn easily. Once done to your desired crispness remove from oven, and turn it off. Let the pan cool on a hot pad or wire rack, then store in an airtight container. 1/2 cup servings are just under 100 calories. Enjoy!

Still Going

Well it’s taking me a while to get through the wedding photos. I’m taking my time trying to make sure each picture looks awesome, but I’m doing this while watching TV. Needless to say I am farther along on my TV watching than on the photos.

This weekend I have set myself some lofty goals. Most of these goals involve food! So hoping that means a few new recipes will be posted here so you can enjoy my food. Well it’s not completely mine, but I have trouble following recipes, so they are (sometimes heavily) altered versions of what I have found either on Pintrest (great source for quick dinner ideas), in Taste of Home or just around the blogging world.

My other goal this weekend is to get those wedding photos done. The formals are just holding me up.. We weren’t able to have as much fun with them as I had hoped so I think that’s why I’m just not moving through them faster. Then there’s a photo book I want to make of my honeymoon from almost 3 years ago. We went to Jamaica and I never really went through all of the photos. That should be really exciting to see what I did get and finally have an album of sorts of it. (Those lovely coupons are the only time I can afford those darn books).

My other lofty goal is to get the calendar done for Julie, and get a journal/sketchbook made to list on Etsy. I’ve been falling behind on that kind of thing and need to try and get back to it.

Not sure if there is enough time this weekend to finish everything. I normally end up sleeping through most of my days off and get next to nothing accomplished. If all goes well though there should be some posts with photos again!