Spinach Alfredo Pizza

Spinach Alfredo Pizza
Spinach Pizza Recipe from Taste of Home:

-1 package (6-1/2 ounces) pizza crust mix / I cheated and got a pre-made “Rustic White Thin Crust” pizza crust from Whole Foods. And Honestly…it sucked. Wasn’t crispy and folded under all of the ingredients.
-1/2 cup Alfredo sauce / I used closer to 1 cup
-2 medium tomatoes
-4 cups chopped fresh spinach / I used probably only a cup
-2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend / I used a little less than two, maybe 1.75, and then topped the pizza with some parmesan.

Making the Thing
1. Prepare pizza dough according to package directions. With floured hands, press dough onto a greased 12-in. pizza pan. / Skipped this step because of the store bought crust.

2. Spread Alfredo sauce over dough to within 1 in. of edges. Thinly slice or chop tomatoes; top pizza with spinach, tomatoes and cheese.

3. Bake at 450° for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown. / The directions for the crust I had was 400 for 8-10 minutes, ended up doing closer to 12.

It’s a good combo of ingredients, but I’m going to make and/or get a better crust next time.


Brown Butter Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles
Recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod:

For the Cookies:
-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-2 teaspoons cream of tartar
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt / Used regular iodized salt
-1 cup unsalted butter cut into tablespoon pieces
-1 1/4 cups brown sugar
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-1 large egg
-1 egg yolk
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
-18 caramels cut in half / I did not cut them in half. This was a mistake.
-Flaked sea salt for sprinkling on top of cookies
For the Cinnamon Sugar:
-1/4 cup granulated sugar
-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Making the Thing
1. In a medium bowl, Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

2. To brown the butter, heat a thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat. Add the sliced butter, whisking frequently. Continue to cook the butter until melted. The butter will start to foam and browned specks will begin to form at the bottom of the pan. The butter should have a nutty aroma. Watch the butter carefully because it can go from brown to burnt quickly. Remove butter from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown butter and sugars. Mix until blended. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and Greek yogurt and mix until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. / Had some real dry brown sugar that was a brick, then ran out of vanilla, and the butter started to cool/thicken during all this. So. Be more prepared than me.

4. Form the dough in a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You can chill the dough overnight or for up to 2 days.

5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Flatten the ball slightly with the palm of your hand and place a caramel piece in the center of the dough. Wrap the cookie dough around the caramel, making sure the caramel is completely covered with dough.

6. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place dough balls on a large baking sheet that has been lined with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper. Make sure the cookies are about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the cookie tops with sea salt. / I actually recommend doing steps 5 and 6 at the same time. Make the dough ball, roll in the cinnamon-sugar, repeat.

7. Bake the cookies 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. The centers will still be soft. Don’t over bake. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, or until set. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

These cookies are great, but not cutting the caramels in half led to the caramels falling through the bottom while the cookies were on the cooling rack. So. Cut your caramels.


Spinach, Artichoke, and Brie Crepes with Sweet Honey Sauce

Spinach, Artichoke, and Brie Crepes with Sweet Honey Sauce
Recipe from Half-Baked Harvest:

Whole Wheat Crepes
-2 large eggs
-3/4 cup milk I use 2%
-1/2 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
-1/2 cup all-purpose flour / I didn’t feel like buying a whole other kind of flour just to make these whole wheat, so I just used one whole cup of all-purpose.
-3 tablespoons butter
-1/4 teaspoons salt
-1/2 cup water
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-2 cloves garlic minced / Used 1 tsp of pre-minced.
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper optional / I did use this, gave the filling a slight kick.
-1 (8 ounce) bag fresh spinach
-1 (12 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts drained and chopped
-1/4 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
-1 (8 ounce) brie wheel sliced into slices
Sweet Honey Sauce / I tried to make this, but the oil and honey were separated and gross, so I didn’t even get to the parsley. So I just drizzled plain honey on top of the crepes.
-1/4 cup olive oil
-3 tablespoons honey
-1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped

Making the Thing
1. Start by making the crepes. Add butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Whisk constantly until brown bits appear on the bottom, about 5-6 minutes, then immediately remove from heat and set aside. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor. Add the browned butter and pulse for 30 seconds or until well combined. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours. / I do not own a blender/food processor, so I whisked it all together.

2. Heat a 12 inch non-stick pan. Add butter or cooking spray (I like to use cooking spray) to coat. Pour 1/3 cup of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. Makes about 10 crepes. / Mine were actually more like 30 seconds each side.

3. Heat a large skillet oven medium heat and add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and garlic. Add the salt, pepper and crushed red pepper if using, cook for 2 minutes. Stir in spinach and artichokes, cooking for 5-6 minutes until spinach is fully wilted. Reduce heat to low and stir in the parmesan cheese, then turn off heat. Remove from the skillet. / So I actually did this as step two, while the crepe batter was in the fridge. This way, it was ready to go once the crepes were made.

4. Whisk together the olive oil and honey. Place in a small sauce pot and warm through. Keep warm until ready to use. You can also do this in the mircowave. / I also made the sauce while the batter was in the fridge, using the microwave. I then promptly forgot about it until everything was all done. When I opened the microwave, the oil and honey were separated and not appetizing. I also was running a little behind and had to be out the door in like 15 minutes. Hence giving up on the sauce and just drizzling plain honey, which honestly tasted great.

5. Wipe the skillet clean and heat over medium-low heat. Working with one crepe at time lay it flat in the skillet. Lay a few slices of brie on one quarter (basically make a triangle) of the crepe. Layer on the spinach and artichoke filling and then top with a few more slices of brie. Fold over the bottom of the crepe and then fold it over again to make a triangle. Cook for about 2-3 minutes and then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes or until the brie is all melty and gooey. Repeat with remaining crepes until the brie and filling are gone. I was able to make six crepes. Remove the honey sauce from the heat and stir in the chopped parsley. Drizzle the crepe with the warm honey sauce and dig in! / The triangle folding part is easier said than done. My first one was more quesadilla shaped.

So, overall: This bitch made crepes! For the first time! And didn’t fuck it up too much!


Chicken Broccoli Bake

Chicken Broccoli Bake
Recipe from My Name is Snickerdoodle:

-3 cups cooked and shredded chicken / I used those pre-cooked grilled chicken strips from Aldi. Fresher chicken may have been better, but this got the job done.
-2 cups cooked and chopped broccoli
-2 (14 oz) cans cream chicken soup / Aldi only had 10 oz cans, so I used three and didn’t scrape out the can, just dumped it. So I figured that way, I would get the 28 oz I need instead of the full 30. Guess it worked?
-3/4 cup sour cream
-1/4 tsp pepper
-2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
-3/4 of a sleeve of Ritz Crackers, crushed or 1 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs / I used what was left of a box of Naan Crackers from Trader Joe’s that I had, I did about 1 1/2 cup of those, but it didn’t cover the dish as much as I wanted.
-6 tsp butter, melted

Making the Thing
1. Preheat oven to 375.  In a large bowl combine chicken, broccoli, cream soup, sour cream and pepper.  Add in 1 cup cheddar cheese and mix.  Pour into a 2 qt baking dish.  Top with remaining cheese.  In a small bowl, combine melted butter and crackers (or bread
crumbs).  Sprinkle evenly over casserole.  Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes, until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Pretty simple, but this is a good recipe for when the weather is cold and you don’t want to exert a lot of effort on dinner. It’s very good served over rice!


Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls

Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe from A Few Shortcuts:

– ¾ cup milk
-⅓ cup margarine or butter; softened
-3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
-2 tsps instant yeast or 1 packet
-¼ cup sugar
-½ teaspoon salt
-1 egg
-¼ cup water
-1 cup strawberry jam +/- / I used basically all of a 9 oz. jar, so a little over 1 cup for me
-½ teaspoon cinnamon
-2 cups strawberries sliced
-1 cup powdered sugar
-¼ teaspoon cinnamon
-1-2 tablespoon milk / I definitely needed 2

Making the Thing
1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until warm. Mix in the butter until melted. Let cool to lukewarm.

2. In a large bowl combine 2 ¼ cup flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix well.

3. Stir in egg and ¼ cup of water. Mix well. Now stir in the milk mixture until dough forms.

4. Stir in another cup of flour. When dough comes together, flip it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.

5. Return the dough ball to the bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let rest for 10 minutes.

6. Roll out dough into a 15×10 inch rectangle. Spread the strawberry jam all over the dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Then evenly cover with the chopped strawberries. / Mine was definitely not a rectangle, more like a rectangle/oval/blob?

7. Roll up the dough and pinch the seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal size rolls.

8. Place rolls cut side up in a greased 11×13 baking dish. Cover and let rise until doubled (30 mins). While waiting, Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

9. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

1. Mix the powdered sugar and cinnamon with 1 tablespoon of milk. Stir until glaze forms. You may need to add up to another tablespoon of milk for desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over finished rolls.

Pretty proud of myself for making these from scratch, might make it easier on myself next time and just make normal cinnamon rolls, hah


Brown Sugar BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

Brown Sugar BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
Recipe from Martha Stewart:

* I cut this whole recipe in half because I was the only one eating it
– 2 cups ketchup / I thought I had enough ketchup, but was mistaken. So I cut in about 1/4 cup of pre-made barbecue sauce.
-1 cup packed light-brown sugar
-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
-2 tablespoons cider vinegar
-Coarse salt and ground pepper
-6 pounds chicken drumettes, patted dry / I did the slightly bigger thigh drumstick. Mostly because Aldi didn’t have whatever “drumettes” are.

Making the Thing
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire, and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Set aside 1 cup sauce for tossing raw chicken; use rest for baked chicken.

2.Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds; line 2 rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil. / I shoved these on my knock slipat in my toaster oven and called it day.

3. Divide drumettes between baking sheets, and toss with reserved 1 cup sauce. / The drumsticks used about 3/4 of the sauce batch I made.

4. Bake chicken until opaque throughout, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating sheets and tossing chicken halfway through. Toss baked drumettes with 1/2 cup sauce, and serve with remaining sauce on the side. / I brushed the remaining sauce on, it was easier.

All in all, I made barbecue sauce (almost) from scratch and it was pretty good!


Baked Sweet Potato Parmesan Tater Tots

Baked Sweet Potato Parmesan Tater Tots
Recipe from Half-Baked Harvest:

-4 medium sweet potatoes
-1 cup grated parmesan cheese
-kosher salt and black pepper
-1 clove garlic, grated / Used 1/2 tsp pre-minced
-2 cups Panko bread crumbs
-2 teaspoons chipotle or regular chili powder / I used regular
extra virgin olive oil, for brushing / I have a can of olive oil for cooking, so I sprayed instead of brushed
-4 tablespoons salted butter
-2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves / Did 2 tsp dried
-1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley / Did 1 tsp dried
-2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage / Did like 1/2 tsp dried

Making the Thing
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Bake directly on the rack until tender, 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool. / Did this step in my toaster oven. I think it may be too good, because I did 420 degrees (it only goes by 10) for 50 min and some stuff was starting to caramelize.

2. Once cool use your hands to peel away the sweet potatoes skin. It should just easily slip off. Place the potatoes in a medium-size bowl and mash well. Stir in the parmesan cheese, garlic, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. / Minus the potatoes being really fucking hot, because I’m impatient, yes the skin came off pretty easily.

3. Combine the Panko and chili powder in a shallow bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the sweet potato out of the bowl, roll into a cylinder and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining sweet potato mix. The sweet potato mixture will be wet, don’t stress, the shape does not need to be perfect. Roll the sweet potato cylinders in the crumbs to coat and place back on to the baking sheet. Lightly brush/mist each tot with olive oil. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake another 10-15 minutes or until golden and crisp. / I rolled, then coated each tot individually, rather than rolling them all then coating them all. I may have forgot about the olive oil part until I flipped them. Long story short, it took longer than 25 minutes and they were never quite as crispy as I wanted them to be.

5. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the herbs and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant. Drizzle the butter over the tots. Serve the tots warm, with ketchup and additional herbs, if desired. / That butter is gooood. Double the recipe.

These are more savory then a typical sweet potato tot, and that’s also what makes them really good. Again, I wish they were a little crispier, but the taste was still great.


Cheddar Asparagus Bake

Cheddar Asparagus Bake
Recipe from Seasons & Suppers:

-1 lb asparagus, trimmed of woody ends / This is a lot of fucking asparagus. If you’re making it for brunch for two, like I was, cut this recipe in half.
-2 Tbsp butter
-1/3 cup all-purpose flour
-2 cup milk
-1 egg yolk
-1/4 tsp dry powdered mustard
-Dash of Worcestershire sauce
-1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
-Black pepper, to taste
-1 1/2 cups grated aged white cheddar / I used sharp cheddar, and I bet there’s more than 1 1/2 cups on there. Oh well.

Making the Thing
1. Preheat oven to 400° with rack in centre of oven, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick foil.

2. If your asparagus is thick, blanch the asparagus in a large pan of salted water for one minute, remove and refresh in ice water or microwave on a plate for about 90 seconds. If your asparagus is thin, you’re probably good to go as is. Divide the asparagus in half and lay on parchment on baking sheet with the cut ends touching in the middle. Set aside. / I did not do this whole blanching business.

3. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes until lightly golden. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk to form a smooth sauce. Return to the heat, stir and simmer for 2-3 minutes until thickened. / The flour and butter mixture solidified really quickly. I added the milk, the sauce was very liquid-y. The Girlfriend suggested adding cornstarch. I just tossed some in there. Probably 1/8 of a cup. She looks at me and goes “I meant like a teaspoon”. So, through a combo of more milk, butter, and a fuckton of mixing, she came in for the assist and saved the sauce. I think because of these additions there was way too much sauce, but what are you gonna do.

4. Remove from the heat and beat in the egg yolk, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Taste and add more salt, as needed. Season with freshly ground pepper.

5. Pour sauce over the middle of the asparagus. Top with the grated cheddar cheese.

6. Bake at 400 ° for 8-10 minutes, then move rack to upper part of oven, switch your oven to broil and broil until the sauce is bubbly and golden.

7. Top with a bit more freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.

Overall, this is very good, we paired it with a goat cheese scramble for brunch. I will say, doesn’t keep amazingly, so eat it as soon as you can.


Strawberry Cheesecake Chimichangas

Strawberry Cheesecake Chimichangas
Recipe from Just A Taste:

-1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, at room temperature
-1/4 cup sour cream
-1 Tablespoon sugar
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest / It felt like a waste to buy and zest a whole lemon and not use the juice, and I had the pre-packaged lemon juice in the fridge, so I googled what the equivalent would be. Apparently a teaspoon of lemon zest is 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. So I put in one tablespoon, and the cheesecake mixture was a tad too lemon-y. Not bad, but too much lemon. So, who know what the equivalent should be.
-6 (8-inch) soft flour tortillas
-1 3/4 cups sliced strawberries, divided
-1 Tablespoon cinnamon
-Vegetable oil, for frying

-toothpicks / Definitely should’ve used these. They’re meant to hold the tortilla together when frying. I did not buy them and I regret it. It just made the frying process harder and more time consuming because they were coming undone and I was trying to fold them back together with tongs and without burning myself. Just buy the damn toothpicks.
-deep-fry thermometer / On the other hand, I did not use it, I just guessed when the oil was ready and I was right, so *shrug*

Making the Thing
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese with the sour cream, 1 tablespoon sugar, vanilla extract and lemon zest, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Fold in ¾ cup of the sliced strawberries. / One day I’ll own a standing mixer. I did it by hand in a large bowl and a big spoon.

2. Divide the mixture evenly between the tortillas, slathering each portion in the lower third of each tortilla. Next, fold the two sides of each tortilla toward the center and then roll the tortilla up like a burrito and secure it with a toothpick. Repeat the rolling process with the remaining tortillas. / Again, use the damn toothpicks.

3. Combine the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the cinnamon in a shallow bowl and set it aside. Line a large plate with paper towels. / I actually already had pre-made cinnamon sugar in a tupperware so I just used that.

4. Add 3 inches of oil to a large, deep saucepan, leaving a minimum of 2 inches from the top of the oil to the top of the saucepan. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 360ºF on a deep-fry thermometer.

5. Working in batches, fry the chimichangas until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes, flipping them as needed. Transfer the chimichangas to the paper towel-lined plate to drain for 1 minute, and then roll them in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Repeat the frying and rolling process with the remaining chimichangas, returning the oil to 360ºF between batches. / Mine was way less precise than this, and they still turned out okay, so maybe I’m getting better at eyeing stuff? hah

6. Remove all toothpicks from the chimichangas and transfer them to serving plates. Top each with a portion of the remaining 1 cup of sliced strawberries and serve immediately. / I also topped with some powdered sugar.

Felt weird rolling up cheesecake in a tortilla, but the end result was *chef’s kiss*


Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms
Recipe from Food So Good Mall:

– 20 mid size fresh button mushrooms / I did not see mushrooms of this description in Aldi or Whole Foods. Got Baby Bella mushrooms, there were 18 in the package. I think they worked out just fine.
-olive oil for brushing / I am realizing in this moment that I never used this because the instructions never said to brush anything?
-2 tbs butter
-1 10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry / Another one that was not to be found. Got a bag of frozen spinach from Whole Foods that wasn’t chopped, it still got the job done.
-1 cup ricotta cheese
-2 tbs Dijon-style mustard
-2 tsp fresh marjoram or 1 tsp dried / And the hat trick of unavailable ingredients. It’s basically a lighter version of oregano…so I used oregano.
-kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Making the Thing:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Remove stems from mushrooms down to the center of the mushroom being careful not to break through to the meat. You will have a hollow space that will allow you to stuff the mushroom. Set aside / I also cut the stems into small pieces since I saw they’re going back in the mushroom caps.

3. In a saute pan melt butter and saute mushroom stems, stirring until juices have cooked down about 4 minutes.

4. Add spinach and cook about 4 minutes longer.

5. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.

6. Spoon spinach mixture into mushroom caps.

7. Bake for 15 minutes.

And that’s it! These were pretty good. I’ll be honest, the mustard taste threw me off a bit, I think I would’ve preferred these without it. I also topped with parmesan cheese to give it a little something extra. Lastly, these are technically an appetizer, but I paired them with some fettuccine alfredo and cheesy garlic bread and called it dinner.