Welcome to Yummy Fixins!

Thanks so much for checking out my blog. My name is Arica, I am a Personal Chef serving the Lake Tahoe area. Please visit my new website at www.yummyfixins.com

Cooking is my passion, I love spending time in the kitchen creating yummy dishes. I originally created this blog to share healthy yummy recipes with my friends and family but now I'm sharing them with the world. Most of the dishes you will find here are very healthy and can be altered to fit any dietary restrictions. I hope you will find something delicious!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Summer Squash & Ricotta Flat Bread Pizza

This has to be one of my most favorite pizza recipes. The combination of zucchini and ricotta is just scrumptious. Like most of the recipes I post this one is also quick and easy! If you don't have the time to make your own pizza dough don't fret, it will still be good. The pizza dough I use is made with an Italian flour that is high in gluten making for extra chewy and tasty pizza dough. 

Ingredients
Makes 1-2 Pizza

1 cup ricotta
3 tbs fresh thyme or oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
s&p
2-3 summer squash or zucchini, shaved thin
1/2 red onion, shaved thin
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
10 basil leaves sliced

pizza dough  - click here for my favorite dough recipe

Preheat the oven to 450. Roll out your pizza dough and place it on your pizza stone or baking sheet, Brush the pizza dough with olive oil then top with ricotta. Sprinkle on the thyme, garlic cloves and salt. Follow with the zucchini rounds, onions, cherry tomatoes and finish with the tomatoes then parmesan. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crust starts to brown. Top the pizza with fresh basil and cracked pepper before serving and enjoy! 


Split Pea Soup -Vegetarian


I don't remember the last time I had split pea soup but I do remember that I very much enjoyed it. When I saw a bag of organic split peas on sale at the grocery I decided it was time for me to give it a shot and see what I could do. With this cold snowy weather all I want is soup anyways so I thought it would be a great idea to whip some up for lunch. 






With the holiday season in full effect I try to eat well as often as possible so for this recipe I decided to skip the ham hocks that traditional split pea soups use and go for a vegetarian version. Split peas are loaded with potassium to help manage your blood pressure, cholesterol-lowering fiber and muscle building protein, making this a good-for-you kind of meal.
Wilson - jumping for joy, it's winter time! 
Grab your immersion blender a deep pot and the ingredients below and make some delicious soup that will keep you warm and healthy this winter



Ingredients
Makes 6 Servings


1 tbs olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
salt
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
1 lb green split peas, rinsed
4-5 cups of vegetable broth
1/2 cup of milk, cream or almond milk

Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a large pot. Add in the onion, celery, carrots garlic, bay leaves and a pinch of salt, thyme and cumin. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Once the split peas have been rinsed add them to the pot and cook for 3-5 minutes, then add 4 cups of the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Let the soup cook on a slow simmer for 30-4 minutes or until peas are soft. 

Remove the bay leaves and use an immersion blender or place in a blender to puree, adding in the last cup of broth if needed.. Add in the cream or milk and mix well. Top with parsley and a drizzle of oil. 

Enjoy! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cream of Broccoli Soup

I know you're thinking "Another soup? Come'on Arica switch it up". 
But with this weather...
I can't help but want to cook soup, soup and more soup. I'm sure glad I decided on soup for dinner this week because this recipe is a first for me and boy is it YUMMY! 

Ingredients
Makes 4 Servings


3 garlic cloves
1/2 yellow onion
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 tbs tarragon
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup of cream
pinch of salt 
3 broccoli crowns, cut into small florets (1 set aside separated) 
3 carrots, peeled and chopped

Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a large pot to medium heat. Add in the onion, garlic, tarragon and potato and 2/3 of the broccoli, cook until onions are translucent. Next add in the broth, cover and cook on med/high for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft enough to puree. Add in a pinch of salt and pepper then puree the soup. After the soup is smooth add in the cream, carrots and the rest of the broccoli, cover and cook on med/low for 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

Serve with cheddar cheese and chives. Enjoy!!! 


CROCKPOT IT!!!!
Place all of the ingredients (except the cream, carrots & 1/3 of broccoli) in a crockpot on high for 2 hours or low for 4-6. Puree the soup then add in the cream, carrots and 1/3 of broccoli. Cover and continue to cook on med/low for another 15 minutes or until carrots are tender. 




Monday, November 11, 2013

Zucchini & Fennel Soup

I really enjoy making soup, it makes the a great leftover meal plus you can easily freeze it and save it for another day and it still tastes great. This Zucchini and Fennel Soup recipe is quite delicious and very easy to make on the stove on in a crockpot.  I hope you enjoy it! 
This picture doesn't do this soup any justice so don't judge this book by it's cover.

Ingredients
Makes 4 Servings

2 tbs butter
3 garlic cloves
1/2 red onion
3 large zucchini, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped (fronds set aside for garnish)
2 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup of water
1 tsp thyme 
S&P

1/4 cup milk (optional)- add in before pureeing 

Crockpot Instructions
Place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3-4. One the vegetables are super tender use an immersion blender of stand blender to puree. Serve warm with fronds for garnish. 

Stove-Top Instructions
Place the butter, onion and garlic in a large pot and turn heat to medium. Once the butter has melted and the onion and garlic are fragrant add in the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes. 
One the vegetables are super tender use an immersion blender of stand blender to puree. Serve warm with fronds for garnish. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Gnocchi with Pumpkin Sauce

It's fall and that means it's pumpkin time. This little beauty is a Lady Godiva pumpkin, the meat is not super pumpkiny but the seeds are amazing! The seeds are naked, which means no shell and they plump when you bake them. I had it laying around and decided it was time to cut it open and make something yummy. I was craving gnocchi and wanted something different so I decided to make a pumpkin sauce. You can use any kind of pumpkin for this recipe and it will taste delicious. I had to add a little pumpkin pie spice to the sauce because this specific  pumpkin has a mellow pumpkin taste. It is super easy so give it a try and enjoy. 
Pumpkin Sauce
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 small red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 cups of pumpkin
1 tbs butter
1 bay leaf
S&P
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp allspice
1/4 cup milk

Heat oil in a small pot and saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add in the broth, pumpkin and bay leaf, cover and cook on medium/high for 15 minutes or until super soft. Add in the butter and seasonings, remove the bay leaf and the mixture. Puree the pumpkin until super fine and smooth. I typically press the mixture continuously through a mesh colander over a pot to keep all little clumps out of the sauce. Once you place the pumpkin back in a pot heat it to medium heat and add in the milk. Taste the sauce at this point and add any more seasoning that you want. Cover and keep warm on low while you finish the gnocchi. 

Gnocchi
Makes 4 servings

1 lb of Yukon potatoes
1 1/4 cups of flour + 1/4 cup more 
1 egg


Lightly flour a smooth surface on your counter top for working. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the potatoes with the skin on until soft. Once the potatoes are soft remove them from the water and let them cool. 

While the potatoes are cooling, make a mound out of the flour on a lightly floured surface, making a well for the egg. Bring a large pot of water to a light boil. Peel the potatoes and then press them through a potato ricer and place next to the flour.
Crack an egg into the flour well and scramble with a fork then slowly mixing in a bit of flour at a time. Continue doing this until it becomes tough to mix then use your hands to combine the potatoes in with the mixture (this is where things get a little messy). Keep mixing and kneading the dough with your hands until the ball of dough is smooth but not sticky, continue to add in flour as needed. 

To prepare the gnocchi split the ball of dough into four pieces and each piece into a snake like tubes. Cut the tubes into 3/4 inch pieces. Make sure to place the cut gnocchi onto a floured surface to keep from sticking then carefully place a few at a time into the boiling pot of water. The gnocchi are ready when they float. Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place into a serving dish. Mix in the pesto and serve warm.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Spicy Thai Eggplant Stir-fry


This year I decided to sign up for a new CSA program from Humble Bee Hill Farms. I've been super happy with the vegetables we have received thus far, everything has been delicious and fresh. The past few CSA boxes have had some of the most amazing variety of eggplants and hot peppers. 









The first dish that popped into my head after seeing all of the eggplant an peppers was a Thai dish that is sweet and spicy. This recipe is quite easy and can be easily altered for all of my carnivorous friends. You can also turn up the heat as much as you would like, i'm a wuss when it comes to spice so I went for a medium heat. Go ahead and give this one a try, it is super yummy. And as always let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Ingredients
2 tbs olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
3 small red chili peppers, split in halves lengthwise
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 tbs soy sauce or fish sauce
2 tbs brown or palm sugar
5-6 small eggplants of any variety, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced in long strips
2 tbs chopped basil (Thai basil if you have it)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok to medium heat then add in the peppers, garlic and onion. Cook until fragrant then add the soy sauce and sugar until sugar dissolves. 

(At this point if you would like add chicken to the dish do so now until it has started to brown.)

Next add in the rest of the ingredients cook on high heat until eggplant starts to soften. Meanwhile, prep the tofu and make the sauce. 
Sauce
1/2 water
1 tbs cornstarch 

Mix water and cornstarch until dissolves, mix well and pour onto the vegetables. Increase heat to medium/high for 2 minutes then low to keep warm. At this point taste the vegetables and add in any more salt, pepper, soy sauce etc that you feel necessary. 

Tofu (optional)
1 package of extra firm tofu, dried and diced
1 tbs olive oil

Heat a large skillet to medium high heat, add in the tofu and cook until light brown on each side. Add into the vegetables when you add in the sauce.
                                                      

                                                     Serve as is or over rice. Enjoy!!!





Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Crepes Florentine with Mushroom Gravy

Savory crepes are by far one of my favorite things to cook and eat. It's a little hard to type instruction on these bad boys so it has taken me a while to get the post up, my apologies for holing out on y'all! This recipe in particular was inspired by a dish I learned in my cooking classes in Italy. 
Original Dish I Made in Italy at Giglio Cooking School
Put on your apron, pick up a skillet and get ready to make some crepes, you'll be surprised at how easy they really are. Don't get discouraged when you get started, the first crepe is usually a bust so set it aside and try again... practice makes perfect! 

Crepes
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
2 tbs butter (set aside for later)

Whisk together eggs, milk and flour in a small bowl and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 

Filling 
1 cup sauteed spinach, chopped
1 cup ricotta
1/8 tsp nutmeg
sprinkle salt

Mix together the above ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Gravy 
2 tbs flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbs parsley, chopped
1/3 cup pecorino romano, shredded

Whisk  the flour into the milk until smooth. Place the mixture along with the broth and parsley into a skillet, bring to a light boil then reduce to a simmer, careful not to burn the milk. Once the sauce starts to thicken add in the cheese and turn heat to low to let the sauce thicken. While the sauce is cooking, make your crepes. If the gravy gets too thick add a little more broth and stir well. If the gravy is too thin just whisk in another tbs of flour in 2 tbs of broth and add. 

Next Steps 
Heat a non-stick or cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Place 1/2 tbs of butter into the skillet and swirl it around until the pan is coated. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour the batter into the hot pan. As soon as the batter hits the pan starts to swirl the pan so the batter is spreading very thinly into a circle. Check out this great video for making crepes. 

Cook the crepe for 2 minutes then carefully use a spatula to pick up the edges then flip and cook for another minutes. Place the crepes on a plate and continue until the batter is gone. 

Heat the oven to 200. Place a dollop of the filling on 1/4 of the crepe and fold half, then half again to make a triangle. Repeat until the crepes are finished and top with gravy and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes to warm.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Carrot & Apple Curry Soup

When I think of fall food I think of squash, apples and pumpkins; specifically soups, stews and curries. This soup was inspired by fall goodies that I picked up down in Apple Hill. Apple Hill is an amazing area in El Dorado Hills, CA where there are over dozens of small farms and ranches with produce stands and specialty shops for tourists and locals alike. I scored all kinds of goodies on this trip like apple butter, local honey, a Lady Godiva pumpkin, spaghetti squash and some basic veggies like celery, potatoes and carrots. 
I am calling in a favor on this recipe... I want to know what you think I should change. I love the way this soup turned out on my first try but I think it is missing a little something. I am open to comments and flavor suggestions from those who decide to re-create this dish. My only suggestion is to keep it savory, not sweet. I look forward to seeing your comments below.

I decided to break out the crockpot for this recipe but you can easily do this on the stove-top if you choose. If you are using a crockpot, place all of the ingredients into the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours,otherwise follow the stove-top instructions below.

Ingredients
Makes 4 servings

1 tbs olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
3 celery stalks, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 apples, peeled and chopped
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp all spice
1-2 tbs curry powder
S&P
4 cups vegetable broth

1 cup coconut milk
1-2 tbs red curry paste- set aside

Place 1 tbs of olive oil in a large pot and bring to a medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until fragrant then add in the rest of the ingredients except the curry paste and coconut milk. Bring the pot to a boil then reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. In a small bowl whisk the curry paste into the coconut milk until smooth  then add it into the pot with the rest of the fixins, cover and cook for 5-10 more minutes on low until vegetables are very soft. Use an immersion blender or a stand blender to puree the soup. Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt and green onions. 

Enjoy! 


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Steamed Mussels

  This is another recipe inspired by my culinary adventures Italy. While visiting Cinque Terre I indulged in some of the most amazing mussels and have been craving them ever since. I had stuffed mussels, steamed mussels and pasta with mussels, all which I intend to re-create at some point soon but for now here is the easiest recipe of them all. Steamed mussels make a great side dish, appetizer or main course. Not only are mussels in-expense but they are quick and easy and take very little prep work.
 Mussels from Overland Meat Company

When you purchase your mussels, make sure to immediately unwrap them at home so they can breathe. The mussels should be stored in a cool area where they can breathe. If the mussels you purchased are farm-raised, it's not necessary to soak mussels in water at home. If they are not farm raised, soak them in cold water for 20 minutes before cleaning.

As you clean and debeard the mussels, check to make sure their shells are tightly closed. Discard any mussel that is chipped or broken. If any mussels are open, tap them gently against the counter if they don't close up within a few minutes throw them out.


Ingredients
Makes 4 servings

2 pounds of mussels, cleaned and debearded 
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 garlic cloves, chopped

Place the butter, oil, parsley and garlic in to a large pot. Next carefully place the mussels into the pot and pour the wine over the top. Cover the pot and turn the stove to med/high. 

 **Do not remove the lid for 3-5 minutes and most importatntly do not pre-heat your pot. 

The mussels should only take 3-5 minutes to open. Once the pot starts steaming give it another minute or two before removing the lid to see if all of the mussels have opened. If the mussels have not all opened give them a gentle stir and cover for another 2 minutes. 

Remove the mussels from the pots and serve with the liquid and some sliced bread for dipping. 







Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tagliatelle with Oyster Mushrooms & Arugula

This recipe was inspired by the most amazing mushrooms at the South Lake Tahoe farmers market from a local sustainable organic mushroom farmer -  Simply Manna. I bought the most beautiful package of oyster mushrooms and couldn't wait to get home and plan a pasta dish around these shrooms.
I have been making pasta like crazy since I've been back from Italy. It's much easier than you think and even easier if you have a pasta press. All you need is flour, egg and salt. The rule of thumb is 1 egg for every 100 grams of flour and a pinch of salt. If you don't have the time or the tools to make pasta just use any kind of thick fettuccine noodle for this one.

Ingredients
Makes 2-3 Servings
Tagliatelle or fettuccine noodles (fresh or packaged)- See Recipe Below
2 tbs butter
2 cups oyster mushrooms, cut into large pieces
2 cups of arugula
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup of finely shredded pecorino cheese

If you are making fresh pasta, prepare the pasta according to instructions below.

In a large saute pan melt the butter on medium low. Add in the mushrooms and cook slowly, making sure the mushrooms have a little space between each other. 

While the mushrooms are cooking cook the noodles. 

When the mushrooms start to soften add in the pasta, the arugula and the olive oil a little at a time. Use only as much or a little olive oil as you need. Reduce heat to low, stir then cover and cook until the arugula wilts. 

Season with cracked pepper and a hint of salt and top with pecorino romano. 



Tagliatelle Pasta
1 egg
1/4 cup semolina flour
3/4 cup 00 or white flour (plus more for dusting)
pinch of salt

Place the flour on a smooth surface and create a well in the middle. Crack the egg into the well and slowly beat the egg. Once the egg is scrambled, start slowly adding in a little flour at a time with and continue to mix with a fork. Keep mixing until you can't use the fork and start kneading the dough with your hands. Continue to knead for 8-10 minutes. If the dough is sticky add in a little flour at a time until you have an elastic ball. Cover in plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. 

Once the pasta has set for 30 minutes split the ball into two pieces and run it through a pasta press until you get to the 2nd or 3rd thinnest setting then feed it through the pasta slicer. Place the cut pasta flat onto a floured surface and sprinkle with more flour so the noodles don't stick. 

Bring a large pot of water to a slow boil and cook the pasta. The pasta only takes a few minutes, remove the pasta with a strainer when it floats to the top.







Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pork Loin in Sea Salt

This morning I stopped by our local butcher Overland Meat Co. to pick up something yummy for lunch. I was only cooking for one so I decided to grab a nice piece of pork loin and re-create a dish I learned while in Italy. I have been thinking about making this dish for the past few weeks and I'm so glad I did, it was the perfect light dish and very easy. It does take some time to marinate and to bake but I'm sure you can find something to do around the house while you are waiting or just relax and enjoy the day.
 The images here have only one piece of pork but the recipe is for two.

At first I was very concerned when my cooking teacher told be how much salt we would be putting on the pork she knew what she was doing so I didn't say a word and just followed instruction  It is amazing how it flavors the dish without making it too salty. You can find a lot of dishes in Italian restaurants like this especially fish dishes, it makes for a beautiful presentation at the table. I look forward to trying this with fish but for now here is a yummy pork dish for you to try out. 

Ingredients 
Makes 2-4 servings

2 thick pork loin chops 
1 cup of dry white wine
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 small red onion, minced
2 tbs black peppercorns

2-3 cups of sea salt (or more)

Place the pork loins into a shallow dish and cover with wine, garlic, onion and peppercorns. Cover the dish a refrigerate for at least 1 hour, flipping halfway through. 

Preheat the oven to 300. Drizzle a little olive oil onto a  baking dish or pan then a little sea salt. Remove the pork from the bowl and place into the pan then cover with more sea salt. Make sure the pork is totally covered in salt and drizzle 4-5 tablespoons of the wine from the marinade onto the pork. Place in the oven and bake at 300 for 45 minutes (or more if your pork is thick).
Remove from the oven, crack the salt crust. Dust as much salt from the pork as you can and diagonally cut the pork into thin pieces. Serve on a plate with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh cracked pepper. Enjoy! 


Crostini Toscani (Pâté)

I became totally hooked on pâté when I was in Italy and just couldn't get enough of it! This recipe is a traditional Tuscan recipe and boy is it tasty. The one ingredient you might be confused about is the anchovy, but don't fret, you can't even taste it. The anchovy just brings a little more flavor. 
This is a great appetizer or party snack. So give it a go and let me know your thoughts!

Ingredients
Makes 2 cups 

3 tbs butter
2 cups chicken livers
2 tbs capers
4 anchovies (flat canned)
4 sage leaves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine

1-2 baguettes, sliced

Melt the butter in a large pan then add in the capers, bay leaf and sage. Cook on medium/low for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant. Next add in the anchovies and chicken liver and bring to a medium heat. Cook until the chicken liver is halfway cooked then add in the wine and increase the heat to medium/high until the liver is cooked through. Remove from heat, cover and let is set for a few more minutes so it can cool down. (The mixture should still have a little wine in the pan.) 

Place the pan of ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. If you would like it cold, just set it it the fridge until you are ready otherwise leave it out and prep your bread. 

Grill or toast the sliced baguette and place the pâté on the toast and serve. 

Buon Appetito! 

**Don't add any salt until the dish is cooked and you feel that it needs it. I didn't add any to my dish.  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Arugula & Cherry Tomato Pizza

One of the best pizzas I had in Italy was in one the most beautiful places in Italy, isla de Capri.
 was only in Capri for three nights but I think I ate and drank my way through the beautiful town. A random rainstorm caused us to duck into the first restaurant we could find and thank goodness we did because the food was amazing!

It was Capris at that I had the best pizza yet. It was very simple and delicious and was immediately added to my "must make when i get home" list.




This pizza has very simple ingredients and it is so yummy. Give it a try and picture yourself in Capri as you take your first bite! 

Ingredients
Prepared Pizza Dough, uncooked

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cups fresh arugula leaves
1 tbs good quality olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425. Once the dough is placed on the pan or stone and rubbed with olive oil place the cheese and tomatoes on it and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pizza top it with arugula, fresh cracked pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Buon appetito! 

Pizza Dough

I enjoy making pizza and since it is so easy I make it quite often. This recipe is great because you let the dough rise in the fridge overnight and use it when you are ready to make your pizza. There is no need to let it sit at room temperature to rise, which makes pizza making very convenient all you need to do is plan ahead a little. The dough is good in the fridge for up to 3 days so you can make a fresh pizza whenever you want! 
Antico Molino Napoli Antimo Caputo '00' Flour, 2.2 lbWhen it comes to pizza dough and pasta I can't stress how important it is to use good flour. The absolute best flour is "00" farina flour. I find this particular brand at whole foods and some small Italian specialty stores. Once you try this flour I promise there is no going back. The difference is unbelievable! 


Ingredients
Makes 2 Balls of Dough

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast
1 cup cold water 
3 tbs olive oil

1/8 cup semolina

Stand Mixer Directions

Mix the flour, salt, and yeast into a large mixing bowl. Slowly add in the water and oil and let the mixer run until a ball starts to form, once the ball forms split it in pieces then turn on again, letting the mixer do the kneading for you or remove and knead for 5 minutes until a smooth ball forms.

Remove the ball from the dough from the mixer. Split the dough in half and make two even balls. Place the balls on a tray covered with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight. 

Bowl Directions: 

Mix the flour, salt, and yeast into a large mixing bowl. Slowly add in the water and oil mixing well. Turn the dough onto a floured counter or silpat and use your hands to start kneading it into a ball. Continue kneading the dough for 7-8 minutes until an elastic ball forms. 

Split the dough in half and make two even balls. Place the balls on a tray covered with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight. Leave the dough in the fridge until you are ready to shape. 


Pizza Time:

Preheat the oven to 425.  (at this time place your pizza stone in the oven). Sprinkle some semolina on the counter and start. Place the dough into the center of the pizza press out and start pulling and stretching the dough until you have the size and thickness that you prefer. 

Until I get a chance to make a video here is a great one on shaping your dough. http://youtu.be/7OotCkmoPN8

Top the pizza with your fixins and cook for 10-15 minutes. 

Buon Appetito.

**Cook time will be based on your toppings and quality of your oven, so pay attention after 10 minutes. 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Zucchini Fritters with Yogurt Dip

As I mentioned in my last post my zucchini plants have been producing some awesome zucchini so I have been making all kinds of fun dishes like Zucchini Bran Bread and Farro with Wheat Berries & Zucchini. I've seen quite a few pics of fritters on food blogs lately so I decided to give it a shot. This was my first go at it, they don't look that beautiful but they were tasty. This recipe is a work in progress so give it a go and let me know any tips you have. The one tip I do have is that It is very important to remove as much water as you possibly can from the zucchini before mixing it with the flour. 

Have you ever seen one of these?
How cool is this fun contraption?? It's like My girlfriends mom had it laying around and didn't need it so I decided to take it and try it out. It made the perfect shredded zucchini for this dish and it was super easy to clean up, plus if I lose power and want to get fancy I don't need a food processor. For this recipe you can just use a food processor with a shredding blade. 

Ingredients
Makes 12 Fritters

2 1/2 cups or 2 medium zucchini, shredded
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped 
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 egg 

Yogurt Dip
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
3 cloves of roasted garlic, mashed to paste(make ahead of time)
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped 
S&P

Place the shredded zucchini in a mesh strainer with the salt and toss. Let the zucchini sit in the strainer over a bowl for 10-15 minutes, pressing out the water. 

Once the water is removed place the zucchini in a bowl with the parsley, flour, cheese and egg. Mix well, season with pepper and place the mixture in the fridge.


Heat 1 tbs of oil in a skillet to medium heat, in the meantime make the yogurt dip. Mix all of the dip ingredients together and place it in the fridge. 

When the skillet is hot place the zucchini mixture a dollop at a time in the skillet and press with a spatula. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side until crispy. Remove and set on a paper towel to remove any excess oil. Serve warm with a dollop of the yogurt dip. 

Enjoy! 

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bran Bread with Almonds

 My garden is just pumping out the zucchinis and i'm loving it. Living in the mountains makes it very hard to grow great produce but we keep trying. This was our first year growing zucchinis and surprisingly they are very easy and they are doing great. The three beauties above seemed to have come out of nowhere in just a few days so it was time to get cooking!
There are so many different things you can do with zucchinis and this time I deicded to use one of the zucchini for bread and the other two for Zucchini Fritters. This recipe is on the healither side and not super sweet but quite yummy. The bonus is that it taste hardly any time to prep. 

Dry Ingredients
2 cups wheat flour
3/4 cup wheat bran
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar (optional*)

Wet Ingredients
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup applesauce**
1/4 cup walnut oil (or vegetable oil)
2 cups zucchini, shredded

1/2 cup chopped almonds

Preheat the oven to 350. Use non-stick spray or butter to coat a loaf pan. Place all of the wet ingredients into a large bowl and stir with a fork. Place all of the wet ingredients into a small bowl and stir with a fork. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing well. Fold in the almonds and place mixture into the loaf pan. The mixture will be pretty thick and not runny at all so use a spatula to get all of it out. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes. When the bread is ready remove it and place it on a wire rack to cool. 

* I don't like my bread super sweet so adding in the additional white sugar is up to you
** If you don't have applesauce in the fridge use the same amount in oil.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Farro with Cherry Tomatoes & Zucchini

Are you in the mood for a healthy summer recipe? I threw this delicious one together with some zucchini & parsley from my garden and some cherry tomatoes from the farmers market. I was very happy with the way this dish turned out and I hope you enjoy it as well! 
A girlfriend of mine gave me this yummy seasoning salt for my birthday and this was the first time I've used it and I'm loving it. If you can't find this seasoning salt I have posted some of the ingredients below so you can make your own. 

Ingredients 
Makes 2-3 Servings

1 cup farro (a.k.a wheat berries)
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup water
1 tbs olive oil
1 garlic clove, diced
2 zucchini and/or squash, cut into crescents 
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbs parsley, chopped 
1 tbs Isle of Capri Seasoning Salt (see ingredients below)
      
Bring the vegetable broth and water to boil in a small pot. Once the water and broth are boiling add in the farro with a pinch of salt, cover and bring to a simmer.

 In a separate sauce pan heat 1 tbs of oil to a medium heat with the garlic for 3-5 minutes. When the garlic is fragrant add a little water along with the zucchini and Isle of Capri Seasoning Salt, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the veggies are tender. 

When the veggies and farro are ready add them into a bowl with the tomatoes and parsley, toss well. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy! 



Isle of Capri Seasoning Salt
- salt
- red pepper flakes
- garlic powder
- oregano 
- thyme