Sunday, July 21, 2013

The frozen pizza horror!!

Frozen pizza is one of those things that you love and hate all at the same time. Its convenient but never as good as you want it to be. It is also full of unnecessary sodium and unpronounceable ingredients. Enter in the home made frozen pizza.

What? Don't worry it is way better than the store bought kind. Best part is you can top it whatever way you like. I like to load mine up with vegetables and garlic.

I just take a Sunday and make a bunch of these to stick in my freezer for those days when you really don't feel like cooking:

Pizza dough (Either store bought or homemade, I use my whole wheat recipe)
Sauce [Store bought or homemade(recipe at the end of post)]
Toppings (make sure any meats are fully cooked)
Cheese (pre-shredded or fresh mozzarella/ whatever is on sale)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Divide and roll dough out into the size pizzas you want to make. (I usually opt with a small personal about 6" diameter)

3. One at a time bake dough in the over for 4-5 minutes. You just want it to start cooking. If it starts browning remove right away.

4. After you pizza dough has cooled, top the way you would a normal pizza.

5. Using cookie sheets place the uncooked pizzas in the freezer and allow them to freeze completely (about 5 hours)

6. Once frozen double wrap you pizzas in plastic wrap and seal in a zip lock bag.

7. To cook pizzas, preheat your oven to 425 degrees and cook pizzas from frozen for 15-20 minutes or until done.

8. Remove, slice, and enjoy!

Quick Pizza/ Pasta Sauce

2 coves of garlic crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 can crushed tomato
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp chopped or dried basil
( all these measurements are approximated adjusted to your taste and what you have)

1. In medium sauce pan, heat oil on medium heat.
2. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for a minute or so. DO NOT LET THE GARLIC BROWN. It will taste horrible.
3. Add tomatoes, salt, and sugar and simmer.
4. Add cheese and basil a couple minutes before you are ready to eat.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pizza Pizza!!

Pizza is one of the most perfect foods in my opinion. Salty, cheesey, carbey, yummyness. I love all kinds of pizza from fancy coal fire to the magic New York staple of the $1 slice (not Chicago deep dish though, that my friends, is not pizza) One of my favorite weekly treats is homemade pizza. You can put exactly what you want on it and make it as healthy or unhealthy as your little heart desires. The best part is you really don't need any fancy equipment to make it!

I used to buy my pizza dough from good old Publix. It was cheap, easy, and ready to go. You can usually purchase pizza dough from your local pizzeria as well if you are not blessed with a Publix. About a year ago, I decided to take the plunge and make my own dough. My history with yeast dough is a sad one. From failed breads to overly risen waffles, I just don't understand it. Homemade pizza dough would force me to face my fear. After a stressful afternoon, "of will it work? it will work. OMG ITS NOT RISING... wait no it is." I finally pulled a magical bubbling pizza out of the oven. There was no reason to worry.

If you do a Google search you will find tons of easy pizza dough recipes but I'm going to share with you a whole wheat version which has never failed me and will hopefully bring you success.

Bonus: My next post will talk about freezing the dough to make at home frozen pizzas!

Wheat Pizza Dough

3/4 cups all purpose flour 
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (may need a little more)
1 tablespoon olive oil (The better the quality of you olive oil the more flavor it will add to your finished dough)

1. In a mixing bowl combined both flours, salt and yeast.
2. Add water and olive oil. Stir with a spoon until the mixture comes together. (after a certain point I like to used my hands)
3. Dump contents of the bowl onto a well floured surface. Knead everything together until it becomes one ball of dough. 
4. Lightly oil a bowl, and place your dough in the bowl. Rotate the ball around so it is cover in a thin layer of oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm dark place.

5. Two hours later, uncover your dough and flip it on to your flour surface. Press down on the dough to let out the air. Fold the sides of the dough into the center to form a new ball. Leave dough on the counter and cover again with plastic wrap and an overturned bowl.

6. You leave this for 20 minutes. This is the perfect time to get the sauce, cheese, and any toppings together. This is also when I turn on the oven.

           OVEN THINGS: In order to create the perfect pizza crust there are a few steps to take when it comes to prepping an oven. First if you have a pizza stone stick it in the oven as it pre-heats. Second, if you don't have a pizza stone you can always use the bottom of a cookie sheet. I have read a lot of blogs where people preheat their cookie sheet just as they would a pizza stone but that freaks me out. My smoke detectors are sensitive as it is. The choice is yours. The main goal is to get you oven as hot as possible. I've had success with any where from 425-550 degrees. 

7. After the 20 minutes uncover your pizza dough and roll it out using a rolling pin or tin can or glass or whatever you happen to have lying around that can do the job. Top pizza with sauce, cheese, and toppings. If using a cookie sheet put dough on sheet before you top it. If not use a WELL floured board (cutting board/ back of a cookie sheet) and top dough on that so you can slide pizza onto the hot stone in the oven.

8. Cook pizza for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on whats going on in the oven so you can take it out as soon as it looks done. Looks are everything when it comes to cooking pizza. 

9. Remove from oven, slice, and ENJOY!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Whole Wheat Pancakes!

Brunch is one of the best things ever invented. If you don't like brunch, then I don't want to know you. Delish breakfeasty food midway through the day, often accompanied by cocktails; what could be bad about that?

Unfortunately, in the brunch crazed city of New York, it can get kind of expensive both in the caloric and monetary departments. To keep both on the health side of the scale, I usually make something brunchy on weekends. This weekend I decided it was about time I made some delicious whole wheat pancakes.

Now, most people just make pancakes from a box. I am telling you right here right now: from scratch it just as easy! I literally think its ridiculous how many people refuse to make pancakes from scratch. The hardest thing about making pancakes is cooking them, which you have to do when you make them from a box so.....
why not make them yourself with this delicious recipe!

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk (I used skim milk but feel free to use soy, almond whatever)
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon honey (you can substitute this for whatever sweetener you prefer aka agave, splenda, etc)

(There is a standard mixing formula to all pancakes, and most cakes actually.
mix dry
mix wet
Remember this and you are already ten steps ahead of the game!)
1. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a different bowl mix egg, milk, oil, and honey.
3. Now add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined.
4. Heat your frying pan to medium heat. If nonstick don't worry about greasing the pan but if not spray a little pan on the bottom.
5. Pour as much batter on to the pan as you desire (don't make them crazy big or they won't cook through). The batter is pretty thick so you may want to spread your pancake out a bit.
6. After 2-3 minutes flip the pancake. Wait another minute and you're done! If you pancakes are looking a little pale let them cook a bit longer on both sides.

You can top these delicious babies with whatever your heart may please or even add some fruit or chocolate chips to the batter!
My fav is to top with nonfat greek yogurt and strawberries!

** Update after some not so technical calculations these come out to 200-300 calories and serving which aint half bad for such a filling breakfast!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Blog redo

I haven't posted for way to long! In the next couple weeks, I am planning a blog over haul. New posts, new layout, maybe a new name?? It defiantly time for some blog TLC!

Please check back for updates and hopefully I will get this going in the next couple of weeks.