Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Whoopie Pies

I think Whoopie pies are my new favorite thing to make... they are delicious soft cakey cookies filled with a sticky gooey creamy filling..... Yum!!! They kind of remind me of  "moon pies" only smaller and what's better than being homemade??? I found several different recipes, but this one is the first I tried, it's a classic Whoopie Pie... I did the variation for the filling and added peanut butter to it, but you can just make the Marshmellow cream filling like the original recipe. Enjoy with a tall glass of milk!

Classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies
1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium size bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening and brown sugar on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes.
Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and the remaining ½ cup milk and beat until completely combined.
Using a spoon, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets; repeat, spacing the rounds at least 2 inches apart.  Flatten the dough a little with the back of your spoon so the cookies aren't so puffy, and you can also make them more circular while you are doing this.
Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the rounds spring back when pressed gently. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

For filliling:
Marshmellow Creme Filling
6 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 (7 oz) jar Marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 Tablespoons milk , if necessary

In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat the butter until smooth. Reduce speed to low; gradually beat in powdered sugar. Beat in marshmallow creme and vanilla until smooth. (if your filling is really stiff and on the dry side add 1 to 2 Tablespoons milk and beat till smooth) You want your filling spreadable so you don't crumble the cookies but not runny.

To assemble whoopie pies, spread about 1 tablespoon filling on flat side of 1 cookie, then top with another cookie. Continue until all cookies are filled and topped. I got about 34 cookies total which made 17 Whoopie pies.

For variation add peanut butter to your filling! I made by decreasing the butter to 2 Tablespoons softened butter, and added 6 tablespoons Peanut Butter, and then added the rest of the ingredients like the Marshmellow cream filling recipe. Who doesn't LOVE chocolate and Peanut butter!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Grilled Asparagus and zucchini with Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

This last weekend, Jim and I went to see Sarah in Provo. She was just finishing up a shift at Olive Garden when we got there, so of course we all had to eat there. Jim got a steak that had roasted Asparagus with a Balsamic Vinegar glaze that I had to taste (of course, what's more fun than eating out and tasting every one's dinner?). YUMMO! I had to make some at home! I surfed the net and found quite a few recipes for Balsamic Glaze and all were about the same, so I had to give it a try for dinner tonight. I knew it would taste good on zucchini too, and it was way to hot to roast my veggies in the house, so I grilled mine on my grill outside. I served mine with grilled hamburger patties that I melted cheese on, but you could serve it with steak too. This Balsamic Glaze would probably taste delish drizzled over a cooked steak too! In fact, it was soooooo good, I licked my plate clean! Enjoy!

Grilled Asparagus and Zucchini with Balsamic Vinegar Glaze
1 cup Balsamic Vinegar (any brand will do)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 1/2 pounds asparagus (I used 1 bunch)
4 small zucchini, sliced diagonally
Olive oil
kosher salt

In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce heat to low heat (you want this to keep simmering though, so keep it high enough to do that, but not so high it burns) Keep simmering, stirring occasionally until thick and syrupy, about 20 to 25 minutes. (mine seemed watery for most of the 25 minutes and then all of a sudden it thickened) Remove from heat and let cool. After it's cooled about 5 to 10 minutes I like to put mine into a squeeze bottle, it's easier to drizzle over your veggies that way.
While the glaze simmers, wash your veggies, remove the tough ends from the asparagus, and slice your zucchini on a diagonal, about 1/4 inch thick. Keep your asparagus whole after snapping off the tough ends. Place veggies in a large bowl or cake pan ( I keep mine separate from each other) and drizzle olive oil over the veggies. Then sprinkle as much kosher salt over the veggies as you desire, toss to coat.
Preheat your grill to medium high heat, if grilling your veggies. I used a veggie tray so my veggies wouldn't fall through the grill grate. Place your asparagus and zucchini on the grill, and close lid, cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, then turn and cook 4 to 5 minutes more or until your desired tenderness. Place on plates and drizzle the Balsamic Glaze over the veggies as desired.

If you want to roast your veggies in the oven, preheat it to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil, drizzle the Olive oil and kosher salt on the veggies like when grilling, and layer your asparagus and zucchini flat on the baking sheet. Cook 10 to 20 minutes depending on how tender you like your veggies.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Southwestern BBQ Burgers with Oil and Vinegar Slaw

MMMM I love experimenting with burgers almost as much as with Tacos and pizza. (I think I just love to experiment with food!) I was watching the Food Network Saturday Morning , and Rachel Ray made these yummy looking burgers, you can go to for the original recipe. I just had to give them a try but I tweaked the recipe a bit and turned it into a Southwestern BBQ burger. LOVED IT! The BBQ sauce is yummo, I tweaked it because I was trying to imitate a Sweet Hot Tomato Chutney that I bought at the Boise Farmer's market, loved the flavor... this came pretty close!  I followed her recipe pretty close for the slaw, but used a sweet onion that I grated into it instead of a red onion, and I used celery seed instead of celery salt because that is what I had, but use what you like! I also left out the beer in the burgers.... I don't think it needed it, plus I don't drink it so I didn't have any on had. I think they turned out YUMMO!  ENJOY!!
Southwestern Chili Burgers with Oil and Vinegar Slaw
BBQ Sauce:
1 cup ketchup
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon, minced fresh ginger (remember those convenient tubes of the stuff in the produce department)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika,
1/2 teaspoon Jamaican All Spice
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
Coarsely ground black pepper

Oil and Vinegar Slaw:
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon  ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 pound shredded cabbage slaw salad mix with carrot and purple cabbage (about 1/2 of a small package of the coleslaw mix)
1/4 cup grated sweet onion

For the burgers:
2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup grated onion
Montreal steak seasoning (recommended: McCormick) or coarse salt and black pepper (I used about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon I think)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano,
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons chili powder

Vegetable oil or olive oil, for drizzling
Sliced pepper jack cheese,
Onion rings
Pickle slices or banana pepper slices
Cracked wheat Hamburger buns

Preheat oven according to onion ring package directions,
Put all the ingredients for the barbecue sauce in small pot and cook over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens and the flavors combine, about for 20 minutes. (Just a warning, this thickens and burps as it bubbles so have it half covered with a lid so your stove doesn't get covered with it)

Whisk together the vinegar, honey and oil, in a medium bowl. Stir in the celery seed, salt and black pepper, to taste. Add the slaw mix and onions and toss together. Let the salad wilt up to 10 to 15 minutes.

Get your onion rings cooking
Preheat a grill or griddle to medium.
Put the meat in a bowl with the grated onion and season with steak seasoning or salt and pepper, to taste. In a small bowl combine the Worcestershire with the herbs (crush the herbs with your fingers as you add it to the worcestershire sauce), and chili powder. Pour the herb mixture over the meat and mix thoroughly. Form the meat mixture into desired size patties and drizzle with a little vegetable oil or olive oil. Put the burgers on the grill or griddle and cook for a few minutes on each side.  I cook for about 3 to 4 minutes per side depending on the thickness of my patties. Baste the tops of the burgers liberally with barbecue sauce. Top the burgers with Cheese and let it melt, I turn the heat off my grill at this point, so the burgers don't burn, close the lid and the cheese will get melty after a minute or two.

To assemble, spread both top and bottom of the buns with BBQ sauce, place pattie on bottom bun, next comes a couple of onion rings, then a spoonful of slaw, (the onion rings help hold on the slaw) and if you desire next comes the pickles or banana peppers, and top with the top bun! Serve with chips or fries or a crispy salad.... and get ready for heaven!! YUM!! (have lots of napkins handy)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mom B's Hamburger Stew Pot Pie

Yesterday when I came home from work it felt like a fallish afternoon... and we haven't even had any summer yet!! The wind was blowing terrible and it was cold. I had some hamburger that I had gotten out for dinner but hadn't decided what to do with it yet... I was just hungry for Stew with biscuits like my mom used to make on cold days when I was young and I would come home from school starving .... so I thought why not? it's a cold day and I could definitely use a comfort food  and when I looked I hadn't blogged this recipe yet... I couldn't believe it! So that was the deciding factor to make it for dinner. This is kind of a combination of my hamburger gravy and stew. My mom would always make the Bisquick Biscuits and roll out to about 1/2 inch thick and randomly cut pieces from the dough and place randomly on the top of the cooked stew, then brown the biscuits in a hot oven. My kids have always LOVED this recipe... I hope you enjoy!
Mom B's Hamburger Stew Pot Pie
For the Stew:
1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic (or 1 to 2 cloves, minced)
2 to 3 stalks celery, chopped
 2 to 3 large carrots, chopped
2 medium size potatoes, sliced and diced into bite size pieces
3 to 4 cups water (depending on how much stew you want and how juicy you like it)
3 beef bouillon cubes
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
about 1 teaspoon salt (salt to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper ( or more if desired)
1/4 cup water (to mix with cornstarch before adding to stew)
3 Tablespoons Cornstarch

For Biscuits:
2 1/4 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 cups milk
In a large oven safe pan or pot, brown the hamburger, onion and garlic. I sprinkle a couple of shakes of salt and pepper on my meat while it's browning.
 Drain the grease, then add the chopped veggies and cook for a minute or two more.
Add the 3 to 4 cups water ( you want it a little juicy so your biscuits can soak up the gravy) and bouillon cubes and seasonings, stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then turn down but keep stew
at a simmer and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes or until veggies are tender.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Taste the stew and and add more salt and pepper if necessary. (Sometimes I like to add 2 or 3 Tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar and a couple of dashes of hot sauce for extra flavor. The hot sauce doesn't make the stew hot, it enhances the flavor though if you just add a dash or two.)
Mix your cornstarch into the 1/4 cup water and whisk out the lumps. Bring your stew back to a boil and add the cornstarch mixture to it while stirring and cook about a minute until it thickens a bit. Turn off heat. Let sit while you make your biscuit dough.
Add the Bisquick and milk together in a large bowl, stir with a fork until just combined. Dump onto lightly floured surface (I use more Bisquick)
and knead by hand just about 10 to 12 times (don't over mix or you will have tough biscuits) Roll out into a large circle about 1/2 inch or a little thicker and cut into random shapes and sizes.
Place pieces of biscuit dough, randomly around the top of your stew to cover (if your pan is large you may want to double the biscuit dough)
Bake in oven for about 8 to 10 minutes or until Biscuits turn a nice golden brown color. Remove from oven, and brush the biscuits with butter.
Let sit for a minute or two so you don't burn your mouth when eating! Serve in a bowl or on a plate and enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just had to vent a little frustration.......

Why is it that when you like a product it gets discontinued or changed??? I have had this happen to favorite hair gels and sprays, until I have a hard time finding those products.... and now it's happened to my favorite Brat bun!! UGH!!!  I LOVED Wal-marts brat buns and we were going to have them for dinner the other night.When I went to buy the buns I couldn't find them anywhere. I asked the clerk at the counter and she said "Oh, we've changed those, they are right over here.." and pointed me to what looked like regular sub sandwich rolls, way tooo big for a brat. But I thought, okay.. I'll give them a shot...
BUT there is more bun than brat, and the texture and taste has changed. They aren't as chewy and are sweeter than the others I used. Goodness , now what do I do when I want a good brat bun??? Guess I will have to use the Walmart hardrolls.... I still love those for least until they decide to change them too!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

I found this recipe on the site. And I love the flavor of lemon all most if not as much as chocolate! These cookies were awesome! Really a soft cookie with a tangy lemon glaze on them. YUM! I think I ate 5! The only thing I did different was make a little more glaze than the original recipe, and I still had to scrape the bowl to get enough to ice all the cookies. I used 2 cups powdered sugar instead of 1 1/2 cups and 1 more tablespoon of lemon juice which I posted here. Enjoy!

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
Serves: 44 cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice (or a little more)
1 lemon, zested

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.
Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. If the glaze is still on the thick side add another 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice to it.  Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Banana Cream Pie with a twist!

If you know me, you know I don't care for banana's much... they have to be a certain color, yellow but still slightly green for me to even eat one, and I don't like banana flavored anything! But this pie recipe looked way too good to not try!! It was awesome!! It's made with Sugar cones for the crust instead of graham crackers and you make the pudding from scratch!! I thought it would be hard and not turn out, but it's way easy!! I found the original recipe in my Food Network Magazine. They topped theirs with Meringue... but to me a pie (especially Banana Cream) isn't a pie unless it's topped with good old fashioned homemade whipped cream, so that's where I tweaked this recipe a bit and I added less salt and a bit more sugar to the crust than the original recipe. Plus, I also put a little shaved chocolate on the top for a garnsih. And this was good!! MMMMM..........
Banana Cream Pie with a twist!
For the Crust:
10 sugar cones
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granualted  sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Filling :
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup granualted sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

2/3 cups semisweet chocolate chocolate chips
2 bananas, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar (more to suit your taste if necessary)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Break up the cones a little if they aren't already (good way to use up broken sugar cones) Pulse the cones, salt and sugar in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Press on the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes; let cool completely.

Make the filling: Bring 2 cups milk to a bare simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar and the vanilla in a large bowl  of electric mixer until smooth and pale. Whisk in the cornstarch.  Temper the egg mixture first by ladeling a spoonful of the hot milk into the eggs while the mixer is whisking, put a couple of ladles in then slowly whisk the rest of the warm milk into the egg mixture. Next pour this mixture back into the saucepan and return to medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the custard thickens and begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat, then stir in the butter until melted. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl (I didn't find this step necessary but if your custard is lumpy I recommend it); set aside to cool, stirring frequently.

Put the remaining 2 tablespoons milk and the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave 30 seconds. Stir until the chocolate melts,  (if necessary, microwave another 15 to 30 seconds) then let cool slightly.
Spread the chocolate over the bottom and up the sides of the crust. Press the bananas into the chocolate, then pour the cooled custard over the bananas. Cover and chill until set, at least 1 hour.

Make your whipped cream topping, but pouring the heavy whipping cream into a chilled mixing bowl (I place my mixer bowl and beaters in the freezer about 1/2 hour before I make my whipped cream so it's good and cold, this helps the whipping cream to whip up faster!)
Whip on high for about 2 -3 minutes, keep an eye on this, you don't want to turn your whipping cream into butter. When it forms stiff peaks, add the powdered sugar and vanilla (and the drop of coconut extract if desired) and stir just to combine.
You can spread the whipped cream on your pie, but I like to put mine in a decorator bag with a large tip and swirl on the top of my pie, then I garnished with a few shavings of semi-sweet chocolate (I had a piece of Hershey's Bliss dark chocolate and shaved pieces with my vegetable peeler, that way you get curls rather than just chips if you do it with a cheese grater)
Serve and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dry Rub and My Favorite BBQ Sauce for Ribs!

I've been experimenting with smoking Ribs, pork roasts, and chicken since we got a Traeger Smoker. So far so good, but I"m still perfecting my Ribs. My favorite way still so far to cook my Ribs is already posted on my blog--see under pork recipes.While I have been browsing through different Rub Recipes I found this one and used in on my Ribs on Sunday. I loved it!! It beats any that I have tried from the store so far and it didn't have any salt in it. You could add some salt to it if you like but I found it didn't need it with all the other seasonings and the BBQ sauce we added after cooking.  I always fall back to using the same basic BBQ sauce recipe on my ribs, once in a while I add Chipotle powder to it, or crushed red pepper. This last time I tweaked it just a bit by adding a little more of a few ingredients so I will post it again here. Both the rub and the sauce would be good to use when grilling or smoking pork or chicken (I haven't tried it on Beef yet). And since it's Summer and grilling season has begun I thought I would share!!  Here's to Happy Grilling!!

Dry Rib Rub
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup paprika
1/3 cup garlic powder
2 Tablespoons onion powder
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon Cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon ground White Pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons crushed, dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Combine all of the rub ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle liberally (or how heavy you desire) on meat that you're cooking. Cook however you desire on a grill or smoker.
This makes a lot of rub, I keep the extra in a ziploc baggie in my spice cupboard.

Di's Favorite BBQ Sauce
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced onion
1 heaping teaspoon, minced garlic
1-1/2 cups water
1 sm. can tomato paste
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1-3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons liquid smoke (I usually use Mesquite or Hickory flavor)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle powder (use a whole teaspoon full if you like more spice
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for a few minutes, then add the minced garlic and cook a couple more minutes untill the onions turn translucent and start to brown slightly. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk to combine. Bring mixture to a boil over medium/high heat. Reduce heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally for 1-1/2 hours uncovered so the sauce will thicken slightly. Remove from heat. Use on ribs or in pulled pork for sandwiches or however you desire. Yummo!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Italian Pasta Salad

I LOVE pasta salad... I make different versions all the time just by adding different veggies and different shaped pasta. I saw this new Ronzoni Garden Delight Radiatore Pasta and had to make it into a Pasta Salad to go with my Ribs on Sunday. YUM!!

Italian Pasta Salad
1 (12-oz) Ronzoni Garden Delight Radiatore Pasta (or pasta of your choice
1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced
1/2 of a green bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large or two small carrots, grated
1/2 (14 oz) can olives, drained and sliced
1/2 to 3/4 cups Kraft Light Zesty Italian Dressing
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to your taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, slice and dice your veggies and olives and place in a large bowl.
When pasta is done, drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again (I dump mine out onto a kitchen towel to make sure the water is mostly soaked up before adding to my salad.) Then add pasta to the bowl with veggies. Pour in your salad dressing (Start with smaller amount and add more if needed) and sprinkle in the parmesan cheese. Toss until everything is coated with salad dressing and parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper, if you desire, to taste. Set in fridge until ready to serve.
I find that pasta soaks up the dressing while waiting to serve, so I taste right before serving and if necessary add a bit more salad dressing and toss to combine.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I know... I've been on a pizza kick lately!! I absolutly LOVE the new pizza dough recipe I found (I've posted it on the last couple of pizzas I've blogged and will again here) It's easy and just the right amount of crispy tender when done. You know I love experimenting with food and especially pizza and tacos so if you like Buffalo Chicken Wings then you will love this pizza. I just randomly put things on it and it turned out Yummo!!! Serve with a crispy green salad and enjoy!!

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup (or maybe a little more) Franks or Louisianna Hot Sauce
1/2 cup Ranch Dressing (or Blue Cheese dressing, which ever you like better)
6 slices provolone cheese
6 slices cooked bacon, diced into bite size pieces
2 cup Pepper Jack cheese, grated (or mozerella or cheddar, which ever you prefer.)

Pizza Dough (see recipe below) you will want to have made this ahead of time

Preheat oven and pizza stone (if you are using one) to 450 degrees. If your not using a pizza stone, prepare pizza pan by lightly greasing with olive oil or spraying with a non-stick cooking spray.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, when melted add hot sauce and stir to combine. Next add your chopped chicken to this and cook and stir for a minute or two until the chicken is well coated with the hot sauce.
When ready to assemble pizza, roll out your pizza dough into the size of circle you need and place on hot stone (be careful not to burn yourself) or onto greased pan.
Next, spread on the Ranch dressing, then place the slices of provolone cheese on your pizza, I put one in the center and the other 5 spaced evenly around the dough. Next comes your chicken and bacon pieces. Pop this into your preheated oven for about 8 minutes. Then sprinkle on the grated cheese, and then it goes back into the oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown underneath and around the edges.

Remove from oven, cut into slices and enjoy!!
**I like mine with a little winger's sauce drizzled over the top (see my previous post for that) you could drizzle this on before baking if desired.

Best Basic Pizza Dough
This makes 2 12-inch pizzas or a single thicker crust 16 inch (that's what I made)

1 packet active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing bowl, dough ball and crust
1 teaspoon kosher salt (regular salt will be fine if you don't have this)
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
1 cup slighty warm water
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, pour the warm water in and sprinkle with yeast, and sugar. Whisk this to combine, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (HINT: do not use hot water or it will kill the yeast and your dough will not rise. I feel the temp on my wrist and if it's just slightly warm, that's what you want to use)
Add the oil, salt and a cup of the flour into yeast mixture.
With mixer on low, slowly add the rest of flour and mix until a dough ball forms. You may want to transfer to a floured work surface and knead by hand until a smooth ball comes together, but I let my mixer do the kneading and let it go about 5 minutes and I add a sprinkle of flour every now and then so the dough doesn't stick to the bowl.
Transfer the dough into a bowl that you've brushed with olive oil. After I put my dough ball into the bowl I turn it so the oil side is up or you can brush the top with a little more oil. Cover this with plastic wrap and place in a warm area for about an hour or until dough has doubled in size.
Then punch down dough and let rest until ready to make your pizza!

Portabella Mushroom Tacos

I love tacos. My hubby and I thought it would be awesome to see if we could do a meatless Monday  and Portabella mushrooms have a grea...