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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies

I was craving cookie today, which doesn't usually happen. I'm not much of a baker, as my boyfriend can attest to. Actually, he had to bake cookies for Santa this year as I burned the living crap out of the ones I tried to make....and although I assured the kids that Santa and his reindeer didn't mean black peanut butter cookies, my boyfriend could not agree. He baked wonderful cookies and I decided on the spot that from there on out he would be the baker in the house. However, tonight he is sick with a wretched cold and I really wanted cookies, so I braved the oven and came up with theses little yummies. They actually came out quite good, but I realized that perhaps it's not my poor baking skills that make for dark cookies, but my terrible cookie sheet. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies
(makes 16)

1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 C peanut butter, crunchy
1/2 C molasses
1/3 C brown sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1 C flour
3/4 C quinoa flakes
2 T carob powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl add butter, peanut butter, molasses, brown sugar and vanilla and beat for 1 minute with a hand mixer, until well combined. Make a well in the center and pour in flour, quinoa flakes, carob powder, baking soda and salt. With hand beater, mix for 2 minutes, until everything is mixed in thoroughly. Make balls of about 2 tablespoons of batter and place on ungreased baking sheet. Take a fork and press down cookies gently with a criss-cross pattern. Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 1 minute on the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool until they harden just a bit. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Poutine Bacon Pizza

I'm from Maine, and we have a rather large county up large we simply call it The County. Up in the county, on the border of Canada, mostly everyone is of French heritage. Somehow I have managed to befriend a great deal of folks that have moved from The County, down to Portland, and the one thing I see them post about constantly on Facebook, after trips home for the holidays, is Poutine. This is a traditional Quebecois dish that consists of french fries, cheese curds and gravy. It's heavenly. Sometimes, it's even served with bacon!

I have been craving Poutine since I went to The Great Lost Bear the other day for lunch and they had it on special. I didn't get it, however, and have been dreaming about it ever since. Then, as a simple twist of fate, I saw a Poutine Pizza on Reddit and I knew, this must be made. And it was everything I had hoped it would be, and more.

Pizza Dough
(makes 2 medium pizzas, or one large thick crust)

3 C flour
1 t salt
2 T sugar
2 T olive oil
2 1/4 t active dry yeast
1 C warm water

Mix the dry ingredients together, then add in water and oil and mix into a dough. Let rest while making the bacon, gravy, cheese sauce and fries.

Heat oven to 400 degrees and spread a 1/2 package of bacon over it. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until done. Set aside.

 Potatoes - as many as you need to get about 1 cup of fries

Slice into fry shape and size and put on the same baking sheet that you cooked the bacon on. Toss in the grease and bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes, until golden, but not crispy. Set aside.

(makes 1 cup)

1 T unsalted butter
1 T flour
1/2 C broth
salt & pepper

In a saucepan melt butter, add in flour and whisk until a golden brown. Slowly add in broth while whisking over medium heat. Once it's a gravy consistency (if you need to add more water, go ahead), add a sprinkle of salt and some pepper, stir thoroughly and set aside.

Cheese Sauce
(makes 1 cup)

1 T unsalted butter
1 T flour
1/2 C cheese (any type - I used cheddar)
1/2 C milk

In a saucepan melt butter, add in flour and whisk until golden brown. Stir in the cheese until combined, then whisk in milk slowly. Only add as much as you need to make a thick sauce, you don't want it too runny. Set aside.

Put it all together as such:

Press out the dough into a pizza pan and top with cheese sauce. Cover with french fries and bacon, then drizzle with gravy. At this point, you can choose to add a bit of mozzarella over the top, but it's not necessary. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Slice and devour!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Breakfast Pizza

The morning after our New Year's Eve party we all needed a protein and bread filled breakfast. I was amazingly clear-headed after a night of drinks, 8 kids, 8 adults, fire crackers and sparklers, so I put my quick thinking to the test and came up with this deliciousness. I used my go-to no rise pizza dough, whipped up a white sauce and tossed on some left-over turkey. Voila! A New Year's breakfast feast. We served this up with some fresh fruit salad to balance it out.

Pizza Dough:
3 C flour
2 1/4 t yeast
2 T oil
1 t salt
1T sugar
1 C warm water

Preheat oven to 375. Mix all the ingredients together and pat into a pizza pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool gently while preparing the toppings.

White Sauce:
4 T butter
4 T flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 T milk

In a pan heat the butter until melted. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Whisk in flour until a nice golden roux forms. Slowly add in milk and bring to a boil, whisking, for a full minute. Remove from heat to let thicken. If it doesn't thicken, over medium heat add in 1 T flour and whisk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cheese - I used a tangy cheese from Ireland, but a creamy goat cheese, or feta would work too.
Cherry Tomatoes
*You could use anything for toppings - spinach, bacon, arugala, sausage, onions, etc. Experiment!

Lastly, take 8 eggs (or however many you want and will fit) and crack over the pizza. Make sure there is a nice high edge crust so the eggs don't run off the pizza. Sprinkle with a bit more cheese and any herbs you want. Bake 15 minutes for soft, runny eggs (watch carefully so as not to overcook them). Bake 20 minutes for hard eggs.