delicious · dinner · dinner ideas · food · foodithinkiloveyou · from scratch · healthy · jam · lemon · pizza

Prosciutto-Arugula Pizza and a Very Sexy Fig-Pear Spread

image3 (3)There is nothing sexier than these two ingredients: prosciutto and arugula. I mean,  think about it. Prosciutto is the softest, most delicate piece of salty deliciousness. Arugula, is fun and nutty, but oh so satisfying when you take that first crunchy bite. I thought, why no pair those ingredients with a Bosc pear-fig spread? A little sweetness always benefits from the beautiful balance of salt, right? So, to honor the fact that I’m back from a long hiatus, tonight I made a pizza with all of these sexy ingredients.

Now, in order to REALLY enjoy pizza, the crust has to be just right. I’ve tried a lot of pizza dough recipes out there and made a mess of some of the best (I’m sure), but only one turns out perfect every single time. It’s a perfectly crispy crust on the outside and soft on the inside. Mr Bobby Flay’s pizza dough recipe is The One. Try it and you will not regret it. There are a couple of recipes out there, but this is the one I recommend. This is the one you have been looking for. Note: Make sure you use just enough dough for the size of pizza you are making.

image2 (6)Next I prepared my toppings. I chopped 1/2 of a Bosc pair (my favorite of all pairs!) and about 6 dried figs. In a small pan I cooked them down with some water, a splash of lemon juice, one teaspoons of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. I smashed it all together to create a spread for the pizza.

image1 (8)Once the dough was done, about 10 minutes later in a 450 degree oven, I drizzled with olive oil, the pear-fig spread and put back in the oven for about 4 minutes. Simple enough, right? Next, I added some prosciutto, arugula and of course some shaved Parmesan cheese. The outcome, a perfect pizza for one.

 

 

 

brunch ideas · cheese · creative dishes · creativity · culinary · delicious · dinner · dinner ideas · food · foodithinkiloveyou · fries · from scratch · fun meal · healthy · ingredients · meal ideas · parmesan · seasoning · spinach · yum

Food for the Game & Love for the Food

As many of you may know the Super Bowl is next weekend AND as you may also know, the best part of the Super Bowl is THE FOOD. Okay the commercials are pretty fun, the game is cool, family, friends but c’mon…the food is the best part!? Pizza, tortilla chips and guac, chicken wings, potato chips, nachos, queso dip, I can go on and on. So of course I will be watching (i.e. stuffing my face) the game next Sunday! Any event that allows me a week in advance to begin a conversation with “let’s talk menu” is an event for me. This is exactly what I did yesterday, started planning the Super Bowl menu.

Here’s what will be causing me to miss the best Super Bowl commercials and the play of the evening next Sunday:img_4599

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp appetizers is making a comeback after being a hit during the football game on Thanksgiving. This time, however, they will be accompanied by a cilantro dipping sauce. People expecting to see the good ol’ buffalo chicken wings will absolutely forget about them (forever) after they taste these shrimp babies.img_5332

Mini Baked Empanadas will be sitting front and center when the game begins. I’m prepping these a day before since that can be an event of its own. Last time I made these they were amazing in their full empanada size so I imagine they will be even better when limited to only a few bites. For the filling I will attempt a cuban style picadillo using ground beef, pepper stuffed green olives, raisins, green bell peppers and spices. I’ve never attempted this filling, but I’ve had it many times at my favorite cuban restaurant. Wish me luck!fullsizerender-19

Ceviche is something I love to make during summer months because it’s refreshing and super easy. My dad taught me how to make ceviche and his is the best I’ve ever had so I’m letting him take that dish. All we use to make this is fish (any white fish works), cut in small pieces, lime juice (I like to use a lime/lemon juice combo), chopped tomato, onion ( I prefer red onion), cilantro and salt. My dad doesn’t know this, but I also use a little of paprika just to give it another layer of flavor. You can make the ceviche the same day, but my dad recommends letting the fish marinade in the lime juice over night. I’ve prepared it with much less time than that and can tell you that after about 40 minutes it’s pretty darn good! Once you strain the juice from the fish (otherwise it’s too sour), add salt and the chopped ingredients. Mix and sprinkle some paprika and start dipping your tortilla chips or better yet have on a tostada the way it’s meant to be had (not on game day).img_5337

Braised Brisket Loaded fries, is something I’ve been wanting to make for a while now. Since I’ll be totally over-eating I want to rescue some calories by baking the fries. I know, I know, but I’m going to make a paprika seasoning to make you forget the fries are baked and it will be absolutely delicious! I’m also going to make an cilantro chimichurri to add some freshness and some pickled onions for pizzazz, texture and pretty color. Okay, you can’t have loaded fries without cheese, so yes I will be using some cotija cheese to keep them light, but also very flavorful. Keep a look out for this picture, it’s going to be kind of amazing!img_5028

Baked Oysters Rockefeller, recently inspired during my trip to New Orleans, will be something I will be making for the first time. I’m a little nervous because I’ve never baked oysters in my life, but considering I use my oven quite often I’m sure I can figure it out (right?). My goal is to reproduce my favorite baked oyster from The Royal House in NOLA with a spinach, bacon, wine? and cheese? Well, as you can see I will be tasting as I go to make sure it turns out just as good as the ones I had in NOLA. I can’t wait!

Okay so I know you’re probably asking yourself where the game food is, right? I mean, what’s with all this fancy stuff? Bring out the potato chips and crack open the cheese dip. Well here’s the thing. This year one of my resolutions was to stop eating packaged foods and cook more (#cookmore). So I will be making everything from scratch. It’s just so much better to eat things we actually make and avoid all the artificial preservatives and extra pounds of salt and sugar found in packaged foods. So, I hope you share the love for clean, home cooked meals because this year is going to be filled with ’em!

Now that we have a plan, menu, strategy and incredibly delicious visuals. Let the games begin!

 

 

banana · banana pancakes · birthday breakfast · blueberries · blueberry pancakes · coconut · from scratch · pancakes

A Perfect Pancake Batch Match


You’re probably thinking, “Is breakfast all you eat?” Let me assure you that while I absolutely love my morning meals I do not have it all day every day, even though I would totally be fine with that. This has been an unusual eating week, but from it did come some good ideas that I will be producing and sharing soon. In the meantime, I want to tell you about some pancakes I attempted from scratch for the very first time. I usually buy the pancake mix because I thought it would be faster or produce fluffier pancakes but I was wrong. Making pancakes from scratch takes the same amount of time, makes fluffy pancakes AND I don’t have to worry about added preservatives or unknown ingredients listed on the box of the pancakes mixes.

This time around I made two types of pancakes: banana-coconut pancakes and blueberry pancakes. It was my boyfriend’s birthday weekend so I gave him the choice. Can you guess which one was my pick? The blueberry of course, but then again I knew he would pick banana so no risk for me there!  Having just made banana nut bread a week ago, I thought I would give his pancakes a different kick by adding some sweetened coconut flakes. You just wait and see what I did with that.

The first thing I did was mix an egg, 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 1 ¼ cup of almond milk (you can use any milk type) and 3 tbsp of melted butter together then set that aside. I combine 1 well rounded tbsp of cane sugar, a pinch of sea salt and 3 tsp of baking powder. With a hand mixer I combine all the ingredients until mixture was fluffy (fully is the word of the day, can you tell?). I mashed 3/4 of a banana in a bowl and set aside about ¼ of it to slice for the finished pancake. Split the batter in half and pour one half in with the mashed bananas. To the remaining half of the batter add ¼ cup of blueberries. *Make sure the blueberries are not wet when you add to the batter so they don’t all settle on one side of the cake. This is especially important when you make some kind of fruit muffin or cake so the fruit doesn’t just sit at the bottom of the pan. It will give your cakes even fruit distribution throughout.

Melt butter on a flat pan and cook your pancakes until all its pretty dimples are exposed. That’s when it’s time to flip. Not before and not after. Trust that the batter is cooking without constantly doubting and lifting the pancake “just to make sure”. Believe me, I know this feeling all too well.
Once each side is golden serve the banana cakes by placing the banana slices on top, sprinkling sweetened coconut flakes and drizzling maple syrup on top. Yum-Mee! I also recommend fresh strawberries along with the slices of bananas to give it a bit of a tropical flair, but it seems not everyone is into strawberries as much as I do. (WELL!)


To my blueberry batch I added fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries on top and drizzled with maple syrup. You can use any of the three, but I like the combination of all the fruit as it adds tartness and variety to each bite!