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Showing posts from August, 2017

The Best Pizza Dough for Mimi

This picture does not include a picture of my pizza dough.  But it was taken at my favorite pizza place in the world- Vinnie Van Go-Go's in Savannah, GA.

I have toiled in vain to make a homemade crust that is in any way similar to Vinnie's.

I'm not going to say I've done it, because I haven't.  But what I can say is I think this version is the closest I'll ever get.

For 10 years I have played around with basic pizza dough recipes, trying to find one that yields a thin, crispy crust, with bubbly edges.

I think there are two things that make this possible... very high heat (most home ovens can't get hot enough) and 00 Italian flour (it makes such a soft, pliable dough).  To manage the heat problem, I usually cook my pizzas on the grill, and let it heat to at least 600 degrees.  Hopefully one day my husband will build the wood fired pizza oven of my dreams.  And to manage the flour issue, I order my flour from Amazon.

Here's the basic recipe and process:

Cucumber Pico de Gallo

Normally, when I make pico de gallo, I use tomato, red onion, and jalapeño.  This week, the garden is spewing forth dozens of cucumbers, so I'm throwing those in as well.
There really isn't a recipe for pico... you just throw whatever you want in there.  I'll list what I used, but I also won't give amounts.  If you don't groove on onion, use less.  If you don't like cucumbers, don't use them.  Do whatever makes you happy!
Cucumber Pico de Gallo
6 lemon cucumbers, diced (I don't seed mine) 6 roma tomatoes, diced (I squish out the jelly stuff so the mixture doesn't get too soupy) 1 small red onion, minced 1 small jalapeño, minced Fresh lime juice Red wine vinegar Olive oil Salt
Mix everything up and let it sit at least 30 minutes before you attack it.  If you have the willpower... I never do!

Pasta in the Instant Pot

Continuing my streak of amazing suppers in my Instant Pot, tonight I offer you pasta!

So I read several different recipes for spaghetti in the Instant Pot.  They seemed fairly formulaic, and most used jarred pasta sauce (which I never have around).

So armed with some ratios, canned tomatoes and penne, I set out to make supper.

Was this perfect?  No.  Was it good? Yes. Will I do it differently next time? Yes (but I never really do anything the same way twice).

For the sake of posterity, I will call this recipe 3 Cheese Mushroom Pasta.

3 Cheese Mushroom Pasta

1/2 box of penne pasta (you could also use regular spaghetti noodles, I just didn't have any)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
8 large cremini mushrooms, sliced
28oz (2 14.5oz cans) fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 cups water or broth
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs oregano
2 sprigs basil
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or mozzarella
1/4 cup finely shredded asiago or Roma…

Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Instant Pot recipes are everywhere!  You can't open your Facebook page without reading 10 posts about this appliance.

I jumped on that bandwagon about a year ago when my husband bought me an Instant Pot for my birthday.

Before recently, I used the pot to make ribs, or baked potatoes, or the occasional butter chicken.

Recently, I purchased a new one with a yogurt button, and I have rekindled my romance with the instant pot.

This meal was my first attempt at pot-in-pot cooking, or PIP for hardcore "potheads."

There are lots of dishes and accessories you can use for PIP cooking, but I don't own any of those yet, so I did the best with what I had on hand.  The meal turned out beautifully!

Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Make sure the silicone liner is in the lid of your instant pot. (I learned that the hard way).  Take the liner out of your pot and put it in your work area.  I have found that this cuts down on the chance that food falls down between the liner and the heati…


My local grocery store had ribs on sale this morning. Plus I had a coupon for $2.00 off!  So tonight, we had ribs. 
I used my instant pot to cook them, then finished them in a 400 degree oven. 
1 rack St. Louis style ribs- I used pre-dry rubbed 1 can of beer- I used Apricot Blonde 1/2 cup of whiskey 1/2 cup water 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon onion powder 1/4 cup molasses Bbq sauce- apply after cooking
Put everything but the ribs and beer in a mason jar and shake it up well. 
Put the ribs in the liner pot. Wind them around so they fit nicely. Pour the beer over the ribs. Then pour the whiskey over them. 
Put the liner in the instant pot, close the lid and cook on manual for 30 minutes.  When the timer goes off, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When the oven has pre-heated, release the pressure.  
Put the ribs on a greased cookie sheet. Brush with Bbq sauce and cook 15 to 20 minutes. 

Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers

This meal is a perfect example of how I tend to cook.

According to my husband, I am a digital hoarder- and I've come to believe he's right.

I have thousands of things pinned on Pinterest- the vast majority of these pins are food related. I could cook a recipe a day until the day I die, and I still wouldn't get through all those pins.

Most afternoons I come home from school and take off my shoes. Then I grab my iPad and head to the couch to peruse my Pinterest boards to find an idea for supper.

Because my garden is producing a plethora of poblano peppers right now, I've been collecting recipes to use up our bumper crop. Today, I found a recipe for stuffed peppers- and I had all the ingredients!  So I jumped up, closed my iPad, ran to the kitchen, and did what I wanted to do. And it was pretty much entirely different from the recipe. Because... Creativity!

Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers

4 Poblano Peppers
1 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
4 oz cream cheese, softened

Sunday Supper Potato Soup

I love potato soup. It's one of those things you can whip up with only a few ingredients, or you can take it over the top. Tonight I kept it pretty simple.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic or use garlic powder
1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken broth or stock
1/4 cup cream
4 oz. cream cheese

I started by sautéing the onion and garlic over medium heat until they began to brown. Then I added the potato, salt and pepper. I let it hang out a while, then added the broth. I brought it to an active simmer, and let it go for about 20 minutes. After testing the potatoes to make sure they were done, I tasted it and adjusted the seasoning. Off the heat, I buzzed it up with my immersion blender. I left it a little chunky. Then I put the cream and cream cheese and put the lid on. I let it sit for about 5 minutes to let the cream cheese melt. After a quick stir, I ladled it into bowls and that was that!  If you…