Monday, May 25, 2015

Pepper Jelly

Every year I go to the farmers market and buy pepper jelly.  I love it. I kept hearing how simple it was to make it but I'd never made jelly or jam before.  Actually, I've never canned anything. I saw my sister in law's recipe and I decided to give it a shot.  

I'm glad I did and it turned out awesome.  If you're scared of spicy, don't worry. It is an awesome blend of sweet and spicy.  My favorite way to eat it is probably with crackers.  With or without cream cheese is good.  I ate it for breakfast on toast for many days. 

I didn't can mine.  That was still intimidating for me.  I ate a whole bunch and gave some away so it all worked out well. 

I even threw some in a bowl of steamed veggies.  I loved it and it was fantastic!  I'm just sorry it took me so long to make it!  

Pepper Jelly Recipe
1 poblano pepper
1 green bell pepper
2 jalapeno peppers
2 anaheim pepper
1 orange habanero pepper
1 1/2 cups vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin

Remove stems, cores, and seeds from all of the peppers, chop them into large chunks. Put all peppers in food processor and process till finely chopped.

Put peppers and vinegar into big pot and bring to a boil. After about a minute, turn the temperature down and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Add sugar and turn heat up to medium high, and stir constantly while bringing it to a rapid boil. 

Remove from heat, add pectin. Stir well.

Pour jelly into sterilized jars, leaving about 1/8″ inch space on top. Wipe rims, place lids on top of each, and affix the rings. Water bath / process for 5 minutes.

Or just pour into jars and give away and use within a few weeks. I didn't process mine. 

Allow jars to cool.

If you want clear jelly just strain the peppers for juice (put a coffee liner on a metal strainer). Then just use the juice and add the sugar to the juice and proceed from there. I personally love the chunks in there though! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

French Bread Pizza

Our family eating habits have changed a lot over the last decade or so. We used to be frozen pizza lovers. Now, I haven't bought a frozen pizza for over a year.  I do like to make homemade dough and homemade pizza.  While delicious and way more healthy than frozen pizza, it is a lot of work and it just doesn't happen as often as we would like. 

I was visiting Ashley's blog Rainstorms and Love Notes for the Secret Recipe Club and found this French Bread Pizza. This was a duh moment for me.  I can't believe I haven't been making this for years.  We buy this bread all the time.  They sell it in a 6 pack at Sam's Club and my kids love to make sandwiches out of it.  Why have I not turned it in to pizza before this??!!

Well, thank you Ashley for helping me to see the light.  We've already made this like 3 times this month.  It's so awesome cause everyone can make theirs how they like it.  Mine with ham, onion and pineapple, The daughter with just pepperoni and cheese. The boys are just pineapple and peppers and the husband will eat just about anything.  It's so easy that the kids can even make it themselves.  That works for me. See, we're all happy.  

Ashley from Rainstorms and Love Notes has a wonderful blog full of scrumptious recipes.  Her recipe list is awesome. Her Chicken and Waffle Bites are the cutest and tastiest looking things I've seen in awhile. I hope she doesn't mind me taking a picture off her blog but I just have to show you the picture of these things. 

Aren't those the cutest!!  Maybe I will make these WITH the French Bread Pizza next time!  Oh,  I would be popular with the kids that night!!

French Bread Pizza Recipe

1 French bread loaf, cut in half lengthwise
pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese
Italian seasoning, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
desired toppings - pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham mushrooms, peppers, onions, pineapple, whatever you like

Toast the French bread in the oven at 350 for 5-7 minutes. This will help the bread not to get soggy. 
Top the bread as desired.
Bake for another 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. You can broil it for the last few minutes to get the pizza extra crispy.

SH Wordpress (plug-in): [inlinkz_linkup id=512165 mode=1]

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tex Mex Pinto Bean Spread

Do you like dip as much as I do?  I love to try new dips and spreads and sauces.  I love how you can make a sandwich with the same ingredients, but just change the spread on it, and it turns into a completely different sandwich.  I used this Tex Mex Pinto Spread instead of my usual Cilantro Jalapeno hummus on one of my veggie sandwiches and it was amazing!  My family thought me crazy to put beans on a sandwich.  Then they tried it.  They love it too.  Sad, only because now I have to share.

I put this on my Taco Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing and it was perfect. The salad is awesome as is but this just brought it to a new level and I won't make it without the dip again now!

It may not look the prettiest of food but the taste is all that matters.  

Tex-Mex Pinto Bean Spread
From Steak n Potatoes Kinda Girl

  • 1 - 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice (or more if you love lime!)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 jalapeƱo pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato 
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin seeds, toasted (optional)

Place first 6 ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth. Place bean mixture in a bowl. Stir in chopped tomato, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds if desired.

Great with tortilla chips or Taco Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Stuffed Honey Ham Biscuits

This recipe combines everything that we love.  My son is famous for making biscuits all the time.  He makes them several times a week and eats the whole batch.  With honey of course.  We also eat a lot of ham and cheese sandwiches. I've mentioned before that ham is a staple in our fridge.  

I saw this recipe idea and knew it would be a hit.  I made them right away and they disappeared very quickly.  We've since made them several times.  We've used different cheeses but the kids like Colby jack the best.  I've made a couple myself with a bit of spicy mustard inside. We made them once with roast beef and Swiss but the kids liked ham better.  I tell you, they are totally ham fans.  In any case, these are incredibly easy and very versatile.  Delicious!

Stuffed Honey Ham Biscuits Recipe
Adapted from Making Memories With Your Kids

1 can Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers refrigerated biscuits
8 slices cheese, I used Colby jack
8 slices deli cooked ham
1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray
Separate the biscuits into 8 biscuits. 
Carefully separate or make a pocket in each of the biscuits. 
Fold a piece of ham and a piece of cheese and put it in the biscuit. 
Put a small plop of honey on top of the cheese. 
Cover with the other half of the biscuit and pinch the edges closed making sure the ham and cheese aren't sticking out.
Repeat with the other biscuits. 
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and brush with honey. 
Serve warm!!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Taco Pizza

With all the tex mex food we eat around here, you'd think that I would have made taco pizza, right? I've made burritos, chimichangas, fajitas, tacos, and enchiladas. I've even made homemade Churros. But never a taco pizza. 

What's even more incredulous about the fact that I have never made a taco pizza is that the Taco Pizza is probably my husbands favorite pizza. You know those pizza buffets?  Well he makes sure to always order a taco pizza for the buffet so he's sure to get it.  Yet, I've never made him one. 

Well, thanks to Heathers blog, It's Yummy to My Tummy, I found a taco pizza to make.  I found several recipes I'd love to make for the Secret Recipe Club but as soon as I saw the taco pizza, I was hooked. 

Heathers blog is chock full of wonderful recipes. We seem to have started blogging for similar reasons.  She says that she just likes to share recipes with friends and is often asked, "What is the recipe?" I used to get that all the time! This has been a great way to share recipes that I love with friends!  

One of my favorite parts of her recipe was the crust. I've made crust before and it wasn't TOO different but this crust was the best. It came together super easily and the texture out of the oven was perfect!  That's the part I've been disappointed with crusts, the texture.  It's always too crispy or not crispy enough. This was perfect! I actually made the crust again and made pizza again the next day for lunch for the kids.  Even they loved the crust.  This is for sure my go-to crust from now on. 

The taco pizza sauce really was amazing too. It is a combination of pizza sauce, taco sauce and refried beans.  It really is good.  Heather made her meat sauce a bit different than I did.  She did the traditional beef with taco season packet and water.  I make my taco meat using ground turkey, a couple tablespoons of taco seasoning, salsa and refried beans. I don't measure, I just add enough to make it look good. The kids don't even know they are eating beans in the taco meat.  You can use whatever taco meat recipe that you use.  I sometimes add some chipotle seasoning for a different taste.  

This pizza was amazing.  The crust was perfectly crunchy.  The sauce with the meat and oooey gooey cheese was amazing and the Doritos on top just made it perfect.  It looks messy but it really wasn't.  My husband has already requested it again. I'm sure it won't be too long before I make it again!

Taco Pizza

Taco Pizza Sauce:
  • 2/3 cup of taco sauce
  • 2/3 cup of pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup of refried beans
Taco Meat: (**see note below for alternate method)
  • 1 package of taco meat seasoning (about 1/4 cup taco seasoning) 
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 lb. of ground beef or ground turkey

  • 1 1/2 cups or so of taco blend cheese or mozzarella cheese
  • Pizza Crust (see below for recipe, or a pre-made crust) 
  • Toppings: 
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Chopped tomato (or could use salsa)
  • Doritos or similar taco chips, broken up
  • Optional toppings:
  • Sour cream
  • Sliced black olives
  • Diced onions
Prepare crust per recipe below or use a pre-made crust. Brown ground beef, drain fat if needed. Then add in water and taco meat seasoning and simmer for a few minutes.

Prepare taco pizza sauce by mixing together taco sauce, pizza sauce, and refried beans. Mix until smooth. 

Preheat your crust for 5 minutes at 425 if you haven't already. Top pizza crust with sauce. Add some of the taco meat, sprinkle with the taco blend cheese and layer with more taco meat. 

Place in a preheated 425-450 degree oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and brown. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes. Then add your desired toppings of shredded lettuce, broken up Doritos chips, and chopped tomatoes.

Pizza dough/Crust recipe
1 package of dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups flour 

Dissolve yeast in warm water, sugar, salt, and flour. Add in 1 tbsp olive oil to mix dough until smooth. Roll into a ball and cover for about 15-20 minutes. Next divide the ball into two sections and roll out or spread onto a greased cookie sheet or pizza pan. I used a pan with a silpat liner.  Preheat the crust for 5 minutes before adding toppings.

**Alternate method for making taco meat: 
1 lb. ground turkey or beef
2 tbsp. taco seasoning
about 1 cup salsa
about 1/2 cup refried beans

Cook meat and add the rest and stir. I don't really measure here, I just throw it together until it looks good.  You can play around with flavors by using different salsas or you can add some chipotle seasoning.