Monday, June 30, 2008

Tomato-Basil Pizza

Last night I made Tomato-Basil Pizza. I found the recipe over at The Pioneer Woman Cooks (I love her recipes!). It was SOOO good and easy too.

First you make your favorite pizza crust. I made my regular pizza dough except that I used olive oil instead of regular vegetable oil.

Then you spread some prepared pesto (but don't get too happy with it like I did) on the crust and sprinkle it with some kosher salt. Top with sliced fresh mozzarella, then thinly sliced tomatoes (we finally have some ripe), and finally sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Bake according to the directions for your crust. I bake mine at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

Mine doesn't look quite as pretty as The Pioneer Woman's, (a little too much pesto and not quite enough cheese) but it tasted absolutely great, if I do say so myself. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Homemade Pimiento Cheese

*Edit below*
Pimiento Cheese is a staple here in the South. I especially love to make it in the heating anything up. If you don't like pimiento cheese, you've never had it homemade. :) The store bought stuff isn't good at all.

Here's my recipe (adapted from Paula Deen's recipe):
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise (the real stuff, not Miracle Whip)
1/2 teaspoon or so of Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Salt
a little grated onion
a 2 oz. jar of pimientos, drained
freshly ground black pepper

I stir the cheeses together first, then add the rest of the ingredients. It's good on crackers and makes wonderful sandwiches. I usually have to make a double batch around here. Everyone loves it.


To make your own version of Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Salt (although it's not exactly the same), use:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix well and store in a shaker.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Easy Homemade Salsa

Moralia requested the homemade salsa recipe that I mentioned in my last post. It's not really a recipe, but I'll try to share with you how I make it.

I start with one large can of diced tomatoes. We do have some tomatoes growing in the garden, but they aren't ripe yet. I also include onion, garlic, a jalapeño pepper (fresh from the garden), cilantro (from the store, my cilantro plant isn't big enough yet), and salt.

I don't chop everything up before putting it in the blender. Cutting the pepper and onion in a couple of large chunks works just fine. I dump the tomatoes in first, then add about 1/4 to 1/2 an onion (I didn't use all of the onion you see in the first picture), a whole jalapeño (seeds and all), a small handful of cilantro, and garlic and salt to taste. Today I used minced garlic from a jar, but fresh garlic works well too. Just be careful not to overdo. Fresh garlic is STRONG! Also be careful not to touch the pepper and then touch your face. I've learned that lesson the hard way!

Then blend everything until it's the texture you want. Super easy! I'm pretty sure it will keep in the fridge for several days, but I don't thinks it's ever lasted more than 24 hours at my house. My husband nearly drinks the stuff. :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Easiest Cake Ever

This is a tried and true cake that I have been making for years. I'm not sure where I originally got the recipe. I think it may have been something I had at a ladies Bible study and thought it was just wonderful. It truly is the easiest thing in the world. It doesn't even require a bowl to mix it up in.

It's great for times when you've straggled in from vacation and want to make something yummy and homemade, but haven't finished all your laundry or unpacking. :)

There are all sorts of variations of "dump cake", but this is the one I make most often. It's a Cherry-Pineapple Dump Cake.

Just gather the following ingredients:

1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling
1 package white or yellow cake mix
1 stick butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped nuts. I usually use pecans or walnuts.

By the way, cans of Cherry Pie filling are on sale right now at Wal-Mart for $1.

Spread the pineapple in the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan.

Top with cherry pie filling.

Sprinkle cake mix evenly on top of fruit. Melt the butter and drizzle on top of cake mix, then sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

It smells absolutely wonderful. I was thinking that it would be the perfect thing to pull out of the oven right before an open house. I usually serve it warm with ice cream, but it's plenty yummy (and full of sugar) all by itself.

Marcia was telling me last night that "Cherry-Pineapple Dump Cake" isn't a good enough name for it. She thinks it tastes too good for such an ordinary sounding name. She suggested it be called "heaven on your plate". :) I won't disagree.