Life, Love and my passion for cooking

My photo
Carson City, NV, United States
I grew up in Illinois in a small town. I moved to California in May of 2000.In that time I have experienced life, love and my passion for cooking. We now live in Nevada. I hope to take my passion for cooking to a new level.

gourmetpompey

type email here for updates to my blog

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Beer Crust Pizza


Beer dough: this makes two large crusts.
  1. 3 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 cup wheat flour
  3. 1 packet yeast- Highly active yeast
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary and oregano finely chopped
  5. ¼ cup brown sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 teaspoon pepper

Liquid Ingredients:  heat to 105-110 degrees
1 cup warm beer- boddingtons is my favorite.
1 cup warm water

Toppings: this is my favorite combination of toppingsJ
½ cup sliced red bell pepper
½ cup sliced green bell pepper
½ cup sliced yellow bell pepper
½ cup sliced orange bell pepper
2 cups pizza sauce- mine is homemade but it’s a secret!
2 cups shredded Mozzarella
1 pound lean good quality hot Italian sausage- slice sausage in half and cook in a pan until slightly pink.
2 large cloves chopped garlic
About 6 slices fresh mozzarella for the top.

  1. In a large mixing bowl add the first 7 ingredients- mix well.
  2. Warm beer and water in a glass purex measuring cup about 1 minute in the microwave.
  3. Add the warm beer and water to the dry ingredients
  4. Place dough with flour and knead a few times just to shape into a nice round ball. Add about a tablespoon of Olive oil to the bowl and coat the dough. Cover tight with plastic wrap and set in a warm place until it doubles in size or until it fills up the bowl.
  5. After the dough rises take the plastic wrap off and punch the dough down. Separate it into two rounds put the other round in a ziplock freezer bag and let most of the air out and you will have one for next time. Unless you are making two.
  6. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface. There is plenty of dough to make a thick crust or roll out thin and make two smaller pizzas. Roll out so that it fits onto your pizza stone or pizza pan. Spread the pizza sauce then top it with shredded mozzarella, the bell peppers, garlic, and Italian sausage. Then add the fresh sliced mozzarella to the top.
  7. Place into a 350 degree oven for 20-25 min. Let cool slice and enjoy!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Snack Bars


Chocolate fruit snack bars


Courtesy of eatingwell.com



  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened puffed wheat cereal or what ever puffed cereal you have on hand.
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped medium-fine- I used walnuts
  • 1/3 cup salted roasted pepitas (I used unsalted).
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries. (I used a mix of dried fruit from Trader Joes).
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds- I used flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Bittersweet chocolate chips
Preparation
  1. Position a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 300°F. Line an 8-inch-square pan with parchment paper, letting it overhang on two opposite sides.
  2. Toss cereal, pecans, pepitas, cherries (or cranberries), sesame seeds and ground flaxseeds in a large bowl.
  3. Combine honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the honey is more fluid and the salt is dissolved. Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and fold until everything is moistened and sticky. Let cool for 5 minutes. Fold in chips (or chopped chocolate) until evenly distributed. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a fork. Using the back of the fork, press the mixture very firmly all over. (Alternatively, cover with parchment paper and press firmly all over.)
  4. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 35 minutes. (If in doubt, take it out so the honey does not burn.) Run a knife along the unlined sides of the pan to detach the bars. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Use the ends of the parchment to lift the bars from the pan. Gently peel off the parchment. Use a heavy sharp knife to cut into 16 bars or squares.

Italian chicken soup

 
Italian Chicken Soup 
Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman
http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/09/italian-chicken-soup/
  • 1 box Ditalini Pasta (very Short Macaroni-type Pasta Noodles)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Cut Up Fryer Chicken
  • 8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 2 whole Green Bell Peppers, Diced
  • 2 stalks Celery, Diced
  • 2 whole Fresh Jalapenos, Diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 can (28-ounce) Can Whole Tomatoes (I blended mine up)
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Oregano- I had dried oregano.
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper, To Taste
  • Parmesan Cheese Shavings, For Serving
Preparation Instructions
Cook pasta in a pot according to package directions, being sure not to overcook it. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Toss in 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.
Place chicken in a large pot or dutch oven and cover in chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer chicken, covered, for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and leave covered for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and shred meat. Discard bones and set meat aside.
Dice canned tomatoes and return them to their juice. Set aside.
Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and oregano and turn off heat, stirring over the next minute to keep oregano from burning. Set this aside.
Either pour off chicken broth into a separate container or use a new pot to saute onion, green pepper, celery, and jalapenos in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add chicken broth, shredded chicken, and tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add cooked pasta,  and all the oregano and olive oil from the small skillet. Stir to combine. Turn off heat.
Serve with lots of Parmesan sprinkled on the top--the more the better! Crusty Italian bread is good, too.
I did not add heavy cream to mine. A little low fat sour cream might be good mixed in. I am not a big fan of creamy soup. This soup was amazing without it!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Farmers Market

I am so happy it is Friday. The farmers market on Friday mornings in Whittier is something I really enjoy. The fresh organic fruits and veggies taste amazing. I notice such a difference from grocery store produce. The prices are cheaper and you get to buy organic. Here is a photo of some of my finds at the Friday morning Farmers Market. Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Leaha's Brownies

Brownies


Ingredients:

3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

2oz dark chocolate chips- melted
2 Tablespoons butter or oil
1 egg beaten
2 Tablespoons fat free sour cream
2 Tablespoons chocolate chips- don't melt
2 Tablespoons vanilla
1 t strong coffee
1/4 cup brown sugar

Line an 8x8 pan with foil and spray with non stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350.

Melt the butter and dark chocolate- if using oil just melt the chocolate and add the oil.
Add the brown sugar and mix until dissolved. The mixture will look slightly grainy. Add sour cream and vanilla then whisk in egg. Stir in chocolate chips.

Fold in dry ingredients. Spread into foil lined pan and bake at 350 for 20min.