Monday, September 13, 2010

Apple Walnut Bread

Fall is almost here!

I spend my Saturdays at the pumpkin patch in the fall, so I won't be blogging as much in the coming weeks (probably). But I do have a lot of really delicious recipes I want to try, so I'll do as much as I can!

I started with this bread.

It really shouldn't be called bread.

It's a cake.

But it's baked in a bread pan, so I can eat it for breakfast, right?


You can too.

Start by grating some apples.

Mix up all-purpose flour, wheat flour *just to make you feel better about eating it for breakfast!*, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Then whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients....

And throw in the grated apples, chopped up walnuts, and flax seeds *if you're feeling really crazy!*.

Pour into a bread pan and dust the top with cinnamon and sugar. This makes the top crunchy and sweet. :-) Exactly what you need to get going in the mornings!
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes (mine took almost an hour, but I had a slightly smaller bread pan than the recipe recommended.

Your breakfast needs to be SO good that it motivates you to get out of bed in the mornings.
This bread is that good.
One word of warning: I found out the hard way that this has to be refrigerated. I kept it wrapped up in my pantry, and it spoiled before I could finish it. :-(
Don't let that happen to you!
Here's the link to the recipe. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chicken Pesto Pizza

Let's face it.

Pesto doesn't look very appetizing.

But have you ever actually tried it?

It's delicious! And it's especially delicious on pizza dough with chicken.

I made some. It was superfacil. (That's my really correct Spanish word for "really easy!")

You start with olive oil, basil (I hit up the farmer's market), parmesan cheese, garlic, nutmeg, and either almonds or pinenuts.

I used almonds. Pinenuts were about 3 times the price, and I'm on a teacher's salary.

Don't judge.

Toast the nuts for just a couple minutes.

Grate the parmesan cheese. Freshly grated cheese is always so much better.

Toss the basil, almonds, parm, garlic, and olive oil into a food processor (I stole my mom's - I don't think she's noticed yet!). Blend until you get a good consistency.

Like this! Mmm....add nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. If you are a pesto junkie and want to make three batches, like me, grab some freezer baggies, date them with your preferred language, and throw them in the freezer!

So now it's time to DO something with this beautiful sauce! How about pizza?
If you don't have the time or resources to make your own pesto but still want to make pesto pizza, grab a jar of this the next time you're at the grocery store:

I love this stuff. Even though I now know how to make my own pesto (and have enough to last about a year!), this is still really great.
Ok. It's pizza time.
I got this pizza dough recipe from my dear friend Candice, who left me two years ago for Texas. She's pretty great, and so is this dough.
It's super easy and quick, and doesn't even need to be kneaded. It just needs to rise after it's stretched out on the pizza stone, either before or after putting the ingredients on. (The recipe is at the bottom of this post.)
I sprinkle some cornmeal onto a pizza stone, stretch the dough out over the stone, spread on some pesto, toss on some pieces of cooked chicken, top it with cheese (I use the 6-cheese Italian blend), and throw it on a grill.
Have you ever had grilled pizza?
I'll never go back to oven-baked pizza.
Even in January.
I'll shovel my deck for this pizza. That's how good it is.

And it bakes in 4 1/2 minutes! I crank the grill up to about 500 degrees and, very soon, the crust is fully baked and the cheese is melted. It's perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.

Here's a close-up:

Delicious. The dough can really be used as a base for just about any kind of pizza; I just think it goes best with pesto.


2 c basil
3/4 c Parmesan cheese
3/4 c olive oil
1/4 c almonds or pinenuts
3 garlic cloves
nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste
Pizza Dough
2 tsp yeast (1 packet)
2 T sugar
1 c warm water
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 c flour
2 T oil
Mix together the yeast and water and allow the yeast to proof. Add the rest of the ingredients; mix until combined.
Yes. It's really that easy!