Pizzas that don’t have a name & fun with Butterscotch Pudding

So…

I made these wonderful pizzas the other day! Before this, I never made pizzas with a rolling pin. I didn’t have one, so I would use a tall glass. Now that I do have one, I can’t believe I ever went without. It’s so much funner to make pizzas when you have a pin! The dough shapes very well, & is pliable, yet flexible when you roll it out, something I hadn’t previously seen in my past pizzas (although still good pizzas!). I was able to actually toss the dough lightly in the air & spin it around with my hands, to widen the circumference of the circle. It was insane, just to see myself doing that & not having it fall apart or tear. A couple of days ago, there is no way I would have believed myself to be able to do that with pizzas. Also, I forgot to take a picture of the bottoms, but I will the next time, because they looked absolutely delish. Anyhow, back to those wonderful pizzas

Funny thing. After I made the dough I discovered that I had no tomato sauce, tomatoes, or even tomato paste! -.- So I went in search of a quick fix, because I didn’t feel like making a white sauce, which would have been my back up idea originally. I went searching through all of our cupboards and found a lonely pack of instant gravy, which I think went rather well, seeing as how these pizzas tasted amazing!

For the other toppings, I used; Grilled Cajun Veggies (broccoli, radishes, celery & caramelized onions), seasoned Ground Beef (brown your ground beef, add 3/4 cup beef stock, salt, pepper & a dash or two of all-spice &  simmer on medium-high heat until the beef stock is reduced/absorbed)  & Swiss Cheese, yumm =)

Here’s the link to the pizza dough recipe I used. Got this off All-recipes, very good recipe & I wouldn’t change a thing. Unless your adding some chopped herbs, lemon zest or other additions to the recipe, that would be awesome :P I added 2 tbsp zesty Italian dressing, but it didn’t seem to change the flavor at all, so I don’t suggest that :P I don’t have a pizza stone, but these turned out great on normal baking sheets.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/valentinos-pizza-crust/detail.aspx

There you have it! Experiment & have fun =)

Now for the Butterscotch Pudding. I used the recipe in the Joy-Of-Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer. I highly suggest browning your butter first, & using a much darker brown sugar than I did. I just used your regular brown sugar, which probably accounts for the lighter color. I also suggest adding a little less cornstarch than what the recipe calls for. These had a wonderful, melting flavor, although their light colour & slightly too thick texture thoroughly disappointed me. I will definitely try making this again, with a few changes. I had 4 leftover tart shells that I froze from when I made those Canadian Living Butter Tarts, so I pulled those out before dinner, & then after dinner I filled them with some butterscotch pudding & sprinkled a little nutmeg & sugar over the top & baked them for 8-10minutes. Those were to die-for, we devoured our 2 each before we even started on our puddings themselves :P

All in all, a good night with good food & good chill. Peter spent the night kicking butt in Diablo 2: LOD while I played Zelda: twilight princess for wii. I am incredibly jealous of how quickly Peter finished Diablo 2. He went through normal mode & is currently playing on nightmare. Can’t remember exactly. It only took him 3 evenings of playing the game. Meanwhile, the last time I played the game it took me weeks just to get past the stupid Desert area!! (the one area I hate going through). Peter always told me that you can fly through the game if you use a Necromancer, but I didn’t realize they were that awesome :P I always use an Assassin. I love her magic spells, the fire trap & her decoy are my favorite. While Peter continues with Diablo, I am in the City in the Sky, in Zelda: twilight princess. I’m just about to get the double hookshot, I have my Oocoo saved in the same room I get it. Or room before, I don’t exactly remember. The massive circular room with all the deku thingies & bats in random places :P Once I’m done with this Zelda, I plan on playing the 1st & 2nd one, Ocarina of Time & then Majora’s Mask for the N64.

Here are some photos of the food, click the thumbnails or photos for the full size picture =)

Have a pleasant day!!!

Pretzels, Grilled Veggies, Chicken & Harry Potter

I made these pretzels a few nights ago, & wow they were amazing! You have got to try this recipe, I found it on All-Recipes, here’s the link to it =)

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/buttery-soft-pretzels/detail.aspx

The first batch & about half of the second batch was obliterated the first night & the next evening we devoured what few were left. They were ridiculously good, & we don’t come across mall pretzels very often, so it was a real treat to make ‘em! Check down a little lower for pretzel pictures, oh & you can see the full size image by clicking on any of the photos =D

I also have a couple pictures below of the vegetables & chicken that I grilled. The grilled goodies were used for making sandwiches out of the first batch of pretzels! I grilled cucumber slices, red pepper strips, radish slices & tomato slices ;)

I’m going to make bagels in a couple days here, super excited about that. I’m going to scour the web for good bagel recipes, but if anyone has any they know, shoot them to me!!

Also, for dinner tonight I am making us a hearty chicken stew using your basic potatoes, onions, carrots & celery. Going to serve it with some noodles, I was going to do parsley dumplings, but I realized I’ve been making a LOT of bread lately & Peter could probably use a little change :P :P

Watching Harry Potter #7 part 1 right now & trying to get the nerve to finally make my first souffles. They are fresh fruit souffles that I am making out of persimmon & oranges. I’m feeling a Harry Potter night coming on so when Peter gets home I’m going to see about going & picking up our copy of HP7 part 2 from over at his parents place (we left it there for them to watch =) Wish me luck on those souffles! Peace & Happy Friday,

Sheila

Sweet Mesquite Chilli & Canadian Living Butter Tarts

Hello & welcome to my new blog, The Fragrant Strawberry. I’m Sheila Pereira, the host of this empty little page. My plan for this blog is to start out by posting recipes of my own, as well as reviews of recipes that I have tried of others, & pictures. For most recipes I will have starting, in between & finished pictures of the food that I make. I adore anything that has to do with food, so if you ever find a cool spice, rub, mix, salad dressing or anything that you want to share with me (your own or store stuff, anything!), please do not hesitate to do so! My favorite form of cooking is really, baking savory & sweet goods. I also like to cook in the oven, on the stove-top, on my little indoor grill, in the toaster oven, etc. If you can cook food in it, then I love it. Truly, I love all forms of cooking & baking and I want to spend my life learning all there is to know about food, and to experience it all!

On to my first recipe of my own, ever put on the internet. Now, for those of you who are used to chilli’s, this is not your typical chilli. There is no chili powder in here (although I do give you some room at the end to add some if you wish), & it’s made with fresh tomatoes. No canned tomatoes, you won’t find em here. Also, you need either a food processor, chopper or emulsifier. If you really want to make this recipe & you don’t have any of those, just take a potato masher to the third tomato & spices. It’ll be a little chunkier, but hey, I would do it! =) I just made this last night for dinner & wrote out the recipe after. The ingredients list isn’t exactly in order, but I’ll get better at that ;) I feel like the directions are pretty straight-forward but if you have any confusions or questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I mean it! :P Don’t forget to check the optionals* at the bottom of the recipe before you start cooking, they are rather helpful. First things first,

Get your rice going, whether your doing it on the stove-top or in a steamer. Unless it’s fast rice,then you need to wait until just before the chili is done to make your rice.

Now for the recipe–

Sweet Mesquite Chilli

Sheila Pereira

Ingredients:

  • 3 tomatoes (leave one aside for food processor)
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 ½ tbsp sriracha
  • 3- 4 tbsp Kirkland (Costco brand) sweet mesquite seasoning
  • 1 cup barley (dried)
  • 1 cup split green lentils (dried, or you may replace this with your own choice of canned bean)
  • 2 cups baby carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • beef stock, enough for 4 cups water
  • 4 cups water
  • 1tsp powdered mace
  • 2tbsp hard margarine
  • 1tbsp cornstarch + 1/4cup cold water= whisk together to make a slurry
  • 1lb ground beef

*If you do not wish to add a cornstarch slurry to the chilli, then just simmer with the lid off until the sauce has reduced a little more (about 5min?)

Directions:

Start by dicing your onion, celery and carrots. Put the 2 tbsp hard margarine into a frying pan & turn onto low-medium heat. Place the veggies you just chopped up in the frying pan and stir them lightly with a spoon or spatula. Add your ground beef to the frying pan & crumble accordingly. Chop up your 2 tomatoes and throw them in the pan. Pour in the 4 cups of beef stock & give it a light stir. Take a food processor, chopper or emulsifier & puree the last tomato, the ketchup, sriracha & mesquite seasoning together. Set aside. Drain your 1 cup of barley in a sieve & add to the pan. Add your split green lentils as well. Toss in your mace & stir lightly. Add your seasoned tomato puree to the pan & stir into the chilli. Place a lid over the pan & simmer on medium heat for 20-26 minutes. Remove lid & add slurry to chilli. Stir in the slurry & let it thicken for 1-2 minutes before removing from heat.

Serve with rice

*If needed, add 1-2tbsp water & mix in to the chilli if the slurry thickened it too much

**If you are using a different seasoning other than the Costco mesquite, make sure you use one that has some salt in it, because that is where the salt comes from in this recipe. Or, add a little salt (to your taste) if you are using a spice mix that does not have any salt in it

***If you wish to add some more spice to it, 1 diced jalapeno or 1tbsp of chilli powder will do nicely (Personally, I like it as :P)

There you have it! Here are a couple pictures of when I made it last night;

Veggies! NOM

The chilli just starting up

The seasoned tomato puree

Completed Sweet Mesquite Chilli!

Close-up!!

Please let me know how it turns out if you try this recipe =) Any reviews of my recipes are very welcome, more than welcome, as any reviews will help me to understand how my recipes do (or do not) work for other people & whatnot. It would be cool to see some photos too, if you happen to have a camera, take a pic for me! =)

One last thing before I sign off for now! Below this is a link to the Canadian Living’s website & to their best butter tarts recipe. Super delish when I made mine, the only thing I would change about the recipe is to add just a teensie bit less vinegar to the tart filling itself (possibly 1/2 tsp instead of the 1tsp).

http://www.canadianliving.com/food/baking_and_desserts/best_butter_tarts.php

Here are my pics of the tart shells before baking and when the whole shebang is done.

 

tart rounds cut into halves, to make minis 

   

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Let me know if you make the tarts also,

Sheila =)

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