Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fun Food: Recipies and Stuff I Do or Use

I am known to experiment in the Kitchen and have posted a few recipes over the past year.  I've got a couple that are great for the kiddos and adults, and are just plain fun.

Mini-Biscuit Pizzas

1 can of large flaky biscuit dough
1 bag shredded Italian Blend cheeses
1 jar of pizza or spaghetti sauce
Toppings of your choice (we used Italian sausage crumbles, sliced bratwurst, and mushroom slices)

Flatten each biscuit by hand until you get a raw dough circle about 4 or 5 inches in diameter.  Put about 1 tablespoon sauce in the centre and spread it around with the back of a tablespoon.  Sprinkle cheese shreds to taste.  Add toppings but take care to not overload them.  Bake on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray at 400 degrees for 12 minutes in a preheated conventional oven or 17 minutes in a preheated toaster oven.  Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then enjoy.

Yes, I realize this is not the same thing you'd get from a Pizziola from a place like Pizzaro's Pizza Napoletena.  However, in a pinch it's still pretty good and it's a big hit with the kids.

Brewing Coffee at Home
Simple and yet beautiful
Makes great coffee
Although I am a big fan of Starbuck's Coffee, as well as Katz's and other high end brands like Peet's, I mainly brew my coffee at home to save money and get it the way I want it exactly.  I don't own a Keurig or Tassimo Coffee maker however.  Those little T or K cups are not environmentally friendly and I am making efforts to be responsible in this regard.  I've found the easiest way to brew one cup of good coffee is to use a pour over Funnel from Melita, and a mesh cone-shaped Filter Basket I bought at Kroger.  Both items together cost less than $10.00.  The mesh filter basket is washable/reusable and doesn't waste paper via coffee filters.  It also allows more natural coffee oils to get into the brew, and you can help this process along by stirring the grounds as you pour in the boiling water.  It makes a for a bolder cup of coffee, that has interesting dark swirls of coffee oil in it as you stir the cup.  When you're using high end brands like Gevalia or Peet's, the level and complexity of flavour you get is notable, but even with Ikea or Seattle's Best Coffee, the flavour is stronger and more complex.

I also bought a traditional style Espresso Brewing pot from Ikea--one that you use on the range-top.  I was given a fancier one a long time ago, but the assembly and dis-assembly and cleaning was a pain in the neck.  These old school European style espresso pots are easier to clean and maintain, though you do have to keep an eye on it to make sure you don't end up dry boiling the water chamber.  And although it doesn't have a frothing nozzle, I'm just fine pouring in Sugar in the Raw and Half-N-Half and enjoying it that way (Ghetto-Latté style as some snooty baristas have called it).  The pot was under $20.00 and it makes enough espresso to serve 2 adults.  Given how much money we spend on coffee and coffee making apparatuses, it is amazing what good, full flavoured coffee can be brewed at home with simple, old-school technology.

Still, I do like a Caramel Macchiatto with steamed milk at a high end coffee place from time to time as well.

Movie Mix 
Okay, this is pretty silly, but since I enjoy this, and my kids enjoy this, I thought that a few of you readers might like it as well.  I confess, I smuggle boxed candy into the movie theatres when I go see movies.  It's way cheaper than buying them at the theatre.  However, I will always buy drinks and a large bag or bucket of popcorn if I'm there with the kids or a whole crew.  When it's me and my kids, we like to add candy to the popcorn when its hot and let it melt and mix in a little.  My son and I like Milk Duds.  My daughter and I like Mike and Ike's or Sour Patch Kids.  I have to make sure to put them in separate areas so they don't get too mixed up in the overlap.  Something about the salty buttery crunch of the popcorn mixes just soooooo goooood with these candies and it makes watching a great movie like Marvel's The Avengers just that much more enjoyable.

As always readers, my continued exhortation is for you to
Eat Happy!!!
Zao an, y'all!!! 

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