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I discovered what could be a very dangerous feature on my bread machine – the quick dough setting.  I was skeptical at first.  How could good dough only take 45 minutes, including the preheat?  Well it was the most tender dough.  Very smooth and supple. And in only 45 minutes?  I definitely see a lot more pizzas and rolls in our future…which can’t be all bad.


We were debating what to bring to our neighborhood block party and pepperoni rolls were in the running.  I grew up on these rolls but haven’t had one in years.  After assembling the rolls and smelling them in the oven (and taking a few sneak pieces of pepperoni!), I knew they wouldn’t make it to the party.



Pepperoni Rolls

Make your favorite, go-to pizza dough recipe.  I sincerely hope you have a quick dough setting so you can enjoy these rolls that much sooner.  My recipe is from this book and makes a 1 1/2 pound loaf.  For the Pepperoni Rolls I made the Basic Pizza Dough.  For pizzas, I usually make the whole wheat pizza dough because I like the nutty-ness. ‘Cause I’m nutty that way.

After the dough is complete I divided it into two balls.  Roll out one on a floured surface, into about a 12″ square.  Layer pepperoni with shredded mozzarella.  Roll the dough up like a pepperoni-y Ho-Ho and place on a baking sheet.  Do the same with the other dough half and let them rest and rise again, about 1/2 hour.  Brush with an egg wash and bake at 400 about 30 minutes or until golden brown.


Slice and enjoy.  Best served room temp, but who can wait that long?


A few weeks ago we made an 18 pound pork butt (which makes me giggle every time) for pulled pork sandwiches.  What?  Does that seem like a bit much for just a few people?  Well, that pork has been re-purposed into 4 dinners and 3 lunches.  Such a bargain!  It freezes well, reheats well, and is versatile enough to be southern style pulled pork with a vinegar-y BBQ sauce one night to baked egg rolls the next night.   The last of the pork butt showed it’s versatility once again last night in Enchiladas Verdes.  Ordinarily made with chicken, the recipe I use is a hybrid Cooking Light / Tyler Florence recipe.  The real star is the tomatillo salsa.  I always make extra to pour over the enchiladas or dip some chips in.  And, since it’s tomato season we whipped up some fresh tomato salsa using Mag’s recipe. I’m not a huge tomato fan. OK. I hate them. Also can’t stand fresh cilantro, onion, or peppers. But when you combine them and dip salty chips in them?  Fantastic.


Made for some good, pre-enchilada snacking.


Enchiladas Verdes

Adapted from Cooking Light

Salsa verde:

  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 pound tomatillos (about 15)
  • 1 1/4  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3/4 White Onion roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 lime
  • a few drops of green Tabasco sauce

Peel the tomatillos and rinse off the sticky bits.  Place in a sauce pan with the chicken broth, salt, jalapeno pepper, white onion and garlic.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes or until tomatillos are soft and cooked through.  Turn off the heat.  Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth.  Add the cilantro and the lime juice and puree the cilantro into the salsa.  Add the Tabasco to taste.

Enchilada Filling

  • 2 1/2  cups cooked shredded chicken or pork
  • 1/2  cup  fat-free or reduced fat cheddar
  • 1/3  cup  finely chopped onion – I just use the 1/4 of the onion I have left from the salsa.
  • 1/3  cup  minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/3  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3  cup  fat-free sour cream
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lime juice
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1 package of soft flour tortillas

Mix all the ingredients well in a large bowl.  Taste for seasoning.  It tastes like a yummy mexican chicken salad, doesn’t it?

Spray a casserole dish or 9X13″ baking pan with cooking spray.  Assemble the enchiladas by placing 1/4 of a cup of mixture in center of the tortilla and roll.  Place seam side down on the baking dish.  Pour the tomatillo salsa on top, reserving about 1/4  for later.   Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes until heated through and bubbly.

Serve with a side of black beans and sour cream.  So.  Good.

The sewing has been a bit slow going these past few weeks but I have spent the early days of August in the kitchen.  My cooking mo-jo was on hiatus June and July since we usually just grill food in the summer and my husband claimed the grill as his (and it was a wedding gift no less – rude!)  so it feels good to be back at it.  It all started with a trip to the meat market in the town where we have a cabin.  We decided to try their boneless pork ribs (just a pork loin butterflied and scored to look like ribs) and I wanted to try a homemade BBQ sauce to go with it.  I saw an old episode of Barefoot Contessa in which she makes BBQ sauce.  A quick google search landed me here and Smitten Kitchen’s recommendation was all I needed. Plus, the lengthy ingredient list did not call for ketchup or sugar – two things I hate to see in a BBQ sauce and was heavy on the vinegar – a must!  The sauce did not fail to impress and we are hooked.  We’ve used that sauce at least three times this week and are making it again tomorrow.  Unfortunately I do not have any photos of any of the wonderfully sauced foods we enjoyed this week – maybe next week!

I did make a red velvet cake for my husband’s birthday as well.  I finally found the perfect red velvet cake recipe, here. It has the perfect blend of sweet and sour and the baking soda/vinegar combination makes it feel like science.  We were shopping at Whole Foods a few days earlier and saw their darling birthday cakes with polka dot fondant.  My husband commented on how cute they were so I decorated his cake with dyed marzipan:

dan birthday

Cute, eh?  Yeah, not so much if you’re a guy.  Apparently this wasn’t a manly enough birthday cake so next year he’ll get one shaped like a hammer or something.

I was still in the mood to cook so the next morning I made a tortilla espanola for brunch before we had to take my brother to the airport.  I lived in Spain for several months in college (I would never say I ‘studied’ in Spain since I hardly ever went to class!) and this dish was a staple in the house I lived in.  I had been craving it for quite a while, but since I usually do not eat potatoes (South Beach Diet) and my husband isn’t crazy about eggs (weirdo) I never made it.  My mom and brother seemed like the perfect audience!  It was delish and definitely cured my craving.


All I did was dice up two red potatoes and 1/4 of an onion.  I browned both in a 10″ skillet, with a bit of olive oil,  on medium/high heat until the potatoes were cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.  It’s not a very exacting process.  While they were browning I whisked 8 eggs in a bowl with a splash of water.  When the potatoes were done I spooned them into a smaller bowl and scraped off any browned bits from the pan.  I added a touch more oil and put the eggs into the skillet.  After about 1 minute or so (again, not very exact) I added the eggs and onions back to the skillet.  I didn’t want the potato pieces to stick.  I covered the eggs with a piece of foil to help them set up.  Once it looked like the bottoms and sides of the omelet were browned (I just pulled the sides away with a butter knife) I put the whole pan under the broiler to set up the top.  All finished!  I turned it up-side-down on a dinner plate and sliced it into wedges.  I think it’s best served room temperature, like they do in Spain, but feel free to enjoy yours at whichever temperature you choose.  I also had my slice with some pickled sweet peppers we made a few nights before – perfect combo!

There is more cooking in store for this weekend!  Hopefully next week I’ll get back to sewing…

August 2009
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