Anyone Hungry?

Ideas, suggestions and thoughts on my favorite topic.

Baby Shower Treats July 19, 2009

Filed under: Appetizers — lindsayrose @ 1:46 pm

Yesterday was my friend Elizabeth’s baby shower.  It was a very special day, and we had lots of fun.  Another thing that there was a lot of was food – oh. my. goodness.  There was a TON of food!  I was in heaven 🙂


I was responsible for appetizers and punch.  I made a delicious White Ginger Punch that was from a recipe Emily had given me, she made this punch for a party she had for Ross and I when we got back from our honeymoon.  I had forgotten just how tasty it was.  It was very easy to put together – I am definitely adding this one to my recipe box for future gatherings!


For appetizers, I made my Mom’s famous cocktail meatballs.  They were pretty popular!  I have written about them in the Herald before, but here is a copy of the recipe.  It sounds absolutely disgusting based on the ingredients, I know.  I wouldn’t have eaten them if my Mom had told me what was in them.  Somehow, when you put it all together, they just taste really good.

Cocktail Meatballs

2 lb ground beef

1 package onion soup mix

3 eggs

¼ c bread crumbs


Combine ingredients and roll into small meatballs.  Place meatballs in a single layer in baking dish. (You’ll probably need 2 dishes).



1 16 oz can sauerkraut

1 15 oz can cranberry jelly

1 12 oz bottle chili sauce

Fill empty bottle of chili sauce with water and add to mixture

1 c brown sugar


Combine ingredients and pour sauce over meatballs.  Bake at 350 for 2 hours, uncovered.

Yield:  approximately 70 meatballs


Also, after my recent experiment with Spicy Three Pepper Hummus, I decided to try a few different types.  I made three, Easy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Basil and Pesto Hummus, and Spinach and Feta Hummus.  They were all pretty good, and so easy to make.  I’ve found that out of the 4 hummus recipes that I’ve made so far, 3 of them needed significantly more liquid to get to the right consistency.  Based on some reviews I’ve read, I use a combination of some extra olive oil and some reserved juice from the garbanzo beans (drain them into a bowl instead of just right down the drain).  While the food processor is on, I just slowly add more liquid, about a tablespoon at a time, until it gets to the right consistency.  It makes a great appetizer and is very quick and easy.  Once you buy a jar of tahini (that will last for awhile), the rest of the ingredients are super cheap.


Congratulations Keith and Elizabeth!  I can’t wait to hold your little man!


Spicy Three Pepper Hummus July 14, 2009

Filed under: Appetizers,Life,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 2:58 am

For the past two years, my sister’s birthday gift to me has been a country concert mega-ticket.  For those of you who aren’t country music followers, this is an awesome gift.  It is a pass to every country concert at Walnut Creek all summer.  The concerts this summer include George Strait, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, Rascal Flatts and Kenny Chesney.  In addition to being awesome concerts, it is great to have a guaranteed night with my sister every few weeks throughout the summer.  We have so much fun, and count down the days to each concert.  If that isn’t a great birthday gift, I don’t know what is.  I have an awesome sister 🙂


Of course, one of the highlights of the concerts is the tailgating.  This year, my tailgating is a bit different of course.  The first concert I just had water, but I felt kind of left out.  The second one, I brought bottled root beer, but then I just felt like people were looking at me like “what is that pregnant lady doing drinking beer”.  This past weekend we went to see Toby Keith, who was by far our favorite last year.  This year he didn’t disappoint, he actually surpassed our expectations.  To toast Toby, I had some fake mojitos made from a mix Ross bought me mixed with some club soda.  They are surprisingly delicious and refreshing!


Along with the drinks, tailgating obviously includes food.  Kara and I start planning our snack menu days in advance.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make this time, but I found this recipe for hummus and I thought it sounded great.  I love hummus, and thought it would be fun to experiment with.  I was proud of Sanford, because I was pretty sure I wouldn’t find tahini anywhere locally, but Lowe’s carried it!


This recipe is quick and easy to make and tastes great.  Like the reviews said, you definitely need more liquid.  Despite my hatred for bean juice, I did reserve some from when I drained the garbanzo beans and added that.  It wasn’t enough, so I added more olive oil and a little water.  To cut on the spice a little bit, I added a little extra lemon juice.  I added only 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper instead of 1 1/2 and it was perfect, it actually gets less spicy the longer you let the flavors work together.  I brought some garlic Parmesan pita chips to eat along with this and it was delicious!


Now that I have a big container of tahini, I am excited to experiment with a bunch of different flavors of hummus!


Taco Pizza July 13, 2009

Filed under: Entrees — lindsayrose @ 2:30 am

I’ve never really stolen anything, but I suppose I’ve come close.  In high school, one of my jobs during the summer was to work at a local ice cream stand.  I ate my share of ice cream (which was ok – I think), but when it got late, we would call our friends who worked at the pizza parlor across the street.  We’d strike a deal – we’ll give you free sundaes if you bring us free pizza.  Probably not the most honest thing to do.  I remember so many of those late nights cleaning the ice cream machines and eating slice upon slice of taco pizza – my favorite from the pizza place. 

As Ross makes super good homemade pizza now, I’ve been thinking of taco pizza a lot.  I decided that this week we were going to try to make it.  I found this recipeon, and it turned out so super delicious.  Instead of making this crust, we used the recipe for crust that Ross uses (recipe in this post). 

The basic idea is to start with a dough – either homemade or store bought.  Mix together a  can of refried beans, 1/3 cup salsa and 1/4 cup chopped onions.  That is spread on top of the dough.  Next, mix together a 6 oz can of tomato paste, 3/4 cup water and some spices including chili powder, taco seasoning mix, and cayenne pepper.  That goes on top of the bean mixture.  Ground beef browned with a little taco seasoning and a splash of water is spread on top.  Sprinkle all with cheddar cheese and bake.

Oh my goodness.  So tasty.  We topped it with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and sour cream when we served it.  This recipe makes 2 pizzas, so we only  made one.  We’re planning on using the leftovers later this week for either another pizza, nachos or some other Mexican concoction!


Ross’ Pizza

Filed under: Entrees,The Herald Columns,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 2:20 am

We’ve never been ones to repeat meals too often in our house.  We love experimenting with new recipes and keeping things interesting.  The past few weeks, however, have been an exception.  Ross decided one day to make a homemade pizza, just to entertain himself for awhile on a lazy Saturday.  Since then, we have a few pizzas a week.  They are excellent, and he’s tweaked the recipe each time until we believe that we’ve reached perfection.  We’ve even made calzones with the ingredients and they’ve turned out amazing as well. 

If you are going to repeat a recipe, pizza is a good choice.  A different set of toppings can make it taste like a completely different meal.  The recipe that we use for dough is based on Tyler Florence’s recipes, with a few adjustments that Ross has made along the way.  It makes 3 balls of dough (or 3 medium sized pizzas), so it allows for many variations of toppings.  We’ve tried broccoli, fresh sliced tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese, pepperoni and portabella mushrooms.  All have been delicious, and we’re excited to keep testing.

The sauce is my favorite part, a basic tomato sauce with some herbs mixed in and just the right amount of sweetness.  Other sauces can be used such a pesto, broccoli pesto (see a great recipe for that on my blog), taco sauce, alfredo sauce, et cetera.  The opportunities are endless – and so are the requests for more!

Ross’ Famous Pizza


  • 1 package active dry yeast 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • Teaspoon of maple syrup

In the bowl of a stand mixer using a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and teaspoon of maple syrup.   Add the flour, a little at a time.  Mix at the lowest speed until all the flour has mixed in. When the dough starts to come together, change the speed to medium.  
Feel the dough, if it’s crumbly, add more water; if it’s sticky, add more flour – 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until the dough gathers into a ball.  This should take about 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times; kneading until it’s smooth and stretchy. Form the dough into a large ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turn it over to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spotuntil doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll and stretch the dough into a cylinder and divide into 3 equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes so it will be easier to roll out.

Roll or pat out a piece of dough into a 12 inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Brush the crust with a thin layer of olive oil, and top with your favorite sauce and toppings.

Basic Pizza Sauce:

  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of onion powder
  • A pinch of sugar (more or less to your liking)

In a medium bowl, Mix together tomato sauce and tomato paste until smooth. Stir in seasonings.

Sprinkle cornmeal on the bottom of a cookie sheet (as in upside-down cookie sheet -we’ve found that this works even better than a pizza stone).  Bake at 500 (or as high as your oven goes) for about 7-8 minutes, until crust is golden brown.


Mom’s Mac and Cheese July 9, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Entrees,The Herald Columns,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 1:32 pm

This one was in the Herald yesterday, but with a mistake by me.  It’s 16 oz of cheese, not 8.  Sorry!

It’s no secret that food is one of my favorite things in life.  When I plan my meals, I have to make sure it is going to be something really tasty.  One of the biggest disappointments to me is eating a meal that just isn’t that good.  It feels like such a waste to me, a missed opportunity for something I love. 

The thing is, for me it isn’t just about the taste.  Sure, I want it to taste good – but it also has to feel good.  I’m a texture person.  It took me well into my teenage years to be able to stomach peas – not because of how they taste, but how they felt in my mouth.  The pop of the outside followed by the mush on the inside was just more than I could handle.  I’m not sure what made me finally get over it, but I’m fine with peas now. 

Often times when planning meals, I plan more around the texture I am craving than the taste of the food.  One of my favorite textures is smooth and creamy.  Whether it is a dessert made of cool whip and pudding or a pasta dish with a rich creamy sauce, these foods are just as satisfying to the soul as they are to the palate. 

Like most children, mac and cheese was one of my favorites growing up, and it still is.  The good ol’ box will work in a pinch, but Mom’s homemade mac and cheese is better than anything else.  My favorite part has always been the fresh sliced tomatoes layered on top with the crunchy breadcrumb mixture finishing it off.  A bite of warm, creamy pasta with the slight tang of tomato and just a tiny crunch is the perfect texture recipe for me.  And just to top it off, it tastes incredible as well.  This is one that you just can’t go wrong with.

Mom’s Mac and Cheese

1 box macaroni (elbows or shells are best), cooked al dente or a tiny bit less

1 tomato, sliced

16 ounce box Velveeta, chopped

¼ stick butter

¼ cup flour

2 to 2 ½ cups milk

1 tablespoon minced onion

Parsley to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup breadcrumbs

¼ cup parmesan cheese


Over low heat, melt butter.  Whisk flour into it, and then add milk slowly.  Before boiling, add cheese, bring to a slow boil.  Add minced onion, salt, pepper and parsley.  Stir in macaroni.  Place in a 13×9 inch baking dish.  Top with parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and sliced tomatoes.  Bake for 30-45 minutes.


French Onion Tomato Soup July 6, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Entrees,Side Dishes,Soups — lindsayrose @ 4:03 am

We just finished the bulk of our kitchen floors!  It was a project that took the entire long weekend, but is well worth it.  We love them!  Now we just have to re-build the energy to do the living room and hallway.  Then we’ll really  be done!


I needed to make a dinner that would be quick and easy since I knew we’d be finishing in the evening.  The stove has been in the hallway all weekend, so we haven’t had a real home cooked meal in days.  By the time we’d get the stove back in the kitchen, there wouldn’t be time for a big meal.  We decided grilled cheese and tomato soup would be quick and easy, as well as tasty.


Well, since I haven’t cooked in a few days, I was kind of in withdrawal.  I hopped on to see if I could find a recipe for a homemade tomato soup that was still quick and easy… and tasty.   I found this one and I am so glad I did.  It was delicious!  The base is tomato juice, but the beef bouillon gives it a hint of a French onion-y flavor, along of course with all of the onions.  A touch of brown sugar adds the perfect sweetness, and the dash of red wine that I added brought a nice flavor.  Broiled with a piece of toasted French bread and some melted mozzarella and provolone, this was the perfect side dish for our grilled cheese sandwiches.


Swiss Steak – or so it’s called July 3, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Crock Pot,Entrees — lindsayrose @ 5:26 pm

This tasted nothing like Swiss Steak to me.  It was delicious – but not Swiss Steak.  But, that’s what they call it in the cookbook, so who am I to change it?  This recipe is from the cookbook Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook.  I don’t really get the title, because I like my mother’s slow cooker recipes, but this has good ones, too! 

The Dr. told me at my last appointment that I need to eat more red meat.  I don’t hate red meat, but I usually make mostly chicken, turkey and pork – and maybe only 1 red meat meal per week.  The past week or so I’ve been trying to eat a lot more.  I found this recipe, and it was also very convenient to have a slow cooker recipe.  Ross is putting new floors in the kitchen this weekend and that limits me to what I can get to.  Having this cook all day and not needing to be in his way in the evening worked out well!

Here’s the recipe.  The chili sauce is what intrigued me – it added a great flavor, with just a hint of sweetness.  We’ll definitely have this again!

Swiss Steak

One 3 pound top round steak, 1 inch thick, edges trimmed, cut into 4 to 5 inch pieces, and blotted dry (OK, that is too much work.  I just got a huge roast and cooked it that way – whole).

1 clove garlic, pressed

2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, to your taste

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2-4 tablespoons light olive oil

1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped carrots (I just used about 3 large carrots, peeled them and cut them into chunks)

1/2 cup thinly sliced celery (again, about 2 stalks just cut into some smaller chunks)

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 cup prepared chili sauce

1 cup vegetable broth ( I used chicken because that is what I had)

Rub each piece of meat with the garlic and Worcestershire.  In a zippered-top plastic bag or bowl, combine the flour, thyme, paprika, salt and black pepper.  Toss the meat in the mixture until evenly coated.  With a mallet, pound into both sides of the steak as much of the seasoned flour as the steak will hold (Since I used the whole roast, I coated it with the flour mixture and skipped this part).

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil until very hot.  Add half the meat and brown on all sides, 4-5 minutes (or just brown whole roast for a few minutes on each side).  Transfer to the slow cooker.  Repeat with the remaining meat, adding oil as needed.  Add the onion to the skillet and cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to the cooker.  Toss the carrots adn celery together in a small bowl adn add them to the slow cooker along with the mushrooms, chili sauce, and broth, making sure the meat is nestled into the sauce mixture.  Cover and cook on low until the meat is tender enough to cut with a fork, 9-10 hours.

At the end of cooking, taste for salt and pepper.  Serve hot with the pan juices.