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September Stockpile: Day 11

This entry is part 13 of 17 in the series September Stockpile

Today’s freezer stock-up item will take two days to make.  It is not that one cannot get the recipe done in one day, it is just that my schedule works better to do it in two separate days.  So today I made pizza dough and tomorrow I will be making pizzas for the freezer.  I am really excited to add this to the Stockpile because they are relatively easy to make and only take a few minutes in the oven to finish when ready.  I am thinking they will be great for lunches at home (either weekday or weekend).

So here is the recipe I have for pizza dough.  It is an authentic Italian recipe for dough and I really enjoy it!

Pizza Dough:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (if you would like a crunchier crust, use 1/2 semolina flour, 1/2 all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. honey (or agave nectar, if you prefer)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3/4 c. cold water
  • 2 1/4 tsp. (1 – .25oz pkg) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 c. warm water (105-115 F)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar

Procedure:

  1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the 1/4 c. warm water in a non-reactive container (glass/plastic/nylon) and let proof for 10 minutes.
  2. Place 2 cups of the flour in a large food processor.
  3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine salt, honey, olive oil and cold water.  Mix well.
  4. Start the motor of the food processor and slowly pour the honey mixture through the feed tube.  Add the proofed yeast.  Process until the dough forms a ball on the blade.  If it is sticky, add more flour, 1/4 c. at a time.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth, about 2 minutes.
  6. Place into a bowl lightly greased with olive oil and turn to grease top.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until almost double in volume, about one hour.
  7. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.  Roll each piece into a smooth, tight ball. Coat with olive oil and place on a sheet pan or dish and cover with a damp towel.  Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.  You can also freeze the dough at this stage (just place the oil coated dough into a plastic bag for freezing).
  8. Two hours before baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
  9. Lightly flour a work surface.  Use the fleshy part of your fingertips to flatten each ball of dough into a circle, about 6 inches in diameter, making the outer edge thicker than the center.  Turn the dough over and repeat.  Lift the dough from the work surface and gently stretch the edges, working clockwise to form a 7 -8 inch circle.  Repeat with the other 3 pieces.
  10. Sprinkle a wooden peel or baking sheet with a generous amount of cornmeal.  Place the circle on the peel or baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil.  Build your pizza as desired.

This seems like a lot more work than it is.  It is just that the steps are very specific.  As always, I recommend that you read and re-read the recipe BEFORE you start the process. Join me tomorrow when we have all the fun of putting together the pizzas and par-baking them.

 

Nest Building

September Stockpile: Day 12

This entry is part 14 of 17 in the series September Stockpile

If you missed day one of Pizza Preparation for the September Stockpile, check out the post, here.

There is nothing like homemade pizza!  We don’t make it often enough, but I am so pleased we now have nine lunch portion pizzas in the freezer!  Oh, and we got to have great pizza for dinner tonight.  Life is good!

So here is the deal on how to make pizzas for the freezer.

Ingredients:

  • flour for dusting
  • cornmeal for dusting
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • tomato sauce or pizza sauce (whatever you prefer)
  • mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • various toppings (today we used: pepperoni, cooked crumbled bacon, cooked cubed chicken, pesto, basil, caramelized onions, sautéed cremini mushrooms, artichoke hearts, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic)

Procedure:

  • Two hours before you want to prepare the pizzas, set out dough to bring to room temperature.
  • Place pizza stone on bottom rack of oven.  Pre-heat to 500 F.
  • Lightly flour a work surface.  Use the fleshy part of your fingertips to flatten each ball of dough into a circle, about 6 inches in diameter, making the outer edge thicker than the center.  Turn the dough over and repeat.  Lift the dough from the work surface and gently stretch the edges, working clockwise to form a 7 -8 inch circle.
  • Sprinkle a wooden peel or baking sheet with a generous amount of cornmeal.  Place the circle on the peel or baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil.  Build your pizza as desired.
  • Once topped, check to make sure the pizza will move over the peel or baking sheet by shaking it lightly side to side.  If it will not move, gently peel back the edges and place more cornmeal under the pizza.
  • Slide the pizza off the peel/baking sheet onto prepared hot pizza stone.  Cook for 8 minutes or until crust is browning and cheese is bubbly.  Use the peel/baking sheet to remove from the stone.

OR

To freeze: Only bake pizza for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.  Place pizzas into separate freezer bags and freeze.

To use from frozen:  Place pizza stone on bottom rack of oven.  Pre-heat to 500 F.  Place frozen pizza on pizza stone and cook until the cheese starts to bubble.

With these toppings we were able to make: Classic Pepperoni Pizza (3), Chicken Pesto Pizza (2), Four Seasons Pizza (2), Margherita Pizza (2), Capricciosa (the kitchen sink traditional Italian), Bacon and onion pizza, and one cheesy garlic bread.   I had 12 pizza dough portions to use because I tripled yesterday’s pizza dough recipe.

Here are some of the results:

Nest Building

September Stockpile: Day 13

This entry is part 15 of 17 in the series September Stockpile

Welcome back to the September Stockpile!  We over half-way through September and I am really getting that freezer filled with lots of wonderful food.  I know I am going to be really happy for the hard work completed this month after the baby gets here!  And I have to say, I am looking forward to eating some of these yummy recipes.

Today’s recipe is for easy lunches, even on the go.  It is for chicken empanadas.  The recipe itself is not incredibly spicy or flavorful, but when I eat these, I prefer to add a little bit of salsa on the side.  The basic nature of the recipe helps when you have lots of different palates; some that like spicy and some who prefer mild.  Oh, and this is a great clean out the fridge of leftovers recipe.  I don’t have specific amounts because it is such a leftover magic recipe, so all the amounts are estimates.  Here is the recipe:

Chicken Empanadas

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. celery, diced
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 + 1/2 c. cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 c.  sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. mayonaisse
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • egg white (to wash tops)

Procedure:

  1. Set out pie crusts and cream cheese a little ahead of time, allow to come to room temperature and soften.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.  Line a pan with parchment paper or silpat.
  3. Combine all ingredients except pie crusts and egg in a bowl.
  4. Roll out pie crusts and cut out circles with a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter (or a glass).  Take one circle and put 2 Tbsp. of chicken mixture on top.  Top with another circle and press down the edges.  Crimp with a fork.  (To make appetizer size empanadas, use one pie crust circle and 1 Tbsp. chicken mixture, fold over and press down) Repeat with remaining pie crust circles and chicken mixture.
  5. Brush tops of empanadas with egg wash.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

To freeze: Allow to cool completly and flash freeze.  Remove from freezer and transfer to freezer bags.

To use from frozen: Microwave on high for about 90 seconds or until warmed through. Serve with salsa.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Nest Building

September Stockpile: Day 14

This entry is part 16 of 17 in the series September Stockpile

I guess I really got into the fall mood this week, because I decided to get the house all fall ready and when D and I went on a date, I got a hot coffee beverage.  Nevermind that the temperature outside is 108 today…yes, 108 toward the end of September.  So, it is difficult to get in the full mood just yet, but today’s recipe has got me looking forward to Thanksgiving already.

Today’s recipe is an ultra-comfort-food, fall dish: Anytime Chicken and Dressing!  mmm…this was good and everybody really liked it.  We had enough for dinner and for two “our family sized” pans for the freezer.   After eating it for dinner, I am very happy that we get to eat it again a couple times in the next couple of months!  The recipe is from Busy Moms Weeknight Favorites (one of my favorite family cookbooks).  Here it is:

Anytime Chicken and Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 7 green onions, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 10 cornbread muffins, crumbled (about 3 + 1/2 c.)
  • 1/2 (16 oz.) pkg. herb-seasoned stuffing mix
  • 5 c. chicken broth
  • 1 + 1/2 c. chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning (I added more)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add green onions and celery and saute 5 minutes or until tender.
  2. Combine cornbread and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; add sauteed vegetable mixture, stirring well.  Spoon dressing into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish (I made it in three 8 x 8 pans).

To bake without Freezing: Bake at 350 F, uncovered for 45 minutes or until lightly browned.

To freeze: Cover tightly with foil; freeze up to 2 months.

To use from frozen: Pre-heat oven to 350 F, remove and discard foil.  Bake for 1 hour or until lightly browned.

 

This one is a must make.  Give it a try.  As you can see we couldn’t wait to eat it.  Then I remembered I needed to take a picture.

 

 

Nest Building

September Stockpile: Ham & Cheese Croissandwiches

This entry is part 17 of 17 in the series September Stockpile

I can’t believe we are in the last week of September and I am 15 days away from my due date!  I am pleased that I have been able to fill the freezer this month and still have enough energy to get things done around the house.

So today’s recipe is for quick lunches for my husband to take with him when he goes to work so he doesn’t have to buy lunch.  The recipe should be modified because the amount of dressing this makes would dress way more sandwiches than the rest of the recipe makes.  I made the recipe for the dressing as normal, but doubled the sandwich recipe and still had WAY TOO much left over.  I would cut it in half or in a third.   So here’s the recipe:

Ham and Cheese Croissandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp. coarse-grained mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. grated onion
  • 2 tsp. poppy seeds (optional)
  • 8 large croissants, split in half
  • 1 lb. deli ham, thinly sliced
  • 8 (1-oz.) Swiss cheese slices, cut in half

Procedure:

Stir together first 5 ingredients in a small bowl.  Spread evenly over cut sides of croissants.  Top bottom halves evenly with ham and cheese; top with remaining croissant halves.

To freeze:  Wrap each sandwich in aluminum foil and place in a large zip-top freezer bag.  Freeze up to 1 month.

To Use from frozen: Pre-heat oven to 350 F.  Remove desired number of sandwiches from plastic bags and place on a baking sheet (do not remove foil).  Bake at 350 F for 1 hour.  OR: Remove and discard aluminum foil from desired number of sandwiches.  Microwave 1 sandwich at a time at MEDIUM for 2 minutes or until heated through.

To bake without freezing: Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 13 to 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.