Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


Leave a comment

Chicken and Spinach Alfredo Calzones

IMG_8001My son loved his Chicken and Spinach Alfredo Pizza for his birthday and I found that it is just as delicious as a Calzone.  My family loves Calzones.  Usually I vary the filling by request – classic pepperoni, olive and cheese, or Hawaiian.  It is a lot like pizza in that you can customize what your family likes.

 

Chicken and Spinach Alfredo Calzones

goodcookbecky

Serves 6

Dough:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 packet rapid rise yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil (plus a little additional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour

Filling:

  • 1/2 jar purchased Alfredo sauce
  • 10 oz frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • rotisserie chicken
  • package Italian cheese blend
  • 1 egg beaten (to brush on Calzones before baking)

Instructions:

Prepare the dough: Place 1 cup warm water in the bottom of your mixing bowl (I use my Kitchen Aid).  Add yeast and sugar.  Stir. Add 2 tablespoons of canola oil, 1 cup of flour, and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Stir until combined.  Add remaining 2 cups of flour.  Use the knead attachment and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.  Add about 1 teaspoon of canola oil and coat the dough ball with it.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and then a towel and allow to rise about 30 minutes.  Divide the risen dough into 6 equal size portions.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

On a floured board roll out each individual portion of dough into about 6 to 8 inches in diameter.  Place 2 tablespoons of Alfredo sauce on one half of the dough, leaving about 1/2 inch dough along edge exposed.  Top with about a tablespoon of spinach, spreading it out over the Alfredo.  Place about 1/2 cup of shredded rotisserie chicken on top of the sauce.  Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of additional Alfredo Sauce over the chicken.  Sprinkle the top with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.  Carefully fold the portion of dough that does not have topping over the filling and seal the edge with the exposed edge that the filling is on.  Press down gently to ensure a good seal.  Transfer the calzone to a parchment (or silicone) lined baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining dough portions.  I can fit 3 or 4 calzones on a baking sheet.  I rotate the baking sheets in the oven at the half way point to ensure even baking.  Allow the calzones to rest about 15 minutes before baking.

Just before baking, Beat the egg in a small bowl with about 2 tablespoons of water.  Brush the calzones with the egg wash with a pastry brush.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the baking pans half way through cooking.

Allow the calzones to cool about 15 minutes before consuming the filling will be very hot!

Printable Recipe


Leave a comment

Vegetable Bounty Quinoa Salad

IMG_8216 IMG_8218

Tri color Quinoa by Bob’s Red Mill had this delightful salad recipe on the back of their package.  It sounded interesting enough to try.  I am finding quinoa to be something that I need to acquire a taste for.  I am not there yet, but this did have some good flavors that made it interesting.  The dressing has an Asian taste to it.  I substituted honey for sugar and increased the honey a little to give the  dressing more sweetness.  Here is my adaptation:

Vegetable Bounty Quinoa Salad

adapted from Bob’s Red Mill Tri-Color Quinoa Package

Serves 6

Dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tsp toasted dark sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 pinches black pepper

Salad:

  • 2 – 3 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 (14 oz) can white beans (or kidney beans etc)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups diced seeded cucumber
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:

Prepare the quinoa according to package directions and cool.

Prepare the dressing, coming the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.  Adjust the honey to your personal preference.

Combine the salad ingredients and pour the dressing over the salad.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

Printable Recipe


Leave a comment

Chicken and Spinach Alfredo Pizza

IMG_7952 - Version 2My rambunctious, fun loving, joy filled son turned 11 today and we had a small gathering to celebrate.  I asked him what he would like on his pizza and he requested Chicken and Spinach Alfredo Chicken.  I had never made it before and was not sure how much sauce to add to the pizza, but I was pleased to find that this was nearly perfect!  It would have been even better with bacon! Next time!

Chicken and Spinach Alfredo Chicken

by goodcookbecky

Yield: 8 slices

Pizza Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 packet Rapid Rise yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 F)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour

Pizza Toppings:

  • purchased Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • garlic powder
  • frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained (squeeze dry)
  • 1 roasted chicken breast half, pulled apart into bite size pieces
  • 8 oz shredded Italian Blend cheese
  • 2 strips of bacon, cooked crisp and broken into smaller pieces

Instructions:

To make pizza dough, dissolve the yeast in the warm water in your kitchen Aid stand mixer, if you are lucky enough to have one.  Add the vegetable oil and sugar to the yeast.  Add 1 cup of flour and 1 tsp of water to the mixing bowl.  Use the paddle attachment and mix until the ingredients are well combined.  Add the remaining 2 cups of flour to the dough, and switch to the hook attachment and knead until all the flour has worked into the dough and it looks smooth and elastic, about 2 minutes.  Remove the dough from the hook and pour about 1 teaspoon of oil over the dough, turn the dough to coat it with the oil.  Cover the mixing bowl, first with a piece of plastic wrap and then cover with a clean kitchen towel.  Allow to rise for 30-45 minutes.  It should double in size.

In  the meantime roast the chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper,  in the oven (I used skin on, with bone chicken breasts) and roasted them at 375 for about 40 minutes.  I allowed the chicken to cool off about 20 minutes, so it was cool enough to handle.

Preheat the oven to 375 for the Pizza.

Place the dough on a pizza stone (I love my pampered chef one- in this case I used their large one that has a lip).  I sprinkled the dough with dried oregano.  Next, I ladled about 1 cup of sauce onto the dough and spread it out.  I then dotted the dough with pieces of spinach (be sure to wring it dry before using it – I like using the chopped frozen spinach because you can remove the moisture – which would be hard to do if using fresh).  I pulled the chicken skin off and pulled the meat from the bone and pulled the meat apart into bite size pieces, placing them all along the top of the dough.  Next, I sprinkled garlic powder over top the pizza and chicken.  Sprinkle with bacon pieces if you are using them (I will next time).  I drizzled about 4 tablespoons of Alfredo sauce over the top of the chicken again and topped it with the shredded cheese.

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Printable Recipe

 


Leave a comment

Korean Beef

IMG_7923Nearing dinner, I looked in my refrigerator and found a pound of ground beef.  I did not want to make the same old same old and turned to Pinterest for inspiration.  I came across the recipe for Korean Beef at the website of Elizabeth Bryant (link).  It looked simple enough, and I had the basic ingredients needed in my refrigerator right? Well, actually, I had to send my husband to the store to get my green onions (my hero!).  The Korean Beef came together quickly and was delicious with steamed rice and steamed broccoli (which hubby also picked up because he was going to the store already!).  Korean Beef is usually made with flank steak, but this ground beef option was very good.  This dish is simple enough, my 11 year old son could cook with supervision.  It is easy and delicious.  I will be making this again and again.  Thank you Elizabeth Bryant for posting this to Pinterest.

Korean Beef (Ground Beef)

adapted from http://elizabethbryant.blogspot.com/2010/05/korean-beef.html

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 3 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (just the green part)

Serve with:

  • steamed rice
  • steamed broccoli

Instructions:

Brown the ground beef in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat, breaking up and stirring the beef with a wooden spoon.  When the beef is mostly cooked, drain off any fat and stir in the chopped garlic and grated ginger.  Cook stirring for about 1 or two minutes or until the beef is completely cooked through.  Remove any additional fat if needed and add the sugar, soy sauce, crushed red pepper flakes and stir.  Just before serving stir in the green onions and serve over hot steamed rice and broccoli on the side.

Serves 5

Printable Recipe

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Jambalaya

IMG_7625I have been wanting to make my own Jambalaya since my husband and I ate some in Las Vegas.  I turned to one of my favorite recipe sites for a good recipe: allrecipes.  I should have also read some of the reviews before following the recipe exactly – it was spicy!  My children were all at a music performance, so the only taste buds that were assaulted by flavor and heat were hubby’s and mine.  I did like the recipe though, but next time I will tone down the spice.  I reduced the amount of red pepper flakes and hot sauce by half in the recipe here – adjust to your liking.  I did use Sriracha so that may have been the culprit for it being too spicy.  The flavors of the recipe were good though.  Added shrimp would be nice too – I would cook them separately, and add them just before serving though, so they do not over cook.

Jambalaya

adapted from allrecipes.com (submitted by Terri)

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 Tbsp canola oil, divided use
1 Tbsp Cajun or Creole seasoning
12 oz andouille sausage, sliced into rounds on a slight bias
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 onion, diced small
1 small green bell pepper, diced small
2 stalks celery, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16 ounce) can crushed Italian tomatoes
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp file powder
1 1/4 cups uncooked white rice
2 1/2 cups chicken broth

Instructions

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil to the skillet.  Add the andouille sausage and season with half of the Cajun or Creole seasoning.  Turn to brown.  Remove the sausage to a bowl.  Add the remaining cooking oil to the skillet and cook the diced chicken pieces with the remaining Cajun seasoning.  Once the chicken is slightly browned and cooked through for most part, remove wish a slotted spoon.

Use the same skillet and cook the celery, onion, and green pepper in the remaining oil.  When the onion is softened, add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant for about 1 minute. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Return the sausage and chicken to the skillet.  Once it comes to a boil, cover with lid, reduce heat to low.  Continue cooking for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.  I turned off the heat after 25 minutes and left it covered for 15 more minutes to make sure the rice was completely cooked.

Serve hot.

NOTES: I reduced the red pepper flakes and hot sauce by half in this post, as you can easily add more heat to the dish, but you cannot take it away.  File powder is key and you should be able to find it in well stocked grocery stores.  It acts as a thickening agent.

Printable Recipe

 


Leave a comment

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

IMG_7576Zucchini Bread is good.. but Chocolate Zucchini Bread would be even better right?  I had a friend give me a rather large zucchini from her garden.  I mean.. large!  I grated it in my Kitchen Aid Food Processor and it made 8 cups of grated zucchini.   Oh the goodness!  I made 3 chocolate zucchini loaves (one with chocolate chips) as well as a dozen regular size muffins with the zucchini and I have 3 cups of shredded zucchini left in my fridge.  This recipe is from Taste of Home.  The result was delicious!

 

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Makes 2 loaves or 1 loaf and 1 dozen regular size muffins or 24 muffins

adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease two loaf pans with cooking spray. (or line 12-24 regular muffin cups with paper liners)

Mix the canola oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in a stand mixer, at medium speed until well combined.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder together with a whisk.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix just until combined.  Add the grated zucchini to the mix and beat just until combined.  Add miniature chocolate chips if desired — it usually is at my house!

Pour half the mixture into a loaf pan and the other half in another loaf pan, or if you wish to make muffins, use an ice cream scoop to measure out the batter equally into the paper lined muffin tins.

Bake loaves for 50-55 minutes or muffins for 18 minutes.

 


Leave a comment

Quick Appetizer and Dessert

I was recently asked to contribute appetizers and a dessert for a function at our church.  I love to cook, and was of course happy to help.  I was a bit of a procrastinator though in planning, so I made 2 simple appetizers and a simple dessert.

The first easy to make appetizer was a platter of skewered cherry tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls and basil leaves.  A drizzle of balsamic vinegar would put i over the  top, but because my appetizer would sit in the refrigerator for 3 hours before the event, I left the vinegar off.

I  found sandwich picks at Smart and Final that were nearly 3 inches in length – longer than toothpicks which is perfect for this appetizer. Here is what you need:

Tomato Kabobs

IMG_7299

 

 

 

 

  • 3 inch skewers or sandwich picks
  • cherry tomatoes, washed
  • cherry sized mozzarella balls (I used Mozzarella Fresca by Galbani)
  • whole basil leaves

To assemble: Place one cherry tomato on the skewer, followed by a mozzarella ball, then a leaf of basil and another cherry tomato. Place along edge of a round platter and layer until you like the look.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar just before serving if desired.

 

Cucumber Sandwiches

IMG_7303

 

 

 

 

This is so easy! Cut the crusts of a white bread that you like.  Spread one side of the bread slices with a purchased garlic spread and top with thinly sliced cucumber slices.  Top with second piece of bread that also has the garlic spread.  Slice diagonally.  Serve. That’s it!

Dessert:

Purchased pound cake cut into rounds (or squares) to fit inside your dessert dishes.  I found small 5 oz clear dessert dishes and made 24 desserts for the event.

It does take a little time to assemble and chill, but look beautiful for a short list of ingredients.

Strawberry Dessert

IMG_7320

 

 

 

 

 

  • 1 pound cake, thawed and sliced into thin slices
  • fresh strawberries, washed and sliced into 4 pieces (arranged along edge of dessert dish, cut side out)
  • Jell-o (large box) lemon flavor
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 (16 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
  • Whipped Cream (from can)

First cut the sliced pound cake into rounds that fit inside your dessert dish (you need 2 per dessert).  Place one of the pound cake pieces in the bottom of the dessert dish.  Line the sides of the dish with sliced of strawberries (cut side facing out) – my dishes  were small, so I only fit 4 slices in each.  Use more or less as needed.

Prepare the jell-o.  Mix 2 cups boiling water into a bowl with the lemon flavored jell-o.  Whisk to combine. Place the bowl of jell-o into the refrigerator for 25 minutes.  The jell-o will still be warm when you remove it from the refrigerator.  Whisk in the thawed cool whip.  Ladle 1/4 cup of the mixture into the center of the dessert dishes, try not to disturb the strawberries.  Use more to cover the tips of the strawberries.  Cover with saran wrap and chill for about 1 hour.  Remove the desserts from the refrigerator.  Remove the saran wrap and place a second round of pound cake on the jell-o.  Top each dessert  with whipped cream just before serving.

Enjoy!

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 499 other followers