Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Pizza Crust

I have a huge fear of making bread of any type. I have watched countless videos on foodnetwork and yet it always felt like so much work and I hated the idea I would make it and it would suck. I have a friend here in Seattle who used to make pizza for us when I was in high school. Kosta went on to open his own restaurant and happens to still make very delicious pizza and many other dishes at Varlamos pizzeria. I asked if he would show me just how to make a crust and he was generous enough to walk me through it. We made a dough and set it aside to rise while we chatted about our lives and old high school stories. I took that dough home and he gave me toppings for it so I could create a pizza for me and my family. 

I made my stock sauce that I often make for pasta and made pepperoni for the kids. I added a little onion on the second half and arugula for the second pie. The dough we made allowed me to make 4 medium size pies. I like my crust thin so I was able to get 4 easily. 

The recipe he gave me is for a basic Italian crust. It is not his restaurants recipe but damn good. The best things I learned from this experience is that crust is quite easy to make. I also learned that if you treat it with love it will taste wonderful and have great texture. I've made this for a few of my family members and they all said I make the best pizza they have ever had. 

The second time I made it my mom said she would like the sauce to have more garlic so I doubled it and it was even better. Kosta taught me to not be afraid and just play with it. He also said I can let the dough rise in the fridge and I have done that both times. I am no longer afraid of pizza and wanted to share my story with you all. Try it and let me know what you think. 


4 cups of flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water 100 degrees
1 package of yeast


In a large bowl add 4 cups of flour, add yeast, sugar and salt and mix around. Pour in hot water and olive oil. mix together with hands until it all comes together. Add more flour to your counter and place dough on top. You will have to kneed dough and add flour until it is no longer sticky. Place in a bowl that has light coating of olive oil. Let it rise for a few hours or overnight.

Once is is all puffed up take dough out and cut into 4 pieces. lightly oil a pan and slowly start to stretch it out and push onto a pan until you get desired thickness. add sauce but don't over do it or it gets to soggy. Then add cheese and whatever toppings you enjoy.

I didn't add my sauce recipe because you can add whatever sauce you enjoy. You can even use jar sauce if you want. If you choose to add arugula and I add it after is baked. I toss it with tiny bit of olive oil and add as much or little as you want.

Thank you Kosta for being so wonderful. I look forward to exploring even more with dough. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Caprese salad on grilled baquette

There is no better combination than tomato, cheese, basil and bread. It also is a must have during the summer. This dish is so simple and full of flavor. There is not a single person who is not impressed with this. This time I chose to grill the bread because it is gives it that lightly toasted taste but doesn't make the bread too hard. My sister and I were just talking about how much we hate when the bread rips up the inside of your mouth and for days you are regretting that broiled bread. 

Try this recipe and please let me know what you think.


1 Roma tomato sliced
6 basil leaves sliced
fresh mozzarella
1/2 cup olive oil
1 baguette sliced
salt and pepper


Slice tomatoes to desired thickness. Slice mozzarella to desired thickness. roll leaves and thinly slice them. Heat grill on high. brush each side with olive oil. Place bread on the grill for about 2 minutes on each side. Once they have grill marks they are done. Usually doesn't take long when grill is on high. Top bread with tomato, cheese and then brush again with olive oil, lightly salt and pepper and then sprinkle with basil strips.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Restaurant style bean dip

My son loves getting bean dip at the Mexican restaurant. He asked me to make it and he barely ever special requests food so when he does I try my best to make it happen. One of the first food blogs I ever started following had one that I thought looked really good and so I gave it a try a couple of summers ago. My son loved it and it is now a fun treat to make when we have guests over. It is very simple to make and everyone will love it. For the original recipe you can check it out at  Favorite Family recipes or just follow instructions below. 


1 can refried beans
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon hot sauce (I used Tapatio)
3/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese or more if you like


In a medium sauce pan combine beans, sour cream, and hot sauce. Stir constantly until heated through. Don't bring to a boil and when heated throug add to a microwave safe dish. Add shredded cheese to the top. Microwave until cheese is melted. It took me 2 minutes. Serve with chips.

Let me know what you think. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Beef Burritos aka Mexi Melts

I found these on Pinterest under copycat of a Mexi Melt. I never had a one of those but I know that it looked amazing so I needed to make it. The combination of taco meat, cheese and pico de gallo is so wonderful and it has become a great addition to taco night. My mom loved them so much she said she can no longer eat Taco Time anymore. What's also great about them is how easy they are to make. Coolidge who doesn't even like tomatoes likes these. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think. 


1 pound ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
8 ounce pepper jack cheese
8 ounce cheddar cheese
8-10 flour tortillas
Pico de Gallo


In a large skillet brown ground beef. Add taco seasoning and cook according to instructions.

To each tortilla add pepper jack cheese, spoon over beef mixture, pico de gallo, and then cheddar cheese. Wrap and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Yes it's that easy.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pico de Gallo

I love pico de gallo because it adds a lovely freshness to your tacos, burritos, or anything Mexican you are having that day. It's great with chips and the next day with your scrambled eggs. I first discovered it when I visited Mexico and it makes my mouth water just thinking about all the ingredients blended together.  

Its great to make for a party. It doesn't take much time and your guests will be very happy. You can make it early in the day and serve later. Try it and let me know what you think. 


1 Roma tomato diced
1/2 jalapeno seeded and diced
1 tablespoon cilantro chopped
1 clove of garlic minced
2 tablespoons red onion diced
1/2 lime juice
salt and pepper to taste


Add all ingredients to a bowl, stir and let sit for 30 min to 1 hour before using or serving.  You can double but I like to use this the day of because I find the fresh tomatoes get to soft over time. Double if 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Classic Margarita

I love cocktails and margaritas are great in the summer. The combination of sweet, tart, and little bit of salt in each drink are awesome. I found this recipe from the Rachel Ray magazine and what I like about it is that it is strong and easy to make. I think use premixes are great when you can't get any fresh juice but once you start making them with fresh ingredients it is real hard to drink anything else because they are usually loaded with sugar and give me a stomach ache. 


1 lime (3/4 ounce juice)
2 1/4 ounce of silver Tequila
1 1/2 triple sec
3/4 ounce simple syrup (you can add more if you like it sweeter)
Coarse salt for rimming the glass (optional)


Spread salt on small plate. Rim the glass with lime and dip glass on to plate with salt to coat. Fill glass with ice.

Fill a cocktail shaker with lime juice, tequila, triple sec, and simple syrup. Add ice and shake well and strain into your prepared glass.

Try it and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Strawberry Sauce

I love to get food magazines and find amazing recipes. Getting a food magazine in the mail is like getting a gift. I go through it and drool and rip pages out. I put these recipes aside and then will go through them to make when I am feeling ambitious. Having picked all these amazing berries I decided none of them could go to waste. I always have a fear it will suck but if it looks good and the ingredients are not a crazy amount and directions are fairly easy, I will give it a try. 

I have a weakness for strawberry sauce and this looked way to easy to not try. This recipe came from the Food Network magazine. It was very simple and made a great silky sauce that was super delish. Try it and let me know what you think.


3 cups strawberries, finely chopped
1/2 cup sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract


Combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until berries break down, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the vanilla

Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing against the solids; let cool completely. Store in refrigerator up to 4 days.