Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A little something different–easy white pizza

I am a garlic whore. Yes, I’ll admit it. I put garlic in just about everything (savory that is,) so much so that Dennis feels like I’m overpowering the food. Overpowering? What? You can never have too much garlic!

I found this recipe on the Food Network while watching it at work during lunch. Yes, my job is that cool.

I knew I had to try it because I love garlic, I love pizza, and since the Mr. always complains about homemade pizza, (“it just doesn’t taste as good!!”)  I thought this would be worth a shot.

And, it’s easy. I mean, really easy.  Thanks Sandra Lee!!

Quick and Easy White Pizza adapted from Semi Home Cooking with Sandra Lee (click HERE for original recipe)

What I used:

  • One package of Crescent Roll biscuits (in the can)
  • 1/3 cup garlic Alfredo sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 4 T shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning

What I did:

Preheat oven to 400.

  • Open the can (wait for the POP! It scares me every time)
  • Roll out the dough on a cookie sheet. Press down to make even and stretch out as much as you can without breaking the dough


  • Place in oven for about 7 minutes, or until crust starts to brown


Doesn’t this look awesome? I could just eat the dough plain!

  • Remove from oven and put on your toppings. Start with the Alfredo sauce, then onions, then garlic, cheese, and seasonings. (that’s how I did it)
  • Bake for another 8-10 minutes


It’s not traditional, but it’s quick, easy, and pretty darned tasty. And I love Crescent rolls, so that made everything even better. The buttery, flaky crust mixed with the garlic and cheese…sooo good.


This would be good to take to a party. You can cut it into squares, put some maranara on the side, stick with toothpicks and BAM! Instant appetizer.


And who can say no to pizza?

Monday, March 7, 2011

New England Clam Chowder

When I was a kid, my mom and I used to eat New England Clam Chowder out of a can. How shameful.


When we moved to Boston in ‘06, we tried so many different kinds of NE clam chowder. Some were more watery, some were thicker. Some had huge clam chunks, some had smaller ones. We watched specials on the making of the perfect clam chowder, clipped many magazine recipes, and searched high and low online. After all that research, perfection was made.


I like mine chunky; full of potatoes and large pieces of clam. And I also like it creamy. Dennis prefers it served in bread bowl, but we’re not that fancy.

And in case you couldn’t already figure it out, there is nothing healthy about this recipe. You’ve been warned.

New England Clam Chowder


  • 4 (6 1/2 oz.) cans minced clams with juice
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 medium baking potatoes, chopped in 1/2" cubes
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water retained from steaming clams
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 1/2 cup dry white cooking wine
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 T corn starch (or to desired consistency) 
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • Oyster crackers


  1. In a large frying pan, cook bacon and potatoes over medium heat for 5-7 minutes
  2. Add onion and garlic and cook for an additional 3 minutes
  3. Transfer contents of frying pan to a large soup pot. Add chopped clams, clam juice and white wine and cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, approximately 15 minutes
  4. Stir in thyme, salt and pepper
  5. Reduce heat to low. Add corn starch gradually to milk and stir until thick and smooth.
  6. Add milk/cornstarch mixture slowly, then the heavy cream, stirring frequently until chowder begins to thicken slightly
  7. Serve with oyster crackers (or not. I don’t need them)



This was better than any canned recipe could ever be, and it wasn’t that difficult to make. I found a recipe for the CrockPot that I might try next, only because I love my CrockPot.

And you know what else made this chowder so good? I didn’t make it. Dennis did. With a little company.


Do you prefer New England style clam chowder or Manhattan?

I like the NE style for a special treat because it’s so rich and heavy, but since the Manhattan style is tomato based, it’s a lot better for your waistline.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Nutella cookies

Ok, ok, wipe the drool off your mouth. I know when I found this recipe on Tuesday afternoon that it took everything I had not to dive into the computer and attempt to eat one. Just seeing “Nutella” in a recipe title is enough to keep my attention, so I won’t waste any time.

Nutella Cookies, taken from here


  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 egg


Preheat oven to 350F.

Beat sugar with egg first. Add flour. Then add Nutella.


WARNING: Your batter will be crumbly and you will think you made a mistake. I know I did. I added some water to the batter just to make it workable. This batter was much too dry to hold a shape.

Roll them into 1 inch balls and flatten them with the back of a glass. Bake for 9-10 minutes.


The cookies on the left had water added to the batter. The cookies to the right did not. They tasted the same but the drier batter made for more crumbly cookies.

IMG_1509 IMG_1505



The verdict?

I hate to say it, but I wasn’t ALL that impressed. However, Dennis and my co-workers really liked them. One of my co-workers said he thought it was be a good breakfast cookie because it’s not too sweet and would pair well with coffee.


Don’t be afraid to try these just because I didn’t care for them. I don’t like peanut butter cookies but I love peanut butter, so I’m not a good judge here. If you like Nutella, give these a try. It’s a simple recipe that takes no time at all, and you probably already have everything in your pantry. We always have Nutella on hand, but if you don’t, it’s pretty cheap and available everywhere.

I’m not done working with Nutella though. My mom’s coming into town this weekend…I might have something up my sleeve.

Have you tried baking with Nutella?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Slow cooked Daal with Quinoa

I wasted spent the first 25 years being afraid of Indian food. I had never tried it and for some reason, was scared at the thought. Curry, for SURE, is a weird spice that would definitely give me a stomach ache. Cardamom? What is that? Tumeric? What are these strange spices that you want me to consume? (ha! these thoughts coming form a Puerto Rican who grew up eating things that others would find weird too.)

Luckily, one of Dennis’ best friends from college is from Mumbai. He turned him on to his native cooking from the start, and it’s now Dennis’ favorite cuisine. When we first started dating, he insisted on taking me to his favorite Indian restaurant from college up in Rochester NY. I wont lie; I was scurrrd. But 6 years later, it’s now one my favorite cuisines as well.

Tip: If you’re going to try a new cuisine for the first time, go to a lunch buffet. I usually hate buffets, but it’s the only way to try lots of different things, allowing you to figure out what you like.

Since I have half of my 5 pound bag of lentils still sitting in my pantry, I decided to give Daal a shot. I found this recipe from my favorite veggie slowcooker book and went to town.

Slow Cooked Daal with Quinoa
Adapted from Here


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp minced fresh minced ginger (I used ground ginger)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 ground cardamom (I didn’t have any)
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground curry
  • 1 1/2 cups dried brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used pink beans)
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Pour the oil into a 4-quart slow cooker and set it on high
  2. In a food processor, puree the onion, garlic and ginger and add it to the cooker. Cover and cook to mellow the flavor and remove the raw taste while you assemble the other ingredients. Stir in the spices and cook, Stir for 30 seconds. IMG_1470 IMG_1471
  3. Turn the setting to Low. Add the lentils, beans and water. Cover and cook for 8 hours. Before serving, season with salt and pepper and adjustthe others if necessary.

Most of the time, Indian dishes such as Daal are accompanied with basmati rice. I didn’t have any, so I decided to use Quinoa instead.


IMG_1472 IMG_1476


What I loved about this recipe is that it’s easy, it’s packed with protein, and my house smelled so good while it was cooking. I mixed it in with the quinoa but it can also be eaten plain and of course, the traditional way with basmati rice. The spices are not overpowering but they’re prevalent.

What’s your take on Indian food? Love it or hate it?