Pear and Prosciutto Pizza

This sounds like a weird combination, but is has a great sweet/salty taste!  I got this off the internet on a night with too many ripe pears.

On top of a whole wheat pizza dough (I precook mine for about 3 minutes to reduce sogginess),  brush about a tablespoon of olive oil.  Place on a piece of kitchen parchment paper and add 2 thinly sliced pears (cored), 6 ounces of sliced or shredded Swiss cheese, 5 slices of chopped prosciutto and 6 ounces of sliced mozzarella. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes on a well-preheated pizza stone at 500 degrees.

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Chocolate Pudding Shots

This is incredibly simple and sinfully decadent!

Mix 1 (3 1//2 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding with 3/4 cup milk. Stir in 1/4 cup vodka and 1/2 cup Irish creme liqueur. Fold in 8 ounces of Cool Whip. Put in 1/2 cup serving dishes and store in freezer. (Recipe from food.com)

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Pistachio-Crusted Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce

Since the Winesnoop doesn’t really like fish, I’m always looking for ways to serve it that are acceptable.  We tried this last night and it was a HIT!!!  It also is very easy and presents well enough that you could serve it to guests.  The recipe is from Taste of Home Magazine, which has some great recipes, and since they have a good test kitchen, I’m always confident that dishes will come as expected.

Place 4 salmon filets (about 1-inch thick and 4-6 ounces each) on a greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread with 1/4 cup mayonnaise.  Top with 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook 1 chopped shallot in 1 Tbl. olive oil until tender.  Add 1 cup heavy cream and 2 tsp. grated lemon peel.  Season with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. cayenne.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered over low heat for about 5-7 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.  Serve sauce over salmon.  Yield: 4 servings

The pink of the salmon and the green of the pistachios gave a nice Spring-like appearance.  Try to use wild-caught salmon – it doesn’t have dye added to it.

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Bacon-Wrapped Cream Cheese Jalapenos

These are really, really tasty!  The spiciness will depend on the jalapenos, which are impossible to gauge until you actually eat them, so people need to be prepared for some heat.  (This recipe came from doughmestic.com.)

Beat 8 ounces cream cheese, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.

Sliced and seeded jalapenos

Sliced and seeded jalapenos

Cut in half lengthways and seed 12 jalapenos.  (This is best done wearing rubber gloves in a well-ventilated room.  In a pinch, I have worn plastic bags on my hands.)

 

 

 

 

Stuffed jalapenos

Stuffed jalapenos

Fill the jalapenos with the cheese mixture.  Cut 12 slices applewood-smoked bacon in half and wrap each half around a jalapeno.  (You can use regular bacon, but the smokiness really adds to the flavor.) Place cut side up on a rack on a baking sheet with sides (or else you have bacon grease all over the oven.)  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the bacon is cooked.IMG_2553

 

 

 

 

 

Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.  The cooler they are, the easier it is to eat them with your fingers.  Yields 24 pieces.

 

 

Spicy, bacony, cheesy goodness
Spicy, bacony, cheesy goodness

They can be assembled ahead of time and cooked just before serving (your house will smell terrific), but they also reheat well if you want to make them ahead of time.

 

 

These are fantastic with beer and will be a real hit at your Super Bowl party!

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Christmas Pizza

Pizza before cooking

Pizza before cooking

Since we always have homemade (usually vegetarian) pizzas on Christmas Eve, this seemed like a good one to try.  It not only looked great, but the flavor was good also.  (I got the idea from acouplecooks.com.)

Stretch a pizza dough (I get mine from Fresh & Easy or Trader Joe’s) into a tree shape.  Place it on a piece of kitchen parchment and slide it onto a pizza stone that has been preheated to 450 degrees for at least 15 minutes and bake for 4 minutes. (This gets one side partially cooked and cuts down on sogginess.)

Remove from the oven and poke holes in the dough if it has started to puff up.  Flip it over and place back on the paper.  Layer on top: about 1/2 cup pesto, about a cup of shredded or sliced mozzarella, a handful of chopped fresh spinach.  Then place sun-dried tomatoes to form “ornaments” and thin slices of red onion to make the “garland.”

Put back in the oven on the pizza stone and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until browned around the edges. 

Cooked Pizza

Cooked Pizza

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Butter Snowman

IMG_2545I made this for Christmas dinner out of 1 stick of butter, a few peppercorns, a slice of carrot and some rosemary sprigs.  I have to work on a hat next year.

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Meatloaf

I saw this on the internet and had to give it a try.  It was really quite good and you can’t beat the ease of preparation!

Mix 1 pound ground beef or turkey, 1 box Stove Top Stuffing Mix, 1 egg and 1 cup water.  Place in a loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  (I would line the pan with non-stick foil next time.)

 

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