My sweet friends Emily and Nolan told me about this method of cooking up some pizza! Homemade pizza can be so fun but let’s face it – it’s also kinda lack luster. This method helps your turn you regular pizza night into a deep dish adventure of crispy, chewy crust. You can go wild with toppings but for a thick crust pizza- stick to the cast iron.
Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza
- 1 premade pizza dough (fresh if possible)
- Favorite pizza sauce or pesto
- Fresh cheese (I used mozzarella and parm)
- 3 oz Italian sausage
- 1/2 Jalapeños
- 1/2 Roma tomato
- Heavy cast iron skillet
Crank the oven up high, like 500 high and drizzle the pan with EVOO and toss it in the pan while it preheats.
When ready pull on the pan and plop in about 1/2 of that pizza dough. Begin to poke it down with your fingers to fill the pan. You may have to use more dough but don’t overfill! And be really careful not to burn yourself. I also used a little corn meal on the bottom of the crust for extra crunch.
Place the crust back in the hot oven for 15 minutes. When it’s ready assemble your pizza! Any topping combo will be delicious- i just used leftovers. Toss it back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
When it’s done it will be bubbly, chewy, crisp and as good as any Chicago pie.
Thanks for the idea, Em and Nolan!
Acorn squash are one of my favorite sweet treats but this week I switched up the game! I made a savory version of this little gem and it was just as amazing.
I first saw a version of this on Buzzed but then didn’t use their recipe. Typical.
Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 1 acorn squash!
- 1/2 lb Italian sausage!
- 1 apple, diced!
- 1/2 onion, diced!
- 1/2 t dry thyme
- 1 T fresh parsley, chopped!
- 1 garlic clove, minced!
- 1/4 t smoked paprika!
- salt and pep!
- 1/8 cup parm!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut a small portion on the acorn bottom off, to give it a solid base. Then remove the top 1/4 and scoop out the seeds. Bake off until tender- about 1 hour. You essentially make a squash bowl.
While the squash is baking, brown the sausage. When cooked, pour off all the excess grease then add onion and garlic. Cook until the onion start to soften.
Mix the sausage love with apple, herbs and spices! (Over)fill your squash bowl with this mixture and top with the parm. Pop it back into the hot oven until the cheese melts, about 10-15 minutes!
As you eat be sure and get a squash scoop with every bite. YUM
I pretend I’m not but I am such a basic white girl. I love fall, boots, Starbucks, selfies, pumpkin, and yoga pants. Pumpkin gets a bad wrap because of the PSL but it’s really an amazing ingredient. I love to use it in soups! Here is a quick and yummy pumpkin chipotle soup!
Chipotle PUMPKIN SOUP
- 2 Tbsp EVOO
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1-2 chipotle peppers chopped (canned in adobo)
- 8 cups chopped, cooked pumpkin
- 4 to 6 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 half & half
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoons salt, more to taste
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- Bacon, sour cream and avocado for topping!
In a large dutch oven, add the EVOO and onion. Cook the onion for around 2 minutes over medium high heat then add the garlic. Add the cumin, peppers, pumpkin, stock, and oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Using an immersion blender or working in batches, blend the soup until its smooth and creamy. Add half & half, lime, and salt and pep to taste.
Top it off with sour cream, toasted pumpkin seeds, bacon – whatever you like! But be aware, the chipotle peps can be really spicy! So don’t go too crazy – you can always add more but can take any out.
Go on and be basic.
Sometime I buy bananas and straight up can’t eat them before they go bad. Thankfully there’s always banana bread. It’s a quick treat and yummy breakfast. Mine uses sour cream to keep the bread moist and not too sweet.
Also! I got a gorgeous kitchen aid mixer for my 25th birthday! It’s made me much more willing to bake.
sour cream & nut banana bread
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 big eggs
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 very ripe bananas mashed
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
Cream butter and sugar, then add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and sour cream. NOW. There’s this big ole debate about the whole “mixing dry ingredients first” before adding them to the wet. I rarely do this simply because when it comes to baking, I’m lazy. But if you want to “do it right” sift them together first.
Add the dry ingredients. Don’t over mix! Toss in bananas and and nuts – dump into your greased loaf pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean – about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Today I was exhausted. I’ve begun my surgery rotation and have been working at least 14 hours days. I walked 15,000 steps last Thursday! Makes you want to turn off the pedometer, ya feel? When I am that beat down I need just three things – a nap, an outing and comfort food. I got my power nap (praise) and we went to the pumpkin patch (so basic it hurts but check out my pumpkin).
All that was left was some comfort food! I had always found risotto really intimidating until recently. The steps seemed complicated, the window for perfection small. But I learned that risotto is really just a method and with a little faith and patience can be easily added to your culinary repertoire.
Lemon & thyme risotto
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 T butter
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 1/3 cups risotto rice, preferably Arborio
- Approximately 1 quart vegetable stock ( or chicken!)
- 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- Salt and Pep
In a saucepan heat the stock to a simmer. In a seperate heavy dutch oven heat 1 T butter and and olive oil heat the onion and garlic until fragrant. Mix in the rice, stirring to give it a good coating of oil and butter.
Begin to to add the stock to the rice, one ladle at a time and keep stirring until the stock is absorbed. Then add another ladleful and stir again. Continue doing this until the rice is al dente (soft but with a chew to it). You may need more or less stock but you can use some water if you run out of stock!
When it’s just right pop in the butter, cheese, lemon zest and juice, thyme and salt and pep! Mix it up and eat up! Risotto is good reheated- but it’s transcendent the moment it’s done.
This cake is my absolute favorite. It just keeps getting yummier the longer it sits! My first memory of this cake is summers spent at the family beach house. My Aunt Sarah made it for her oldest son’s birthday and we all reaped the benefits. Dont skimp out on waiting the full 3 days! Have a little patience, humans.
- 1 (18 ounce) package vanilla butter cake mix
- 3 eggs (or as directed by you cake mix!)
- 1 stick butter (or as directed by you cake mix!)
- 1 1⁄3 cups water (or as directed by you cake mix!)
- 16 ounces sour cream
- 12 ounces flacked coconut
- 1 1⁄2 cups Cool Whip
- 1 cup granulated sugar
Night before: Blend together the sour cream, coconut and sugar. Put it in the fridge over night.
Next day: Prepare cake mix as per instructions on the back of the box. Make two layers – round or square works. Let them cool completely! Place one layer of cake on the plate of a cake stand or cake saver; spread all but 1 cup of coconut mixture between the layers and on top. Mix Cool Whip together with the reserved 1 cup coconut mixture. Frost sides and top of cake with this mixture.
Cover the cake and place in the refrigerator. Do NOT touch it for 3 days. DON’T DO IT. It’s worth the wait.
There are few things more divine that a hot, buttered biscuit drizzled with fresh honey. They’re borderline sinful. However, biscuits can be daunting to make. This southern staple shouldn’t freak you out! Just make sure the dough knows who is in control. (You, in case you were wondering. You’re in control.) Also, don’t a food processor. If you don’t have a pastry cutter you can use two knives.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 scant tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into cubs
- 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. When you dice the butter into cubes go ahead and place it back into the fridge to harden up again. Cold butter is what creates a fluffy, flakey biscuit.
In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together. Using a pastry cutter (or two knives) cut the butter into the dry ingredients. It takes a little time so be patient! You should have pea sized bits of butter before you move on. Then stir in the buttermilk until a ball forms.
On a surface dusted with flour dump out your dough ball of love- dust the top with flour as well! Press the dough into a rectangle then fold it in half. Then use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until it’s an inch thick. Then cut your biscuits with your biscuit cutter or choice – I use a large drinking glass. I fit 12 to a pan.
Bake until golden brown – about 12-15 minutes. Using pastry brush, brush hot biscuits with melted salted butter.
They should be illegal.
Chili is a great way to use up your pantry, feed a crowd and warm you up on a cold night. It sticks to your bones and just feels like cooler weather. Here is a quick base than mixes cans and fresh ingredients and plenty of spices. Top it off with tortilla chips or some crackers. YUM.
- 1 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 peppers diced (any kind! Green bell, red bell, poblano!)
- 1 24oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 can black beans, rinsed
- 1 can kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 can pinto beans, rinsed
- 1 can corn, rinsed
- 2 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Salt & Pep
In a large dutch, brown off the meat and pour off any excess grease. To the meat add fresh veggies (onion, garlic, peppers) and cook over medium heat until they soften. Then just dump! Tomatoes, beans, and spices all are tossed in the pot.Add salt and pepper to taste
Bring to a boil then simmer the chili covered, stirring every so often. The longer it perculates – the yummier it gets but cook it at least 1 hour!
Top with cheese, sour cream, green onion, hot sauce, and tortilla chips! You can mix up the chili by added chili in adobo sauce or coco powder. Try ground turkey or even go meat free!
Oh yea I said it. I’ve been on the kale train and rocking the kale shirt long before Queen Bey. And by request I’m tossing in more veggie recipes! This one includes bacon… but you can leave that out.
braised rainbow kale
- 6 cups raw rainbow kale (or regs green kale) washed and chopped
- 3 slices of thick cut bacon chopped
- 4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper (or more!)
- Salt and Pep
In a large skillet cook off the chopped bacon strips! Pull them out when crispy and drain on a paper towel. Pour most (but not all) of the grease.
Toss in the onion and garlic – cook for about 2 minutes over medium high heat. Add the vinegar, sugar, and red pepper and give it a spin around the pan.
Load it up with kale! Use tongs turn the kale in your sauce coating all the leaves as the begin wilt down. You can let them go as long or as little as you’d like- depending on your desired crunchiness.When you’ve reached wilted yet crunchy perfection stir back in bacon and season with salt and pep to taste!
If you opted for the pig free version – begin with some EVOO or coconut oil. About 2 teaspoons should do the trick.
Squash is delicious and varied. The hearty butternut squash, quirky patty pan, and refreshing summer squash – they all have place in my heart. Acorn squash as a particular favorite of mine. They’re nutty, slightly sweet and make the perfect fall dessert.
maple brown sugar roasted acorn squash
- 1 Acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
- Punch of cinnamon
Heat the oven to 400 degree. Place squash face down on a baking sheet lined with foil (less dishes). Roast for 1 hour or until the squash is tender and easily pierced with a fork.
While still warm flip the squash over and use it like a bowl! Fill each with butter, sugar, and syrup. It will begin to melt and mix into a sauce. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and salt. E
Easy clean up and perfect fall flavors.