Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza

Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza

Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza

You can’t please everyone…….but sometimes you find someone who appreciates the out of the ordinary recipe. I made a Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza for Tim and I. It was incredibly tasty and we both really enjoyed it. Beets are not everyone’s cup of tea and the color can be off putting to some…….unless they know how great beets are!

I went for my routine Mammogram and was talking to the tech about food. I told her about writing the blog and gave her one of our cards. She mentioned the fact that she liked simple things without odd ingredients. I told her about the pizza and although she didn’t turn up her nose, I could tell it might not be her thing. She proceeded to tell me one of her co-workers really liked beets and she would tell her about the blog.

After I was finished, as I was leaving the co-worker ask if I was the blog lady…..too cute. I said I was and she in a pleading voice said “Please tell me there is goat cheese on your pizza”. She said she had been to a restaurant that had a beet pizza and it had goat cheese……guess what….. mine does!!

Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza

Mine also has spinach, and mozzarella cheese. I bought a crust……way easier if you are in a time crunch like I am so much these days. I made the beets into a pesto……….walnuts, garlic, parmesan, and olive oil. Whatever you do with beets, roast them first, it makes them sweeter, and a breeze to peel.

I plant them every year in my garden, and when I harvest them, I roast them all. I line a sheet pan with foil, wash the beets leaving about an inch of the top and the tap root……that long mouse tail looking part………I put them on the lined sheet and cover them with foil, into a 400* oven for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the beets. Let them cool slightly, peel them, cutting off the stem and tap root. Then I freeze them. They freeze beautifully, so when you need them for a recipe….. boom…..you have them, roasted and ready to go.

So, for this recipe I smeared the beet pesto on the crust, topped it with baby spinach and the cheeses, and into the oven for 15-20 minutes………Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza.
If no one but the tech at the hospital tries this, I will have made one person happy…….wait three as I said, Tim and I really liked it, so don’t be put off by the color or the idea of beets, roast them and give Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza a try……..

Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza Collage

Roasted Beet Pesto
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup red beets, roasted
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, roasted
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients except for the olive oil to a food processor or blender and blend briefly
  2. Leaving the food processor (or blender) running, slowly add the olive oil until all ingredients are well combined. If the pesto is too thick try adding a small amount of water until pesto is smooth.

Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pre- made pizza crust such as Boboli
  • 1 cup beet pesto
  • 2 cups spinach, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400*
  2. Spread 1 cup Beet Pesto on pre- made pizza crust. Top with spinach, mozzarella cheese, and goat cheese
  3. Bake pizza for 20 to 25 minutes or to desired crisp.
  4. Allow pizza to cool 5 minutes before serving.

 

Honey Mustard Roast Chicken

Honey Mustard Roast Chicken

Honey Mustard Chicken

Nothing says Sunday dinner like a roasted chicken…….Honey Mustard Roast Chicken.

When I was growing up, having a roasted chicken was like a mini Thanksgiving. We usually had mashed potatoes with gravy, and corn. We had corn because that was about the only vegetable my picky brother and I would eat. But, the best part was, my Grandma’s  stuffing…….every family has a special dressing for holidays and my Grandma’s was the dressing that we all fought over when it was time to go home and she was packing the goodie bags. Lucky for me I lived right next door, so I had special access. The dressing has special memories of holidays and Sunday dinners.

Back in the day when everything, and I do mean everything was cooked until it was falling off the bone. The only complaint I had was that sometimes the chicken was dry…….well until you covered it with gravy. So, what to do to make that Sunday chicken moist……….

One of my favorite recipes is Simple Roasted Chicken ……….only salt and pepper on a very well dried bird and into a high heat oven…….I know, I was skeptical at first too, but it is truly the best chicken.

 A nice sauce can produce a moist bird, as is the case with this “yard bird” recipe. On top of super yummy, it’s super duper easy. Mix, pour, bake, gobble up………more on the gobbler meal later in the week.

A simple sauce of yellow mustard, soy sauce, honey, and curry powder poured over the chicken and roasted……..hmmm,hmmm,hmmm………..it was delicious.

You can serve this with potatoes, rice, pasta, or as Tim and I did……… the Roasted Pear Salad.

Leftovers…….if you have any……..which I suspect you will not……….can be used in chicken sandwiches, or added to a pasta or soup dish.

Honey Mustard Chicken Collage

When you can’t decide on what to fix for a special Sunday dinner, give this bird a try!!

Honey Mustard Roast Chicken
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 WHOLE CHICKEN -3LBS.
  • 1T CURRY POWDER
  • 1T SOY SAUCE
  • 3T MUSTARD
  • 3T HONEY
Instructions
  1. RINSE & DRY CHICKEN
  2. PLACE CHICKEN IN A SHALLOW CASSEROLE DISH.
  3. TIE LEGS & TUCK WINGS UNDER BREAST.
  4. MIX TOGETHER CURRY, SOY SAUCE, MUSTARD & HONEY.
  5. SPREAD OVER CHICKEN COATING EVENLY.
  6. ROAST AT 350* FOR 60-65 MIN. BASTING OCCASIONALLY

 

Roasted Pear Salad

Roasted Pear Salad

Roasted Pear Salad

Looking for a special side dish for the upcoming holidays?……… Roasted Pear Salad is it!

I am a recent convert to fruit on a green salad ………..well recent as in the last 10 years……ok so not so recent, but it is a taste to behold.

In my experience, salad was always lettuce,tomato,cucumber…….blah,blah,blah. So, the first time I tried fruit I was surprised how good it was, so I tried it again, and again and it kept getting better and better.

If you read my blog, you know if something catches my eye at the store it will make its way here…….lucky you!

I saw these pears and a fall salad came right to my mind. The pears on a bed of baby greens with walnuts and blue cheese……..sounded yummy. Some kind of vinaigrette to dress the salad……I had a plan.

Now, the biggest problem I have with apples or pears on a salad is that they turn color so easily unless you serve it right away and I am the make ahead type of gal!

I have tried lemon juice and the trick of soaking in 7-up, but never with much luck. I know you all can’t see it, but sometime a light bulb goes off in my head……..no really it does……..

If I roasted the pears the only color they would turn is a pretty, fall golden color, and what’s better than butter to make that happen?…….Paula Deen has the whole butter thing right, everything is better with butter.

Roasted Pear Salad

So, cut side down in butter and 20 minutes later add a touch of balsamic…….it was going in the dressing, so why not add the flavor to the pears?…….light bulb!
When they came out of the oven I wanted them to soak up all that balsamic butter flavor so, even though it was all I could do not too……..I left them cut side down until they were completely cool. When I turned them over…………I swear they were the most beautiful things, all glossy and golden. I knew I made the right choice.
Another plus to preparing the pears this way besides them not turning colors, you can make them ahead,along with all the other things for the salad, and put it together at a moments notice.
Perfect if you are going to a holiday happening and you are ask to bring the salad……totally portable.

 

Blue cheese and walnuts “pear” beautifully with pears. I like gorgonzola better than regular blue cheese. To me it has a smoother creamy flavor, but by all means use what ever blue type cheese you like best. Toasting the walnuts…….or any nut for that matter, enhances their taste, like a million, billion times………if you have never tried it, you really have too!

I used individual plates, but if you were taking this to a get-together you can use a platter and just slice the pears. But, I wanted a fancy smancy plate, so heres how it went…….Baby greens, roasted pear half ( cut side up to show all it beauty), sprinkle with gorgonzola and walnut……serve with Honey Balsamic Dressing.

Both Tim and I thought the presentation was elegant and beautiful…….then we ate the salad…….the seas parted and angels sang……..ok not really, but it was a little piece of heaven.

So, impress your friends, family or significant other with this beautiful looking and tasty fall salad Roasted Pear Salad……..it will “leaf” them breathless !

Roasted Pear Salad Collage

Roasted Pear Salad
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 8 cups mixed baby greens
  • ½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 2 Bosc pears,cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Honey Balsamic Dressing
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400*
  2. Place 2 tablespoons butter in a 8x8 inch baking dish. Place in oven to melt butter. Remove core from pears halves using a melon baller or a small spoon.
  3. Place pears cut side down in the melted butter and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar,return to oven for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let set until room temperature. Do not remove the pears from the baking dish until completely cooled.
  4. Divide the mixed green among 4 plates. Top greens with one pear half,skin side up. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola cheese and walnuts.
  5. Serve with Honey Balsamic Dressing

Honey Balsamic Dressing
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl mix vinegar,honey,and shallot until well blended. Whisk in oil until emulsified. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

Caramel Pecan Stuffed French Toast

Caramel Pecan Stuffed French Toast

Caramel Pecan Stuffed French Toast

Whenever I have people over, my first inkling is to feed them………especially when they are helping me with something.

Tim’s brother Mark and our sister in love Carrie (Mark calls Carrie’s mother, his mother in love ,because they are not married and I thought is was soooo cute and that makes Carrie our sister in love) came over Sunday morning to help us clean out our gutters.

They were coming over early, so I decided to make breakfast. Last Sunday I made the Greek Yogurt Raspberry Pancakes with Homemade Vanilla Syrup for Tim. This Sunday it was my turn……..French Toast………… jazzed up French Toast. Jazzy Stuffed French Toast!

I always get my best ideas at the grocery store! Cream cheese seemed like a natural in the French Toast stuffing department. Low and behold leave it to the people at Kraft to have a cream cheese that was honey pecan flavored……it was like fate….yummy fate! I needed more flavor…….hmmmm…….how about Dulce de Leche caramel……..extra yummy!

The one down fall of my local grocery store, is that the types of breads they carry in their bakery is not alway what I am looking for…..I was thinking a Brioche or Challah bread, but it was not to be.They do carry what they call a sweet French bread……it would work.

So, back in the kitchen…….I mixed the cream cheese and caramel together…easy enough. Cut the French bread into 2 inch thick slices and cut across the top to form a pocket. Smeared……technical cooking term………the inside of the pockets with the cream cheese mixture.

I made a brown sugar butter bed for the slices to set on…….I melted brown sugar and butter, and pored it on the bottom of the pan. I stood the stuffed slices upright, so the filling stayed put while baking.

The egg mixture that you normally dip the slices in became kinda like a bath for the slices. I poured it over making sure I had the mixture everywhere …….I used a knife to hold the slices apart so I could pour the mixture in between. Everything needed to be soaked with the egg mixture.

Caramel Pecan French Toast

At this point, I would have put the mixture in the frig overnight and baked it in the morning……which makes this a great make ahead dish…….but, as usual, I fell into the black hole of time……ok, just didn’t make the dish until the morning…..I had my lazy pants on!

It still worked out fine. I sprinkled the top with more pecans and some extra sugar,as if it didn’t have enough already. Into the oven for about 30 minutes and breakfast is served. I used the same Homemade Vanilla Syrup we used with the pancakes……all I can say is this was the best French toast I have ever,ever had…….in my whole life…..and that’s a long time!

Just a little tip…….always ask guests if there is something they do not like…….Carrie is not a pecan fan, so I don’t think she enjoyed it as much as Tim,Mark and I did……..but they were our taste testers for this one. Carrie was able to pick the pecans off, I still feel bad that I didn’t ask first.

This would make a great Christmas morning breakfast, or make it for a brunch……want ever the event …..make it! It’s super awesome!!!!!

Caramel Pecan French Toast Collage

Caramel Pecan Stuffed French Toast
 
Ingredients
  • 2 loaves sweet french bread, cut into 8-2 inch thick slices
  • CARAMEL BASE:
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • STUFFING:
  • 1 -8 oz. tub of Honey Pecan Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • ½ cup Dulce de Leche
  • EGG MIXTURE:
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • TOPPING:
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and butter. Microwave until butter is melted. Stir until well blended. Pour into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. In another small bowl mix together the cream cheese and dulce de leche.
  3. Using a paring knife, cut about 1 inch into the tops of each slice of bread to create a pocket.
  4. Stuff the insides of the pockets with 1½ tablespoons or more of the cream cheese caramel mixture.
  5. Arrange the stuffed slices of bread in the baking dish, so that the tops of the bread are facing up so the filling does not melt out.
  6. Combine half and half, eggs, vanilla, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and pour evenly over bread slices. Sprinkle ½ cup chopped pecans and sugar over bread slices.
  7. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours.Take the casserole out of the fridge for at least 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Make sure all bread slices are evenly coated in egg mixture.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  9. Remove French toast from oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Serve Homemade Vanilla Syrup.
Notes
I only let mine set for about an hour the first time I made it and it turned out fine.