Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dumb Easy Dinner: Pizza Crescents

This is the first installment of my Dumb Easy Dinner series--which is not to promise that I will post Dumb Easy Dinner posts on a particular day of every week or any such promise that I probably can't keep. It is to say that sometimes (okay, maybe often), I post recipes that are just too easy and awesome to pass up. From now on when I post them, they will have the lovely introduction/heading of "Dumb Easy Dinner." Now isn't that nice.

I may even, if I am gripped by loads of enthusiasm and energy, go through my own blog and highlight some of my past Dumb Easy Dinners (although--note: They were not called "Dumb Easy Dinners" because that is a new thing I am starting as of today. Thank you.)

Today we begin with these Pizza Crescent Wrap Ups that were a super ridiculously huge hit in our house and took all of 5.5 minutes of work for me (of course I scientifically measured the time it took by using precise scientific instruments, like guessing). They are not a whole food. But they're not total junk either. Especially if you dip them in a nice healthy marinara sauce. If you do that, then you can feel fully that you met the vegetable requirement for the night. If you serve a salad with this (even if it is a salad-from-a-bag), then you can consider yourself a bonafide Really Good Person. And that in less than 10 minutes of prep time.

If the idea of such an easy dinner is repulsive to you, then make them for your next party as an appetizer. 

The other intensely awesome thing about this meal is that it can be popped into a lunch box the next day and possibly compete with Lunchables for coolness.

(Look, it's just like those Pinterest moms.)

Pizza Crescents
adapted from Taste of Home
Makes 8 rolls, which will serve 2-4 people--not counting teenaged humans (we need to double or even triple this amount)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time 12-14 minutes
Cost: $2.00 (that's $.50-1.00/serving)
crescents: 1.30 (Aldi prices), pepperoni: ..40, cheese: .30

1 package refrigerated crescent roll dough (the tubed stuff; yup--not a whole food)
16 round slices pepperoni
1/4-1/2 C mozzarella cheese

Unroll your dough and lay out the triangles.

Sprinkle cheese on each triangle. Put two pieces of pepperoni on each triangle.

Roll up as you would if you were making crescent rolls.

Bake according to the time requirements. Err on the side of too blond instead of too brown if you're going to err at all.

Eat with a little dip of marinara sauce thereby.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Honey Oat Bread--Secret Recipe Club

This month for Secret Recipe Club, I had Cindy's blog, "Hun...What's For Dinner?" She had a ton of recipes, but the ones that attracted me most were the breads. Maybe that's because autumn is here and I'm ready for some hot-from-the-oven loveliness. The bread I finally settled on was this Honey Oat Bread. It seemed virtuous, but not overly so--which is really nice in a bread. And I'm so glad I picked it. Truly it's the perfect autumn loaf. It's just a little sweet, just a little earthy. I absolutely loved it. I made it to go with a homemade bowl of soup and found I liked it best with butter and honey. Enjoy!

Honey Oat Bread
adapted from Hun...What's For Dinner?
makes 1 loaf bread
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Rise time: 90 minutes
Cost: $1.20
honey: .50, roller: .10, whole wheat flour: .20, flour: .20, oat bran: .10, other stuff: .10

1 C warm water
1 T vegetable oil
1/4 C honey
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 C rolled oats
1 C whole wheat flour
1 1/3 C bread flour (or all-purpose, though you might need a tiny bit more)
1/4 C oat bran (optional, but I used)

Combine water, oil, honey, and yeast.

To this add oats, salt, and whole wheat flour and oat bran.

Then add the rest of the flour in 1/2 C increments. When it gets too difficult to stir, turn it out to knead. Knead it for 5-8 minutes or until it doesn't stick to your hand, but is still soft and pillowy. [Note: For bread maker instructions, see Cindy's blog post.]

Let rise in bowl--45-60 minutes.

Shape into loaf and put in smaller loaf pan (7x3 1/2 inches I believe). Let rise again--about 30 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes or until top browned and is about 180 degrees on an instant read thermometer.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bacon Jalapeno Cheesy Bread

This isn't the type of bread that usually flies in my house. It is not smooth. It contains a real-life vegetable. And it is not "normal," by which I mean that you cannot put jam and peanut butter on it (well, I guess you could...).

But my sister raved about this recipe, repressing any doubts about the fact that I might get stuck eating a loaf of cheesy bread all by myself. And then I found myself with a bag of jalapenos from a friend. And a pot of potato soup for dinner. That potato soup called to this bread.

And so I made it. And, yes, it is completely awesome. For purposes of full disclosure, I should tell you that Kip picked his jalapeno bits out. But otherwise, he really loved this bread. I count that as a win in the house of pickiest people on earth.

It's almost biscuit-like, but without the bad qualities of biscuits (namely their dryness, flavorlessness, or sometimes-too-salty-ness). This bread is seriously the perfect savory bread. And if you hate jalapenos, leave them out. If you're vegetarian, skip the bacon. You can't skip the cheese though. Sorry vegans.

Bacon Jalapeno Cheesy Bread
adapted from Call Me PMC
Makes: one 9x5 inch loaf
Prep time: 10 minutes to cook bacon, 10-15 minutes to mix up the bread
Cook time: 50-70 minutes
Cost: $4.60
bacon: 1.00, flour: .30, cream cheese: 1.00, jalapeno: .30, cheddar: 1.50, buttermilk: .35, other stuff: .15

6-8 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped into little bits (the original recipe called for 2 cups of chopped bacon; I used significantly less than that)
3 C all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 C diced jalapeno--2 medium (I left out the seeds, but you could chop and use if you like heat)
2 C cheddar cheese (I used sharp, but milder will work)
1 1/2 C buttermilk (or scant 1 1/2 C milk with 1 1/2 Tbsp vinegar)
1 Tbsp canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x5 inch loaf pan

In large bowl, combine cream cheese, jalapenos, bacon, and cheddar cheese. Stir to combine.

In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Whisk.

To the flour mixture, add cream cheese mixture, the oil, and the buttermilk. Mix until just combined. Don't overmix.

Pour into greased pan. Bake 50-70 minutes (original recipe said 45-50, but mine took much longer, so check it early, but don't be surprised if it takes longer. The top should start to brown and when you stick a knife in it, it should come out clean.

Let cool for a few minutes. Then turn out and cut. It's delicious warm or cool. And it rocks a bowl of potato soup.



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