Best Pizza Sauce

This is a rich, hearty, and simple pizza sauce that works great on most crusts. You’ll never want pre-made sauce again!

Ingredients 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 small bay leaf
3/4 teaspoon fennel seed (optional)

Directions:

Sauté the onion, celery and garlic in the butter and oil until soft and transparent.

Add tomato sauce and tomato paste and stir until smooth.

Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer for at least 30 minutes or until desired thickness and flavor is achieved. You can add more water or a little wine if sauce is too thick.

Remove bay leaf from sauce before spreading on pizza crust.

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Coconut Dream Squares

Very sweet. Very good.

coconutdreams

Crust:
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
4 tablespoons butter
.
Filling:
1 whole egg
1 egg white
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flake coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine crust ingredients (use low speed of mixer or rub between finger tips). Press into an 8×8 inch ungreased pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until beginning to turn a very light golden brown.

Beat together the whole egg and egg white with the 3/4 cup brown sugar until just blended. Stir in vanilla, flour, baking powder, salt and coconut. Spread this mixture over the partially baked crust. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a rich golden brown.

Cut into squares when cool.  Makes 16.

One-Hour (or so) Burger Buns

Quick and tasty!  Great for burgers, but I also like these slathered with butter and jam for breakfast.

burgerbuns

2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (100°-110°)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3-4 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (preferably unbleached)

Mix yeast and warm water together in a large mixing bowl.  Add oil and sugar and stir gently.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes until mixture is foamy.

Add the egg, salt and enough flour to form a soft dough (you may need a little less or a little more than 3-1/2 cups).

Turn dough onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic (about 4-5  minutes by hand or with the dough hook on a stand mixer). You can add a little more flour if dough is very sticky.

Divide dough into 8-12 pieces and form each into a smooth ball. Place 3″ apart on greased baking sheets (or line with parchment paper).  If desired, dust baking sheets with a little cornmeal (adds a little crunch to bottom of bun). Do not flatten the buns–they will spread on their own.

Cover buns with a clean tea towel and put in a warm, draft-free spot for 30 to 45 minutes. In a pinch, dough can be left to rest for as little as 10 minutes, but the buns will heavier and more compact.

Bake at 425° for 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Buns will continue to rise during baking.

Remove from pans to wire rack to cool.

Curry

2 pounds cubed chicken breast and/or thighs or beef steak
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 small green pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk*
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Place all ingredients except cornstarch and water in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Place meat in Dutch oven; mix with sauce. Cover and cook on low heat for 2-3 hours or until meat is tender and flavors in sauce are fully developed. Mix cornstarch and water together in small cup and stir in a little of the sauce. Add contents of cup to pan and stir until fully incorporated. Continue stirring and simmering until sauce is thickened and smooth.

Serve with rice or naan.

 

*Can also substitute rice or soy milk.  Flavor won’t be the same, but the curry will still be good.

Seitan

Seitan is a delicious and versatile alternative to meat (stay away from it if you have a gluten allergy, though). This recipe is fine as is, or can be a starting point if you want to get more creative with seasonings.

Dough:

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Stir together gluten, garlic powder and ginger. Combine water, soy sauce and sesame oil and add to dry mixture, stirring together with a fork until soft dough forms. Knead dough about twenty seconds, and let rest for five minutes. Knead for another twenty seconds, and set aside to rest for ten minutes or so. Mix together the ingredients for the broth while you are waiting.

Broth:

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Other flavorings (garlic, onion, ginger, etc.) are optional, but can be added according to taste.

Cut the dough ball into four pieces and flatten and stretch into thin rounds or strips (dough will be rubbery!). Bring broth to a simmer in pan and drop in dough strips. Simmer with lid on for one hour. Note: dough will expand considerably while cooking. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t start to boil dry—add more water if necessary.

Drain finished seitan and store in refrigerator until ready to use (can also be frozen).

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the best!
  • 1 cup (2 cubes) butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

Cream the but­ter, add the sugars and beat until well combined. Beat in one egg and the vanilla. Add the remaining egg and beat just until blended.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix gently. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Drop tablespoons of dough onto the pre­pared baking sheets (don’t flatten the cookies). Bake on the center rack of oven for 12 to 14 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Noodle Casserole

A different take on Mac & Cheese. 
Makes 4-5 main course servings—double the recipe if you’re feeding a crowd.
  • 1 cup ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of cayenne (optional)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cornflake crumbs (for topping)
  • 8 ounces noodles*, cooked al dente
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Butter a 2-1/2 quart baking dish.
Mix together all ingredients except the noodles and cornflake crumbs.
Toss the rinsed and drained noodles with the cheese mixture and turn into the baking dish.
Sprinkle on the cornflake crumbs (breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs, crushed
potato chips, etc. will also work).  Bake for 45 -60 minutes.  Serve with a
green salad or steamed broccoli.
*Penne, rotini, macaroni, etc.

Beef Stroganoff

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1.5 lbs round or sirloin steak, cut into narrow strips
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
Sauté onions in two tablespoons of the butter until they are soft but not browned.  Add the steak and remaining butter and cook until lightly browned on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dissolve the bouillon cube in the boiling water and add to pan along with the Worcestershire, ketchup and mustard.  Turn heat to very low and add flour a little at a time, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Add the mushrooms and simmer slowly until steak is tender (up to one hour, depending on type of steak used–add more bouillon or water if sauce becomes too thick).  Just before serving, add the sour cream and cook gently for another two minutes (do not boil!).  The sour cream is a traditional part of stroganoff, but you can leave it out and the results will still be very tasty.
Serve with rice or buttered egg noodles*.
*Cook and drain egg noodles according to package directions and toss with butter, parmesan cheese and parsley flakes.

A.J.’s Buffalo Wings

  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings and/or legs
  • 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
Sauce*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons FRANK’S® REDHOT® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce (can also use  “LOUISIANA” brand Original Hot Sauce or other similar sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar or honey
  • 6 tablespoons butter

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a large baking sheet with tin foil and coat with vegetable oil. 
    Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Toss the chicken pieces with oil and salt and dredge in the flour.  Place chicken on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.  Turn chicken over and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until the wings/legs are browned and cooked through.
    While chicken is baking, mix sauce ingredients together in a small pan and bring to a simmer (stirring constantly).  Remove from heat.

    When chicken pieces are done, remove from oven and dump into a large mixing bowl. Toss chicken with enough sauce to coat all pieces.  Serve any remaining sauce in a separate bowl.
    *Sauce recipe can be doubled, depending on amount of chicken and whether or not additional sauce to serve alongside is desired.

    Bisquick Pizza Crust

    Not exactly like the chewy crust made from yeast dough, but it’s fast and really tasty!
    • 3  cups Bisquick
    • 2/3  cup very hot water
    • 2  tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
    • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut in strips*
    Mix Bisquick, water and oil together with a fork until soft dough forms, then beat vigorously for about 20 strokes. If dough is too dry to form into a ball you can add another tablespoon or so of water.  Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 450º.  Grease a 12-14″ pizza pan (optional—dust greased pan with cornmeal). Press dough in pan (try to cover entire pan, plus a one-inch overhang.  Place cheese strips along edge of dough. Roll edge of dough over and around cheese; press to seal. Bake 7 minutes and remove from oven.
    Spread sauce (about a cup or so) over pizza.  Sprinkle on other desired toppings (cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, green pepper, etc.).
    Put pizza back in oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.
    *String cheese pieces cut in half work well for this.  You can also try other cheeses such as mild cheddar or Monterey jack.