Tuesday 19 April 2016

Perogy & Bratwurst Pizza

We have pizza almost every single Friday in my household.  As much as we love traditional toppings, I like to try and create something random and new every now and then.  This one was born the night after we had perogies and sausage, and I had just the right amount of leftovers to whip this up.   Throw some caramelized onions on too, if you don't have little gremlins at home like mine that turn their nose up at them :)  You won't be disappointed!

  • 1 12 inch recipe of your favorite pizza dough (my fave recipe follows, or can be found here)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp half and half or heavy cream
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 8 perogies (about 240 g, or 1/2 a pound), purchased, or my homemade
  • 4 oz cubed, cooked bratwurst (about 120 g)
  • 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  • -Spread prepared pizza dough on a lightly greased 12 inch pizza pan.
  • -Prepare perogies according to package directions.  Or make you own, as I did, here!  Drain and allow to cool slightly. Coarsely chop the perogies and set aside.
  • -Prepare sauce by combining sour cream, half and half, dill weed, and garlic. Spread the sauce evenly over the pizza dough and top with bratwurst and perogies. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella on top.
  • -Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

My favorite pizza dough recipe: (this makes enough for 3 thin crust, or 2 regular crust pizzas). This dough also freezes exceptionally well, and I have it portioned out in my freezer.  Just let it thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours before using:

-2 & 1/4 tsp active dry yeast 

-1 & 1/4 cups warm water 
-1 tbsp sugar 
-2 tbsp olive oil 
-1/2 tsp salt 
-3 cups all purpose flour 

Dissolve the sugar in warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top, and allow to sit in a warm place for 5 minutes, until foamy. Add the olive oil, salt, and 1 cup of the flour. With a whisk, beat until smooth. Add the remaining flour, a cup at a time, until you have a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Cover the dough and let rest in a warm place for about 25 minutes.

Friday 8 April 2016

Swirled Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

The kids and I haven't baked a cake in ages.  Or at least that's what my daughter told me last week....

"Mom, I haven't licked a beater in ages.  We should probably make a cake for dad to eat."

Why not?   As soon as I give them the nod that it's time to bake they race to the table to grab a chair and push it up to the counter.   Now that they are both equally keen on helping me, it's actually a bit of an exhausting endeavor.  They fight over who will stir first.....who will measure out the next scoop of ingredients..... who will crack the next egg.  Yup, that's right.  These kids can crack eggs.  Even the little guy, still in his twos, doesn't do too badly at it....

I had a jar of peanut butter that was nearing the end of it's life.  If I scraped it clean, I'd probably have about 1/4 of a cup.  I hate using that last bit of the peanut butter for toast and sandwiches....it's such a pain scooping out those last bits.  Using a spatula to get rid of that last bit for a recipe would save me from this over the next couple days.  I'm doing myself a favor by making peanut butter cake.....

Whenever I am looking for a new recipe, my very first stop is always Taste of Home.  I did a quick search for peanut butter and chocolate cake and came across this little gem:  Swirled Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake  .  It was so easy to make, and turned out to be a very rich, moist, and fudgy tasting cake.  The peanut butter swirls almost taste a little cheese-cakey thanks to the cream cheese and egg combo.  I froze a portion of this cake too, and it held up really well.  (Let's face it, if I had this delicious cake sitting on my counter, it would be in my belly by the end of a couple days.......)  Here is the recipe, straight from Taste of Home, with a few photos added by me.

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  • 1. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into oil. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.
  • 2. In another bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, 1/3 cup sugar, egg and salt until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.
  • 3. Drop by tablespoonfuls over cake batter; cut through batter with a knife to swirl the peanut butter mixture. Sprinkle with pecans and remaining sugar.

  • 4. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before cutting. Refrigerate leftovers.Yield: 24 servings.
Nutritional Facts
1 serving (1 piece) equals 217 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 14 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.
The finished product
Look at these happy little bakers!