Homemade Pizza and Pesto Pasta

Last week my husband and I spent a wonderful evening celebrating our wedding anniversary! I decided to utilize the new skills that I learned at Central Market’s “Italian Fresh Pasta” class, and make some Pasta with Pesto and homemade pizza. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the wonderful Kitchen Aid attachments that I used in the class, so my trusty hands and rolling pin were the tools I had to work with.

Since I already made the pasta dough in class there were just a few steps I had to take before the pasta was ready for the pot.

**Side Note: You can use these same techniques with store bought frozen dough.

  • Take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit until it reaches room temperature
  • Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until slightly soft
  • Cut the dough into fourths and roll out the pieces until sheet thin
  • Cut each large piece in half to make it easier to work with
  • Using a pizza cutter, cut the pasta sheets into thin strips, the size of Fettuccine

Once I finished cutting the pasta it was time to finish my pizza! I have to say everything turned out wonderful. We topped off the meal with a delicious Caesar Salad and a bottle of Pinot Noir. Give these recipes a try…they are delish! Continue reading

Central Market Cooking Class – Italian Fresh Pasta

This past Monday I took my second cooking class at Central Market, Italian Fresh Pasta, and it was Fabulous!! When deciding which class I was going to take next two things came to mind, my love for pasta, and my desire to squash my fear of homemade dough.

My one and only attempt at making my own dough was for a Cooking Light Chicken Pot Pie recipe. So many things went wrong with that crust and all I can say is that was just simply edible. I definitely wouldn’t fancy myself a baker and my lack of experience has kept me from venturing in to the world of homemade breads and anything in need of a crust. My pizzas always just turn out “okay” and I know it’s because of the frozen pizza crust that I use. I knew I could eventually wrap my mind around these recipes…it would just take some practice.

A pasta class seemed like the perfect solution to my problem. Not only do I love pasta, but I could take my new techniques and try my hand at other homemade doughs. When I got to the class I was really excited but a little apprehensive of the fact that we would be making our pasta in groups. I didn’t know how much I would actually be able to make myself. Needless to say the groups were necessary in order to prepare the amazing menu we would enjoy for dinner in just two and a half hours. Continue reading

Fall, football, and tons of delicious food!

Fall is my favorite time of the year. Especially living in Texas, it’s so nice when the cool weather starts to give you a break from the heat. From Halloween to Thanksgiving, Fall is the time for parties, friends, family, and FOOD! To kick off this festive time of year, football definitely gets the party started.

I love football food! Chips, dips, hamburgers, and hotdogs are just a few things that make Saturday afternoons a joy. This past weekend was a pretty big game for all of us Okies and Texans. The Red River Shootout (OU vs. TX to be exact) didn’t turn out the way my household wanted it to, but we still had tons of food and fun.

My husband was in charge of the grill and I was in charge of the dips. Give our creations a try at your next football party! They are DELISH! Continue reading

Adventures in Shell Fish: Lobster Tails & Crab Claws

Tonight’s Inspiration: Weekend special at Central Market – Lobster Tails $4.99 a piece (4oz); Snow Crab Clusters $4.99 a pound

Tonight’s Mission: Don’t overcook the Lobster!

Last Friday I was going about my everyday work routine when a lovely little email popped into my mail box – Central Market was having a weekend only special on seafood. But not just any seafood, Lobster and Crab! I am a lover of shell fish, but most of all, I am a lover of Lobster, especially Lobster tail. Unfortunately, I don’t usually cook, well I’ve never cooked, with said ingredient because of the expensive price tag. So when I saw the golden opportunity to try my hand at one of my favorite foods…I jumped.

The Menu:

  • Four 4 oz Lobster Tails, Steamed
  • Two Crab clusters, Pre-Cooked
  • Boiled New Potatoes & Green Beans
  • Sourdough Baguette with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
  • Delicious White Wine

When I started to prep everything I have to admit, I was pretty nervous. This was my first chance to really show off to my hubby in the kitchen, and make him his FAVORITE food for the first time. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. The first question was, how do I cook it? After conversing with Matt we decided that the potential for failure was greater with the grill, I would probably most definitely overcook it in the oven, and boiling just didn’t seem that sexy. So the verdict was STEAMING. Second question, these lovely little creatures look so nice and snug in their shells. Do I just drop them in to the steam basic as is, or do I have to cut into something? I have one very trusty friend that I turn to in times of need in the kitchen…Google.

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A Deep Fried, Rainy Afternoon

State FairNothing says Fall in Texas like football and deep fried madness at the State Fair of Texas. Every year maroon and burnt orange collide at the greatest fair in Dallas. Now, I’m sure when most people think “fair” they think rides, games, petting zoos, and crafts. Well Big Tex does offer all of these fun festivities, but when I think fair I only think of one thing…food, more food, tons of food…tons of FRIED FOOD! Oh, and a pretty sweet car show as well.

Each season only the finest are crowned winners of the Big Tex Choice Awards. This year’s finalist were comprised of:

Green Goblins – Cherry peppers are hollowed out, stuffed with spicy shredded chicken and guacamole, then battered and deep fried.  Served three to a skewer and topped with queso.

Deep Fried Butter – 100% pure butter is whipped till light and fluffy, then specially sweetened with a choice of several flavors.  The tantalizing mixture is surrounded by a special dough and quick fried.

Twisted Yam on a Stick – A delicious, towering, spiral-cut sweet potato on a 13” skewer is fried to a delicate crispy texture, then gently rolled in butter and dusted with cinnamon and sugar.

Fernie’s Deep Fried Peaches & Cream – Sweet juicy peaches are coated in a delicious batter of cinnamon, ginger, coconut, graham cracker crumbs, eggs & milk, then deep fried to a crunchy golden brown on the outside, while luscious and sweet on the inside.  Served on a plate drizzled with raspberry sauce, lightly dusted with powdered sugar and topped with a cool dollop of whipped cream.  A side of vanilla butter cream icing is provided for dipping.

Texas Fried Pecan Pie – A mini-pecan pie is battered and deep fried to a golden brown.  Served drizzled with rich caramel sauce, then topped with whipping cream and chopped candied pecans.

Country Fried Pork Chips – Thin sliced pork loin is seasoned, surrounded by a tasty corn meal batter and deep fried.  Served with sides of ketchup or cream gravy.

Sweet Jalapeno Corn Dog Shrimp – Shrimp on a stick is coated with a sweet and spicy corn meal batter, then deep fried to a golden brown and served with a spicy glaze.

Fried Peanut Butter Cup Macaroon – A peanut butter cup is wrapped inside a coconut macaroon fried and dusted with powdered sugar.  Also available with a scoop of Blue Bell ice cream.

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