24 September 2012

Apple Brown Sugar Coffee Cake



I'm obsessed with apples this month.  When I went to the store last week, I bought three bags!  I have been putting them to good use, too.  This is the coffee cake I  made for church yesterday.  This recipe comes from Emeril Legasse.  I've never been a fan of Emeril, but this recipe came up in a search result and looked too good to pass up.


Apple Brown Sugar Coffee Cake

Ingredients:
Cake:
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1½ cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream (light is fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 cups peeled, cored, and chopped apples (I used 3 small Gala)
Crumble Topping:
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
½ tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp butter, softened
Brown Sugar Glaze:
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9x13” glass baking dish with baking spray.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Fold in the apples. Pour into the prepared baking dish, spreading out to the edges.

To make the topping, in a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the cake and bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

To make the glaze, in a bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla, and water and mix until smooth. Drizzle the cake with the glaze and let harden slightly. Serve warm.

Makes 24 servings.






If you (for some odd reason) need to use up a bunch of brown sugar, this is the recipe for you!  Yep, it takes a whole 2 cups of brown sugar.  Definitely not diet food, but coffee cakes rarely are.  My crumble topping didn't turn out quite right, but it's because I melted over-softened the butter.  Not as pretty looking, but still good.  And the brown sugar glaze didn't come out like Emeril's picture.  My glaze just soaked in to the coffee cake so you couldn't really even see it.  Emeril's had definite drizzlings.  Don't know what I did wrong there.  On my cake, the glaze just ended up making kind of a crunchy top to the cake, which wasn't bad.  But next time I might just leave it off.

Topping aside, this is a very good coffee cake.  Moist and delicious.  The apples were the perfect consistency: not too hard and not too soft.

I served this at church alongside Cinnamon Blondies (recipe to follow sometime soon), and I managed to come home empty-handed.  Between those two recipes, I used up every last bit of brown sugar and all-purpose flour I had in the house that day!  In fact, I needed flour to make a gravy for dinner that night (to go with my Cider-Mustard Pork Sirloin Roast, also coming soon), and I had to use bread flour.

You won't be hearing much from me the rest of the week as I will be taking a little blogging break, but I will be back next Monday to share with you a recipe as part of a memorial tribute to a fellow blogger.  Have a great week.

21 September 2012

Chex Pumpkin Pie Crunch




I have the great opportunity of participating in another blog hop series hosted by Savannah of Hammock Tracks.  She has a great series lined up between now and the end of the year.  Today we are talking Tailgate Munchies.

Now, I am not a football fan, and have never been tailgating, but I still have a pretty good idea about what recipes would work well for tailgating.  Remember the stand-by party food, Chex Mix?  There are tons of recipes for different kinds of Chex Mix on their website.  From savory to sweet and everything in between.  This is a great one that I made last year as a Thanksgiving appetizer.  But I think it would be great for tailgating.  I left it pretty much as it was written, except that I added something fun at the end.


Chex Pumpkin Pie Crunch

Ingredients:
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup butter
2  tsp vanilla
2 cups Cinnamon Chex
2 cups Wheat Chex
2 cups Honey Nut Chex
8 oz. pecan halves
2 cups Vanilla Cupcake Grahams Goldfish

Directions:
In small bowl, mix brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice; set aside. In small microwave-safe dish, microwave butter on high about 30 seconds or until melted. Stir in vanilla. In large microwavable bowl, mix all cereals and pecans. Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly distributed. Add sugar and spice mixture and stir until coated.

Microwave uncovered on high 5 minutes or until mixture begins to brown, stirring every minute. Stir in Goldfish.  Spread on wax paper or a cookie sheet to cool. Store in airtight container.

Makes 16 (½ cup) servings.

Did you notice the little thing I added at the end?  The Vanilla Cupcake Graham Goldfish Crackers.  I saw them at the store while I was shopping for ingredients for this and I thought they would be really good in it.  I was right!  They are really cute!

This Chex Mix really does taste like pumpkin pie.  This is great for tailgating because you can make it a day ahead, store it in a big air-tight bowl, and then just throw it in the car when you leave for the game.  Easy peasy!

Come back on October 5 when we will be sharing Pumpkin Delights with you.  


20 September 2012

Improv Challenge: Smoky Sweet Broiled Zucchini



It's reveal day for the Improv Challenge.  The premise of this challenge is easy: each month there are two assigned ingredients.  The participants must make a recipe using both ingredients and blog about it.



This month's assigned ingredients kind of threw me for a loop.  Zucchini and brown sugar.  Zucchini and brown sugar, really?  Nothing immediately came to mind.  I did some extensive googling and found some recipes that use zucchini as an apple substitute in a crisp-type dessert.  That sounded interesting.  But then I decided to go for something more savory.  I thought of roasting the zucchini in a brown sugar/spice blend.  Turns out that zucchini doesn't roast very well because it contains so much water.  So then I decided to try the same idea, only broil it instead of roast it.  I used bigger pieces of zucchini and I thought cooking it at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time would bring less water out of it.  I was right.  It actually worked!

Smoky Sweet Broiled Zucchini

Ingredients:
2 medium zucchini
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt

Directions:
Preheat broiler.  Line a baking sheet with foil.

Slice zucchini lengthwise into ¼” slices.  Lay slices on baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, and salt.  Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the zucchini slices.  Place under broiler and broil for about 8 minutes, or until zucchini just starts to get tender.

Makes 4 servings.

I've definitely never had zucchini like this before.  The great thing about zucchini is that its flavor is mild enough that you put pretty much any kind of seasoning with it.  The brown sugar and smoked paprika go really well together and the zucchini is a great canvas for them.  They definitely take boring old zucchini up a notch! 

Be sure to check out all the other great zucchini and brown sugar recipes below and come back next month to see what I make with oatmeal and raisins!




17 September 2012

Butternut Garlic Quiche




One day last week I was trying to decide what to make for dinner that evening.  I hadn't been to the store recently, so I was scrounging around in the pantry and the freezer to see what I could use.  I think it's good to do that every once in a while, because you find stuff you forgot you had that really should be used up!  And that's exactly what happened that day.  I was kind of wanting to make a quiche, and have it be our meatless meal of the week.  I dug through the freezer to see what I could throw into a quiche.  I found a box of butternut squash puree shoved all the way in the back and totally forgotten about.  I didn't even remember buying it or how long it had been in there.  A quick check of the box revealed that it was still well within its expiration date.  Yay!  I had never used butternut squash in a quiche, but I thought, "Why not?"

I moved my search down to the fridge to see what else I could put in this quiche.  I found a container of that Philadelphia Cooking Creme that I bought a while back.  The Savory Garlic flavor.  I bought it because it was on sale and I had a good coupon, but I didn't know what I was going to make with it.  So it sat there for a long time.  It was expiring that week.  Yikes! Better use that up.  So, using my basic quiche formula (6 eggs and no milk), I added some of the butternut squash and some of the flavored cream cheese, threw it in the oven, and hoped for the best!  I honestly had absolutely no idea what was going to come out of that oven.  I even spent some time thinking about what sandwich I would order if I had to send my husband down to Subway.

I was very surprised when I pulled this quiche out of the oven.  It didn't look like my other quiches.  For some reason the pie crust edges had kind of folded in and the filling was pretty much covering it all up.  But it smelled good and had a very pretty color, so I thought we would give it a try.

I forgot to get a pic of it before I cut it.  I have decided that the edge problem is cook's error. I must have not pressed the edges against the sides while I was crimping.

This quiche is unlike any I have ever had.  The consistency is completely different, but it was really good!  It turns out super light and fluffy.  The combination of flavors is amazing too.  The slight sweetness of the butternut squash with the garlic cream cheese is amazing.  I wasn't sure what my husband would think of it,  but he raved about it.  My four-year-old liked it too.  I was very surprised to find that this was one of my more successful kitchen experiments!


Butternut Garlic Quiche

Ingredients:
1 (9”) refrigerated pie shell
6 eggs
½ cup butternut squash puree
½ cup Savory Garlic Cooking Crème
½ tsp salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°.  Remove pie shell from fridge at least 15 minutes before using.  

Spray a pie plate with nonstick spray, then carefully roll out pie shell.  Fold over and crimp edges.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs.  Add squash puree, cooking crème, and salt.  Mix well.  Pour into pie shell and bake 40 minutes, or until quiche is set in the center.  Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Makes 6 servings.


Now I kind of want to try this with pumpkin puree!

15 September 2012

Eating the Alphabet: Mushroom Quinoa Pilaf



Today is reveal day for the Eating The Alphabet Challenge.  This month we had to chose a fruit, vegetable, grain, bean, or legume that began with the letters P, Q, or R.  Three options!  Lots of choices there.



While I was really, really tempted to do something with pumpkin, I resisted in favor of cooking with something I had never cooked before.  Which, for me, is the whole point of this challenge.  As you have probably noticed, quinoa recipes are everywhere right now.  It's probably the most popular food on blogs right now.  While quinoa isn't technically a grain, (it's actually a seed), I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try it.  I don't know why I haven't tried it before; I guess I just needed that little nudge!  Of course, there were thousands of recipes to choose from.  I looked for one that would be a great way to introduce quinoa to my family.  One that had flavor profiles we were already used to, to keep things simple.  After much searching, I found a recipe for Quinoa Pilaf with Crimini Mushrooms on the Food Network site. That sounded right up my alley.  I changed it just slightly; here's my adaptation.


Mushroom Quinoa Pilaf

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 (8 oz.) pkg cremini, or mini bella, mushrooms, chopped
1½ cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
¼ tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
Salt, to taste

Directions:
Heat a large skillet on high heat.  Add the olive oil and swirl it around to make sure the entire surface is covered with oil. Add the shallot and sweat (cook until translucent but not brown). Add the cremini mushrooms and cook until brown. Add the quinoa, thyme, and bay leaf to the pan and stir. Let the ingredients heat up and toast a little to bring out all their fullest flavors. 

Slowly and carefully add the beef broth (it will spatter because the pan and ingredients are hot). When it comes to full boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook for about 15-20 minutes.  Turn off the heat, remove lid and fluff the quinoa and then allow to sit for about 10 minutes.  Taste for seasoning, adding salt if necessary.  Serve warm.

Makes 4-6 servings.

The few changes I made from the original include: increasing the mushrooms by a whole lot, using dried thyme instead of fresh, and using beef broth instead of vegetable.  I think beef broth works really well in mushroom dishes.  But definitely use vegetable broth if you want this to be vegetarian.

The quinoa I used said that it didn't need to be rinsed.  Check the package before doing that step.

This dish was a hit with my family.  My husband and four-year-old loved it, and I think my 2-year-old would have loved it too, but she didn't actually try it.  I think the mushrooms threw her off.  She didn't touch it for the longest time, then she picked up a mushroom.  She put it in her mouth and looked at me like, "Eww, what did I just put in my mouth?"  I encouraged her to eat it, telling her how yummy it was, and she did.  Then she decided that she loved mushrooms, and picked them all out of her quinoa and ate them, leaving the quinoa behind.  So, I can't say that she didn't like the quinoa, because she didn't try it.  I'll definitely get her to try it next time.

I loved it!  Quinoa definitely has a unique texture.  I've heard it described as "chewy", but I'm not sure that accurately describes it.  It has more of a bite to it than rice or couscous.  And it has a nice, nutty flavor.  I ate the leftovers as my entire lunch the next day and was fully satisfied.  Quinoa is a great alternative to rice or couscous because it is loaded with fiber and is a great source of protein.  It has definitely become a pantry staple in my house! I can't wait to try more quinoa recipes.



12 September 2012

Mango Muffins





I realized that it has been a while since I shared a new muffin recipe with you, so how about I fix that?  One day last month I decided to make some muffins and went scrounging around in the kitchen for ingredients.  I was in the mood for a fruity-type muffin, but as it was nearing grocery-shopping day, I didn't have much fresh fruit in the house.  Then I remembered that I did have a pretty good-sized mango still on the counter.  I wasn't sure if mangoes made good muffins, but a quick Google search yielded many results.  A lot of them called for dicing the mango, but the recipe that caught my eye was one that called for a mango puree.  I thought that sounded really interesting.  It came from a blog called Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.  Here's my slight adaptation.

 Mango Muffins

Ingredients:
1¾ cup flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp powdered ginger
½ cup canola oil
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1¾ - 2 cups mango puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
Sugar in the Raw

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°.  Coat a muffin tin with baking spray.

In one bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and powdered ginger.

In a larger bowl, mix the oil, sugar, egg, mango puree, and vanilla extract.

Mix the flour mixture into the mango mixture until all the wet ingredients are just moist. Do not overmix. The batter should be lumpy, like pancake batter, rather than smooth.  Divide the batter equally among the 12 muffin tins.  Top each muffin with a sprinkling of raw sugar.

Bake for about 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out almost dry, with a few crumbs sticking to it.

Let cool for a couple of minutes before unmolding.

Makes 12 muffins.

The recipe called for 2 cups of pureed mango, and I wasn't sure I would have enough since I only had one mango.  It can be quite difficult to get all of the flesh off of a mango pit.  I ended up with 1¾ cups; I thought that seemed close enough!  I did increase the amount of oil slightly to make up for having less liquid with the mango.  It originally called for 6 tbsp, so I made it an even half cup.  The original recipe also called for nutmeg, but I used ginger instead.  I think ginger and mango go really well together.


I used my handy-dandy square muffin tin.  They are smaller than regular muffin cups, so I think I got about a dozen and a half out of this recipe.  I just love the beautiful orange color.  

Anne from Authentic Simplicity chose to make this recipe when she was assigned my blog for the Secret Recipe Club in March 2013.  Click on the button below to check out her post!
Secret Recipe Club


Now I ask that you indulge me for just one quick "proud mama" moment:


I didn't post on Monday because I was busy taking my oldest daughter, Lena, to her first day of school.  She is starting her second year of preschool.  She looks so grown up wearing her sassy new clothes and sporting her new My Little Pony backpack.  She absolutely loves school and couldn't wait to go back.  I know she'll have another great year.




07 September 2012

Caramel Apple Crisp Pizza

 


I'm doing double duty today!  You're getting two great recipes today.  I already posted my Crazy Cooking Challenge recipe for Homemade Smoky Ranch Dressing, and now I'm sharing with you my first fall dessert of the year.  This is part of an apple-themed blog hop hosted by Savannah of Hammock Tracks.  I saw this awesome dessert over at Life As A Lofthouse, and I couldn't wait to try it.  

Caramel Apple Crisp Pizza

Ingredients:
1 refrigerated pie crust (for 9” pie)
⅔ cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
4 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced (I used Golden Delicious)
½ cup flour
⅓ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup quick or rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp butter, softened
Caramel sauce, for drizzling
Vanilla ice cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°.  Remove pie crust from fridge and let sit for 15 minutes before using.  Lightly dust a 12” pizza stone or pan with flour.  Carefully unroll pie dough onto the pizza stone and smooth out any wrinkles or cracks.

Combine sugar, 3 tbsp flour,  and 1 tsp cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add apples and toss. Arrange the apples in a single layer over the pie crust to completely cover it.

Combine the ½ cup flour, brown sugar, quick oats, 1 tsp cinnamon, and butter in a bowl and then sprinkle evenly over the apples.

Bake at 30 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove from oven and immediately drizzle with caramel sauce. Cut pizza into slices and serve warm with ice cream.

Makes 8 servings.




Isn't it beautiful?  This was the perfect way to kick off fall in my house.  This pizza is so good!  I used Golden Delicious apples and they were just perfectly soft and tender.  The perfect companion to the crunchy oat topping and the sweet caramel sauce.  


 It's really good by itself, just with the drizzle of caramel sauce. . . .


. . . even better with some whipped cream, but the best way to eat it is warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream like in the first picture.  So good!  

I made this on Labor Day.  We had some family in town and had a little cookout.  Unfortunately, our family wanted to get back on the road and left while this dessert was in the oven.  They have no idea what they missed out on!  But as you can imagine, my husband and I just said to ourselves, "More for us!" :)

This was the perfect way to kick off fall baking and desserts.  I can't wait to bust out the pumpkin!

Be sure to check out all the other great apple recipes in the list below.



Crazy Cooking Challenge: Smoky Ranch Dressing



It's the seventh day of the month, and that means it's time to share with you another great Crazy Cooking Challenge.  In this challenge, all the participants make and blog about the same dish each month.  Each blogger is to post a unique version of whatever that month's dish is.  This month's assigned dish was Ranch dressing.  So we were to find a great Ranch dressing recipe, make it, and blog about it.

Photobucket

Despite learning about this challenge only a day and a half before this morning's reveal, I was excited to participate.  While my family loves Ranch dressing, I had never made it from scratch before.  So as soon as I heard about this challenge, I knew I wanted to make one from scratch.  I did some searching around and finally found a recipe on Tastebook that I wanted to try.  It was called Smoky Ranch Dressing, and contained smoked paprika, which is probably my favorite, and most over-used, spice.  It's so different from regular (sweet) paprika.  The smoked flavor is just amazing.  So I couldn't wait to make a Ranch dressing with it.  I changed the recipe just slightly; here's my version.

Smoky Ranch Dressing
    
Ingredients:
1 cup buttermilk
⅔ cup mayonnaise
⅔ cup sour cream
1 clove garlic, grated
6-8 springs fresh cilantro or parsley
1 green onion, thinly sliced 
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika

Directions:
Put all ingredients into the blender and puree until smooth.  Pour into a sealable container and refrigerate until serving.  Best made a day ahead.

Makes 2 cups.

I had no idea homemade Ranch dressing was so easy to make!  The recipe I used called for chopping everything up very finely and mixing by hand, but I wanted tiny flecks instead of chunks, so I went with the blender.  Easy peasy.  I do recommend making this ahead of time, like the day before.  For one reason, it gives the flavors a chance to meld and mingle and makes it taste that much better.  For another reason, it helps it set up a little bit.  It turns out kind of runny after being blended, so time in the fridge will thicken it.  And finally, blending it makes it quite bubbly, so it needs some time to settle and for the bubbles to go away. Since I didn't have much time since finding out about the challenge, I made mine in the morning and we had it for dinner.  You can see that some of the bubbles were still hanging out at that point!



 We put this dressing on salad.


 And we dipped chicken fingers in it.  I made my Baked Chicken Fingers to go with it and it was so good!



I loved, loved, loved, this dressing.  Despite doubling the mayo, it still came out a bit thinner than bottled Ranch dressing, but it was so tasty that I didn't care.  I doubled the smoked paprika from the original recipe (surprise, surprise!), and it was just perfect.  It lends such a great smoky flavor, and just a tiny bit of heat.  Enough heat that I could taste it and appreciate it, but not so much that my four-year-old wouldn't eat it.  She loved this dressing.  My husband wasn't a huge fan, claiming it was kind of bland, but I think he's crazy.  (He always adds more salt at the table to foods I think are just perfect, so I think his palate is a little off!)

I am really glad that I got this opportunity to try homemade Ranch dressing.  Now that I know how easy it is, I can't wait to try all different kinds!

05 September 2012

BLT Dip






Here is the third recipe I need to share with you from my niece's baptism lunch.  You've already seen the Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing and the Slow Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwiches.  I rounded out the meal by serving this BLT Dip with crackers and fresh veggies.  This is a creamy dip with chunks of fresh tomatoes and crispy bacon served in a bed of lettuce.  All the flavors of a BLT sandwich.  I got the recipe from Taste of Home.


BLT Dip

Ingredients:
2 cups (16 oz.) light sour cream
2 cups light mayonnaise
1½ lbs. sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 green onions, chopped
Green leaf lettuce
Crackers, chips, and fresh veggies

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, bacon, and tomatoes. Refrigerate overnight or until serving. 

Line a serving bowl with green leaf lettuce.  Pour the dip in.  Garnish with green onions. Serve with crackers, chips, and fresh veggies. 

Makes 6 cups.


The only thing I changed from the original recipe was to use low fat sour cream and mayo, and I reduced the amount of bacon.  The original called for two pounds.  That is a lot of bacon!  I can't tell you exactly how much I used, but it was somewhere between one and one and a half pounds.  Probably closer to one, I would say.  It really does taste better if you make it the day before and refrigerate it overnight.  I could tell a big difference in the taste.

I served this dip without (apparently) telling my guests what it was and after digging into it, our friend, Bobbi, said, "This dip tastes just like a BLT sandwich!"  So I guess it lives up to its name!  


Sometime I will get around to sharing with you the recipe for the Orange Creamsicle Cookies I made for dessert that day.  Come back on Friday for a shifting of the seasons; my first apple dessert of the year.

03 September 2012

Secret Recipe Club: Rainbow Veggie Pizza





Happy Labor Day!  While holidays are always fun, this one kinda makes me sad because it means summer is essentially over.  It always goes by way too fast!  But today is going to be fun because we have some family in town and so we're having a little cookout.  Bacon-wrapped barbecued chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans, baked beans, etc.  One last summer meal!

Today is also reveal day for The Secret Recipe Club. The Secret Recipe Club is a group of food bloggers who secretly make one of someone else's dishes and post them all on the same day at the same time.  It's really fun, choosing a recipe to make, making the recipe, then reading about everyone else's recipes.  It's a great way to "meet" other bloggers and check out some great blogs that you never knew about before.

Secret Recipe Club

This month I was assigned the blog Parsley, Sage, and Sweet.  It's written by Lisa, who is a fellow baseball fan.  She roots for the Yankees while I'm a Cardinals girl.  :)  She describes her blog as "100% food with a little side of life and other ramblings, depending on my mood."  She likes to write fiction as well as recipes, and many of her posts include a chapter of a progressive story she is writing.  How interesting!  She has some amazing food on her blog.  Lots of really amazing breads and desserts.  There's Double Berry Swirl Yogurt Pound Cake, Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart, and Blueberry Lime Coconut Pudding Cake.  Not being the most confident baker, I gravitated toward her savory offerings.  Her Ginger Scallion Noodles, Braised Chicken with Shallots, and Eggs in French Toast Cups with Bacon and Brie all caught my eye.  I actually ended up making two recipes from her blog this month.  I made the Ginger Scallion Noodles, and they were really good.  

But the recipe I am sharing with you today is a feast for the eyes as much as the stomach.  I made her Sourdough Roasted Garlic Three Cheese Rainbow Pizza.  I thought it was so beautiful.  I always do a meatless dish at least once a week, and it had been a while since I made pizza, so I thought it was the perfect choice.  I changed it up a little bit to suit our tastes and the produce that was available to me.  I made my tried-and-true pizza dough instead of the sourdough one she used, and I cut out one of the cheeses (I am lactose intolerant, so I tried not to do too much of a cheese overload), and I switched out some of the veggies.  Here's my version.

Rainbow Veggie Pizza

Ingredients:
2 heads garlic
2 tsp olive oil
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 lb. pizza dough (I use the recipe from Lauren's Latest)
Cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup matchstick carrots, lightly steamed
1 ear sweet corn, cut off the ear
1 zucchini, diced, lightly steamed
½ large red onion, roughly chopped
Shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°.  Slice the top third off the heads of garlic.  Drizzle the tops with olive oil and wrap up in foil.  Roast until garlic is completely soft, 45 minutes to an hour.  Remove from oven and let cool.  When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic out of the papery skin and into a small bowl.  Mash with a rubber scraper or spoon until smooth.  Stir roasted garlic into the cream cheese.  Set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 450°.  Stretch pizza dough out on a 15” pizza stone.  Bake pizza dough for about 10 minutes, or until color starts to form around the edge.  Remove from oven.

Spread roasted garlic cream cheese on pizza crust.  Top with cherry tomatoes, matchstick carrots, sweet corn, zucchini, red onion, and shredded Parmesan cheese.  Return to oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until edges of crust are golden brown.  Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and cut into 8 equal pieces.

Makes 4 servings, 2 pieces each.





Lisa used orange and green bell peppers for the orange and green elements of the pizza, but we don't like bell peppers so I used carrots and zucchini instead.  That worked out well.  I couldn't find purple potatoes the day I made this, despite trying two different stores which I know have carried them in the past. :( So I had to make do with the red onion supplying the purple component.

The roasted garlic cream cheese is so good on a pizza!  I never would have thought to use that.  If you are a big garlic lover, you could increase it to 3 heads instead of 2.  But it's good with 2 also.

While my little one couldn't eat this pizza because she is allergic to dairy, my four-year-old loved it.  She is really into My Little Pony, and her favorite pony is Rainbow Dash, so we told her that this is Rainbow Dash's favorite pizza, and she gobbled it up!  Yes, we are sneaky like that! :)


Thanks for a great recipe, Lisa!