Pizza · Recipes

pizza worship

Delicious Pizza!We love pizza.  We’ve been working on perfecting it for years!  It’s an endless mission, but we love a challenge.  Our original pizza dough is great, but I’ve got another one I’ve been working on.  We’re always trying new toppings.  I think I’ll try using the roasted butternut squash or Laura’s bacon jam next time.  Now my mouth is watering.

Wood Fired Pizza OvenWe love pizza so much, we had to build a wood fired pizza oven in our back yard.  It was a lot of fun and a lot of work!  We finished in just under 6 months, thanks to my genius Dad and wonderful Sunshine.   Check out our journey on my new blog, Marge-Alicious Morsels.  I’ve actually moved Marge-Alicious Morsels to a new location and added some cool features and a new look.   You’ll have to re-subscribe to the new site, but I promise it will be worth your trouble.

Miss PaigeyHey Mom, Paigey needs a new dress.

Recipes

Marge-alicious Morsels!

Hello my friends!  It’s been a while!

I just started my new blog: Marge-alicious Morsels!  Check out my first post about strawberry ice cream made with dry ice, topped with balsamic caviar.   If you like Sloppy, Drunk and Delicious, you’re gonna love Marge-aliciuos Morsels.  I’m going to be adding regular videos as well.

Check it out and follow me:)  I don’t want you to miss out on all the fun!

XOXO

Marge

Healthy · Main Dish · Pasta · Recipes · Vegetarian

Cauliflower Chiocciole and Cheese


I love this stuff.  It’s a mac and cheese with cauliflower, but with chiocciole pasta instead of elbow macaroni.  Chiocciole takes its shape from its name, which means snail in Italian.  It’s a great vessel for holding the cheesy sauce.  And the best part…it’s delicious and lower in fat than most mac and cheese recipes.  The original recipe is from the Real Simple website.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.  Sorry about that.  I do have some fun stuff up my sleeve, so get ready.  I promise they will be worth the wait.

Cauliflower Chiocciole and Cheese

  • 12 ounces chiocciole or elbow macaroni
  • 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup 1 percent milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • dash of freshly grated nutmeg
  • bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Heat oven to 400º F.

Heat a large pot over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Sauté onion for 3-5 minutes, season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and add cheese, sour cream, milk, Dijon mustard and nutmeg.

Cook pasta according to the package directions (or just a few minutes under); adding the cauliflower during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.  Transfer the cauliflower and pasta with a slotted spoon to the onion and cheese mixture.  Transfer to a baking dish and bake 12-15 minutes.

In a small sauce pan, heat 1/2 cup bread crumbs with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, stirring frequently until slightly toasted and fragrant.  Sprinkle over baked pasta.

Drizzle with a finishing olive oil.  Good stuff.

We’ve been hard at work on the pizza oven.  And when I say we, I really mean Dad and Sunshine.  Check out these latest photos of the men at work.

Sunshine applying the mud over the insulation blanket and chicken wire.

Now we just have to wait for it to dry, and then apply the decorative exterior tiles and bricks.  And that makes Sunshine one happy boy.

Healthy · Main Dish · Recipes · Vegetarian

Fish-a-licious

I don’t know why I love to do that to words.  Fish-a-licious just works for me.  It’s fish, it’s delicious, and there you have it.  Fish-a-licious.  This is Guy Fieri’s version of Halibut Veracruz.  I bought fancy wild caught halibut from Santa Monica Seafood.  It cost an arm and a leg, but it was worth it.  You can use the sauce on almost any fish.  We’ve used it on swai from Ralph’s, which cost less than five bucks.  Just try it, you’ll like it.  Here is my ever-so-slightly tweaked version.

Halibut Veracruz

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2-cans of diced and fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles and their juice (from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, fine dice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4-8 ounce halibut fillets
  • 1/2 cup Spanish olives, cut into thin rounds, plus 2 tablespoons of olive juice from the bottle
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium avocados, peeled and sliced

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Heat oil in a medium pan over medium heat.  Add onions and cook for 3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and their juice, jalapeño and white wine.  Cook until reduced by 2/3, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Add olives and olive juice.  Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.

In a separate oven proof pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat.  Season fish with kosher salt on both sides.  Add fish to the pan once the butter has melted.  Cook until bottom side is browned and you can flip the fish without tearing the bottom side (trust me, I shredded my fish because I was impatient last time I made this).  Once flipped, dot with remaining 1 tablespoon butter and insert into the oven.  Bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes depending on size of your fish.

To serve, divide fish among 4 plates, top with avocado slices and sauce.

Here’s Sunshine!  He’s sizzling hot in his Elmo pajamas.  Peace.

Main Dish · Recipes

roasted chicken and a confession

I have a confession to make.  I haven’t posted in a while, as many of you know.   Sure I’ve been busy at work, but I’m always busy at work.  The truth is I’ve been playing too much.  Words with Friends and Hanging with Friends have taken over my life.  I hate those games, but I love them at the same time.  I had to delete those games from my ipad…there was always just one more word to play.  It’s amazing how much more I can do with my day now.  So there you have it.  My confession is complete.  I feel so much better now.

Time to talk chicken.  I love roasted chicken and this is one of my favorite recipes.  Veronica made this for us a while ago.  She found this recipe on the Food Network website.  The herbs tucked under the skin add a ton of flavor.  I like roasting two birds at a time so that I can have enough for salads or sandwiches for the week.  I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit…

Anne Burrell’s Herb Roasted Chicken

  • 5 sprigs rosemary, picked and finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons
  • 10 sage leaves, finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 (3 to 3 1/2-pound) whole chickens
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 large onion, cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 6 ribs celery, cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 sprigs of thyme, tied in a bundle with kitchen twine
  • 4 cups chicken stock
Preheat oven to 450° F.
In a small bowl combine rosemary, sage, garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil.  Season generously with salt.  Using your finger tips carefully work your way under the skin of the chickens to separate the skin from the breast to develop a pocket.  Schmear the herb paste under the skin of both chickens.  Drizzle with more olive oil and massage into the skin.  Sprinkle each chicken generously with salt.

Place the diced vegetables, bay leaf and thyme bundle in a 9 by 13-inch roasting pan.  Add about 1-2 cups of chicken stock.  Arrange the chickens on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan and place in the oven.

Check the chickens about 15 minutes into the cooking process, the skin should be starting to turn a lovely brown.  Lower the heat to 375°F and continue roasting.  After another 15 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and turn over.  Return the chickens to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes or until the chickens have browned on the bottom.  Remove the chicken from the oven and turn over.  Check to make sure the chicken stock has not evaporated, adding more as needed.  Return the chicken for the final 15-25 minutes of cooking.  Insert an instant read thermometer in the crease between the thigh and breast, taking care not to touch the bone.  The temperature should reach 160-170° F.  If the chicken temperature reads below 160º F, continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes.  If the skin starts to get too dark, cover loosely with foil.

Let the chickens rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Skim off the fat from the vegetables, and serve with the chicken.

Save the bones to make chicken stock.  I throw mine in a crock pot with a quartered onion (unpeeled), a carrot snapped in half, a celery stalk snapped in half and a bay leaf.  I might throw in a handful of parsley and peppercorns too.  Cook on low for 5-8 hours, depending on your mood and how much time you have.  Strain it and refrigerate it.  The fat will rise to the top and harden overnight.  Skim the fat off of the surface of the stock and freeze in small portions as needed.

Delicious.

Miss Molly loves her new wheels, but sometimes she gets tired.

Good night, Molly.

Healthy · Recipes · Side Dish · Vegetarian

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

I’ve been having a hard time saying good bye to summer.  I love the long days, Vacation Sundays at Veronica’s and making ice cream.  I especially love the tomato bounty in the garden.  There’s nothing better than picking a perfectly ripe tomato off the vine and popping it in my mouth.

Sunshine picked up a handful of tomatoes from the grocery store.  They looked okay, just not as glorious as the ones from our garden.  So I decided to give them a little slow roasting love.  We enjoyed them on our pizza at Chik’s house a few nights ago with a little Mt. Tam triple cream cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, burrata and some pine nuts.

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

  • Medium size tomatoes
  • Fennel seeds
  • Dried oregano, hand crushed
  • Grey salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive Oil

Place in a 250° oven on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with fennel seeds, crushed oregano, salt and pepper.  Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 3-5 hours, just until they start to dry out but still maintain a soft texture.

Molly’s got new wheels!  She is so happy.

Look at her go!  She’s leading the pack!

She loves her new ride.  It’s hard to keep up with her!

Cakes and Cupcakes · Chocolate · Dessert · Pizza · Recipes

The Soul Sisters



I miss the Soul Sisters.  Isabel, Lucy and Pearl came out to California for their annual visit.  We had a great time feasting together.  We made ice cream for vacation Sunday, and we had a pizza party at our house.  We swam, actually floated in Veronica and Joey’s pool until our fingers and toes were shriveled up.  That’s a lot of floating time.  More on that later.  First I want to show you the cake I made for their last day in town.  It’s a chocolate-chocolate chip cake with cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 box Duncan Hines devils food cake mix
  • 1 box chocolate pudding mix
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup corn oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1-8 ounce block of cream cheese
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla
  • 1 pound confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine ingredients for the cake and mix for 3 minutes.

Place in 2-10″ round cake pans lined with parchment. Do not butter and flour the pan. You actually want the cake to cling to the sides of the pan to ensure straight sides to the cake. I like to use baking strips . The top of the cake stays flat, and the sides do not overcook. Bake for 35 minutes. I tap the cake in the oven, if it jiggles, it needs to continue baking. Cool on a wire rack, then wrap the pan in foil until ready to frost. That usually means the next day for me.

To make the cream cheese frosting:
Cream butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle until smooth. Add the vanilla. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar.
Frost the cake, refrigerate overnight.

I used smaller cake pans and loaded them up a little too much.  The cakes sunk in the middle, so I cut off the top to even them out.  I used the rest of the cake to make these cake balls.  I dipped them in dark chocolate, and then drizzled them with the white chocolate.

Check out Lucy, she’s enjoying a little pre-taste of our home-made vanilla ice cream.

Lucy is one talented artist.  I’ve commissioned her to paint something for me.  We’re not sure what she’s going to paint yet.  You can’t rush artists.

We had to have a pizza party!  Everyone made their own.  Pearl’s looks amazing, with a lot of cheese and just a sprinkling of pepperoni.

We had an awesome conversation about her goals.  She plans to marry a professional football player who’s loaded with money so that she can open a ski resort.  She plans to have five houses at different locations.  She told me sometimes her goals are a little hard to achieve, but it’s worth trying anyway, even if she’s a little disappointed when things don’t turn out as planned.  How old is she?  So wise for such a young age.  And then she mentioned she would like to be a mermaid.  And it would be great if she could just take a pill and transform back into a human.  Then she could have twice as many friends.  Ahhh, yes, she really is eleven.

Lucy and Isabel have plans to open a bakery.  Or maybe a bakery/tattoo parlor.  Or maybe a bakery with cakes that are adorned with tattoo-like art.  I just know that I can’t wait for whatever it is they decide.

Can’t wait for next year!