Parmesan Puffs

Parmesan Puffs

[gf]
These taste like cheesy little soft, creamy quiches, but without crusts.
Supplies
pastry brush or plastic wrap, mini-muffin pan (12 cups), bowls, measuring spoons, wooden spoon, measuring cups, baking spatula, ordinary teaspoon, dinner knife
Ingredients
soft butter for muffin pan
3 Tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour (regular or gluten-free)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely pre-grated Parmesan cheese
¾ tsp (4 mL) white sugar
¼ tsp (1 mL) garlic powder
¼ tsp (1 mL) dry mustard
big pinch of salt
tiny pinch of cayenne pepper, if you like
½ cup (125 mL) cream cheese
½ cup (125 mL) ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk (see “Eggs”)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Use a pastry brush or a scrunched-up piece of plastic wrap to generously butter 12 mini-muffin cups. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix the flour, Parmesan cheese, sugar, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt, and, if you like, cayenne pepper (wash your fingers after touching the cayenne). Set aside.
  4. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the cream cheese at 50% power to soften it (about 1 minute). Use the back of a wooden spoon to cream together the cream cheese and ricotta, then mix in the egg yolk until smooth.
  5. Use a baking spatula to gradually stir the flour mixture into the cheese mixture. Mix into a thick, smooth batter. Scrape the sticky ingredients off the spatula with a dinner knife to make sure everything is well blended.
  6. Use an ordinary teaspoon to scoop the batter into the 12 mini-muffin cups. Fill each cup up to the rim. You might even get an extra one or two. Use your finger to push the batter off the spoon into the cups. It doesn’t matter if the batter is bumpy and uneven on top.
  7. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes, or until the puffs are golden and, well, puffed! Cool until slightly warm before lifting the puffs out of the cups using the tip of a dinner knife.
Makes about 12 Parmesan Puffs. 
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Tortilla Corn Chips

Tortilla Corn Chips

[gf]
You won’t believe you made these at home! They look just like the ones you buy. Masa harina is a kind of flour made from corn. It’s also called “instant corn masa mix” and is sold in many supermarkets and specialty food stores. Don’t use any other flour for these super crunchy chips.
Supplies
baking sheet, parchment paper, bowl, measuring cups, measuring spoons, cup or small bowl, baking spatula, dinner knife, rolling pin, kitchen scissors
Ingredients
1 cup (250 mL) masa harina flour, also called “instant corn masa mix” (spoon in, level)
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cumin
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
pinch of black pepper
2/3 cup (160 mL) water
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
tomato salsa or guacamole for dipping, if you like
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Also cut two 7-inch (18 cm) squares of parchment.
  3. In a bowl, mix the masa harina flour, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Place the water and butter in a microwave-safe cup or small bowl. Heat in the microwave on high until the butter is melted (about 30 seconds). Pour into the flour mixture. Stir with a baking spatula to make a dough. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients off the spatula. When the dough is too stiff to stir, use your hands to squeeze the flour into the dough until no more dry flour can be seen.
  5. Pinch off walnut-sized pieces of dough, roll into balls, and place each ball—one at a time—between the two squares of parchment paper you cut earlier. Roll each ball into roughly a 5-inch (12.5 cm) round shape 1⁄16 inch (2 mm) thick (see “One-Quarter-Coin Rule”). Be sure to roll right over the edges of the dough to make it all the same thickness. Make sure the dough rounds are very thin—as thin as the tortilla chips you’d buy—or the chips won’t be crunchy.
  6. Remove the top square of parchment. Peel off the dough rounds from the remaining piece of parchment and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat rolling rounds of dough until you’ve filled up the baking sheet. Keep the rounds a little apart. They don’t look like tortilla chips yet, but be patient.
  7. Bake the dough rounds for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven (but keep the oven on) and let the dough cool off until you can handle it. Use kitchen scissors to cut across the rounds (they will be soft enough to cut easily) into four triangles each—or six triangles for slightly bigger rounds. Set these “chips” aside as you continue to roll and bake the rest of the dough by repeating steps 5, 6, and 7, until all the dough is baked in rounds and cut up into chips. You’ll have a pile of corn chips on your work board now.
  8. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (160°C).
  9. After the oven has reached the lower temperature, spread all the chips onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 20 minutes, or until the chips are curled and crunchy. The time varies because of the size of your chips. Watch them closely through the oven window (or check often if you don’t have a window) so you can see when they begin to brown. Cool. Eat with tomato salsa or guacamole, if you like.
Makes 3 big handfuls of Tortilla Corn Chips.
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Munchy Crunchy Crackers

Munchy Crunchy Crackers

[snack]
It’s amazing to make your own crackers! These taste so good on their own, but you can also eat them with cheese, if you like. You will need a helper with the baking step.
Supplies
baking sheet, parchment paper, bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons, baking spatula, dinner knife, rolling pin, fork, pizza wheel, cooling rack (the metal kind for cooling cookies)
Ingredients
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
¼ cup (50 mL) whole wheat flour (spoon in, level)
½ tsp (3 mL) chili powder
½ tsp (3 mL) dry mustard
½ tsp (3 mL) white sugar
⅓ cup (80 mL) milk
2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Cut three sheets of parchment paper, each the size of your baking sheet. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix the two kinds of flour, chili powder, dry mustard (be sure to use the back of a spoon to mash out any lumps), and sugar. Set aside.
  4. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the milk and butter in the microwave at 50% power until the butter is melted (about 1 minute).
  5. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Use a baking spatula to scrape all the milk mixture into the flour bowl. Mix the ingredients into a dough, scraping sticky ingredients off the spatula with a dinner knife. When the dough gets too stiff to stir—keeping the dough in the bowl—use your hands to squeeze the dough against the crumbly bits and dry flour in the bottom of the bowl to work them into the dough.
  6. Use a dinner knife to cut the dough into two equal-sized pieces. Put the first piece between two of the sheets of parchment paper you cut earlier. Put your rolling pin on the top sheet of parchment and roll out the dough to 1⁄16 inch (2 mm) (see “One-Quarter-Coin Rule”). To make excellent crisp crackers, it is very important to roll the dough that thin. First roll across the whole piece of dough to flatten it, then make it even thinner by rolling from the middle of the dough out to the edges. Press down hard. And just when you think it’s thin enough, roll it out again and check against the quarter coin. The dough puffs up a lot as it bakes.
  7. Peel off the top sheet of parchment. Prick the rolled dough every inch (2.5 cm) with a fork. Use the pizza wheel to cut a checkerboard pattern into it. The squares should have about 1½-inch (4 cm) sides. Don’t pull apart the squares of dough. Leave them exactly where you cut them, touching in rows. Slide the parchment paper—with the dough on it—onto a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. While the first batch bakes, roll out the second piece of dough between two pieces of parchment, prick and cut it the same way as the first. Bake this batch the same way as the first batch (either use a second baking sheet or cool off the first one and use it again). Keep the oven on after baking the second batch. You will still need to bake all the crackers again to crisp them.
  9. Remove the baked crackers and parchment from the baking sheet. Put a cooling rack on the baking sheet. Pull apart the crackers into squares and place them on the cooling rack.
  10. Put the baking sheet—holding the cooling rack and crackers—in the oven. Bake another 10 minutes or until the crackers begin to brown. Ask a helper to remove the browned crackers and put crackers that aren’t ready yet back in the oven for a few more minutes until they until they are also hard and crunchy.
Makes about 36 Munchy Crunchy Crackers.
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Soft Twisted Pepperoni Breadsticks

Soft Twisted Pepperoni Breadsticks

[snack]
These are delicious warm from the oven as a snack, or served with a bowl of soup.
Supplies
measuring spoons, drinking cup, measuring cups, plastic wrap, bowl, sifter, kitchen scissors, pizza wheel, baking spatula, dinner knife, baking sheet, parchment paper, work board, pastry brush
Ingredients
4 tsp (20 mL) white sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) quick-rise yeast
⅓ cup (80 mL) very warm (but not hot) water (see “Yeast”)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
1½ cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
1 tsp (5 mL) garlic salt
½ tsp (2 mL) dried oregano
½ tsp (2 mL) onion powder
20 pepperoni slices
1 egg
1 egg yolk (see “Eggs”)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
⅓ cup (80 mL) tomato sauce
  1. Put the sugar and yeast into a drinking cup. Add the warm water and lump of butter. Do not stir. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes to let the yeast turn foamy and the butter soften or melt.
  2. In a large bowl, sift in the 1½ cups (375 mL) flour, chili powder, garlic salt, oregano, and onion powder. Mix well.
  3. Use kitchen scissors or a pizza wheel to cut the pepperoni slices into small pieces (about the size of your fingernail). Fill a ½-cup (125 mL) measuring cup with pepperoni pieces (you might not use up all of the pepperoni) and mix them into the flour mixture.
  4. Using a baking spatula, scrape the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and egg yolk. Mix until no dry flour is left and the mixture turns into a soft dough. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients off the spatula.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 30 minutes in a warm spot.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  7. Uncover the bowl of risen dough. Sprinkle on the 2 Tbsp (30 mL) flour and stir or squeeze it into the dough until no dry flour is left. Dust your work board with flour. Tip the bowl of dough on its side and roll the dough out onto the floured board.
  8. Flour your hands and pat the dough down into a ½-inch (1 cm) thick slab. It doesn’t matter what the shape is, but aim for a rough rectangle about 6 × 9 inches (15 × 23 cm).
  9. Use a pizza wheel to cut the dough into strips roughly the size of hot dog wieners, about 6 inches (15 cm) long and ¾ inch (2 cm) wide.
  10. To give each strip of dough a swirly look, pick up each one and hold it at both ends.
  11. Twist one end around three or four times to make the strip look like twisty licorice. Place the strips on the parchment. The dough is very stretchy so don’t worry if the sticks aren’t perfect.
  12. Use a pastry brush to brush the sticks with tomato sauce.
  13. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 22 minutes, or until the breadsticks are puffy and the tomato sauce turns orange.
Makes 12 Soft Twisted Pepperoni Breadsticks.

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Tangy Chicken Wings

Tangy Chicken Wings

[gf]
These are tasty treats to have once in a while. If you want to have more to share with your family or friends, make the double batch (see facing page). Follow the same steps for either quantity of wings.
Supplies
1 or 2 rimmed baking sheet(s), parchment paper, bowls, baking spatula, measuring spoons, measuring cups, heatproof tongs
Ingredients
Single Batch
Marinade
1 Tbsp (15 mL) cider vinegar
2 tsp (10 mL) soy sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil
½ tsp (2 mL) chili powder
½ tsp (2 mL) finely chopped garlic (from jar) or ¼ tsp (1 mL) garlic powder
1 lb (500 g) chicken wings (about 12 pieces)
Glaze
2 Tbsp (30 mL) ketchup
1 Tbsp (15 mL) runny honey
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice or ½ tsp (2 mL) cider vinegar
⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) chili powder
⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) Worcestershire sauce
Ingredients
Double Batch
Marinade
2 Tbsp (30 mL) cider vinegar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce
2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
1 tsp (5 mL) finely chopped garlic (from jar) or ½ tsp (2 mL) garlic powder
2 lb (1 kg) chicken wings (about 24 pieces)
Glaze
¼ cup (60 mL) ketchup
2 Tbsp (30 mL) runny honey
1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice or 1 tsp (5 mL) cider vinegar
¼ tsp (1 mL) chili powder
¼ tsp (1 mL) Worcestershire sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (line 2 baking sheets if you’re making the double batch).
  3. In a large bowl and using a baking spatula, mix the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken wings and mix them around to coat them with the marinade. The easiest way to do this is to use your hands! Put the wings on the parchment-lined baking sheet(s). Throw away the leftover marinade so you don’t get it mixed up with the glaze you’ll make later. Wash your hands.
  4. Roast the wings on the middle rack of the oven for 35 minutes for the single batch or 45 minutes for the double batch, or until they begin to brown. Get help removing the baking sheet(s) from the oven and checking if the wings are cooked through. If they are not done, return them to the oven for about 5 more minutes and check again.
  5. While the wings are roasting, make the glaze. In a large, clean bowl, use a clean baking spatula to mix the glaze ingredients.
  6. When the wings are finished roasting, use heatproof tongs to put the cooked wings into the bowl of glaze. Stir to coat the wings with glaze. Eat while warm.
Makes about 12 Tangy Chicken Wings (or about 24 in a double batch).
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Lettuce Wraps with Crumbled Asian Pork


Lettuce Wraps with Crumbled Asian Pork

[gf]
These are like tacos, except the wrapper is a lettuce leaf!
Supplies
rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper, bowls, measuring spoons, kitchen scissors, oven mitts, wooden spoon, colander, paper towel
Ingredients
¾ lb (375 g) ground pork
1 egg white (see “Eggs”)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) oyster sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) finely chopped garlic (from jar)
1 tsp (5 mL) soy sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil
pinch of pepper
2 stalks green onion
6 Boston lettuce leaves
Toppings
diced peppers (get help cutting)
handful fresh bean sprouts
handful matchstick carrots
2 Tbsp (30 mL) pre-chopped roasted peanuts or 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, add the ground pork, egg white, oyster sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vegetable oil, and pepper. Use kitchen scissors to snip the green onion into little pieces into the bowl (throw away or compost the roots).
  4. Use your hands to mush together everything in the bowl until it is well mixed. Don’t be shy about getting your hands in there! Pinch off walnut-sized blobs of the pork mixture and drop them all over the parchment-lined sheet. Wash your hands.
  5. Roast the pork on the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes. Get help removing the baking sheet from the oven (keep the oven on). Cool for a few minutes until you can safely work with the sheet.
  6. Put on an oven mitt to hold the baking sheet while you use a wooden spoon to break up the pork into smaller pieces, turning them over, too (you can also get help to do this). Put the baking sheet back into the oven to roast for another 10 minutes, or until the pork begins to brown.
  7. Meanwhile, use a colander to wash the lettuce leaves, then pat them dry with a paper towel.
  8. To serve, fill each leaf with spoonfuls of the warm crumbled pork. Add your choice of toppings. Roll up the lettuce around the filling to eat.
Makes 6 Lettuce Wraps with Crumbled Asian Pork.
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Really Big Chicken Meatballs

Really Big Chicken Meatballs

[gf]
These large meatballs are big on flavor, too. They’re great to eat with pasta or bread.
Supplies
measuring spoons, large glass or ceramic baking dish, measuring cups, bowls, fork, wooden spoon, pastry brush
Ingredients
2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil
1 egg
2 Tbsp (30 mL) milk
1 slice sandwich bread (brown or white) (regular or gluten-free)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) pre-grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried onion flakes
1 Tbsp (15 mL) ketchup
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
1 tsp (5 mL) dried parsley
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
generous pinch of pepper
1 lb (500 g) ground chicken
2 Tbsp (30 mL) BBQ sauce (use bottled kind or see the BBQ Sauce recipe if you want to make your own and use some for this recipe)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Drizzle the oil into the bottom of the baking dish. Set aside.
  3. Have a ⅓ -cup (80 mL) measuring cup ready and a big bowl of cold water for dipping your hands. Set aside.
  4. In another large bowl, beat the egg and milk with a fork. Add the bread, turning it over to soak both sides. Let the bread turn mushy, then use a wooden spoon or your hands to break up the bread into a lumpy paste. (Wash your hands if necessary.)
  5. Stir the Parmesan cheese, onion flakes, ketchup, oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper into the mushy bread mixture. Add the ground chicken to the bowl, then use your hands to mix everything up. Don’t be timid. You have to squish it to mix everything!
  6. Fill the ⅓ cup (80 mL) measuring cup just to the top with the chicken mixture. Tip the chicken out of the cup, pat it into a ball, and set it in the baking dish. The mixture is soft and sticky, so dip your hands into the bowl of cold water as you form the meatballs so the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands. Make 7 meatballs, then wash your hands.
  7. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes. Get help removing the baking dish from the oven, then brush the BBQ sauce onto the meatballs. Bake for another 5 minutes.
Makes 7 Really Big Chicken Meatballs.
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Fin-Tastic Fish Fillets

Fin-Tastic Fish Fillets

[gf]
Fresh fish is delicious. Here’s how to make a lightly breaded crust for it.
Supplies
rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper, measuring spoons, bowls, fork or small whisk, measuring cups, plate, knife (for helper)
Ingredients
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1 egg white (see “Eggs”)
⅓ cup (80 mL) plain yogurt
1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil
½ cup (125 mL) dry breadcrumbs (regular or gluten-free)
3 Tbsp (45 mL) pre-grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon pepper
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
⅓ cup (80 mL) all-purpose flour (regular or gluten-free) (spoon in, level)
¾ lb (375 g) firm white fish fillets such as tilapia, haddock, or catfish
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil. Set aside.
  3. Now you need to make an assembly line for breading the fish. First, in a big bowl, use a fork or small whisk to beat the egg white, yogurt, and 1 tsp (5 mL) oil until smooth. In another big bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, lemon pepper, and salt. Finally, spread out the flour on a plate.
  4. Get help cutting each fish fillet into three or four large pieces.
  5. Begin by rolling the pieces of fish in the flour. Make sure you cover all sides of the fish. Next, roll the floured fish in the yogurt mixture. Finally, roll the fish in the breadcrumb mixture. Lay the fish on the parchment paper, making sure you lay the pieces on some of the drizzled oil. Wash your hands. Throw away the stuff in the bowls and plate.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes. Get help turning the fish over, then bake for another 5 minutes, or until golden.
Makes 2 to 3 kid-sized servings.
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Lovin’ Oven Hamburgers

Lovin’ Oven Hamburgers

[gf]
Making burgers in the oven lets you get a bunch of patties ready at once! If you have lots of time you can also make the buns (see Burger Buns), but it’s totally fine to buy them.
Supplies
rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper, measuring cups, measuring spoons, bowl
Ingredients
1 lb (500 g) ground beef
1 egg
¼ cup (60 mL) dry breadcrumbs (regular or gluten-free)
2 tsp (10 mL) dried onion flakes
2 tsp (10 mL) ketchup
¼ tsp (1 mL) garlic salt
pinch of pepper
4 or 5 burger buns (regular or gluten-free)
your choice of toppings such as lettuce, tomato, cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Place the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, onion flakes, ketchup, garlic salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix everything well.
  4. Divide the mixture into four or five equal-sized blobs. Pat each one into a ball, then flatten into ¾-inch (2 cm) thick patties. Place on the lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Get help turning the patties over, then bake for another 10 minutes. Tuck into hamburger buns and add toppings.
Makes 4 or 5 Lovin’ Oven Hamburgers.
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Gobble-Up Turkey Burgers

Gobble-Up Turkey Burgers

[gf]
If you like holiday turkey, you’ll love these burgers any time of year. If you have lots of time you can also make the buns (see Burger Buns), but it’s totally fine to buy them.
Supplies
rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper, measuring spoons, kitchen scissors, bowl, measuring cups
Ingredients
2 Tbsp (30 mL) dried cranberries
1 lb (500 g) ground turkey (or chicken)
1 egg
¼ cup (60 mL) dry breadcrumbs (regular or gluten-free)
1 tsp (5 mL) dried parsley
1 tsp (5 mL) onion powder
½ tsp (2 mL) chili powder
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of pepper
5 burger buns (regular or gluten-free)
your choice of toppings such as lettuce, tomato, cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Use kitchen scissors to cut the cranberries into small pieces (each berry into three or four pieces). Put the pieces in a large bowl.
  4. Into the same bowl, add the ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, parsley, onion powder, chili powder, salt, nutmeg, and pepper.
  5. Use your hands to mix everything well. Yes, it will feel squishy, but you need to mix until the spices are spread out evenly. Divide the mixture into five equal-sized blobs. Pat each one into a ball, then gently flatten into ¾-inch (2 cm) thick patties. Place on the parchment-lined sheet. Wash your hands.
  6. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes. Get help turning the patties over, then bake for another 10 minutes. Place each patty into a hamburger bun and add toppings.
Makes 5 Gobble-Up Turkey Burgers.
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Hocus Pocus Pizza

Hocus Pocus Pizza

[gf]
This is a fantastic gluten-free pizza for kids who don’t eat wheat flour. Unlike other crusts, this one is made by an unusual method of pouring a batter, not pressing dough. The batter bakes into a crispy-edged but tender crust. Magic!
Supplies
rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper, measuring spoons, drinking cup, measuring cups, plastic wrap, sifter, bowl, baking spatula, dinner knife, ordinary teaspoon, pastry brush
Ingredients
Crust
1 tsp (5 mL) white sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) quick-rise yeast
1 cup (250 mL) very warm (but not hot) water (see “Yeast”)
1 cup (250 mL) white rice flour (regular, not glutinous) (spoon in, level)
½ cup (125 mL) potato starch (spoon in, level)
⅓ cup (80 mL) cornstarch (spoon in, level)
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) unflavored gelatin powder
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
Toppings
1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil
¾ cup (185 mL) tomato sauce
handful pepperoni slices or other favorite toppings
½ cup (125 mL) pre-grated white cheddar cheese
½ cup (125 mL) pre-grated mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Put the sugar and yeast into a drinking cup. Add the 1 cup (250 mL) warm water. Do not stir. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand 10 minutes for the yeast to turn foamy.
  4. Sift the rice flour, potato starch, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the gelatin powder. Mix well with a baking spatula.
  5. Go back to your foamy yeast. Using the baking spatula, scrape it into the flour mixture. Add the 1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil. Mix into a thick batter, scraping sticky ingredients off the spatula with a dinner knife. It is not a dough. It should look like very thick pancake batter. If it is too runny, mix in another tablespoon or two of rice flour.
  6. Scrape the batter onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and let it spread out on its own. It will stiffen and stop spreading after a few seconds. Use your baking spatula to gently spread the batter to ¼ inch (6 mm) thickness.
  7. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25 minutes (the crust does not turn golden). Get help taking the crust out of the oven (but keep the oven on). Let the crust and baking sheet cool slightly so you don’t burn yourself working with the crust.
  8. Use a pastry brush to brush 1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil around the outside 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the crust. This helps it turn golden at the edges.
  9. Using an ordinary teaspoon, scoop the tomato sauce onto the crust and spread it with the back of the spoon almost to the edges. Sprinkle on your toppings and cheeses.
  10. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
Serves 4 kids as a snack or light lunch.
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Hula Hawaiian Pizza

Hula Hawaiian Pizza

[lunch or supper]
Make your own pizza parlor crust, then top it with ham and juicy pineapple.
Supplies
measuring spoons, drinking cup, measuring cups, plastic wrap, bowl, baking spatula, dinner knife, baking sheet, parchment paper, wooden spoon, ordinary teaspoon, kitchen scissors
Ingredients
Crust
1 tsp (5 mL) quick-rise yeast
½ tsp (2 mL) white sugar
¾ cup (185 mL) very warm (but not hot) water (see “Yeast”)
1½ cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
olive or vegetable oil for your hands
Toppings
2/3 cup (160 mL) tomato sauce
1 or 2 slices ham
2/3 cup (160 mL) pre-grated mozzarella cheese
handful fresh or canned pineapple chunks
  1. To make the crust, put the yeast and sugar in a drinking cup. Measure out the warm water and add it to the yeast and sugar. Do not stir. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand 10 minutes for the yeast to turn foamy.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl and using a baking spatula, mix the flour and salt. Use the baking spatula to scrape the foamy yeast into the flour mixture. Stir into a smooth, sticky dough that has no dry flour left in it. Scrape sticky ingredients off the spatula with a dinner knife. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. You can make two small pizzas or one bigger one on the baking sheet. If you make two smaller ones, the crusts will be crispier.
  6. Use a wooden spoon to scoop out either two equal-sized blobs of dough or one big blob onto the baking sheet. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Believe it or not, letting the dough sit untouched for a while makes it easier to press out later.
  7. Rub some oil onto your hands. Here’s where the hard work begins. Press the dough with your fingers into one or two roughly round shapes about ¼ inch (6 mm) thick (see “Three-Stacked-Quarters Rule”). It is stretchy dough and might spring back as you flatten it, but keep working and the dough will spread out. Don’t worry if you end up with an odd shape.
  8. Bake the dough for 15 minutes, or until it begins to turn golden. Get help taking the sheet out of the oven (keep the oven on). Cool the baking sheet until just warm so you don’t burn yourself adding toppings.
  9. If you are making two pizzas, pour half of the tomato sauce onto one crust and half onto the other, or pour all the tomato sauce onto the one big crust. Use the back of an ordinary teaspoon to spread the sauce on the crust, leaving about ½ inch (1 cm) at the edges.
  10. Use kitchen scissors to cut the ham into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle the ham, cheese, and pineapple pieces on top of the pizza(s).
  11. Put the baking sheet back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the crusts are golden. Eat while warm.
Makes 2 smaller or 1 larger Hula Hawaiian Pizza.
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Spinach and Mushroom Frittata

Spinach and Mushroom Frittata

[gf]
A frittata is a kind of omelet baked in a pan. Baking the spinach first shrinks it down to fit into the pie pan. A great recipe to make as a special brunch for a family member’s birthday.
Supplies
rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper, pastry brush or plastic wrap, measuring spoons, 9-inch (23 cm) glass, ceramic, or non-stick metal pie pan, measuring cups, bowl, whisk, ordinary teaspoon
Ingredients
2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil for pie pan
1 cup (250 mL) loosely packed baby spinach leaves
½ cup (125 mL) pre-sliced button mushrooms
1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
¼ cup (60 mL) milk
2 Tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour (regular or gluten-free)
5 eggs
1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried onion flakes
½ tsp (2 mL) finely chopped garlic (from jar)
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
pinch of pepper
¼ cup (60 mL) pre-grated cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Use a pastry brush or a scrunched-up piece of plastic wrap to rub 2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil onto the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Set aside.
  4. Put the spinach, mushrooms, and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil in a large bowl and mix with your hands until well coated. Spread the mixture out on the parchment-lined baking sheet, then wash and dry your hands. Put the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms are shrunken in size and the spinach is wilted (don’t worry if some leaves turn crispy; they’re delicious mixed into the frittata). Remove from the oven and cool (keep the oven on).
  5. In the bowl you used for the spinach and mushrooms, whisk the milk and flour until smooth. Then whisk in the eggs, onion flakes, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir in the cheddar cheese and cooled spinach and mushrooms. Pour the mixture into the pie pan. Use an ordinary teaspoon to gently spread out the cheese, spinach, and mushrooms.
  6. Get help putting the pie pan onto the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the frittata puffs up (it will flatten after it comes out of the oven). Cool for a few minutes before slicing into wedges to serve.
Makes 4 kid-sized or 2 adult-sized servings.
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Real Mac ’n’ Cheddar Cheese

Real Mac ’n’ Cheddar Cheese

[lunch or supper]
You can make real macaroni and cheese that does not come from a box!
Supplies
2½-quart (2.5 L) glass or ceramic baking dish, baking spatula, measuring cups, measuring spoons, foil (or lid of baking dish), bowls, whisk, wooden spoon
Ingredients
Macaroni
1½ cups (375 mL) uncooked elbow macaroni
1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil
2⅓ cups (580 mL) warm tap water
Cheese Sauce
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter
3 Tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
½ tsp (2 mL) dry mustard
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) white sugar
¼ tsp (1 mL) onion powder
⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) chili powder
1 cup (250 mL) milk
1½ cups (375 mL) pre-grated cheddar cheese
Breadcrumb Topping
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
½ cup (125 mL) dry breadcrumbs
pinch of salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In the baking dish and using a baking spatula, mix the macaroni with the vegetable oil until the macaroni is well coated.
  3. Pour the warm water onto the macaroni. Cover tightly with a lid or foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Get help taking it out of the oven. Keep covered for at least another 15 minutes. The macaroni softens some more and the baking dish cools off a bit.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave at 50% power (about 1 minute). Use a whisk to mix in the flour until smooth. Then mix in the dry mustard, salt, sugar, onion powder, and chili powder. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth.
  5. Heat the sauce in the microwave on high for 1 minute (or longer, but only 1 minute at a time so it doesn’t foam over), until the sauce is bubbly and thickened. Get help removing the bowl from the microwave. Cool slightly so the bowl isn’t too hot to touch.
  6. Stir the cheddar into the sauce. The cheese does not need to be fully melted in right now. Set aside.
  7. Next make the breadcrumb topping. In a large microwave-safe bowl, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter in the microwave at 50% power until melted (about 30 seconds). Mix in the breadcrumbs and salt. Use the back of a wooden spoon to mash the breadcrumbs into the butter to break up lumps.
  8. Get help uncovering the dish of macaroni (there should be some water left in the bottom of the dish). Using a baking spatula, scrape the cheese sauce onto the macaroni. Stir well. Spread the macaroni evenly in the dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are lightly golden.
Makes 3 cups (750 mL).
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Piggies in Blankets

Piggies in Blankets

[lunch]
You might have baked these before from store-bought dough, but here’s your chance to learn how to make piggies from scratch.
Supplies
measuring spoons, drinking cup, measuring cups, plastic wrap, bowl, whisk or fork, baking spatula, dinner knife, parchment paper, baking sheet, rolling pin, pizza wheel
Ingredients
1½ tsp (7 mL) white sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) quick-rise yeast
½ cup (125 mL) very warm (but not hot) water (see “Yeast”)
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
½ tsp (2 mL) baking powder
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
1 egg white (see “Eggs”)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
½ cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour
6 hot dog wieners
  1. Put the sugar and yeast into a drinking cup. Add the warm water. Do not stir. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand 10 minutes for the yeast to turn foamy.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the 1 cup (250 mL) flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Go back to the cup of foamy yeast after the yeast has risen for 10 minutes. Use a whisk or fork to beat the egg white and vegetable oil into the yeast. Use a baking spatula to scrape this wet mixture into the flour mixture. Stir into a loose dough until there is no dry flour left. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients off the spatula. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 30 minutes in a warm spot.
  4. Take this waiting time to cut two pieces of parchment paper the size of your baking sheet. Set aside.
  5. After the dough has risen, sprinkle the ½ cup (125 mL) flour on it and stir until all the dry flour disappears. Cover the bowl again and let the dough rise for another 10 minutes in a warm spot.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  7. After the dough finishes the second rising, sprinkle 1 Tbsp (15 mL) flour onto it (keep the dough in the bowl). Use your hands to squeeze the flour into the dough. The dough should be very stretchy but not stick to your hands. If it is too sticky, squeeze in another tablespoon of flour.
  8. Roll the dough out of the bowl onto the middle of a piece of parchment paper. Cover the dough with the other piece of parchment. Use your rolling pin to roll the dough (keeping it between the paper) into a circle roughly 3⁄16 inch (5 mm) thick (see “Three-Stacked-Quarters Rule”).
  9. Remove the top piece of parchment paper. Use a pizza wheel to cut across the dough three times to make six triangular wedges.
  10. Now you can wrap the wieners. Place each wiener on the wide end of a triangle of dough. Roll the dough around the wiener until you wrap up the pointy end. Wrap all six wieners. The ends of the wieners will stick out the ends of the rolled dough.
  11. Line the baking sheet with the piece of parchment that is least crumpled. Place the piggies on it with the pointy end of the dough on the bottom so it won’t unravel.
  12. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 18 to 20 minutes until golden. Cool until the piggies are just warm to the touch before eating.
Makes 6 Piggies in Blankets.
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