Gadget by The Blog Doctor.
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Monday, May 18, 2015

SRC: Chicago Deep Dish Pizza!!!

 Being a part of a great group like The Secret Recipe Club has been so fun! I'm exposed to more blogs, new recipes (many have been made several times since then) and I just love a good change from the norm. Sometimes, I'm able to find a recipe immediately. Other times it takes me awhile. I like to make the recipes exactly as the blog author does (isn't that the point?) so finding ones that work with how we like to eat or how much money I'm willing to spend has been tricky a few times, but hey, we can splurge now and then. 

This month I was assigned Pumpkins and Peonies. Jess is a beautiful young lady who I think would be one of the most encouraging and inspiring people to have as a friend,  just by reading her about me page and some of her tweets I read in her side bar, not to mention her food looks yummy and that's always a plus in a friendship... I loved this quote that she shares on her About Me Page:

"There's no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this"

I found several recipes I wanted to make, and still might make them, especially her Snickerdoodle Waffle Cookies....SAY WHAT?!. About 3 or 4 years ago my youngest daughter traveled to chicago with my hubby and her soccer team to play in a national tournament. While there they experienced Chicago Deep Dish Pizza and came home claiming there was nothing like it and nothing that compared to it. So when I saw her recipe for Deep Dish Pizza, Chicago style, we knew we had to try it and boy, this would be the ultimate test. We live in the Northwest and have been to one restaurant that claimed "Chicago Style" and while it was close, it still didn't compete with the real thing...I've heard that something in our altitude is not favorable with that type of pizza....who knows. 

Anyways...we had planned to make it last Thursday (in our home ya just gotta find the right day when at least the majority of us will be home..everyone is always going in a different direction). We went about our day doing this and that. We were on our way home from the grocery store when I saw our neighbor on the side of the road with her girls, we stopped to chat and they mentioned there was a hawk in the bushes. We figured something was wrong with it since it wasn't flying away. Long story short, I just had to be compassionate, find a way to catch it, ended up taking it to an emergency animal hospital about 30 minutes away so they could take it to the Audubon society the next day, wait for them to give us our crate back, drive home and make pizza....we didn't get home till after 8:00...thankfully I got the crust made ahead of time and we delivered the bird while it rose...still, we did not end up eating till almost 9:30. Sadly the bird did not make it...so sad. I think my daughter will ban me from any acts of kindness until she is at least fed. 

I have never had Chicago Pizza so I really don't know what it's supposed to be like. In the end my daughter said it was close, but needed some adjustments..lol. I think next time I won't do the tomatoes, but just sauce (it got a little watery), she said theirs was saucy, but not so many or any tomatoes. I think my crust needed to be a bit thicker on the bottom (she couldn't remember but thought theirs was thicker), it did get swallowed by all the toppings. BUT it was very, very good (even re-heated the next day), and I was so excited and impressed that it looked so pretty when I took the springform ring off. Would I make it again? Totally! Thanks Jess for a fun recipe to try. Oh, and the crust was really good. I have never put corn meal in the crust but I like how it turned out. We made one deep dish and then one regular pizza with BBQ chicken toppings.
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
from Pumpkins and Peonies


For Crust:

4 c. all purpose flour
3 Tbs. Cornmeal
1 3/4 tsp. salt
2 3/4 tsp. yeast
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
4 Tbs. Butter, melted
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 c. plus 2 Tbs. Warm Water (about 110 degrees)


1 (28oz) can of diced tomatoes, drained (I used petite)
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbs. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Italian herbs
1 c. grated Parmesan Cheese (I kind of forgot this part...oops)
1 lb. Mozzarella Cheese Sliced
1 lb. of choice meat (we used pepperoni)

We also added olives


1. For the crust: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, yeast, olive oil, butter and water. Knead on medium low speed until dough becomes soft and smooth. Place dough in a slightly oiled bowl and cover. Let rise for about 1 hour (or if you have to deliver an injured hawk to a hospital, let it rise till you get home).

2. Lightly grease on 14" deep dish pizza pan or two 9" pans...a springform pan is best. I used a 10" one and then we used the remaining dough and made just a regular pizza. Pour 2-3 Tbs olive oil in pans and spread around, bottom and sides.
3. Once dough is risen, divide depending on how many pans you are using. Roll or stretch in to a circle, slightly larger than pan. Lay dough into the pan and stretch towards the edges (up sides), until the dough begins to pull back. Cover and let rest 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 425.

4. Stretch the dough again so it reaches up the sides and let rest another 10 minutes (the waiting was the hardest part, especially at 9:00 at night). Bake crust for 10 minutes or until it is set and barely beginning to brown. 
5. Meanwhile for filling, combine tomatoes, garlic, seasonings and sugar. Lay 1/2 the mozzarella cheese on bottom of crust, followed by meat, then sauce. Repeat process. If using 2 pans, use 1/4 of mixtures. Sprinkle tops with parmesan cheese to cover.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden brown. Allow the pizza to cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

I actually bought pre-seasoned petite diced tomatoes so I didn't use the seasonings. I also didn't buy a big enough can so I used a can of tomato sauce that I had in the house. 

Thank you Jess for a fun and really yummy recipe to try and for such a great blog!

With Joy UNquenchable,

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Recipe: Layered Green Salad

UPDATE: I needed a salad recipe recently and remembered this one. I originally posted it in 2009. I also realized I had no pictures of it and it wasn't very well laid out. I like to think I've come a little ways since I first started blogging. 

I thought I had made too much, but at the end of the evening there wasn't much left. Success. It is not a salad that keeps well so I recommend eating it the same day. It is quick and easy to put together and perfect for a summer picnic, potluck or easy meal.

I'm leaving the original post below because it's fun for me to go back and revisit stories. 


1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 c. frozen peas
1 c. chopped celery
3 green onions chopped
1 1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. sugar
1 pkg. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1-2 tomatoes chopped
1-2 hard boiled eggs, sliced

In a 13 x 9 glass pan (because I like seeing the layers), or a large glass bowl, layer lettuce, chestnuts, peas, celery, half the bacon and onion. 
Combine mayonnaise, garlic powder and sugar, spread on top of salad. Top with remaining bacon, tomatoes and hard boiled eggs.

If you want to make it more of a main meal you could add some chopped turkey or ham as well.


I've been meaning to share this recipe and I just keep forgetting. It is a yummy layered green salad that honestly, you could layer with whatever you have available. I'm also editing some pictures that I took at our local tulip fields for a post I hope to get up later today. It won't happen this morning however. It is 6:07 and I need to be getting my girls up in a half an hour because we have a 7:50 soccer game. Good grief...who schedules these games. On a quick side note, the girls and I worked outside yesterday for about 3 hours, digging, raking, rolling and planting. Guess what? There's still more to do. It was such a beautiful day and I knew the forecast was rain for the weekend. The only thing I didn't get done was planting all the bulbs that my friends mother gave me. Oh, well, that will have to be done when I get home from Redding. Along with my garden! I did get some veggie starts in the ground. I'll move them when I get home and make my veggie beds, but I needed to get them in at least temporarily. I also came home late last night to find a half wine barrel on my porch. I was so excited! My inlaws had a wine barrel sitting in their shop (it belonged to her father), I mentioned that it would be neat to cut it in half and make planters. But nothing had happened, until last night...whoo hoo. Can't wait to plant it!! Okay, on to the recipe:
Layered Green Salad 1 head of iceberg lettuce 1 can water chestnuts, chopped 1 c. frozen peas 1 c. chopped celery 3 green onions chopped up 1-1/2c. mayonnaise 1/2-1 tsp. garlic powder 2 tsp. sugar 1 pkg. bacon, cooked and broken up 1-2 tomatoes chopped
Place lettuce in a 13 X 9 pan. Layer celery, onion, peas and chestnuts. (I also added some cheese and hard boiled egg). Mix mayonnaise, garlic powder and sugar. Spread on top of salad mixture. Top with tomatoe and bacon. Chill till ready to serve. I also put the bacon underneath the mayo mixture.
With Joy UNquenchable,

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cinco De Mayo and a Avocado Corn Salad

Today is Cinco De Mayo and to be honest, I have never understood why we celebrate it. I went to this link on History.com for a bit of information...good stuff there. We actually celebrate it more in the US than those in Mexico do. However, I didn't think that far in advance so we are not having Mexican food in our house tonight. 

But I thought it would be fun to share a recipe I tried recently that is quick, versatile and healthy, and also share a few links to some of our favorite Mexican dishes. We are always on a journey to find healthy recipes, healthier ways to make some of our favorites, or we just throw caution to the wind and make the good old fatty versions (maybe using more natural, whole, organic ingredients). The key for us is moderation and keeping things as "good for you" as possible.  

The recipe I tried recently is a flavorful Avocado and Corn salad. There are no measurements, it's one of those throw in and taste as you go recipes. You could add hot peppers or chili flakes if you wanted. It would be great on a bed of lettuce, as a dip for chips or maybe a topping for meat or fish. The skies the limit. I love recipes like that. 

Ingredients Needed:

Avocado cut in to bite sized pieces
tomato cut in to bite sized pieces
1 can organic corn, drained (amount to your desire for recipe)
onion finely chopped
Fresh Lime juice
Fresh Cilantro
sunflower seeds
pumpkin seeds
garlic salt (opt)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, season to taste, lightly toss. 

How is that for super easy. Now about these great recipes to try out for "next" Cinco De Mayo.

Hot Bean Dip
Chicken and Vegetable Tacos
Chicken Chimichangas
Chicken Enchiladas 
Crockpot Salsa Chicken
Crockpot Mexican Chicken and Homemade Tortillas
Frozen Homemade Burritos
Leftovers Quesadillas
Grilled Quesadillas
Quick and Easy Tostadas
Quinoa and Black Bean Bowl with Peach Salsa
Vegetarian Tortilla Pie

Wow! Going through all these recipes reminds me of how long I've had this blog and how badly many of them need updating (as in pictures or general posting layout....lol). Someday I'll get around to that...not anytime soon though. 

If you like these recipes, and you love healthy living, healthy eating and wonderful recipes, check out the great website, Aloha. Their Recipe Page is awesome. Filled with great, healthy, products focused on YOU and YOUR health. check out their Pinterest Page as well. I love finding new websites that promote health and support those who are on the journey of improving their health and Wellness. I can't wait to check out some of the recipes myself and hopefully try their products at some point.

With Joy UNquenchable,

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Recipe: Sausage and Potato Hash

A few weeks ago my hubby came home with some Aidell's Chicken and Apple Sausage from Costco. We've been making it in a skillet loaded with veggies similar to this dish, which I'll be revising and updating soon. So good and hearty. I had made the sausage/veggie dish and had two extra links and decided they would be perfect in a hash. I was right! This would be great if you added peppers, but I was making it for myself and my youngest and she doesn't like peppers, so a simple potato, sausage and onion hash was what was going to happen.

I just made the vegetable dish again yesterday because it is so easy. It would be easier if I planned ahead and pre-cut the veggies.  This morning my hubby re-heated the leftovers and added it to scrambled eggs! I love dishes that are versatile. 


Olive or Canola oil
1-2 Aidell's Chicken and Apple Sausage (or flavor of choice)
1-3 potatoes (depending on size and people served)
onion chopped
garlic powder
onion powder
cayenne pepper

1. Slice or cube sausage (I like it cubed), peel and cube potatoes. If they are small enough, there is no need to pre-cook, but if you opt for bigger cubes, I recommend cooking them a little first.
2.  In a large skillet heat oil. Add sausage and chopped onion. Cook until it begins to brown nicely. 
3. Add potatoes and seasonings. Season to taste and generously. Cook until potatoes are tender. Serve immediately.

I have a Pampered Chef French Fry Cutter and I love using this to cut uniform cubes of potatoes for soups or this hash. 

This dish would be awesome in a breakfast burrito as well. The options are limitless.

With Joy UNquenchable,

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bringing Back Old Recipes and Memories: Turkey Pesto Stuffed Bread

Every now and then an old recipe will pop in to my mind along with a memory to go with it. It's fun to bring that recipe back to life, especially if it was a favorite. There are many recipes that have been put on the back shelf, maybe because I'm always trying new recipes, or because our eating style has changed and a certain recipe just doesn't fit in to it anymore (of course it's fun to revamp them as well). 

One recipe I recently pulled out of the dusty archives was a stuffed bread that I first had over 15 years ago at a friends home after she and her hubby had just gotten married and were living in a single wide trailer on their property (they've since built a beautiful home). I remember taking home the recipe because it was so good and I made it many many times since then, but it has been quite a few years since it graced my kitchen. Last week it popped in to my mind and I thought "I need to make that again". So, on Thursday of last week, I put it together. It honestly did not take much time at all and I knew it would be a hit. My girls are serious pesto lovers. My hubby was out of town, so it was just the girls and I. My youngest and I ate our share and then brought my oldest and one of her co-workers each a plate at work. They polished the rest off for lunch the next day and I thought "hmmmm, I need to double this recipe", because I really wanted some more.

You could totally cheat and use frozen bread dough, kneading the dill and sesame seeds in once it's thawed, but it doesn't take long to put the dough together.

Bread Ingredients

1 1/4 c. warm water (110 degrees)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tsp. yeast
2 Tbs. butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/4 c. flour
2 Tbs. dill weed
2 Tbs. sesame seeds
In the bowl of a stand mixer, place water, sugar and yeast. Let stand till bubbly (about 10 minutes). Add butter. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, dill and sesame seeds. With dough hook attached, slowly add in flour mixture and mix until it forms a nice dough ball. Knead just a bit, then place in a greased bowl. Place in a 200 degree oven (that has been turned off) covered with a towel and allow to rise until doubled. You can just rise it in a warm room but I find mine rises better in warm oven. My house is never warm enough. Remove from bowl and roll in to a 12x9 rectangle. Transfer to a baking sheet.

Filling Ingredients:

1 Tbs. olive oil
12 oz. ground turkey breast
1/4 c. green onion, chopped with tops (optional)
1 8oz tub cream cheese w/chive and green onion
A generous handful of fresh spinach, finely chopped
1/3 c. pesto sauce
1/4 c. fine bread crumbs

      1. I forgot green onions and did not add them. I honestly didn't miss it so feel free to leave out.
      2. The original recipe called for 1/2 of a 10oz. pkg of frozen spinach, but I try to use fresh ingredients when possible and I loved the flavor of the fresh. 


1. In a skillet add olive oil, ground turkey and green onions and cook until done.
2. Remove from heat and add in remaining ingredients, stirring till well combined. 
3. Spread mixture down the center of dough in a 3" wide strip.
4. Make one inch cuts on each side. Moisten the end of each srip and alternate folding strips at an angle. 
5. Cover and let rise until double, about 30 minutes (again I did this in the warm oven)
6. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Brush tops with butter. Slice and serve.
Oh my! This is so wonderful. The bread would be great on its own as a savory loaf. This could also be made into individual portion sizes or even possibly in to smaller appetizer bites. 

With Joy UNquenchable,


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