Tag Archives: baking

Spaghetti Tacos – New Kid’s Sensation

spaghetti tacosKids Crazy for Carbs

If you want to please your Nickelodeon-iCarly watching, carbohydrate-loving kids, try this latest carbo-craze and opt for spaghetti next time you need to fill a taco shell.

Make These Carbo-Pleasers

plumHeads up: This is an eat-some-of-the-time food. Not much is Round in this dish of noodles and taco shells, but you can always add shredded zucchini to the sauce to health it up! Nobody will know!

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. spaghetti, cooked and drained
  • 26 oz. favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (.7 oz) packet Italian dressing dry mix
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Crunchy taco shells
  • Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Directions

Brown ground beef in a pot and drain. While draining, boil spaghetti in the same pot 9-11 minutes or until done. Drain. Add the beef back into the pot and add Italian seasoning mix and stir into meat well. Add sauce and mix into meat followed by the spaghetti and simmer until warm.  Bake taco shells at 325 degrees for 5-6 minutes or until warm. Spoon spaghetti mixture into warmed taco shells and top with parmesan cheese if desired.

Then dare to eat one with your kids.

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COOKING: Pizza from Scratch at Home

Rustic Free-form Pizza

How to Make PizzaThis is really good pizza, partly due to Cat’s “secrets.” One is the crust, which is a very soft yeast dough made with hard winter wheat – ie, bread flour. This allows it to stretch nice and thin and bake into a chewy, crusty crust.

At any time, refer to the video to watch COOKING: Freeform Pizza from Scratch at Home.

Another secret is to roll the dough out in polenta, which makes it extra crusty and chewy and also absorbs some of the liquid that inevitably gathers on the top as it is baked.

Another secret is to evaporate as much liquid as possible from the vegetables and sauce ahead of time – saute the mushrooms, evaporate the sauce to half its volume, and if you use fresh tomatoes, remove all the seeds and juices.

Yet another secret is to bake the crusts all by themselves for about 2-3 minutes before adding toppings. This also keeps the top crust from getting soggy. If you have a pizza stone, the pizza will be at its very best, but you can get a great crust with a hot oven anyway

Equipment

  • Cuisinart with basic metal blade
  • Thin metal pans (not insulated) for baking pizza
  • Oven that reaches at 500 degrees if possible
  • Rolling pin (not absolutely necessary)

Sauce

How to Make Pizza from Scratch

Choose a spaghetti sauce you like (about 20-24 ounces) and spread in a flat casserole and place in 275 degree oven for about an hour to evaporate about half the liquid. This intensifies the flavors and makes a a more stable pizza surface.

Crust

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast (fast-acting is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup water at about baby-bottle temperature, in a 1-cup or larger container.
  • 2 cups hot water (like really hot bath water)
  • About ½ cup dry polenta (for rolling out the crust)

Directions

Stir sugar into water until it dissolves, then add yeast and stir.  It will clump; don’t worry. Let sit for about 5 minues.  When you return, it will have dissolved and the liquid will be foamy. (If not, your yeast was too old and you cannot proceed. Go to the store and buy fresh yeast.)

Place flour in Cuisinart bowl with blade already inserted and  turn on. Add salt. Pulse for a few moments to mix in salt. Leave motor running and quickly pour in yeasty liquid, and then begin adding more hot water slowly until the dough begins to clump and gather itself into one mass (some smaller pieces will remain loose). Remove top and stick finger in dough to see if it is really soft. Your goal is to keep mixing and adding water until the dough sticks to your finger and stretches up with you, like in the video. If you add too much water, you can add more flour until it is right.

Oil a large bowl and put the dough inside. Rotate the dough to coat the other side and then cover the bowl and set in warm place to let rise for about an hour. When it has doubled in size, it’s ready.  If you want to wait longer, you can let it rise another half hour, but beat it down first.

Toppings

Choose from the following:

  • Grated cheeses (we used pepper jack, very sharp cheddar, and Parmesan)
  • Diced marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • Capers, rinsed and drained
  • Chopped fresh basil
  • Chopped onions (we used red onions and green onions)
  • Ham or other meats, diced
  • Sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and chopped
  • Olives
  • Red or green pepper, chopped
  • Mushrooms, chopped (if you like, saute them first with some garlic to remove much of the liquid)

rolling and stretching the crust

Be generous with the polenta; it will keep the dough from sticking to the surface and your hands. It will be thin, but will rise and become wonderful in the oven. Keep the edges thicker than the middle. Place on unoiled pans and let rise, uncovered, for about ten minutes. Turn over on to 500 degrees or as close that as you can come.

Bake crusts for about 2-3 minutes, until they rise and puff and begin to brown just a very little bit.  Remove; they will subside and flatten.

Spread tomato sauce over crusts, adding a thin amount to the edges for flavor. Add fresh basil next if using it, then everything else, finishing with cheese. Place in oven again, and bake for 5-8 minutes, or until you decide it is done.

This recipe is enough to feed 6-8 people.

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BE SNEAKY: Fool Family with Healthier Meals

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New on RoundTV Diana shares her secret way of sneaking veggies in meals so that you can make healthier dishes without the knowledge of your kids, spouse, friends or family. This is a trick she has used for years – … Continue reading