Saturday, September 14, 2013

Full Metal Buffalo!

I have needs... Needs for air, water, sleep and occasionally PIZZA! In my never ending battle against my fatitude, I try to have pizza from time to time and have it not be a diet disaster.  It's a challenge and one of my never ending quests.

So for one of my assignments as an Allrecipes Allstar this month was to cook with bison. I received bison pepperoni and all I could think about was "This needs to go on a pizza."  This weekend, I had time and decided to give it a whirl.

A few weeks ago I was at Cost Plus and I ran across these pizza crusts by Pastorelli Foods

They looked good and a 160 calories each, better than regular crust and nice and thin the way I like my crust.  I've tried pita bread, and tortillas as crusts and haven't been thrilled with them.. was hoping for a winner. So I whipped up a quick pizza sauce with canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, and Italian seasonings, pureed it up, preheated the oven to 400 and was ready to go.

Here is the crust.. nice and thin, huh?

And then I topped it with some homemade sauce

Then the bison pepperoni

I wanted to get the full buffalo experience so I decided to top this with buffalo mozzarella. I've never cooked with this nor eaten it so this was another adventure

Here it is all ready to go in the oven

I baked it for about 10 minutes, right on the oven rack at 400 degrees. I topped with some chopped fresh basil and then tadaaaaaaaa

Dinner was delicious and I'll definitely make this again


Friday, September 13, 2013

People who have shaped and inspired the way that I cook!

I'm trying to get into the habit of blogging more often. Maybe writing more about food will give me less time to actually EAT it and that makes my fat old body happy.

So I was thinking about cooking, as usual and thinking about how I got started with this whole thing. I guess my biggest influence was my mother. I can remember being five years old and having it be  my job to add the spices to the jar when she was making homemade pickles. My Mom was no slouch in the kitchen! She was a "Leave it to Beaver" mom, stayed home and took care of the house,  dinner was on the table every night at 5:30pm - always a protein, starch and two veggies.

 I liked almost everything she cooked, except I hated red meat... still not a fan of most red meat.. I could sit at the table and chew on a piece of pot roast without swallowing it for an hour  lol. The meat wasn't tough.. I just hated it. Boy she would get mad at me. Looking back I think she took it as a personal affront. Anyway, my Mom had me in the kitchen helping her from probably age 3-4  so I learned by watching.

When I was in junior high school and high school, I took a  cooking class almost every semester. It was a lot of fun and if you scheduled it right, you didn't have to buy lunch part of the time. :D I was usually pretty good at it and in high school it was even more fun because there were older boys in my class.... I was a puny freshman so hanging out with senior boys was a real treat.

As far as TV chefs,  I guess Graham Kerr was my first influence. I can remember coming home from school and watching this with my Mom. The man went into raptures cooking certain things and he always invited one lucky lady down from the audience to share his meal... with a bottle of wine, natch! I didn't like boys at the time, but I did think he was the most suave and coolest man!  And he was funny to boot... check this video out


Now days, I am a pretty good cook.. not a chef, but a cook. My favorites are: Ina Garten, Alton Brown,  Mario Batali,  .. and I love the cooking reality shows -  Top Chef, Next Food Network Star,  Chopped, MasterChef... try not to miss any. I wouldn't have the nerve to get on any of these, nor do I have that kind of talent. They are inspiring to watch and do give me good ideas.

So who are your inspirations when cooking?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Winner winner, Bison Dinner!

One of my assignments this month for Allrecipes was one I had really been looking forward to - BISON! I had seen this in the grocery store and always wanted to try it, but for multiple reasons kept putting it off.  This month Allrecipes partnered with The Bison Council and we got to try bison. How cool was this? I selected Bison Pepperoni Macaroni as the recipe to try.

Looks yummy, doesn't it?
This was pretty healthy to boot. I used low fat and fat free cheeses, olive oil instead of butter to make the roux and whole wheat macaroni. And how did it taste? Really delicious. The bison pepperoni has a richer taste than turkey pepperoni or even the traditional pork pepperoni. It isn't greasy and is cut thin and is tender. I really liked it a lot.  Bison itself if quite healthy - fewer calories than turkey and chicken, less fat, less cholesterol, less sodium and more iron.

I'm really happy with this month's assignments so far.. will definitely buy bison on my own again. 

Next week I plan on using some of the leftover pepperoni on PIZZA. Will post about that one next weekend.