Stromboli

Since this is one of our favorite foods, the recipe was bound to show up here sometime! I made stromboli for dinner tonight, and it’s not even Friday (which is when I usually cook Italian)!

Ingredients:

– 1 recipe of pizza dough (enough for one pizza)
– 4 slices salami
– 6 slices deli pepperoni
– 5 slices provolone cheese
– 5 slices deli ham
– 1-2 T melted butter
– Italian seasoning
– marinara sauce, for topping

Directions:

Roll the dough out to about a 7×14 rectangle. Arrange meat and cheese in the order given down the center, leaving some room on the ends. Fold the ends up and then the long sides over, sealing the edges. Place on a baking sheet diagonally and cut slashes with a sharp knife. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Bake at 375°F oven for 30-40 minutes, or until top is browned. Let it rest on a cutting board for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving, or else it will be too gooey and the cheese will pull out with the cutter!

Tip: Bake on parchment paper, and put another baking sheet underneath. If you use enough cheese and butter, some will probably leak out as it starts to bubble through the slits and the oven will be a mess! (If it doesn’t, you didn’t use enough cheese and butter 😉 )

I like to add extra cheese…tonight I sprinkled some mozzarella and cheddar cheese in there too, and it was delicious.

Ranch Burgers

I found this recipe on All Recipes and it was such a hit I have made it several times this summer. For just me and my husband, I usually do just one pound of beef/half the recipe, and make 4 burgers. Last week, with family and friends also here, I used 3 pounds and upped the other ingredients a little. It’s a pretty flexible recipe, but downright delicious and super easy!

Ingredients:

– 2 lbs. ground beef
– 1 1-oz pkg. (3 T) ranch dressing mix/powder (I buy mine in a jar from Sam’s Club)
– 1 egg, slightly beaten
– 3/4 c finely crushed saltine crackers
– 1 onion, chopped very small (depending on how much onion you like, you might not want a whole one. And be sure to chop the pieces as small as possible. If they are too chunky, the burgers will not hold together as well)

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together and form into patties of whatever size you like. Cook to taste–we like them grilled and pretty well done. I usually add a couple slices of sharp cheddar at the end, and we like to toast the buns on the grill right at the end too.

Serve with homemade rolls, mayo, lettuce, tomato, bacon, mustard, relish, ketchup, pickles, or whatever else you like with your burgers. Enjoy!

Bread and Butter Pickles

With the end of summer I always get the urge to make pickles, so here’s the recipe I made today. We’re having company for dinner tomorrow night, so I didn’t feel bad about making a big batch! Just remember there is some waiting involved, so you can’t make these at the last minute.

Ingredients:

– 5 1/2 c thinly sliced pickling cucumbers (about 1 1/2 pounds)
– 1 1/2 T kosher salt
– 1 c thinly sliced onion
– 1 c white sugar
– 1/4 c packed brown sugar
– 1 c white vinegar
– 1/2 c cider vinegar
– 1 1/2 t mustard seeds
– 1/2 t celery seeds
– 1/8 t tumeric

Directions:

Combine sliced cucumbers and salt in a bowl, cover and chill 1-2 hours. Drain and rinse cucumbers under cold water, making sure to get the salt off. Drain again and return cucumbers to the bowl. Add the sliced onion and stir together.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Pour hot vinegar mixture over the cucumbers and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours before eating.

These will keep in the refrigerator up to two weeks–just keep them in an airtight container.

Makes about 1 quart of pickles.

Concord Grape Pie

I love grape season…can’t wait to try this recipe!!

jess.kidding.around.

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In fall in Western New York, you can smell the grapes in the air if you drive past the vineyards with your windows down. Growing up there is probably why making grape pie is one of my annual late-summer traditions, like canning peaches and making apple crisp. My grandpa made it almost every year and I think of him every time. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized how few people have ever heard of this deliciousness.

Basically it looks like blueberry pie and tastes tart, like a cross between sour cherry pie and grape jelly. So good.

Here’s the recipe and then I’ll go step by step:

Concord Grape Pie

9″ double crust pie crust

2 pounds concord grapes (about 4 or 5 cups)

1 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon lemon juice

A pinch of salt

Pick the grapes off the…

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Sloppy Joes

Today we had a big storm, with lots of thunder and lightning and an inch of rain. It was a good evening for Sloppy Joes, so that’s what we had! I found a recipe in a cookbook, but then the more I looked at it the more ideas I had…so this recipe is actually my own creation. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Ingredients:

-1 T olive oil
-1/2 c onion, diced
-1/2 c sweet pepper, diced
-1 stalk celery, diced
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 c tomato product*
1/4 c water
1/4 c ketchup
1 T worcestershire sauce

6 rolls, split (I used the rolls from my pizza dough recipe)
12 thin slices of sharp cheddar cheese

*tomato product: you can use tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, leftover chili, salsa, or whatever you have and is convenient. One of the great things about Sloppy Joes is how flexible they are. This evening I had a quart jar of homemade salsa I wanted to use up, so I put in 1 1/2 c of that. It made for a wonderful flavor base and I would definitely do it again! Just keep in mind that the texture of your finished product will change depending on what you put in.

Directions:

Sauté onion, celery, and pepper in oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When they are cooked to desired softness (remember they will cook a little more in the final stage), pour into a bowl and set aside. Brown ground beef in skillet with a little water, breaking into small pieces. Add vegetables back in, along with the tomato, water, ketchup, and worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until it reaches desired consistency. Since I used salsa and the mixture wasn’t very watery, I cooked it over low heat to blend flavors, but didn’t leave it on very long as it didn’t need to cook down.

Toast the buns cut side up. I served them with a little butter on the bun, sloppy joe, then a slice of cheese on top. I also made french fries with potatoes from our garden, and we had peach pie and homemade ice cream for dessert. What an evening!

Pizza Dough

I love making pizza dough because there are so many things I can do with it: pizza, of course…but also stromboli, hotdog and hamburger buns, pigs-in-a-blanket, and pizza balls. I made a double batch a few days ago for pigs in a blanket, and today I’m using the rest to make pizza balls. Last week I made mozzarella cheese, so I’m fully expecting them to be extra delicious! But the base of it all is the dough, so here you go:

Ingredients:

-1 pkg (2 1/2 t) active dry yeast
-1 t sugar
-1 c warm water
-2 1/2 c flour
-2 T olive oil
-1 t salt

Directions:

In a large bowl (I put everything straight into my kitchenaid mixer bowl), dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let stand for about 10 minutes in a warm place. Add oil and salt, mix well, then add flour. I add a cup, beat it, add another cup, beat it, then add the final half cup and knead for about 5 minutes. The final dough should be very slightly sticky to touch, but hold its shape. Oil the bowl and cover with a warm, damp paper towel. Let it rise until double, about one hour. (I like to turn the oven on to 350°F for about 1 minute, then turn it off and put the dough in. That gets the environment warm, and the closed door holds the heat in and keeps drafts out. Just make sure not to leave the oven on too long; if it is too hot it will kill the yeast and the dough won’t rise.)

When the dough is about doubled, take it out and punch it down. From there, use your imagination!

Makes 1 large round pizza, 12 pigs in a blanket, an 8×8 pan of pizza balls, a dozen rolls, or 1 stromboli.

***I frequently double this recipe and put half the dough in the refrigerator for use a few days later on another meal. It also can be frozen for longer storage–just thaw completely at room temperature before using.