Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: October 2018

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Easy No-Fail Pizza Dough

Don't lie, you're eating a LOT of pizza.
So why not make an easy homemade version?

Easy No-Fail Pizza Dough...this simple pizza dough can rise for as little as 2 hours or sit on your counter all day long.  It's make a soft and fluffy crust that kids love! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Today's Halloween.

So there's that.  Happy Halloween.  But I'm not here to chat about scary costumes, candy coming into your house by the bucket full or the rotting pumpkins on your front porch.

Can you tell I'm not a big fan of this holiday?

People, I'm here to chat about PIZZA.  Which in my opinion is a much better topic.  One that everyone loves, everyone eats and everyone is opinionated about.

Thin crust, stuffed crust, traditional toppings, funky toppings, lots of cheese, cheese-less {what?}, frozen varieties, homemade and delivered to your door pizzas.  There are SO MANY variations.

Easy No-Fail Pizza Dough...this simple pizza dough can rise for as little as 2 hours or sit on your counter all day long.  It's make a soft and fluffy crust that kids love! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

But have you ever made your own homemade crust?

I've shared a million varieties over the years - my special Deep Dish Reuben Pizza, my Nacho Taco Pizza, my Chicago Style, my French Bread Pizza Boats, my Egg and Chorizo Breakfast Pizza and even my tuitorial on How to Make Your Own Frozen Pizzas.

There is not a pizza I have not touched or eaten or have not liked.  I like them all.  I could eat pizza every single day of my life and never, ever get sick of it.

Easy No-Fail Pizza Dough...this simple pizza dough can rise for as little as 2 hours or sit on your counter all day long.  It's make a soft and fluffy crust that kids love! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Now, for whatever reason my two older kids have been on a pepperoni pizza kick as of late and despite my callings for sausage, mushrooms, canadian bacon and black olives on our pizza, they still want plain jane pepperoni.

I'm not sure where they came from.

So a few weeks back I was heading to a movie {A Star is Born - so, so, so, so good} and dinner {Mexican food - so, so, so, so good} so I promised them a homemade pizza for dinner while I was gone.  Bribery works wonders {ahem, pizza} for when your kids want to tag along on your adult only night.

I had been on a kick of buying ALDI's pre-made thin crusts, but had none on hand.  And while we love them, I wanted to come up with a thicker, softer crust.

I've found kid's love thick, soft crusts.  They love dipping the crusts in extra sauce.  You basically get a breadstick with each slice!  

Easy No-Fail Pizza Dough...this simple pizza dough can rise for as little as 2 hours or sit on your counter all day long.  It's make a soft and fluffy crust that kids love! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

So I did a bit of research and came up with this soft, fluffy and a tad bit sweet dough.  The addition of oil keeps the dough soft and a scant bit of sugar adds just a touch of sweetness.

Also do not be afraid of YEAST.

It's harmless.  All I'll say is that make sure your yeast is fresh {I keep mine in the fridge}.  Do not try and make this with some little packet that has been sitting in your cupboard for 4 years.  If when you mix the yeast up with the warm water and sugar and it starts to get bubbly and all frothy, then you know it is fresh.  If it does not get bubbly nor look like it's activating....it's DEAD.

Dump it out and try again with a fresh batch.

Easy No-Fail Pizza Dough...this simple pizza dough can rise for as little as 2 hours or sit on your counter all day long.  It's make a soft and fluffy crust that kids love! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The joy about this homemade crust is that I often whip it up first thing in the morning, cover it up and then forget about it until dinnertime.  If you are short on time, it techinally only needs a couple hours to rise, but if you forget about it, no big deal.

This one batch makes one BIG pizza, you might as well call it an x-large pizza.  Once you remove the dough from the bowl, it stretches out so nice {really this is why it's my favorite} and in no time you are adding toppings.

Again, I kept this one simple.

Sauce.  Pepperoni.  Cheese.

Easy No-Fail Pizza Dough...this simple pizza dough can rise for as little as 2 hours or sit on your counter all day long.  It's make a soft and fluffy crust that kids love! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

One last very IMPORTANT part of this recipe.

Save aside some additional oil and brush it all over the raised crust before baking.  Then sprinkle on your favorite seasonings.  I often sprinkle on {generously} garlic powder, oregano, basil and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Who wants that additional breadstick on the pizza to be tasteless?  Not me.

Be sure to let me know if your kids like this one!  Tag me{@sweetsavoryeats} on social media and I'll be sure to share your work on my page.

Yield: 1 large to x-large pizza

Easy No-Fail Pizza Dough

This simple, from-scratch pizza dough is great for kids on Friday night! It makes a big pizza with a soft crust.
prep time: 3 hourcook time: 15 minstotal time: 3 hours and 15 mins

ingredients


  • 2 t yeast
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3 T oil
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • additional oil + favorite seasonings

instructions


  1. In a glass measuring bowl combine the hot water (I just use hot tap water), yeast and sugar.  Stir and set aside for 3-4 minutes.  It will turn frothy and bubbly.
  2. To the yeast mixture add in the oil and salt.
  3. Find a large mixing bowl (preferably with a lid) or one that can easly be covered with a clean towel.  Add in the flour and warm yeast mixture.  Stir together and combine until a soft ball forms.  Cover with a lid or towel and set in a semi-warm place or just on the kitchen counter.
  4. Allow the dough to rise for at least 2 hours or all day.  I often make mine in the morning and leave on the counter until ready to assemble at dinner.
  5. When ready to assemble, preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a floured flat surface.  Adding more flour to the dough if sticky.  Gently press out into a large circle, flipping over a few times to keep both sides of the dough floured.  
  6. Place the pizza crust on a large cookie sheet or baking stone.  Top with your favorite sauce and toppings. 
  7. Brush the crust of the pizza with additional oil and sprinkle with your favorite seasonings.  I often use garlic powder, oregano and shaved Parmesan.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and all cheese is melted.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Bars

All hail glorious pumpkin desserts!
This one is a dandy.  Put my Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Bars on your radar now.

Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Bars...a two ingredient crust, delicious traditional pumpkin pie filling swirled with cheesecake!  Feeds 20 at Thanksgiving! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Do you ever have panic moments?

Where your heart literally skips a beat?

Maybe when you shut the door behind you and you realize you left your keys inside.  Or when your child runs out into the street.  Sound familiar?  I had one of those moments the other day at the grocery store.

I was at ALDI and the cashier had about half of my items scanned {I had a huge cart full} when I happened to glance up at the total so far and it said $329.

WHAT!?!

My heart skipped a beat.  I quickly thought to myself, what the heck?  She's not even halfway done, how is the total that high?

Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Bars...a two ingredient crust, delicious traditional pumpkin pie filling swirled with cheesecake!  Feeds 20 at Thanksgiving! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I loudly calmly asked her, "um...how is my total that high already?  Because if that's right you need to stop scanning right now."

She also thought something was up.  So she stopped {all this time a line is backing up...}, checked the register tape and started laughing.  What?  I thought.  

I DO NOT FIND THIS FUNNY.

"I scanned your bottle of $5.99 pure maple syrup 29 times.  I'm guessing you don't need 29 bottles."

You're right, just one bottle please!

That little mistake added $173 dollars to my bill.

Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Bars...a two ingredient crust, delicious traditional pumpkin pie filling swirled with cheesecake!  Feeds 20 at Thanksgiving! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This little mistake had me thinking, how many times am I not paying attention at the check out line {probably every single time} and I get overcharged?  I was alone that day {for once} grocery shopping without any kids, so therefore I do believe that is why I noticed.

I didn't have any distractions or kids whining or kids crying or kids asking me for fruit snacks 468 times.

In the end, all worked out and I got home in time to bake up these delicious Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Bars.  Words can't quite explain how good these are.  I had wanted to whip up another pumpkin something {since it's October, since I can't stop} and these are what I settled on.

We ADORE pumpkin pie in our house.  Every single one of us {I raised them right}.  But I wanted something a bit different.  Something that served more than eight.  A bar version of pie with a twist that had everyone talking.

Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Bars...a two ingredient crust, delicious traditional pumpkin pie filling swirled with cheesecake!  Feeds 20 at Thanksgiving! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I enjoyed my first piece {guys, I have to test this stuff!} here with a cup of hot tea.  That day at the store I had been nursing a 3 day old sore throat {again, blaming the kids who bring home those germs} and had already overdosed on Vitamin C tablets, so really by the time I got home and got this baked I just wanted to dig a fork in it.

I did.

It was worth the 29 bottle fiasco and the sore throat.

Per usual, I stuck it in the fridge, my half piece eaten and waited to share when everyone was home later that night.

Y'all, the hoots and hip hip hoorays that came when I pulled this pan out of the fridge after dinner could probably be heard in the next town over.  Excitement over dessert is REAL in this house.


Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Bars...a two ingredient crust, delicious traditional pumpkin pie filling swirled with cheesecake!  Feeds 20 at Thanksgiving! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The crust is incredibly easy - just two ingredients!  And honestly, of the people who tried some samples, that is the first thing they commented on.  THE CRUST.

I kept the pumpkin filling traditional - just like you'd find it in a pie, but of course took it up a notch with a cream cheese {cheesecake really} dollup here and there.  Then I proceeded to swirl it all around with a knife to make the darm thing. pretty.

Isn't it pretty?

You will be the HIT of Thanksgiving if you show up with this dessert.  I love that it serves 20 versus a traditional pumpkin pie which only serves 8.  You can feed so many more people!


Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Bars...a two ingredient crust, delicious traditional pumpkin pie filling swirled with cheesecake!  Feeds 20 at Thanksgiving! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Give me a shout out when you make this dandy, k?

Tag me on social media {@sweetsavoryeats} and I'll help share your love.  Now.  Promptly hit PRINT below and stick this one on the fridge for November 22.

Thanksgiving is just under a month away and you need to be prepared for dessert!

Yield: 20

Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Bars

A fun way to jazz up your pumpkin pie routine this Fall! A delicate, sweet crust, topped with a traditional pumpkin pie filling and dotted with bits of cheesecake.
prep time: 15 minscook time: 50 minstotal time: 65 mins

ingredients

Crust
  • 1 pkg yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 stick cold butter, cubed
Pumpkin Pie Filling
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk (leave out 2 oz)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 t pumpkin pie spice
Cheesecake Filling
  • 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • remaining 2 oz evaporated milk

instructions


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. Combine the cake mix with the cubed butter, cutting in with a pastry blender or fork until crumbly.  Press this mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  3. In a stand mixer combine the pumpkin pie filling ingredients until incorporated.  Pour over the cake mix crust.
  4. In the same stand mixer (after cleaned out) combine the cheesecake filling ingredients.  First whipping the cream cheese until smooth, then adding the remaining ingredients.
  5. Place heaping spoonfuls of the cheesecake filling onto the pumpkin layer.  Cut through this cream cheese mixture with a knife to swirl into the pumpkin mixture.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until set in the middle and lightly browned around the edges.  Allow to cool completely.  Then chill for at least 1-2 hours before cutting into bars.  Keep refridgerated.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Almond Flour Banana Muffins

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Mazola® Corn Oil.  All opinions are mine alone.  #MakeItMazola #simpleswap #CollectiveBias

A few better-for-you swaps and these Almond Flour Banana Muffins are lighter and delicious!

Almond Flour Banana Muffins...a few swaps {corn oil, Greek yogurt, cinnamon applesauce, almond flour} make this healthier muffin an easy grab-n-go option on busy weekday mornings! #ad #MakeItMazola #simpleswap #CollectiveBias (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I love muffins.  I've always loved muffins.  In my opinion they are the perfect grab-n-go breakfast to go along with a steaming mug of coffee, but unfortunately often times muffins are LOADED with fat and calories that we cannot see.  Rather than filling these muffins with butter and other oils, I've created some better-for-you swaps and used Mazola® Corn Oil.  A clinical study showed Mazola Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, see Mazola.com.

And I tell you what....these lighter swaps made these muffins delicious!


Almond Flour Banana Muffins...a few swaps {corn oil, Greek yogurt, cinnamon applesauce, almond flour} make this healthier muffin an easy grab-n-go option on busy weekday mornings! #ad #MakeItMazola #simpleswap #CollectiveBias (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

In addition to using corn oil, I used almond flour instead of all-purpose flour.  Have you tried baking with almond flour yet?  It's naturally gluten-free, using almonds that have been blanched and later ground to a fine meal and it is great in baking.

It is also low-carb and has become a must for those following a paleo diet who still enjoy baking grain-free.  I personally love the nutty and hearty taste it gives any baked good.  I've swapped almond flour as a 1:1 ratio in recipes with great results and have also mixed and matched using half almond flour and half all-purpose.

Almond Flour Banana Muffins...a few swaps {corn oil, Greek yogurt, cinnamon applesauce, almond flour} make this healthier muffin an easy grab-n-go option on busy weekday mornings! #ad #MakeItMazola #simpleswap #CollectiveBias (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Clearly, if you've been a reader for awhile you know I'm a lover of all decadent recipes.  I'm not afraid to go "over the top" on a dish.  But, with that being said, I also throw in many lighter versions.

A girl cannot eat horrible all the time!

An easy way to make a few better choices with your food is in your baking.  Mazola Corn Oil is an all-purpose cooking oil that is a smart heart-healthy choice for your family.  Not only with baking, but in grilling, sautéing, stir frying or in marinades and dressings.  It has a neutral taste which allows the flavor in your food to stand out.

Corn oil also has a higher than most smoke point at 450 degrees.  Not all cooks realize that many oils have different smoke points when stir frying or sautéing, only to find out once exceeded, it not only can negatively affect the food's flavor but also may alter its nutritional value.

Almond Flour Banana Muffins...a few swaps {corn oil, Greek yogurt, cinnamon applesauce, almond flour} make this healthier muffin an easy grab-n-go option on busy weekday mornings! #ad #MakeItMazola #simpleswap #CollectiveBias (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Most muffin batters will call for an oil, butter and some sort of liquid dairy in the wet ingredients.  To swap in some better options I instead opted for corn oil, plain Greek yogurt and cinnamon applesauce.  This triple combo kept the muffins moist and soft.

And tasty!  The plain Greek yogurt is like sour cream, keeping the muffins rich and the cinnamon applesauce gives the muffins a boost of flavor without overpowering the taste.

Not to mention the mashed banana.  Because we ALL know that mashed bananas are good in any baked good.

Almond Flour Banana Muffins...a few swaps {corn oil, Greek yogurt, cinnamon applesauce, almond flour} make this healthier muffin an easy grab-n-go option on busy weekday mornings! #ad #MakeItMazola #simpleswap #CollectiveBias (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

With just 5 minutes of prep and 25 minutes of baking time, these muffins can even be baked on a weekday morning before your kids head off to school!

I know, I'm asking a LOT {trust me, I know all about rushed school mornings}, but it can be done.  Or take the easy route and bake a batch on Sunday afternoon so they are all ready to go on Monday morning.

These little breakfast treats {or afternoon snacks} are bursting with banana flavor and have just enough sweetness to curb that craving.  They also provide a better-for-you option when your schedule is pulling you here, there and everywhere leaving your grab-n-go options limited.

Almond Flour Banana Muffins...a few swaps {corn oil, Greek yogurt, cinnamon applesauce, almond flour} make this healthier muffin an easy grab-n-go option on busy weekday mornings! #ad #MakeItMazola #simpleswap #CollectiveBias (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

What kind of swaps do you use in baking or cooking?

Want to give this one a try?

Do it.  You will NOT be disappointed!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone.  
#MakeItMazola #simpleswap #CollectiveBias

Yield: 12

Almond Flour Banana Muffins

These banana muffins are made with corn oil, cinnamon applesauce, Greek yogurt and of course...mashed bananas! They are soft, moist and super delicious.
prep time: 5 minscook time: 25 minstotal time: 30 mins

ingredients


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup cinnamon applesauce
  • 2 T Mazola Corn Oil
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 mashed bananas

instructions


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a bowl whisk together the wet ingredients - eggs, yogurt, applesauce, corn oil, vanilla and bananas.
  3. Add in the dry ingredients - baking soda, salt and almond flour.  Combine gently, just until ingredients are combined.  Do not over mix.
  4. Using a muffin scoop, drop the batter into the lined muffin tin.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Monday, October 15, 2018

Instant Pot Beef & Potato Stew

Comforting stew doesn't have to take all day!
This hearty version is done in just 35 minutes in the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Beef & Potato Stew....this hearty,creamy, comforting stew takes just 35 minutes in the Instant Pot!  It tastes likes it's been cooking all day, when in reality you can start it at 5:00 and be finishing up by 6:00.  Beef Stew is perfect for winter comfort food! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Well, soup season is finally here.

Along with other things.  Crunchy fall leaves, hot chocolate, big, comfy sweatshirts, shivering in your house because you refuse to turn on the heat {oh...just me?}, fall-scented candles, pumpkin spice lattes and so much more.

I've had two reader emails in the last few days asking for my favorite soup recipes.  How can a girl choose?

If I can't be savoring a classic bread bowl filled to the brim of creamy, rich Broccoli Cheddar at Panera Bread {by myself please} then you'll find me making a homemade batch here at home.

Instant Pot Beef & Potato Stew....this hearty,creamy, comforting stew takes just 35 minutes in the Instant Pot!  It tastes likes it's been cooking all day, when in reality you can start it at 5:00 and be finishing up by 6:00.  Beef Stew is perfect for winter comfort food! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Some of my family's favorites include:


Instant Pot Beef & Potato Stew....this hearty,creamy, comforting stew takes just 35 minutes in the Instant Pot!  It tastes likes it's been cooking all day, when in reality you can start it at 5:00 and be finishing up by 6:00.  Beef Stew is perfect for winter comfort food! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This Instant Pot thing still amazes me.  I've pretty much made everything you can think of in that darn, cute, amazing appliance.

Have you gotten yours yet?  And at the very least if you haven't, have you put it on your Christmas list yet?  It makes an amazing gift, because really EVERYONE benefits from it.  The one I purchased earlier this year, I now see is $10 cheaper on Amazon.  I am imagining it to continue to go down as the holidays approach.

Snatch yours now!  The version I use is HERE.

I find that my 6 QT version is perfect for our family of 5, but they do have smaller and larger versions.

Instant Pot Beef & Potato Stew....this hearty,creamy, comforting stew takes just 35 minutes in the Instant Pot!  It tastes likes it's been cooking all day, when in reality you can start it at 5:00 and be finishing up by 6:00.  Beef Stew is perfect for winter comfort food! (sweetandasavoryfood.com)

Back to this stew.

It's hearty and creamy and FULL OF FLAVOR.  The veggies are nice and tender and all your picky eaters won't notice them {too much}.  The stew meat basically falls apart when it's hit with your spoon and literally melts in your mouth.

Does that description seal the deal?

If it doesn't you are pretty much dead to me.

Kinda.

Instant Pot Beef & Potato Stew....this hearty,creamy, comforting stew takes just 35 minutes in the Instant Pot!  It tastes likes it's been cooking all day, when in reality you can start it at 5:00 and be finishing up by 6:00.  Beef Stew is perfect for winter comfort food! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This batch feeds 4-6 people, but can easily be doubled if you are feeding more people.  There is more than enough room in the pot to double it.

But, do yourself a favor and serve it with a hearty, crusty chunk of bread along the side {or grilled cheeses if the kids insist}.  You need bread to dunk into that thick broth.  It's a rule.  That was basically my kid's favorite part about dinner.

Mine too.

Instant Pot Beef & Potato Stew....this hearty,creamy, comforting stew takes just 35 minutes in the Instant Pot!  It tastes likes it's been cooking all day, when in reality you can start it at 5:00 and be finishing up by 6:00.  Beef Stew is perfect for winter comfort food! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

What do you like to make in your Instant Pot?

Also, P.S.

We are on a serious countdown to my 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways.  Just a sneaky heads up!  I know, it's not even Halloween yet, but I feel it is my duty to keep you in the loop.  This year is my best yet.

So many wonderful companies have jumped on board to give away some stellar product and gifts.  Make sure you are following me NOW on Facebook and Instagram because that is where all the fun will be happening from December 1-12.

Whose ready?!?!

Yield: 4-6

Instant Pot Beef and Potato Stew

Thick and comforting, this beef and potato stew is made in the Instant Pot! Super quick and full of flavor.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 40 minstotal time: 50 mins

ingredients


  • 2 lb stew meat, cut into small cubes
  • 2 T butter, unsalted
  • 2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced into small chunks
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 1 t dried parsley
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 3 T flour
  • salt and pepper

instructions


  1. Season the stew meat liberally with salt and pepper.
  2. Set the Instant Pot to the saute setting.  Melt the butter, then add the beef and sear on all sides until browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add in the potatoes, carrots, cerely, onion, garlic, beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire and seasonings.  Again, season with salt and pepper.  
  4. Set to the manual setting, making sure the pressure nob is set to 'seal' and set time for 35 minutes.  When finished cooking, do a quick-release of the steam.
  5. In a small cup combine the flour and 1/2 cup of the stew broth.  Again, set the Instant Pot to Saute and bring to a boil.  Stir in the flour mixture, stirring, allowing the stew to thicken.
  6. Serve immediately or set the Instant Pot to the 'Keep Warm' setting for up to 3 hours.
Created using The Recipes Generator