August 30, 2015

Tomato Alfredo Pizza with Chicken, Spinach and Bacon


I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner.  I make Tomato Alfredo Pasta all the time, so much that I could make the sauce in my sleep.  SO . . .  why did I not think to make Tomato Alfredo Pizza sooner?  I guess I better make this a lot now to make up for lost time :)  

The flavor of my Tomato Alfredo Sauce is SO GOOD.  It tastes like something you pay money for at an Italian Restaurant.  It's thick and creamy and cheesy and amazing.    
I love spinach and I have been sneaking it into so many dishes lately.   You have to sneak veggies in where you can, right?  BUT, if you have picky eaters that won't touch it if there's "green stuff" in it, you can omit it.

I am such a sauce person . . . . like do you want some hamburger to go with that ketchup . . . or do you want some fries to go with that fry sauce :)   Get it???  What can I say, I like a lot of extra sauce for dipping.  So, this recipe for Tomato Alfredo will make more than enough for a large pizza.  I serve it on the side for drenching dipping my pizza in.  If you serve breadsticks with your pizza, then that's perfect, you will have sauce for dipping.
P.S. I have also made this sauce with Asiago cheese when the store is out of Parmesan (which is like always) and it tastes just as good.

This pizza is spectacular. 

You might also like:
Tomato Alfredo Pizza with Chicken, Spinach and Bacon
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1 batch prepared pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)
1/2 Tbl. olive oil
1 batch Tomato Alfredo Sauce (recipe below)
2 boneless chicken breasts
1 packet Garlic Herb & Wine Marinade
1/2 c. chopped fresh spinach, opt.
4-5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c. Italian Cheese blend

Tomato Alfredo Sauce
1 c. milk
3 oz. cream cheese
1 Tbl. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp. table salt)
1/2 Tbl. bacon grease or unsalted butter
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese 

Prepare marinade according to package directions; add chicken and allow to marinate for several hours.  When ready, grill the chicken until internal temperature registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer (or until it's no longer pink in the inside).

For the Tomato Alfredo Sauce:  Add milk, cream cheese, flour and salt to a blender and blend until smooth.  Heat 1/2 Tablespoon bacon grease or unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds.  Add the sauce mixture and whisk occasionally until thickened and creamy; about 5-10 minutes.  Stir in the Italian seasoning and tomato sauce and stir until combined.  Last, stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted.  Remove from heat.  

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Roll out pizza dough to about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.  Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Brush 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil over the dough.  Top with alfredo sauce (as much as you like, reserving extra for dipping), leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge.  Top with spinach, sliced chicken, bacon and cheese.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and crisp and cheese is melted.

If using a pizza stone (This is what I do):  Place pizza stone in oven and preheat to 500 degrees.  Place rolled-out pizza dough on a pizza peel that has been coated with a little cornmeal to prevent dough from sticking.  Brush 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil over the dough.  Top with alfredo sauce (as much as you like, reserving extra for dipping), leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge.  Top with spinach, sliced chicken, bacon and cheese; slide pizza onto preheated pizza stone.  Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and crisp and cheese is melted.        

Jenn's Notes: This makes a lot of sauce.  I like to dip my pizza or breadsticks in the extra.  




August 23, 2015

Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love carrot cake.  Like really really LOVE carrot cake.  Most carrot cakes are loaded with oil and sugar.  I wanted to create a simple carrot cake recipe that I didn't have to feel terrible about eating.

That is where these absolutely delicious carrot cake bars come into play.

They have less sugar and a lot less oil than most carrot cakes, but they are still very sweet and moist.  Everyone that ate these loved them and had no idea I cut back on a few ingredients.  My Dad, who is a frosting lover like me, said he would have liked a little bit more frosting.  Everyone else thought the amount of frosting was just right.

This cake really is so so GOOD!
 You  might also like:
Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture) 

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg, opt.
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 1/2 c. shredded carrots
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. canola or vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.  In a medium bowl combine the eggs, shredded carrots, brown sugar, sugar, oil and vanilla and mix until well blended.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir together until just combined.  Do not overmix.  Pour batter into a greased 9x13-inch baking pan and spread out evenly.  Bake for 20 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely and top with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 c. powdered sugar

Using a hand mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese.  Add the salt, vanilla and one cup of powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth and creamy.  If frosting is too thick for your liking, add a little milk (around 1/2 - 1 Tablespoon).  Spread over cooled cake.    



Linked up at Weekend Potluck!

August 19, 2015

Oatmeal Coconut Zucchini Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Frosting


Please tell me you aren't zucchinied-out yet?  I'm not, I will be making zucchini recipes until at least September, then I'm all about pumpkin.  You have at least got to try one more zucchini cookie this year.  SERIOUSLY  - What a cookie this is!

Let me just say . . . YUMMY!!!

I used my favorite recipe for zucchini sandwich cookies, except I omitted the cinnamon and nutmeg and added some shredded coconut.  The cookie tastes just like a soft and chewy oatmeal cookie.  You can see the zucchini in the cookie, but you can't taste the zucchini at all.  So don't be afraid of that zucchini.  
The creamy chocolate frosting is my go-to chocolate frosting and it's perfect mixed with the chewy coconut oatmeal cookie.  What an amazing combination.   

Go pick that zucchini and make these tonight . . . . do it :)
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter-flavored shortening
1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. + 2 Tbl. sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. quick-cooking oats
1/2 c. sweetened shredded coconut
1 c. grated zucchini (I peel the majority of the zucchini)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl combine the flour, soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.  In a separate medium bowl, cream the shortening, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Stir in the oats, coconut and zucchini until well combined.  Dough will be sticky.  

Drop one Tablespoon of dough per cookie onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake cookies for about 9 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.  Do not overbake.  Cool completely and spread chocolate frosting over the flat side of one cookie and top with the flat side of another cookie.  Repeat.  Makes about 36-40 cookies or 18-20 sandwiches.


Chocolate Frosting
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
pinch of salt
1 1/2 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 Tbl. milk, more or less

Beat butter, salt and cocoa powder until smooth.  Add the vanilla and one cup of powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Add the remaining one cup of powdered sugar and a little milk and mix until frosting is smooth and creamy.  If frosting is too thick for your liking, add a little bit more milk.  Spread between cooled cookies.  



Linked up at Weekend Potluck!

August 16, 2015

Baked Seasoned Parmesan Steak Fries


We have been grilling burgers all Summer long.  What goes better with burgers than fries?  I make Baked Steak Fries all of the time and I am always switching up the flavors.  This is one of my favorite versions.  These fries have so much flavor.  I wouldn't say one individual flavor stands out, they all just blend together perfectly.  These fries get crispy on the outside and stay soft in the inside.

I always serve these with fry sauce.  All you have to do to make fry sauce is mix together an equal amount of Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip with Ketchup.  Best thing ever!!  I prefer mine with Miracle Whip, but we won't get started with that :)  Let's just say that most times in my house, we end up making a small batch with Mayo and a small batch with Miracle Whip so everyone can be happy.  Are you a Mayo or Miracle Whip person??? 
You might also like:


Baked Seasoned Parmesan Steak Fries
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

3 large Russet potatoes, washed
1 Tbl. olive oil
1 tsp. seasoned salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
3 Tbl. grated Parmesan cheese 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the potatoes into 8 wedges each and place in a large bowl.  Add the olive oil, seasoned salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin and Italian seasoning.  Stir together until all of the wedges are evenly coated in olive oil and seasonings.  Spread out in a single layer onto a baking sheet that has been lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for about 40-45 minutes, flipping wedges over half way through baking.  They will be crispy on the outside and soft in the inside.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese before serving.   

Jenn's Notes:  To make 8 wedges per potato - cut potatoes in half lengthwise and then in half again and each quarter in half again.  I like to use the grated Parmesan cheese that comes in the green can, but freshly grated Parmesan cheese will be delicious too.  I serve these with fry sauce, which is equal amounts of either Mayo or Miracle Whip with Ketchup.      

Linked up at Weekend Potluck!

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