Thursday, November 28, 2013

Stuffed Pizza

Jess had plans last Friday so I decided to stay in and have a "man" night to myself. I had a healthy supply of Basketball on TV and scotch to keep me hydrated. The only thing I was missing was something grimy to stuff my face with. I decided I would combine my Carmine's Sauce and Deep Dish Pizza posts into one super meal. If you ever need to increase the amount of processed meat and in your diet this is the fastest way to bump your numbers.
Stuffed pizza is another "Chicago" product and takes a Deep Dish pizza and adds another layer of crust. This layer adds to the structure of the pizza and acts almost like the club layer in a Club Sandwich. I didn't change any of the quantities of the recipes; I just ended up dividing the dough 60/40 instead of of 50/50 using the smaller piece as the topper. I also ended up with extra sauce but threw it in the freezer to use later. I also blended up some of the sauce to make it more pizza saucey. Realistically this was way over the top for a pizza, I used 6 types of meat and 3 types of cheese, and it probably was about $40 for everything.

Here are all the parts waiting for me to put them together.

Here is the build up.

And finally the pay-off.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Home Made Perogies

There is no excuse for buying cheap frozen perogies because they can be made fresh if you have a couple hours and enjoy spending time in the kitchen like myself. I made a fresh cottage cheese filling, a potato, cheese and jalapeno filling, and dough and was eating in about 1hr 20 min. I made 20 cheese and 15 potato. If you have a stand mixer this makes the job extra easy.

  • ~2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened)
  • filling (see my Home Made Cottage Cheese recipe)

I literally took everything and dumped it in the mixer with a dough hook and mixed it for 5 or 6  minutes. When it is smooth and soft wrap it in saran wrap and let rest in the fridge for 20 - 30 min. I would describe the dough as being silky and on the brink of being sticky. It will smell great because of the sour cream.
 After it has rested in the fridge roll it out (you might need to lightly flour your surface). I usually roll it until it just becomes translucent and you can start to see the counter through it. I used a 3 inch round cookie cutter to cut out my dough. If you don't have a cookie cutter you can usually use a glass that is around the same size. Fill each dough round with about a tablespoon of filling and pinch the edges together. If your dough is on the dry side you might need to run a little water along the edge to get a tight seal.

Here are the stuffed perogies:

 After they are stuffed you are ready to boil the perogies for 4 or 5 minutes or until the have been floating for a bit. I usually fry mine in some butter right out of the boiling water.

Serve with extra sour cream, onion, bacon, sausage or anything else you'd like. Then stuff your face!

Home Made Cottage Cheese

Cheese is quickly becoming a new obsession for me and I am finding that it is super easy, quick and cheap. This cottage cheese took about 45min to make and was way better than store bought. When I was growing up my extended family would get together and spend weekends making sausage and perogies. This cottage cheese is the perfect filling for perogies and I think I even convinced my friend to try to get his family to start making their perogies using fresh cheese. There is only two required ingredients and the only "special" equipment you need is a thermometer and some cheese cloth.


  • 8 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill (chopped)
I was scared that the vinegar would leave an after taste so I decided to add fresh dill so that in the worst case scenario it would kinda taste like dill pickle chips. It turned out that there was no vinegar taste and the plain cottage cheese would have been great on it's own.


1. Pour the milk into a large pot and heat on medium to 120 degrees F. Stir gently.
2. Remove the milk from the heat and slowly stir in the vinegar. It will start to separate.


3. Put the lid on the pot and let it firm up for 20 - 30 min.
4. Line a colander with your cheese cloth and pour the mixture through it. You can either keep or discard the whey (liquid part)

5. Rinse the curds under cold water and break into smaller curds with your fingers.
6. Transfer to a bowl and add your salt, pepper, and herbs.
7. I liked the dryness of the curd because I used it as a perogy filling but if you want it to be a little more runny add a splash of cream or milk.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mixed Berry Bread Pudding

I am not a huge fan of sweets but I have always liked bread puddings because they are simple, quick and versatile. This recipe is basically a fancy french toast because I ended up using pancake syrup on top instead of making a sauce. A couple of weeks later I made a lemon poppy seed one that was great as well. I cooked mine in one large dish and then used a round cookie cutter to cut a couple slices and stack it up. You can make individual ones if you have ramekins that would be an appropriate size. Having something warm for dessert is perfect for those lazy Sunday's where all you want to do is loaf around and read or watch movies. I went with blueberries and raspberries only because they were on sale.


  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 loaf French bread (stale)
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 - 3 cups fresh berries
  • Pancake or Maple syrup  


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the milk, vanilla and nutmeg. Toss in the bread and let soak for a couple minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stir into the bread mixture. Gently fold in the berries.
  4. Pour the pudding mixture into a pan (I used a glass casserole dish). Bake in the oven for about 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the pudding turns golden brown.
It will have a great crust on the top and should be creamy, warm and soft in the middle.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Teriyaki Hawaiian Burgers

It has started snowing here and I find myself dreaming about some of the places we have visited. One of our favourites was Hawaii. Hawaii has a great mix of Japanese and island foods. This burger was the perfect thing to combine those flavours and fill my belly. We don't have a BBQ so I pan fried the burgers and they ended up being flavourful, juicy and delicious. The pineapple,teriyaki and cheese make this burger a little different from the norm while keeping the satisfaction of having a burger.

Here is the burger mix prior to the egg and bread crumbs:

  • 1-1.5 lbs of ground beef
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 medium onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 green onions (sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs

I mixed everything other than the eggs and bread crumbs a couple hours before we ate so that the onions would soften up a little and the flavours would combine evenly. Add the egg and crumbs and form into patties and cook however you prefer. I took the pineapple slices and warmed them up in the pan I cooked the burgers in. I topped the burgers with either a Havarti or spicy Monterey Jack slice.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Italian Bread

This bread turned out way better than I was hoping. It was a last minute addition when I made the Carmine’s sauce. I ended up using one loaf for garlic bread and the other disappeared throughout the day as we prepared other things. It had a perfect crust that was still chewy and soft on the inside. It smells amazing as you bake it and you need to make two loaves because you will be eating it as soon as you can. The rising times are pretty dependant on the temperature of your kitchen and how hungry your yeast is. I ended up letting mine rise for about 2.5 – 3 hours total. It did rise in the oven as well. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"Butterface" Wings

I planned on making a "Chefs Special" hot teriyaki wing but because of laziness I ended up making the most delicious worst looking wings you could imagine. If these looked any uglier you would need to put a paper bag over them before eating them. The problem was that I never made a decision about whether I was making a marinade or a sauce when I started putting these together. I think I should have split the liquid into one part marinade and one part sauce; thickening half and adding it at the end of the cooking process.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Deep Dish Pizza

It is rare that I actually follow a recipe but this one was perfect in every way. I found it on another blog and as usual I am impressed at what other people get up to. Here's the link:  I am not sure how I ended up being fixated on "Deep Dish" but I am pretty sure that I came across this when I was looking up stuff for our trip to New York. We devoured this on a Saturday night while watching movies and it was awesome. The crust has a nice crunch while still being soft and chewy in the middle. I found her instructions easy to follow would only consider adding more sausage and cheese because if you are going to make a a hot tub of cheese you might as well fill it to the brim.

Here are the photos of a hard days work.

Sauce ingredients:

The Rest: