because I have to

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Best Pizza EVER!

Posted by The Colbys... written by Erin |

I make this thing all the time.. such a crowd pleaser really. It looks really pretty, but tastes DANG good! Remember how I just posted boring Baked Ziti.. this is NOT like that! you MUST try it!... I always want to take a picture... but then we eat it. I swear I will next time...maybe

4 Cups bread or all purpose flour (white) (I use all purpose... of course)
1 1/4 C lukewarm water
1 packet active dry yeast, (2 1/4 TBS)
2 TBS olive oil, extra virgin is best
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar (or honey.. I've never done it, but you could)
1/4 -1/3 C milk (recipe calls for 1/4 but I always add a little more. Also it says you can use water instead of milk... I've never done it)

~pizza sauce (Don't let your mom fool you, pizza sauce is NOT the same a spaghetti sauce. But don't worry, it just comes in a can. I've had all different brands, and as long as it's "pizza sauce" it's good!)
~1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese (or combo pizza cheese, like mozz and provolone)
~grape tomatoes- slice horizontally (they lay flatter and look prettier)
~fresh basil (chopped... Rachael Ray taught me a neat way to cut Basil.
1. pick the leaves off
2. stack them on top of each other
3. roll them into a tight little burrito
4. thinly slice the "burrito" (Ok, burrito is my own word for this..)
5. you end up with "basil confetti"
~Feta Cheese (to taste)
~Fresh Ground Pepper
~Dried Rosemary to sprinkle on the crust

Preheat oven to 450 F

Using a large mixing bowl (I make this dough in my kitchen aid with the kneading hook), add the flour, make a "well"in the middle, and put in 1 teaspoon salt, stir to combine well. Set aside.

Prepare the "starter": In a liquid measuring cup (or whatever) pour in 1 1/4 C lukewarm water, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 package of yeast. Stir and set aside for about 5 minutes. Allow to foam up, or POOF

Next, with mixer on low, mix the "starter" (yeast water) and the milk in the bowl containing the flour. Add 2 TBS olive oil.

Knead until you get a smooth elastic rubbery dough ball. (this is where I add a tad more milk to get the right consistency... BEWARE not to add too much to where the dough becomes "sticky")

Set aside in bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil to keep the dough from drying out. Let dough sit covered lightly with plastic wrap or damp towel to cover it.

Allow to rise for 30-60 minutes.

grease pan, flatten dough and press out into a circle to fit pan (or Square if you have a square pan). Don't be afraid to lift underneath to stretch the dough.

Top with pizza sauce, cheese, sliced grape tomatoes, confetti basil, feta, pepper, and sprinkle rosemary on the crust.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, but watch it!

When bottom looks slightly browned and the pizza looks bubbly, remove from oven.

Best pizza EVER... you're welcome

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baked Ziti or Penne

Posted by The Colbys... written by Erin |

really not very exciting.. just a slight twist on spaghetti night:)


1 lb of whole wheat penne or ziti
1 jar of your favorite red sauce (what's that?? you make your own?.. ok, use that)
Hamburger and onion- browned and sauted
1 lb shredded mozzerella cheese

preheat oven to 350*F
Boil your pasta until done
in the mean time, brown up meat and onions and add sauce
pour done pasta in a 13x9 baking dish and pour meat sauce over, distribute sauce evenly
top with cheese... all of it!
cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes
uncover and bake for 10 more minutes

it's good:)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Taco Night with Southwest Black Bean Salsa

Posted by The Colbys... written by Erin |

This was my meal last night:

Meal Idea (with sides too!!.. I know!)

Beef Tacos with Southwest Black Bean and Corn Salsa
Cilantro Lime Rice
Refried Beans
Guacamole & Chips

(why do you need me to teach you how to make tacos?? Ok, this is for me. I make them differently every time, and these were tasty last night)

1 lb Ground Beef
1 med onion
2 packets Sazon Seasoning (only in NYC?)
garlic salt to taste
cumin to taste
chili powder to taste
Flour or Corn tortillas (I had corn, the Mr. had flour)
Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Um... brown the beef and onions, throw in all the seasonings:)
My mom likes to fry her tortillas and they ARE tasty BUT I was trying to be healthy, so I just warmed them up in the microwave. They were tasty too!
Stuff tortillas with meat, top with cheese, Black Bean Salsa, & Lettuce

South West Black Bean & Corn Salsa

1 can black beans
1 C - 1.5 C frozen corn
1 bell pepper, finely chopped (I used green)
1 tomato, finely chopped
1/4 C cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP vinegar
Cumin to taste
Garlic Salt to taste
Grill seasoning to taste

Combine all ingredients:) Let sit so the corn de-thaws and flavors mix

Cilantro Lime Rice:

2 Cups white rice, cooked in rice cooker
2 Limes, juiced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 TBSP Olive Oil
Salt to taste

*this is my favorite! Because you can just add everything in once the rice is done

serve along with refried beans with cheese on top

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted by The Colbys... written by Erin |

This is a new staple cookie recipe for us. I brought them to a ward activity and Jordan came rushing up to me and said, "did you TRY these cookies??" and I said, "Umm.. ya, I made them." In which he followed, "YOU made these???" He was shocked. I apparently don't bake enough. But they are super good and MOIST!
2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C unsalted butter at room temp (I actually use salted)
1/2 C smooth or chunky peanut butter at room temp (do people keep theirs in the fridge??)
2/3 C dark brown sugar (I've also used light)
1/2 C granulated sugar (that's just the regular sugar)
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Position rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350F.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

in a large bowl (mixer bowl), combine butter,peanut butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. using a mixer on medium speed, beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on low speed until the eggs are completely incorporated, scraping down the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat on low speed just until incorporated. Add Chocolate chips.

Place heaping tablespoonfuls of dough 3 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets (9 per cookie sheet, I use parchment paper, or grease the pan) Bake one sheet at a time until the cookie tops are evenly golden, 10-12 minutes.

Let cookies cool.... (or not!)

Store in an airtight container at room temperature and they'll stay moist for a few days!


image courtesy of
recipe modified by ME from the book: "Cookies, Brownies & Bars" by Elinor Klivans

Thursday, April 08, 2010

New York BBQ night

Posted by The Colbys... written by Erin |

This isn't really a recipe, but an idea for dinner. We had it last night because we were missing all the fun BBQ food we had with friends in Florida... outside on the grill!! This was our NYC version and it was delish:)

I don't know about you, but sometimes I just want someone to tell me not only what they're having for dinner, but what they are serving along side too! SOOO here you go!

BBQ Rotisserie Chicken (just from the grocery store... I don't cook full chickens on my own)

Potato Salad- Potatoes, boiled egg, spicy pickles, sweet relish, celery, red onion, dill weed, S&P, mustard and mayo/miracle whip


Asparagus- perfectly in season right now! I just steamed it up

steamed zucchini and yellow squash with Parmesan to top it

Yummy and healthy. Reminds me of a BBQ... a little bit of everything!