Cooking Basics..Everything you need to know about cooking

Ever since my mom got me Skinny Italian, I have been obessed with creating different types of pizza! It’s so much fun! And please believe me when I say making real Italian pizza is not hard, and soooo much better for you! It’s not loaded with processed cheese, like the pizza you would get from Pizza Hut or Dominos or Papa Johns (Not saying it doesn’t taste good, but think of all that grease loaded on the pizza!)  I learned SO many facts from that cookbook! So please, please, please, PLEASE, go out to your bookstore and buy Skinny Italian by Teresa Guiduice (yes, the table flipper from Housewives of New Jersey, love her!) This pizza recipe isn’t in Teresa’s cookbook, I made it up, although I used her amazing recipe for pizza dough, scroll down, and the recipe will be there). Chicken, carmelized onions, and anchovies, woah, love!!! You could also have fun with this, I have done a carmelized onion and roasted garlic pizza, YUMMY!! I do change around Teresa’s pizza recipe just a tad bit, so here is my version! Same ingredients, slightly different techniques!

For the dough: (makes enough for about 5 delish mini pizzas, I wouldn’t spilt the recipe in half, if you have extra balls of dough left, put them in the freezer after it has doubled in size and take them out the night before you’re ready to use them)

-4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (Teresa uses bread flour, but the dough works out fine when I use all-purpose, and that’s what I usually have at home, so that’s good!)  NOTE: You Will need more than 4 1/2 cups of flour, this is the starter amount. You will have to add more, as the dough will be sticky.

– 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan for the dough balls

– 1 3/4 cups water

– 1 1/2 tsp salt

– 1 1/4 tsp fast-rising yeast

Directions: (I use my handheld electric mixer, but you can also make it by hand by using a whisk)

1. Whisk olive oil, water, yeast, and salt. Now mix in 1 cup of flour.

2. Whisk in another cup of flour.

3. Whisk in yet another cup of flour

4. Whisk in another cup of flour. Now whisk in 1/2 cup of flour.

5. The dough will be nice and sticky, so add in more flour, a little at a time, so the dough is not sticky, but elastic and smooth.

6. Form the dough into about 5 (or maybe you’ll get 6) equal balls, and put into a pan greased with olive oil. Place in the fridge for about 1 1/2 hours.

7. Heat the oven to it’s highest setting. Place the dough balls on the counter right above the oven. This way, the dough will double in size quicker. Leave it there until it has doubled in size, or about 1 1/2 hours! After they double in size, you can freeze any extra balls of dough.

8. You are ready to make whatever pizza what you want!

For the Pizza:

– 2 onions (yes, 2! They shrink when they carmelize), sliced into rings.

– 2 tablespoons butter

– 4 anchovies (I use ones with olive oil), chopped finely

– 1 already cooked and seasoned chicken breast, cut into small pieces

– 1 ball pizza dough

– 2 tb parmesan cheese

– 1 tb olive oil

– 1 tsp sugar (my secret!)


1. Melt butter in a frying pan on meduim heat. Turn the heat down to low, and add onions. Sautee on low for about 10 minutes. Now add sugar. Let cook on low for another 45 minutes, or until the onions are softened and have a light brown color.

2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees (yes, I know this is kinda low, but I love how it still tastes slightly dough and crunchy when it is cooked like this)

3. Roll out the dough. Place the dough on a pan greased with olive oil. Now add carmelized onions, anchovies, and chicken, leaving a little border. (hard to explain, but you’ll get it when you’re at this stage) Drizzle with parmesan cheese For the orgenao-garlic border: Combine 2 tb dried oregano, 1 tsp garlic salt, and about 3 tb olive oil. Combine all together. If it is too thick, add more olive oil. Using a brush, brush mixture on the pizza dough)

4. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until dough looks completely done



{June 24, 2010}   Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic dish! Actually, it’s not an authnetic Italian dish, but it’s still pretty amazing! I always thought it was an Italian dish, until I read Teresa Guiduice’s (from Housewives of New Jersey) cookbook Skinny Italian. I strongly suggest you go out and buy that cookbook, because it has some pretty awesome recipes! I love her recipe for marinara sauce (which I use for the sauce, making only one change, which is adding one small can of tomato sauce so I get more sauce for the spaghetti and meatballs). If you want to impress people, this is the way to go. The homemade meatballs are to die for! This is real homemade spaghetti and meatballs, we’re not using frozen premade meatballs or already made marinara sauce, trust me, you won’t go back! The funny thing about this is, it is not hard to make! The only hard part is letting the sauce simmer for a good 1 1/2 hours, to let all the flavors really come out! I took pictures of this step by step, so you know EXACTLY what to do!

1. Saute 2 tablespoons fresh basil, 1 meduim finely chopped onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and about 1/2 cup chopped portabella mushrooms for about 3 minutes, or until veggies look tender.

2. Add one 6 oz can tomato paste, one 8 oz can tomato sauce, one 28 oz can diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup hearty red wine (you can barely taste it, but it adds some awesome flavor, however, you can omit it), and 3 1 /2 tablespoons sugar. Let simmer.

3. Combine 1 pound turkey, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tsp garlic salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/4 cup aged parmesan cheese, and one package Lipton onion soup mix (the lipton onion soup mix is the key to sucess!) Form into meatballs, I like to make fairly small ones, but you can do big ones if you wish.

3. Sear the meatballs in 3 tablespoons olive oil, about 2 minutes on each side, or until each sides have a brown color.

4. Add the meatballs to the sauce, and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Whens sauce is done simmering, add 1 lb cooked spaghetti and bon appetit!

{June 23, 2010}   Shrimp Scampi!

Another scampi recipe! This is actually pretty good! My friend and I both loveddd it! It’s ultra-delish and tasted great! It doesn’t use loads of butter, which is always good! You need to marinade the shrimp overnight, so make this ahead of time! If you don’t have enough time to marinade overnight, marinade it for about 1 1/2 hours before making.

You Will Need:
– 1/2 pound shrimp (shells off)

– 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 8 small cubes

– 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil (optional)

– 3 tablespoons garlic salt (divided)

– 2 cloves garlic

– 3  1/2 tablespoons old bay

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– salty chicken broth (Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, now add one chicken bouillon cube. DO THIS INSTEAD OF CHICKEN BROTH IN A CAN! It’s saltier, and tastes better)

– 1 tablespoon black pepper

– 2 tablespoons lemon juice

– 1 tsp red pepper flakes

– 1 lb linguine (cooked)

– 2 tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs


1. In a bowl, mix together cubed butter, old bay, basil, black pepper, 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic salt, shrimp, and lemon juice. Cover and let marinade overnight (or at least 1 1/2 hours).

2. Sautee garlic in olive oil and add 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic salt as well as red pepper flakes. Now add in shrimp/butter mixture and let cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until shrimp is well cooked. Now add in enough salty chicken broth to make a sauce. Stir in bread crumbs.

3. Toss in warm pasta until it is coated in the sauce.

4. Bon appetit!

Hey guys! Last time I was on here I promised to post everyday! Sorry, sorry, sorry! I don’t think I even told you guys about my petetion, please sign! I am trying to get a show on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). I applied, but I was too young to submit my form *sigh*. So please do your part and sign the petetion! I know, it asks for your address, you can just go head and make up one!

I edited Giada de Laurentis’ recipe for chocolate chip mascrapone cupcakes. Sounds delish, doesn’t it? It was 🙂 Tastes just like the ones at Georgetown Cupcake! YUM! It’s super chocolatey, and taste amazingg!

There’s the picture I took, not the prettiest cupcake on the planet, but who cares, IT TASTES GOOD!!! 🙂

Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Makes about 25-26 cupcakes

You Will Need:

For Cupcakes:
– 1/2 cup mascrapone cheese (room temp)

– 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate

– 1 cup water

– 1 tsp salt

– 3 cups flour

– 1/2 tsp baking powder

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 3 large eggs

– 1 cup vegetable oil

–  2 1/4 cups granulated white sugar

-1 tsp vanilla extract

– 1 cup chocolate chips

For ganache:
 – 2/3 cup heavy cream

– 1 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 325 Degrees F.

2. In a small saucepan, add 1 cup water, and 5 oz of chopped bittersweet chocolate, over meduim heat. Let cook until chocolate is melted, and there are no chocolate chunks. Now stir in mascrapone cheese, and whisk together until mixture is well blended.

3. In a seperate bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder,chocolate chips, and baking soda.

4. In a large bowl (the whole batter will be in this bowl, so make sure the bowl is pretty big) whisk together sugar, vanilla, eggs, and vegetable oil until smooth, and there are no lumps. Now stir in chocolate-mascrapone mixture.

5. Now add in flour mixture (in three batches, so everything is well combined).

6. Using an ice cream scoop, fill batter into cupcake liners about 3/4 full (remeber, the batter will rise!). Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes (check on it when it has been baking for 15 minutes, it may be done) or until a toothpick or fork comes out clean. Let cool for about 1 hour.

7. For ganache: Heat cream with vanilla. You want to HEAT the cream, not boil it. You know it is done when little bubbles appear on the rim of the pan. Now pour cream mixture on the chocolate chips. LET SIT FOR ABOUT 30 SECONDS, BEFORE COMBINING. Now using a fork, gently whisk mixture.

8. When mixture has cooled for about 5 minutes, using a spoon, gently glaze the cupcake with ganache (just use enough to coat the entire cupcake.) Let the cupcakes set in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

9. Bon appetit!

Enjoy! And remeber please sign!!


et cetera