Quick and Delicious Popover Pizza – a.k.a. Upsidedown Pizza

Back in 1999, when I was such a neophyte with computers that I didn’t even know how to use spell check, I made a cookbook containing many of my twin sons’ favorite recipes. The cookbook, aptly named The Roy Family’s Favorite Recipes, was a big hit with my guys and they  still use it, and a subsequent Christmas cookbook, fairly often.

Popover Pizza was always a big favorite of my sons’ – and their friends.  If you happen to have leftover meatballs and sauce, prepare the Popover Pizza with that. Don’t happen to have leftovers?  All you’ll need is a pound of ground beef, a jar of prepared spaghetti sauce and an onion. Plus a few spices like oregano – whatever you’d like.

The meat and sauce are spread on the bottom of 9′ x  13′ pan, lots of shredded mozzarella cheese is sprinkled on top, then the popover batter is poured over the mozzarella, followed by a sprinkling of shredded Parmesan.  Pop the Popover Pizza into the oven for 30 – 45 minutes, or until the the popover ‘crust’ is puffed and  lightly browned. Et voila, dinner is served.

PS  – As I type this I’m staying with two of my grandchildren while my son M. and his wife are vacationing in Spain. Yesterday I broke out my son’s copy of The Roy Family’s Favorite Recipes and made Popover Pizza.  Judging from the stains and drips on the page, it seems Popover Pizza is  big hit with the new generation of Roys as well.  Enjoy!!

Follow this link to ‘Forget Takeout Pizza – Thirty Minute Pizza with Homemade Crust

thirty-minute-pizza-meatball-version-myyellowfarmhouse-com

small red heart

Oven at 400F         Buttered 9′ x 13′ pan            Bake for 35 – 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 – 3 cups leftover meatballs and sauce     ++  chop meatballs into chunks
  •      Don’t have leftover meatballs and sauce?
  •                1 lb. ground beef
  •                1 small onion, chopped
  •                1 jar purchased spaghetti sauce
  •                1 /2 tsp. dried oregano, basil or Italian herbs
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup milk     ++ Full fat or 2% is best
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese

METHOD

Butter a 9′ x 13′ pan

– If you have leftover sauce and meatballs, spread 2 – 3 cups of sauce and chopped up meatballs on bottom pan.

– No Leftovers?  —  Fry 1 lb. ground beef and one onion, chopped, in a large skillet. Remove any fat from pan and discard.  Add one jar spaghetti sauce, some herbs, such as 1 /2 tsp. dried oregano, basil or Italian herbs –  any herbs and spices you wish.   Simmer sauce, uncovered, for 10 minutes to 15 minutes – stirring occasionally.  Spread beef and sauce mixture on bottom of pan.

Sprinkle two cups shredded Mozzarella cheese over meat and sauce.

  Popover Topping

In a medium bowl beat -on high – 1 cup milk, 2 large eggs and 1 Tbs. olive oil until foamy, about a minute.  Add 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 tsp salt   Beat on high until mixture is thoroughly blended. Slowly pour batter over mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan.

Bake at 400F for between 35- 45 minutes.  The meat and sauce with be bubbling and the popover topping should be lightly browned and puffy.  If you check and the popover topping isn’t puffy and lightly browned, just bake it a bit longer.  ++  The amount of time needed will depend upon your oven – and your pan. If using a glass pan, you will probably need the full 45 minutes simply because glass doesn’t conduct heat in the same way as metal.  (I’m making a note to myself to tell my son that!)   

6 - Popover Pizza a.k.a. Upside-Down Pizza - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Too Cold to Grill Outside? Try Italian Sausages Baked in the Oven – Perhaps with a Side of Baby Bella Mushrooms with Balsamic and Sage . . . Two Ideas Too Easy to Even Be Called ‘Recipes’!

Sausages cooked this way make excellent grinders, subs or po’boys!!

baby bella mushrooms with balsamic and sage (2)

I was pleased with how delicious these oven-baked Italian sausages turned out!  As you can see in the photo, the sausages were brown and juicy.  I am never again going to bother browning sausages in a skillet again!  No matter how hard I tried, even with a splatter guard, I’d always end up with grease splattered all over my kitchen.

To cook sausages in the oven, simply place sausages on a broiler pan and pierce each one a few times with a sharp knife.  Bake at 400 (F) for 30 minutes.  (It sure beats making a big mess!)

++ Line the bottom of the broiler pan with foil for an easy clean up.         

Baked Italian Sausages 001

 ++  If you don’t own a broiler pan, line a cookie sheet with foil and place a cooling rack on top. cooling rack

 

 

Place broiler pan containing sausages in a preheated 400(F) degree oven for 30 minutes.  ++  Don’t forget to ‘prick’ the sausages at least on one side so the fat can drain out.

You can turn the sausages once, but it’s not necessary. I turned them the first time I tried this, the day before Christmas, but yesterday I forgot simply because I was on my computer .. checking on ‘My Yellow Farmhouse’.

++  If you do turn the sausages, you might want to cook them a bit longer – until both sides are nicely browned and crisped, but its not necessary.

I prepared a spaghetti sauce last night with some of the oven baked Italian sausages (I used both sweet and hot), plus the ‘Baby Bella Mushrooms with Balsamic and Sage’. I’m keeping some of the sauce for myself and sharing some with one of my neighbors. She’s Italian-American – I hope she likes it!!   

How to Prepare ‘Baby Bella Mushrooms with Balsamic and Sage’

baby bella mushrooms with balsamic and sage (2)
Baby Bella Mushrooms with Balsamic and Sage

I think you’ll like the earthy flavor the dried sage adds to this dish.  And a bit of balsamic adds a whole other level of flavor.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 (16 oz.) package sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms  
  • 2 Tbs. good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. dried sage 
  • 1 Tbs. roughly chopped Italian parsley
  • freshly ground pepper 

++ See if you can find a package of good-sized Baby Bella Mushrooms.  The ones I found were large and meaty, a bit like Portabella mushrooms. In fact, Portabella mushrooms would be wonderful prepared this way!

Put 1 Tbs. butter and 1 Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet.  Allow butter and olive oil to heat a bit before adding 16 oz. sliced Baby Bella (or Portabella) mushrooms.  Cook, stirring often, until mushrooms begin to soften.

Baby Bella Mushrooms with Balsamic and Sage

Add 2 Tbs. good-quality balsamic vinegar and 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. dried sage, 1 Tbs. roughly chopped Italian parsley and some freshly ground pepper. 

Continue to cook just a few minutes more, stirring often, until mushrooms are fully cooked.  That’s it!!  

++ Don’t make the mistake of over-cooking mushrooms.  If juice starts pouring out of the mushrooms, you’ve cooked them too long.

A terrific hogie, sub or po’boy can be made with a combination of sweet and hot Italian sausage and these mushrooms. Or, the sausages and mushrooms could be added to a big pot of spaghetti sauce, as I did last night. (I’m planning to serve ‘Baby Bella Mushrooms with Balsamic and Sage’ as a side for a nice, fat steak or a juicy chicken breast.)  Enjoy!

Baked Italian Sausages 003
Quick ‘n Easy Oven Baked Italian Sausage
baby bella mushrooms with balsamic and sage (2)
Baby Bella Mushrooms with Balsamic and Sage

 

‘Quick ‘n Easy’ – Rustic One Crust Apple Pie with Maple Whipped Cream

'A Little Help from My Friends'-Rustic One Crust Apple Pie - myyellowfarmhouse

Quick and easy to prepare, ‘Rustic One Crust Apple Pie with Maple Whipped Cream’ features thin apple slices bathed in sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, enveloped in a lovely, crunchy crust. Extra yummy with a big dollop of Maple Whipped Cream!

My first attempt, a few weeks ago, preparing this Rustic One Crust Pie yielded great results … BUT … I added too much sugar and butter, which overflowed the crust.  The pie tasted wonderful, just ask my son!  But the crust stuck to the parchment paper and I had a hard time getting the pie onto the serving plate.  I wouldn’t want that to happen to you, so adjustments were made and ‘All is Well’.  This time the pie slid right off the baking sheet!

I few of my friends saw photos of the ‘mistake’ pie on Facebook, and asked me to ‘bring some over’ or told me they were coming to my house for a piece.  They weren’t fast enough.  My son had eaten the last two pieces. My friend, Sue, hearing I was preparing another rustic apple pie today, told me I could NOT allow my son to eat the rest of the pie until she first got a piece.  So I made her a promise.  I won’t let my son have the last piece – I’ll eat it !!  (Only kidding…. that would be really mean.)

  INGREDIENTS         Oven at 450 (F)    Bake pie for 25 minutes…. until apples are tender  

++ If you chose to add chopped nuts, wait until the pie has baked 15 minutes.  Sprinkle on the nuts and bake the pie a further 10 minutes.

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust  ++ Take crust out of refrigerator about 15 minutes before.
  • 4 cups thinly sliced peeled apples
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. brown sugar     ++ Not ‘packed’ – just leveled off
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 Tbs. melted butter
  • some water in a glass – to wet the crust folded over the apples, before sprinkling on the sugar
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar – to be sprinkled on crust before baking
  • 2 Tbs. chopped pecans or walnuts    ++  I didn’t put any in the pie, but I think chopped nuts would be nice sprinkled on top of the Maple Whipped Cream!
  • 2 cups whipping (heavy) cream
  • 2 Tbs.REAL maple syrup
   METHOD

Remove purchased refrigerated pie crust from refrigerator about 15 minutes before. ++  This helps the crust unroll easily.  Peel and thinly slice 4 cups of apples – about 4 large.

In small bowl mix 4 tsp. cornstarch, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 Tbs. brown sugar and 1/8 tsp. nutmeg.  In another small bowl melt (in microwave) 1 Tbs. butter.  Pour sugar mixture into bowl containing melted butter – mix well with a fork & mix with 4 cups thinly sliced apples.

Place unrolled crust on an ungreased baking sheet – you don’t have to use parchment paper, but I prefer to.  Spoon apples onto the center of the crust.  Arrange apples so they’re 2″ from the edge of  crust.

Bake at 450 (F) for 25 minutes – until apple slices are tender.  Let pie rest a few minutes.  Loosen with a spatula just to be sure the crust doesn’t stick.  ++ It shouldn’t – now that I’ve adjusted the recipe.  ; o )

++  If you wish to add 2 Tbs chopped pecans or walnuts to your rustic pie, do so after the pie has baked 15 minutes – then bake pie 10 minutes more.

Whip 2 cups whipping (heavy) cream until thick.  Add 2 Tbs. REAL maple syrup.  Beat just until maple syrup is combined with cream.  Place a big dollop on each piece of Rustic One Crust Apple Pie, top with chopped pecans or walnuts and ENJOY!!!!

This little scarecrow made his first appearance November 2012. Click here for ‘Cecile’s Apple Pie Recipe’!

My Yellow Farmhouse - Apple Pie

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'A Little Help from My Friends' - Rustic One Crust Apple Pie - myyellowfarmhouse

'A Little Help from My Friends' - Rustic One Crust Apple Pie - myyellowfarmhouse

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'A Little Help from My Friends' - Rustic One Crust Apple Pie with Maple Whipped Cream - myyellowfarmhouse

Rustic One-Crust Apple Pie - myyellowfarmhouse

++  Recipe adapted from ‘Pillsbury Apple Crostata’.

Good Grief Charlie Brown – It’s a Pumpkin Patch Ice Cream Cake !!

All you need to make ‘Pumpkin Patch Ice Cream Cake’ is ice cream (no surprise there), two packages of chocolate cookies, pumpkin shaped candy and purchased green frosting!

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the American comic strip Peanuts.  Created by Charles M. Shultz, Peanuts  features delightful characters and a dog named Snoopy.   Adults are never seen – ever – which I believe is every child’s dream!

The Great Pumpkin, who, like Santa Claus arrives bearing gifts only to disappear once his task is done, made his first appearance in 1959.  Linus is the only person who believes in The Great Pumpkin and the other children laugh to see Linus sitting in a pumpkin patch year after year …. waiting for The Great Pumpkin …. who never shows up.  Yet Linus remains undeterred and has great faith The Great Pumpkin will show up next year.  What an optimist!!

Every year since 1996 families have gathered around their TVs to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, knowing full well that Linus will only be humiliated once again.  I dedicate this pumpkin patch ice cream cake to Linus, Charlie Brown, Snoopy (the dog) and all the Peanuts gang.

Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

++ I just learned the first Peanuts movie (not a cartoon) is arriving at theaters in States on November 6th.  How’s THAT for timely??  (I had no idea….)

   Ingredients and Method       See ‘how to photos’ at the bottom of this page!!

Use a 9’x 13′ pan or casserole       If using a slightly bigger or smaller pan, adjust ingredients

  • 2  (1.5 quart)  containers ice cream        ++I used chocolate and fudge swirl ice cream   
  • 5 cups chocolate cookie crumbs     ++  About 1 1/2  packages chocolate cookies with vanilla cream centers such as Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies    oreo cookie
  • candy pumpkins – – –  22 – or so….
  • 1 container purchased cake icing with ‘cake decorating tips’ –  OR about 1/2 cup homemade icing, dyed green

 Remove ice cream from freezer and allow to warm up a bit while you prepare chocolate cookies crumbs.

Using a food processor or blender, chop up approximately 1 1/2 packages of chocolate cookies with vanilla cream centers.  You will need 5 cups chocolate cookie crumbs total.

++  If you don’t have a food processor or blender available, place cookies in a large plastic bag and ‘smash’ cookies using a rolling pin, meat tenderizer or a can.

Spread 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs on the bottom of pan.

Open one ice cream container. Using a knife, go around edge of ice cream cartoon to loosen ice cream.  Tip ice cream onto a plate.  Cutting one slice at a time, cut ice cream into 3/4′ slices and lay slices on top of crumbs.  Continue until there is one full layer of ice cream.  ++  You may have a bit of ice cream left over if you’ve used a smaller size pan.

++ Don’t ‘fret yourself’ over the placement of the ice cream layers.  Make sure your hands are freshly washed & use your fingers to push the ice cream into the corners etc.  (If you follow this blog, you know I’m a BIG fan of just using my (clean) hands at times!)

Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of chocolate cookie crumbs on top of ice cream.

Repeat ice cream layer using second container of ice cream.

Sprinkle on remaining 2 cups of cookie crumbs.

Pumpkin Patch Ice Cream Cake - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Arrange the candy pumpkins here and there on top of the chocolate cookies crumbs.  Add vines and leaves – and there you are..  A Pumpkin Patch Ice Cream Cake that would make The Great Pumpkin proud.  Enjoy!

We grew both orange and white pumpkins at our farm in St. Antoine de Tilly, Quebec

Pumpkins and Our Horse Ben - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Autumn – My Yellow Farmhouse – 2015

Fall Photo - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Pumpkin Patch Ice Cream Cake - myyellowfarmhouse.com

‘A Little Help from My Friends’ Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Frosting

Sweet Little ‘G’… who happens to be a big fan of Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes.  (Notice she ate the ENTIRE cupcake…. but left the blueberries!)
Little G. - The Happy Chocolate Cupcake Eater
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I like to use the title ‘A Little Help from My Friends’ when a recipe utilizes prepared mixes etc.  With ‘A Little Help from My Friends’ you can whip up something delicious in very little time – yet the result tastes as if you’d ‘slaved away’ !!

My recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Frosting includes a chocolate cake mix prepared with raspberry jam.  Your friends and family will be surprised to learn the delicious chocolate frosting is simply whipped topping mixed with cocoa powder and vanilla.

For a more ‘adult taste, you can add some Chambord liqueur – OR – add a few tablespoons of dark rum.  As they say in New York City, “What’s not to like!?”

Today is Valentine’s Day and I plan to share some of my Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Frosting with friends as a special Valentine’s treat.   Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you.

INGREDIENTS  FOR CUPCAKES         Yield = 18 large cupcakes     For 24 cupcakes, fill  sections with less cake mix 
  • one Dark Chocolate cake mix… prepared according to directions
  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • +++  If adding Chambord or dark rum  – substitute 1/4 cup Chambord or dark rum for 1/4 cup of the water.  ++  Up to 1/2 cup Chambord or dark rum can be substituted for water.

Prepare Dark Chocolate cake mix according to directions – but remove 2 Tbs. water from the amount of water called for in the recipe.  Add 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam. Mix cupcake batter on low to blend ingredients – then beat 2 minutes until batter is smooth. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners OR lightly grease each section.  Fill each section 3/4s full.   Bake cupcakes according to package directions.  

++ I find it really helps to use a small measuring cup to scoop out the batter and fill the sections.

++  The cupcakes liners I used are called ‘Parchment Lotus Cups’.  They’re sold by ‘PaperChef’.

Remove cupcakes from baking pan and allow to cool on a rack for 20 – 25 minutes – or until cupcakes no longer feel warm.    ++  To test if cupcakes are done, insert a sharp knife or toothpick into the center. If knife or toothpick comes out clean – the cupcakes are ready.

INGREDIENTS FOR WHIPPED CHOCOLATE FROSTING
  • 2 (8 oz.) containers of ‘Cool Whip’ whipped topping
  • 6 Tbs. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Place 2 (8 oz.) containers of ‘Cool Whip’ whipped topping into a medium-sized bowl, along with 5 – 6 Tbs. cocoa powder and 1 tsp. vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl. Mix with a large spoon until well-combined.     ++  A bit of confectionery/powdered/ icing sugar can be added if you wish.  Spread whipped frosting on cupcakes and that’s it.    Talk about ‘Quick, Easy and Good’    Enjoy!

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Frosting - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Oven Baked Salmon with Crispy Topping ++ Can Be Prepared Gluten Free !

As you may know, I’m seriously ‘on a mission’ lately to eat more healthy and I’ve discovered eating healthy does NOT mean dining on meals that taste like cardboard!!

Just because I’m trying to eat better doesn’t mean I can’t indulge in the occasional treat, as I did yesterday when I lost my car key (it just dropped off the key chain….).  After searching the parking lot etc. I finally found it at my doctor’s office…. but that was AFTER I called AAA to open my car in the hopes the key had dropped off inside.  I ended up rewarding myself, after all that frustration, with a (not too big…) piece of carrot cake – and I enjoyed every single bite !!

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++  If you prefer to prepare this “gluten-free” – just use gluten free corn flakes, such as Nature’s Path Organic. 

++  Corn itself is gluten free but many products containing corn, such as corn flakes, may have flour (wheat) in the ingredients.

++  Recipe makes enough for 4 people, depending upon the size of your piece of salmon.    ++  I prepared 1 piece of salmon and stored the extra topping in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS                Oven at 375 F           ++ Bake salmon for approximately 20 minutes

  • a bit of olive oil, to grease skillet….. about 2 tsp.
  • 4 pieces of salmon about 5″ long and 1/2″ in center    ++  Can be either with – or without – skin.
  • TOPPING
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • some freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups corn flakes
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup pine nuts      ++ I used 1/4 cup – – pine nuts are expensive!!
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • a bit of fresh parsley         ++  optional

Preheat oven 375F

Put all the ingredients into a food processor.  Pulse into ground.

++  If you don’t have a food processor, put all topping ingredients in a ziplock bag and crush.

Oven Baked Crispy Salmon  with Crispy Topping  -  myyellowfarmhouse.com

Oven Baked Salmon with Crispy Topping  -  myyellowfarmhouse.com

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Sprinkle between 1/4 to 1/3 cup of crumb mixture on each piece of salmon, pressing the crumbs into the fish a bit.     ++  Leftovers of crumb mixture can be stored in fridge !

Oven Baked Salmon with Srispy Topping - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Place salmon pieces on a broiler broiler  OR  on a rack, as shown above.

Bake in 375 F oven for 20 minutes, depending upon thickness of salmon.    ++  Salmon should be firm in the middle and look opaque. 

It does NOT get much easier than this. And – believe me, this Oven Baked Salmon with Crispy Topping is delicious.   Enjoy!!

Oven Baked Salmon with Crispy Topping - myyellowfarmhouse.com