an army wife's guide to life

food and homemaking goodness

Pizza-Stuffed Zucchini

Pizza Stuffed Zucchini || An Army Wife's Guide to Life

They look a little messy, but they are really delicious. Zucchini has been something I’ve discovered that I LOVE over the past two years, and even though Dan doesn’t agree, I use it a lot over the summer months. Last week at the farmer’s market, I got four big ones for a dollar! It was more than I needed, but individually, they were $.50…I’m my mother’s daughter, for sure.

This is an easy recipe to throw together and then toss in the oven and forget about. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. 3 links Italian sausage, uncased (any flavor would do. I used mild and then added some spice on my own)
  2. 1-2 large zucchini
  3. Pizza Sauce
  4. Mozzarella Cheese
  5. 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
  6. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  7. Salt & Pepper
  • First, you’re gonna preheat your oven to 350°.
  • Start the sausage in a pan over medium-high heat along with the garlic. I’ve found that cooking ground meat like this over lower temperatures helps it break up into smaller pieces, and that’s important for stuffing the zucchini.
  • While the sausage is browning, slice the zucchini in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. You can reserve the flesh to add to the pan, but I didn’t, I fed it to my dogs, who LOVE zucchini and are terribly spoiled. Add a small layer of cheese and sauce to the bottom of the hollow zucchini boats and set on a greased baking sheet (preferably lined with tin foil or parchment paper)
  • When the sausage is cooked through, add about 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce to the pan, along with the salt and pepper and crushed red pepper, all to taste. Once it’s all incorporated, use a spoon to fill the zucchini to fairly heaping. I had left over filling and I only used 1 zucchini, it will probably fill two just fine.
  • Top with more mozzarella and gently cover with foil.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, remove the foil and bake 5 minutes more, until cheese is browned.
  • Slice into manageable pieces (I made them a few inches wide) and serve.
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Cheese Steak Calzones

Just a recipe today.

What you’ll need:

  1. 1 medium onion
  2. 1 lb beef (I used ground, but you can use some kind of steak as well)
  3. Butter…yes, butter
  4. 3 cloves garlic
  5. Worcestershire sauce
  6. Brown Mustard
  7. Tomato Paste
  8. Red Pepper (I used the canned roasted type)
  9. Mozzarella Cheese
  10. 1 Recipe of your favorite Pizza Crust or the store bought type
  11. 1 egg (optional)

Start by melting the butter in a small frying pan, and slicing the onion in half then into thing slices. Go ahead and start the onions on medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until they’re starting to turn brown and delicious.

In another, larger frying pan add olive oil and let it heat, while mincing the garlic. Add the garlic and let it cook until it starts to soften. Add the meat and brown it with the garlic. Once it’s browned, add Worcestershire sauce, mustard and tomato paste, to taste. (I used just enough Worcestershire to coat the bottom of the pan, and about a tablespoon each other the mustard and tomato paste.)

Once the onions are nicely caramelized, add them to the beef and let the mixture start to simmer, letting the liquid start to cook down and thicken. This is also when you want to add the red pepper. I used a can of roasted red peppers, and maybe about 2 or 3 large chinks, which you’ll wanna mice finely and add to the mixture.

While the meat mixture is cooking down, preheat the oven and prepare your dough (or make it, if you have a quick dough to make).

Put one layer of Mozzarella on the rolled out dough before using a slotted spoon to put the meat mixture on one side of the dough (you won’t use the whole pound, and if you do, you’re doing it wrong). Put another layer of cheese on top of the meat, just for kicks (and for cheese lovers).

Fold the dough closed and seal the edges closed, folding them over generally works best. If you want a nice, shiny crust, whisk one egg in a bowl and use a pastry brush to give a light coating on the outside of it, but you don’t have to do that. Just bake according to the directions that come with the crust.

Then enjoy. I served it with ketchup and mustard as the condiments, just like you would with the sandwich. It’s as easy as that.  This fed the two of us, but it can easily feed more. I used less than half of the meat mixture on this calzone, you could easily make so many more on this, or just have really yummy leftovers of the filling.

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Garlic Bread done Right

Garlic bread is just about my most favorite thing ever. But there is such a thing as bad garlic bread, and I’ve made plenty of it. This time, though, I was determined to do it different;y. It was determined to make really, really good garlic bread. There’s two versions in the picture above. One with cheese and one without. I always need a cheesy version for my hubby, and the more cheese, the better. I happen to like my bread non-cheesy, so I just split it in half, and cheesed half of it for him. Not much is different between them, and anything you want to do to tweak it, go for it and let me know so I can try it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. 1 loaf of bread (I used a French loaf, but any bread is gonna work)
  2. 3-4 cloves of garlic,  minced (or 2 Tbsp minced garlic if you buy it by the jar)
  3. Fresh parsley
  4. 1/2 stick of butter
  5. Mozzarella cheese (optional)

So first things first, you’re gonna want to set your butter out to come to room temperature. While you’re doing that, you can mince the garlic (or use a garlic press, which I totally should have done) and chop the parsley as well. Once the butter is at room temperature, I put everything into my stand mixer and mixed it with the paddle attachment until it was all combined.

While that was doing its magic, I lined a baking sheet with tin foil (to eliminate the mess), preheated the oven to 350°, and sliced the bread in half. I used half a loaf for the two of us and it was gone so fast, so plan accordingly. Spread the butter on the bread and then I sprinkled a little salt on top, just to enhance the flavor, I also added a little extra garlic powder, because I’m a garlic junkie. If you want it cheesy, add as much or as little cheese to the top as you want. Bake it off for 15 minutes or so. My oven seems to cook a little more slowly than I’m used to, so keep an eye on it, you might need less time. It’s done when the butter is melted and the top looks golden and the bread is crispy. If you cheesed it, it should be slightly browned. Then again, that’s just how I like it. Doneness is totally up to you, it’s not like you can undercook bread that’s already cooked.

All that’s left after that is to enjoy. I made Ravioli and homemade pasta sauce, but I was looking forward to the bread more than anything, and boy was it worth it.

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