Cheeseburger Pizza!

Pizza is definitely tops on my kids’ list of dinner choices. Most nights it is just cheese pizza or one olive and one cheese, but the kids like to invent pizzas on the nights when we have more time. One of my twins (who just turned 7!) came up with Rainbow Carrot pizza, which is amazing! You have to check out that recipe! We made it again last week for their birthday, along with a cheese pizza, mushroom pizza and this new-to-us, Cheeseburger Pizza. It will now be a part of our regular rotation! It was delicious!

Cheeseburger pizza

Ingredients

½ sweet onion, chopped finely

1 clove of garlic, minced

About 1 ¼ pounds of ground beef

3 teaspoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt

1/8 teaspoon of pepper

1 Tablespoon of ketchup

1 teaspoon of spicy brown mustard

1 pizza crust (My favorite is the Against the Grain GF Crust)

1/2 cup of tomato sauce (more or less, depending on your personal taste)

4 ounces of shredded mozzarella

4 ounces of shredded cheddar (I have had even better results with 2 ounces of cheddar and 2 ounces of aged gouda)

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Add olive oil, onions and garlic to a large sauté pan and cook on medium high, stirring for about 3 minutes. Add the ground beef to the pan and sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Once browned add the ketchup and mustard and stir until cooked. Take crust out of the freezer and cook for about 8 minutes. Remove and add sauce, cheese and then top with ground beef mixture and cook for another 15 to 18 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown. Slice up and enjoy!

Pizza is such a great bridge recipe! You can have a basic cheese pizza and add whatever ingredients you or your family like. Meatball pizza is another favorite in our house. I use my simple meatballs or even have used my Italian stuffed meatballs. What is your family’s favorite pizza topping?

Shop Amazon for some of my favorite ingredients and gadgets for making pizza night spectacular!

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Bacon and Kale Mac-n-Cheese

Many of you asked for the recipe, so here it is! Bacon and Kale Mac-n-cheese. I have a basic mac-n-cheese recipe that I change up, probably every time I make it 🙂 Not too long ago I shared my Spinach and Artichoke Mac-n-Cheese recipe with you all. This one is not very different. For every mac-n-cheese, I make a roux (gluten-free flour and butter), add some spices, acid (lemon or vinegar to cut down the richness a little), then the shredded cheese and whatever extras you want to include, if any.

Bacon and Kale Mac-n-Cheese

Ingredients

1-12 to 16 ounce package of your favorite GF pasta (I used Wegman’s GF Fusilli)

1 cup of kale, washed, pulled of stem and chopped finely

½ pound of bacon, chopped

2/3 cup of butter

1/2 cup of Cup4Cup gluten free flour

1 Tablespoon brown spicy mustard

1 teaspoon of salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

About 2 cups of 2% milk (you can use whole milk)

1 teaspoon of white balsamic vinegar or juice of ½ a lemon

About 10 ounces of cheese (I used about 6 ounces of Cabot extra sharp cheddar and 4 ounces of an Aged Gouda)

Directions

Prepare pasta according to directions on the box. Place a cast iron skillet on the stove on medium heat. Add bacon to the cold pan and let it heat while the pan heats. Cook bacon for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add kale. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until the bacon has browned and started to crisp. Save bacon and kale mixture on a plate until ready to mix with pasta and cheese sauce. In the same cast iron skillet, melt butter and whisk in the flour, mustard, salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes and then add the milk. Whisk together until all the lumps are out.  Stir in vinegar or lemon juice then add the cheese. Mix to melt the cheese and take off heat. Add drained pasta, bacon and kale. Mix through and serve!

I am, honestly, not a big fan of kale. Others in my family like it, so I’ll appease them by making it…covered in cheese 🙂

Mac-n-cheese is a great basic recipe to master and then you can play with it, using different vegetables, meats and spices to create new meals.When I don’t have time or the ability to be at the stove cooking for 20 minutes, I make a quick version of mac-n-cheese using mascarpone. Check it out here! It is a great easy meal.

What is your favorite mac-n-cheese topping or mix-in?

Gluten-free Lunches on the Go

As the year winds down, packing lunches seems more and more daunting each day. Some of you may already have finished school for the year, but up here in the Boston area we still have a couple more weeks to go. Then (we hope!) the 2nd wind comes in to continue to pack lunches for camp or family picnics or the office.

Having a child with celiac disease, when we go on road trips or day trips, I often have to pack lunch because we cannot trust that we will find a place that has gluten-free meals. I like to use leftovers when I can and have lists of what my options are for lunches to help take the stress out of it. Here are some ideas for you:

Leftovers can be delicious! Make these Apricot Wings for dinner or appetizers then enjoy them for lunch the next day!

Quesadillas are the perfect on-the-go lunch. I use Rubbermaid Lunch Blocks containers most days for the kids school lunches and on road trips.

Leftover barbecue chicken makes a great lunch. The crackers pictured are one of my favorite gluten-free crackers – Van’s Lots of Everything Crackers.

Wegman’s has snack size yogurts, which fit perfectly into the kids’ lunch boxes. Throw in some lunch meat and Lance’s cheese crackers and the kids are happy 🙂

My children often want a variety in their lunch. If I give them one thing, like leftover pasta in a thermos, they like it but say that they need more than one item to eat 😉 Kielbasa, blueberries, my favorite crackers and a common accompaniment some carrots or peppers and hummus, give them enough to choose from.

As a sweet treat on the road or to bring with my son to a birthday party, I use Ziploc round screw top containers to carry a cupcake. I try to make a batch regularly and keep them in the freezer to pull out when needed, but in a pinch Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s both carry delicious gluten-free cupcakes.

What are your favorite on the go lunches and sweet treats?

Marinated Roasted Teriyaki Chicken

The best meals are delicious and easy to put together when you need to get dinner on the table fast. Sometimes that means doing some prep the day before or morning of. This is one of those great meals. It takes a little time to make the marinade, but that is the most effort you will need to exert.

Marinated Roasted Teriyaki Chicken

Ingredients

2 to 3 pounds of chicken thighs

½ cup of vegetable oil

½ teaspoon sesame oil

½ cup of soy sauce

½ cup of rice vinegar

½ cup of honey

3 Tablespoons of brown sugar

1 Tablespoon of minced ginger

1 Tablespoon of onion powder

1 clove of garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lime

1 ½ cups of water

¾ cup Wegman’s Organic Teriyaki sauce (gluten and lactose free), plus more reserved for after cooking.

sesame seeds, optional

Directions

Mix together vegetable oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, brown sugar, ginger, onion powder, garlic, lime and water. Marinate chicken in mixture for 4 hours to overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Discard marinade, rinse chicken and then pat dry. Spray roasting pan with non-stick spray. Pour 3/4 of a cup of teriyaki sauce into a shallow bowl. Coat each piece of chicken with sauce and plan in pan. Cover pan with foil and cook for 20 minutes. Uncover, turn heat up to 400 degrees and cook for another 25 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to ensure each piece of chicken is cooked through. If you want crispy skin on the chicken, place under broiler for 2 minutes.

Serve with rice and broccoli.

You never have enough chicken recipes in your repertoire!

Make it Hawaiian

Adding pineapple to a dish can transform it to a tropical delight! My family’s love of “Hawaiian” food has grown over the years. We started with Hawaiian pizza (ham and pineapple). Then came the Hawaiian hot dogs. This is now a barbecue must have! Slice a hot dog down the middle and stuff with crushed pineapple. Wrap each hot dog with bacon and grill until bacon is cooked. Easy and delicious!

I recently rediscovered kielbasa. It is a great protein that makes a quick, easy and cheap meal! Of course, I had to make it Hawaiian 🙂

Hawaiian Kielbasa with Rice

Ingredients

1 ½ cups of rice

3 cups of broth or water

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

5 pieces of bacon, chopped

½ of a sweet onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 ½ bell peppers

1 kielbasa, diced

8 ounces of crushed pineapple

3 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

Directions

Cook the rice with the broth/water, onion powder, salt and pepper and garlic powder in your rice cooker or on the stove top. Add the oil and bacon to the pan. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Add onion, garlic and bell peppers. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the kielbasa and heat through. Add the pineapple, soy sauce and brown sugar, cover and cook for 5 more minutes and it will be ready to serve.

This is a perfect quick weeknight meal or even for entertaining. It would be a great meal for a certain football game on Sunday night 🙂 I’m planning on making  wings and pulled pork on gluten-free pretzel rolls (from one of my favorite sources, Gluten Free on a Shoestring) along with some carrots and hummus and maybe guacamole. What are you making? Making anything “Hawaiian”?

The Best Recipes of 2016

To celebrate the end of 2016, I’m sharing this list of your favorite recipes from Mamma’s Cooking. Thank you for reading!

1.  Appetizer Ideas for Thanksgiving

2. Rainbow Pizza

3. Cooking Your Thanksgiving Turkey

4. Spoon Roast

5. Gingerbread Cookies

6. Gluten-Free Holiday Treats

7. Holiday Mashed Potatoes

8. School Snack and Lunch Ideas

9. Apple or Pear Crisp Recipe

10. What to do with Leftover Cod

This completes my 31 days of posts! I challenged myself with a post a day in December and I did it! Best wishes to you all for a great celebration tonight and an even better 2017. Look tomorrow for my 2017 Cooking Bucket list.

 

Greek Meatballs

Anytime of year is good for meatballs, but especially around this festive time of year they are a great choice for your entertaining needs. Want to add a little different flavor for your holiday appetizer? Try Greek meatballs. Serve with a yogurt sauce, like this one from AllRecipes.com. It would a bright start or accompaniment to the main meal for your guests.

Greek Meatballs for a Crowd (makes 55-60 meatballs)

Ingredients

About 5 pounds of ground beef and pork (I usually do about 2/3 beef and 1/3 pork)

1 pound of bacon, minced in the food processor

1/2 of a large sweet onion, grated

1 egg, beaten

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

1 Tablespoon of oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried mint

10 ounces of frozen spinach, thawed and drained

8 ounces of feta, crumbled

Directions

Place ground meat and bacon into a large bowl. In a small bowl mix onion, egg, garlic and spices. Pour mixture into the meat. Add the spinach and feta. Dig in and mix it all together. Make a small pattie and cook it through. Taste for seasoning then adjust and repeat if needed.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll meatballs and brown them in a heavy bottomed pan with olive oil. Transfer to cooling rack on top of baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.

I know it seems like a lot of meat, but meatballs freeze really well and take some work. If I’m going to do that hard work, might as well make double so you get a couple of meals or appetizers out of it 🙂 If you try to halve the recipe, let me know how it comes out.

Last couple of days before the holidays hit us. Email me or comment with any questions!

 

Potato Waffles

My kids have been asking me for latkes for the last couple weeks, so I decided to make my version last night, potato waffles. They went very nicely with our leftover slow cooked pork with gravy and acorn squash. Waffles seemed easier so that I wouldn’t have to stand over a pan and could just put the potato mixture in the waffle maker and go about with the other 5 things I was trying to do at the same time.

Potato Waffles

Ingredients

6 to 8 small potatoes (I used a mixture of white and yukon gold potatoes)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 Tablespoons of shredded parmesan

1 Tablespoon GF flour

Directions

Plug in waffle maker and allow it to heat up.  Heat oven to 200 degrees. After you shred potatoes spread them out on towels to dry and wring out all the liquid you can.  In a large bowl mix the potatoes with the remaining ingredients. Scoop about 1/3 of a cup of the mixture for each waffle. Makes about 8 waffles. When the waffle is cooked, place on a baking rack over a sheet pan and place in the 200 degree oven until you are ready to serve. I served it with sour cream and apple sauce.

I had 2 waffle makers going last night. One, my regular 4 square waffle maker and two, the Frozen waffle maker my daughter got for her birthday. So some of our waffles looked like snowflakes 🙂 This is a fun breakfast idea or good way to use up potatoes if you buy too many over the holidays.

Raspberry Lemon and Thyme Tiramisu recipe coming soon…Amazing and simple. Stay tuned!

 

Rainbow Pizza

Whenever I host Christmas Eve, we try to keep it simple. The big meal is the next day, so the night before we have a dinner of appetizers. It can be casual and low key or elegant hor d’ouvres. A mixture of hot and cold appetizers are more than filling for a small or large group of people.

Pizza is something that can be a dinner in itself or an appetizer for a crowd. It is something most kids will eat and it is comforting.

We have pizza every Friday night. Over the summer my kids started picking different toppings each week. One night, one of my sons suggested carrot pizza. He loves carrots. I was very, very skeptical but I had told him he could pick, so we got some rainbow carrots from Trader Joe’s and this recipe is what came out of it. AMAZING! Even my husband, who does not like cooked carrots, loved this pizza. Try something new, live a little 😉

Rainbow Carrot Pizza

Ingredients

3 carrots (different colors), sliced thinly (I used a mandolin)

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon agave

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

3 small garlic cloves, minced

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 pizza crust (One of my favorites is the Against the Grain crust found in the GF freezer section)

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

½ cup of tomato sauce (more or less depending on your preference for sauce)

8 ounces of shredded mozzarella

Directions

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a medium bowl mix vinegar, agave, salt, pepper, garlic and basil. Drop carrots into boiling water for 2-3 minutes and remove, placing immediately into ice water. Drain carrots and put them into the marinade for about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Take pizza crust out of freezer. In a small bowl mix the olive oil, salt and pepper. Brush olive oil mixture on the crust and place crust on the rack or a heated pizza stone and cook for 7 minutes.

Take the crust out of the oven and spread tomato sauce over it. Cover with the mozzarella. Take carrots out of the marinade and dry in a towel. Place carrots however you like around the pizza. Cook for another 20 minutes. Take out and serve. Top with some more fresh basil if you like.

You can prepare everything ahead up to the last 20 minutes of cook time. Keep it in the fridge and cook just as your guests arrive for a warm appetizer.

Taking something simple and familiar, like pizza, and putting a new ingredient with it, is a good way to expose your family to new tastes. You never know when they’ll surprise you. Pizza is something you can easily adjust to your family’s tastes, so if the rainbow carrots don’t go over well, try different colored peppers or place the pepperoni in a shape of a Christmas tree.

Here are some past pizza and holiday appetizer ideas to help get you through the holiday season: (Usual disclaimer that if the post is dated before April 2014 it may not be gluten free. Adapt for your needs or send me a message and I’ll adapt it!)

Italian Stuffed Meatballs

Appetizer Ideas for Thanksgiving

Meatballs, Plain and Simple

Entertaining with Appetizers and What to do with the Leftovers

Dinner of Appetizers: Thursday night or special party

 

 

Hot and Sour Soup to Warm your Soul

This is one of my favorite soups of all time! It is warm, comforting and absolutely delicious! I could eat this every day, especially now that the weather is cold. I was turned onto hot and sour soup when one of our local take out places brought me a free one. Their ploy worked! I was immediately hooked and had to add it to our order each time. To make it more cost effective I had to figure out how to make it at home. I looked at various recipes online but couldn’t find one that replicated that comforting flavor, so I played with it on my own and this is what I came up with! Enjoy!

Hot and Sour Soup

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil

¼ teaspoon of sesame oil

About ½ pound of shiitake mushrooms, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon chili paste (I use Gourmet Garden)

Pinch of white pepper (add more if you want it to be spicy, careful though a little goes a long way)

1/3 cup soy sauce (make sure it is gluten free, if making this GF. I use La Choy Low sodium)

1/3 cup rice vinegar

2 cups beef stock

2 cups chicken stock (or you can use all vegetable stock or all beef or all chicken, it tested best with the mixture )

3 Tablespoons corn starch

3 Tablespoons water

1 egg, beaten

7 ounces (about half of a package) of extra firm tofu, diced

3 green onions, sliced

Directions

In a large soup pot over med-high, heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil. Add the mushrooms, garlic, chili paste, white pepper and stir. Cook for a couple of minutes, until fragrant then add soy and vinegar, stir and allow to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Add stock and simmer for another 5 to 6 minutes. In a small bowl combine corn starch and water then pour into the soup and stir. Cook for another couple of minutes and add beaten egg while stirring. Add tofu and green onions. Stir and then serve!

Note: This is a mild version, not very spicy. Add more chili paste and/or white pepper if you want more heat. Careful with the white pepper!

The first time I made this, I made a batch every week. I could not get enough! And I don’t even like mushrooms or tofu 😉 This is a healthy and satisfying meal that is gluten-free and can easily be made vegetarian or even vegan!

It is the perfect snack or meal to have on hand for family arriving for the holidays. I know I would want some after being on an airplane or in a car all day.

Take some time out of your hectic schedule this weekend and make some soup. Eat it in front of the fire. Realistically you might make it at 10 pm, after the kids are asleep, then eat it standing in the kitchen or hopefully in bed binge watching Netflix. Still, you should try. More soups to come each Friday! Here are the links to some past soups in case your in the mood for something else. (Just remember that if the post is before April 2014 it might need to be adapted to be gluten free – contact me! I can help)

Chicken Noodle Soup

Coconut Curry Sweet Potato Soup