Tag Archives: Grand Rapids food photographer

Steak Salad Pizza with Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing

OK, I wrote this post way back at the end of August, saved it as a draft and then never posted it.  I thought for sure I had, but it’s still showing up as a draft.  For some reason, my apple, Gorgonzola, artichoke pizza post from a few weeks ago has gone viral today, over 700 hits on my blog today and most on that post.  I had one fellow blogger, Kathy, ask if I had any other fun pizza recipes.  I was going to reference the shrimp pizza on the grill and then this steak pizza, when I realized this steak pizza never made it.  So, long story not so short, here is that old post.  This pizza was fabulous!  Although, it’s much more of a summer pizza.  Enjoy!

I had so much fun making the shrimp pizza a few weeks ago that I thought I’d try another one this week.  Again, I used a Boboli thin pizza crust instead of making one from scratch.  I also used ranch dressing on half the pizza instead of the blue cheese dressing, as my hubby does not like blue cheese (what can I say, he’s weird).  This pizza turned out great!  I loved it and would make it again next week.  Even my 9-year old son liked it, and he’s usually into cheese pizza, no toppings.  You could also mix things up a bit, adding almost any type of veggie that you like and leaving off those you don’t.  Enjoy!

Steak Salad Pizza:

1 Boboli thin pizza crust

olive oil

1 New York strip steak


1 1/2 cup mozzarella shredded cheese

3 cups chopped lettuce of your choice

chopped tomatoe

chopped onion

chopped mushrooms

chopped red pepper

chopped green pepper

Prepare crust by brushing with olive oil.  Cook steaks on the grill to your taste after rubbing with some salt and pepper.  Let steak rest for 5 minutes before slicing against the grain into thin strips.  Cover crust with mozzarella cheese.  Top with your favorite toppings.  I used tomatoes, onion, fresh mushrooms, red and green peppers.  Top with slices of the steak.  Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until mozzarella cheese is melted.  Remove from oven.  Top with chopped lettuce and drizzle with blue cheese dressing.  Slice and enjoy!

Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing:

1 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 t. white wine vinegar

salt/pepper to taste

Whisk together well.  Drizzle on top of pizza.

Mini Cinni’s

I found this really easy recipe the other day and thought I’d try it out on my church small group.  I actually rolled out the rolls and sliced them the night before and placed them back into the refrigerator to bake the next day.  The rolls did not rise as much as I thought they would and I don’t know if I had done it all in one day if that might have helped.  But they tasted great and were so very easy to throw together.  Enjoy!

Mini Cinnamon Rolls:

1 loaf frozen white bread dough

4 T melted butter

2/3 c brown sugar

2 T cinnamon

1/2 c whipping cream

chopped pecans (optional)

milk and powdered sugar

Thaw loaf of bread dough.  Roll out into a large rectangle.  Brush with melted butter.  Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top.  Starting on the longer edge, start rolling the dough until completely rolled up.  Slice into 1″-2″ pieces.  Places into a greased pan.  Put in a warm spot and let rise for about 1 hour.  Drizzle with cream.  Sprinkle on pecans if desired.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  Invert onto a plate.  Mix milk and powdered sugar into a frosting, pour over warm cinnamon rolls.  Enjoy!

Apple Upside Down Cake

I found this recipe on Pinterest and thought it was perfect for fall.  I used granny smith apples and changed it up just a little.  Instead of a round cake pan, I used a square one.  I also did not put the nuts inside the batter, I sprinkled them over the apples underneath.  We ate this hot out of the oven with a cup of coffee for dessert and it was wonderful!  I also had a piece the next day, but it wasn’t quite as good.  I probably should have zapped it in the microwave to melt the caramel just a little.   To see the recipe, click here.  Enjoy!

Thia Chicken Skillet with Coconut Rice

I found this recipe in Cuisine Tonight Quick & Easy book and changed it up just a little.  It was fairly easy to put together and tasted great!  The rice was easy, with a hint of sweetness to it.  Enjoy!

Thai Chicken Skillet with Coconut Rice:

Slurry Mix:

3/4 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 T. soy sauce

2 T. worcestershire sauce

2 T. lemon juice

3 T. brown sugar

2 T. corn starch

combine well and set aside.

Skillet Mix:

4 boneless chicken breasts, sliced into strips

4 T. olive oil

2 cups fresh green beans

1 cup diced red bell pepper

1 bulb fresh garlic minced

1 jalapeno, thinly slided

stir fry chicken in 2 T. olive oil until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.  remove to a plate, cover and set aside.  heat 2 T. olive oil in same skillet over high.  add beans, bell peppers, jalapeno and garlic, stir fry for 4 minutes.  re-add the chicken with juices and continue to cook on low.  stir in slurry mix and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.  serve over coconut rice.

Coconut Rice:

2 cups jasmine rice

2 cups water

2 cups coconut milk

bring liquid to boil over high heat, add rice, cover and reduce heat to low.  simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Apple Pastry Tarts with Cream Sauce

So, this is a recipe I found in Cuisine Tonight For Two.  I actually made four of them and they turned out delicious!  They were not the quickest thing to throw together, but definitely worth the time and effort.  Yummy!  Enjoy.

Apple Pastry Tarts:

1 frozen puff pastry sheet thawed

1 T. butter

4 small granny smith apples, peeled and chopped

3 T. apple liqueur or brandy

2 T. brown sugar

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

1 T. honey


1 cup heavy cream

2 T. brown sugar

2 t. cinnamon

3 T. apple liqueur or brandy

Preheat oven to 425.  Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.  Cut the pastry sheet into 4 squares.  Fold each square into a triangle (see pics below).  Cut a 1/2″ wide band  from the edge, but leave attached to the inside corner; transfer to prepared baking sheet.  Unfold triangles.  Fold the outer corners over to the opposite inside corners.  Pierce insides with a fork.  Bake until golden brown, about 13 minutes.

For the filling, heat butter in a skillet.  Add apples, liqueur, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Cook apple until tender, about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the mascarpone and honey.  Set aside.

While apples are cooking, Boil cream for sauce, brown sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan until reduced by half, about 8 minutes.  Stir in liqueur.

Divide the mascarpone between the pastry shells.  Spoon apple mixure over the mascarpone and drizzle with the sauce.

Don’t even ask me how many calories or fat are in this dish.  All I know is that it was well worth it, they tasted divine!

Corn Chowder with Lobster

I bought three dozen ears of corn this week from the local farm market here in Byron Center, Kapteyn’s Farm.  My mom always bought her corn on the cob from Kapteyn’s and so do I.  This week I took my boys and they had so much fun helping me.  I cooked up two and a half dozen and froze it for this coming winter.  With the remaining half dozen I made corn chowder.  I was going to make lobster cakes to eat with it, but ran out of time, so I actually threw the lobster into the chowder.  It turned out quite yummy and I will definitely make it again this winter.

Corn Chowder with Lobster:

6 ears corn cooked and cut off the cob

1 onion chopped

1 can mushrooms

1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped

3 lobster tails cooked and meat pulled off

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon lawry’s salt

3 T. corn meal

3 T. water

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet.  Cook onions, mushrooms and pepper until soft.  Add corn and stir well.  Cook for another five minutes.  In a large saucepan, mix stock, heavy cream, milk, salt, pepper and lobster meat.  Add the corn mix.  Stir well.  Make a slurry with the corn meal and water.  Add to the soup.  Stir well.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.  Serve with fresh bread.

Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product!  I did get one of the boys getting ready to eat.  Enjoy.

Drunken Bread Pudding

This recipe is awesome!  I could have eaten the entire dish myself.  But I didn’t (well, almost).  I made this for dessert when my parents came for dinner tonight.  I’ve been on a bread pudding kick lately, getting it at any and every restaurant that has it on the menu.  And I’m not sure why I have been craving this specific dessert.  Growing up, my mom would make her own version of this somewhat regularly, but I wouldn’t eat it.  I don’t remember if I just didn’t like it or if I thought it looked mushy or what.  But I love it now.  The actual bread pudding is pretty basic.  Out of all the recipes I have seen over the years, the following is pretty standard.  It’s the fabulous sauce that goes on top of this one that takes this from plain bread pudding to pure, sweet awesomeness!  Try it, I promise you’ll thank me.

Drunken Bread Pudding:

4 cups of bread torn into cubes

2 eggs

2 T. melted butter

2 1/2 cups milk

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325.  Place bread pieces into a 9″ baking dish, keeping the pieces tight together.  Beat eggs, butter, milk and sugar together.  Pour over bread.  Sprinkle pecans on top.  Bake for about one hour, or until golden brown.

Drunken Pudding Sauce:

1 stick of butter

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup jack daniels whiskey

Combine all in a saucepan.  Stir constantly over low heat until mix reaches a low boil.  Continue cooking about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Serve on individual servings of the pudding.

Completely fabulous!  I think I ate half the dish tonight, with my dad eating the other half.  You could add raisins and/or cinnamon to the pudding, but I’m not into raisins.  You could also leave off the nuts if you are allergic or just don’t like them.  Enjoy!

Creamy Blueberry Pie

I found this recipe while on vacation in July.  I pulled it out of a magazine intending to make it for my father-in-law, who loves blueberry pie.  Blueberries are not my favorite fruit, I bought these specifically with this recipe in mind.  They taste great, somewhat tart and firm.  After making sure I had sour cream, I threw this together in less than 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Creamy Blueberry Pie:

1 refrigerated pie crust

5 cups blueberries

3/4 cup sugar

3 T. corn starch

3 T. water

1 T. lemon juice

8 oz. sour cream

Preheat oven to 400.  Bake pie crust for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely.  In medium saucepan, combine blueberries and sugar.  Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.  Whisk cornstarch and water together, stir into blueberry mixture.  Bring to boil and cook for 1 minute, or until thickened.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.  Stir in lemon juice.  Add sour cream, stir until well combined.  Pour into crust and chill at least 4 hours or until firm.  Store covered in the refrigerator.

Zucchini Fritters with Pepper Sauce

While on vacation two weeks ago I went through at least ten cooking magazines, pulling out recipes and marking pages of things I thought sounded good.  When I got home, I organized the new recipes into my recipe books and promised myself I’d try them.  When I first pulled out a new one last week, I realized how severely lacking in my kitchen I am.  I have a “small” list going of things I now realize I need to do any sort of “gourmet” cooking 🙂  For the following pepper sauce I needed a food processor.  As I still do not own one of these, I used my smoothie blender.  It seemed to work just fine.  These fritters were a spur-of-the-moment thing, as both Karl and I had eaten big lunches and were not very hungry.  Obviously, these are more of a side dish, but we ate them as our main meal.  I loved them and Karl said they were good, but he did not want seconds.  Hmmmm… I started the pepper sauce first and while the peppers were broiling, I began the fritters.

Zucchini Fritters:

3 medium zucchinis, coarsely grated

coarse salt and ground pepper

1 large egg

2 green onions, finely chopped

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Coarsely grate zucchini.  Place in a colander set in the sink and toss with 1 t. salt.  Let sit 10 minutes, then press out as much liquid as possible.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, lightly beat egg.  Then add zucchini, onions, flour and pepper to taste.  Stir to combine.

In large skillet, heat the 1/2 cup vegetable oil over medium.  Slowly (as oil is hot and will splatter) drop zucchini balls into oil and gently flatten with a spatula.  Fry until browned, 2-3 minutes per side.  Transfer to paper towel to drain.

Pepper Sauce (Adapted from July 2011 Cooking Light)

4 red bell peppers

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 T. fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 t. ground coriander

1 1/2 t. ground cumin

1/2 t. kosher salt

1/2 t. crushed red pepper

Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise, discard seeds and insides.  Place bell pepper halves, skin side up, on a baking sheet, flatten with hand.  Broil for 12-15 minutes, or until blackened.  Place in a paper grocery bag and fold to close tightly.  Let stand for 20 minutes.  Peel skins off.  Place red peppers and all other ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Plate your fritters while hot and drizzle with the red pepper sauce.  Enjoy!

Shrimp Pizza on the Grill

This week the temps are going to be in the 90’s.  And our A/C is on the fritz, so if I don’t have to turn on the oven I’m happy.  While on vacation last week, I poured over a bunch of recent cooking magazines.  A popular recipe for this time of year is pizza on the grill.  So I thought I’d give it a shot tonight.  This turned out better than I could have hoped, I actually ate three pieces and my hubby at the rest!  And while most of the recipes called for homemade dough that you cook on the grill, I cheated and used a thin crust Boboli crust.  Try this recipe this week, I promise you’ll love it!

Shrimp Pizza on the Grill:

frozen tail-off deveined shrimp (as much as you want on your pizza)

1/2 cup butter

extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 t. parsley flakes

1 t. italian seasoning

1 can of mushrooms

sliced sweet onions

quartered cherry tomatoes

1 cup feta cheese

1 Boboli thin crust

start with a thin crust Boboli

I used my extra virgin olive oil from Old World Olive Press in Rockford.  I also used their Italian seasoning.

Throw a dash of olive oil in a fry pan.

mmm…add butter, garlic, seasonings and shrimp.  scampi it up!

brush crust with olive oil

once shrimp is done, place on crust

keep the butter in the pan after you’ve removed the shrimp and add the onions and mushrooms.  saute till tender.

meanwhile, cover crust with feta and tomatoes

add onions and mushrooms.  i also drizzled just a LITTLE bit of the butter sauce because it was so darn good!

bring outside and throw on a grill heated to medium high.  cook for about 5 minutes until crust is crispy.

this was my first helping.  yummmm!

this was my hubby’s plate.  he loved this and ate the entire pizza other than my three pieces.  mmm…