Kats’ Kitchen

Honey Garlic Chicken & Naked Pizza with Basil and Garlic January 16, 2015

Filed under: Main Dishes — stacielk @ 1:30 pm
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This chicken is delicious!  The flavors of all the ingredients combined together is wonderful.  The flavor reminded my husband and I of the flavors you get at P.F. Changs.  I loved this chicken and served it over rice.  Leftovers were also great!  Check out Kelly’s blog at Just a Taste for some mouth-watering pictures.

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

3 large bone-in, skinless chicken breasts (2 1/2 to 3 lbs total)

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup blackberry jam

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

2 Tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup diced onion

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Sliced scallions, for garnish

Sesame seeds, for garnish

Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker so that they are not overlapping.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, blackberry jam, hoisin, olive oil, garlic, onion and crushed red pepper flakes.  Pour the sauce over the chicken.  Cover the slow cooker and cook the chicken on LOW for 4 to 5 hours until the chicken is fully cooked.

Using tongs, remove the chicken from the slow cooker (reserving the liquids) and place it on a cutting board.  Remove the bones then use two forks to shred the chicken into smaller pieces.  Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl and cover with tin foil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 3 T of cold water to make a slurry.

Strain the liquids from the slow cooker into a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Whisk in the slurry.  Bring the sauce to a boil and cook it until it reduces and has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes.  Pour enough  sauce over the chicken to cover nicely, tossing to combine.  Serve the chicken topped with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.

Recipe from Just A Taste


This dough takes a couple days, but is really worth it and comes together very quickly, as far as hands-on time.  You have to let it set for 18 hours after you combine the ingredients for the dough so start the day before you want to make the pizza.  The dough was soft and chewy.  I used the recipe on Baking Steel with the basil & garlic topping, which was great, but I look forward to trying other dry herb mixtures and also normal pizza toppings.

Lahey Pizza Dough (makes 3 pizzas)

1 lb flour

2 tsp fine sea salt

1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups water

Whisk flour, salt and yeast in a medium bowl.  While stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually add 1 1/2 cups water; stir until well incorporated.  Mix dough gently with your hands to form a rough ball.  Transfer to a large clean bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature until surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size, about 18 hours, give or take.

Transfer dough to a floured work surface.  Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into 3 equal portions.  Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to center to create 4 folds.  Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball.  Dust dough with flour; set aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining portions.

Let dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, about 1 hour. Wrap each dough ball separately in plastic wrap and chill or use immediately.  See below for the topping and cooking instructions I used.

Naked Pizza with Basil & Garlic

1 round pizza dough (Lahey Dough recipe below)
2 small cloves garlic
pinch salt
1 cup of loosely packed basil leaves
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
sea salt for finishing

Place a metal pizza pan in the oven and preheat your oven to 425.

About 20 to 30 minutes before baking, remove pizza dough from fridge and place on a piece of parchment dusted with flour.

Make the basil-garlic sauce: mince garlic with a pinch of salt.  Stack basil leaves, roll them into a coil, and cut into thin slices. Then mince the basil slices with the garlic.  Transfer mixture to a small bowl.  Season with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil (or enough so that the basil is just submerged) and the cheese. Stir.

Gently stretch your pizza round into a circle, roughly 11 inches in diameter.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Take your hot pan out of the oven and pull the parchment carefully onto the pan.  Bake until dough is blistered and lightly golden, about 8-12 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board.  Brush with basil-garlic mixture.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Cut and serve immediately.

Recipe from Baking Steel Blog


Cinnamon Rolls February 8, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast — stacielk @ 1:24 am
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Let me tell you, there is nothing like pulling a warm pan of homemade cinnamon rolls out of the oven on a Sunday morning.  I’ve been disappointed with the outcome of my rolls in the past but I think I figured it out!  Or, I should say, found the perfect recipe for these awesome cinnamon rolls!  The dough was perfectly tender.  Not too moist, dry, chewy or doughy, and I have to give all the credit to my bread machine’s dough cycle.  It made making these rolls a cinch.

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls


1 cup plus 2Tbsp warm milk

3 Tbsp canola oil

1 egg, light beaten plus 2 egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

4 cups flour (+ 1/2 cup after kneading in bread machine if dough seems too wet, mine did!)

1 tsp salt

3 tsp bread machine/instant yeast

Filling (double recipe if you like filling):

2 Tbsp butter

2/3 cup brown sugar with 1 Tbsp cinnamon


1 tsp milk

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

4 Tbls (or less) butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla

Put the dough ingredients in the brad machine in the order listed and run on the dough cycle.  After the dough cycle is finished, roll the dough into a large rectangle and spread with 2 Tbsps melted butter.  Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the butter and press slightly into the dough.

Roll up the dough and cut into 10-15 rolls and place in two greased round cake pans.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned.  Spread the icing on as soon as they come out of the oven.

You can also cover the unbaked rolls with plastic wrap, stick them in the refrigerator overnight, and then bake in the morning.

Recipe from Money Saving Mom


Favorite Sheet Pan Pizza July 2, 2009

Filed under: Main Dishes — stacielk @ 2:55 am
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I would say this is my fav thin-crust pizza  recipe.  It comes from Cook’s Country.  They also have a recipe for sauce, but I am happy with my homemade sauce recipe and I haven’t tried theirs (plus it’s a little more involved). 

This recipe has you bake the pizza in three different steps.  1. just the crust sprinkled with Parmesan cheese to give the sauce something to hold it in place; 2. after the sauce is spread over the crust which takes the moisture out of the sauce to keep the pizza from getting soggy; and 3. after all toppings are added.  If you have the time and patience, I suggest you try it this way.  If not, I’ve skipped baking the pizza after the sauce and threw all my ingredients on top and baked until slightly brown and bubbly, which worked fine.


Sheet Pan Pizza Dough

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, separated

7/8 cup hot water (I bet you don’t have a 7/8 cup…I don’t, so I use a 1/2, 1/4 & 1/8 cups, kind of stupid but I’m halving the recipe to make one 18×13 inch pizza)

1/2 Tbsp sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 envelope or 2 1/4 tsp instant/active yeast

1 tsp salt

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, turn off oven. Grease large bowl. Evenly coat 18- by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet with 1/8 cup oil.

Combine water, sugar, and 1/8 cup oil in measuring cup. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour, yeast, and salt on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium-low and slowly add water mixture until dough is uniform in texture, about 3 minutes. Transfer dough to prepared bowl, cover with plastic, and place in warm oven. Let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

On lightly floured work surface, use rolling pin to roll dough into 16- by 12-inch rectangle. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet and stretch dough to cover pan, pressing dough into corners. Brush dough with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Set in warm spot (not oven) until slightly risen, about 20 minutes. Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Remove plastic wrap and, using fingers, make indentations all over dough. Sprinkle dough with 1 cup Parmesan and bake until cheese begins to melt, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and spoon sauce over pizza, leaving 1-inch border. Bake until sauce is deep red and steaming, 7 to 10 minutes.

Sprinkle mozzarella and remaining Parmesan evenly over sauce and bake until cheese is golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove pizza from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Serve.

Serves 3-4

Recipe from Cook’s Country


October’s DB’s Challenge — Homemade Pizza! October 29, 2008

Filed under: Daring Baker Challenges,Main Dishes — stacielk @ 1:30 am
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This challenge went a lot better than I thought it would.  Although, it wasn’t difficult and I’ve made homemade pizza before, it was the dough tossing that got me nervious.  The tossing went fine, my husband enjoyed the entertainment, and if you’ve never done this, you should!  My dough was extremely flexible and spread itself out easily as I was tossing.  In a way, I wish it was a bit stiffer because the middle got way to thin.  All the dough went to the edges after the first couple of tosses.  It still looked and tasted good though! 

The other challenge was getting the pizza from the paddle/cookie sheet to the pizza stone in the preheated oven.  I advise layering a very thick layer of cornmeal down before setting the dough down.  So much that you can’t see through the granuals to the paddle/sheet.  I believe that is the key to the transfer.

I used the pizza sauce I’ve made here.  Toppings were the norm.

Thanks to Rosa for hosting this month! 

Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).

4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled
1 Tsp Instant yeast
1/4 Cup (2 ounces) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces) Water, ice cold (40° F)
1 Tb sugar
Cornmeal for dusting


1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.

NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.
The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.

3. Flour a work surface or counter.  Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).

NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them.  Gently round each piece into a ball.

NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.

6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.


8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).

NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.

NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.
During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping.
In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.
You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.

11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter – for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.

12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.


NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.

13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.

If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.

14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.


Pizza on the Grill June 19, 2008

Filed under: Main Dishes — stacielk @ 7:51 pm
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If you have never tried pizza on the grill, I suggest you do sometime this Summer.  Yum!  I want to try chicken pesto next time. 



I have to be honest, I used a store bought pizza dough for this one, it made my life a bit easier.  I think I bought the Meijers brand, it was actually pretty good, it had more of a buttery taste compared to homemade dough, nice for a change.


I used the same sauce recipe I have been making for all my other homemade pizzas. 


We went with half Pepperoni and Sausage and half mushroom and green pepper and of course cheese over the top of the whole thing!


Awesome!!  I think this one takes practice to get it exactly right.  My husband and I talked about what we’d do different next time we make this but I think for everyone it will be different depending on your grill and how YOU like your pizza. 

This recipe didn’t come from any of my cookbooks, although I think I’m about 3 books into my goal of making one recipe I’ve never made out of each of my cookbooks for the next year.  I’ve seen a lot of blog posts on pizza on the grill and found this one from Al Dente to be the easiest to follow.  Give it a try, it’s fun and really good!


Pizza Night! April 5, 2008

Filed under: Main Dishes — stacielk @ 10:27 pm
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How gooey and delicious does that look!

Homemade pizza that is.  I’ve been wanting to make homemade pizza for so long!  We planned a pizza night with some friends of ours in early March.  Stuff came up, such is life, and we couldn’t make it work out until last weekend.  So, we decided on who was going to bring what, meet up and went at it!  We all agreed that the pizza turned out great and we will definitly be going back to the pizza dough and pizza sauce recipes we used again.  Doing this with another couple also worked well so one of us didn’t have to prepare all the ingredients.

Both the recipes came from Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe.  She says this is her tried and true recipe for slow-rise pizza dough.  She also has another one on her site for a quick dough that doesn’t need time to rest overnight.  Thanks for the awesome recipes Melanie!

Slow-Rize Pizza Dough

(Recipe from:  My Kitchen Cafe)

Serves 4

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 1/3 cup water
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt.

24 hours before making the pizza, throw the above ingredients together to a desired consistency (still soft but not too sticky), place it in a greased bowl, cover with suran wrap and put it in the fridge.  Take the dough out 2-3 hours before making the pizza to let the dough come to room temp and relax.

Homemade Pizza Sauce
(Recipe from:  My Kitchen Cafe)
Enough to cover two pizza’s made with one batch of the slow-rize pizza dough.
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Crushed red pepper (optional)
Combine all ingredients in food processor/blender or use a hand blender, blend all ingredients until smooth unless you like your sauce a bit chunky.  Add seasoning to taste.  
Putting it all together!
(Some of these tips also came from My Kitchen Cafe)
*Preheat oven with pizza stone to 450-500 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
*Get all ingredients together:  sauce, toppings (sausage, peperoni, mushroom, green pepper, etc. unless you just want cheese!).  Grate cheese (can use shredded but results won’t be as good.) and fling dough in the air a few times to make the crust the thickness you want. 
*Take stone out of oven (careful, it’s extremely hot!) and as quickly as you can lay the crust down, spread the sauce, top with cheese and then toppings or toppings then

cheese, it’s your pizza, make it how you like it and slide the stone back in the oven.  (We used a Mushrooms!  Yum!!floured pizza paddle for the first pizza, it did not slide easily off the paddle when trying to get the pizza on the stone so this is the way we did it for the second, which seemed to work good!)

*Bake for 7-10 minutes until the cheese is melted, slightly bubbly and a bit browned. 
*If you’d rather not have your crust continue to get crispy, take the pizza off the stone after you take the pizza out of the oven.
Sit, eat and enjoy!