Yellow Zucchini Pizza with tomatoes on whole wheat crust

Ingredients: Filling:

• 4 ripe plum tomatoes

• 1 chopped green pepper

• 3 green onions

• 1 / 2 red onion

• 3 yellow squash

• Olive oil – 4 tbsp

• Sprig of fresh basil

• 3 cloves garlic

• 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

• 1 cup mozzarella cheese

• pinch of pepper

• salt to taste


Wheat crust pizza “pizza dough”


• 5 1 / 2 cup whole wheat flour (the more natural it gets)

• 3 teaspoons brown sugar

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 package dry yeast in polka “dry yeast”

• 1 / 2 cup milk

• 1 / 4 cup butter

• 1 1 / 2 cup warm water


To mix the dough, I used the bread maker “bread machine” but dough cycle. The mixing machine faster and better. You do not need the machine to make pizza dough. Can join the hand, then knead it, though it requires more time and effort.

Step 1 – In a bowl place the flour with salt, sugar and yeast.

Step 2 – In another bowl place the water, milk and butter and heat just a little. Then pour it with flour.

Step 3 – Mix the dough and make a ball as shown. To knead, you should sprinkle dry flour on the table where it will make the whole process. The dough should be very compact, as it is comprehensive and takes longer than processed white flour.

Step 4 – I used a wooden rolling pin to thin it more. (See illustration). Then flatten with a rolling pin, put it on a large pizza pan with your hands stretched uniformemente.debe I look good thin. So it is dough.

Step 5 – Proceed to first pour the olive oil with crushed garlic in the bottom and then all the other ingredients.

Step 6 – Add the tomatoes, zucchini, red onion, scallions, peppers and the pizza must end with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. The fresh basil leaves and pepper on top is the ultimate.

Step 7 – Place for 25 minutes at 375 º in oven


Oven baked spanish tortilla

I  am crazy for tapas, and I have purchased many a cookbook filled with tapas recipes.  One of my favorites is Tapas: Traditional and Contemporary Tapas Dishes, published by Parragon Books.  (Available here from

One of my favorite tapa is the Spanish-style tortilla.  For those not familiar with the Spanish tortilla, it has little in common with its Mexican brother.  The Spanish tortilla is more akin to a frittata or an omelet, but also includes thinly sliced potatoes.

The classic Spanish tortilla requires some serious knife skills or a mandolin, but this oven-baked approach below is pretty fast, easy, and absolutely delicious.  I have made this for several parties, and it always disappears in a flash.   The recipe below reflects any modifications I have made and suggestions I’ve picked up after making the dish a couple of times.

Olive oil
1 lg. garlic clove (crushed) [TIP: You can use chopped garlic from jar to save time]
4 scallions, white & green parts (finely chopped)
1 green or yellow bell pepper (seeded & finely diced)
1 red bell pepper (seeded & finely diced)
6 oz. potato (boiled, peeled, and diced) [TIP: You can use 6 oz. of canned potatoes)
5 lg. eggs
½ c. sour cream
6 oz. grated Spanish Roncal, Cheddar, or Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. snipped fresh chives
Salt and pepper (to taste)
(TIP: Throw the vegetables to be chopped in a food processor to cut down on prep time).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a 7 x 10 inch baking pan with foil, and brush with olive oil or spray with cooking spray.  Set pan aside.



Prep all items to be chopped or seeded (using a food processor or other tips above to cut down on prep time).

Place approximately 1 Tbsp. olive oil, garlic, scallions, and bell peppers in a skillet, and cook over medium heat, stirring, for approximately 10 minutes, or until the scallions are softened but not browned.  Let this mixture cool, and then stir in the potatoes.  Set aside.


In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs, sour cream, cheese, and chives together.  Stir in the cooled vegetable mixture into the bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.  (Warning: If you use Parmesan cheese, the mixture tends to be saltier than with the other cheeses, so use salt sparingly).
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and smooth around until even.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown, puffed, and set in the center. (TIP: You can test by sticking a toothpick in the center of the tortilla.  If it the mixture is golden brown and the toothpick comes out clean, the tortilla is done).
Remove dish from the oven and let tortilla cool and set.  Once cool, run a spatula around the edge of the dish, then invert onto a cutting board with the browned side up and peel off the foil.  If the surface looks a little runny, place it under a medium broiler to dry out.

Let the tortilla cool completely.  Trim the edges, if necessary, and then cut into 48 squares.  Serve on a platter with wooden toothpicks.


Sauteed chicken breasts with fennel

We get biweekly vegetable delivery from Farmhouse Delivery.  In a recent delivery, we received fresh fennel, so I tracked down a recipe I had previously tried.  The recipe I used was from Food & Wine via .  The description below is the recipe with the modifications I used:

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lg. fennel bulb (chopped into ½ inch slices)
2 tsp. dried thyme (Note: recipe calls for rosemary, but I used thyme.  Either is delicious).
½ tsp. salt
½ c. chicken broth
1 1/3 lg. chicken breasts (approx. 4-5 breasts)
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 cloves garlic (approx. 1 tsp.)

Heat 1 Tbsp. of  olive oil over medium heat.  Add chopped fennel and 1 tsp. of thyme and ¼ tsp. of salt.  Cook the fennel, stirring frequently until the fennel is golden brown (approx. 12 minutes).

Add chicken broth and bring to boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the fennel is tender (approx. 3 minutes).  Remove the fennel and cooking liquid from the pan.

Wipe out the pan and heat  remaining 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat.  Season chicken with the remaining ¼ tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. (I used a bit of extra black pepper here, but it’s completely a personal preference).  Add chicken and 1 tsp. of thyme to pan.

Cook chicken until brown.
(I’ve made this recipe twice now, and this is the point where I find the recipe a bit off.  The recipe says browning the chicken will take about 5 minutes, but both times I’ve tried this recipe, I’ve found this step to take 10-12 minutes).

Turn the chicken, and cook until almost done.  (Again, the recipe says this step will take about 3 minutes, but it has taken 7-9 minutes both times I’ve made it).  Add garlic and cook, stirring for approximately 30 seconds.

Add the fennel and liquid, along with 1/8 tsp. pepper.

Bring to a simmer.  Cover pan and remove from heat.  Let steam for 5 minutes.  (I omitted the parsley).

This is what the final result looks like.

I served it with risotto, but it’s also great with mashed potatoes.

Easy tortilla soup

When the weather starts getting even remotely chilly in Austin, I get the urge to put together a cozy pot of soup.  Tortilla soup is one of my favorite Tex-Mex options when the summer starts to give way to lower temperatures.  Although I have some great recipes for totally from-scratch tortilla soup (involving boiling the chicken, making your own broth, and the like), sometimes, work, school, or life in general calls for a quicker option for the evening meal.  After some tweaking and experimenting, I have come up with the following recipe for quick, tasty, after-work tortilla soup that will fool everyone into thinking you have been slaving for hours.

1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (optional–omit if you prefer less spicy)
1.25 lbs. of chicken breast, cubed
1 10 oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles
10 oz. of your favorite salsa
1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 cups water
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
Grated cheese (as desired)
1 avocado
Crushed tortilla chips (as desired)

Warm olive oil over medium heat in large soup pot or dutch oven. Add garlic and onions. Cook until onions are tender and translucent. Add peppers. Cook 1-2 more minutes.


Add cubed chicken breast.


Cook until just done on exterior (no pink still visible), or approximately 5 minutes.

Add beans and tomatoes. Add salsa. (TIP: Use the can that held the diced tomatoes for an easy 10 oz. reference). Add broth, water, and all dry seasonings.


Add lime juice and 1/4 bunch of cilantro.  Cook over medium heat for approximately 45 minutes. Chicken should easily shred when the soup is ready.

For garnish, sprinkle grated cheese, crushed tortilla chips, remaining fresh cilantro, or chunks of avocado on top of individual bowls.


For even less after-work time: Throw all of the above ingredients, other than the garnishes into a Crock Pot or slow cooker on low, and let the soup simmer all day.

To cut a few calories: Use not only reduced-sodium broth, but also reduced-sodium beans, reduced-fat cheese, and baked tortilla chips.