Pizza Puff Bites

Pizza Puffs

With the holidays and football season here, I’ve been looking for new finger food recipes for all the friends and family get togethers.  It’s always hard to find something that’s easy to eat, will travel well, and still taste good 30 minutes later (to accomodate for travel time).  In my hunt, I came across this Rachael Ray recipe.  When I found this recipe, I thought it could be perfect.  Plus, who doesn’t love pizza?  What I also love about these pizza puffs, is that they still taste just as good to me the next day.  I just put them in the microwave for around 15 seconds and enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C flour
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • 1 T italian seasoning
  • 3/4 C whole milk
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 C shredded mozzerella
  • 1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 C pizza toppings diced*
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 C marinara sauce

*Note: You can use your favorite pizza toppings in any combination.  I did one batch with a cup of diced pepperoni, and one batch with a cup of onions, mushrooms, bell peppers and pepperoni.  Note that if you are going to use sausage, I recommend pan frying the sausage first.

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and grease a 24 cup (or two 12 cup) mini muffin pans.

Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk your flower, baking powder, italian seasoning and salt.  Then whisk in your milk and egg.

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Step 3: Stir in your mozzerlla, parmesan and pizza toppings and let stand for 10 minutes.

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Step 4: Fill your mini muffin pans and bake for 20-25 minutes (until golden).  Note that it won’t rise too much in the oven so you can fill the batter almost to the top in the mini muffin pans.

Step 5: While your pizza bites bake, heat your marinara sauce in the microwave.

Step 6: Once the pizza puffs are done, let them cool for a minute or two and then enjoy!

pizzapuffs

Pizza Puff Bites

Kabocha

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Lately my obsession has been learning how to cook authentic asian foods.  More specifically, Japanese and Korean food.  Since I’m Japanese and my boyfriend is Korean, I feel like it would be good to be able to carry on the traditional foods from our heritages, even if I’m fourth generation.  Plus, Japanese and Korean are two of my favorite types of food, aside from Italian.  My most recent challenge that I decided to take on is kabocha.  If you’ve never heard of kabocha before, it’s a Japanese pumpkin.  It’s typically boiled in a shoyu (soy sauce) sugar sauce and eaten as a side dish.  It kind of reminds me of sweat potato, but not as starchy. Some people also thinly slice it and turn it into tempura, which is probably one of my favorite tempuras.  This recipe that I used is from the Jean Watanabe Hee cookbook, with a few of my Aunty’s tweaks.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb kabocha pumpkin
  • 1/4C sugar
  • 1/4C shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 1/4C sake
  • 2T canola oil
  • 1 1/4C water
  • 1t grated ginger
  • 1t salt

Step 1: Scrub kabocha thoroughly, and then cut in half and remove the seeds.  Please be careful when you cut the kobacha, they are not easy to cut at first as the skin is pretty hard.  I had to borrow my aunty’s knife since she was convinced the kabocha would break my regular knife.

Step 2: Cut in 1-2 inch pieces and set aside.

Step 3: In a large pot combine all the remaining ingredients.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Then reduce to simmer and cook for an additional 5 minutes with the lid on.

Step 4: Add in your pumpkin and cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes, or until pumpkin is tender.  Make sure you toss occasionally so that all of your pumpkin gets evenly cooked and has a chance to absorb the liquid.

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Step 6: Once the pumpkin is at the desired softness, you’re done.  Remove from heat and enjoy!

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