Lots of action last night in the kitchen here at the Pink Palace. I very rarely waste food; even my nearest and dearest are often disgusted by my standards re: eat vs. throw away. A major Trader Joe’s spree over the weekend and not many nights at home have meant that I’ve had to be particularly strategic with leftovers this week. I came across this Picky Palate recipe for Italian sausage lasagna stuffed pizza that just happened to make perfect use of the leftover ingredients from the penne pasta casserole Courtney made last weekend.
I thought the heart-shaped calzones shown in the recipe would be a perfect way to ring in Valentine’s Day weekend, but they weren’t working out so well for me, so after three tries I decided to abandon that ship before I ruined the dough. Instead, I just cut the dough (Trader Joe’s whole wheat, a great deal at $0.99!) into quarters and put on a greased cooking pan. I added spinach to the ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan mix because I happen to really hate the texture of ricotta. I discovered early on that the ability to make a good lasagna was on the a very short list of unspoken requirements Courtney had for a future wife; overcoming my aversion to ricotta was step one, and mixing it with spinach and nutmeg seems to be the trick. I put a very large spoonful of the italian sausage and tomato sauce mix and a fourth of the spinach mix in the corner of each triangle, folded over the dough and pressed with a fork. I then rubbed with olive oil and salted, sprinkled with parmesan, and baked. These were good, and served the four of us perfectly alongside a lovely salad, but I probably wouldn’t make the recipe again– too many fish in the sea.
I mentioned in my last post that I had a Tupperware of bacon salted caramel leftover from the brownies sitting in my fridge just waiting to be put to good use. All week, I fought the urge to eat it over ice cream (or eat it straight with a spoon) so that I could incorporate into an original recipe. I like hearty oatmeal cookies. I’ll go ahead and warn in advance that these are not as rich of a dessert as the brownies I made last week; in fact sans bacon-salted caramel, I’d even call these healthy. Still, I think for my first completely improvised baking project, this recipe was quite a success! Here it is:
Oatmeal Elvis Cookies
- 1 medium banana*
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I used Splenda mix)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/4 cup flour (all purpose or wheat)
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup peanut butter chips (I used Reese’s)
- Bacon Salted Caramel
*I used bananas that I’d frozen because they’d become so brown that even I wouldn’t eat them. I find that microwaving frozen bananas for 90 seconds works best for these cookies, but you can also mash a very ripe banana.
1. Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth; add egg and beat well.
2. Whisk dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking soda and salt) in a medium bowl; add to wet ingredients and beat very well with mixer. Stir in peanut butter chips and half of the bacon salted caramel.
3. Form batter into medium-sized balls and flatten, placing two inches apart on a well-greased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle with remaining caramel.