Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bread Machine: Hearty Pizza Crust and Dinner Rolls

This week I was playing with recipes that I could do on the dough cycle of my bread machine. I topped the pizza with the leftover Byron's Pulled Pork we had in the refrigerator and with shredded Gouda cheese. I would have added thinly sliced red onion except my kids wouldn't have eaten it. The pizza was a huge hit.

Hearty Pizza Crust

7/8 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup wheat flour
1 cup white all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Layer the ingredients in the bread maker pan in the order listed. Set bread maker for dough setting and start machine. At the end of the time, press dough onto a greased 12-inch pizza pan or jelly roll pan. Allow crust to rise for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake crust for 8 minutes. Remove crust from oven and top with your favorite pizza toppings. Bake an additional 8-12 minutes.

Bread Machine Dinner Rolls
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry or bread machine yeast

Layer ingredients in the bread maker pan in the order listed. Set bread maker for dough setting and start machine. When finished, divide dough into 12 equally sized balls and place them in a greased 12 count muffin pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow rolls to raise for 30-50 minutes until double in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 17-20 minutes until golden brown on top. Rub extra butter over top rolls while still hot. Makes 12 large dinner rolls.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Entertaining for March Madness on A Budget

Big Game, super cheap
The Big Game Entertaining Tips

I've been busy sharing ideas on how to entertain this March Madness using my cookbook, 101 Things To Do With Meatballs! I wanted to share some of the tips that I have been sharing.

1. Simplify. With a handful of ingredients and little time involved, you can feed a crowd. If you know how many people are coming, visit Enter in the number of guest, and it will help you know how much food you need.

2. Plan the menu. Club Entertaining also provides recipes on the website that you can use for the big game. 101 Things to Do with Meatballs along with my other 13 cookbooks offer simple recipes for appetizers, desserts, and more!

3. Don't spend a fortune! I buy the Casa di Bertacchi meatballs that come in the 6 pound bags at Sam's Club for only $11.98. That's less than $2 per pound. They are made with 100% whole boneless beef and steamed and seared. They come fully cooked which means that in no time at all and with a handful of ingredients you can make something delicious! I also like to use the Byron's Pulled Pork that you can also find at Sam's Club to feed a crowd. One tray will make 30 sandwiches and costs only $11.98. That's $ .40 per sandwich! I love to make BBQ pizza with it as well.

Easy Meatball Nachos


  • 16 Casa Di Bertacchi fully cooked meatballs, thawed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) sliced stewed tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bag (10 ounces or larger) tortilla chips, any variety
  • grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • sour cream, optional


  1. Cut meatballs into quarters. In a large frying pan, saute the onion and bell pepper in oil over medium high heat until tender.
  2. Stir in meatballs and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in taco seasoning, tomatoes, and beans.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking apart tomato chunks.
  4. Spoon meat mixture over individual servings of tortilla chips. Sprinkle cheese over top and garnish with sour cream.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Variation: Meat filling can also be served burrito style in warm flour tortillas.

FYI-I'm on CRN radio at 8:20 a.m. Pacific Time today

Mike  Horn and Paul Stern

I'm a scheduled guest today on CRN radio's

What's Cookin' Today with Mike and Paul.

You can stream it online here. I'll be on from 8:20-8:30 a.m. AZ and Pacific Standard Time. 9:20 Mountain Standard Time. 11:20 Eastern Time.

Friday, March 12, 2010

3/11 My March Madness Entertaining Media Day

This has to be my favorite picture from the trip!

Do you ever wake up thinking, "Did I dream that or did it really happen?" Well, that is exactly what I thought this morning as I got up and got my kiddos ready to take to school. I would still be wondering if the last 2 days happened if I hadn't downloaded all the pictures as proof.

Wednesday, I flew to Charlotte, North Carolina. It was an enjoyable trip despite the 2 delayed planes and arriving 2 hours later than planned. I can't stand to pay more than necessary so I rented the cheapest rental car I could find in Charlotte which was still expensive! After all I just needed it to drive to the hotel, television shoot, and back to the airport the next day. I go to turn on the rental car and the engine light pops on with the wording that one of the tires is low. I unload everything and took the keys back. The lady looks at me and says she's going to make my day. She gave me the keys to a brand new Mustang convertible to drive! My husband and son were jealous.

Lauren Hopkins and Libbie Summers

Thursday I got up at 5 a.m. ET (3 a.m. Tucson time) and was at the kitchen set at 6 a.m.. Lauren Hopkins, the publicist from the Butin Group, and Libbie Summers, Paula Deen's food editor and head food stylist, were already there hard at work getting everything ready for the big production.

Emily McCarty and Marty Snider came in from the satellite truck to brief me on the schedule. You might recognize Marty from his reporting on Nascar. Then, the hair and makeup lady arrived around 6:30 a.m. to get me ready. The hair and makeup artist did hair and makeup for Deborah Norville (from Inside Edition) for 3 years in New York and for ACCESS Holleywood in LA. She did a fabulous job.

Before I knew it, we were off and running doing radio interviews and television interviews until about 11: 45 a.m.. I felt really good about the whole day. Libbie helping made it possible for me to concentrate on the actual interviewing and removed the stress of making sure the food was perfectly arranged and ready. It was such a fun surreal day!

I returned the car and flew home. I'm happy to be home again with my family, back to potty training, and driving my mini-van which allows me to actually see above the cars in front of me. If they ask me to do it again, I'd love it. For now, I'll enjoy my quiet life in Tucson and all it has to offer!

Click here to see one of the interviews I did yesterday with Cleveland's WKYC.

You can find all the recipes we used and tips for entertaining for March Madness on

Click here for information on my 14 cookbooks.

More pictures from the trip:

I was able to see my friend, Jessie, while I was there. She came to see the tail end of the shooting and we were able to go out to lunch afterward. We grew up together and I hadn't been able to see her in years! It was fun to catch up.