Saturday, January 31, 2009

Another Handy Housewife Hint

We just suffered through a week of stomach flu here. I found it very helpful to keep a pair of baby running shoes on top of my dryer. They are perfect for tossing in with pillows and blankets to fluff them up after washing.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Handy Housewife Hint for Pizza

You know how when you are spreading out dough to make cinnamon rolls or pizza the instructions usually tell you to use flour if the dough is sticky? I find if I add too much flour I can toughen my dough and make it hard to spread out. (I am sure it has something to do with adding more gluten, but I don't know the science behind it. I am not Alton Brown!)

I discovered that if the dough is generally compliant, but just a little bit sticky I can spray the surface of my dough with non-stick spray (and my hands or rolling pin too). Adding the oil keeps the dough nice and soft and it spreads or rolls out very easily without toughening up.

Cheesy Olive Panini

This recipe evolved from a couple of places:
  • The kids got a Sesame Street Sandwich toaster for Christmas and I wanted to try something grown up in it.
  • I love Pioneer Woman's Olive Cheese Bread. Seriously. So cheesy and salty and carby. Perfect PMS food.
So here is a very quick snack that is perfect beside a big bowl of home made vegetable soup or for munching while watching a movie.

If you don't have a sandwich toaster or panini press, fear not. I will tell you how you can make it without. It will be fabulous.


4 slices whole wheat bread (thinner slices are better here--the cheap bread from the grocery store is perfect in this recipe)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
10 stuffed green olives, diced
2 tablespoon diced green onion

Special Equipment:

Sandwich toaster, panini press, or a nonstick skillet plus a cast iron pan or a pot with a heavy can placed inside of it

  1. Preheat Sandwich toaster or Panini press according to their directions. Alternatively, place your nonstick skillet over medium heat to warm up.
  2. Spread a thin layer of mayo over each slice of bread, leaving a 1.5 cm border around the edges.
  3. Sprinkle cheese, then olives, then onion evenly over mayo on two of the slices of bread. Place the other slices, mayo side down over top.
  4. Place sandwiches in the toaster, press, or on the dry skillet.
  5. Grill according to manufacturers directions. If using the skillet method, place the heavy pot or skillet on top of the sandwiches to weight them down and grill for 2-3 minutes. When one side is brown, carefully turn the sandwiches and weight them and brown the other side.
  6. Let cool for a few seconds, and then slice sandwiches. Eat. Don't burn the roof of your mouth with molten cheese.
Serves 2