Friday, October 15, 2010

Vermont Getaway

This weekend Pat and I are going up to Vermont with his mom's side of the family. I can't wait to hang out with aunts, uncles and cousins - we always have so much fun together! We're all staying in a big house that is semi-middle-of-nowhere, which is exactly what I'm in the mood for. The past couple months have been non-stop with weddings, trips, and other activities, and though its been great, I'm ready for some relaxation. Our plans are to hike, make some big meals, enjoy a few bonfires, and we'll see that takes us. I'm also hoping to get in a 15k run when I'm up there so I can keep up with my half marathon training.

I'm bringing up a few treats for people to enjoy...Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread and Venetian Pizza Rolls!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

This is semi-cheating. I didn't have time to make the bread from scratch, so I used Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread mix. I followed the directions on the box, but substituted unsweetened organic applesauce for the oil. Then I added in 2 handfuls of chocolate chips, so I guess I'm breaking even since I'm not using oil but am adding chocolate. 

Fold the chocolate chips into the batter with a spatula, then pour into a loaf pan (spray or grease first!).  I added cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar to the top of the bread.

I baked it for one hour, tested to see that a toothpick came out clean, and it was done! The wonderful smell filled my was extremely hard to resist having some.

Venetian Pizza Rolls

I found this recipe sometime last year (on the Food Network), and have made these a couple times. They're pretty quick and easy, and everyone loves them. You can also substitute the prosciutto and salami for any other fillings...I've made a great Greek one with spinach, feta cheese, roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts.

Ingredients (for 1 roll):

  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 7 ounces meat, thinly sliced (prosciutto, capicola, whatever you feel like)
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese (for topping)
  • Marinara sauce (for dipping)
I made two rolls today - one of them was hot capicola and pepperoni, and the other was prosciutto and salami.

Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza dough to a large rectangle. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella over the dough. Arrange the meat over the cheese in a single layer (or 2 layers if you're using 2 meats like I did).

Pizza Roll #1 - Hot Capicola
Pizza Roll #1 - Pepperoni
Pizza Roll #2 - Prosciutto
Pizza Roll #2 - Salami

Sprinkle spinach over the meat layers.

Spread the remaining cheese evenly over the spinach.

Take one end of the rectangle and roll the dough up into a cylinder, gently folding in the ends.

Brush the dough with olive oil and top with some Parmesan cheese and any other spices you like. Place the dough, seam side down, on the pizza stone or baking sheet (spray or line with parchment to prevent from sticking) and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Using a serrated knife, cut into 3/4" thick pieces. Serve with heated marinara sauce for dipping.

The pizza rolls just came out of the oven...I'm wrapping them in tin foil and heading for Vermont! I'll let you know how the bread and pizza rolls come out!

Happy Weekend!

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