Monday, February 27, 2017

Quick Pizza with Egg - Video Recipe

Pizza for breakfast? Heck yeah! Or if you are a late breakfast eater like I am, then this goes down deliciously mid-morning after a second cup of joe. So check out my video recipe below for a Quick Pizza with Egg to see how fast it all comes together.
Quick Pizza with Egg - VIDEO

Play it here, video runs 1 minutes, 24 seconds.

Of course you can have a Quick Pizza with Egg anytime of day. I never thought to try an egg on pizza until a vacation bike tour in Italy many years ago, where I first got an Egg Pizza at a restaurant in Venice. (Click here to see a video of my fun vacation time in Italy.)


I'm surprised egg is not used more often on fast food pizza. Like the first slice into a Mexican Huevos Rancheros where the runny egg mixes with salsa and refried beans, or a Southern breakfast of sunny side up eggs with biscuits and gravy, it's all about mixing in a creamy egg yolk. And you have it all with a hot pizza right out of the oven.


It's a rich eating experience hitting all the right savory pleasure points with egg yolk, melty cheese, and pungent basil with tomato sauce.

Using precooked pizza crust speeds up getting your meal to the table on time. Lately I get precooked pizza crust cheaply at the Dollar Tree store a couple blocks away. While not the best pizza crust I've tried, the added toppings help make up for any dough deficiencies. If you find a tasty precooked pizza dough, do leave a comment and tell us all about it.


The trick to using a precooked pizza crust is to not overcook, or it will dry out like a cracker. I cook my Pizza with Egg for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees in a preheated oven. As soon as the whites of the egg are solid and cooked, and the egg yolk still runny, I immediately remove the pizza. Of course, be careful taking that first hot bite!


You could use fresh pizza dough from the deli case too, just back time it, that is, if it takes 20 minutes to cook the dough, then top the pizza with an the egg during the last 10 minutes of baking.

If you can't find individual pizza crusts then slice a whole pizza crust to the size you like and work with that. It's easy enough to use the other half later, that is if you can stand the wait.Or make a whole regular size pizza and add 2 or 3 eggs on the toppings.


I find many types of tomato sauce at dollar stores. Everything from portabella mushroom to meat flavored, and chunky eggplant to just plain tomato sauce. There are even jars of "Pizza Sauce."


Get what you like in the can or jar, although I find a jar of tomato sauce easier to refrigerate and spoon from.





I kicked my Quick Pizza with Egg up a notch with fresh leaves of basil. I like to have a basil plant on my windowsill to pull leaves off. They go great in a Thai-style Basil and Chicken Stir Fry (my recipe is a click away here) and mixed into any favorite spaghetti dish.


You only need a few leaves as they are much more pungent than dried basil. But it's okay to sprinkle on a favorite Italian dried herb into any pizza tomato sauce you use.


Mozzarella is the preferred cheese for pizza toppings and I get small packets from 99c only Stores and Dollar Tree stores. For a serving or two, the small packets are a perfect serving size at about 3 to 5 ounces each.


I also find dried parmesan but it's not as good as what you find in a typical grocery deli case.


And many types of processed cheese can be frozen for later use. I like to freeze grated cheese because it defrosts in just a few minutes, as apposed to blocks of cheese. If what you find on sale is a block of cheese, just shred it with a box grater and freeze grated cheese in a Ziploc for later use.

Eggs aren't as cheap as they used to be, especially if you use cage and hormone free. But I can still find regular eggs for around half a dozen for a buck. Every once in a while they are on sale for a dollar per dozen.



Top the pizza with one egg, or add a couple of them if you like. I like my egg yolks runny, but you can cook it a few minutes more, until similar to a soft boiled texture.


And what's great about making your own mini-pizza is you can add as much cheese and tomato sauce as you like (or can afford.)


Tangy tomato sauce with pungent fresh basil leaves and melty cheese is the perfect platform for a fried egg. And it's so easy to do if you use packaged single serving sizes of pizza crust that are precooked, like I do. Or if you have a leftover slice then break an egg over it, and heat the slice in a toaster oven.


Give my latest cheap$kate recipe a try, I know you will like it -- ciao and buon appetito!

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Valentine's Day Recipes - Videos & a Photo Story

Please sit down and have a glass of wine, and how about a tootsie massage? Kindly allow this Amorous Culinarian to hold your hand and guide you through a luscious menu of Valentine's Day Recipes.


Well, you are in the right place for a romantic read. If the following recipes look enticing to you then click on any name and you will be directed to my food blog recipe pages filled with tempting, tender prose, and pulse-quickening GIFs, photos, and video.

Let's set the mood with the most decadently sexy of confections, a Chocolate Covered Cherry. Here, I'll feed it to you, Mon'Amie....

Click on any photo or gif to see larger.

First up is a video of the Amorous Epicurean on the prowl for budget aphrodisiac ingredients to create a perfect romantic dinner date. Allow me to adjust your seat cushion -- there, lean back, and watch the show.

Shopping for a Romantic Recipe - VIDEO

You will want to start your romantic evening meal with an appetizer - a plump and pleasing Steamed Artichoke is the perfect dish to share with each other. Just swipe a steamed artichoke leaf into my creamy Ginger Mayo Dip and feed the tender petal end to your amour. Your appetite will surely build as you get to the delicately delicious artichoke heart. My Steamed Artichoke appetizer is just a tease.

Cooking & Eating an Artichoke - VIDEO


A lovely Pear and Spinach Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing looks good on the plate and will impress your true love with its lightness and fresh flavors.
And it's the perfect prelude to the main course.

I think Italian food is the sexiest of cuisines. Tender swirling ropes of pasta sliding through a rich creamy sauce will soften any hardened heart. Click on any recipe name below to see my luscious photos and read my tender prose.

There's nothing like a creamy warm egg yolk stoking the fires of desire, and the Flirty Chef's  Spaghetti alla Carbonara is the perfect mood-setter. With the first bite, your date will swoon with pleasure. Sprinkling crumbled bacon over the pasta is gilding the lily, but sometimes you need to go all the way!

In my Spaghetti alla Carbonara Video below I took a couple of cheap shortcuts. I used bacon bits, but you could substitute real bacon or kick it up a notch with sauteed pancetta. Also, freshly shaved parmesan cheese will be more pleasing than the dried brand I used.


And finally, I added a blended raw egg -- for a more romantic presentation, just gently place the egg yolk on a mound of steaming pasta.

Oh, is it time for another sweet confection? Of course, I have more, the apple of my eye...

Would you like another glass of wine before you watch my Spaghetti alla Carbonara recipe video below? Oh, don't worry about driving - I'll call Uber for you.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara Recipe - VIDEO


There, wasn't that edifying? Staying on the creamy theme, I can also recommend my Fettuccine Alfredo.

It's pasta with butter and cream -- simple and direct. You could mix in some fresh steamed veggies like broccoli for color and crunch -- just see how easy it is to do by clicking here on my Veggies in Cream with Pasta.

For something lighter, lose the cream and serve my stripped-down pasta recipe of John Cassavetes Red Pepper, Olive Oil, and Garlic with Spaghetti. It's a spicy tongue-tingler any tough guy can knock out.

Of course, a Latin lover would challenge any Italian Casanova for Lotherio's scepter. And my Mexican Chicken Tinga spicy stew will send chills down the spine and tingle any lady all the way to her toes.

Chicken Tinga - VIDEO


What? Another? You really do have a sweet tooth, well I do too, I think we are two peas in a pod.  Let's share this one...


Your love will fall under a lusty voodoo spell after sipping a couple of my homemade rum and sugar cane Cuban Mojitos. And if you and your lover are nursing a hangover the next morning, I have a hangover cure: a bowl of Pozole. It's a rich red broth of hominy, chiles, and pork.
Cuban Mojito - VIDEO


Black and white, yin and yang -- all inhibitions will drop with the sweet and sour flavors of my vegan Cuban Black Beans served over White Rice.


If you want to channel your inner domestic goddess, then tie on the apron, get out the potholders, and bring in a hot casserole dish of my luscious Baked Pasta with Cauliflower & Cheese to the dining room table. Just check out the tempting short animated video below to see the yummy and gooey details.

Baked Pasta with Cauliflower & Cheese - VIDEO


I have a recipe that will get any Lady Godiva off her high horse. Let's get tough guy Stanley Kowalski, but with a mushy heart. My chef nephew's Shrimp and Grits will take your date on a one-way streetcar to desire. All aboard to check out the video below of two lunkheads hanging out and cooking.

Shrimp & Grits - VIDEO


A close second to the most sensuous of nibbling is a tender fish fillet on rice or Sushi. Raw seafood will quicken a lover's pulse, and if you chase the sushi down with a few warm cups of sake the temptation to stay the night may be overwhelming.


My Sushi recipes are quite easy to do when you follow my directions. I even have a recipe for those averse to raw fish, a California Roll (in the hay,) that's made with cooked fake krab, creamy avocado, and sliced cucumber. Seafood Rolls and Sushi are handheld bites meant to be shared with your true love.

California Roll -VIDEO


Hawaii is the destination for romancing the palate. Make your own romantic Hawaii-themed date night with my exotic Island classic: Lau Lau. It's a banana leaf-wrapped package of deliciousness.

Oh look honeybunch, I have one left. 

The aroma of slow roasting pork, Hawaiian-style will fill the kitchen and dining room, stoking the appetite of desire. Slowly unwrap the package of tender Lau Lau for your beloved. You won't need a Lei of plumeria flowers to steal a kiss when you serve my savory dish. So click here to see the luscious photos and easy-to-follow recipe text. And aloha to love.

Hawaiian-style Lau Lau

Of course, you can't have a romantic dinner date without the sweets. And I have a simply delicious deconstructed dessert that I call Mini-Banana Puddings.

It's the perfect finger food to woo your loved one. All you need is to lay out some vanilla wafers and stack with a spoonful of pudding and banana slices, finally topped with Hersey Chocolate Kiss. You could also drizzle on any sweet topping like chocolate syrup, caramel, and other favorite candy pieces or sprinkles.


Pssst...don't let your date see this next video. Slip in a Chocolate-Covered Cherry in your date's hand and a heart may melt. I got the confections at my local 99c only Store. Go ahead and watch my cheap$kate video review and see how a five-count box for 99.99 cents rate on my Cheap$kate Dining Scale of 1 to 9, 9 being best.

Chocolate Covered Cherries - VIDEO


After a ravenous night, you will need a replenishing morning meal. And the Don Juan Gourmand's palate-pleasing Fried Egg on Breadcrumbs with Asparagus will satiate any food lover.

It looks good on the plate, but be sure to make plenty, as your sweetheart will ask for seconds!

Another morning after meal is my French-style Omelet. It's a labor of love that you may want to practice making a couple of times to get right. Like lovemaking, the more you do it the better you get! And I have all the right moves a click away.

Here are a few more romantic entrees you can try (just click on any name): Chef Zakk's Tuscan Primavera - Cajun StyleChicken Stroganoff, Julia Child's Crepes SuzetteBaked Chicken with GrapesShepherd's PiePortabella Crab RockefellerCoconut Crusted Fish & Mango SalsaPork BourguignonVegas Eggs BenedictFrench CassouletStuffed Poblano Chiles, and Roasted Mint Chicken.

My go-to confections purveyor is right down the street and it's old school to the max, See's Candies. And they hand out free samples...Wow!


Finally, it's 99 Shades of Cheap! Allow me to leave you with my most outrageous Valentine Day photo story called:


All items cost 99 cents.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Mac & Cheese with Caramelized Onion & Herb - Deal of the Day

This a one rich and very creamy macaroni and cheese meal. And they pack a lot into the container, so I was full when I reached the bottom. I liked my latest Deal of the Day find: Homestyle Macaroni & Cheese with Caramelized Onion & Herb.


If you are looking for diet food, keep moving - you can see an oil slick when this meal is bubbling hot. And the cheese is not low fat either. Carbs? Yep, and plenty of gluten, too.


The taste leans towards the sharp flavors of cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Herbs are listed, but they are barely there, at least in taste.

The cooked macaroni is a little on the mushy side. I microwaved in one minute increments, so as not to overcook it, knowing that typical frozen pasta is notorious for being too well done in the factory processing stage.


While a little soggy, the mac still had a little resistance when bitten. There is a nice chewy hard band of cheese on top that usually comes with oven baking.


Now, for caramelize onion? Hmmm....not very much really. The package shows crispy brown onions on top, as you can see they are not there. When I found them, they were minuscule and mixed into the macaroni and cheese.

You could detect an under-taste of cooked onion the more you ate the meal.


I would have liked bigger bites of sweet caramelized onion - that's why I bought this frozen meal.

A microscopic piece of caramelized onion. 

The ingredient list is small for typical frozen fare and this meal is not over-processed.


Now I'm not complaining too much. While a tasty version of homemade mac and cheese, it just falls short of what's described on the package. But I would still get this frozen fare anytime. It could have scored a perfect 9 if the tease of package advertising was truthful.

So on the Cheap$kate Dining Scale of 1 to 9, 9 being best, I give Homestyle Macaroni & Cheese with Caramelized Onion & Herb a hearty 7 ! Well worth the price of 99.99 cents.

 Shooting Homestyle Macaroni & Cheese with Caramelized Onion & Herb.
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