I jury rig a lot of my dinners. I'm broke and I'm not the greatest cook that ever lived. To make this bearable, I keep a lot of spices and herbs around. I think of spices as families, or circles of spices that get along well together. Sometimes I think in the nationality of the dish. English food does well will sage, rosemary, and thyme. Italian food has a lot of garlic, savory, oregano, and marjoram. Some overlap, like basil. It's pretty easy to figure out what nationality a dish is.
The other circles or families are meats. I almost never make chicken without cumin. Pork, if you can have it (unlike me), is great with cloves. Like making a perfume, you can use those as your bass notes. (Bass as in low, not as in fishies.) If you ever need to know what to put with it, smell your dish, then grab a spice and smell it. If they smell good together, go for it. That's how you build it up. If you like sweet, cloves, cinnamon, all spice, ginger, and nutmeg all go well together. Spicy, you can use chili pepper, coriander, paprika, and ground red pepper.
If you're trying to get a feel for spice families, look up a bunch of similar dishes. A pattern will soon emerge, and you'll be faking it like a hooker trying for a big tip.
That's it, kids. Be good, or don't get caught.
So, one of the first things I started craving when I had to switch to a gluten free diet was pizza. Order in, flop on the couch, watch a movie, American pizza. Thin crust, deep dish, Chicago style, NY style, West coast, I didn't care as long as it was pizza, and didn't have any disgusting toppings on it. (Only freaks put ham and pineapple on their pizza.) I was born in the 80's and grew on on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, after all. Pizza is a staple food, as far as I'm concerned, and Cowabunga is too a word.
I tried making pizza crust from a couple of different mixes, but it was Hard Work. Pizza should not be Hard Work, dammit. And it never came out quite right. When the dough spread in the pan right, the pizza ended up soggy. Soggy Pizza is Sacrilege. The gods of One Half Pepperoni and One Half Extra Cheese with Onions were displeased, and my pie slice dripped through my fingers. If I managed to make the crust not soggy, it just wouldn't spread, and then you have Lumpy Pizza. All in all, it was far too much Hard Work for Crappy Pizza.
Solution: frozen pizza crusts. It took several brands for us to find something that didn't taste of cardboard, which is a serious fault with a lot of pre-made glutenless bread products. Some are downright awful. The one that we like muchly in this house is Kinnikinnick. They come four to a pack, and are about 7" squares. Perfect for single person pizzas. No more arguing for the last piece, man. That pizza is all yours.
Now comes the issue of making it taste like baked-to-order pizza should. Preheat your oven. We have a convection oven, but seriously, don't use the special fan thing. Put it on normal bake. Take the pizza out of the box, and then out of the baggy. Throw it on a cookie sheet. Now comes the fancy part. Brush a little olive oil on the Edges Only of the crust. Spread your pizza sauce (I use Great Value for regular pizza and Classico Creamy Alfredo or Four Cheese Alfredo for white pizza) with a big spoon. You don't need a lot, but hey, it's your pizza. You can drown it if you wanna. Now comes Secret Spice Tip number one. Grab some garlic salt and tap a bit on there. This is also a great time to add crushed red pepper, if you like. Put your cheese on. I recommend a mix of cheeses, which happily come in bags all preshredded and mixed for you. One bag usually does two pizzas with a bit left over for your salad or whathaveyou. After that, I dump on some McCormick Italian Seasoning Mix, some caraway seeds and top as desired. Then just bake for 10 to 20 minutes, and you have Real Pizza. No cardboard, no drippy grossness, just awesome pizza.
Please remember to do your own research on products mentioned if you have any doubts at all. This is all original research, and I guarantee nothing.
That's it, kids. Be good, or don't get caught.
So a friend of ours, firstofmany, gave me this recipe cause it was ‘easy’.
“One cup of PB, one cup of Sugar, an egg and chocolate chips (if you like them) bake at 325 until they start to firm up. I use parchment paper and start checking in about 12 minute. Oh, i have used Sugar free, like organic natural stuff and i have used Skippy. If you have vanilla you can put a little in, but the pb has such a strong flavor, i usually skip it.”
However that doesn’t seem to preclude me screwing it up-argh. Out of 5 attempts, 2 have been awesome, and 3 have been awful. Seems that all peanut butters are not created equal, and overcooking is not a happy accident, and half the sugar is my preference. Also forgetting the eggs=disaster =P
My conclusion so far--Adams peanut butter is not nom, smooth mystery no name brand=awesome, and chocolate chips are never a mistake. Oh btw, I use evaporated cane juice instead of white sugar cause then I can live in the land of justification with my sweet treats xD.