Squash Blossom Pizza with Ricotta

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The early bird gets the squash blossoms! And this week I got most of them since I bought three bags, which means I would have plenty for another pizza!! This time I used truffle oil as a base, topped with a little mozzarella and a bit of ricotta on top – theirs flavors really allowed the blossoms to shine through. I’ve also perfected my technique on removing the stamen so I don’t have spend all afternoon prepping. Simple make a small snip at the base of the blossom and pull – voila stamen and stem free (pics at the bottom).

Ingredients:
1 ball of pizza dough
Truffle or olive oil
20 squash blossoms, stamen and stem removed
4 oz mozzarella, grated
Ricotta

Preheat oven to 500 with pizza stone or baking steel inside (the steel is my fav).

Roll out dough, brush with oil, sprinkle mozzarella, layout blossoms, sprinkle with a tiny bit of mozzarella.

Bake 8 – 12 minutes. Slice, place a little ricotta on each slice and drizzle with tiny amount of truffle oil.

Serves 4.

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White Layer Cake

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Icing a cake is not one of my strong suits, so I usually avoid cakes the require icing. There are certain occasions when I have to suck it up – birthdays being one. This is a moist and easy cake.

Ingredients:
2 c flour
1 c sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 c butter, softened
1 c milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Frosting:
8 oz butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 c powdered sugar.

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 2 9 inch cake pans.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt with a whisk, set aside.

Combine butter and sugar in a stand mixer, beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Add 1/2 the milk and 1/2 the flour, best until combined. Add the rest, best well. Divide into 2 pans.

Bake 20 – 25 minutes until tester comes out clean.

Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn onto rack to cool completely.

Make frosting:
Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer and best until well combined. Frost your cake.

Serves 8-10.

Okra Corn Cakes

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These are some tasty cakes and a great way to use okra! I added some additional spice to the original recipe as it was a little bland for my taste. They are great the next day for lunch!

Ingredients:
2 c fine yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 c buttermilk
1/2 c water
12 oz okra, sliced in 1/4 inch slices
2 jalapeños, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cayenne

Combine dry and whisk together. Combine wet. Combine wet and dry, let sit for 20 minute or so.

Heat a skillet over medium heat, cook 3-4 minutes per side.

Serves 8.

Ahi Tuna in Squash Blossoms

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Another ahi dish? Yup! Instead of nori I used a squash blossom and stuffed with ahi tartar – yum!

Ingredients:
1/4 c diced ahi tuna
1 TBSP diced bell pepper
1 TBSP scallions, thinly sliced
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP diced jalapeño
1 TBSP sesame oil
Squash blossoms

Combine all ingredients except blossoms, toss well. Slit the side of the blossom and stuff with ahi mixture. Serve with wasabi and soy.

Serves 2.

Ahi Tuna Tartar

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I just can’t pass up ahi tuna when the fish monger has it, but you have probably figured that already. This is a simple tartar with some creamy avocado and some crispy micro greens on top, the perfect meal for a hot summer night.

Ingredients:
10 oz ahi tuna, diced into 1/4 inch squares
1 TBSP sesame seed oil
1 TBSP soy sauce
Zest of 1 lime
1 TBSP toasted sesame seeds
Pinch of espelette pepper
Salt and pepper
Sriracha sauce to taste
1 avocado, thinly sliced
Micro greens

Combine all but avocado and micro greens, toss to combine.

Serve over 1/2 sliced avocado, top with micro greens and a squirt of sriracha.

Serves 2.

Porchetta Pizza

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What?!? Yup! Porchetta Pizza and its amazing! You can make your own porchetta or you can pick it up in the deli section of Costco. Something about pork on pizza that just feels right.

Ingredients:
1 round pizza dough
1/4 c pizza sauce
14 oz artichokes hearts, drained and quartered
4 oz grated Italian cheese, I used truffle and asiago
2 oz ricotta salata
4 oz olives, sliced
4 oz porchetta

Preheat oven to 500 with stone or steel inside.

Roll out dough, top with sauce, artichokes, cheese, porchetta, olives and ricotta salata.

Bake for 8 – 12 minutes until the crust is brown and the cheese is melted.

Serves 4.

Sesame Crusted Seared Ahi

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Simple is usually good, in this case it is great! This is a 5 minute main! Perfect for the crazy weeknight meals.

Ingredients:
1/4 c toasted sesame seeds
2 4 oz pieces of ahi

Dump sesame seeds in a shallow bowl large enough to fit your fish. Press ahi into the sesame seeds, flip and repeat on the other side.

Hear a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add sesame crusted ahi and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute per side.

Serve with wasabi and soy sauce.

Serves 2.