Easy Personal Pan Pizza

12 Sep

These easy 15 minute personal pan pizzas are perfect for us single gals on a budget.
plus, I use this same idea for parties at my house for appetizers that my guests just love.



  • Trader Joe’s Frozen Naan Bread (I always get the garlic flavor, but if you’re allergic to that, there is plain also…also super cheap! This product is only $1.99 and comes with 4 pieces in the pack)
  • Sauce (see below for recipe options)
  • Your Choice of Topping
  • Shredded Cheese

This is the easiest recipe ever – and I feel kinda embarrassed putting it on my kitchen blog but then my friend told me the other day that it was a genius idea and I guess I just figured – heck, I really should share the awesome idea.

Step One:
Place one naan (or more for parties) on your cookie sheet directly and build there.

Step Two:
Add 2 Tablespoons delicious sauce (see recipes below)

Step Three:
Add the toppings of your choice

Step Four:
Cover with about a 1/4 cup yummy cheeeeeese ;-)

Step Five:
Bake in a 350degree pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes until your cheese is bubblin’ and is a bit golden brown in some parts.

My personal favorite Recipe Options:

BBQ Chicken:
Sauce – BBQ Sauce
Toppings – cilantro, finely diced onions & carrots, small pieces of grilled chicken
Cheese – pepper jack

Thai Veggie:
Sauce – peanut sauce (sometimes I use the left over from my take out, shhh)
Toppings – cilantro, finely diced onions, peppers & carrots, shredded spinach
Cheese – jack cheese

Indian Veggie:
Sauce – Curry Sauce
Toppings – basil (finely chopped), chopped caramelized onions, cauliflower & peppers
Cheese – 3 cheese blend


Limit the toppings a bit for each personal pan pizza. I usually just use some left over veggies from the dinner I made earlier in the week so as to not cut a whole pepper up for one tiny pizza.
When having guests over, I cut out the toppings all together and only top with sauce and cheese options. Then I cut them up into small pieces so that my guest can mix and match.

Muffins Should Have Heart-Healthy Crumb Topping

22 May

When it comes to muffins – I never EVER forget the topping. Sure – this makes for more work for me & more mess – but my topping is amazing and I love it – it’s centered around the all-powerful flaxseed. So you’re adding in something sweet, nutty and also with more Omega 3s and fiber. Also – I use Brown Sugar instead of normal white sugar in my topping because I like the added flavor. Together, this topping is non-traditional and a bit flaky….which I really like because it ends up not being very heavy but it’s still a MUCH healthier alternative than other recipes online because of the benefits within the seed you’re using.

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened but not too melted (in the microwave)

For fun – mix and match spices depending on the season… Just add one teaspoon of your favorite into the mix. I like adding Cardamom… but maybe you’d like to add some Cinnamon or the YUM-tastic Pumpkin Pie Spice.

Flaxseed benefits… and why:
If you’re not into Flax… just substitute all-purpose flower – but I’m telling you – use the flax… it’s something you can find online – or in most grocery stores these days and it’s YUMMY. WebMD says “Some call it one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet. There’s some evidence it may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.”

Follow My Kitchen on Bloglovin’

17 May


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Refrigerator Dill Pickles

17 May

With all of the farmers markets out there just overflowing with amazing ingredients this summer & no doubt some of you have gardens that are overflowing…let’s talk about pickling!

As you all know by now…I just love taking a bit of my weekend and channeling it into cooking and baking. About a month ago, I was talking to someone about pickling and she brought me a HUGE HUGE BOOK about pickling to read all about the different ways of pickling… so, like I said…that was a month ago. This book is HUGE… huge I tell you…I’ve been reading all about different techniques and then trying to figure out which of the zillion recipes to use… it’s been a bit overwhelming.

Well, last weekend I decided…it’s time. It’s time for me to just dive in. So I posted a notice on my Facebook page… asking if anyone wanted to come over and pickle with me. Everyone seemed excited for me, but no one wanted to come over. However! My friend sent me her easy refrigerator recipe and it was so non-intimidating that I just thought to my self – self, why didn’t you ask your friends for a simple recipe to start with?!

I mean… the recipe is so so so easy that I really would have saved myself a lot of time just putting a little word out there to friends first.


Refrigerator Dill Pickles

5-7 lemon Cucumbers
3 LARGE cloves Garlic
one bunch of Dill
One spring or two of Thyme
1 tablespoon sea salt
One beet sliced thin
1/2 c red raspberry vinegar (I used fresh raspberries here instead)
3tblsp sugar
2 cups apple cider or white vinegar (I split my vinegar between the two and increased to 2.5 cups since I didn’t have Raspberry Vinegar)
1/2 of a HOTtatah pepper

And water to taste

let sit three days in fridge in pint size mason jars.

– be sure you use cucumbers that are labeled for pickling…this will help them have that “snap” when you bite into them.

– These pickles will keep in the fridge for about a month. But… they are so tasty…they will be gone well before that.

– I didn’t use mason jars, since it was much easier for me to just put all of the ingredients in one large jar first and then portion it out later once I got the flavor right.

– Also, I used red beets which did, as you can see, turn my pickles pink… I don’t think this is at all a bad thing…but if you wanted, I’m sure you could use some golden beets and side track the whole color “issue”.

The next thing I’m going to tackle is canning (maybe, but don’t hold your breath on that one)! :-) I want to go to a fresh fruit stand and get a case of peaches or go strawberry picking. I know it’s labor intensive…but to have canned peaches in the middle of winter will be such the treat! Any recipes out there?… best ask now before I start reading a 600 page book on canning. ha ha

“Famous” Figgy Banana Nut Bread

17 May


One of the running jokes in my family is that my Banana Bread is famous. “Famous” because in 2005, during a private event for the launch of Current TV, Al Gore thanked me for allowing my boyfriend at the time to work long hours for Current while they set up the site for launch…and my response?! “It’s totally OK, I make him Banana Bread”….Clearly confused as to what the heck I was talking about…Al Gore asked me to repeat what I just had said…
so I said,”uhhh…Banana Bread?”. My boyfriend was mortified and quickly pushed me out of the way.

I have yet to live down that moment with my Dad…he looooves reminding me of that story. But the best part of all is that now I can kinda-sorta call my Banana Bread recipe “famous”,My banana bread is a very basic recipe that has been modified over the years to include lots of crazy extra ingredients. It’s basically Kitchen-Sink bread…with bananas and whatever I feel like adding in. Since I’m feelin’ a little “NUTTY” today…I decided to make a Nutty, Fig-Y, Flax-Y Banana-Y Bread and here’s how you can make yours, too! This particular combination is YUMMY!

For this, you just need a standard bread pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2), a large mixing bowl, measuring cups & measuring spoons.

(and something to mix with if you prefer)

Pre-heat the oven!

Just set your oven at 350 degrees.

The Recipe!

Here’s my (modified) Banana Bread recipe.
Check the comments for the regular old “famous” Banana Bread

1 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Flax Seed Flour (can just use Whole Wheat Flour if you don’t have this)
1 cup Cane Sugar
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 Almond Milk (or regular milk)
2-3 frozen bananas (thawed)*
1 tsp. salt
3 tablespoons oil
1 egg
1 cup sliced raw almonds
6-7 finely chopped dried figs

*NOTE: Frozen Banana?! yes. I learned on Good Eats that if you freeze your bananas after they go brown, and then re-introduce them after they thaw into banana bread (microwave until not rock solid frozen), this allows the banana flavor to get into the WHOLE loaf… it’s true. But you can still use regular ones…just won’t be as tasty.


I admit it – I’m one of the laziest bakers you will ever meet. I just combine ALL of the ingredients at the same time and then just stir with my hands – Free Handed. I know I know… the riiiight way to do it would be to combine the dry ingredients and THEN add in your wet…then stir all of them together…with a spoon. However you want to do it is really just fine for this recipe. Just make sure all the ingredients are combined.

Prepare the baking Pan!

You want to spray your pan with oil. I use a Canola Oil… Olive Oil Spray tastes a bit funky to me. Using softened butter on a towel will also work…just smear that butter on all of the corners, sides and bottom of the pan to make sure you can get your bread out once it’s finished baking.

Bake your Famous Bread!

Dump your awesome mixture into your pan…make sure you spread out the batter so that it’s even in the pan…
and then just pop that puppy in the oven at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.
You should be able to put a toothpick (of knife, as I do…cause my house isn’t THAT prepared) in the center without any wet dough on the end of your tool….at that point, it will be finished! YAY!

Let it cool and YUM! Eat it and tell everyone Al Gore knows all about this bread and is a fan. I mean…we don’t KNOW that he’s a fan of it…but I’m pretty sure he tells people about how hilarious it was when that girl in 2005 made a fool of herself and talked about Banana Bread. I must add though…he did give me a wet kiss on the cheek at the end of the evening…so, yeah…he’s a fan. :-)


As a Do-It-Yourself-er, I find the it’s a bit hard on my budget and my heart to always go out and buy myself some breakfast on the way to work. Once a week I tackle a bread recipe and cut up slices for myself and friends for upcoming breakfasts at work…or I’ll make some delicious muffins and have one for breakfast…and one for snack later in the day…

Do you know how much money I saved last month?! Over $200!!! Would have been more if I wasn’t such a sucker for croissants. Every time I make something, I feel pretty crafty…
I’ll share a few more of my “Katy Crocker” Recipes with you!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

17 May

I modified this recipe to make my version healthier, more moist and also more pumpkin-y.

For the cookies:

3¾ cups Red Mill Wheat Flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 cup unsalted Straus Family Creamery butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated organic cane sugar
½ cup organic (light or dark) brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg

2 tsp. Madagascar Vanilla Paste

For the coating:

1 cup organic granulated can sugar
2 1/2 tsp. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie Spice

Step one:

Combine wet ingredients… then put in all the dry ones. Usually I skip this step…but this is important here for these cookies since you’ll want to make sure they stay fluffy – and this will help.

Step Two:

Chill your dough for an hour in the fridge. Why? Because you want to make sure your butter becomes firm again and your cookies hold their shape during baking. When you are mixing the ingredients together…the butter looses some of it’s binding ability. Putting the dough in the fridge will bring the dough back together and make rolling your dough easier later down the line.

Step Three:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees – line your cookie sheet with a cookie sheet liner OR parchment paper. This is so the sugar coating doesn’t stick to the cookie sheet. If you use a cookie sheet liner, not only will you be able to get your cookies off the sheet easily, you will also end up with a perfectly-perfect cookie bottom and your cookies won’t dry out as much as they would if they were placed directly on the sheet.

Step Four:

Make your dough into 2 tablespoon sized balls. Coat your little nuggets in the sugar & spice mixture. Place them 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Take the back of a spoon and lightly smoosh your cookie down (smoosh is a technical term for pushing down lightly). This will help them cook all the way through and also gives a nice “thumbprint” look to them.

Step Five:

Bake for 13-15 minutes each batch – let cool for 5 minutes before transferring your cookies onto a wire rack. Repeat until all the dough is gone. This recipe makes a boat-load of cookies – up to 6 dozen since I increased the amount of pumpkin. Which is why they would be perfect for a craft event – since you can help feed lots of customers who come to shop at your show.

Side Note:

About the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie Spice…
it’s a combo of Cinnamon, Allspice, Nutmeg, Lemon Peel and Ginger – which is why I LOVE this stuff…it gives a great flavor to most all things that ask for Cinnamon and Nutmeg…and takes up much less room in your cupboard for those of us who want to save our pantry space for more art supplies. ;-)

Make Fizzy Bath Bombs

17 May

Once a week I take 45 minutes to exit the stress of my week…
I set myself up a soothing bath…grab the latest DIY magazine and (most times) bring a cup of tea, or a beer, or a glass of wine in the bathroom with me. (or all three…ha ha)
It’s my once a week ritual that has been helping to keep my stress from eating up my creative soul.

This all started when I went to Lush with my Mom a while back…but at over $5 per bath bomb or bubble bath…I just couldn’t keep up with the cost of my baths. So…I decided to learn how to make my own aromatherapy baths. I also wanted to make something that was good for the environment…it’s nice to know that what goes down the drain after my bath won’t hurt the environment.

Making them is SUPER easy…so easy, that Sunday night I made a half dozen of these with my boyfriend’s daughter who is 6 years old. She is very excited about taking baths this week. I guess if your kids hate taking baths – you could try to do this to get them a little more pumped about gettin’ in the tub.

Finding the ingredients in San Francisco…surprisingly NOT easy (for me) so I did write down some tips for finding all of the bits and pieces here in San Francisco…which hopefully will help you out wherever you are.

1 cup Baking Soda (This is what will make it fizzy)
1/2 cup Citric acid
1/2 cup Corn Starch
2 Tablespoons Witch Hazel
3/4 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons Essential oils
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 drops food coloring (optional)

Here’s how I did it.
Put all the dry ingredients in one medium size bowl
put all the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl
combine the two once measured…

put your mixture into molds. Fill the mold all the way up and then press down firmly to make sure the mixture is solid and will not crumble once dry.

keep your molds out of reach of yourself for a few days…then release from the molds and put into an air tight container for use later!

To use: fill up your bath with water… drop in a few bombs and watch them fizz away all the stress of your day.


Finding the molds shouldn’t be an issue…but if you want something Fun… you can make a bunch of mini bombs in those crazy rubber ice-cube molds that come in every shape you’d ever want.

Pay attention to the details of the recipe: Normally, I’m the lazy kind of DIYer and I usually just dump everything in all at the same time…but since this recipe really is combining chemicals together…I take the separation of dry and wet a lot more seriously. I don’t want to fizzle out my fizz by putting the wet ingredients in too quickly.

What if your bombs never set in the molds and they crumble all over the place? NO worries! Thing is…you could just put all the good stuff you made above and just put it all in an air tight container if you wanted pretty much…spooning it into your bath instead of pressing it into a mold will work just lovely as well. Don’t you worry…you’ll be fine. However, if you’re gifting these…perfecting the molds is a plus. I bought some cloth bags for cheap which make great companions to the bombs.

Finding Citric Acid – the hardest to find. This was the hardest thing to find for me. the recipe I had found said that you could get this at any craft store or drug store. no…no you can’t. But then someone said to me that citric acid is in foods, so I should try a food supply place. The light bulb went off. I ended up purchasing it at San Francisco Brewcraft. I got 5 pounds of it and when I got home I felt so silly since you only need 1/2 a cup. ha! If anyone needs any…I have some extra to go around, clearly.

Essential Oils and you! A while back I found this gem of a place called The San Francisco Herb company. You know all those bulk teas you see in stores? Yeah…they pretty much all come from here. So knock out the middle man and check out this place. I got my essential oils from here because if you’re a business, they GIVE YOU A DISCOUNT! Hollar at my money saving techniques…what what! ha ha… but really…they have pretty much all of the oils you’d want to see there since they also have pretty much anything you’d want to put in a killer potpourri. For just under $20 I got myself some vanilla, peony, jasmine, honeysuckle and spearmint. I have been able to use my oils many MANY times since then…a little goes a long way.

Make Your Own Bath Scrub

17 May

After the success of my Fizzy Bath Bombs, I’ve felt really excited about looking into what other beauty products I’d be able to recreate on my own. I thought about making some soap…but, to be completely honest…I feel like making soap is a bit too advanced for this Katy girl.

I read somewhere that you can make bath scrubs with just simple items in your kitchen… OOoooo…into it. I mean…what kind of baker would it be if I didn’t feel I would have totally have all the necessary ingredients and supplies to create a little personal spa in my bathroom.

Here’s the breakdown of a basic Brown Sugar Scrub recipe.

1 c. brown sugar (lightly packed)
1/2 c. sweet almond oil
1 tsp. vitamin E
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Turns out…like bath bombs, some of the ingredients are a bit harder to find than “just look in your pantry”.

I dunno who thinks that we all have Vitamin E laying around in our cupboards, but I sure didn’t. I didn’t really know where to look for this type of supply…and I felt like buying capsules and cutting them open would be a huge mess actually…

Then I remembered Hilary from A Slice of Delight (who is away for a year…we miss her)…she was telling me about BrambleBerry.com. Oh my oh MY what a great little website o’ fun! It’s a great resource for at-home spa making and they also have essential oils on there as well. To my surprise…they had Vitamin E and Sweet Almond Oil. (Note to reader – I am easily surprised by many things)

I decided that making scrubs for just me…well, just isn’t as fun… so I headed to my best friend Lauren’s house on Sunday and brought all of my supplies with me as well as some empty jars I had laying around.


It’s almost embarrassing how easy making this is…
all you need is a bowl…measure out your recipe…dump all of the ingredients in together and stir… then portion out your scrub into different glass containers.


We found that there’s really no wrong way to go about this…but you would want to make sure that you use a glass container for storing your scrub so that it can have some shelf life. None of the ingredients listed below will go bad over time…so you shouldn’t have to refrigerate it either. I also think you may NOT want to refrigerate it since the cold would likely effect the structure of the oils.

What’s really totally awesome about making scrubs is that there is that flexibility to find a recipe and then expand onto it. You just want to make sure you keep the ratio between the oils and the salt/sugar about the same so that you’re sure the consistency isn’t a big muddy mess when you’re in your shower.After Lauren and I had so much fun with the Brown Sugar Scrub…we experimented and made out own scrub recipe.

Here’s ours for you to try at home.

The Infinity (And Beyond) Huckleberry Pie Salt Scrub:

1 c. salt (we used Himalayan Pink Salt – fine coarse from Bramble Berry)
1/2 c. sweet almond oil
1 tsp. vitamin E
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. Real Huckleberry Honey (you can use any flavored honey here)

Lentilopolis’ – The Kitchen Sink Power Cookie

17 May

Image these little cookies with a cape…flying into the air screaming… LENTIL Poooower! Whether you eat one as an afternoon snack or even for breakfast…these cookies pack a powerful WHAM-BAM 1-2 PUNCH!

They have dried fruit in them…along with protein packed lentils, almonds and dark chocolate that will keep you going all day long.

Recipe and Ingredients:
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 sticks butter
3 cups oats
2 eggs
1 cup cane sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup cooked/cooled red lentils (if you chose to omit the lentils, flour is lowered to 1 1/2 cups)

(the following is optional and to your liking…just a mix of dried fruits, nuts and chocolate to add to your cookies)

handful of chopped mango
handful of chopped apricots
handful of sunflower seeds
handful of dried blueberries
handful of dried cranberries
handful of dried cherries
1/2 cup raw sliced almonds
2 T flax seeds
2 fancy bars of dark chocolate, or milk chocolate if desired…chopped into random sized chunks.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

Use a soup spoon to scoop the batter onto your cookie sheet.
Bake for approx. 20 minutes each batch in the middle of the oven – the cookies should be golden brown on the edges.

Let them cool for a couple minutes on the pan before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Because this recipe will make up to 4 dozen cookies…be sure to remember that not all of them have to be eaten all at once. I keep several of them in my freezer and put a couple each day in my lunch box for that extra little LENTIL-POWER when I need it at work.

I won’t lie…they are kinda like little kitchen sink cookies that have a little bit of everything. I imagine…if you were a vegan…these would be just as delicious with egg substitute since they are NON-DAIRY! Like almost all my recipes… there’s no need to separate ingredients or to make anything another other than a total mess in your kitchen while using your hands and getting down and dirty when mixing these up.


It’s not about how you follow a recipe, it’s about how you don’t

19 Aug

I’ve been baking and making wonderful little treats for myself since I was a kid. My mom taught me first by showing me her favorite cook book – a rad 1970s Betty Crocker Cookbook…and I started to try different recipes in it. My favorite is the coffee cake recipe (which I’m sure I’ll publish here at some point). I would make it after school all by myself when I was in middle school. I made LOTS of mistakes, but I learned a lot from them. Such as – never think putting your recipe in the microwave is anything like putting it in your actual oven. Lost a great pan that way… almost lost the microwave – and lost my creation as well into the trash. As well as gained a seriously HORRIBLE smell in the house.

As I got older – I learned that a recipe has some important details that you MUST follow in order to not totally eff up your creation. But… there are also places you an insert your own twist. And this is where we start. This blog is all about how I take a recipe and make it my own. I want to give people the confidence to experiment a bit in the kitchen… have some freedom, confidence an FUN while you’re making something tasty. Here we goooooo… let’s have some fun!


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