a balanced plate with room for dessert


Carbonara Pizza

Carbonara Pizza | doughseedough.netI love weekends more now than I ever did before. Weekends are associated with quality time with Mike and my pups; something I took for granted when I could come home to them every night. Weekends are associated with cooking new foods since cooking for one on during the week isn’t really all that fun. I love binge watching shows on Netflix with Mike, going for long walks with the dogs, and cooking up food for us to enjoy as a couple.

Carbonara Pizza |

This weekend, I was inspired to make a carbonara pizza after I bought some farm fresh eggs. The grocery store eggs don’t even come close to fresh eggs. Really. I wanted to showcase the eggs in something wonderful. What better way to do that than incorporate the eggs into a creamy sauce for the pizza and then crack a few on top? Eggs, cheese, bacon – you honestly can’t go wrong with that combination.

Carbonara Pizza |

Carbonara Pizza

for the dough:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 – .25 ounce package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup warm water (~110°F)

for the pizza:
4 ounces mozzarella, shredded
6 ounces Parmesan, grated and divided
5 large eggs, divided
8 ounces bacon, diced
2 sprigs thyme
2 cloves garlic, smashed
4 green onions, thinly sliced
freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place a pizza stone or baking sheet in the middle of the oven to heat up for at least 30 minutes.
  2. To make the dough: Fit stand mixer with dough hook. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Pour in oil and water. Mix on low speed until dough pulls away from side of bowl and gathers around hook and is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a large lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Set aside and let rise for 30 – 40 minutes.
  3. While dough is rising, cook bacon in a large pan with thyme and garlic until crispy. Remove cooked bacon from the pan and drain on a paper towel. Discard bacon drippings, garlic, and thyme.
  4. To make the sauce: Place 4 ounces Parmesan, 2 eggs, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  5. To form the dough: Place dough on a flat surface. Gently press the center to create a large dimple. Gently push it outward from the center with your fingertips. Pick up the dough circle and, holding it under the rim, turn the dough in a circle; gravity will gently stretch the dough. Drape the dough over the back of your hands and gently stretch outward while rotating. Your pizza dough should have a thinner middle and a thicker edge. Place the dough onto a piece of parchment paper.
  6. Spread the sauce over the dough. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top, followed by bacon and green onions. Top with remaining 2 ounces of grated Parmesan. Slide pizza onto preheated pizza stone and bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove pizza from oven and use a large spoon to create 3 indentations on the top of the pizza. Crack the 3 remaining eggs into each of the indentations and return the pizza to the oven for 3 – 5 minutes, or until the egg whites are set but the yolk is still runny.
  8. To serve, use a knife to break the yolk and spread it around. Season with freshly ground black pepper before serving, if desired.

Carbonara Pizza |



My Favorite Slow Cooker Ribs

Slow Cooker Ribs |

Years ago when I first started blogging, I posted about slow cooker ribs. To this date, it’s one of the most popular recipes on the blog. My cooking techniques and recipes have evolved over the years and I thought that it might be a good time to make an updated post about my favorite ribs. Instead of baking the ribs first, I bake them after the slow cooking to get the caramelized stickiness that we all know and love. I also start the ribs out with a rub to give them an extra dose of flavor.

I know that some people might consider sticking ribs into the slow cooker sacrilegious, but it works for me and I think the results are pretty stellar! Plus, I don’t know the first thing about starting up a grill. That’s Mike’s domain.

Slow Cooker Ribs |


As a side note – that beer you see in the back? Amazing. Two thumbs up for Southern Tier and their amazing Choklat stout.

Slow Cooker Ribs

3 pounds baby back ribs
1/2 cup light beer (don’t use the previously mentioned Choklat!)
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 1/2 cups barbecue sauce (storebought or homemade), divided

for the rub:
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

  1. Make the rub: mix all ingredients together.
  2. Season ribs evenly with the rub to taste. Brush 1 cup of the barbecue sauce over the ribs. Arrange ribs along the side of the slow cooker insert or cut ribs into thirds or halves and place them in the bottom of the insert. Pour in beer and add onion and garlic cloves. Cook on high for 3.5 – 4 hours or until ribs are tender but not falling off the bone.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Transfer ribs to a baking sheet and baste with remaining barbecue sauce. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes and basting with additional sauce as needed.


Char Siu Bao (Chinese BBQ Pork Buns)

I think making these buns might have been the biggest mistake of my life. They’re just too dang good and I crave them constantly. The first batch quickly dwindled to nothing – I sent a bun or two off to my family and to Mike’s parents and sent a half-dozen off with Mike. I was left staring at four buns. I tried to make them last as long as possible, but I have to be honest… they lasted four days. Maybe less.

Baked Char Siu Bao (Chinese BBQ Pork Buns) |

I think these buns might be the first thing I will ever put on my monthly “must make” list. I rarely make repeat dishes. It takes a good dish to warrant a second visit into my kitchen more than once a year. It takes a stellar dish to make a visit a few times a year. A dish that I want to make every month? Unheard of, until now.

Baked Char Siu Bao (Chinese BBQ Pork Buns) |

I just can’t explain why I loved these buns so much. It’s a combination of the slightly sweet, mostly salty filling surrounded by an impossibly soft, fluffy, yet chewy bun. The texture of the buns is partially due to the tangzhong (roux) made from combining flour with water and milk. The tangzhong  is incorporated into the dough and the endresult is a bun that’s… well, good.

Baked Char Siu Bao (Chinese BBQ Pork Buns) |

I made this dish for this month’s What’s Baking. The host for August is Ali from Sparks from the Kitchen. She challenged us to bake up something to represent our heritage.  I waffled between making dan ta, an egg custard tart, and feng li su, little flaky cakes encasing a pineapple filling. I don’t know how I ended up making neither of those and instead making the char siu bao, but I don’t regret my actions one bit. I loved char siu bao growing up, and I love them still. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Char Siu Bao (Chinese BBQ Pork Buns)

for the buns:
6 cups bread flour, divided
2/3 cup water
1 1/3 cup milk, divided
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted

for the filling:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups diced char siu (Chinese BBQ roast pork)

for garnishing:
1 egg beat with 1 teaspoon water (egg wash)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

  1. To make the tangzhong (roux/flour paste), mix together 1/3 cup flour, 2/3 cup water, and 1/3 cup milk in a small saucepan until well combined. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens up and has the consistency of a thick yogurt. The temperature of the roux should not exceed 150°F. Remove the mixture from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 5 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast and mix with a wooden spoon to combine. Add the tangzhong/flour paste, 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, and melted butter. Stir together to form a soft dough. Knead by hand for 15 – 20 minutes. If your dough is sticky and not coming together, add the remaining 2/3 cup flour a little at a time until your dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. Lightly grease a large bowl. Place dough inside and turn to coat. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm, draft-free place and let rise for 60 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Meanwhile, get started on the filling. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the honey, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and dark soy sauce. Cook until mixture starts to bubble, stirring frequently. Stir in the chicken stock and flour until well combined. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the diced roast pork. Set aside to cool.
  5. Separate the risen dough into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 4-inch circle, leaving the center slightly thicker than the edges. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the middle of each circle. Crimp them closed, making sure they are tightly sealed. Don’t fret if they’re a little ugly – the crimped side ends up on the bottom, hidden from judging eyes 😉
  6. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Lay the buns seam-side down on the prepared baking sheets and let rise for another hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until buns are golden brown. Let cool slightly before eating.


yields 16 buns. recipe slightly adapted from The Woks of Life


Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Roast Pork)

Char siu, or Chinese BBQ roast pork, brings back really fond memories for me. I remember seeing huge slabs of roast pork hanging from windows in restaurants or at grocery stores. I remember stuffing my face full of buns filled with the sweet-salty succulent pork.

Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Roast Pork) |

I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome this pork smelled as it was roasting away in the oven. I might go so far as to say that it beat any cookie, cake, or pie smell that I’ve ever created in my kitchen. Seriously. It was that good.

I think I spent the majority of the cook time staring all googly-eyed into the little oven window, watching this pork cook up into what I can only describe as heavenly. If you’re looking for a little happiness in your life, you’re in luck. I’m bringing it to you in the form of some Chinese roast pork.

This little piggy… turned out awesome. Stay tuned for part two when this little piggy gets turned into some char siu bao (Chinese roast pork buns). Yeehaw!

Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Roast Pork) |

Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Roast Pork)

3 pounds pork shoulder
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon five spice powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons sherry
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
4 teaspoons tomato paste
4 teaspoons molasses
1 tablespoon canola oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons water

  1. Cut pork into 3-inch thick strips lengthwise. Place pork into a large zip-top bag and set aside.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined. Remove 1/2 cup of the marinade into a container. Cover and refrigerate for later use.
  3. Pour the remaining marinade into the zip-top bag. Make sure pork is evenly coated with the marinade. Squeeze excess air out of the bag and seal it. Place bag into a baking dish and refrigerate overnight (at least 12 hours).
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a sheet pan with foil and place a metal baking rack on top. Remove pork from marinade, letting excess marinade drip off. Place pork on rack, making sure the pieces don’t touch. Bake the pork for 20 – 25 minutes on each side, or until pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. Baste pork with half of the reserved marinade. Move the oven rack to the top third and turn the broiler on. Return the pork to the oven and cook for a few minutes on each side or until the pork is slightly charred.
  5. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


recipe slightly adapted from The Woks of Life


Bangers and Mash with Red Wine Onion Gravy

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all! If you didn’t get a chance to drink a ton of green beer this weekend, don’t worry – you can still celebrate by whipping up the quick and easy meal of bangers and mash.

Bangers and Mash with Red WIne Onion Gravy |

I found the bangers at Trader Joe’s. If you can’t find any, another type of pork sausage should do. I was blown away by how tasty this was and I kind of regret not buying more of the sausages to freeze for later. This, folks, is comfort food.

Ripley |

Mr. Ripley was watching me intently as I photographed this meal. He ended up with some mashed potatoes on his ear (see bottom right). Don’t know how, but he did. Weird dog.

Bangers and Mash with Red WIne Onion Gravy |

And, yes, that is a bottle of 3-buck-Chuck in the background. Turns out, we still like to drink like poor college kids.

Bangers and Mash with Red Wine and Onion Gravy
serves 4 – 6

for the bangers:
1 pound Irish banger sausages
1/4 cup dry red wine
extra virgin olive oil spray
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, torn

for the mash:
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons dairy-free butter
1/4 cup dairy-free milk
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

for the gravy:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  1. To prepare the bangers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and spray with olive oil. Add the bangers and brown on all sides. Add red wine and sprinkle with sage. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until fully cooked, about 15 – 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the mashed potatoes and gravy. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender. Drain and return potatoes to the pot. Mash potatoes with butter, milk, salt and pepper.
  3. While potatoes are cooking, prepare the gravy. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft and browned, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle onions with flour and stir to coat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in red wine, broth, and Worcestershire sauce. Allow to cook until reduced to desired thickness.
  4. Place the mash on a plate and top with bangers and serve with a generous spoonful of onion gravy.

adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Leave a comment

Pork and Ginger-Apple Pot Stickers

I’ve been on the lookout for more interesting pot sticker variations. Yes, pork and chive pot stickers are delicious. As are shrimp pot stickers. Even the vegetarian pot stickers I made a while back are pretty darn tasty. But, these pork and ginger-apple pot stickers take the dumpling game to a whole new level.

You remember that ginger-apple chutney that I was raving about on Monday? Well, take that and mix it with some pork and chives and… mind blown. I doubled the original recipe because pot stickers freeze wonderfully and are great when you’re in a crunch for dinner. (If you’re not a great planner (coughmecough) and only buy 1 package of wrappers and run out … the filling is pretty darn tasty cooked up and served over some brown rice with a splash of the dipping sauce.)

Pork Ginger-Apple Pot Stickers |

Pork and Ginger-Apple Pot Stickers
makes about 75 pot stickers

2 pounds ground pork
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 cup green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups ginger-apple chutney
1/4 teaspoon each: kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, white pepper (or, to taste)
1 1/2 packages dumpling wrappers (about 75)
canola oil, for frying

for the dipping sauce:
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sambal oelek

  1. To make the filling: combine pork and soy sauce in a large bowl. Fold in green onions, chutney, salt, black pepper, and white pepper. Mix until well combined.
  2. Set up your station: bowl of filling, stack of pot sticker wrappers, a small bowl filled with water, and a large baking sheet.
  3. To fold: place a wrapper in your non-dominant hand. Scoop a scant tablespoon of filling into the center of the wrapper, being careful not to get any on the edge. Wet a finger on your dominant hand and lightly trace the outside of the wrapper. Fold wrapper in half to form a half circle and pinch at the top. Starting at the center, make 3 pleats down toward the bottom-right corner. Repeat on the left side. Continue with the remaining filling and wrappers. (There are pictures on how to fold in my vegetarian pot stickers post.)
  4. To cook: heat a large, lidded saute pan over high heat. Add in 1 teaspoon oil and swirl pan to coat. Add pot stickers, pleat-side up, being careful not to overcrowd. Cook until bottoms are browned, about 5 minutes. Add in 1/2 cup water and immediately cover the pan to contain the splatter. After 30 seconds, when splattering has subsided, slightly crack the lid open to allow steam to escape. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until heated through and water has evaporated. Let cook for an additional 1 – 2 minutes to allow bottom to re-crisp. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.
  5. To make dipping sauce: combine soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sambal in a bowl and whisk to combine.

recipe slightly adapted from Ming Tsai


Chipotle Honey-Lime Pork Tenderloin

I don’t know if this is a problem other people have, but every single time I cook for something that calls for chipotles in adobo sauce I am left with two or three lonely chiles. I never know what to do with them and they often go to waste. This time, I planned accordingly. On the first night, I made chipotle quinoa chili. A few nights later, I used up the rest of the chipotle peppers in this delicious pork tenderloin.

Chipotle Honey-Lime Pork Tenderloin |

Chipotle Honey-Lime Pork Tenderloin

1 pound pork tenderloin
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
zest from 1 lime
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 – 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
1/2 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 tablespoon canola oil
cilantro, chopped

  1. Place the tenderloin in a shallow container with a lid to marinate.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, lime zest, honey, salt, and garlic powder. Pour half the marinade over the tenderloin; reserving the remaining half of the marinade for the sauce.
  3. Pour chipotle chiles and adobo sauce over the tenderloin. Cover and allow to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Remove the tenderloin 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  5. Heat canola oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Remove tenderloin from marinade and sear in skillet on all sides, about 3 minutes per side.
  6. Place skillet in preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes, turning once halfway through.
  7. Once the pork’s internal temperature reaches 140°F, remove from the oven. Move pork to a cutting board and cover with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes or until the temperature  reaches 150°F.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare te sauce: pour reserved lime juice mixture and leftover marinade into the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Allow sauce to reduce and thicken. Meanwhile, slice pork into 1-inch medallions. Serve sauce over the sliced pork and garnish with cilantro, if desired.

recipe slightly adapted from The Way to His Heart

Leave a comment

Mushroom Barley and Wild Rice Risotto

Mushroom Barley & Wild Rice Risotto |

This dish is definitely a labor of love. Much like a traditional risotto, you need to spend time at the stove, stirring, adding liquid, stirring… But the results are so worth it –  it’s rich and filling and well, my perfect comfort food. The bonus is that this seriously makes a huge pot of food – enough for lunch leftovers. There are days where I start to despise the leftovers I bring for lunch, but I ate this risotto for a week straight and never got sick of it.

I can’t wait to make it again – maybe this time with another type of mushroom!

Mushroom Barley & Wild Rice Risotto |

Mushroom Barley and Wild Rice Risotto

6 cups low-sodium beef broth
3 cups water
8 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups uncooked pearl barley
1/2 cup wild rice
1/3 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, re-hydrated and chopped
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 – 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

  1. Bring stock and water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Cover and keep warm over low heat – do not boil.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon to a plate and set aside; reserve 2 teaspoons of bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest.
  3. Return the Dutch oven to medium-high heat and add in onion, thyme and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes or until onions are tender. Add in mushrooms and salt and cook for 10 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, soy sauce, pepper, spinach, and cooked bacon. Cook until heated through. Serve immediately.
  4. Stir in barley and wild rice. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add in wine and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 2 – 3  minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in 2 cups of the broth mixture and cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Continue with the remaining broth mixture: add in 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently. Make sure liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup.

recipe adapted from Prevention RD

Leave a comment

Dairy Free Zuppa Toscana

This soup is my take on Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana without all the dairy. This soup is one of the few things I actually like from OG. I was worried that it wouldn’t taste as good, but it completely met all my expectations. I got the idea to make this soup when a reader suggested that I make a kale and bean soup with my leftover kale.

Dairy Free Zuppa Toscana (Italian Sausage & Kale Soup) |

Dairy Free Zuppa Toscana

1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
2 yellow onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 medium russet potatoes, cubed into 1/2 – 3/4″ pieces
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 – 15 ounce can white beans (such as great northern or cannellini), drained and rinsed
4 cups dino kale leaves, washed, dried and chopped (or spinach)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
6 pieces crisp cooked bacon, crumbled

  1. Brown sausage in a dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks. When sausage is browned, add in onions, garlic, black pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook until onions are translucent, about 3 – 5 minutes.
  2. Add in potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are almost fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Add in beans and kale and cook for an additional 5 – 10 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender. 
  3. Stir in almond milk and allow to heat through. Serve hot with bacon sprinkled on top.


Kale BLT Salad

Ok, so there isn’t any “L” in this BLT salad. It should probably be called BKT or BKaleT.  As it turns out, raw kale isn’t really my jam. It tastes like what I think grass might taste like. But, raw kale covered in dressing with bacon? Right up my alley.

My coworker gave me three huge bags of kale – two curly kale and one dino kale. The curly kale went into this salad and I’m still contemplating what to do with the dino kale. I might just make another BKT salad because I’m seriously lacking in the kale recipe department. My coworker kindly included a recipe for this salad along with the kale. A little internet searching led me to the original source – Vegan Yum Yum. Needless to say, I completely un-veganfied it. Not only did I use mayo and bacon, I went and ate my salad with some grilled chicken, too. No regrets 🙂

Kale BLT Salad |

Kale BLT Salad

2 heads curly kale
12 strips bacon, cooked and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

for the dressing:
1/3 cup low fat mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Wash and dry kale. Remove the stem from each leaf with a pair of scissors, a knife, or your fingers. Stack leaves on top of each other and slice into thin strips. Place kale strips into a large bowl and toss with bacon, cherry tomatoes, and red onion.
  2. To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients together. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.

slightly adapted from Vegan Yum Yum