Welcome to Sarah's Adventures in Culinary Experimentation

This blog is for posting recipes I've experimented with while teaching myself to cook. Some I have taken from my favorite recipe books, others are purely my own experimentations. My audience is usually just my husband, my toddler daughter, and I and we are living on a tight budget. Sometimes you might find a splurge.

Hopefully you'll find something here that you like!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Zucchini Mini Margharita Pizzas

Zucchini Mini Margharita Pizzas
I had to use tiny zucchini based on availability at my grocery store, but it still works out just fine. You just get small pizzas.

  •     2 small zucchini
  •     1 medium tomato diced tiny
  •     1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  •     1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  •     1 1/2 TBSP minced garlic
  •     Tomato pizza sauce

  1.     Slice the zucchini into 1/4 in pieces.
  2.     Grill or broil the zucchini on a rack for 15 minutes on Hi (if broiling).
  3.     Preheat oven to 400F.
  4.     Dice the tomato.
  5.     When the zucchini is finished cooking, transfer to a cookie sheet or baking tray.Make sure there is space between the zucchini slices.
  6.     I recommend using a tomato sauce in a squirt bottle and put one drop on each zucchini.
  7.     Follow up with a little bit of garlic on each.
  8.     Then take the mozzarella and sprinkle a bit on each, pushing down to spread the garlic and sauce.
  9.     Now put a pinch of grated Parmesan on each.
  10.     Top off each of the zucchini pieces with a tiny piece of tomato.
  11.     Put in the oven until the cheese is melted. About 10-15 minutes.
  12.     Season with salt and pepper as desired and serve.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Raisin French Toast Pudding

Raisin French Toast Pudding
Serves: 6+
I thought about bread pudding, but wanted to make french toast. I combined the two to make Raisin French Toast Pudding.

  • 1 loaf of raisin bread ripped into chunks
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
  • 3 TBSP cinnamon
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 3 TBSP vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. In an 11x13 pan, either spray with a non-stick spray or use butter, then dust the butter with sugar to stop the bread from sticking. 
  3. Take the chunks of bread and spread it out in the pan.
  4. In a bowl, mix the eggs, half and half, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla extract.
  5. Dump the mixture into the 11x13 pan with the bread and sprinkles the raisins into the mixture.
  6. Mix so that all bread is covered with the liquid. Push bread down to soak up the mixture while stirring.
  7. Cover with a loose dusting of cinnamon sugar if available.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Beefy Tomato Rice Skillet

Beefy Tomato Rice Skillet
From Taste of Home: Simple & Delicious December 2008. If a skillet is too small (and it might be) cook in a pot. That will give the rice enough room to expand.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 large chopped yellow onion
  • 1 large green pepper chopped
  • 1 can (11oz) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cans (10 3/4oz) condense tomato soup
  • 2 cups water or chicken/beef broth
  • 2 TBSP Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup uncooked rice (long grain or brown)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan or 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (for garnish)
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. In a large skillet or frying pan cook the meat, seasoning it with salt and pepper.
  2. When brown, drain the meat and set aside.
  3. Add the celery, onion and bell peppers to the skillet and sweat down.
  4. When the vegetables are slightly soft, add the meat back into the skillet, and also add the tomato soup and water (or broth). Bring to a boil. 
  5. Add uncooked rice, cover and cook on Medium for 20 minutes.
  6. At 10 minutes, add the corn and Italian seasoning, recover and cook for the last 10 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.
  7. Sprinkle the cheese on the dish at the end.
  8. Serve with steamed broccoli on the side.