The Baker Upstairs: August 2019

8.30.2019

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

Yum
These cheesy and delicious pepperoni pizza rolls are kid-friendly, and so easy to make!

These cheesy and delicious pepperoni pizza rolls are kid-friendly, and so easy to make!

Is there any more iconic kid food than pepperoni pizza? My kids are pizza fanatics and would eat it every day (probably twice a day) if they could. These pepperoni pizza rolls are a fun twist on pepperoni pizza, and they're perfect for lunchboxes! I love that I can make a batch at the beginning of the week and portion them out so that lunch is taken care of all week long. My kids are always thrilled to see them in their lunches, and I love when their lunchboxes come home empty. They're super easy to make, and I almost always have the ingredients on hand, so they're perfect for when I'm running low on groceries and don't know what to send for lunch.

I started by rolling out my favorite pizza dough, then spreading marinara sauce all over the dough, leaving a margin of about an inch around the edges. Leaving a little space will help the dough stick together after it's rolled.

These cheesy and delicious pepperoni pizza rolls are kid-friendly, and so easy to make!

Next, spread your cheese and chopped up pepperoni over the dough, then sprinkle parmesan over the top.

These cheesy and delicious pepperoni pizza rolls are kid-friendly, and so easy to make!

Roll the dough up, starting at the long edge. Be gentle and don't roll too tightly, or you will push all of the filling out.

These cheesy and delicious pepperoni pizza rolls are kid-friendly, and so easy to make!

Cut the dough into one inch slices and place them cut side up in a greased baking dish. Bake until the rolls are golden brown.

These cheesy and delicious pepperoni pizza rolls are kid-friendly, and so easy to make!

These pizza rolls are delicious served hot or cold, and will keep in the fridge for several days. If you're not a pepperoni fan, you can easily substitute any of your favorite pizza toppings instead. These pizza rolls are the perfect way to jazz up your lunchbox!
Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

1 ball (about 1 pound) pizza dough
1/2 cup marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
12 slices pepperoni, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. Roll the pizza dough out into a large rectangle and spread with the marinara sauce, leaving a margin of one inch around the edges. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the dough, then top with the pepperoni. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese over the top. Roll up the dough gently, starting at the long edge. Cut dough into one inch slices. Place cut side up in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top.

These cheesy and delicious pepperoni pizza rolls are kid-friendly, and so easy to make!

8.28.2019

Homemade Nilla Wafers

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These homemade nilla wafers are way easier to make than you might think, and even more delicious than the original!

These homemade nilla wafers are way easier to make than you might think, and even more delicious than the original!

Who doesn't love a good nilla wafer? They were one of my favorite treats as a kid, and I still love them as an adult! They're so simple and sweet and comforting, and remind me of happy childhood memories. As I've been gathering ideas for school lunches for my kids, I stumbled across a recipe for homemade nilla wafers, and knew that I need to make them immediately. They turned out even better than I was hoping. They have the same crunch and sweet vanilla flavor of the store-bought cookies, but they taste even better! A couple of these sweet little cookies would be the perfect addition to any lunchbox.

These homemade nilla wafers are way easier to make than you might think, and even more delicious than the original!

I scooped my cookies using a 1 tablespoon scoop, filled halfway, and I still feel like they were a little big. Next time I'll use a teaspoon for my cookies so they're the same size as the original nilla wafers. These cookies are pretty sturdy and will stay fresh for quite some time if stored in an airtight container, so you could easily make a big batch and portion them out over a few weeks for lunches or snacks. I will warn you that the recipe below is fairly small, so you may want to double or triple it if you love these cookies like I do!

These homemade nilla wafers are way easier to make than you might think, and even more delicious than the original!
Homemade Nilla Wafers

4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with a parchment or silicone liner and set aside. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until combined. Chill for 20-30 minutes, until firm. Using a teaspoon or a small cookie scoop, roll the dough into small balls. Flatten slightly and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 15-17 minutes, until golden brown.

adapted slightly from Well Floured

These homemade nilla wafers are way easier to make than you might think, and even more delicious than the original!

8.26.2019

Instant Pot Sous Vide Egg Bites

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These savory and delicious Instant Pot sous vide egg bites are so easy to make. They're perfect for school lunches, or easy breakfasts on the go!

These savory and delicious Instant Pot sous vide egg bites are so easy to make. They're perfect for school lunches, or easy breakfasts on the go!

It's that bittersweet time of year again... my kids are starting school this week! I always miss them when they're at school, but I also really enjoy having some time to myself once the school year starts. It's much easier to get work done when I don't have two little girls trailing around behind me with a constant refrain of, "I'm bored! What's for lunch? Can I have a snack? Will you unlock my iPad?" It really has been a great summer for us, but I'm excited to get back into a routine and get organized. With the school year starting, it's also time to start thinking about school lunches. I pack a lunch from home for both of my kids every day, and we  try to change things up so it's not just boring sandwiches day after day.

We've been experimenting with some new lunch recipes over the summer, and I've found several that my kids love! I'm excited to share them with you over the next few weeks, and hopefully inspire you with some new ideas to help you break out of that old lunch rut. They're all tasty enough for adult lunches too!

These savory and delicious Instant Pot sous vide egg bites are so easy to make. They're perfect for school lunches, or easy breakfasts on the go!

I've heard lots of buzz about the sous vide egg bites at Starbucks, but I confess I've never actually tried them. I've seen copycat recipes for them floating around on Pinterest, and decided to finally give them a try. They turned out totally delicious! I love that they're packed with protein, and substantial enough to keep me full all through the morning. I made mine with ham and cheese to please my kids' palate, but the sky's the limit as far as flavors go!

These egg bites are so soft and cloud-like, and deliciously savory. I used a silicone mold that I found on Amazon to give them that cute rounded shape, but if you don't have one (or don't want to buy one) you could use 4 ounce canning jars or ramekins instead. Just make sure that whatever you're using, you cover the top tightly with foil to prevent water from seeping into your containers and making your eggs soggy.

These savory and delicious Instant Pot sous vide egg bites are so easy to make. They're perfect for school lunches, or easy breakfasts on the go!

I love my egg bites served warm with salsa on top, but they're still totally delicious served cold. With some fresh fruits and vegetables (and maybe a few goldfish crackers) on the side, they're a delicious and healthy lunch that my kids love!

These savory and delicious Instant Pot sous vide egg bites are so easy to make. They're perfect for school lunches, or easy breakfasts on the go!
Instant Pot Sous Vide Egg Bites

3 eggs
1/2 cup ricotta or cottage cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup diced ham
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Add the eggs, ricotta, sour cream, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Spray a silicone egg bite tray with cooking spray. Divide the ham between the wells of the tray. Pour the egg mixture over the ham, filling the wells of the tray evenly. Sprinkle each of the wells with cheese. Cover the egg bite tray with foil.

Place the trivet in the instant pot and add 1 cup of hot water to the pot. Carefully place the egg bite tray in the instant pot. Close the lit and turn the knob to seal. Cook using the steam function for 9 minutes, then let the pressure release for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure, then carefully lift the egg bite tray from the pot using the handles of the trivet. Remove the foil and run a plastic knife around the edges of the egg bites to release them from the tray. Invert the egg bites onto a plate or platter. Serve warm or refrigerate until ready to eat.
These savory and delicious Instant Pot sous vide egg bites are so easy to make. They're perfect for school lunches, or easy breakfasts on the go!
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