Friday, May 22, 2015

Pepperoni Bread

This has to be considered an all time great finger food.  If you haven't made one I highly recommend them.  Also, its super versatile. You can add filling and spices you want to it or change the entire thing.

I usually make these around Christmas just because its still good at room temperature. Not all of my people arrive at Christmas at the same time and we all usually just wonder about nibbling at what's on the table.

These are fairly easy to make once you get the rolling method down and they freeze great.  So if you make extra or just decide to keep them all to yourself instead of giving them away for free to people you may or may not really like, you can freeze them for later. When I worked, I would layout a roll before going to work and it was defrosted by the time we got home. Then we just had to heat it up.

I've often wanted to change things up a bit but rarely do but you can make one with  mushrooms and caramelized onions with cheese, a ham and cheese variety or just add cut up meatballs and cheese and put a bowl of marinara on the side. Just make sure that if you cook your ingredients first that you let it cool before trying to add them to the roll. What about a chicken marsala with cheese roll? That idea has possibilities.

My ingredient listing isn't all that thorough. I didn't measure how many pepperoni I put into the roll simply because you may want more or less in it. I just made a nice layer on my cheese. The rest of the ingredients are the same. Didn't measure. I just sprinkled the garlic, onion and oregano all over the dough and called it quits.

Pepperoni Bread

2 Rolls of Frozen Bread Dough unthawed or fresh dough
Sliced Pepperoni
Hard Salami
Shredded Mozzarella or Provolone
1 Egg and some water
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Take your unthawed bread dough and place it on a cookie sheet. Slowly, work the dough until it in a rectangular shape. Roughly 12x16. If your dough won't stretch its too cold and you'll need to let it warm up some more.

Once your dough is spread out (without tearing), beat one egg with a splash of water to make an egg wash and brush your dough. Next, sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder and oregano to taste. Next, sprinkle with shredded cheese and layer with pepperoni and hard salami.

Start rolling the dough from the long side and fold the end up about 1.5." Brush the dough you've rolled to the top with egg wash and keep rolling.  It helps to tuck the meat/cheese in as you roll. At the end, pull the dough edge (on the cookie sheet) up and over the roll enclosing all the ingredients and try to pull it far enough on the roll so that it won't unwrap. Turn roll seam side down.

The ends are usually quite thick with little to no filling.  Take the end and pull it outward from the roll and start to flatten the dough end out then tuck it under the roll. Do the same thing on the other side.  Brush the entire roll with egg wash and sprinkle with oregano.

Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Animal Quilt - Gorilla

This painting came together fairly easily. I'm always leery of painting black animals. It can be really hard to distinguish the actual shape of the animal. All that black can lead to just one giant blob of mystery.

But I made sure to leave a white highlight down the shoulder and arm which I think really helped. I added some gray/white to the body area and flicked my brush to leave the directional lines which took on the fur. I added gray to the face and white to the arm, head, chest to highlight the black fur.

Since gorilla's live in the jungle, I added some tree shapes and greens to the background.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Animal Quilt - Harpy Eagle

Well, I haven't painted any animals for a few weeks now. I got hung up and couldn't decide a few things. I decided to add a lowland gorilla and maybe a manatee but I haven't decided.  I did discover a cute bird called a Quetzal and I'm thinking I'll add that to the border but back to the harpy eagle.

Since this bird lives in the deep jungle, I went for the darkest shade of green I had and painted the background and a branch and let this layer dry.

I used gray, white and a dark midnight blue to initially rough in the bird.

Finally, I used black to darken areas and white for additional highlighting.  I also added some leaf shapes and squiggly yellow. Not sure why but it needed something to break up all that green and yellow peaks through green in the jungle and it just seemed to work out. Its about the animal not the backgrounds and I think this eagle turned out pretty good.