Wonton Pizza Pockets

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

This tasty little snack came together due to lack of food in the house. It was slim pickins around here one day because I just didn’t feel like going grocery shopping. We’ve all had those days, right? I looked around and saw that I had wonton wrappers, cheese, and pepperoni – and not much else. How about snacks for dinner kids? No complaints there! (I did add some veggies on the side, however…) While I don’t recommend this as an option for dinner normally, it would make the perfect appetizer for a party or while watching the football game.

What you’ll need:
1 package wonton wrappers (the small square ones)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Pepperoni slices (cut up into small pieces)
Vegetable or canola oil for frying
Optional:
Wire rack and baking sheet for keeping them warm and crispy
Marinara sauce for dipping

They are easy to make, but you want to get them all prepped before starting to cook them. They fry up so quickly that you want to have them ready to go. On a nice big work surface, lay out a bunch of the wonton wrappers, get a little bowl of water, and set it nearby. If you put too many wrappers out at the same time they will start to dry out. Keep the remaining wrappers covered while you work. On each wrapper, dab some water along the edge with your finger. This will be the glue that keeps the pocket intact. Don’t put the water on all of them at once — wet each one as you go.

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

Next take a little bit of shredded mozzarella cheese and put it in the middle of the wonton wrapper.

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

Take a little bit of cut up pepperoni slices and put that on top of the cheese.

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

Finally, add a little more mozzarella cheese on top.

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

Try not to overfill it, or you’ll have a hard time sealing it up. Now take opposing corners and bring to the center, pinching them closed.

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

Take the other two corners and bring them up to meet the sealed ones. Remember the water is your glue so if you are having trouble, make sure you have water where you want it sealed!

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

Press all the edges to seal shut. If any of the edges are not sealed, your cheese will leak out when you fry them.

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

You can also seal up the pockets like this…

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

Whatever works best for you. Just pinch and press everything tightly.

Heat some vegetable or canola oil up in a pot over medium heat. When it’s hot enough, the wonton pockets should float in the oil. The first time I made these I set my burner for medium-high and they cooked way too fast and almost burnt. Keep it at medium heat and just be patient until it gets hot enough. When the oil is ready, fry a few at a time in the hot oil, a couple minutes on each side until they turn golden brown.

Drain on a paper towel, or better yet on a wire rack set on top of a baking sheet. This method will keep them crispy. You can keep them warm in a 250 degree oven while you fry up the remaining pockets. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping if desired.

FYI: I have tried these with a little marinara sauce added to the cheese and pepperoni, but I prefer to leave it out of the pockets and just dip them in the sauce while inhaling enjoying.

~Micha

Pupwiches ~ Homemade “Ice Cream” Sandwiches for Dogs

Pupwiches - Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches for Dogs | Zim on a Whim

Oscar is such a good boy that I felt he deserved a special treat as summer winds down. Don’t you agree, Oscar?

Ready for Pupsicles! | Zim on a Whim

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” –Josh Billings

I decided to take my Homemade Dog Treats and my Homemade Pupsicles recipes and combine them to get Pupwiches! Dogs love “ice cream” sandwiches, too!

They are easy to make and I’m sure you have most of the ingredients already. First you want to bake the dog treats and get them cooled. I used a dog bone cookie cutter, but you don’t need to use one. Does your dog really care? Just use any cutter you have handy — or even the rim of a glass and make round pupwiches. While the treats are baking, combine the ingredients for the inside of the pupwich. That will need to be put in the freezer for a bit before assembly.

I’m posting the ingredients again here so you don’t need to flip back and forth between recipes. You may want to read through both posts beforehand for more info.

Step One: Bake the dog treats

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons plain applesauce
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 cup whole wheat flour (or any flour that you have on hand that your dog won’t be allergic to. I only had the all-purpose on hand today)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup rolled oats

Directions:
Combine the applesauce, peanut butter, and egg in a medium bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, and oats. Combine all ingredients well with a spoon. Use hands toward the end if necessary. Form a ball of dough for rolling. You can put a piece of wax paper on a cutting board or just dust your work area with some four and then roll out the dough. For the pupwiches, I tried to roll the dough out as thin as I could get it but not so thin that they would break when transferring to the baking sheet. Maybe it was about 1/8″? Cut out with cookie cutter or rim of a glass and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper (get some now) then you can just lightly grease your pan with cooking spray. Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes, or when the edges of the treats get golden brown. Remove from oven, cool in pan for a few minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Step Two: Whip up the frozen pupsicle recipe

Ingredients:
2 containers of yogurt – 6oz. each (Use either plain or vanilla)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/3 cup plain applesauce (the little 4 oz. snack packs are the perfect amount)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients well in a medium bowl and stick in the freezer for about an hour and a half to set up a bit. You don’t want it completely frozen; just frozen enough to spread it and not have it drip out the sides during assembly. If it’s too drippy, freeze more. If it’s too frozen to spread evenly, leave it out a bit. No biggie! {Tip: Either mix your ingredients in a shallow bowl or transfer to one for the freezer to save time.}

Step Three: Assemble and Freeze the Pupwiches

When the mixture for the inside of the pupwiches has set up and your baked treats have cooled, begin assembly. With a spoon, scoop out a small amount and spread it on the underside of a treat. Make it as thick or thin as you would like, but keep in mind that smaller dogs will do better with a thinner pupwich. Take another treat and place on top (keeping good side up). As you work, place the pupwiches on a baking sheet and stick them back in the freezer to freeze completely. You will need to get the first few in the freezer as you work so they don’t melt, and then just keep adding to the baking sheet in the freezer. Use the same baking sheet you used to bake with. {And if you used parchment paper you’ll have barely any clean up!} As you can see from the photo, they don’t look neat and pretty, but dogs don’t care!

After they have frozen, they are ready to be enjoyed by your patient pup. Slurp! :)

Note: I got about 8-10 Pupwiches from this recipe. I had extra of the “ice cream” part so I just scooped it into little cups and placed them in the freezer for pupsicles later. {To remove the extra pupsicles from cups, run the bottom of the cup under warm water to loosen.}

If you want to make just the dog treats or the pupsicles, or if you want more details, you can refer back to my original posts:
Homemade Dog Treats
Homemade Frozen Dog Treats – Pupsicles

Hope you give them a try and let me know if your pup gives them 2 paws up!
~Micha

Maple Dijon Chicken Thighs

Maple Dijon Chicken Thighs | Zim on a Whim

This chicken recipe is a must try! It’s chicken thighs like you’ve never had them before. A sweet and savory sauce is poured over them and then they are baked in a hot oven to get that amazing color on the skin. If you prefer your thighs skinless, I recommend leaving the skin on for the baking process and then removing it before eating. Your chicken will stay nice and juicy by leaving it on. But I tell ya, I can’t resist the skin on these. I don’t usually eat it otherwise, but on these I do!

I realize the only thing you just read above is “hot oven”. Many parts of the U.S. right now are sweating parts off because of this heatwave we’ve been having. It’s brutal. I’m sure you are getting ready to click away to your next internet destination, but don’t go just yet. Save this recipe for when you can turn on the oven and enjoy this meal properly! (I meant to post this a while ago but ever since school let out it’s been hard to get in a blog post!)

I adapted the recipe from these two sources: Just A Pinch and Ranting Chef/Maggie Monday so thank you both for a keeper!

When I compared the two recipes, I noticed Maggie used more maple syrup than dijon mustard and Donna used more dijon. I’m sure you can’t go wrong with either, but I leaned more to the sweeter version. You can always adjust the ratio to your liking!

You’ll notice I have a lot of thighs in my photos. I usually buy the value packs of meat so we have leftovers for our family of 4. I am posting the recipe for the smaller chicken package so if you buy the value pack (4-5 lb.s) just double the ingredients like I did.

Here’s how it goes:

Line a baking dish with foil or spray with cooking spray. Don’t skip this step. The sugars from the maple syrup caramelize and this step is crucial for easy clean up!

Place thighs in baking dish and season them with salt, pepper, and McCormick’s Garlic and Herb Seasoning. I love using that blend – it’s so good on many things – but if you can’t find it, just sprinkle on some garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, rosemary, and paprika.

Maple Dijon Chicken Thighs - seasoned

Mix the dijon mustard, maple syrup (use the real stuff!), and the rice wine vinegar in a bowl and pour mixture over the thighs.

Maple Dijon Chicken Thighs - Ready for oven!

Bake in a 450 degree F oven and serve! (Read recipe for full instructions.)

Maple Dijon Chicken Thighs | Zim on a Whim

MAPLE DIJON CHICKEN THIGHS
Ingredients:
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. chicken thighs, bone in
Salt and pepper
McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic and Herb Seasoning blend (or a little of these spices if you can’t find that blend: garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, rosemary, and paprika)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking dish with foil or spray with cooking spray.
2. Remove any excess fat or skin from the chicken thighs, but leave the top layer of skin on them. Place them in the baking dish.
3. Season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and McCormick’s garlic and herb blend.
4. In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, dijon mustard, and the rice wine vinegar. Pour mixture over the chicken. Turn the chicken to coat evenly, and then make sure all pieces are skin side up.
5. Bake in oven on middle rack for about 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. About halfway through cooking time, baste the chicken with the juices and sauce in the bottom of the dish. (I actually do this a couple of times.)
6. You want the skin to be nice and caramelized. Remove when done and serve with some of the extra sauce. So yummy!

Like I said, I know very few of you want to put your oven on right now, but make sure to pin this for later. You will love it as much as we do.

Stay cool!
~Micha