because what is life without good food?

Pizza

Hummus Havarti Harvest Pizza

Hummus Havarti Harvest Pizza

I woke up early this morning. There is a chill in the air. It is cool enough to open the windows and to sit on the patio and have a cup of tea. The fresh air smells so wonderful after the stale air conditioned air I’ve been breathing all summer.

There are tomatoes on my little potted tomato plants! Not a lot of them, but enough to give me a little of that wonderful juicy fresh garden tomato taste that you just can’t get from a store. I feel grateful for these beautiful little plants and the pollinators who visited my porch to help create this plump red fruit. I love the soft fuzziness of the vines and the lively fresh tomato scent on my fingers after I touch them.

Tomatoes on the vine

It’s Friday. We will be seeing my parents tomorrow. I feel happy and content.

I made this pizza for lunch the other day. It is such a good pizza to make this time of year when the harvest starts coming in. If I have just a few cherry tomatoes, then I like to use them on pizza to really highlight their pretty color and juicy flavor.

Hummus Havarti Harvest Pizza

Hummus Havarti Harvest Pizza

The smoked Havarti cheese was a gift from Dofino cheese. It is a creamy, soft, smoky cheese that goes so wonderfully on so many things. I’m not giving amounts here because I was making a little individual-sized pizza, but you can easily scale it up to make a full-size pizza for your family.

  • Pizza crust (I used my Zucchini Asiago Whole Wheat Flatbread)
  • Hummus
  • Smoked Havarti cheese, shredded
  • Fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Chopped cucumber
  • Avocado, pitted, peeled, chopped
  • Fresh dill, snipped (or a sprinkle of dried dill would do in a pinch)

Heat the flatbread briefly in the oven at 425, then spread with a thick layer of hummus. Top with the shredded Havarti cheese and the halved cherry tomatoes and then pop it the oven to bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Add a tumble of fresh cucumber and  avocado, then sprinkle with dill and enjoy!

Hummus Havarti Harvest Pizza

This recipe was shared at Katherine Martinelli’s Tomato BloghopFoodie Friends FridayFit & Fabulous FridaysScrumptious Sunday and Weekend Potluck.


Pesto Shrimp Mini-Pizzas

with fresh grape tomatoes, goat cheese & pinons

Pesto Shrimp Mini Pizzas with Goat Cheese & Pinons

If I had to choose one favorite pizza topping, this would be it. Shrimp, pesto, and goat cheese with fresh tomato and pinons are such an elegant combination of flavors, and if you have pizza crusts (or english muffins!) and pesto on hand, they are so quick and simple to put together.

I made these little mini-pizza crusts for the party last weekend, but we didn’t actually eat them at the party. I served some to my friends at the “after-the-party” party, though, and they were very well received. And now my daughter is loving having the little mini-crusts on hand. I’ve made her mini-pizzas for dinner a couple times this week already. I think this mini pizza craze might become a regular thing at my house. They are even better than the individual-sized crusts I normally make because they’re minis! Small, bite-sized food is just so fun.

When the basil is rampant, I make pesto & freeze it so I always have some on hand. I pretty much always have some pizza crusts in the freezer too.

Pesto Shrimp Mini Pizzas with Grape Tomatoes, Goat Cheese & Pinons

Pesto Shrimp Mini Pizzas with Grape Tomatoes, Goat Cheese & Pinons

The great thing about these pizzas is you can pre-make everything and keep it in the freezer, so you can have little gourmet pizzas on the table in no time.

  • Pre-made mini pizza crusts (recipe below) or English muffins … or a regular-sized pizza crust if you want to make this as a bigger pizza. You could certainly do this as a grilled pizza too …
  • Pesto (my pesto recipe is here)
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • Frozen, pre-cooked shrimp, thawed
  • Fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • Pinons (pine nuts)

Spread the pizza crusts with pesto and crumbled goat cheese. Top with lots of shrimp and mini tomato halves. Sprinkle with pinons. Bake at 400 for about 10 – 12 minutes or until the nuts are toasted and light brown and the pizzas are good and hot.

Pesto Shrimp Mini Pizzas with Tomato, Goat Cheese, and Pinons

Beer Pizza Crusts

  • 1 cup beer (I used Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat this time)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup unbleached white whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Put all ingredients into the bread machine and put it on the dough setting. When the dough is done, divide it into 24 balls of roughly equal size. I did this by cutting the dough in half, then cutting each one in half again, then each piece into three and then cutting each of those into half. Use cornmeal on your work surface to keep the balls from sticking. Shape each ball into a disc shape, set on a flat pizza peel or cutting board dusted with cornmeal, cover with a towel and let rest about 5 – 10 minutes. Then gently stretch each one into a slightly larger disc, cover and let rest until they have risen to the desired size. Bake at 425 for about 10 minutes or until a light golden brown in color. You can throw them in a bag and freeze them at this point and pull them out as needed for snacks or dinner.

This recipe was featured at Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen Seafood Frenzy Fridays.

This recipe was shared at Thursday’s TreasuresTastetastic Thursday, KM’s Seafood BloghopFoodie Fridays, and Manic Monday.


Peach Berry Prosciutto Pesto Pizza

with Gorgonzola, Mozzarella & Havarti Cheeses

Peach Berry Prosciutto Pesto Pizza

My friends told me about this Peach Pizza they’ve been making that they just LOVE … so of course I had to try it. Last night the crazy wind we’ve been having finally died down enough to light up the grill so my daughter and I decided we should grill up some pizza.

Peach Berry Prosciutto Pesto Pizza

Peach Berry Prosciutto Pesto Pizza

Adapted from Eating Well

  • Pizza dough (I included my recipe below)

Toppings (per individual-sized pizza)

  • 1/4 cup of Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup of shredded Havarti cheese
  • 1/3 cup Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 fresh peach (or nectarine), sliced
  • Thinly sliced sweet onion
  • A couple tablespoons of pesto (store-bought or homemade … my recipe for pesto is here)
  • 1 thin slice of prosciutto, torn into pieces
  • A small handful of berries (I used mulberries, but I think blueberries would be beautiful with this too)
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons pinons (pine nuts)

For garnish/topping after cooking:

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Prepare the pizza dough and light up the grill.
  2. Mix the cheeses together in a bowl and prepare/gather the rest of the toppings and place them close to the grill so you’re ready to top the pizza crust as soon as the first side is cooked.
  3. If you’re using a charcoal grill, arrange the coals and make a hot spot for the pizza crusts to cook. I piled the coals up on one side of the grill, leaving the other side empty to make a cooler spot for the toppings to melt. (On a gas grill, turn one area up to high and another on low.)
  4. Slide one of the prepared crusts onto the hot side of the grill, cover and let cook for 5-10 minutes, checking it periodically. (I was busy with other stuff and charred the bottom a little … oops! Shhh … don’t tell anyone, maybe they won’t notice …)
  5. Once the crust is browned on the bottom, using a spatula, flip the crust over onto the cool side of the grill so the “raw” side is down. Spread the crust with pesto, sprinkle with most of the cheese, arrange the other toppings on there, then add a bit more cheese on top.
  6. Cover and let cook another 5 – 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the grill (slide it onto a pizza pan or cutting board), sprinkle with some fresh basil leaves and a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar (if you like), cut into slices and enjoy!

Peach Berry Prosciutto Pesto Pizza

Italian Tomato Pizza Crust

Using tomato juice as the liquid gives the crusts a beautiful orange color.

  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup unbleached white whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Put all ingredients into the bread machine and put it on the dough setting. When the dough is done, divide it into four balls. Shape each ball into a disc shape, cover with a towel and let rest about 5 – 10 minutes. On a clean, flat surface sprinkled with cornmeal, roll out the dough for your crust with a rolling pin. Cover the crusts with a towel until you’re ready to cook them.

This recipe was shared at Newlyweds Recipe Linky, Cast Party Wednesday, Thursday’s Treasures and Tastetastic Thursday.


Wild Mushroom Grilled Pizza

Wild Mushroom Grilled Pizza

The last time I grilled pizza, I decided to do a simple wild mushroom ‘za. Just cuz I had some wild shrooms from my wonderful dad. Have I mentioned how much he spoils me? I am so so very lucky …

The mushrooms were fantastic, but really the best part about this pizza was the crust. The crust had such a wonderful flavor, probably because I used the liquid from cooking up the morel mushrooms along with some tomato juice for the liquid in the dough. Morel mushrooms are full of moisture. When you cook them up, the moisture releases and you end up with a sort of soupy mushroom mixture. You can keep cooking to reduce the juice, or you can save that delicious mushroom juice for soup … or pizza crust. I made two pizzas with this crust: this mushroom one for me, and a cheese one for my daughter. I still had some dough left, so I let it rise while I was cooking the pizzas, then baked it up as “flatbread” … my son gobbled those up in no time.

Wild Mushroom Grilled Pizza

Wild Mushroom Grilled Pizza

  • Pizza dough
  • Wild mushrooms (I used morels & shelf mushrooms, but others will work as well)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt)
  • Your favorite pizza or pasta sauce
  • Mozzarella or Italian blend of cheeses
  • Fresh chives, garlic scapes, snipped, & fresh basil leaves

Heat a frying pan to medium high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl about in the pan, then add the mushrooms and garlic and sautee for a few minutes. Season to taste with Red Robin seasoning. If the mushrooms get dry, add some white wine and cover for a couple minutes till the mushrooms are soft and moist. Pour off any excess mushroom juice (or wine) to use in your pizza crust.

Make the dough for the pizza crust (see recipe below).

When the dough is ready, light up the coals on the grill, and when they are hot, pile the coals up on one side of the grill, leaving the other side empty to make a not-as-hot spot for the toppings to melt. (If you are using a gas grill, heat up one area to very hot and a lower heat area for melting the cheese.)

Arrange your mushrooms and cheese right next to the grill so you’re ready to top the pizza when the crust is ready.

Put the grate on the grill, and place a crust on the grill over the hot coals, cover and let it cook for 5-10 minutes, checking it periodically. The crust should start to bubble up a little and get brown on the bottom. Once it is nicely browned on the bottom, flip it over onto the cooler side of the grill, add the toppings and cover the grill again till the cheese is melted. (For some more pics showing how to grill pizza, see my Grilled Thai Chicken Pizza post.)

Top the pizza with chives, scapes and fresh basil, cut and enjoy!

Italian Mushroom Tomato Pizza Crust

  • 1 cup liquid (I used about 1/4 cup juice from cooking the mushrooms, 1/2 cup tomato juice, and filled the rest of the cup with water)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup unbleached white whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Put all ingredients into the bread machine and put it on the dough setting. When the dough is done, divide it into four balls. Shape each ball into a disc shape, cover with a towel and let rest about 5 – 10 minutes. On a clean, flat surface sprinkled with cornmeal, roll out the dough for your crust with a rolling pin. Cover and let rest until the grill is ready and you have all your ingredients prepped and ready. The trick to grilling pizza is to have all the toppings ready to add to the pizza quickly as soon as you flip the dough over.

Wild Mushroom Grilled Pizza

This recipe was shared at Weekend Potluck, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, and Thursday’s Treasures.


Pesto Salmon Pizza with Capers & Feta

Pesto Salmon Pizza with Capers & Feta Cheese

I’m guest blogging over at Nutri-Savvy today! Lauren challenged me to create a recipe with a set of unusual ingredients for her Mix it Up Mondays. The list included salmon, capers, tomatoes, kale, and feta … that sounded to me like it would make a perfect pizza!

And it did.

Pop over to Nutri-Savvy for the recipe.

Pesto Salmon Pizza with Capers & Feta Cheese

This recipe was shared at Mealtime Mondays.


Italian Garlic Pizza Crusts

Boboli Style Pizza Crust

This is another one of those recipes I’ve been making for years. It’s a Boboli-style pizza crust that is delicious plain … or topped with just about anything you like to put on a pizza. My son loves to eat this garlicky Italian “flatbread” plain, with no toppings. Sometimes my daughter and I will slice one into wedges and dip it in olive oil. I like to have a few in the freezer ready to top whenever we need a quick meal. This time I made them for my daughter’s birthday party. We thought the girls would enjoy making their own pizzas. It was a great hit, and so fun to see what each girl put on her pizza. One girl took a big sniff of the crust, exclaimed she could eat a whole one just like this, and took a few bites out of it before she put the toppings on her pizza. It was really cute.

Here’s the party setup with all the toppings set out. There’s just one problem with this setup: not enough meat. I use so many vegies on my pizzas and just a tiny bit of meat, I forget how much meat other people like on their pizza. We ran out of sausage and pepperoni. (Luckily I had some more in the freezer!)

Pizza Party

Italian Garlic (Boboli-Style) Pizza Crust

Adapted from Food.com. Makes 3 normal-size crusts or 6 individual-size crusts.

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups water (plus extra if needed)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Put the ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed. (It doesn’t have to be in exact order, just make sure to bury the garlic under the flour.)
  2. Put the bread machine on the dough setting and press start. A few minutes after starting, check the dough. If it’s not sticking together properly, add a little extra water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough starts to form into a ball.
  3. When the dough cycle is complete, divide the dough into several equal parts. I’m making individual crusts for a teenage birthday party, so I divided mine into 6 parts. This makes a pretty good-sized individual crust. For smaller ones, divide into 8 pieces. For normal-sized pizza, divide into 3 parts.
  4. Shape each piece of dough into a disc shape, cover and let rest for a few minutes.
  5. One at a time (keeping the rest of the pieces covered) on a clean surface dusted with cornmeal, with a rolling pin, roll each piece of the dough into a circle. Mine turned out to be about 8 inches in diameter.
  6. If you have a pizza stone, set each round on a flat surface dusted with cornmeal that will allow you to easily slide the crust onto the stone. I used the back of my cookie sheets and a couple cutting boards. If not, put the pizza crusts on cookie sheets or pizza pans. Spray the crusts with cooking spray, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until the crusts are as thick as you want them. I wasn’t sure how thick the girls would want their crusts so I went for a medium rise; I think it took about 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425, prick the crusts with a fork to keep them from puffing up in awkward spots, and bake until the crusts are golden brown. You can put these crusts in a bag and freeze them for future meals. They will keep well for a month or two.

Boboli Style Pizza Crust

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty TuesdaysFrugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Thursday’s Treasures, and Katherine Martinelli’s Bread Bloghop.


Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Confetti Pizza

Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Fiesta Pizza

Yesterday was another dance competition day. Dance competition days are always SO busy … I’m surprised I had time to do anything with food. But I did! While my daughter was getting ready, I had a little time to make myself some lunch. I pulled out a pizza crust from the freezer (one of my sunflower rosemary flatbreads) and started topping it. I went a little crazy with the toppings, but it was fun. And filling. And delicious. A fiesta on a pizza. I had to stop in the middle of it to go help my girl with her hair. Then I had to get my sewing machine out to fix the strap on her costume. But somehow I managed to get my belly happy and full before we left, and that was good.

I even found time to make lunch and a little food care package for my daughter to eat at the competition … they never seem to have any healthy food at dance competitions. I packed her a PB&J on a fresh bun, a package of strawberries and an apple … it was a VERY good thing to have along. Everyone else was eating greasy, over-salted popcorn, donuts, candy, soda and brownies — or fast food they ran out and bought. Some of these dancers were there for over 12 hours. Next time we decided we need to bring a cooler full of food so our kids have something good to eat.

Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Confetti Pizza

Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Confetti Pizza

Makes one individual-sized pizza. If you want a bigger pizza, double the ‘sauce’

  • 1 oz. light cream cheese
  • 1/4 of a ripe avocado
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of salsa
  • 1 pizza crust
  • Black beans, cooked
  • Corn, cooked
  • Red onions, thinly sliced
  • Finely chopped jalapeno (or bell pepper, chopped, if you don’t want it so spicy)
  • Chopped fresh tomato
  • Goat cheese crumbles
  • A few slices of sharp cheddar cheese
  • Slices of avocado
  • Green onions, snipped

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, smash the avocado with a fork, then mix with the cream cheese and salsa. Spread it all over the pizza crust. If you have any left, use it as a dip with corn chips (oh SO good … Or you could just make extra for dip).
  2. Top with black beans, corn, red onions, jalapeno and tomato.
  3. Dot the pizza with goat cheese crumbles, then add bits of cheddar cheese here and there.
  4. Bake (on a pizza stone, if you have one) at 450 for about 10 – 15 minutes or until the pizza is nice and hot all the way through and the cheddar cheese is melted.
  5. Top with slices of avocado and green onion … and cilantro, if you have it. I didn’t. I wanted some, but they were all out at the store.

Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Confetti Pizza

This recipe was shared at Everyday Mom’s Meals, Talent Show TuesdaysThursday’s Treasures and Recipe of the Week-Secret Ingredient: CornKatherine Martinelli’s Bean Blog Hop and Cinco de Mayo Fiesta.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 570 other followers