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Garlic Bread Pizza Crust

10 Apr

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I’m certain I’ve said it before, but Friday pizza night is a huge staple in our home. Our family did it growing up, I’ve continued it in my marriage, and now I can’t wait to share the tradition with our little one who will be here in THREE WEEKS! Pardon me while this blows my mind…still can’t believe we’ll be meeting our baby so soon!

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I’ve used the same homemade pizza crust recipe for the past 3+ years and have been totally happy with it, so you know it’d take an awesome new recipe to make me change my ways. I saw this recipe for garlic bread pizza crust and my eyes were sold by the delicious photos alone. It’s a pretty straightforward recipe, but is smothered in extra butter, garlic, and parmesan at the end. Ya know, if that’s your thing. I followed the full garlic extreme recipe the first time I made it and was in heaven, and then tried it again without the extra additions. (photo at the top is the toned down version, photo below is the full blown garlic bread type) The simple version was of course a bit healthier but still full of flavor and has a perfect texture. And as you can see below, the full recipe has the extra buttery, cheesy, garlic blasted goodness around the edges which is decadent and a nice indulgence once in a while. The recipe is meant to make one pizza – we don’t like crazy thick crust so I actually divide it in two get double the pizza out of one batch of dough. And as you can see, it’s still not super thin!

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In fact, this two for one has been a big time saver! On one of my days off, when I have the time to make a full batch of dough, I’ll divide it in two and then freeze them for the next two Fridays. SO easy! To do this, after letting the dough rise for the 1 1/2 hours, take two plastic zipper bags (quart size works for me) and spray the inside of the bag with olive oil or non-stick spray. Divide the dough into two, put one half into each bag, and pop them in the freezer. Then, just put the dough into the fridge for about a day before you’re going to use (I transfer mine on Thursday nights) to defrost. Then while you’re prepping your pizza ingredients on the day of, take the defrosted dough out of the fridge to come to room temp, roll, top, bake, and enjoy!

Garlic Bread Pizza Crust

Ingredients:
1 1/8 cups warm water (100-105 degrees)
3 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 Tbso honey
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil
Whatever pizza sauce and toppings you want!

Optional – for extra garlic bread flavor:
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, pressed or very finely minced
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

Yield: 2 pizza crusts

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey, and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour, salt, garlic powder, and dried basil, stirring with a spoon or mixing with a dough hook until the dough comes together but it still sticky. Work the additional 1/2 cup flour (you don’t need to use all if it is not needed) in to the dough, kneading it with the dough hook or using your hands on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover bowl with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, form it into your desired shape on a pizza/baking pan. Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes.

Continue to make your pizza with your desired toppings. Bake the pizza for 23-25 minutes (or longer if needed, depending on your toppings), or until crust and cheese are both golden. Let the pizza set for a minute, then slice and serve!

If going all out with the garlic bread flavors:
While the dough is rising again, melt 3 Tbsp of butter. Mix it with the garlic and 1 Tbsp of parmesan cheese. Before adding your pizza toppings, using a spoon or pastry brush, douse the outside edges with the butter and garlic mixture. You can spread the butter all over, just make sure to focus on the edges. Use it all up! While the pizza is baking, melt remaining butter and combine with the last Tbsp of parmesan. Remove the pizza from the oven and immediately brush the outside edges with parmesan butter, using it all up. Sprinkle a bit of parmesan over the top and serve!

Source: How Sweet Eats

Thai Chicken Pizza

19 Jul

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Friday has always been pizza day in my home – we had pizza for dinner every Friday night growing up and I’ve still carried on that tradition. I bookmarked this recipe for Thai Chicken Pizza a while back and knew it was the perfect fit for pizza Friday of Asian week.

I always use my favorite homemade crust (I’ll post that recipe one of these days!) but you can use store bought or whatever recipe you like. Just a tip, because my crust used to sometimes be too soft and flimsy: to get a crispier crust, I actually bake the rolled out dough by itself for 3-4 minutes before adding the toppings.

The sweet chili sauce makes for a nice tangy base. Then lay out a layer of the sliced zucchini and load on the cheese, peppers, shallot, and chicken. If you’re in a meatless mood, you could always throw in some other vegetables – I think some mushrooms would be a nice addition! When the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly, take it out to cool for a minute or two, then top with some chopped cilantro, slice, serve, and enjoy!

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Thai Chicken Pizza

Ingredients:
Pizza dough (store bought or your favorite homemade recipe)
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1/2 shallot, diced
1/2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2-3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Yield: 2-4 servings

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Roll out the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch round. (If you want a crispier crust, bake the crust alone for 3-4 minutes before topping) Spread the chili sauce over the crust in an even layer. Layer with the zucchini, cheese, shallot, peppers, and shredded chicken.

Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 12-14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Sprinkle with cilantro before slicing and serving.

Source: Slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats

Home from Rome

16 Apr

Hello everyone! Sorry for my absence lately – since getting home from our trip to Italy, life has been busy! We had an amazing time, and besides the beautiful religious aspects of the trip, the next best part was the delicious food! (is that a surprise?) We ate plenty of pizza, pasta, and of course, gelato! I could write for weeks about all that we did, and feel free to ask me about it, but here are some photo highlights to give you a taste of what we saw and ate.

cafe photos
(left to right: Nutella focaccia. Sweet shop in Assisi. Cannoli. Prosciutto, mozzarella, and arugula sandwich. Latte and a Nutella croissant. Salami and mozzarella sandwich. Sausage and mushroom pizza. Bakery with HUGE meringues. Fresh focaccia bread from the brick oven.)

rome collage
(left to right: St. Peter’s Basilica. The Colosseum. St. John Lateran. The Pantheon. Pope Francis! The Spanish Steps. St. Paul Outside the Walls. Trevi fountain. St. Mary Major.)

pasta collage
(left to right: Mezze maniche con chianti, speck e zucchini. Risotto radicchio e speck. Pasta cacio e pepe. Fregnacce con broccoli, speck e pecorino. Fusilli panna, funghi e salsiccia. Pasta carbonara. Pasta bolognese. Risotto ai funghi porcini. Gnocchi alla sorrentina.)

pisa florence siena assisi collage
(left to right: In Assisi: St. Francis Basilica. St. Clare Basilica. St. Mary of the Angels. In Pisa: The leaning tower (built as the bell tower for the cathedral!) The beautiful cathedral. The baptistry outside of the cathedral. In Florence and Siena: The cathedral in Florence. The gorgeous dome in the cathedral. The cathedral in Siena.)

gelato collage
(left to right: Strawberry and pistachio gelato. Banana and chocolate combo. Chocolate hazelnut. Dark chocolate. Chocolate rum from San Crispino. Mint chocolate. Kit Kat gelato. Coconut and chocolate combo. Tiramisu gelato – my favorite!)

While we had a great time and would love to visit again, it’s good to be back in Texas and cooking in my own kitchen. Stay tuned for some tasty things coming your way!

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Pizza

22 Jul

Not to toot my own horn, (do people still say that?) but this was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten. The tangy sauce, the smoky pulled pork, the sweet pineapple…simply delicious! I’ve decided that pizza is my favorite way to use leftovers. I remember several years ago, my younger brother and I made a “Thanksgiving leftover” pizza with turkey and cranberries. Sounds crazy, but it was strangely good!

Anyways, if you use the Hawaiian Pulled Pork recipe from a few days ago and have leftovers, I suggest you make this. I promise you will NOT be disappointed. And if you are, then I’ll eat the rest of your pizza.

(Also, you can use pre-made refrigerated pizza dough or make it homemade…I used my favorite easy homemade recipe that I’ll share later this week, I promise!)

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Pizza

Refrigerated pizza dough
1 cup leftover Hawaiian sauce (more or less, depending on preference)
1/2 can pineapple tidbits
1 cup leftover Hawaiian pulled pork
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly oil a pizza pan (if needed). Roll or stretch dough to fit the pan. Evenly coat the dough with the Hawaiian sauce, leaving a 1 inch border from the edge of the dough. Top with cheese, pulled pork, and pineapple. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the crust turns golden brown. Let it cool for a few minutes. Slice and serve.

Source: Adapted from The Food Network