Cup O Pizza by Ben

Ben is Matt’s cousin on his mother’s side.  Ben and Matt together in the same room is EPIC.  They are so funny, witty and pretty darn charming.  I cannot explain the dynamic between these two but not time nor distance will ever change the connection these two have.  Ben lives in St.Augustine with his lovely wife Beth and their “cutest kid ever” Zoey.  He knows I love to get new ideas and recipes!  So he texted me…then he had to email me because the texts alone don’t work for me.  I need more information…actually I require more information when I am following someone’s else “fly by the seat of their pants’ recipe”.

Cup O Pizza by Ben

Ben said he calls this dish Cup O Pizza from a movie scene in The Jerk with Steve Martin.  I think that it’s fitting but Matt had to analyze the fact that it is not in an actual cup…I don’t care…it works for me!  Let’s call it a giant cup!  Or heck, serve it in a cup like Ben suggested!

Ingredients:

1 pound chicken or turkey sausage, removed from casing (I had spicy Turkey but use what you like)

1 4.5-ounce bag pepperoni (I actually had Turkey Pepperoni….which I don’t tell my peeps…don’t judge)

1 24-ounce jar of your favorite marinara sauce

1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional…not in Ben’s original plans…I am a rebel!)

1 pound fresh mozzarella cut into 2-inches cubes

1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1/2 pound small pasta (cooked al dente)

1 container store bought pizza dough

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh basil

1 tablespoon fresh oregano (I had to skip because I forgot to buy some)

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

How to:

Preheat your oven to 415 degrees F.

In a large Dutch oven brown your turkey or chicken sausage breaking it up as it cook into large chunks.  Cook until no longer pink.  Add your pepperoni, mushrooms, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil and hot sauce.  Stir to cover your sausage and pepperoni with all the spices.  Add your marinara sauce and combine well.  Add your mozzarella pieces, all but about 1/2 cup (keep that to the side)  and your pasta, stir everything well and put in your preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Remove dish from your oven and top with the remaining cheese.  Using your best tools (your hands) stretch out  and shape your pizza dough to fit over everything.

the sauce is coming together quite nicely

more cheese please….then here comes the topper :)

Drizzle the olive oil over the dough, add your fresh herbs and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese.  Put back in your oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

the dough…I love pizza dough!

oh my goodness the smell is amazing!

Serve and Enjoy!

Dig in and enjoy!

Printer friendly: Cup O Pizza By Ben

Note: Ben says you could shred your mozzarella cheese as well but you won’t have lovely chunks of cheese floating through your dish…which we all know would be very very sad!

Another note: Bear and Matt felt it was a bit too cheesy, Sunshine and I didn’t…you may reduce if you want…but it’s a “Pizza”…pizzas have a lot of cheese, don’t they?

Peace and Cups,

Isabelle

Please come check out my recipe also on this lovely site:

Alfredo Pizza or how to keep Matt happy!

This is a pizza I like to make when I know it’s time to make Matt feel special.

My husband is a very straight shooter.  Black and white kind of guy.  He also has a great sense of humor.  I am the goofy one…he’s not at all goofy…unless he is under anesthesia…then he’s really goofy.

I am always a nervous wreck if Matt has to have surgery.  I get really crazy and my mind is but a blur.  This will sound extremely selfish but I wouldn’t be allowed to be the free spirit kind of gal I am without him.  He works extremely hard, not only at the Fire Department but also with his side businesses.  I, let’s face it, keep busy 24-7 but they would have to lock me up in a crazy house if I had to work a 9-5 job…especially in an office.  See post: Why I will never be a superstar.  All these “facts” are also applicable for me in an office setting!

So, Matt had to have a colonoscopy, well I demanded he get one.  On the day of, in my usual Isabelle fashion, I was a wreck.  They (the medical savants) take him away for what seemed like hours.  He finally comes back to me.  He is quite out of it but somewhat relaxed.  Then the doc comes in, laughing…laughing a lot.  He looks at me and says: “your husband insisted I tell you that while he was about to fall asleep and I start the procedure the song “I like it that way” by the Backstreet Boys was playing on the radio in the operating room”! OMG, I couldn’t stop laughing.  Yes, when my husband is under anesthesia, he has been known to flirt with nurses, demand milkshakes, invite strangers to our house….etc…and now he has found the perfect song for a colonoscopy!

Here’s to an healthy colon!

Although I am unsure this pizza is what is needed for colon health but it does keep our relationship healthy!

Alfredo Pizza

Ingredients:

1 package store bought pizza dough (or homemade what ever rocks your world)

Olive Oil

1 tablespoon dried oregano (or to taste)

1 tablespoon dried basil (or to taste)

1 teaspoon dried pepper flakes

3/4 cup low fat Alfredo Sauce

2 cups shredded chicken (rotisserie, baked, grilled, etc…whatever you have on hand)

1 cup sliced mushrooms (any type works)

1/4 cup sliced pepperoncini (you could also do jalapenos but it will be SPICY!)

2 cups Italian style shredded cheese (one bag should do it)

How to:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

On a large baking sheet spread your pizza dough and drizzle with olive oil (see pic), you will need approximately 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Sprinkle your dry oregano, basil and pepper flakes.  “Par-Bake” in your preheated oven for 5 minutes.

the olive oil

then the herbs and the dried peppers....mmmm smells good already!

Remove from the oven and add your Alfredo sauce.  Followed with the chicken, mushrooms, pepperoncini, finally the cheese.  Bake in your preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until nice and golden.  I also like put the pizza under the broiler for 2 minutes to really give the cheese that crunchiness we love.

the alfredo sauce...the pic is kind of weird but trust me the taste is great

then came the chicken...or I added the chicken!?

mushrooms...are you bored yet?

OK, FINALLY....the pepperoncini and the cheese! :)

beautiful golden color and the smell is amazing!

I know this is not the invention of the century but believe me when I tell you; it is delicious.  Also, I know it’s somewhat unusual to par-bake the crust but otherwise it stays very mushy and I don’t like mushy crust.

this was the only leftover piece, I was lucky enough to take another pic!

Printer Friendly:Alfredo Pizza

Peace and Backstreet Boys Baby!

Isabelle

Recipe linked here as well:

Lucky Pizza Bread

This is a twist on pizza/calzone.  Aunt Joyce (sassy pork) is also the one who gave me this recipe.  As I said before Aunt Joyce gives you a recipe like she’s telling you a fairy tale, there are never measurements.  So wanting to share this with you, I had to actually pay attention to what I was doing while making the dish.  I love to just hear recipes and then “make” them my own.  But I do understand that when sharing a recipe it helps if you have actual measurements.

Not to sound too old fashioned but this dish says “guys” to me….should a dirty martini say girl?  I don’t know but time will tell!

Ingredients:

1 jar favorite marinara sauce; yours, your mother in law’s, your mom’s, the store… (you need about 3 cups)

Pizza dough (store bought is perfectly acceptable)

1 lb turkey or pork sausage spicy or mild (I know choices-choices)

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 3/4 cups of cheese

1 tablespoon of fresh basil

1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon of water (egg wash)

oregano

Salt and Pepper

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

This is easy so I’ll try to make it sound like it’s the recipe to change the world!  Not really but I’m always hopeful!

Oven at 400F

On a large cookie sheet stretch out your pizza dough, you may want to sprinkle some semolina flour or corn meal or even spray with cooking spray on your sheet so it won’t stick.  Let this rest….meanwhile back at the ranch…

Start heating up your marinara sauce, I usually divide into 2 pans because Mr. Man and I like it spicy and the girls don’t.  Now I must stress to you that a great sauce will make this dish over the top great.  I always take the time to add fresh basil, grated fresh garlic and crushed red peppers to ours.  It’s truly the simple things that will add flavor.  Cook your sauce for 15 minutes at least to release all the flavors.

Cook your sausage, breaking it into small pieces, not too small because you want to actually have some texture in your bread.  Salt and Pepper to taste.  Spread your sausage on your dough leaving a 1″ border all around.  Spread your mushrooms then 1 1/2 cup of cheese.  Sprinkle 1 big tablespoon of oregano and basil.  Finally, take your egg wash and paint the border of the bread (where there should be no meat or anything else for that matter)  Here comes the fun part, time to fold.  I always make a mess so here is the easiest way (for me) I found.  Take one side ( starting with the narrow side of your dough) and fold it about 5 inches, then keep folding until you get a roll.  Turn your roll to fit best in your pan.  I like to put the seem under while cooking.  Paint with remaining egg wash, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of oregano, and last 1/4 cup of cheese.

Here is a little picture story of the events:

Sausage goes first:

Then all the toppings:

Roll your pizza bread:

Bake this in the oven for 20-30 minutes.  Check after 20 minutes.

Serve this with your marinara sauce, Mr. Man loves to have a big slice (or 2) of the bread covered with the sauce, a sprinkle of crushed red peppers and some Parmesan cheese.  The kids like their sauce on the side or under the bread!  I am here to please so I serve it the way you want to eat…usually.

Here is my way:

This is an easy change from regular pizza…not that there is anything wrong with regular pizza.  You really could add what ever you like to the inside of the bread; green pepper, banana peppers, pepperonis…limitless!

Printer Friendly: Lucky Pizza Bread

Peace and pizza,

Isabelle

note: my recipe is also featured on Coupon Cookin’ : Tasty Traditions

Dreaming of a pizza

This is odd, I am not a big pizza lover.  I do like it when it’s the artisanal/rustic type but I won’t go out of my way to get it.  Matt (yep Mr. Man himself) now he’s a pizza fanatic.  Loves the stuff, wants me to make it whenever I can.  It is always the first thing that comes out of his mouth when I am unsure about what to cook for dinner.

Here is the bizarre part, I had a dream about a pizza I ate about 2 years ago, could even be 3!  My friend Chris (and her husband Shawn) invited us over for dinner and she had this delicious pizza she served as an appetizer.  It was so different and so good.  Evidently I never got over it.  I did ask where she found the recipe, I looked it up, printed it and in all my smartitude (whatever) I lost it!

But have no fear, I remember it, my dream told me so: gorgonzola , roasted onions, walnuts and red grapes.  I know for some of you this may sound like such a weird combination but it is delicious.  The tartness of the cheese, the sweetness of the onions and the fresh crunch of the grapes, man, it worked!

I decided I had to have it.  I didn’t want my dream to turn into a nightmare.  I am very careful about stuff like that.  I do value my sleep very much.

Dreamy pizza:

1 container of store-bought pizza (I used the thin crust 11oz or make your own which I do sometime)

1/2 cup of cream cheese (let this come to room temperature, much easier to “handle”)

1/2 cup of gorgonzola cheese

Salt & Pepper

1 cup of seedless red grapes

2 onions thinly sliced

1/2 cup of toasted walnuts roughly chopped

First you must roast your onions.  Simply put 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan and let them sweat it out for about 15 minutes until golden and soft.  Should look a little something like this:

slowly cooked and full of flavor

Next cook your pizza dough, I like to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes prior to putting it in the oven.  This helps if it “springs” back on you.  You can then easily stretch it out again. I always put fresh ground pepper and drizzle olive oil. I have also put some dried herbs but not in this case, I didn’t want to mess with the flavors.  I cooked mine at 410F for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it, you don’t want burnt pizza!

exciting pizza dough! :)

While your pizza is cooking, time to mix your gorgonzola and cream cheese, add some salt & pepper, done!  It will be pretty thick but we’ll fix that once it hits that hot pizza!  Put your cheese mixture in “blobs” all around the pizza, let it sit for 30 seconds and it will start to soften, then you can spread it around.  Put this back in the oven for about 1-2 minutes to melt the cheeses.  Now time to add the sweet roasted delicious onions, scatter them around, nothing needs to be perfect, just let it go!  Then you put the toasted walnuts.  I should point out that to toast your walnuts simply put them in a pan on medium heat constantly watching and moving them around for about 5-10 minutes.  Don’t leave them alone, burnt walnuts tasted awful!  And the finishing touch: grapes, again just scatter evenly around your pizza.

Serve!

Time to dig in!

Isn’t it pretty?  I think I could have eaten the whole thing.  But I shared…I’m nice like that! ;)

Here is the printer friendly version: Dreamy Pizza

Note:  I made this the other night, 4 of us shared it, but for the sake of research I just made half of one…I didn’t share.

Peace and Dreams,

Isabelle

Note: find my pizza on here as well:

Sunday Supper