Random Post – 50 States 50 Pizzas

I have been thinking about my posts.  I realize there are people out there that have no interest in making a pizza crust.  It is just too much work.  But…you could buy a Boboli Pizza Crust.  If you live in Green Bay (or anywhere else I am sure) you could find a fresh pizza crust.  If in Green Bay you could get the pizza crust at Festival Foods.  I suppose if I like you enough you could ask me :).

All you need is pizza crust and imagination.  Whatever you add to the crust is your bonus.  The ideas I have on this blog is just  a beginning.  You could use your imagination and add whatever you want to the pizza crust you are using.

I don’t want anyone to think there is no way they could make these pizzas.  There is definitely a way to make any pizza.  Also, where there is a will there is a way!!

Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving has always been a special time for me.  My parents made sure of that! Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, all about family and food!  When I was younger we would have mom, dad, my brothers and sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends come to our home. My mother would make the traditional turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and a random vegetable. My aunt would bring the pasta and meatballs. Another aunt baked delicious Italian cookies. There were plenty of desserts and refreshments. After dinner the adults would play cards or sit and chat.  There was always a flurry of activity and it was a very memorable time.  As I got older I would leave earlier and earlier to spend time with friends.  Now that I can reflect I realize I should have stayed much longer.

Just so you know my parents are the most wonderful parents any one could imagine.  Both hard workers who spent their lives working hard to give us (2 girls, 2 boys) everything we could possibly want or desire.  My parents are now living at an assisted living apartment.  A place much like you and I will end up living someday (no matter how old you are and if you are lucky).  Their house was just bought by a young couple.  All of my parents belongings are going to be sold, some will be kept (very few) or thrown away.  When I was talking to my 84 year old mom the other day she was pretty upset about her belongings not meaning much to us.  I let her know this; there is NOTHING in this world that is material that means more to me than the person I have grown up to be because of my mom and dad.  I am all about each of them and a little about me.  The “things” we accumulate mean nothing in the end.  It is what is in our heart and memories that matter.

For Thanksgiving this year I went back and forth about having a turkey, not having a turkey maybe a ham, blah, blah blah. I drove my husband and kids a little crazy 😉  Bottomline, we are going to have a traditional Thanksgiving, with some requested dishes by my wonderful husband and kids.   We will spend it together chowing down and chatting.  We will appreciate our love for each other and build on the fabulous memories my mom and dad have made for me and my family.

So, with that being said.  Remember your family and/or those who love you, build on your memories and never forget those amazing, special people in your life.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Fruit Pizza

To make this fruit pizza really easy you could use a pre-made sugar cookie product.  I don’t do that but I use this Sugar Cookie recipe:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or 2 sticks, softened
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1.  Cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar
2.  Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix together
3.  Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until combined
4.  Spread the dough (about 1/8″ thick) onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  I just press down with my hands.
5.  Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes
6.  Take out and let cool on cookie rack

While the big cookie is baking and cooling you can make the topping.

1 8oz package of softened cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix this together.  Prepare fruit of your choice.  When big cookie is cooled, top with cream cheese mixture, then top with fruit.  If you use bananas or apples which will brown you can use this glaze.  1/2 cup of preserves/jam & 1 Tablespoon of water.  Warm up on the stove in small pan.  When mixed together, brush on the fruit that will brown.  

I made this recipe tonight.  It is quick and painless, simple and delicious!



Banana Hazelnut Chocolate Pizza

We wanted to try something a little different.  Rachel chose the Banana Hazelnut Chocolate Pizza.  When making this pizza I went on Nutella’s website to see if they had any ideas.  I could not believe the Nutella recipes listed on this site!  I never thought you could do so much with Nutella.  Check it out; http://www.nutellausa.com

The way I made this pizza was with a NY Thin Crust recipe.  Before putting the crust in the oven I basted with butter. I then baked the crust at 500 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.  When I took it out I let it cool for about 5 minutes.  I then spread the Nutella on the crust.  After spreading the Nutella I placed the bananas all over the pizza.  Rachel said she liked it.  I am not a fan of Nutella so it didn’t work for me.  The only other person who tried it was Kenneth.  He brought the rest of it home. Rachel gave the okay for him to take it.  I guess Kenneth was really the only one who enjoyed this pizza.  And he REALLY enjoyed it!

50 States, 50 Pizzas – Oklahoma

Another successful Friday night.  This pizza is from Hideaway Pizza and it is called “Big Country”.  For this pizza I used the thin crust dough recipe.   The toppings were polish sausage, pepperoni, canadian bacon, mozzarella and cheddar cheese.  This pizza was okay for OK.  It was a lot of meat so not a personal favorite.  Kent and Kyle enjoyed this one.  The rest of us – not so much.  However, there is none left.  So, not so bad!

We also had a cheese pizza for the vegetarians or less adventurous.  Also, I made a Banana Hazlenut Chocolate pizza.  I will explain this pizza in a separate post.

Another Friday & State, come and gone!

Did you know…

Rosemary is my favorite herb this month.  I have used it on my pizza, roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, small amount in my latest tomato sauce!  You have to be careful though because it can be pretty powerful.  A little goes a long way.  I personally would prefer fresh over dried.  I remove the needles from the sprigs and chop away.  Here are a few facts about Rosemary;

Rosemary is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle like leaves.  Rosemary is a member of the mint family.  This herb is native to the Mediterranean region. It often grows wild on the windswept Mediterranean coast but is cultivated in many regions. Major producers for export are Yugoslavia, Spain, Portugal and France. It has a flavor and aroma akin to pine. The pungent taste lends itself easily to meats, breads and potatoes. The sprigs make a lovely garnish.

Finally, if you care to grow Rosemary here is a saying I will leave with you; If Rosemary grows vigorously in a family’s garden, it means a woman is head of the household!  😀

Simple Spinach Salad

This is way too easy!  I need quick, flavorful dishes to make when I get home from work.  This worked well for me.  I made bacon cheese burgers (for the meat eaters), french fries (out of the Ore Ida bag) and this salad.   Enjoy!

6 slices of bacon, chopped (you can use pancetta too)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped (you could use scallions or onion)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 bunch of spinach (about 10 ounces)
Salt and Pepper

In a medium skillet over medium heat cook bacon to your liking.  I made it slightly crispy.  Transfer to paper towels to drain.  In the same skillet (I did not use the bacon drippings.  I had to make this salad so Eric could eat it too.) If you don’t mind you could add the olive oil to some of the bacon drippings. I ended up cleaning the frying pan and added 2 Tablespoons olive oil and the shallot.  Saute for 2-3 minutes.  To the sauteed shallots, add sugar and cook for a minute.  Then add the balsamic vinegar and mix together for 1-2 minutes.

I put the dressing over the spinach and mixed well.  If I had strawberries I would have added those too.  What about a chopped pear or apple? I put the bacon on the side for the family members who wanted to add bacon to their salad.

This was a light, savory, sweet salad.  Simple and delicious!

(Courtesy of Rachel Ray with some revision by me)

Butter & Balsamic Ravioli

This was very tasty too!

1 package of fresh ravioli, any flavor (I used cheese filled)
3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 handfuls grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (All I had was Parmigiano)
Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley (I used fresh.  You could use any herb you want.  Next time I will use basil, my favorite!)

Cook ravioli according to package instructions.  (Tip; you know they are done when they are floating on top of water)   When done drain in colander. While the raviolis are cooking take a skillet and add butter over low to medium heat.  When the butter has browned (I stirred constantly so I could see the color changing to a golden light brown)add  the cooked raviolis.  You will turn them in the butter to heat through.  I lightly browned some of the raviolis.   It takes about 2-3 minutes.  You then add the vinegar and cook 2-3 minutes longer so you can glaze the ravioli.  The vinegar will thicken slightly.  Add the cheese, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and serve.

Very flavorful! I personally will use less parsley next time.  Another simple and delicious dish.

(Courtesy of Rachel Ray)