Category Archives: Pizza

Pizza Pasta Salad

Who’s ready to start making salads of all kinds, fire up the bbq, and sit out on the deck in the warm spring sun?  *Raises both hands and waves them frantically around like a maniac*

Great, well let’s get to it then!

I love pizza.  I also love pasta.  So combining the two seems like a pretty darn good idea, dontcha think?  You do?? I’m so glad we think alike! :)

This is a Kraft recipe.  I don’t make many of their recipes because I find that they rely a little too much on convenience products for my taste.  A recipe that starts off with a box of Kraft Dinner? No thanks! 

But as I was looking through a stack of old what’s cooking magazines the other day, my eyes alighted on this pizza pasta salad recipe. 

It sounded really good.  I had (mostly) all the ingredients.  It was not overladen with convenience products. So I made it!  How’s that for short and to the point? ;)

The ingredients in this salad really make me long for summer.  I can’t wait to have a big, bushy basil plant growing wildly on the back deck again.  Luckily, I did have some that I’d tucked away in the freezer last summer that I was able to use.  If you don’t have any fresh basil, just sprinkle in some dried, it’ll be just fine :)

And don’t be afraid to add other favorite pizza ingredients like bell pepper and red onion.

Here’s my slightly adapted version. I hope y’all give this a try and enjoy it!  Until next time, happy cooking :)

Pizza Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups medium shell pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced or chopped pepperoni
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing

Directions:

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

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Filed under Pasta, Pizza, Salads

Tuscan Chicken Pizza

I’ve mentioned previously that pizza is one of my favorite things to make.  I love coming up with new combinations.  The inspiration for this one came from one of my recent thrift store cookbooks acquisitions,  the 100 Best Favorite Brand Name Recipes cookbook.  In it there is a recipe for Tuscan Chicken and Pasta.  I liked the ingredients in the recipe, but I really wanted pizza not pasta, so I did a little tweaking here and there to come up with this yummy pizza that I think you will really like too.

This pizza is healthy and a good way to use up some of that extra zucchini you may have.  I only have one zucchini plant, so I’m not exactly hauling in bucket loads from the garden, but I do have a few good sized ones I picked recently that need to be used.  So I’ve been eyeing up other yummy zucchini recipes to try on some of my favorite blogs, and they may end up making an appearance here too!

Tuscan Chicken Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 pre-baked pizza crust (or make your dough from scratch)
  • 3/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded provolone cheese (or mozzarella)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper then brown in skillet. Spread pizza sauce over crust, then top with chicken, zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, and provolone cheese.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

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Marinara Sauce with Fresh Herbs

Good morning!  I feel like I’ve been neglecting my little blog lately and not posting as much as I would like. I’ve been under a bit of stress and haven’t felt like I had much in the way of good recipes or positive thoughts to share.  But today I’m back :)

This is a nice recipe for those of you, like me, who like to grow fresh herbs in the summer.  It’s an easy way to doctor up a cheap can of tomatoes and turn it into something a little fancier.  This sauce is very versatile as well, you can use it on all sorts of things, it’s even a good pizza sauce.  In the past I’ve made several large batches and frozen them for later.  Pop open a jar and have the fresh taste of summer herbs in the middle of winter!

I have to say that I’ve been a bit dissapointed with my basil this year.  I usually buy sweet basil, but I decided to try something different, so I bought some spicy globe basil.  While I like the taste of it just fine, it’s not been nearly as prolific as the sweet basil.  And with basil being one of my favorite herbs, I like to have large bunches of it to freeze at the end of summer.  Note to self for next year:  buy sweet basil first and then experiment with different varieties!

Marinara Sauce with Fresh Herbs

Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tb chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • red pepper flakes, optional

Directions:

Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan.  Add onion and garlic to pan, cooking until they have softened.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.  Season with salt to taste.

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Filed under Pasta, Pizza, Stove-Top Meals, Vegetarian

Southwestern Chicken and Black Bean Pizza

One of my favorite pizzas is chicken fajita pizza, a recipe I got from my mom years ago.  But when I wanted to make it a few nights ago, I had to do a little improvising based on ingredients I had on hand.  I didn’t have the salsa called for, but I did have some homemade enchilada sauce in the freezer.  I also had some black beans I wanted to use in place of some of the chicken.  Just like that, a new pizza was born!  It turned out great, and even Jay, who dislikes beans in anything except for baked beans(but I still make him eat them), really liked it.  Give this one a try! :)

Before I sign off for today, let me share with y’all what’s sitting on my kitchen table and smelling oh so wonderful right now:

Lilacs!  When Jay and I were out walking last night after dinner, we spotted several bushes in bloom along the road, and I wrangled off a few bunches.  I assume they must grow down South as well, but I can’t remember anyone I know ever growing them.  Their scent is truly heavenly.

Southwestern Chicken and Black Bean Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 pre-baked pizza crust, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 1 cup sliced bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese

Directions:

In a medium skillet, cook the chicken until browned on all sides.  Remove from skillet and set aside.  Add the onion and bell pepper to the skillet, and cook until softened.  Return the chicken to the skillet along with the black beans, and stir in the chili powder, salt, and garlic powder.

Spread the enchilda sauce over the pizza crust.  Spoon the skillet mixture evenly over top.  Sprinkle with chopped tomato, then the cheese.

Bake at 425F until the crust is browned and the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

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Filed under Chicken, Pizza

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Here’s a great, all-purpose recipe for pizza sauce.  We all love pizza, right?  They’re one of my very favorite things to make at home because there’s really no limit to what kinds you can make, and they’re almost impossible to mess up.  For pizzas that call for a tomato-based sauce (and most do), I think this one is perfect.  It comes from a cookbook called Crazy Plates by Janet and Greta Podleski.  I’ve mentioned in a previous post that they are two of my favorite cookbook authors.  I’ve never gone wrong with any of their recipes. 

This sauce can easily be doubled or tripled.  Just put the extra into a mason jar or tupperware container and stick it in the freezer.  That way when you’re craving pizza or your family members are hollering for some, you’ve got a headstart with this pizza sauce. 

And speaking of freezing pizza related ingredients,  here’s a link back to my favorite pizza dough recipe.  I often make large batches of that and then freeze individual portions.  To freeze it, just make up the dough, shape it into a ball, then I like to wrap it in plastic wrap and put it into a ziplock bag.  Then just take out your dough a few hours before you need it so it can thaw and rise simultaneously on the counter.

Pizza Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 Tb dried oregano
  • 1 Tb red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, until onions have softened.  Add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cool before using.

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Filed under Pizza