Tag Archives: pizza

the weekender 5/3/2014


(image via)

Happy Weekend everyone. We’re half-way through Saturday and I’m full of energy. My parents are coming this week, but we’re only partially unpacked, without furniture, and in need of a few essential household items, like a bath rug and trash can. We’re at that point in the move where we’ve put it off too long. We need to make that inevitable trip to Ikea, or at least Target, to get those final pieces a that make a house a home.

I’ve been in a flurry completing a few final home-decor DIYs. You should be seeing those in the next couple of weeks. I hope everyone has a sunny May weekend! Here are some of my favorite links this week.

Elise was dead on with her post Three Things I Know to be True about DIY ProjectsDo you agree?

This beet pizza crust pizza stopped me in my tracks. (Photo above).

Deb at Smitten Kitchen announced her brunch arsenal, and I’m inspired. Perfect for Mother’s Day.

Speaking of, these plant pots with gold foil lettering would make a great DIY Mother’s Day gift.

The cutest ice cubes.

Three nontraditional and pretty ways to use embroidery hoops.

This grilled pound cake is decadent.

And Lady GaGa has a flying dress! What?! (via SwissMiss)

goat cheese & pear mini-pizza with balsamic glaze

New York is a foodie’s paradise, which has proved dangerous for my wallet and my waistline. This weekend a few of my friends and I went to Bogota Bistro, where I ate the best empanadas, plantain chips and spent $12 on a girly mixed drink.

Then, the next day, I started my first boot camp class and was doing push ups in the snow. ugh.

I am trying to eat in as much as possible, which is challenging since our Brooklyn kitchen is one-person wide and there seems to be only one working stove top. I’ve been relying on the oven heavily.

Pear & Goat Cheese Pizza

I’m also doing without many of my favorite cooking tools. I appreciate the challenge, it feels oddly rustic and comforting, bringing me back to my cooking roots. We rolled these pizza crusts out with a wine bottle and our hands.


Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the gadgetry of life, especially with cooking. My food processor is in storage, which means I’m spending more time actually handling the food. There is something very therapeutic about the ritual of preparing food. It’s nice to have habit and purpose during such a hectic time in my life.

goat cheese & pear mini-pizza with balsamic glaze
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Make one large pizza or mini pizzas with goat cheese, pear and red onion. This recipe made 7 mini-pizzas that were about 4-5 inches in diameter. This recipe works best with a thin-crust pizza.
Recipe type: Main
Yields: 3-4
Pizza Dough
  • 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Italian herbs: dried basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme
  • 1 Pear
  • ¼ large red onion
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, softened
Preheat Oven
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare the Pizza Dough
  1. If you are making the dough from scratch, you'll want to be sure to prepare it several hours ahead of time and give it enough time to rise.
Balsamic Reduction
  1. Warm 1 cup balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Wait until the reduction is about ½ the original amount, or about 20 minutes. It will be thicker and more syrup-y.
Prep the Pizza
  1. Thinly slice the pear and red onion.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with a layer of aluminum foil.
  3. Roll out the pizza dough to make one large pizza or several mini pizzas. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
  4. Cover the dough in a thin layer of olive oil and rub in the dried Italian herbs.
  5. Spread a lavish layer of goat cheese on the dough.
  6. Top with a few slices of pear and red onion.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Once it's finished, drizzle with the balsamic reduction.

Goat cheese and pear pizza with balsamic reduction

pizza cat

I guess it’s safe to say I’m a little too into cats…and food.

Luckily, so are my friends. And we got this brilliant idea to make a pizza cat.

Definitions from ninjawords:

“pizza: noun. A baked Italian dish of a thinly rolled bread dough crust typically topped before baking with tomato sauce, cheese and other ingredients.

cat: noun. A domesticated subspecies of feline animal, commonly kept as a house pet.

‘pizza cat’ is not in the dictionary.”

How sad.

I don’t know what makes eating a cat-shaped pizza so great, but it is. Maybe it’s the removable bread stick arms (!), but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Here’s the basic assembly of our pizza cat. We used the Pioneer Woman’s pizza dough recipe. Be warned, this makes a lot of dough. We had enough leftover for extra bread sticks.

We rolled out the body first and stuck a tail behind it.

pizza cat body

Then we shaped the head and the bread stick arms.

head and arms

Check out those paws.

pizza paws

Then we slathered a garlic butter mixture on the bread sticks. My friend Adrienne really has a talent for creating pizza cat faces.

pizza cat

We loaded the body with sauce, cheese, and strips of basil leaves to create stripes. We placed both cookie sheets in the oven at 450 for 18 minutes. It was a little tricky since the dough was thicker in some places than others, but we didn’t burn it.

bread stick arms

pizza cat face

Place the bread sticks over the body.

pizza cat assembly

And then add the head to the top.

pizza cat

Pizza cat is the best. Building the cat is as much fun as eating it.

Black Bean Taco Pizza [Vegetarian]

My biggest food regret about living in Tallahassee is the absence of a California Pizza Kitchen. So when the Pioneer Woman claimed that her version of Taco Pizza tasted just like CPK’s, I was skeptical. But I tried it anyway, because I missed it. Thank God, she was right. Isn’t she always?

taco pizza

I love this pizza. I love any pizza that breaks out of the tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni box.

taco pizza

For the bulk of the pizza I followed TPW’s recipe – Seasoned black beans, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, fried tortilla.

fried tortilla I left the boyfriend in charge of frying the tortilla. I hate frying. Also, he helps me cook most things you see on this blog. True story. <3 I have a pretty sweet life. So does he. Each day he helps me cook is a day without Chick-fil-a dinner.

lettuce and tomatoLettuce on a pizza has got to be one of the best things.

Instead of covering it with sour cream, I drizzled ranch dressing over it. I’m pretty sure that’s how CPK did it, but it’s been years since I’ve been there.

pizza crust

I made my own crust. I’ve officially transitioned. The days of store-bought crust are gone forever. I’m even getting pretty good at throwing it up in the air and catching it.

Pizza Crust (for a  large pizza):

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 – 1 cup lukewarm water
2 Tbs olive oil

Mix all of your dry ingredients together. I like to rub the yeast in between my fingers. I’ve heard it helps activate them.

Add water and oil slowly, mixing ingredients with a wooden spoon. I was zealous and may have added too much water. My dough was soggy (see air pocket above) and I had to add a lot more flour. Start with 3/4 a cup and work your way up.

Create a dough ball with your mixture and place it on a floured surface to knead for one or two minutes.

Roll back into a ball and cover it with a few sprays of cooking spray. Place back into the bowl and let it sit for about an hour or two until it doubles in size.

I do a mixture of tossing it around and rolling it out. It seems to work well enough.

Lately, I’ve been eating a lot of pizza. Admittedly, too much. I have two more pizza recipes in my queue, but I didn’t want my readers to think I ate pizza all the time, but let’s just be honest…

But it’s cheap. It produces leftovers. It doesn’t take much time at all. I wake up and make the dough. I come home from work, top the pizza and in 13 minutes, it’s done and I have dinner.