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Pizza Remake

About a year ago, my friend and I went to a new pizza place called Yolo. It is near her apartment in Astoria. We did not having any expectations. We were very hungry and wanted to try a new place. Little did we know, we were going to be introduced to such a delicious pizza. I love all of the ingredients on the pizza but, I had never tasted the them in one bite….it was delicious! Ever since then, we have ordered the pizza a few times, and of course…I had  to remake it at home. How does BBQ chicken, goat cheese, and arugula sound?  Last night I made this pizza for my boyfriend and I. He loved it! You can play around with the ingredients below. You can add as little or as much on the pizzas as you like. Please try it, its so simple and you will love it!

Ingredients (Personal Size Pizza, distribute evenly on each)

Pizza Dough Cut in Two (I get mine already at Whole Foods or the local pizza place)

Flour for dough

Cooked Chicken (cut into small pieces)

BBQ Sauce ( As much as you like)

Goat Cheese (As much as you like)

Baby Arugula

1 Garlic Clove Minced

3 Basil Leaves Chopped

1/2 Cup Scallions Chopped

1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella

Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Drizzling

Pinch Salt/Pepper

(Cooking time described below is for Two 6×6 Personal Pizzas-You will need to add some time for larger pizzas)

Let the pizza dough sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 Degrees. Shape each piece of dough into a ball. Spread some flour over the area. With your fingers, begin to carefully stretch out the dough into a disk. Lift the dough and begin to pull carefully , and let it stretch until it is your desired size. Drizzle pan with a little bit of olive oil. Bake the dough for 10 minutes until the dough is golden brown, and a bit crispy.

Then it is time to add your tasty ingredients! Mix the cooked chicken with BBQ sauce. Brush the two pizza doughs with olive oil (not too much). Evenly distribute each ingredient on each of the personal size pizzas. Spread the minced garlic clove, spread BBQ chicken, goat cheese, shredded mozzarella, scallions, basil leaves, drizzle some extra BBQ sauce on top, and sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake the pizzas for another 10 minutes on 425 until the cheese is melted and the dough is very crispy.

Top with fresh baby arugula and enjoy!

What ingredients do you love to taste on pizza?? I love to read your thoughts. 🙂

I fled the city on this extremely hot summer weekend and headed to Long Island to spend time with my Mom. We had planned on doing the whole beach thing, but it was just too hot! So we did the other things that we always do together… got our nails done, did a little shopping, read, and cooked with the AC blasting.

My Mom loves to bake with blueberries in the Summer. So we decided to bake a tasty Blueberry Crunch. Let me tell you…this recipe is completely effortless and the blueberry crunch is the perfect summer dessert. We searched through Cooking Light, Food & Wine, and tons of cook books searching for some type of crunch dessert recipe to adapt. We could have easily searched the internet for this, but we had more fun looking through delicious looking magazines and cook books.  Finally after a few deviations reading about different recipes… we found one!  Ina Garten’s Plum Crunch.  We used this recipe as a base to help us with the measurements. But we changed the measurements around a bit to cut down butter and sugar.  Read how easy this sounds….

Ingredients

Blueberry mixture ( We omitted sugar in this mixture, and just added it to the crunch. The blueberries already have a natural sweetness.)

2  Small containers blueberries (the size of containers you find at the store)

1/4 cup all purpose flour

Crunch

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup oatmeal ( Add more if mixture gets too sticky and not crumbly)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 1/2 sticks cold butter cubed (We used Natural Balance Butter)(Original recipe 2 sticks)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium size baking dish (any shape that makes you happy) put the blueberries along the bottom and mix with the 1/4 cup of flour. Put this mixture aside.

Connect the paddle attachment on your handy electric mixture. Combine all crunch ingredients and mix on a low speed. Mix until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of “peas” as Ina Garten’s recipe states. Distribute the topping evenly on top of the blueberries. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes. It will be done once you see the blueberries bubbling and a golden brown crunch!

(Before it went in the oven)

So tasty alone or with ice cream. Look at how tasty it looked after it was baked! I wish you could see the blueberries bubbling.

What dessert do you like to bake with Summer’s fruits??

Burgers are the quintessential summer food. They are so easy, and  SO TASTY. All burgers need are tasty ingredients and not to be over cooked. How much easier can cooking get?! Today, in the fridge I had a few jars of roasted peppers, chives, turkey meat and basil just waiting to be used. So I decided to try out a new burger tonight.  To make the turkey mixture, I added chopped basil, chives, 1 garlic clove, pepper, salt, and chopped roasted peppers. I used my best tools, my hands to incorporate everything evenly. I made 4 patties out of 1 pound of turkey meat.

So..I am in Long Island for the rest of the week and I was actually able to use a real BBQ. I was excited about this, but I am used to grilling on my indoor stove-top grill. I was all excited and I forgot to put any spray on the grill itself, so one of my pretty patties ended up loosing a little bit of itself…

Oh well, it still tasted good! Next time, I will try to control my excitement and spray the grill:) So… I grilled the burgers over a medium flame for about 4 minutes per side. I topped the burger with muenster cheese, and a herb mayo I quickly put together (lemon zest, chives, basil), so tasty!

What is your favorite burger??

Stay tuned for the oven potato recipe…….

As you all see, I often cook, and rarely bake.  I just never got used to the practice of precisely measuring every ingredient. Slowly that is changing. After looking at many of your baking blogs, I have gained a great motivation to bake. Yesterday, I was sitting in the apartment with a huge desire to bake. But I had a problem. Since I am not much of a baker, I do not have many ingredients that are needed to bake.  As I looked through the cabinets I saw that I did have a box of brownie mix. But I didn’t want to just pour in some vegetable oil, 2 eggs, combine and bake that way. So I conjured up a way to make cookies using that box of brownie mix. And let me tell you….they came out delicious and tasted homemade. I was feeling confident and made a peanut butter glaze to drizzle on top! At this point I was patting myself on the back!

So this is what I did. I combined the brownie mix, ¼ cup of flour, 2 eggs, ¼ cup vegetable oil, and 1 tbs Nutella. I used an ice cream scoop to shape them on a cookie sheet, and cooked on 350 for 10 minutes. As most baked goods, they smelt divine. I had to work very hard to be patient as they cooled.

The peanut butter glaze was so easy to put together. I will definitely use this glaze on other baked goods in the future. I combined 1 ½ tbs of peanut butter, 3 tsp of water, and 1 tsp of sugar. I mixed until the mixture was completely smooth. This glaze actually made the cookies taste a bit like Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, you can’t go wrong with that taste!

So this experience, and many of your blogs have filled me with a motivation to start baking. But I do not want to use a box every time I bake. So I need to buy some baking ingredients to add to the “pantry”(cabinets). So far my list consists of a hand-mixer (no room for a big one), vanilla extract, brown sugar, chocolate chips, baking soda, and walnuts. I need your suggestions, what else should I add to my pantry to start baking yummy baked goods???

Bruschetta… such a simple yet incredibly savory side. It is one of my “go-to” side dishes. In the past I have made bruschetta with a bunch of ingredients. It was always tasty, you can’t really go wrong with bruschetta! But yesterday I have a simple- revelation.  I had one of my bruschetta-cravings that needed to be fixed. But I did not have all of the ingredients that I have used in the past, and I did not have time to go to the store. I searched through the fridge for ingredients to fix my craving. I put together three simple ingredients, I bit into the crusty bruschetta and I was in palette heaven!

These three simple ingredients created the most delicious bruschetta that I have ever tasted. (1 Tomato, 1 shallot, 1 roasted pepper)

Chop up all ingredients and add some parsley, salt/pepper. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Heat peices of crusty-fresh bread for 6 minutes. Add the bruschetta mixture and heat for another 5 minutes. Savor each and every bite.

What are your favorite ingredients to put on bruschetta?? 🙂

I love Seafood! But,  it is usually very pricy to purchase.  This is not the same for mussels, and they are so easy to make! At Whole Foods a 2 1/2 pound bag of mussels was on sale for$5.99, so of course, I picked it up.  That size bag can usually be enough for a nice portion for three people. But with the delicious broth they were in, it only fed my boyfriend and I. Don’t fret, mussels are not very intimidating. The only time consuming part of cooking mussels is the cleaning process, and even that does not take much of your time. Put on some of your favorite music and cleaning those handsome mussels will be a piece of cake.

How to Clean Mussels

1. Soak the mussels in 4 cups of water and 1 tbs of flour for 30 minutes. This will help take off any sand that is still lurking.

2. Drain and rinse the mussels in a . Then take off the strings with your fingers(not all of the mussels will have this). At this point I also wipe the mussels with a damp paper towel. Throw out any mussels that are not closed tight (you will always find a few of these in a bundle). Put the little guys in the fridge until you are ready to cook. Please do cook until right before you serve (only takes about 6-8 minutes) and you do not want to eat cold mussels!

The broth in this recipe is so savory. I caught my boyfriend eating the broth out of the pot when dinner was done. That always makes a cook happy.:)

Read the full recipe here. This recipe is so easy, you will be blown away. Happy Cooking 🙂

There is really nothing like relaxing Sundays. Watching movies to stay out of this heat, and having a delish dinner at night. Last night my boyfriend and I decided to head up to the Upper West Side with friends for dinner. We all decided to go to a place to have comforting Italian food. Pappardella is a very inviting, and quiet place. I have been there twice and my friends go often, with only positive experiences. I ordered the Insalata Della Riviera to start. A mix of some of my favorite ingredients in one, simple salda- Arugula, hearts of palm, avocado, parmesan, in a light lemony dressing. Nothing like large shards of parmesan with avocado filling your mouth at the same moment. I then was lucky enough to enjoy a scrumptious, polpette personal pan pizza served on an adorable wooden board. I just love pizza with yummy meatballs on top. That is what I call a palette-satisfying meal.