If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be pizza, hands down.
And I don’t discriminate. I love it all- thick crust, thin crust, even deep dish. [But there will always be a special place in my heart for this place.]
I’ll admit, I usually don’t make it at home, but oh man, this newest recipe is GOOD!
I picked up some pre-made pizza dough from Trader Joe’s (it’s such a good deal, only ~$1.25/ball!), and decided to get creative.
Homemade pizza + wine + salad + a movie = a great Friday night!
So basically, this entire pizza was made with ingredients from Trader Joe’s 🙂
After grabbing the ball of dough, I also picked up some Quattro Formaggio shredded cheese blend (a blend of parmesan, asiago, fontina, and provolone cheeses), some beautiful high-lycopene tomatoes, fresh rosemary, and garlic oil.
The goal was to make a “pizza blanca” (aka a pizza without red sauce).
Instead of making a creamy white sauce, I decided to brush the entire pizza dough with garlic oil to basically give it garlic bread crust, then topped it with sharp cheeses that could hold their own, fresh juicy sweet tomatoes, and some minced rosemary for a pop of delicious flavor.
The secret to crispy golden pizza at home is HIGH heat.
Like, as high as your oven will go. That allows the crust to puff up and cook quickly & lets the cheese melt & get gooey and lightly browned, without overcooking the fresh tomatoes.
It only takes about 10 minutes in a hot oven to achieve pizza perfection. YUM!
Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing, then serve with a simple salad, fresh fruit, & a nice glass of wine. Easy, fresh, and delicious.
- 16 oz refrigerated pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s)
- All purpose flour, for dusting
- A drizzle of regular olive oil
- Generous drizzle of garlic oil (also from Trader Joe’s- don’t skip this!!)
- 6 oz Quattro Formaggio shredded cheese blend (from Trader Joe’s) or a blend of parmesan, asiago, fontina, and provolone cheeses
- 4 or 5 cocktail tomatoes, thinly sliced (I used Trader Joe’s high lycopene tomatoes)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- Sprinkle of flaky sea salt (I use Maldon)
Preheat your oven to the highest temperature it goes (mine goes up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit).
Sprinkle some flour on a large cutting board or work surface & lightly flour your hands. Place the pizza dough on the surface & use a floured rolling pin and/or your hands to stretch the dough out into a large circle or rectangle.
Drizzle some regular olive oil on a large baking sheet & spread to coat evenly. Place the dough on the oiled baking sheet & use your hands to spread the dough to the shape/size you desire. It should fill a good portion of the baking sheet.
Brush the pizza dough all over with garlic oil, then top with the shredded cheese. Evenly layer with the fresh tomato slices, then sprinkle with minced rosemary.
Place the pizza in the oven & bake for 8-12 minutes (exact times will vary from oven to oven), until the crust is crisp & golden & the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt, and drizzle lightly with more garlic oil. Let cool for a few minutes, then cut into slices & serve.
Cornbread is such a classic.
It’s a type of quick bread, which means it can be made quickly, without using yeast.
Since there’s no yeast, cornbread doesn’t have to be kneaded or set aside to rise. Yay!
Instead of yeasts, quick breads simply use baking soda or baking powder as a leavener.
When the baking soda (which is basic) comes into contact with an acid, like buttermilk or cream of tartar, it bubbles and creates carbon dioxide gas that leavens the quick bread.
Baking powder, which is sometimes used instead of baking soda, was created to make leavening even easier. It contains baking soda plus a powdered acid, so you don’t have to add any acids to your recipe 🙂
Cornbread follows the same basic recipe as other quick breads, except part of the flour is replaced by cornmeal.
If you use yellow cornmeal, you’ll have a nice golden yellow cornbread, and if you use a white cornmeal, your final product will be much lighter.
(I used yellow cornmeal in this recipe).
There are tons of delicious add-in options, like fresh corn kernels, jalapeños, or even cheese.
But since I don’t have a cornbread recipe on the blog yet, I decided to go with a basic buttermilk recipe. It’s so yum!
Rather than bake the cornbread in an 8×8 dish as per usual, I went rogue and made cornbread muffins.
I know, it’s pretty genius.
They cook more quickly, and are already pre-portioned into 12 muffins for everyone at the table to enjoy.
In fact, I liked the muffins so much, I may never go back to making traditional cornbread again!
Top with schmear of butter, and these babies are divine.
And they go really well with chili… (hint hint, recipe coming soon!!)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus extra butter or oil for greasing muffin tin
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12-muffin muffin tin with butter or oil to prevent the cornbread from sticking, and set aside.
Place the melted butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and beat together with a whisk until smooth. Add the eggs and buttermilk and whisk to combine.
In a medium bowl, mix together the baking soda, cornmeal, flour, and salt until evenly combined.
Gradually add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients, and stir until just combined and most of the lumps are gone. Don’t over-stir, or the cornbread could become tough due to over-developed gluten.
Divide the batter between the wells of the muffin tin and bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let cook slightly. Run a knife around the edges of the muffins if they’re sticking, and carefully remove from the muffin tin. Enjoy!
The muffins will keep for a few days at room temperature, a week in the refrigerator, or a few months in the freezer.
Every family has their go-to garlic bread recipe.
And there’s totally two different garlic bread camps.
- The soft, fluffy buttery garlic bread that is baked wrapped in foil, with the two halves of the loaf tightly wrapped together to steam & meld the flavors.
- The crispy, crunchy garlic bread that is baked open faced, to develop a nice crust & golden bubbly top.
I don’t know about you, but I fall into the crispy camp 🙂
There’s truly nothing better than warm buttery garlic bread with a soft center and crunchy flaky crust.
While there’s nothing wrong with the classic butter + garlic combination, I’ve recently been obsessed with this herbed variety.
When preparing the buttery garlic spread, you simply add a small handful of fresh parsley & basil. This creates a vibrant green delicious spread that takes garlic bread to a whole new level.
The herbs add a kick of flavor and freshness that traditional garlic breads lack.
Try this herbed variety next time you’re baking some garlic bread. And don’t be surprised if it turns into your new family favorite!
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup mixed herbs, I used half basil, half parsley, packed
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large sourdough or French bread load
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a small food processor, blend together the butter, herbs, garlic, salt, and olive oil until evenly combined.
Cut the loaf of bread in half, lengthwise. Spread half of the herbed butter mixture on each side.
Place the loaves in the oven, buttered side up, directly on the oven racks (this makes for a crispier crust). Cook for about 15 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and cut into slices.