Better than Delivery…

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There is LITERALLY nothing better than pizza night at our house. A few glasses of red, some cheese to nibble on while prepping, great company, and delicious flat breads with a variety of toppings = my dream night.  And because you can never have just one, we made two pizzas, one white and one red sauce. There were only 3 of us, and it’s safe to say we almost finished both pies (oink oink).

The first pizza was my choice; spice rubbed chicken, fig, arugula, ricotta cheese, with a balsamic honey drizzle. We never use figs, and I think they are a fruit that is very under-rated. The second pictured was Nick’s choice, sausage, red and yellow peppers, onion, and mozzarella. It was packed with a ton of spice. Honestly, they both ROCKED. The last minute bonus in the night included the extra pizza dough we had left over. We used it to make simple garlic knots; A little garlic, olive oil, and chili powder go a long way.

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**Remember our easiest trick/tip is to just BUY the dough. It’s so much faster and I swear the end result is quite similar.  Additionally, we mentioned before for flat breads, leave the pizza stone in the oven as it heats up, transferring the cold pizza from the cutting board, directly to the stone in the oven. **

Spiced Chicken, Fig, Arugula, Ricotta Pizza, with a Balsamic Honey Glaze white sauce pizza:

Ingredients: serves 4

  • 1/2 lb pizza dough
  • 1 basket of figs; sliced thinly
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese (as your base sauce)
  • 3 cups of arugula lettuce
  • 1/2 lb of chicken breast; chopped
  • Spices for the chicken:
    • 1 tbsp each paprika, ras al hanout, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper
  • Balsamic Honey glaze mix:

Instructions:

  1. Generously dust the chicken with the spice mix. Add salt & pepper to both sides.
  2. On high heat with a few spoons of olive oil, cook the chicken until tender, about 5 minutes on each side. You want it to be cooked most of the way, as it will only be in the oven on the pizza for a short bit. Remove and let sit, until pizza is ready for toppings.
  3. Heat the oven to 475 with the pizza stone inside (you want the pizza stone to be hot to get the bottom crispy).
  4.  Dust the surface you’re going to make the pizza on (we just used a plastic cutting board) with a generous amount of cornmeal.
  5. Form the pizza dough into a pizza crust. We spun it in the air a few times, but mostly cheated and just spread it with our hands on the cutting board. You want it to be pretty thin in the area you put the toppings, and the crust should be thinner than you’d guess (about the same size as your finger… believe me, it puffs up a lot.)       *** hint: only add the toppings right before you transfer the pizza to the oven, or the crust will start to get soggy and stick to your work surface!
  6. Spread ricotta cheese thinly across the pizza dough, covering the entire pie.
  7. Add sliced figs and sliced chicken.
  8. Place in oven for 15 minutes, or until crust is golden.
  9. In a bowl dress arugula with balsamic honey dressing, mixing well.
  10. Right before taking out, cover the top of pizza with arugula, generously. Let cook in oven for 1 more minute, making sure the arugula doesn’t get too wilted.

Sausage, Onions, Peppers, and Mozzarella Pizza red sauce pizza: 

Ingredients: serves 4

  • 1/2 lb pizza dough
  • 2 hot Italian sausages; sliced
  • 1 red and yellow pepper (or any colors); sliced
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup of red marinara sauce
  • 1/2 red onion; sliced thinly
  • 2 tea spoons of chili powder and chili flakes

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, toss sliced peppers and onions with olive oil. Roast in oven for 10 minutes, or until just soft.
  2. In a frying pan on medium heat with a few drops of olive oil, cook whole sausages until brown. Remove and slice into bite size pieces
  3. Repeat pizza dough steps above (steps 3-5).
  4. Spread marinara sauce thinly across pizza dough, covering the entire pie.
  5. Add sliced sausages, peppers, and onions, and slice mozzarella on top. Dust hot spices on top.
  6. Put in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden.

I probably send at least one swing pic to Nick a day, which goes hand in hand with my rule of getting out to the park at least once a day for Charlotte to have some fun. She will sit in the swings giggling the entire time, and it seriously puts you in the best mood, just watching how something so simple (and FREE) brings SO much joy to her day. I’d challenge someone to be in a terrible mood, to take Char to the park, and see if they don’t return refreshed and happy. It’s therapeutic just watching 🙂

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For Those Pizza Lovers …

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If it was feasible to not gain 300 lbs, I would eat pizza every night for the rest of my life. I just never get sick of it, and no matter what toppings you put on it, I’ll eat it.

This Chicken Pesto flat bread was down right amazing. Nick came up with the idea because he was craving pesto of some sort. So we hit up the local pizzeria on our walk home from the park and bought some fresh dough. Side note, we have tried to make our own dough before, and realized when it comes to flat breads, it’s much easier to spend the 3$ at your local pizza shop and it will save you a ton of time.

The great part of flat breads is you can get as creative as you wish, and always change it up each time. We like to load it up with a ton of veggies and always a protein of some sort. Instead of a tomato sauce or cheese base, we incorporated the pesto spread. We topped it with grilled chicken, sauteed spinach, red peppers, red onions, and jalapenos.  P.S. Half way through the dish, we realized we had forgotten to sprinkle the feta cheese on top. Honestly though, with the strong pesto taste, you really don’t need it.

Little Miss Char has a big week coming up. We are starting solids after our doctors appointment today. Say a nice prayer for us that it goes smoothly!! It’s also Nick’s birthday on Thursday, so it’s time to get some of his favorite things and wrap some gifts. Not going to lie, it’s been a rocky last few days here in the Langan household, as Char has come down with a little bug and has not been herself (and by not been herself, I mean I have had to hold her non stop for about 48 hours).  However, she woke up today with all smiles, so we are hoping we are through the worst! Luckily, she timed her bug quite well, considering we have our doctors appointment today anyways.

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Pesto Chicken and Spinach Flat Bread: 

Ingredients: serves 4

For the pizza:

  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced and roasted
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese (optional)
  • dash of cornmeal

For the pesto:

  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 cup of pine nuts or pecans (toasted)
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 dash of chili flakes
  • 1 dash of kosher salt & pepper
  • 1 dash of lemon juice

Directions for the pesto:

  1. In a food processor, coarsely chop the basil with 2 tsp of olive oil. Add the rest of the spices, garlic, and pine nuts and blend until you get the desired texture (I like it fairly finely blended). Add additional salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste.

Directions for the pizza:

  1.  Heat the oven to 475 with the pizza stone inside (you want the pizza stone to be hot to get the bottom crispy.
  2.  Dust the surface you’re going to make the pizza on (we just used a plastic cutting board) with a generous amount of cornmeal.
  3. Form the pizza dough into a pizza crust. We spun it in the air a few times, but mostly cheated and just spread it with our hands on the cutting board. You want it to be pretty thin in the area you put the toppings, and the crust should be thinner than you’d guess (about the same size as your finger… believe me, it puffs up a lot.)        *** hint: only add the toppings right before you transfer the pizza to the oven, or the crust will start to get soggy and stick to your work surface!
  4. Add the pesto, spreading evenly, as well as the onions and red peppers. Brush the crust with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil. Place in oven for ~15 mins.
  5.  While the pizza starts baking, prepare the blackened chicken. Butterfly the breasts, salt, & pepper, then sprinkle generously with equal parts cumin, paprika, chili powder, oregano, thyme. Cook over medium/high heat until spices are blackened and chicken is cooked.
  6. Slice the breasts thinly, then add to the cooking pizza.
  7.  Once the pizza is pretty much done (~25 mins, but check after 20 to see how it’s coming along), mix the spinach with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and add it to the pizza. Also add the feta (if desired). You only want to cook the spinach for 1-2 mins, as it wilts quickly.

Below are a few weekend pics … Happy almost 6 months little bug!

 

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