Mini Football Pizzas

I had a fun baseball-filled weekend watching the Everett Aquasox, a minor league team, play on both Friday and Saturday nights. Friday’s game was not very eventful, until the bottom of the 10th when they won 3-2, but Saturday’s game was full of fun, including my little niece catching a foul ball!

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However, football is upon us, so it is time for some football-themed snacks, like these yummy mini football pizzas from The Daring Gourmet that I made last year during football season. They are a fun snack for any football party.

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I also had Seattle Seahawk themed Jamberry nail wraps for the occasion!

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Since there were some vegetarians in the crowd, I used meatball crumbles, which were actually pretty good. Feel free to use whatever meat you’d like.

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Mini Football Pizzas

serves

Ingredients:
-1 (11oz) can refrigerated Pillsbury thin pizza crust
-1 (14.5oz) can pizza sauce
-4oz bulk Italian sausage
-1 green bell pepper, diced
-3 mozzarella cheese sticks

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-Lightly flour a surface and unroll the pizza dough. Use a football-shaped cookie cutter, or cut the dough into football shapes by hand, according to your desired size.
-Cook the sausage and peppers on medium in a skillet until cooked through, and set aside.
-Spoon pizza sauce onto each pizza crust and top with the sausage and pepper mixture, then bake for about 4 minutes.
-Cut out the mozzarella cheese sticks into long and short strands and lay them on top of the pizzas (check out the pictures). Bake for a few more minutes until the cheese is melted and everything is cooked through.

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

I have been on a posting roll for the past couple of weeks! And I am pretty much posting only oven-related posts. In the middle of summer. Yikes. I need to fix that. But these recipes are just SO GOOD that they are worth it.

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I also got to try out a new pizza crust from Trader Joe’s – their garlic and herb crust. Honestly, it didn’t taste much different from whole wheat dough I usually buy from them, but it was still good and fun to try out something yummy.

This is a chicken alfredo pizza by Foodie Misadventures. It. is. amazing. It is truly like chicken alfredo…on a pizza. Genius. I love playing around with pizzas…buffalo chicken, tikka masala, enchilada, whatever it is, I’ll try it! I do love the traditional pepperoni pizza, but I tend to go “all out” when cooking pizza at home. This sauce would also go great with pasta, if you’d rather do that, but why not have it on pizza??

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The sauce did seem a little thin, strangely enough, since there was no heavy cream in it (it might have been the milk?), but oh boy was it good. Like…lick the spoon 5,000 times good. I wish I was kidding about that! ;)

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Chicken Alfredo Pizza

serves 4

Ingredients:
For the Alfredo Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
-3 cloves minced garlic
-4oz cream cheese, softened
-1cu skim milk
-1cu fresh grated parmesan cheese
-Salt & pepper
-Pinch of nutmeg
For Pizza Assembly
-1 package or recipe pizza dough
-1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded (about 1.5cu)
-3/4cu shredded mozzarella cheese
-1/4cu parmesan cheese
-Chopped fresh basil, if desired

Directions:
-Set a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 450°.
-Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly, then add the cream cheese; cook 1 minute until mixture is smooth, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add milk and cook 3 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Add Parmesan cheese, stirring until cheese melts and sauce reaches desired consistency, about 2 minutes. Add in a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste.
-Stretch the pizza dough to a 12-inch round and transfer to pizza stone.
-Spread the alfredo sauce over the pizza dough, leaving a half inch border around the edge. Top with chicken, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan.
-Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the bottom is crisp and the cheese is bubbling.
-Let pizza cool for a minute, top with basil, then serve.

 

Mini Cheddar-BBQ Turkey Meatloaf Cups

I never said happy 4th of July the other week! I hope everyone enjoyed theirs! I enjoyed my 3 day weekend from work which was full of family barbecues. I spent Friday afternoon at a barbecue at my dad’s house, and my husband got to meet two of my stepbrothers for the first time! On the 4th of July, we relaxed and cleaned in the morning and then went to a small barbecue at my mom’s, then sat on the street to watch the fireworks – a bit frightening, but just as good as any professional firework show! ;);)

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These cheddar-BBQ turkey meatloaf cups from Aggie’s Kitchen are pretty “all-American” too! ;) I never really grew up with meatloaf as a dinner staple in my household, but I must say there is something even better when they are in little individual cups! Maybe they are just more fun to eat, who knows? Anyway, this really is a tasty twist on plain ol’ meatloaf.

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One note is that the original blogger said this makes 12 cups. As you can see, mine only made 8, and mine were not quite full. The cup-size on my tins may be larger, or…well, who knows.

Let me know what you think!

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Mini Cheddar-BBQ Turkey Meatloaf Cups

serves 4-6

Ingredients:
-1lb lean ground turkey
-2tsp steak seasoning
-2tsp Worcerstershire sauce
-1/2 small onion, grated
-1 egg
-1/2cu panko
-15oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained well (I used a little tomato sauce/paste instead)
-3oz cheddar cheese, shredded
-2tbsp honey
-1/2cu barbecue sauce
-1tsp mustard

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 375.
-Add all the ingredients for the meatloaf mixture (minus honey, sauce, and mustard) into a large bowl and gently mix with your hands. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with non stick spray then add meatloaf mixture evenly among the cups.
-Combine the honey, barbecue sauce and mustard in a small bowl, then spoon or brush it evenly over the meatloaf muffins.
-Bake for 20-25 minutes until you see the muffins bubbling and start to slightly separate from sides of muffin pan. Turn broiler on for 2-4 minutes to get the tops nicely browned.

Skillet Baked Ziti

Happy Monday!! I hope that everyone had a restful weekend. Mine was certainly nice! I spent part of the weekend with my niece enjoying free slurpees! And now I have a great and yummy Monday recipe for ya – from Our Best Bites, skillet baked ziti.

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I was a little worried about my fry pan going into the oven, but it still worked well: AKA tasted good, no fires, and no ruined pan. Score!

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So I used regular ground pork (from my brother’s farm!), however you can use the sausage requested, or even ground turkey, beef, or possibly chicken! I also used tomato sauce instead of the tomatoes, since I don’t like the chunks, but to each their own.

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My husband LOVED this ziti. He said it was similar to how his mom and even grandma made it (read: Italians), minus the skillet part. We gobbled up a ton right away but thankfully still had leftovers for each of us. Yum!!

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Skillet Baked Ziti

serves 4-6

Ingredients:
-1lb Italian sausage or Italian turkey sausage (“hot” or “sweet”)
-1 (28oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
-1tbsp olive oil
-6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (about 2tbsp)
-1/4tsp red pepper flakes
-Salt
-3cu water
-12oz ziti pasta
-1/2cu heavy cream
-1oz Parmesan cheese, grated
-1/4cu chopped fresh basil leaves (fresh is best, but it is ok to add a heaping tablespoon of dried if necessary)
-ground black pepper
-4oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions:
-Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 475 degrees.
-Pulse the tomatoes with their juice in a food processor until coarsely ground and no large pieces remain (or just use sauce).
Heat 12-inch or larger oven-safe skillet to medium high heat and add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Remove the sausage from castings and cook, crumbling with a spatula until browned and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes to sausage and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Stir in the processed tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit salt if using sauce). Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes no longer taste raw, about 10 minutes.
-Stir in the water, then add the pasta. Cover, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, until the pasta is tender, about 15-18 minutes.
-Stir in the cream, Parmesan, and basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the top. -Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and browned, 10-15 minutes, then serve.

Thai Peanut Sauce Spaghetti Squash

In the summertime, a lot of times people don’t want to turn on their ovens. I am one of those people. Also in the summertime, a lot of people don’t think to cook with spaghetti squash. However, this Thai Peanut Sauce Spaghetti Squash by Leelicious, which my good friend Alysha turned me on to, is an exception!

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I love basically everything Thai-related, and this dish is no exception! The peanut sauce is so delicious and really pairs well with the noodle-like consistency of spaghetti squash is just perfect. It is not too sweet and it is not too spicy. In the words of the 3 bears, it is just right! ;)

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I ended up not being able to find the coconut sugar, however I has googled how to use regular sugar or brown sugar and it still worked out well, though perhaps would have had a different flavour if I’d found the Asian-esque coconut variety.

I hope you like it, and that it’s worth turning on your oven for, in this summer heat!

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Thai Peanut Sauce Spaghetti Squash

serves 2

Ingredients:
-1 medium spaghetti squash
-olive oil
-salt
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1/4cu chopped parsley or cilantro
-2tbsp crushed peanuts
For the peanut sauce

-1 can (14oz) coconut milk
-2/3cu natural, unsweetened peanut butter
-1/4cu coconut sugar
-1/4cu water
-2tbsp soy sauce
-2tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
-2tsp sesame oil
-2tsp red curry paste

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
-Drizzle the inside with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes.
For the peanut sauce
-Place all sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then turn down to low and simmer for 5 minutes while stirring almost constantly, then take off the heat to let cool.
-When spaghetti squash is done roasting, take it out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then, using a fork, scrape out the spaghetti squash strands. If your squash is very moist, you might have to place the strands in a colander and pat with paper towel.
-Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, chopped parsley and 1/4 cup of the peanut sauce pan and combine. Add spaghetti squash, rest of the sauce, and crushed peanuts, stir to combine and cook until heated through (about 2 minutes).
Plate and garnish with a little more crushed peanuts and chopped parsley. Serve right away.

Grilled Swordfish

Ok…I am a fake. This grilled swordfish recipe from Reel Flavor looked so amazing, but I didn’t have any swordfish just laying around. I don’t even know where you get swordfish. Can you just get from the regular grocery store? I suppose I could have gone to my local Central Market…

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In any case, I did have some mahi mahi fillets stocked in the freezer and I figured those would do the trick. It actually may have been tuna, judging by the pictures. Haha. The flavour of this was delicious! It was great to have a quick seasoning, plus the marinade. And continuing to marinade while cooking is sometimes essential, especially in this case!

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So simple and delicious – you could grill this tonight!

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Grilled Swordfish (or Mahi Mahi, Tuna, etc…)

serves 4

Ingredients:
-4 swordfish fillets
-1/2cu white wine
-1/4cu peanut butter
-1/4cu olive oil
-3 cloves garlic
-1/2tsp black pepper
-1tbsp blackening seasoning
-1tbsp paprika
-1tsp white pepper
-1tbsp sesame seeds
-2tbsp lemon juice
-Salt to taste
-Seasoning for swordfish: salt, white pepper & garlic powder

Directions:
-Heat up grill
-Mix all ingredients in a bowl and season the swordfish fillets
-Lightly sear both sides of fillets on grill (no more than 1 minute per side)
-Dip the fillets in the marinade thoroughly coating both sides, and place back on the grill
-Grill 5 to 6 minutes on each side
-Brush on the excess marinade as you cook

Arugula Pesto

Pesto, in pretty much all forms, is delicious. As you may recall, I recently discovered a quinoa pesto from Trader Joe’s which was pretty amazing. Jarred pesto is, quite honestly, the way to go a lot of times. It’s cheaper than homemade, quick, no mess, and delicious.

But there are times you want the real thing. The homemade thing. The equally delicious thing. And this arugula pesto from Bake Your Day certainly comes in handy for that! Arugula is a really hardy leafy green and packs a punch in its own right, and along with the garlic, they are equally show-stoppers. I omitted the walnuts and used slivered almonds instead, and it was great too.

As you can see, I paired it with pasta, but you can really pair it with anything!

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Arugula Pesto

serves 2-4

Ingredients:
-2cu fresh arugula, packed
-2 large cloves garlic, peeled (or more)
-2tbsp toasted walnuts
-1/2cu olive oil
-1/2tsp salt, more or less as needed
-1/2tsp pepper, more or less as needed
-1/2cu Parmesan cheese

Directions:
-Combine arugula, garlic and walnuts in a food processor. Add half of the olive oil and pulse to process it. Continue to process on medium speed while streaming in the rest of the olive oil (for those of us with regular food processors, you’ll have to stop, open the lid, pour in more, then keep going). Season with salt and pepper and then stir in Parmesan cheese.
Note: To toast the walnuts, place the walnuts in a small pan over medium heat. Allow them to toast, shaking the pan often. Watch them closely so they don’t burn.