Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chicken Pesto Pizza

So as you have probably noticed after reading my blog for awhile, I really love pizza. But not just any pizza.  I don't care much for chain pizza, none of that stuffed crust and I cannot stand grease dripping off of my slice. Give me some fresh veggies, grilled meats and a thin crust and I'm all yours.

This year, I started a small herb garden and had some lush basil I needed to use. I didn't have quite enough to make a traditional pesto, so I improvised with a few other ingredients. Well, my improvisation was magical and the flavor of the pesto was just perfect for this light summer pizza.

Oh - and if you don't have a pizza stone, YOU NEED ONE!

Pizza crust - I make mine from a dry mix I buy from my local grocery store, it's like .99, so totally worth it
Halved grape tomatoes
Chopped red onion
Grilled chicken
Fresh mozzarella
Red pepper flakes
Pesto sauce (see recipe below)

Pesto Sauce:
Handful of fresh basil
3 tablespoons EVOO
Salt and pepper
chopped red onion
3 halved grape tomatoes

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
2. Bake crust for about 7 minutes
3. Pull the crust out and add your pesto sauce, pile on your cheese and other yummies
4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until your crust is nice and golden brown


Cheese and Melon Crostini

This was the perfect little appetizer to my Tuesday dinner this week. It was so easy and delicious, I am just about ready to head out to the store right now to get some more bread so I can snack all day on this little yummy crostini's of goodness. The herbed goat cheese melted into the toasted bread and the crisp freshness of the cucumber paired with the sweetness of the melon was absolutely to die for. An absolutely wonderful starter for a summer grill-out!

1 baguette
Herbed goat cheese
1 sliced cucumber
1 cantaloupe cubed/sliced, however you would like it

1. Slice and toast your baguette
2. Spread the goat cheese over the baguette
3. Add the sliced cucumber and cantaloupe
4. I added a little salt to the top of my snacks to really pull the flavor out of the melon


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Red Velvet Cake Balls

Mmmmmm another 4th of July favorite, so celebratory! This year, to celebrate our great nation's birthday, I headed back to my hometown to spend the weekend with my wonderful parents. Mom and I of course had all of these yummies planned, and we had already made these delicious cake balls a couple of weeks earlier for the birthday of one of my coworkers. They were so good, we knew we had to make them again.

So, Happy Birthday, once again to America! Enjoy these red velvet cake balls!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Flag Cupcakes

I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating our nation's birthday! As I look back and reflect on my weekend, I remember why we all are able to celebrate, we live in a nation that cares about its people, their freedoms and their rights. Thanks to all of those who fought in the past and who are still fighting today. USA!!

I really wanted to make a few things for my family to commemorate the weekend, and because chocolate is my usual go-to, I thought I would switch it up a little bit and try out some carrot cake cupcakes decorated like the American flag. I went a little Semi-homemade Sandra Lee style on you guys and added some great flavor to a carrot cake box mix. These were super easy to make and were enjoyed immensely!

Happy Fourth of July!

1. One box of carrot cake mix
2. 3 eggs
3. 1/2 cup oil
4. 1 cup water
5. 1 cup grated carrots
6. 1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Fresh blueberries
2. Sliced strawberries or other red fruit, raspberries would be delicious!
3. Cream cheese frosting - homemade or store-bought

1. Follow the box - I believe it's pretty complicated...mix up all the ingredients.
2. Fill your cupcake papers about 2/3 full and bake at 350 for about 16 minutes. Once you can pull out a toothpick clean, they're done!