Sunday, January 29, 2012

2011 in Review

Now that we are almost a month deep into 2012, I thought I should finally post my 2011 recap. I'm going to keep it short and sweet. It really was a fantastic year and my three favorite events were:

Celebrating our wedding anniversary with a trip up the coast... 

celebrating my honey's 30th birthday at the happiest place on earth...

and buying our first home!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Recipe: Pizza Balls

I think most foods are more fun if you can somehow make them in a bite-size, dip-able form. As is the case with these pizza balls.

Pizza Balls right out of the oven, complete with escapee cheese!

These make for an easy appetizer or pair them with a side salad and call it dinner! 

Keep in mind that these are totally customizable, based on your filling preferences. mean, fillings.

12 balls of pizza dough. Pretend they are all the same size.
Smooshed pizza dough balls.
Adding the filling.
Pizza balls ready to go in the oven.

Pizza Balls

Makes 12 pizza balls.

  • 1 package refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (in the photos it shows cubes but I did it later with shredded and that led to better results)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup chopped pepperocinis
  • Pizza sauce or ranch dressing, for dipping

Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray and preheat the oven to the temperature noted on the pizza dough cooking instructions.

Mix the mozzarella, pepperoni, and pepperocinis together in a medium size bowl. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, divide the pizza dough into 12 equal sized balls of dough. Lightly press each ball down to create a flat surface. 

Top each piece of dough with a heaping tablespoon of toppings. Carefully stretch the dough around the toppings and seal edges firmly. Place each finished ball into the muffin tin. 

Bake according to the pizza dough directions or until the pizza balls begin to brown. 

Let cool slightly before serving with dipping sauce of your choice. 

Both times I made these some of the pizza balls leaked some cheese. Letting them cool slightly before removing them from the pan, I was able to rescue the escaped cheese and they were just as delicious.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Recipe: Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Slow roasting tomatoes is extremely easy and the result is little bites of delicious, concentrated tomato flavor. I served the tomatoes mixed up with some halved olives for people to nibble on but these tomatoes would also be wonderful on top of a pizza or mixed into pasta or a salad. There are so many possibilities. 

I started with approximately three cups of heirloom cherry tomatoes which yielded approximately one cup of slow roasted tomatoes. I roasted mine for six hours and liked the resulting tomato bits. You can adjust the ingredient amounts and cooking time to your liking.

Did I mention that they are super simple to make? They are! They are so easy.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves removed
Salt and pepper

Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and arrange the halved cherry tomatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with minced garlic, thyme, and season with salt and pepper. 

Put the baking sheet in the oven, turned off, and set temperature to 200ยบ F. Bake for 6 - 7 hours, until the desired level of roasting is reached. 

Remove the tomatoes to an air tight container and refrigerate until ready to use. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

I intend to do a full "2011 in Review" post but for now I just want to say:

Happy HAPPY New Year and 
Best Wishes for a Fabulous 2012! 

We had dinner at my parents' house last night and it included two traditional southern good luck foods -- black eyed peas and greens. I love greens (we had turnip) but I have never been crazy about black eyed peas. I still ate a bunch because I am not one to turn down an opportunity for more good fortune.

I noticed, via Facebook and Twitter, that others were enjoying lentil stew or udon. Are there other good luck foods out there?