Cheesy Pepperoni Roll-Ups

I have become addicted to Pinterest in the last six months. It happened somewhere between wanting to make inspiration boards for clothes and needing ideas for the dorm room. Nonetheless, I am addicted. I was sucked in like a bunch of other people, and now I spend as much time (if not more) on Pinterest than Facebook and Twitter… Which is saying something.

This Pinterest addictions isn’t good because I have about 8 different food boards on my personal account, and even more on the account for the blog (while I’m talking about it, go check it out here!); which leads me to constantly thinking about food. But If I want to take this whole blogging thing to the next level, I need to commit more time and effort to thinking about dishes to try. So that’s my excuse for a Pinterest addiction.

I really am finding good recipes from Pinterest, and sometimes there are recipe trends, and sometimes I’ll hop on board with the trends. But sometimes I’ll adapt two or three versions of the trend recipes and make my own.

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Such is the case with the “Garlic Cheese Crescent Roll-Ups with Herbs and Parmesan and Sometimes Other Things too.” If you have browsed Pinterest at all during the last month you probably saw one of these recipes. I did too! And so here I am posting about how I made my version, and why it’s the best of all of the variations on the web.

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What you need:

1 tube of crescent rolls

4 mozzarella cheese sticks halved (we like Italia brand, it’s mozzarella string cheese but tastes like real mozzarella)

1 package of pepperoni

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon minced garlic

parmesan to taste

oregano to taste

To start, open the tube of crescent rolls carefully (but really, don’t hurt yourself). Separate the eight, and lay them them out facing the same direction.

Place the halved cheese sticks at the wide end of each crescent roll.

Lay a layer of pepperoni on each crescent, leaving an inch and a half at the narrow end of each. This will take about five or six pieces of pepperoni for each roll-up, depending on the size of the pepperoni.

Roll the crescents up, starting at the side with the cheese, and making sure at the narrow side to seal the ends.

Put the roll-ups on a baking sheet, don’t worry about greasing it.

Met the butter in the microwave, add the garlic and a sprinkle of oregano. Top each roll-up with this delicious mixture. Sprinkle each with grated parmesan.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a couple of minutes and serve with pizza sauce or ranch or whatever your heart desires.

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These are so easy to make, I’m going to have to keep them in mind once I’m back at school. I normally have string cheese in my fridge, and crescent rolls are easy to buy at any grocery store. They aren’t microwavable, but they can be done in the community kitchen in a dorm rather easily.

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The Best Way to Make a Pizza

You know how I received a cast iron skillet for my birthday, then a few months later I ended up with a second one? Yeah, that happened, so we have been trying to get some good use out of them. One way is bake your pizza in the skillet. I know that there are tons of deep-dish skillet pizza recipes out there, especially on the food pages of Reddit, but trust me, you can use what ever process you want and it will turn out fine as long as you are mindful of it.

To start, you want to preheat your oven to whatever temp that you normally use when you make pizza (whatever temp that your crust recipe tells you, I guess). Then make the dough for you crust, doing whatever you normally do, we use a box mix that turns out pretty nice normally.

Once the dough is ready to be worked with, squish it into the skillet, all the way to the edges, you don’t have to make a crust around the edges, but it kind of just happens anyway.IMG_7248

Once this has been accomplished, spread the sauce around and top it with what ever toppings you like. We went with pepperoni, Canadian bacon, sausage, and small pieces of bacon.IMG_7250

Throw it in the oven until it looks beautiful, just like then. Pull it out and let it cool for a few moments then cut it up and serve it up.IMG_7251

The crust wasn’t incredibly thick, but the edges were nice, and it was pretty. It’s not the only way to ever to pizza, but it sure is one of the best.IMG_7255

Make sure that you have fun with your cast iron skillet, folks.

I Got Super Lazy

My second Meatless Monday went relatively well, I didn’t feel the greatest so I didn’t really have cravings for anything meat. Except the white chili that my mother and I had made the night before, it was really good and I think I’m addicted to it. We have made it before, and I always want to eat the entire pot in one sitting… So I might have to figure out how to make a vegetarian version so I can make it on Mondays and be very happy.

Anyway, I did not want to cook on Monday night but I had to feed myself and I had a beautiful mushroom that I needed to use. Also, when cutting it up, it sort of looked like a mustache, so that’s pretty cool._MG_7171IMG_7178

So I sautéed the mushroom and threw it on a premade pizza crust with a premade pizza sauce with some left over green peppers. It was really lazy.

It was out of a can, and it exploded (well kind of) when I opened it. Then I had to prebake it because that’s what the container told by to do and heaven forbid I do something other than what the MAN tells me. After It was prebaked I topped it like any normal person would with the sauce and the cheese and the mushrooms and peppers.

The mushrooms were pretty hefty, so I had to saute them to tenderize them a bit. I did that with some olive oil until they shrunk down and got all soft on me. I didn’t do anything with the peppers other them slice them into some adorable sticks. Sorry that I am being all fond of the food I cook, I honestly find it all to be adorable and tasty.

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Then you gotta put it back in the oven until the cheese melts and the crust gets a nice golden brown.

Let it cool and then cut it. Realize that if you use a rectangular pan with an edge, it will be impossible to use a rolling pizza cutter. Cry out of frustration until you realize you can use a regular knife. Then eat your pizza while catching up on Psych because your Wednesday TV-watching schedule is crazy and you can’t fit everything in if you have the hopes of completing that one AP assignment, but you really want to watch Psych so you do it while you eat.IMG_7187

Sorry, I did not intend to dump my problems on you like that. It just happens sometimes. Despite the issues, it was a good pizza, it filled me up, and it had no meat.IMG_7184

Now We’re Grillin’!

Last week I was out of the country, I was eating awesome Irish food, and it was rainy and cold. But this week I am home, and I’m eating great American food, and it’s actually kind of nice outside. To be honest, I missed cooking my own food while I was gone, so to be able to come home and make what I want (in the fashion that I want) is really nice. Plus it’s been warn enough to grill, so I was pretty pumped about that.

But I didn’t know what to make, I wasn’t in the mood for burgers or chicken and we had a plan to have pork chops the next night, so I was stuck. Then I saw a post on reddit.com/r/food about a personal pizza made on a mushroom and I became very inspired. I tried making one before the poster commented on how she made her’s so mine came out really different, but it was still pretty good.

Also, this meal is really easy to make vegetarian while still using the grill (once summer parties start happening, having a veg option is really nice and people appreciate it). And it’s low carb, so woo-hoo! And finally, they’re really easy to personalize and make unique.

To start, you want to make sure you rinse your mushrooms well. Them mix up a marinade  whatever you would normally use for grilled veggies is good. I used one with worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and some oregano and basil. Let them soak it up for at least half an hour, but they can go up to an hour if you are willing to wait.IMG_7113

While they are getting wonderful, heat up the grill and put down a cast iron griddle if you have one, this makes it easier on the fragile mushrooms and it gives some really grill lines. Also, if you spill cheese on it, it’s easy to take inside and clean up.

Once everything is hot and the mushrooms have soaked in their nice bath long enough, put them on the grill for about 10 minutes, flipping twice. IMG_7120Once they are tender, you can start to top them (you’ll need to watch them for their tenderness, if the grill is really hot, they’ll get there really quick, if not, it will take longer; it’s best to have your grill set in the middle though).IMG_7121

You can use whatever type of pizza sauce or cheese that you want, but I used sauce from a jar and some fresh mozzarella.IMG_7124 Once you top them, close the lid and let the cheese melt. If things get drippy, oh well, it’s taste good anyway.

Take them off the grill and let them cool for just a couple minutes and then dig in!IMG_7131

I’m not a huge mushroom person, but I really liked trying these. They’re a relatively healthy take on something extremely unhealthy, so no complaints. I hope you enjoy the grilling weather, and if you  get a chance to try these, do it!

Not Pizza, But Still

So a while ago, I found some really nice looking pictures of a couple of calzones I made. I made them months ago, though, and I hardly intended to write about them, but now the pictures look good and I didn’t make anything exciting this week so I feel the urge to talk about them.

The key to making calzones to to be super comfortable with the dough you are working with. That means use a recipe you are used to, not one you are trying for the first time EVER!

Next thing to keep in mind is the level of filling, don’t under fill and don’t over fill. This takes practice and it’s more than okay to mess it up, especially if you like oven-baked cheesy goodness.IMG_6190.2

And finally, do an egg wash or brush with olive oil. It’s also appropriate to poke a couple of holes to allow venting. Then bake them until they are beautiful and golden brown.IMG_6189.2

I’m sorry I don’t really have a lot more to say, but enjoy the pictures anyway.IMG_6191

The thing about calzones though, is that they are a good way of changing up your stuck-in-a-rut pizza habits. Also who doesn’t love gooey pockets of cheese and meat?!?

I’m Glad I’m not a Vampire

Because garlic. Oh my goodness, I would be a very sad vampire, you know, cause they can’t eat garlic, it kills them or something. At least it repels their boyfriend/girlfriend and family members, but that happens to the best of us. Also, I’m glad I’m not a cat, again because of the garlic thing. They have issues with garlic and onion (along with the leeks and the rest of the family). I do my best to avoid letting the cats around the kitchen when I cook with garlic because I fling everything around and make a mess, and Freyja thinks she needs to taste everything that’s on the floor.

Today was definitely no exception to my desire to stay human and not allergic to garlic. I made a garlic chicken pizza.

I started by roasting some garlic in the oven. I cut the tops off the tops of the bulb, rubbed some olive oil all over it, wrapped them in tin foil and threw them into the oven for half and hour at 400 degrees. The house smelled glorious for a while, its was wonderful. They came out and the bulbs were really soft, and the outer cloves had a nice caramelization going on. If you do it right (probably even if you don’t), the garlic will mash very easily and you can spread it like peanut butter.

Bulb of garlic before the roasting.

I’ll work from the crust up, then I guess. So I used the normal pizza crust for this crazy pizza, it just sort of made sense to keep one thing the same in case it all fell apart. After the crust went in for a few minutes for the initial baking, the roasted garlic went directly onto the crust.

Then comes the awesomeness that is alfredo. Well a really simple, unseasoned alfredo. It’s a parmesan cream sauce basically. I make this on a pretty regular basis, it’s really quick and easy. Normally I add some garlic at the beginning , but since the pizza already had a layer, I wasn’t that sure that I should add any more.

On top of the alfredo, I put down some fresh mozzarella  I sliced it thin myself, rather than buying the stuff that was pre-sliced, it comes too thick. It’s hard to cut your own, but it’s worth it to make sure that it turns out at the desired thickness.

On top of the cheese, there was a layer of sliced, definitely not diced, roma tomatoes.We grew our own over the summer, but we didn’t have any ripe ones, so we had to go with store bought. Again, watch the thickness of the tomatoes, you don’t want this pizza turning into a leaning tower (you know, of pizza).

The chicken is going to finish it off. The chicken was cooked then diced, then covered in pesto from a jar, then put onto the pizza. The pesto had some garlic, so it kept with the garlic chicken theme.

The pizza before the baking.

We cooked this one on the pizza stone, but we didn’t heat the stone before it went onto it, so it was cooked well, but not like a cracker. I really liked using the stone, but it isn’t a must if you’d like to recreate it.

The pizza fresh out of the oven.

It turned out way too yummy to handle, so it might be a while before I make it again. I can honestly say that there is nothing that I feel like needs any sort of redemption  I’m a little proud of myself.

Homemade Pizza

Sunday nights are generally pretty boring at my house. Sometimes we watch the game, sometimes we have meetings to go to, sometimes we do something crazy like make pizza. Pizza isn’t all that crazy normally, but the fact that we cooked something is crazy. We normally have a large meal Sunday at noon, so we don’t eat untill later, and we definitely don’t cook something new. That means Sunday is normally leftovers or something super simple.

Tonight was different. We made pizza.

When we make pizza, we have a lot of fun. We make several pizzas, different toppings, sometimes doing different sauces, and one time we even cooked our pizzas on the grill. We like to make our pizza, which is odd, seeing as we have little to no Italian heritage, on either side of the family. However I have grown up helping my mom make the pizzas, always being allowed to help and put my touch on it.

The pizzas we make have changed only a little. We still use a box of hot roll mix as the crust, we still buy sauce (we aren’t Italian, we have no idea how to make it on our own in a short amount of time), and we still almost always burn the tops of our mouths on the first bite.

We did two pizzas tonight, one supreme and meat.

Supreme Pizza

I have no desire to eat mushrooms on pizza, but my parents like it, so this pizza was theirs. It has peppers and onions and the same meat as the other pizza. We generally do sauce, toppings, then cheese. So you can’t see all the toppings well because of all that wonderful mozzarella goodness. Normally when we use this pan we do a deeper crust, but tonight we kept it simple, doing only one layer.

Meat Pizza

Now this one was done a little bit different than normal. Then again every time we do pizza anymore we try to change things up. This goes crust (oh, yeah we baked the crust a little before we put anything on top), cheese, sausage, Canadian bacon, pepperoni, a sprinkle of cheese to get that nice color contrast, and then finally the sauce on top. Doing the sauce on top was sort of a nod at the Detroit style, however the crust was sort of low for that. This different style of layering gave me a few ideas on how to improve it, actually parental input had a lot to do with this. I think more flavor needs to happen at the same time or bellow the cheese, and the crust is also lacking something.

I like pizza, my family likes pizza; it’s fun to make. I will surely have to revisit the second style and change something and let you know how it goes. I actually am excited to make more pizza!