I used King Arthur’s Italian Style flour (but you can buy pizza dough at the grocery store). I used their recipe on the back of their product to make the dough. You can use other pizza dough recipes (I have several on my blog that you can search).
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. You can bake on pizza stone or a Silpat lined baking sheet (which is what I used). From there, you will divide the dough into two balls. Roll them out about 14×14 inches and about 1/4 inch thick. Place your filling (I used turkey sausage and peppers/onions that was already cooked and cooled) in the center of the dough. Make slices into the dough as pictured above. Then starting at the bottom you are going to overlap the dough resembling a braid (although it isn’t a braid). Maybe I should say criss-crossing. Using two spatulas’ I gently lifted and placed on my baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and heated through. I baked it for about 35 minutes but every oven is different. You want a nice light brown crust and heated ingredients. I made one with mozzarella and one without (my youngest isn’t a fan). I have marinara sauce for dipping. Easy and can prepare ahead of time and reheat. Also would be awesome for your Super Bowl party. Fill it with whatever fun ingredients you love. Pepperoni, sausage, beef, cheeses etc.
The holidays will be here before we know it & I always need a few good staple appetizer recipes that I can prepare easily and ahead of time. I had leftover smoked gorgonzola from yesterday’s dinner and I thought I would use it. You can use regular gorgonzola if you couldn’t find smoked. Blue cheese would also work perfectly.
4 ounces of smoked or regular gorgonzola (room temperature)
4 ounces of light or low fat cream cheese (room temperature)
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of white wine
Salt and Pepper
1 cup of slivered and toasted almonds, ground into smaller pieces (walnut pieces would also work well)
20 rosemary sprigs (about 2 inches)
Place all of the ingredients into your food processor (except the almonds) and blend until creamy. Place the mixture on a piece of plastic wrap and cover. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Then remove and using a mini scooper, scoop out and roll into bite-sized balls. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes.
Place your almonds into a bowl. Roll the cheese balls into the almond or nut mixture and coat to cover. Place the rosemary sprig into each ball to garnish and refrigerate until needed.
Oh Manchego cheese is one of my very favorites!! I picked up a large slice of it today and just knew I had some fresh tomatoes at home… viola!
This recipe is super easy. Broil up some sliced baguette pieces (drizzled with a bit of olive oil) until nicely toasted and golden brown on both sides. Then top with thinly sliced tomatoes (sprinkled with a tiny bit of salt) and top with a thin slice of Manchego cheese. Crack some fresh pepper over top, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and serve. Great appetizer!
I love olives! This is one of my favorite go-to appetizers and I’ve been craving this for about two weeks. I finally purchased some of my favorite olives and just got done making this… I had to share! Easily prepared ahead of time. All you need are some toasted baguette slices or even Melba toast. A great basic that is always well-recieved. Remember, serve with a great glass of wine
1/2 pound of mixed olives, pitted ( I used garlic stuffed, feta stuffed, green and Kalamata olives)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of capers
5 fresh basil leaves
1/2 of a lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Zest from one lemon
This is super easy! Toss it all in your food processor and blend until it resembles a chunky paste. Remove and store in a tupperware container.
Perfectly vegetarian. This recipe is totally customizable. I’m still perfecting my “wrapping” skills but this is one of our favorite lunches ever! Totally filling without any of the guilt from a heavy lunch or light dinner. These would also be super fun to make at a dinner party – think of Vietnamese “tacos”.
Rice paper can be purchased at any Asian market or at some specialty sections of your grocery store. You want to look for rice/tapioca blend. Avoid wheat.
The ingredients that you fill these with are totally up to you. I used sliced avocado, red peppers, brown rice, sprouts, peanuts and slivered carrots. You can add meat or fish if you prefer.
My tips on working with the rice paper… get a bowl of warm water next to you prep area and soak one sheet at a time for about 30 seconds. It will become pliable, yet fragile. Lay it out on a flat, clean surface and fill in your ingredients. I start with rice and add from there. Avoid over-filling. Then for an open top, fold the bottom of the rice paper up and then take one side and fold it over the filling and then repeat with the other side. Place on a platter. Repeat until you make as many as you wish to have. Top with sesame seeds and pickled ginger.
You can use Teriyaki sauce from the store or I blend 1/4 cup of low sodium Soy Sauce with wasabi paste. Mix up and dip.
The more you make, the better you get. I promise, these are super fun and so delicious!
Craving gorgonzola cheese tonight with my Skinny girl margarita. Whipped this up in a snap and it’s perfect with some crackers or crudités. I have a huge Rosemary bush in my garden and this was a lovely way to use it.
4 ounces of light cream cheese
1 cup of low fat gorgonzola crumbled cheese
3 tablespoons of chopped fresh Rosemary
Salt and Pepper
1 clove of garlic
3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
Place all of the ingredients (up to the lemon juice) into your food processor. Blend for about 2 minutes. Through the spout, add the lemon juice (you may need more to make creamier) until if has a creamier texture. Spoon the cheese mixture out into a bowl and serve with crackers or fresh vegetables.
I’m a self-proclaimed cheese addict. I can’t imagine ever giving it up. It’s beyond versatile and this weekend – it made a wonderful appetizer for a party that we hosted. Super easy. Prepare ahead of time. Leftovers? Use them in salads, to top pasta, for a wonderful panini or just hit it straight up!
1 lb of fresh mozzarella (I used bocconcini) – perfect size for appetizers
4 tbl of good quality olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced (use more if you like)
2 tsp of oregano
1 tsp of thyme
1 tsp of rosemary (I used fresh)
4 whole basil leaves torn up (garnish)
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 tsp of salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine and let those delicious flavors marinade for at least 24 hours. Remove about 1 hour prior to serving to let the cheese come down to room temperature. Garnish with fresh basil. I used these on mini skewers with cherry tomatoes (both yellow and orange) with a basil leaf.
I rarely take shortcuts but this is one I always do for a party and it is a time saver & a great appetizer. How can you go wrong, right?
1-2 lbs of fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed (bottoms)
1 container of a good quality Italian dressing
Place the asparagus in a ziploc and pour the entire bottle of dressing over top. Seal and refrigerate for 4-6 hours. Remove and plate. So good, unbelievably easy. I always plate with other things, olives, tomatoes – I also served my marinated mozzarella skewers with this on the side.
My vegetarian friend Brooke, made me a salad similar to this years ago and over the years I’ve revamped it and made it my own. I can honestly down this entire, very large, container in one sitting if I needed to. I did help myself to 3, yes 3, helpings at dinner. Consider I only ate watermelon for lunch, that would explain my voracious appetite
1 – 15 oz can of organic black or adzuki beans
2 c of fresh corn or frozen
2 c of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red pepper, chopped
1 orange pepper, chopped (color of the pepper may vary)
1/2 c of a red onion, diced
2 jalapeño, chopped finely
1/3 c of fresh lime juice
1/4 c of olive oil
1/4 c cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tsp of salt
3/4 tsp of ground cumin (if you don’t like cumin as much as I do, use 1/4 or 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp of ground black pepper
Combine in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours to let the flavors mingle. You can serve this as a side dish, with tortilla chips at a party or just with a big spoon! YUM!
Seriously so addictive! Gluten free, healthy and the perfect pick-me-up snack that is both tangy and a bit spicy. I love these to serve at an outdoor summer party with some freshly made margaritas.
4 c of raw nuts (You can select whatever nuts you have on hand in your pantry.) I used macadamia, almonds & peanuts
1/4 c of freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp of smoked paprika
1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of salt
Zest from one lime
Preheat oven to 375 degree. Toss all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
Then spread out evenly on your baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes then toss. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until golden.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Serve them right away or store in an airtight container for 3 months.