Super Bowl Snacks: Mozzarella-Stuffed Pizza Bread

Good Afternoon and Happy “Hump Day,” everyone!

Today’s post is coming at you all a little later on in the day than usual- but with a Patriot’s Parade, work and friends visiting from California- the past couple of days have been a little crazy!

I’m still riding the post-Super Bowl celebration high right now- which is why I’m sharing a dish that I particularly love to make during football season- but can also really be prepared and served any time of year! Pizza dishes are appropriate year-round- on any day, occasion, party, etc.

This cheese-stuffed pizza dough takes just over an our to prepare, cook and serve- and about two minutes to eat (or one minute, if you’re like me…)

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces finely diced fresh mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomato pesto (store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese Fresh basil, for serving

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 4-by-14-inch rectangle. Cut the dough in half lengthwise. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water until combined.
  3. Sprinkle the mozzarella down the length of one piece of the dough in an even layer. Sprinkle the oregano and pepper evenly over the cheese. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash around the perimeter of the other piece of dough. Stack the pieces of dough, pressing firmly around the edges to seal and encase the cheese.
  4. Use a spoon to spread a line of pesto, about 1 inch thick, all the way down the length of the dough.
  5. Gently pick up the dough and twist down the length of it so that the pesto looks swirled. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and coil it into a tight spiral.
  6. Brush the dough with the olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 20 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the Parmesan onto the dough and then bake until very golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. 8. Serve immediately, garnished with basil.

Amid the nachos, French fries, chicken wings, chips & dip, sliders and beer- this “Pizza Bread” was definitely a hit and went pretty fast! I also made sure to serve it alongside small bowls of marinara sauce and ranch dressing- since those are the mandatory Super Bowl side-sauces, after all!

And, of course- no Super Bowl party is complete without properly representing your team. Luckily, I had plenty of Patriots plates/cups on standby for the occasion! There’s still some left over, too- so maybe I can break it out again for next year’s Super Bowl!

A girl can hope, right?

Anyway, I have to get back to work- but here’s wishing you all a wonderful rest of your Wednesday!

xx

– Ashley –

Game Day Eats: Loaded Baked Potato Chips

Good Morning and Happy “Hump Day”, everyone!

I took today off from work- not only to get some errands done and spend time with friends/family visiting from the West Coast this week- but I’m also getting ready to go live on-air for Morning Glory at Indie617 bright and early this A.M. before I head on over to the Black Rose on State Street to grab lunch and catch an acoustic set by The Wombats!

There’s going to be plenty of updates on my Instagram for those looking to follow along!

With last night being Game 1 of the World Series (go Sox, by the way!)– I thought I’d share one of my favorite “Game Day” and tailgating party recipes I like to whip up before my local teams’ big games. It’s a fun spin on loaded baked potatoes- since you can serve these like nachos, instead!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 5 medium red potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Slice the potatoes into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Brush both sides with olive oil and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper, and roast until they begin to turn golden brown on the base, about 15 to 20 minutes. Flip the potatoes over and roast until they are golden on the other side, 12 to 15 minutes more.
  4. Remove the tray from the oven and top each piece of potato with ½ – 1 teaspoon of crumbled bacon. Top with 1 teaspoon of cheddar cheese, and then return to the oven. Bake until the potatoes are golden brown and the cheese is melted, 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Let the potatoes cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then garnish each with ½ teaspoon sour cream and ¼ teaspoon chives. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I could honestly eat an entire serving of these on my own if the opportunity presented itself- but sharing is caring and I made sure a couple of friends I had over last night to watch the game had enough of these chips to eat, too!

With plenty of nail-biting sporting events coming up, I know I’ll be making more of these in the next few weeks- and may or may not share them the next time around!

With a busy day ahead of me, I’ve got to get going- but here’s wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday! See you again on Friday!

xx

– Ashley –

Brunch Bites: Mozzarella Bites

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope you’re all hanging in there. We’re almost to the weekend!

Before I race into morning meetings and play a little catch-up with my e-mail inbox- I wanted to share a quick, easy, and cheesy (in a good way) recipe I whipped up for ‘Girls Day’ brunch this past weekend. You just need a handful of ingredients, a couple of bowls, and about 30 minutes of patience- and you’ve got yourself a crunchy, gooey appetizer that is perfect for pre-gaming for Springtime sporting events or for long afternoons of Netflix-binging. Whatever your Lazy Sunday itinerary consists of!

Think of these as a rounder, slightly-crispier spin on a traditional mozzarella stick.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1½ cups bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnishing
  • 1 cup marinara sauce, warmed for dipping

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Line a large plate with several layers of paper towels. In a small pot, heat the oil over medium heat until it reads 360°F to 370°F on a thermometer. (Note: This is a relatively high frying temperature, which gets the outside crust crispy before the inside cheese can melt too much. Keep an eye on the temperature of the oil, and if it gets too hot, turn off the heat.)
  2. Taking the mozzarella, break off pieces about an inch long and roll between your palms to create a round/ball shape. Continue doing this until you have the desired number of bites.
  3. Place the flour in a medium bowl, the egg in a second medium bowl and the bread crumbs in a third medium bowl.
  4. Working in batches, dredge the cheese balls in flour to coat, then in egg, then in bread crumbs. Repeat until all the cheese is breaded.
  5. Fry the mozzarella in the preheated oil until golden brown on the outside, then remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to the prepared paper-towel-lined plate. Season immediately with salt.
  6. To serve, garnish the mozzarella with parsley, then serve immediately with a side of warm marinara sauce.

I love simple recipes that satisfy- so seeing how quickly these cheese bites went and knowing that I didn’t spend an entire afternoon making them was a pretty fantastic feeling. I’m planning another batch for this coming Friday night when I show up to bi-weekly dinner with my family.

I know my niece- who never turns down anything with cheese in it- is going to love these!

But for now, it’s time to hustle and make some money here at work.

Enjoy the rest of your day, everyone! See you all on Friday!

xx

– Ashley –

Opening Day Eats: Mini Spinach-Ricotta Calzones

Good Morning and Happy Hump Day, everyone!

Being a Bostonian- it should surprise no one that I’m emotionally invested (like, unhealthily so) in our sports teams- as many people around here tend to be. But, as much as I enjoy the Bruins and the Celtics- my love and loyalty rests firmly with the Patriots, and- above all else- the Red Sox.

Opening Day for the Sox 2018 regular season is right around the corner, and to celebrate- we’re having a little impromptu party at the office with food and beverages (I’m sure we’ll be drinking harder stuff after we close for the day, though..) Not wanting to leave my co-workers hanging with limited options for snacks- I came across this mini calzone recipe that can feed 12 and requires minimum prep and a short amount of baking/cooking time- making it easy, quick and convenient to work into your schedule!

And, like most of my recipes- this one is also pretty versatile if you want to add/remove certain ingredients and fillings!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 pound frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed very well
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds pizza dough, equally divided into 12 pieces
  • 1½ cups ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the spinach and garlic; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Use your hands to stretch each piece of dough into a 4-inch circle. If the dough is too sticky, lightly oil your hands to make it easier to handle. Transfer the circles to the baking sheet.
  4. Spoon about 2 tablespoons ricotta into the center of each piece of dough. Top with a heaping spoonful of the spinach mixture, then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon mozzarella cheese.
  5. To close the calzones, fold the dough in half over the filling and press firmly around the edge to seal. You may have to stretch the dough slightly as you pull it over to make sure the filling is fully encased. Use a paring knife to cut small vents into the top of each calzone.
  6. Brush each calzone with olive oil and bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly, 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Anything with heaping amounts of ricotta is an automatic win for me- and these calzones were no exception! They were warm, crunchy, gooey from the cheese- and surprisingly pretty filling despite being a considerably smaller size than a regular calzone!

I’m thinking the next time I whip up a batch of these, I’ll be incorporating pepperoni, sausage, and maybe some mushrooms or green peppers to mix them up a bit. I’m a sucker for mini-foods, after all!

xx

– Ashley –

Super Bowl Snacks: Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Happy Friday, everyone! Today is my last day at work before I head off to Las Vegas overnight- and we’re all celebrating with a little pre-Super Bowl food day/party before Sunday’s big game. I admit, it’s going to be a bit strange not being in Boston to watch it at any of the usual bars or pubs- but I’m hoping I can find some Patriots fans in Sin City to party with. We’ll see how that goes!

Before I head off to the airport, though- I wanted to share a 15-minute recipe for those of you who may be heading to Super Bowl parties of your own this weekend and are looking for something quick, easy and delicious to serve up to your friends (or rival fans).

Behold, the pulled buffalo chicken sliders- a spicy and fun take on traditional cheeseburger sliders. If you love buffalo sauce or blue cheese as much as I do- then these are for you!

The measurements below make 8 servings, so modify as needed depending on how many people you’re going to be feeding!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 16 slider rolls, halved
  • ¾ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 6 leaves butter lettuce, roughly torn

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the buffalo sauce. Remove from the heat.
  2. In large bowl, toss the chicken and celery to combine. Add the sauce and toss to coat.
  3. Build sliders with the chicken mixture, blue cheese and lettuce.

An incredibly simple recipe that doesn’t require a ton of ingredients and still serves up a ton of fantastic flavors? Yeah- this is definitely one of my favorites. As much as I enjoy stuffing my face with wings and nachos- these are a bit more filling without leaving sauce or grease all over my face and fingers (or the feeling of guilt when I’ve eaten one too many.) 

Here’s wishing the best of luck to the Pats. I’d love nothing more than to return home in time to head back out to my city’s celebratory Rolling Rally if they can pull off another win!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone. I’ll be back to regular posting next week- and feel free to peep my INSTAGRAM to follow my adventures from Vegas! It’s shaping up to be a blast- and I’m just happy to be returning somewhere warm and sunny for a few days!

xx

– Ashley –