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 –

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 –

Quick Eats: Baking Sheet Quesadillas

Good Morning, Happy Monday- and Happy Labor Day, everyone! This post was drafted right before I left for a long weekend away in the middle of the mountains in Vermont with my best friend. I’m heading home later on today- and I’ll be sure to have plenty of photos from my trip to share this week once I’m back in my home office (where I have a more stable WiFi connection than out here in the woods!)

This coming Thursday is the kickoff to the New England Patriots’ regular season- and to celebrate- we’re having a tailgating party at work (I swear, we do actually work now and then) where everyone has been encouraged to bring their favorite game day food. Although my go-to recipe to satisfy a fairly large group of people has always typically been a big plate of nachos- this time around I wanted to try something a little different- and I came across this 20-minute recipe for mess-free quesadillas that looked delicious.

I did a trial run a few days ago to see if it was something I could pull off in the early morning hours before my commute so they would stay fresh and warm by the time our party started- and I’m pretty excited to share these with everyone at the office- because they turned out awesome!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 12 tortillas or wraps
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 12 ounces shredded cheddar or Jack cheese
  • Shredded and cooked chicken or beef (depending on your preference! You can also go meat-free and stick to just the cheeses and salsa.)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • Sour cream, as needed for serving
  • Salsa, as needed for serving

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease a baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of the butter.
  2. Arrange half of the tortillas in the prepared pan, overlapping them as needed to fully cover the base.
  3. Spread the salsa in an even layer on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the salsa and add your cooked and shredded chicken or beef.
  4. Arrange the remaining tortillas on top of the cheese, salsa & meat- overlapping as needed to fully cover the pan. Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons butter evenly over the tortillas.
  5. Bake until the tortillas are golden and the cheese is fully melted, 9 to 12 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro and green onions.
  6. Serve immediately, warm, with sour cream and salsa on the side.

I’m not even going to lie- I ate enough of these to the point where I felt like I couldn’t move- that’s how good they tasted. Fantastic flavor aside, I couldn’t get over how quick, easy, and painless these were to make- and I think I’ve found my new favorite party recipe for this coming football season!

Enjoy your Monday, y’all! (And Go Pats!)

xx

– Ashley –