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 –

“The following contest is scheduled for one fall…”

Good Morning and Happy Hump Day, everyone!

As predicted, it’s been a busy week- and this morning has me chugging my coffee before heading into a four-hour meeting that’ll take me through my lunch break and lead-up to a long afternoon of overtime while I catch up on any messages that came in while I was out of the office.

I’m pretty tired for sure, but we’re almost to the weekend- so I just have to hang on a little longer before I can sleep late and gradually make my way to the beach. I’ve been craving some French fries and fried dough from one of my favorite spots in Portsmouth, New Hampshire- so that’s on the agenda for sure.

Before I get a little too ahead of myself, though- I wanted to backtrack once again to this past weekend. Last Sunday marked my friend Phill’s annual ‘Summer Slam’ viewing party- with the venue changing from his former apartment in Cambridge to his new residence in lovely (and spectacularly spooky) Salem, Massachusetts.

As always, attendees came prepared with Wrestling-themed food to compete for the SnackDown Championship Belt (calculated by a panel of judges who score on taste, presentation, and how clever the name of the food is.) This event’s winner was The Ultimate W’Oreo Pie- but I was really quite proud of my Bob Backlund’s Crossface (Buffalo) Chicken Wings if I do say so myself!

And like I’ve been doing since the Royal Rumble party earlier this year in January, I came in costume- this time as Becky Lynch. I’m really feeling the orange wig- and I’m looking for more excuses to wear it again ASAP.

Two of our regulars, Caleb and Cliff, were unable to make it due to distance and prior obligations- but with a little ingenuity they were able to be Skyped into the party in order to watch the event (and add their own commentary) with us live as the show was broadcast.

Overall it was such a fun night- and it’s something I really look forward to every year. I’m already thinking of ways I can make an even more elaborate costume or an even pun-nier food to bring. I believe the next get together is in January for the Royal Rumble- which means doing full body paint ala Finn Balor as ‘The Demon’ might result in hypothermia around here- but we’ll just have to wait and see!

I’ve got to get to work, though- and brace myself for today’s packed and semi-chaotic schedule.

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday and s safe journey to Friday and the weekend!

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 –