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My boy and I used to have pizza and movie nights on my paydays…I generally don’t feel like cooking when I get home from work (I get up at 4:30 am on workdays, after all), and we discovered a place that would bring us delicious pizza AND movies. We’d watch O’s movie while having a pizza picnic in the living room.

Then I started the 21 Day Fix. I figured pizza night could be my cheat day, but after eating well for two weeks, pizza just didn’t make me feel all that great. We haven’t had a pie delivered since, but I didn’t want to give up on our pizza nights. Wanting to make my own, but not really wanting to make the crust from scratch after coming home from work, I started looking for crust options that wouldn’t ruin my hard work…but still tasted good.

I found FlatOuts at the grocery store and decided to give them a shot. Check out the video below to see how it went!

Please excuse my hair and lack of makeup. I did a workout, then spent most of the day trying to declutter. Turns out, we have a TON of stuff to get rid of. I’m also in desperate need of a haircut, but I just haven’t had time.

If you like this video, please give it a thumbs up and don’t forget to subscribe!

Have you tried FlatOuts?

**Disclosure** This is not a sponsored post. I purchased this product with my own money, all opinions are my own.**

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Yesterday was a rainy, cold, nasty day… The kind of day that just makes me feel like being lazy. I desperately needed to go to the store, though, and I had a lunch date with a good friend that I was really looking forward to.

I put on real pants and my favorite cozy sweater and headed to the new Japanese place to meet my friend and her darling girl. I got a Bento Box with soup, salad, a spring roll, 4 pieces of California roll, fried rice, and teriyaki scallops…Delicious!

After our lovely lunch, the boy and I headed to Wal-Mart for crochet thread and something for dinner. I wanted to make naan pizzas, but the bakery had no naan. I was really sad until a loaf of garlic and herb French bread caught my eye. Why not have French bread pizza instead?

I decided to do chicken alfredo pizzas, but you could use any sauce and topping combo under the sun.

Chicken alfredo French bread pizza

1 loaf French bread

The meat of 1 rotisserie chicken, pulled

Alfredo sauce (I used the jar but you could certainly make your own)

Fresh basil leaves

About 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced

Parmesan cheese

Italian blend shredded cheese

Banana pepper rings

Preheat your oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment. Slice bread in half lengthwise, then hollow it out to make room for the good stuff.

I mixed my alfredo sauce with Parmesan cheese, then spread it liberally over the bread halves. Lay out the basil leaves (as many as you like), then add onions and pulled rotisserie chicken. I added banana pepper rings to only my part of the pizza, because no one else understands that banana peppers belong on EVERYTHING.

Top with cheese, then pop into your oven for about 15 minutes, or until cheese melts. I turned the broiler on low when the timer went off so the cheese would get all brown and toasty. I think it took about 5 minutes, but just to be safe watch them like a hawk.

image

That is the best photo I could manage, because I had two hungry guys trying to get to the food.

Ok, O was in his high chair banging on his tray, so it was really just one guy attempting to move me out of the way. Still, I didn’t have time to even attempt to make it look pretty. Sorry about that.

I served these with a simple side salad, and The BF had Doritos, too…Because he apparently thinks you have to have chips with pizza. Dude is weird sometimes.

They took all of 30 minutes to make and they were super tasty. The only way to be lazier would be to buy the frozen, pre-made French Bread pizzas…but where’s the fun in that?


I think we can all agree that pizza is full of awesome, and homemade pizza is even better. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t turn my nose up at a slice from a pizza place…but by the time we get it home (no one delivers to us country folk) the cheese has congealed and the crust is soggy. There’s just nothing quite like a slice of fresh – outta – the – oven pizza that you made yourself.

I’ve always gone the store bought crust route because, honestly, it’s just easier.  I’ve always wondered if homemade crust would be better, though… So when I discovered a recipe for pizza crust in my KitchenAid book I decided to give it a shot. Was it better?

Leaps and bounds, y’all.

I know you guys probably can’t wait to try this for yourselves, so how about we get crackin’?

Pizza crust (Recipe from KitchenAid)

You need:

1 envelope active dry yeast

1 cup warm water (105° F to 115°F)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Cornmeal

Pizza sauce

Cheese (whatever variety makes your heart sing)

Pizza toppings

I preheat my oven first (450°F) so the dough can rise on the stove top.

Attach the dough hook to your mixer, then pour the warm water into the bowl. Add yeast and let it dissolve, then add salt, oil, and 2 1/2 cups of flour. Mix on speed two for about a minute.

Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, then let it mix for about two more minutes.

Let dough rise in a greased bowl (I used olive oil) in a warm place for an hour, or until it doubles in size. Or until you suddenly remember it after getting distracted by your toddler’s newest daredevil stunts. You know, whenever. It’ll still be right there waiting for you.

Punch the dough down, then you can do a few different things. I divided it in two, then divided one half into thirds for O’s mini-pizzas. The remaining half got pressed into our cast iron skillet (brush it with a bit of olive oil, then sprinkle cornmeal on the bottom and sides first).

You could easily make one big pizza out of this dough, or a couple of thin crust pizzas. It would make really good calzones, as well. The possibilities are practically endless!

Once you have your dough ready, top it with whatever your heart desires. We used a ton of pepperoni, onions, green peppers, and banana peppers (they just belong on pizza). O’s pizzas got a smidge of sauce, broccoli, green peppers, and cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until exposed crust is golden brown and cheese is melty.

Let is rest for five minutes or so before cutting into it… And try not to burn the roof of your mouth on the molten lava cheese.

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This crust was so easy to make that it would be a crime to buy the pre – made stuff from now on. It actually stayed crunchy under the ton of toppings and sauce, which was nice. Floppy pizza crust is not delicious.

I happen to think this would make a great Super Bowl snack. You could even make a mini-crust for each guest, let them top it however they like, and then bake ’em up.

All I know is, next time I’m making a mini Hawaiian pizza and I’m not sharing.

What are your favorite pizza toppings?


So here’s the deal. Every now and then The BF stops by the grocery store after work and comes home with one of these:

chef boyardee

 

On this particular shopping trip he also ended up with a jar of alfredo sauce… He figured we could have chicken alfredo pizza one night since we had all of those chicken breasts in the freezer. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t want to take the good chicken breasts (yes, I still have six left from Omaha Steaks and I’m hanging on to them) and just throw them on a damned old pizza. Sheesh.

I ended up using pre-cooked oven-roasted diced chicken breast, bacon, baby spinach, basil, shallots, garlic, and three kinds of cheese.

The BF wants chicken pizza? Well he’s gonna get chicken and bacon alfredo pizza with all kinds of other goodies hiding under the cheese. Because I’m an overachiever.

For the crust just stir water into the crust mix ( I used both packages), coat with some oil, cover and let sit in a warm spot while you prep the other stuff. I put a towel over the bowl and set it on the stove top while the oven preheated to 425 degrees.

Fry, bake or nuke (if you want to use pre-cooked bacon…I won’t judge) as much bacon as you want. Actually, make a little extra since you will probably eat a couple of pieces to make sure the bacon meets your standards… I call that Quality Control.  Once it’s crispy set it aside on a paper towel lined plate to cool. When it’s cooled enough that you can handle it, crumble it up.

If you need to, grate your cheese. I had some basil and garden vegetable semi-soft cheese in the fridge that I used, along with pre-grated parmesan and pizza blend.

Fancy cheese (1)

Rinse off your basil and lay it flat on a paper towel to dry.

Basil

Thinly slice about half to three quarters of a shallot and four cloves of garlic. I suppose you could use less garlic but…why?

Shallots

I like to dump the chicken on my cutting board and check for any gristly (barf) chunks. I cut the gristle (gag) off of them if I can and throw it out. I hate big chunks of chicken on anything so I also cut each chunk into smaller pieces.

By now your oven should be preheated. Spray a pizza stone with Baker’s Joy (that stuff is magic) or just use a regular old non-stick pizza pan. Spread out the crust as evenly as possible, then smear on some of the alfredo sauce. Don’t be afraid to lick the spoon when you’re done.

Rip up some baby spinach leaves and your washed basil, then throw it on the sauce as evenly as possible. Yes, I suppose you could Chiffonade your basil and spinach but…eh.

Add the shallot and garlic slices, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (I also added the freshly grated basil and garden vegetable cheese at this point).

Pizza 1 (1)

Evenly distribute the chicken chunks, cover with pizza blend cheese (or whatever you want), then top with crumbled bacon.

pizza 2Bake for 25 minutes, then let it rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting. I realize that will be incredibly difficult but you must stay strong. Trust me, it will be easier to cut once it has had a chance to cool slightly.

finished pizza
pizza slices (1)

 

I feel very Semi-Homemade right now… Sandra Lee would be proud. Now all I need to do is down a cocktail or two (hiccup!) and cover my table in some obnoxious themed ‘tablescape’.

I prefer to make stuff from scratch so I know exactly what goes into the food I feed my family…but I suppose the occasional convenience food isn’t horrible. Besides, this was good. Really, really good. I ate four pieces and felt pretty miserable for a little bit but it was worth it.

Of course, I wasn’t too miserable to skip having ice cream a little later.

What?!

 


Do you ever get something wedged into your brain and suddenly you have to acquire said thing just to get some peace? Because until you get this thing you just will not stop thinking about it?

Well I do. It happens pretty frequently with food…And sometimes other things. I had skinny jeans on the brain for a good long while until I went out and got myself a pair. I kind of had cell phones on the brain since I’ve convinced myself I desperately need a new one…So last night I finally joined Team Android and ditched the ol’ Blackberry.

 I’ve seriously had visions of fruit pizza dancing through my mind for quite some time. I know, it seems like a silly thing, but I can’t help what gets stuck in there.

The first time I had fruit pizza was in my high school Home Economics class… I remember that we also made veggie pizza that day. You know, with the biscuit crust, ranch and raw veggies?

Last summer I went to a cookout at The BF’s aunt’s house and someone brought a fruit pizza. I actually didn’t get any of it but I wasn’t worried because I just figured I’d whip one up myself…I mean, they’re easy as can be and take no time at all to make.

So summer went away and all of a sudden it was winter… Then I had to go and become unemployed and super broke, and it just somehow slipped my mind until about a week ago when it came up again in a random conversation with my boss.

My brain instantly screamed “WE MUST HAVE THE FRUIT PIZZA!”

I found myself at Kroger Monday night and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the blueberries, strawberries and kiwis looked. I decided to be super lazy and get the slice-and-bake sugar cookie dough and a disposable pizza pan. Sorry polar bears.

The makings of fruit pizza...and my grilled cheese sandwich.

To make fruit pizza, smash sugar cookie dough into your pizza pan until it covers the bottom and bake according to the package directions. Mix an 8 oz package of cream cheese with 1/3 cup sugar and about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (you can adjust the amounts to taste…I’ll probably reduce the sugar next time). Make sure to let your cookie crust cool, then spread the cream cheese mixture on it. Then, artfully arrange the fruit on the pizza. You are not allowed to just haphazardly throw the fruit on the pizza. ARTFUL. Make it pretty.

He's supervising.

YUM!

I don’t think anyone will be super impressed or think you just slaved for hours in the kitchen if you make this, but who cares? It’s good!

…And so was my grilled cheese sandwich.



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