Easy Four Cheese Pizza with Arugula and Apples

Homemade Pizza

Sometimes you just need a bit of pie. Savory pie. Pizza pie. And the best, easiest, quickest and most tasty way to get said pie — in my humble opinion — is to make it yourself. Because a last minute hot-n-ready just doesn’t live up to what I know I can make in 30 minutes — when I clean out the cheese drawer.

Speaking of cheese drawers. Ours gets cray.

Bit of blue cheese, a hunk of Gouda, some weird, delightfully stinky nub I got out of the ‘try this tid-bit basket’ at the store; you never know what you’re going to find. But find you will, and then realize that OH CRAP, this does have an expiration date and when-the-heck-am-I-going-to-use-this-aside-from-a-fancy-cheese-party realization.

That’s when pizza happens. And soup, when it’s not the cheese drawer, but rather the veggie drawer that’s gone off the rails.

So this pizza, this delightful, cheesy mess of a monstrosity, combines all my favorite things, with some meats as well. Added benefit? My cheese drawer is also clear and ready to be filled once more. Confession – in order to make it under the 30 minute mark, I did pick up some pre-made dough from Trader Joes. It’s better than what I can make at home in the same amount of time and really — who wants to wait 3 hours for the dough to proof, rise, set, rest etc when I can buy some for literally $1.00 at the store. And it had herbs…mmmm.

Homemade Pizza

For the pizza:

1 batch dough

1 1/2 cups marinara

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup blue cheese

1 small apple cut into thin slices

1/2 – 3/4 cup ricotta – for dollops

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Handful of sliced salami – Trick o’ the trade: slice the salami up, sandwich between paper towels and microwave for 30 sec – 1 min. This partially crisps it up and releases some of the oils so that the pizza pie isn’t an oil slick when you’re ready to chow down.

Handful of arugula

Drizzle of olive oil

Cracked pepper

1/4 cup semolina or cornmeal

Sprinkle of regular old all purpose flour


Turn on broiler and place a rimmed sheet pan underneath to heat. It was a sad day when my pizza stone cracked, but this seems to be an OK substitution for the time being. Ready ingredients. Remove pizza dough from package, sprinkle with all purpose flour and begin to stretch.

Remove sheet pan from oven and sprinkle with semolina — it will smoke. Don’t freak out. Plop dough on top and stretch to fit. Mine covered almost the whole pan. Schmear on the marinara, add apple splices, sprinkle mozzarella, add dollops of ricotta, dash of blue, and finish with parm. Pop on the salami and drizzle edge with olive oil.

Place pizza in 450 degree oven until golden brown and broil the top until crisp. Remove from oven, crack some pepper and top with arugula. Drizzle with more olive oil if you’re really into it, or not. Then eat.



Quick and Easy Meals on Toast #toastpost

Avocado Toast

If you know me, you know I have a thing for toast. Bread in general, is my greatest lover and nemesis. It opens the meal, closes the meal and sometimes ruins the meal when I can’t get past the table bread and on to the main course. But I’m working on it.

That’s why, it’s not hard to understand that my favorite breakfasts often include it — and things smushed on it. Introducing the #toastpost. My favorite things to mush and mush and smear all over crusty bread. A few examples to start, but more to come in the end. Eggs might be involved. Avocado almost always is, but work? Nope, work gets left at the door because these dishes are E-A-S-Y.

Toast. Smush. Go. Then run out the door and onto something else. Because that’s what we do here. We blog, multi-task, worry about how the toast is cooking, go back to the computer, write some emails and then go back again. It’s a never ending cycle, broken up by snack breaks, dog walks and the occasional – ok, always – coffee break. So read, smush and enjoy.

#thingssmushedontoast #toastpost #weremakingthishappen

The Breakfast Toast: Melted Cheddar, french scrambles, avocado, basil, chili flake, crumbled goat cheese.

Breakfast Toast

The Power Toast: Avocado, salt, pepper, chili flake and some grilled zucchini with feta

Avocado Feta Toast

The Caprese-Salami Toast: Basil, sliced tomato, salami, riccotta schmear, mozzarella, cracked pepper, red onion

Caprese Salami Toast

The Fried Egg Toast — that may have turned into a sandwich because all the forks were dirty and I still wanted to eat it: Fried egg, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cracked pepper, goat cheese schmear.

Fried Egg Toast

The BIG Bagel Bite Toast: Bagel, marinara sauce, mozzarella, parm – every college kids dream and my lazy night dinner.

Bagel Bite Toast

And that’s all for now. But more to come. Because there’s more bread in the world — and things to mash on it.




Quick and Easy Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs

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For all the meat-less, lentil loaf and seitan stuffed tofurkey I’ve experimented with, there’s something to be said about the humble, real life, meat-ful meatball.

Baked, fried, simmered in sauce, with no worry about falling apart, discovering gluten-free binders and vegan alternatives, these puppies are what I bring when I want to party.

If there’s a potluck, a dinner, or an early mad men themed cocktail soiree, cute little teriyaki balls on fancy little pokey sticks are here to stay. Interested in how to make them? Good — because it’s easy. No time for nonsense stories here, because these are straight up the best things ever. Feeling hungry? Make them bigger and serve over rice with some steamed veg. Up to you. Just don’t tell me I didn’t warn you when they’re gone in a second; because these straight up KILL anything frozen, pre-baked and straight off the grocery store shelf imitation of what a cocktail meatball should be.


1 lb ground turkey – not 99% lean

2 egg yolks

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp ground chili flake

pinch of grated ginger

dash fish sauce

dash Worcestershire

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs


scallions for topping

toasted sesame seeds

Saucy Ingredients:

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp chili flake

2 tablespoons honey

To start:

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; set aside.

Bring a sauce pan up to medium heat and add the soy, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, chili flake, honey and 1 cup of water. Simmer that sauce! Stir in cornstarch and heat until thickened. It should be glossy, sweet and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. 2 – 5 minutes.

Set aside.

To finish:

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Work all the meaty ingredients together gently. Careful not to overmix or things will get dense and tough. Place into small balls on greased baking sheet — about ping pong to golf ball sized, depending on how you decide to serve.

Drizzle meats with olive oil. Place under broiler and cook until outside has started to become opaque, turning once as they brown. Then turn oven down to 375 and cook for 15-20 minutes until done.

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Once cooked through, toss those puppies in the reduced sauce and smell the magic happening. If you’ve reduced the sauce enough, it should magically stick to the balls, lol, with no weirdness. If you want to get all crazy, you can put the balls back on the sheet and broil them for a bit longer. This will set the glaze, but it’s up to you.

Arrange on a plate, in a crock, or on a fancy dish with little toothpicks for poking. Sprinkle with green onion slivers, sesame seeds and have at it.