5 Cheese Grape Walnut Pizza
5 Cheese Pizza – The post title means five cheese grape walnut pizza in Italian! I adore this pizza – it’s definitely my go to flavour combo when I make homemade pizza. The first time I had this kind of pizza was while I was pregnant with Noelle at a wonderful neighbourhood pub near my work… what pregnant woman doesn’t love wild and unusual food fusions. They baked it in a wood fired oven. I just loved the how the sweet and savoury flavours and the saltiness from the cheese all blended together.
After I had Noelle I still craved that pizza but going out to restaurants just didn’t happen while I had a baby/toddler so I had to improvise. I decided to make my own homemade version. Here it is:
Crust Ingredients (makes enough dough for one 9″ x 13″ pan):
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 1 tsp dry yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Place warm water and salt into a mixing bowl. Add yeast and a cup of the flour, and stir. Add remaining flour (2/3 cup) and stir or knead into a sticky dough, adding additional water if needed. Allow dough to rest in bowl covered with a clean towel, for a minimum 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425-degrees.
- Oil or butter a 9″ x 13″ pan, and then gently spread the dough thinly over the pan.
- Bake pizza in oven for 4 minutes, take out and let cool for a few minutes. Add toppings and return to the oven for another 8-10 minutes or until top is browned and bubbly, and crust is slightly browned.
Toppings (put as much or as little of this as you’d like):
- Butter with garlic powder as the base
- Grapes cut in half
- Walnut pieces
- Cheeses: Mozzarella, Provolone, Asiago, Feta and Blue Cheese
- Steak Spice sprinkled on top
5 Minutes Mediterranean Hummus
5 Minute Mediterranean Hummus – Growing up in rural Ontario, my opportunities to sample a variety of culinary options were incredibly limited – I was a meat and potatoes country girl all the way. The first time I tried hummus was when I went away to University. I think I almost died and went to heaven at my first experience with hummus – so rich, creamy and flavourful. I’m pretty sure that’s all I ate for that entire summer. Then I went to Greece about 10 years ago and had the fortune to sample the real authentic stuff. Oh how I love Mediterranean food!
Tonight I was thinking about my love for hummus when it occurred to me… why not add some of my other favourite flavours to make the ultimate tasty dish. I ran to my kitchen and whipped out whatever ingredients I could find in the fridge and got to work. When I was done and had my first taste, I knew this recipe was a keeper.
Click here to print recipe.
- 1/2 a can of chick peas (you can add a bit more if you’d like)
- 8-12 olives (I used a mix of green and black)
- 3-4 sun dried tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 2 tbsp of crumbled feta cheese
- Put all the ingredients together into a food processor and turn on until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy.
- Scoop out and serve with fresh bread, crackers or veggies.
Roasted Radishes, Carrots and Potatoes
I know I’m a bit of a dork but I get so excited seeing vegetables growing in my garden. The whole transformation from that teeny tiny speck of a seed into a wonderful, colourful and tasty piece of food that helps to feed my family still amazes me every time. Yes, I know I can run over to the grocery store and buy my vegetables but there is just something so much more satisfying about growing it myself – oh, that and it tastes divine straight out of the ground.
Today after work I popped up to the garden to see how everything was coming along when I noticed some of my radishes were looking ready to be picked – how exciting, my first harvest of the year. Now, I have to be totally honest here, I’ve never really liked radishes. In fact, the only reason I grow them is for my mother-in-law’s partner Gary, but they’re out of the country for the next month. So, that brought me to my dilemma this evening – what do I do now that I have all these radishes that are ready to be eaten. After some consideration I realized that I could probably just roast them like I do my other veggies. I gathered, chopped, seasoned and roasted and voila, they were spectacular. Roasting the radishes really mellows out the flavour so they aren’t so spicy. Note, that’s why you hardly see any radishes in the finished photo above – my husband ate most of them before I could get them to the plate to photograph.
This recipe is pretty loosie-goosie, just add a little more or a little less of whatever ingredients you like.
- 8-12 radishes halved or quartered
- 8-12 baby potatoes quartered
- 3-4 carrots chopped into chunks
- tbsp olive oil (more if you use more veggies)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp steak spices
- 1/4 tsp seasoning salt
- 1/2 tsp parsley
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Gather and wash veggies and chop into pieces.
- Put into a microwave safe bowl and microwave on HI for about 3-4 minutes.
- Take out of microwave and pour olive oil and all the spices into the bowl with the veggies. Stir around so that everything is evenly coated.
- Spread veggies onto a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes.
- Take out of oven, let them rest for about 5 minute to cool and then serve with your meal.
Easy and tasty no-knead bread
I’m just going to say it… I love bread! Which means I never keep it in my house. If I ever have beautiful artisan bread in my house, it rarely lasts longer than an entire day – yes, I’m ashamed to say that means I can eat an entire loaf in a day.
My talented friend Diane is an incredible baker. She’s always bringing in her stunning loaves of bread into work and taunts the entire office with that warm, rich and delightful fresh baked smell. Myself, I usually don’t have much luck with baking but I thought I’d get some advice from Diane about an easy bread that I may have some success with. Diane suggested a no-knead bread so I came home and looked up some recipes online until I found this recipe on Frugal Living NW. Overall I thought the recipe was great but personally, I like something with a bit more flavour so I added asiago cheese, garlic, rosemary and a touch of oregano to the recipe the next time I made it and it was to die for. Now I make this whenever I have at least a days notice that we’re having company. This also makes a wonderful gift to take when attending dinner parties – always a hit!
Here’s the recipe:
Basic No-Knead Bread
slightly adapted from Jim Lahey’s My Bread
6 cups bread flour (recommended) or all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 t. instant or active-dry yeast
2 1/2 t. salt
2 2/3 c. cool water
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated; (THIS WOULD BE WHERE YOU COULD ADD ANY EXTRA FLAVOURS OR INGREDIENTS YOU’D LIKE) the dough should be wet and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 12-18 hours on the counter at room temperature. When surface of the risen dough has darkened slightly, smells yeasty, and is dotted with bubbles, it is ready.
- Lightly flour your hands and a work surface. Place dough on work surface and sprinkle with more flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice and, using floured fingers, tuck the dough underneath to form a rough ball.
- Generously dust a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with enough flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran to prevent the dough from sticking to the towel as it rises; place dough seam side down on the towel and dust with more flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran. Cover with the edges or a second cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
- After about 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot, such as a cast-iron Dutch oven, in the oven as it heats. When the dough has fully risen, carefully remove pot from oven. Remove top towel from dough and slide your hand under the bottom towel; flip the dough over into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough looks unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
- Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 10-15 more minutes, until the crust is a deep chestnut brown. The internal temperature of the bread should be around 200 degrees. You can check this with a meat thermometer, if desired.
- Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.