Goodbye red sauce pizzas! After having this surprisingly delicious combination of peach, cheese, and chicken pizza (a recipe by Cooking Light), I have opened my eyes to all new possible ways of enjoying a pizza pie. Having the arugula on the top was like eating your pizza and salad at the same time… and it works! I have made this 3 times in the last month, I may never tire of it.
The recipe is by Cooking Light and calls for less cheese than what I used, but I can’t help myself… I like my pizza cheesy. It also teaches you how to reduce balsamic vinegar to make a thick syrupy glaze. I actually already had a bottle of Balsamic Vinegar Glaze in my cupboard (which I had bought by mistake) and was happy to find a recipe that calls for it. But after reading the instructions, I would imagine it would be very easy and quick to make the glaze. I wouldn’t eat this pizza without it, the balsamic really adds a wonderful flavor.
If you don’t have chicken already cooked, just put the raw chicken breast into a pot of simmering (low boil) water for about 10-15 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center. Let it cool. Take a fork and pull to shred it, or to save more time… just chop it up into tiny pieces. Do this while the pizza crust is cooking in the oven.
- 1 pizza dough (I use Trader Joes)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 chicken breast (cooked and shredded)
- 1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 1 large or 2 small peaches, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar OR balsamic glaze
- a handful of Arugula Lettuce
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Roll out dough on floured surface. Transfer to prepared pizza pan or baking sheet. Brush on a little olive oil. Bake for about 10 minutes or until no longer wet looking. Remove from oven.
- Top pizza crust with half the mozzarella cheese, shredded chicken, peach slices, gorgonzola cheese, and then finally the last of the mozzarella.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the crust looks a nice golden color.
- Meanwhile, if you are using balsamic vinegar… heat the vinegar in a small saucepan and heat on medium high for about 5 minutes. The idea is to reduce the vinegar until its a thick glaze. You can also buy this in glaze form (like I have).
- In a small bowl toss the arugula with very little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- When the pizza has finished baking, drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Top with arugula. Enjoy!
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4 (2 slices per person)
Another one of my favorite “go to” recipes from Roland Mesnier’s book Dessert University. If you haven’t read my recent post on Presidential Peach Pie, I talked about who Roland Mesnier is and how much I love his book. Once this book comes off the bookshelf, I seem to go on a crazy baking spree and so here is one of his cookie recipes that never seems to fail me.
There is nothing better than cuddling up on the couch after a REALLY long and exhausting day, with a good book, a glass of milk, and a stack of these classic “oldies but goodies” oatmeal cookies. The perfect marriage of crispy and chewy, these are perfect for dipping in cold milk. I could honestly eat a dozen of them in one sitting if I didn’t stop myself!
This recipe can be altered by using any variety of dried fruit like cherries or cranberries and or chocolate chips. I have made them all sorts of ways, depending on my mood or by what’s in the cupboard. They always come out perfect, just follow the recipe exactly and keep an eye on them while baking. And ALWAYS use parchment paper, its the only way I have found to avoid the blackend bottoms. I also find that if I am baking two sheets of cookies at the same time, I will switch racks midway through baking so they bake more evenly.
I make these when I want to ship them to someone because I find they keep up well, even after a week. So even if you don’t have a big household to cook for, make the full batch size and store them in your cookie jar.
Recipe: Oatmeal Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 cups quick-cooking (not instant) rolled oats
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raisins, dried fruit, or chocolate chips (optional)
- Combine flour, baking soda and oats in a medium sized bowl.
- In an electric mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars until smooth.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
- Stir in the flour and oat mixture.
- Finally, stir in the raisins.
- Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375. Line sheets with parchment paper.
- Make dough balls and place them on the baking sheet. Flatten with the palm of your hands.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
- Store in an airtight container.
Preparation time: 1 hour(s) 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 65 cookies
Peach Pie fit for a president… seriously… I’m not kidding… why? I’ll tell you why. This pie dough recipe is from Roland Mesnier’s book Dessert University. Roland Mesnier was the former White House executive pastry chef for almost 25 years. He made cookies and pies and everything sweet for Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Laura Bush’s tea parties, their family dinners, and state dinners.
My mother met him in person at a cake convention and gave me his autographed cookbook a few years back for Christmas. I will admit, that although his book has some pretty fancy schmancy things in there, the instructions are fairly easy to understand. I have only tackled the simpler recipes like pie dough, fruit salad, and cookies. One day when I’m braver, I might try pulled and spun sugar techniques.
Roland Mesnier’s “All-American Pie Dough” recipe has never let me down, and it is what I use in this peach pie. It has a very nice flaky texture and it is very easy to make. The dough can be frozen for up to 3 months, simply defrost in the fridge overnight.
Peaches are in season now, so this pie is perfect for your next summer potluck picnic. I used my leftover blueberries as well, it gave the pie a nice tartiness to balance the sweet peaches, as well as a beautiful color combination. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Bowl of Peaches
Peaches and Blueberries
Fresh Baked Peach Pie
Peach Blueberry Pie
adapted from Tyler Florence
- Double crust pie dough (see below for recipe)
- 10 peaches
- Roughly 1/3 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 1/2 TBSP flour
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1 egg beaten with a splash of water for egg wash
- Preheat oven to 400
- Slice peaches (you can peel them if you like but I didn’t. My husband would have preferred the skin off though.)
- Toss fruit with the sugar, lemon and flour.
- Roll out on of the divided pastry dough. The technique I like to use: sprinkle dough with flour on both sides. Sandwich the dough inside 2 sheets of plastic wrap, then using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle. Lift off the top plastic wrap, then gently flip onto the 9″ pie pan. Pull off the remaining plastic wrap.
- Spoon the fruit mixture into the pan. Dot with the butter.
- Roll out the remaining pie dough and place on top of pie. You can keep it solid, or do strips, whichever you prefer. Make sure there are slits on the top.
- Brush top with egg wash.
- Bake for about 50-60 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream!
Tip: I usually put foil around the crust about mid way through to prevent the crust from burning.
All -American Pie Dough
from Roland Mesnier’s Dessert University
- 3 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups solid vegetable shortening
- pinch of salt
- Combine all ingredients in bowl of electric mixer, mix on low with paddle attachment until dough is smooth.
- Divide dough into two equal pieces, wrap them in plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Makes enough for 1 double crust 9″ pie.
Last week I tried to make a dinner with phyllo dough, my first time working with the stuff, and it really wasn’t anything noteworthy. It was a baked dish and the phyllo just tasted like paper. I was quite unimpressed, especially considering the preparation was confusing to me and therefore time consuming. So back into the fridge went the remaining unused dough to be used at a later date or just left to age so that I can find it acceptable to throw it out. (It has a 10 day expiration date once thawed).
Cheesecake Phyllo Fruit Cups
Last night, I looked in the fridge and saw that I had unused whipped cream cheese (with no bagels), an overabundance of sweet summer berries, that lemon curd jar that we found to be too sweet for our liking, and of course the phyllo dough. So I went online, found various recipes, and then experimented. I made the phyllo cups the night before, and the cheesecake filling. I left the phyllo cups out on the counter, and the filling I put back into the cream cheese container and returned to the fridge for the next day. The next day… spoon the filling into cups, top with sweet berries… heaven!
Cheesecake Phyllo Blueberry Cup
The cups were light, sweet, crispy, and made a surprisingly loud crunch sound when bitten. The filling was rich and worked so perfectly with the fruit topping. This would be an easy dessert to serve for company since it could be prepared the night before (with very little effort). Once the cups are filled with the cheesecake filling they have about 1 to 2 hours before the bottoms start to get a little soft.