Monday, November 3, 2014

French Bread Pepperoni Pizza

Need a quick dinner idea? Love pizza, but don't have the time to make a homemade crust? Try this quick and easy French bread pizza. 

I posted a recipe for my homemade pizza sauce last week so I figured I needed to post a recipe that you can use it for! Growing up, my mom would occasionally make us this French bread pizza. It's super simple and you don't have to deal with the hassle of making a crust.

I for one, love a good homemade pizza crust but I don't always have time to make the bread dough. For a good pizza, in a short amount of time, I will whip out one of these French bread pizzas.

It's so simple: pick up a loaf of French bread at your supermarket's bakery, slice it lengthwise in half, brush with a little olive oil, toast it for a few minutes in the oven, add your toppings, pop back in the oven and bake until cheese is bubbly and bread is golden.

Simple right?

French Bread Pepperoni Pizza

  • 1 loaf of French bread
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pizza Sauce 
  • 4-6 ounces of mozzarella, shredded
  • Pepperoni

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice French bread in half lengthwise. Place onto a rimmed baking sheet (I usually brush a little olive oil onto the pan underneath the bread). Brush the tops of the bread with a little olive oil. Toast in the oven for about 5 minutes.

2. Top French loaves with pizza sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni. Return to oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Cool for 5 minutes before slicing and enjoying.

Note: Pizza can be made with a variety of toppings. If using additional cheese or toppings, hollow out a little bit of the loaf so that it can hold all of the toppings.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Homemade pizza sauce: fresh, tasty, and ready in less than 30 minutes!

I love a good, homemade pizza. The most important thing next to the crust is the sauce. I'm one of those that likes a good amount of sauce on my pizza. If it doesn't have enough, I need a little extra for dipping.

It really only takes a few good ingredients to make an excellent sauce: crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flake, basil, and oregano. I've included the measurements for both dry and fresh herbs. Just remember, if using dry herbs: add them to the sauce at the beginning of the simmering stage. Dry herbs can withstand longer cooking times and actually need the simmering time to bloom their flavors. Fresh herbs are more fragile and need to be added at the very end to preserve the fresh flavor and appearance.

I actually took a little hiatus from making my homemade pizza sauce, until recently. I found a store bought brand that actually tasted pretty close to homemade. It became my favorite sauce until recently when our grocery store stopped carrying it! Of course, that always happens when I find something I really like. It's okay, homemade sauce is always best. Plus, this recipe is easy to make ahead and freezes really well.This recipe makes the equivalent of two jars of the other sauce I was using. I generally use half of this sauce for our pizza and freeze an extra jar for a future use.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 a large onion, diced finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped finely
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, or 3 teaspoons of fresh basil
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake
  • 1-28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, or 1 teaspoon fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a medium size saucepan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add finely chopped onions, and saute for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flake and saute for about 1 minutes or until fragrant. Adjust heat to medium/low and add crushed tomatoes. Stir in sugar, basil (if using fresh, add at the very end), salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until slightly thickened.

2. Allow sauce to sit uncovered for 10 minutes to cool slightly before using. Sauce will thicken slightly as it stands. Use immediately for pizza or cool completely and store in jars in refrigerator or freezer.

From Tasteful Cuisine

Need some tips on preserving oregano and other herbs? Now is the time to start harvesting your herbs for winter!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

A delicious pumpkin cake, rolled up and filled with a rich cream cheese filling. It's surprisingly simple and easy to make!

Today is Columbus Day and I've had a wonderful day off at home. It's been rainy here the last couple of days, so it's been the perfect weather to stay in and get some things done. I now have a clean house, dinner in the crock pot, and a freshly baked pumpkin roll to enjoy for dessert.

I have not had a pumpkin roll in a long time and I decided it was time to resurrect this recipe. Pumpkin recipes are all over the internet and food blogs right now. I like traditional pumpkin recipes (pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, etc.) but I don't get as creative with pumpkin as I have seen other bloggers do. So you will  see a few pumpkin recipes from me this fall, but nothing too nontraditional.

Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
  • Dash of salt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar 

  • 1-8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dash or two of salt
  • Powdered sugar for decorating, optional

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a Jelly Roll pan with shortening and line with parchment paper. Grease and flour the parchment paper. Sprinkle a thin, dish towel with powdered sugar.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set Aside. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat eggs and sugar together until thick and creamy. Beat in pumpkin puree.

3. Pour batter into pan and bake for 13-15 or until the top of the cake springs back when touched with finger or toothpick (cake may bake faster if using a dark, non-stick pan). Remove from oven and loosen cake around the edges with knife. Immediately turn cake onto prepared towel. Starting with the narrow end, roll up cake and towel together. Cool completely on a wire rack.

4. Using a stand or hand mixer, whip together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar and salt and whip on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla.

5. Carefully unroll cake and evenly spread filling over the cake. Roll cake back up and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour before serving. Decorate with additional powdered sugar, if desired.

Slightly Adapted from Libby's