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Archive for October, 2013

Caramelized onion, bacon, and ricotta pizza

Caramelized onion, bacon, and ricotta pizza

Most of my cooking these days falls into the, “What the heck do I do with all these veggies from my CSA box?” category. Which is good, because it means I’m cooking more (and blogging more!) (and eating better!), but let me tell you, sometimes it’s a challenge.

Like, kale. We are up to our ears in kale, and have no idea how to use it. (And don’t tell me kale chips – unfortunately, we’re not really fans of them.)

Or collards. Uh… help? I’ve never cooked with collards before, so I have no clue what to do with them.

And chard… yeah. Can you see a theme here? It’s the greens I have a problem with – everything else is so easy and delicious roasted!

But with the swiss chard we got, at least I was able to find something that sounded good. I was going to make pizza!

Except Son “doesn’t like pizza” (or so he says). So I put off making it for a few days until my little sister was in town.

Yeah… turns out that was a few days too many, because by the time she came over, the swiss chard was ready for the trash can. Oops. -_-

Oh well. I omitted the swiss chard, and made the pizza anyways… and added bacon, because, well, you know me. And my first pizza was a delicious, delicious success! (More or less. I tried hand-stretching the dough I got from Trader Joe’s because I was too lazy to get out the rolling pin… so I got really thick crusts, and a really thin, soggy center. It was tasty, but don’t do that. Don’t be lazy like me.)

And Mr. “I don’t like pizza”? Ate three pieces. And then another the next day. HAH!

Based on this Onion Pizza With Ricotta and Chard recipe from the New York Times.


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 14-inch pizza crust
  • cornmeal or semolina
  • 3/4 cup ricotta (6 ounces)
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, grated (1/2 cup, tightly packed)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 sliced of bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled

Cooking Directions

  1. Half an hour before baking the pizza, preheat the oven to 500° F.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onions. Cook, stirring often, until tender and just beginning to color, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook another 10 to 20 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are golden brown and very sweet and soft. Remove from the heat.
  3. Roll out the dough, oil a 14-inch pizza pan and dust with cornmeal or semolina. Place the dough on the pan.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, egg yolk, and Parmesan. Spread over the pizza dough in an even layer, leaving a 1-inch border around the rim. Top with the onions. Sprinkle with bacon.
  5. Place in the hot oven, and bake 10 to 15 minutes until the crust and bits of the onion are nicely browned. Remove from the heat, and serve hot or warm.

Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana

Kale and potatoes have been a bit of a theme in our household lately, primarily because we keep getting them in our CSA box.

Not that I’m complaining.

Way back in my college days, when (dare I admit it?!) Son and I mainly subsisted on $1 microwave dinners and Olive Garden was our idea of fancy, I tried Zuppa Toscana (at Olive Garden, of course) for the first time and immediately fell in love.

However at that time, I didn’t really cook, except to pretend I knew how to make sushi and fail at apple pies. So this soup love remained on my mind’s backburners (pun totally intended) for the next 7 years.

Until now! An excess of kale meant I needed to figure out something to do with all of it. Luckily for me, I had bookmarked this Olive Garden copycat Zuppa Toscana recipe that Angie posted on her blog Eclectic Recipes almost two years ago. Doubly awesome, I had practically all of the ingredients (or close-enough substitutions) on hand.

I made a few “changes” to the recipe based on the ingredients I had: I used sliced chicken and apple sausage instead of the hot Italian sausage; I about doubled the amount of bacon (because, bacon!); I only used 3 cups of kale (that’s all I had); I used whole Lactaid milk instead of the cream (because lactose intolerance is more fun when you don’t have to worry about it.)

My way was quite delicious (also, breakfast the next morning), and I’m quite positive that if I’d stuck to the ingredients she listed it would have been just as wonderful! It’s a very comforting dish – perfect for the cooling fall weather (unless you’re here in LA, where we’re getting 80-degree weather right now 😛 ).

Find the Zuppa Toscana recipe on Eclectic Recipes!

Garlic Olive Oil Kale Mashed Potatoes for International Kale Day!

Garlic Olive Oil Kale Mashed Potatoes

Exactly one year ago, on the first annual International Kale Day, my friend Stacy posted this photo of Garlic Olive Oil Kale Mashed Potatoes on Fridgg. I’m not even a kale person at all (that bandwagon left me solidly in its dust), but the recipe sounded A-MAZING to me. Give me potatoes and garlic, and I. am. sold.

A month or so later, I made it. And ate it. And it was gone before we even had time to take pictures. (Oops.) And then a few weeks later, I made it again… and ate it, and forgot to take pictures. (You can see how I utterly fail at being a food blogger.)

So just this last week, when I got both kale AND potatoes in my CSA box, I decided it was high time to make it again. And, you know, actually take pictures this time. 😛

Obviously, as I’m sure you’ve guessed from how many times I’ve made it and then consumed it too quickly to take photos, we’re big fans of this recipe. Coming from a family who’s solidly in the “mashed potatoes must include dairy” camp (which I quite enjoy as well – honestly, give me any sort of mashed potatoes and I’m a happy camper), using olive oil in a vegan mashed potato recipe was a revelation. A delicious, delicious revelation.

(I might even go so far as to say these are the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever eaten… but shhhh, don’t tell my family!)

For the recipe, hop on over to Center Stage Wellness!

Asian Chicken Sandwiches

Asian Chicken Sandwich

Sometimes, you just need an excuse to have a party.

A potluck, if you will, although with these guys, “potluck” usually means Allison cooks, and they bring drinks and chips (and fried rice?).

Someone brought fried rice

But I don’t care, because I really, really wanted an excuse to make these sandwiches.

I mean, just take a look at the photo Jen posted on Fridgg. That sandwich, in my face, ASAP please.

Deep fried katsu chicken, a tangy asian cabbage slaw, sweet-sour cucumber quick pickles, and spicy mayo. Jen is a genius – this is 100% a recipe for success.

Also really awesome, you can easily adapt this to be vegetarian-friendly by preparing a portobello mushroom in the same way you would the chicken. That idea turned out so well, the non-vegetarians wanted to eat some of the portobello sandwiches too!

… and now I want another excuse to make these, because all of a sudden I’m craving them like crazy.

Visit Use real butter for the recipe!

Me, prepping a sandwich