Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hamburger and Grape Tomato Pizza Recipe from Martha Stewart Everyday Food Magazine

I subscribe to a recipe of the day from Martha Stewart Everyday Food - one of my favorite magazines!  Today's recipe was for Hamburger and Grape Tomato Pizza, which was originally published in 2008 and which I had totally forgotten about.   It looks good ... and easy, too!  They recommend using provolone instead of mozzarella for heightened flavor - I usually use a mixture, but I'll try that.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Pizza Recipe #1

If I hadn't dropped the pizza, I would have a lovely photo for you! 

This recipe is for a personal size pizza, but you can easily double the ingredients for a full size (12") pizza.  We have several recipes for a Buffalo Chicken Pizza, and like the simplicity of this one.

1 prebaked 8" pizza crust
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. buffalo wing sauce
1/3  cup diced cooked chicken breast
1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

Ingredients we used:
Boboli whole wheat pizza crust
Frank's wing sauce
Giant Eagle gorgonzola crumbles

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place pizza crust on a pizza pan or cookie sheet.   Whisk together olive oil and wing sauce - use a pastry brush or the back of a spoon to spread mixture over pizza crust.  Sprinkle with chicken and gorgonzola.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pizza in Frances Mayes' Book "Every Day in Tuscany"

I am reading Frances Mayes' new book, Every Day in Tuscany and it is wonderful!  I can't praise it enough - it is beautifully written, and makes me dream of visiting Italy.  In one chapter of the book, Ms. Mayes talks about her outdoor pizza oven, or forno, and describes preparations for a dinner party where pizzas have a starring role. 

Frances Mayes' website doesn't have pizza recipes, but does have several others from her book available for download.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Easter Egg Shaped Brunch Pizza Recipe Link

In yesterday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Sauce column by Margie Shrum mentioned a recipe for "a pizza that looks like an egg" and you know I had to check it out!  The recipe is from Family Fun magazine and is for an Easter Brunch Pizza.   It's a cute and easy idea that you can easily customize to suit your own tastes.

Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Pizza Recipe

This recipe is for a personal size pizza, but you can easily double the ingredients for a full size (12") pizza.

1 prebaked 8" pizza crust
1/4 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
Sprinkle grated lemon peel

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place pizza crust on a pizza pan or cookie sheet.  Spread pizza sauce over pizza.  Wash spinach leaves and lay on top on pizza sauce.  Spoon dollops of ricotta cheese on top of spinach leaves in an attractive pattern.  Sprinkle top with about 1 tsp. of grated lemon peel.  Bake for approximately 10 minutes.  Cut into wedges and serve.

Ingredients we used:
Boboli whole wheat pizza crust, one of two in a 10 oz. package
Mids pizza sauce, from Navarre, OH
Lamagna Lite ricotta cheese (they're from Pittsburgh!)
Penzey's powdered grated lemon peel - it's a good substitute if you don't have a fresh lemon

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pizza on Foodtech, the History Channel, Thursday 3/25 9:00 p.m.

The History Channel is showing "Pizza" on a new episode of Food Tech, Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 9:00 p.m. - the program is hosted by Bobby Bognar and their listing says that they will explore "the fascinating world behind every bite of pizza we take."

Sounds good to me!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Emily Harper's Stuffed Pizza Pretzels Recipe from the 2010 Pillsbury Bakeoff

Emily Harper's recipe for Pizza Pretzels is a finalist in the 44th Annual Pillsbury Bake Off to be held in Orlando, Florida, April 11-13, 2010.  Emily's Pizza Pretzels are Pillsbury refrigerated pizza crust that is cut into portions, then stuffed with traditional pizza toppings (Emily uses pepperoni, sauce and cheese).  She then shapes the portions into pretzel shaped pieces - and the result is excellent! 

The next time I make the Pizza Pretzels, I plan to stuff them with vegetarian ingredients - I'm thinking of mushrooms and hot banana peppers, which are two of my favorite toppings.

Good luck, Emily!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Amy's Organic Spinach Pizza

I expected to enjoy Amy's Organic Spinach Pizza and I was not disappointed!

I tried the personal, or single serve, size and at about 6" in diameter, it was just the right size for a hearty lunch on a cold, rainy day.  The package states that "The light, tender crust made from organic wheat flour and extra virgin olive oil is first topped with ... savory Italian sauce made from organic tomatoes."  They then top it with a mixture of organic spinach blended with feta, with a sprinkle of mozzarella on top.

I followed the package directions for baking in a conventional oven, and baked the pizza at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  The crust was crisp and flavorful, and the filling had a nice spinach flavor.  I've often eaten Amy's spinach pockets and expected it to be the same, but in a pizza format, but it wasn't - the spinach flavor was milder when complemented by the tomatoes and the mixture of feta and mozzarella cheeses was perfect. 

I think that this was my favorite frozen pizza yet - Amy's makes quite a few varieties and I can't wait to try more.

Friday, March 19, 2010

New York Times Article - 99 Cent Pizza Slices

Earlier this week the New York Times ran an interesting article about the proliferation of pizzerias offering $.99 and $1 pizza slices as an affordable meal option.  Loved the article, but had to think that's something we Pittsburghers have been lucky enough to have available for years!  I was just looking through some pizza menus that I have on hand, and saw many that offer slices in the $1 to $1.50 range - Luigi's, Carol of Casey's, Spartan, DiSalla's, Danny's - and that's just naming a few.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hometown Pizza, Moon Township - March Madness

Oh well.  I'm sorry RMU didn't win, but it was a great game and a very generous offer by Hometown Pizza!

If Robert Morris University beats Villanova this afternoon, Thursday, March 18, Hometown Pizza in Coraopolis will give out free 12" pizzas for carryout! For details, see the Hometown Pizza website.

I've never been to Hometown Pizza, but after looking at their website, I think we might have to visit - they make their dough fresh daily and offer many homemade, fresh, menu items.  Sounds good to me!

Go RMU!!!

Hometown Pizza on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Italian Oven Restaurant - Caste Village, Whitehall, PA

The Italian Oven has reopened!

It is now on Grove Road, in the Caste Village Shoppes, Whitehall, PA and the phone number is 412-882-6500.  Their website is not yet ready, but you can follow them on Twitter at

The ad in Clipper Magazine says that it is now a full service restaurant and has a new menu, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The ad also has a photo of a gorgeous pizza on a peel and it looks pretty darn good.  I can't wait to go!

Italian Oven Cafe Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 15, 2010

Crawfish and Andouille Sausage Pizza Recipe - URS on the Food Network

I love the Ultimate Recipe Showdown (known as "URS") on the Food Network!  Last night was the season opener with the contestants competing in the Comfort Food category.  Although I was personally hoping that return contestant and blogger Emily Hobbs would win so that she could fulfill her dream of going to culinary school, I was also delighted to see that the winning recipe was a pizza!  Gail Churinetz won the signature round with her Crawfish and Andoille Sausage Pizza recipe.

Veltre's Pizza Update

Last week we had a chance to revisit Veltre's - one of our top favorite pizzas - to try the meatball hoagie.  It was excellent!  The large meatballs were fresh and homemade, the Mancini bun outstanding, and it had the perfect ratio of flavorful tomato sauce and provolone cheese. 

We also tried an order of french fries and fried mushrooms.  The fries were small and crisp and among the best fries we have ever eaten.  I ordered the fried mushrooms and they were perfect, also - juicy inside with a firm and tasty crust.  The orders of fries and mushrooms were both huge and we weren't able to even come close to finishing them, so I am happy to report that they both reheat well.

We're big fans of Veltre's!

Friday, March 12, 2010

In Memoriam - Vincent Chianese, Vincent's Pizza Park, Forest Hills

5/18/2012 - What a shock today to hear that Vincent's has closed!  What a shame.

I was saddened to hear about the death of a Pittsburgh pizza icon - the famous Vincent Chianese, of Vincent's Pizza Park in Forest Hills.   According to the obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mr. Chianese passed away Sunday, March 7, 2010 at the age of 85.  KDKA's obituary includes a video and photo of Vincent.   A tribute is planned for Sunday, March 14 at Vincent's Pizza Park, 998 Ardmore Blvd., Forest Hills from 5 to 9 p.m.

I grew up in Forest Hills and Vincent's pizzas were legendary.  When I was older, I was surprised - and proud - that our local "Vinnie Pies" were known and shipped all over the country.  Thanks, Vincent, for lots of good food, great stories and for putting our hometown on the map!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Luigi's Pizzeria & Ristorante - Bellevue, PA

531 Lincoln Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15202
(412) 734-0980

Hats off to Chef Jim at Luigi's for making a great pizza pie!

We dropped off donations today at our favorite charity thrift shop - Family Heirlooms in Bellevue - and asked for suggestions for local pizzerias.   After some discussion, we settled on Luigi's and were glad we did ... it was outstanding!

Luigi's has been in business for 34 years, and when you taste their pizza you can understand why.  Luigi's pizza rocks with flavor!  The hand tossed Neapolitan style crust had excellent flavor and was just right - a crisp, snappy exterior with the perfect amount of chewiness on the interior.  The tomato sauce had a wonderful fresh tomato flavor, with just hints of garlic and spice - it was refreshing to find a sauce that wasn't heavily overloaded with the spices.   What's even better was that the pizza was not at all greasy and there was no grease residue on the box.
We also tried the Provolone Sticks and they were also very good, with a coating that tasted fresh and not pre-packaged.  They were accompanied by a generous take out cup of a very good marinara sauce. 

The extensive menu includes quite a few menu items that you don't normally find in a pizzeria - like the Mussels a la Luigi listed in the Appetizers section.  (Not to mention breaded cauliflower - you don't find that everywhere, either).   One of the Sides offered is "Sunny Slaw", "A unique blend of slaw, sunflower seeds, and noodles in a tangy sauce."  Also unique is the Spaghetti a la Luigi - which has a tomato sauce containing raisins, pine nuts and black olives.   I was very interested in the Desserts - Cannoli, Cheesecake, Tiramisu, Apple Pie a la Mode, Pecan Ball, and Cinnamon Dippers with Ice Cream.  Wow!!!

Hours are Monday - Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday noon to 10 p.m.    We ordered our pizza and provolone sticks to go, but Luigi's does have a small restaurant area.  It has a nice family atmosphere with old world style and plenty of room to move.  The next time we're in the area we plan to sit down, relax and enjoy some of their other offerings.

And ... Luigi's is a new addition to our top Pittsburgh favorites!

Luigi's Pizzeria & Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dominos Pizza - Forest Hills

2600 Ardmore Boulevard
Forest Hills, PA  15221

I remember living in a neighborhood where Domino's Pizza was our only nearby option.  It's been a long time ... and a lot of pizzas ... since those days.  Lately I've seen Domino's advertising saying that they have totally revamped and improved their recipes, so thought it was time to give them another try. 

We chose a cheese pizza with a Brooklyn style crust.  The crust was hand rolled (the literature says the crusts are hand tossed, but we saw them rolling it).  The sauce was mildly spicy and enjoyable, but it was overwhelmed with an artificial garlic flavor on the crust.  The pizza was also loaded with an extreme amount of cheese  - I had to remove quite a bit of it from my slices so that I could taste the sauce.

On the plus side, the staff was very friendly and pleasant and the pizza was hot, and prepared quickly - which is nice when you are very hungry!   The loads of cheese - which the literature states is 100% real mozzarella with a hint of provolone - could be a plus, too, if you like lots of cheese on your pizza.  Domino's has eight new oven baked sandwiches that sound interesting, including a Mediterranean Veggie, Sweet & Spicy Chicken Habanero, and Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese among others.

On the other hand, when Veltre's and Foli's are so close to the same neighborhood, I think it will be a while before we give Domino's another try.

Domino's Pizza on Urbanspoon