Cheesy Breadsticks

The big kid is not a demanding eater by any means. She doesn’t like things too complicated, but also doesn’t really beg for new things to make or try. When she does think of something new to make, I try to oblige. 

She keeps telling me about pizza sticks with sauce or cheese sticks with sauce. I think she was inspired by one of the school lunches she saw kids eating. When we go out for pizza, she gets pizza and doesn’t venture out of that routine. So I know she didn’t get it from restaurants. Anyhow, I promised her I would make some when I had the chance.

I came up with a breadstick base – similar to my pizza dough recipe. Stuffed some cheese in it, and baked. Was pretty easy. She said it was the best lunch ever! 
Cheesy Breadsticks (makes about 8 breadsticks)

1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup warm milk
1 tsp. yeast
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. italian seasoning

1 tsp. garlic powder

shredded mozzarella cheese or cheese sticks

Olive oil
Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450.

Add the yeast to the bowl of a mixer. Add the warm water and milk. Let it sit for a minute.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Mix until the dough starts to form a ball and pulls away from the bowl.

Knead the dough and form in to a bowl. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover for about 5-10 minutes.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface. Slice the dough in eighths.

Roll out the slices a bit. Fill with cheese and seal the bread sticks. I found that wrapping it like a burrito works well.
Let the breadsticks rest in the pan for about 5-10 minutes.

Brush the breadsticks with olive oil and parmesean cheese.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes.  
Serve breadsticks with a side of marinara sauce. Would also be good with a nice aioli. Enjoy!

Homemade Pizza

There once was a man named Joe. Trader Joe.

Have I ever shared with you my love for Trader Joe’s? I probably have…

Trader Joe’s makes my life much easier. We shop at Trader Joe’s every other week or so. Lately, it is about half of our groceries. The other half is made up of the vegetable market, the kosher store, and occasionally a run to a big name place for odds and ends.
Trader Joe’s supplies us with many yummy, healthier, and kosher ingredients that are much cheaper than the counterparts at mainstream places.
Sundays in our home are pretty busy. Errand to errand, playdate to playdate. When I come home, I need to resist the urge to buy takeout. Trader Joe’s made my life easier tonight.
Tonight I made some semi-homemade pizza that I served with a salad. I say “semi-homemade” only because the dough and sauce came premade from Trader Joe’s.
The pizza dough, which is enough for a 12″ pizza, is only 99 cents.
The jar of sauce, only needs to be spiced up a bit, and is under $2.
Sunday Night Pizza
1 package of pizza dough – or make your own
1 ladle or so of tomato sauce – use your favorite kind
8 oz. shredded mozarella cheese
A few cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 package of Lightlife or other soy “pepperoni”
1/2 cup parmesean, shredded
red pepper flakes, optional or to taste
a sprinkle of olive oil
Preheat your oven to 425
Let the dough sit on the counter as per the instructions, for a half hour.
Sprinkle some flour on the dough.
Either using a rolling pin, or your hands, stretch the dough to fit a 12″ pan, or toss into desired size and thickness, and arrange on your pizza peel or pizza pan.
Bake for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven.

Let the crust rest a bit to cool down.
Pour a ladle full of sauce on your crust. Spread with a spatula. Do not make your pizza too saucy.
Arrange the cheese and then the toppings in the order I suggest on top of the pizza. I like a sprinkle of olive oil to finish it off as well as some red pepper flakes.
Place back in the oven. Bake for 8 minutes or so, until the cheese looks nice and ready and the crust should have some browning on it.

In the picture, you will see a plain jane area of the pizza. That space is reserved for my daughter. She doesn’t like the frills. Enjoy!

Pamela’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust

This is dedicated to my wonderful curly-haired family. Love you all!

A weekend in May found me back in my Midwest hometown. It was the first weekend in a few years that my sisters and I were all together. We tried to make the best of a stressful weekend.

A preface to this is that we all come from a bad gut family. Making a meal that works with every gut can be a challenge. On the menu for a home cooked Saturday night meal was wheat-free/gluten-free pizza. The one sticking point is it had to taste good. You may ask how this is possible. Thank the bad-gut lords that smile on us, that there are now numerous companies and aisles of grocery stores devoted to bad-gut, allergy crazed families.

Pamela’s baking mixes and finished products are a great asset to the hypoallergenic food network. We used Pamela’s wheat free bread mix to make the pizza dough. The recipe for chewy pizza crust, found on the side of the package is as follows:


Chewy Pizza Crust

1 bag Pamela’s Wheat-Free Bread Mix
1 yeast packet (enclosed in mix)
1/4 cup oil
1-1/2 cups warm water

Optional: Add 2 tsp Italian herbs and/or 1/2 cup grated cheese to dough

Dough makes two – 12 to 14-inch crusts.

Combine Pamela’s Wheat-Free Bread Mix, yeast packet, oil and water (no eggs are used).

With a Heavy Duty Stand Mixer mix on medium for 2 minutes. Our mixer decided not to perform for us. We were able to mix it by hand easily.

We also chose to add Trader Joes Pasta Seasoning Blend.

Pour 1/2 dough onto greased cookie sheet or pizza pan (for added texture sprinkle corn meal on pan). Use oil or non-stick spray on dough and fingers to keep fingers from sticking when spreading dough into pizza shape. This mixture is pretty gloopy and sticky. It will never get to be pizza hut style dough. Check out N’s beautifully manicured nails!

Let sit for 1 hour. It just barely rises.

Add your sauce and other toppings. We made up a sauce of canned chopped tomatoes, spices, sautéed shallots and garlic, and some jarred sauce. We used a combination of fresh mozzarella, goat milk gouda, and some “parmesan like cheese” found in the depths of my parents generously stocked fridge.

Bake in a preheated 375º oven for 25 to 30 minutes on a lower rack. Dough will puff when baking. For a crispier crust bake at 400º.

We finished off the finished pizza with some drizzled on truffle oil. Yum!
In the future, I would pre-bake the crusts for 15-20 minutes and then add the toppings. Our crusts were a bit under done. The crust did taste good, a little sweet though. We were impressed with the results and I would consider playing around with it further.


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