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Pizza, How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways. Who doesn’t love pizza? If you’re reading this then my guess is that you do too! Pizza and I go way back. I ate a lot of it growing up. It was always a special morning in our house when Mom would make pizza biscuits.😁 My family would order out on the weekends, we would devour it at birthday parties or my mom would pop a frozen pizza in the oven for a quick weeknight meal. My grandma used to make it for her grandkids when we would visit. I fondly recall watching TV and suddenly becoming entranced by the smell of a homemade pizza baking throughout the house. I would literally count the seconds until she would call us for supper by saying “It’s ready, come eat!” ❤️🍕🥰

One of my favorite questions in life is “Does anybody want to order a pizza?” Little Caesar’s offers a pretty decent pie for five bucks. I had their number on speed dial during college. As far as sides go, wings are pizza’s BFF. I have a special affinity for Domino’s honey bbq wings dipped in ranch. After I got my first job and had a little extra cash, I would feel so grown up when I called to place an order and then drove to get it all by myself! 📞🚗 Papa John’s has a smooth, sweet tomato sauce nicely counterbalanced with the banana pepper juice that just gives each slice a little extra something.😋 However, my favorite pizza as far as major chains go is from Pizza Hut. They have the best pan crust and perfect Italian spices blended with Parmesan cheese. I wonder if you can buy that stuff?🧐 I remember earning free personal pizzas as a kid for reading x amount of books (pizza even makes you smart)🤣📚🤓 In my opinion, they also have the best cheese sticks with those caramelized edges that you dip in the robust, fire engine red marinara sauce. 😍😛👌

It’s always pizza time in my kitchen!⏱⌛️🍕It’s the one food that I honestly never tire of. You can enjoy it cold for breakfast or hot for lunch and dinner. For convenience, there is also a plethora of frozen pizza options available in most grocery stores. I love them all from the ones that cost less than a dollar to the pricier brands. Other options in the freezer aisle include French bread pizza, single deep dish pies as well as the after school specials such as bagel bites and pizza rolls. Some fun pizza flavored munchies are combos for a little road trip nibble. Pringle’s offer a consistent distribution of pizza flavored dusting on each crisp. I also adored the Keebler Pizzería chips as a kid. Why did they ever discontinue those?🤨

Appetizer options include pizza pinwheels, pizza dip and veggie pizzas, which are popular for baby showers and such. For lunch you can make pizza grilled cheese, flatbread or quesadillas. How about some pizza pasta? Anyone?🙋‍♀️ A simple go-to for me and my little is spreading marinara sauce on bagel halves with a little mozzarella and Italian seasoning and baking it for ten minutes on 350. Easy-peasy and so, so cheesy! 🥯🍅🧀🌿😚 How about pizza for dessert? There are several sweet combinations such as caramel apple, chocolate chip cookie, cinnamon roll, fruit, s’mores, etc. 🌰🍪🍏

Photo by Norali Emilio

Pizza is beloved in many parts of the world and Argentina is no exception. According to historian Rachel Lauden, it was invented around the 19th century in Naples. There was an influx of Italian’s who migrated to Argentina between 1880-1920 who brought their pizza pie along with them. 🍕👜🚢 Today, roughly 20 million people (half the population) are of Italian descent. Argentina reportedly adopted the pizza dish around the 1950’s, although their style is often distinguished from by a thicker crust and more cheese.👍 

In Argentina, pizza is prominently featured on just about any restaurant menu. There are many pizza shops available but sadly no American chains unless you are in a larger city such as Buenos Aires. So no ringing up my fave spot for a delivery anytime soon! 🚫📱🚚😢 Common pizza profiles include mozzarella topped with green olives, Neapolitan with tomatoes and garlic and fugazetta featuring caramelized onion. A major difference that I have also noticed on my pizza journey here is that the pepperoni is completely different from back home. It’s not as savory and has more of a salami vibe. It also has a dark pink hue instead of a distinctive red.😏 Our grocer’s deli department makes plenty of fresh pizzas that you can take and bake. However, they are minimalist with the toppings and typically include plain cheese and a few with green olives or tomatoes. This is certainly a deviation for my meat lover husband.😭

Lately, I’ve been making my own pies at la casa. Although I do miss my beloved pepperoni, there are a multitude of available ingredients at the store to customize with according to mood. Pizza is such a multifaceted dish in terms of ingredients and preparation. You can be inventive with every single aspect to include the type of crust, sauce, cheese, veggies, meat and spices. Some of my favorite profiles, in addition to classic pepperoni, include bbq chicken, Hawaiian, Mediterranean, buffalo bleu, taco, Chicago style, Sicilian and the foldable New York slice. 

My first pizza creation here was a pepper ground beef pie. My dear daughter helped me pick some fresh peppers from the garden at our rental home. I recognized the red bell peppers and quickly diced those up for sautéing. However, I wasn’t so sure about the little fellas and decided to test a tiny corner before throwing them in the pan.🔥🔥🔥 Thank goodness I did because I couldn’t feel my face for an hour afterwards! To make the pizza, I just fried ground beef with garlic, drained, put pizza sauce on the crust, then sprinkled beef and cheese on top. I only placed the peppers on one half of the pizza because hubby is not a fan.🌶🤢 Tip of the day: Always taste the peppers in a foreign country, or garden for that matter, before using them in a recipe.⚠️

My next effort was a prosciutto pie. I used the same process as my garden pizza (sans peppers) and added some torn prosciutto that I had leftover from a Picada. This was simple, tasty and family approved. ✅ I saved the best for last. 🥁 🥁 🥁 Fancy Cocina Pizza! I incorporated a hodgepodge of m favorite components that I had lying around for other recipes and BAM!!! The flavors really hit it off. ⚾️🏏🏟 Who knew that pancetta and balsamic vinegar were so compatible? 💕 See below for the recipe. Thanks for reading and continue to follow for more culinary entertainment. If you have a fun pizza moment or profile, please share in the comments. Ciao!✌️💜🍴

Fancy cocina pizza

You will need: 1 refrigerated pizza crust, 1/3 cup of pizza sauce, 2 cups of grated sardo cheese, 1 slice of pancetta, 5 coarsely chopped sun dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar

To prepare: Pan fry pancetta until slightly browned, then drain. Lightly grease a pizza tin with olive oil. Place crust on tin and spoon pizza sauce over it evenly, leaving about 1 inch bare around the edges. Sprinkle cheese over sauce; add sun dried tomatoes and pancetta. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius (400 Fahrenheit) for approximately 13 minutes or until cheese has melted and crust is done. If you wish, top with fresh herbs for a pop of color. 🌿 

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Mood Ring Kitchen

I’m a self teaching home cook and aspiring foodie entrepreneur. I enjoy coming up with creative ways to prepare flavorful food such as snacks, desserts and everything in between. Cooking is a way for me to challenge myself and satisfy curiosities about different ingredients.

The hope is to produce something thoughtful, memorable or every once in a while maybe even wonderful. I enjoy following my “gut” and exploring new recipes that can be comforting, exciting and nourishing. Above all else, I enjoy exploring the emotions surrounding food and writing about those experiences. 😝👩‍🍳👩‍💻

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