Desserts, Other, Recipes

Cranberry Dessert Pizza

Dessert pizza just like your local Pizza Hut used to make… except dressed up for the holidays with a honeyed cranberry sauce! There’s crumb topping and vanilla glaze too. Each bite of this sweet treat is better than the last!

Disclaimer: This recipe was created for the Cape Cod Select Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge. Please follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. I was sent free cranberries for recipe development purposes, but was in any other way compensated for my time, ingredients, etc. 

Dessert pizza just like your local Pizza Hut used to make... except dressed up for the holidays with a honeyed cranberry sauce! There's crumb topping and vanilla glaze too. Each bite of this sweet treat is better than the last!

I have fond memories of the Pizza Hut buffet. My family used to go after church sometimes when I was a kid and it was a TREAT to get my choice of pizza slices, breadsticks, salad… in the amounts I wanted. Which, let’s face it, probably created a lot of waste because kids take a few bites of something before moving on to something else. Oops. It was so fun to run up to the buffet when they brought out a new pizza… and when it was one of their dessert pizzas, watch out! Everyone in the restaurant headed up in en masse to grab a slice of dessert pizza–some ridiculously sweet fruit topping out of a can: cherries or apples, usually covered with a crumb topping and drizzled to death with vanilla icing. So. Good. I haven’t been to a Pizza Hut buffet in years and I don’t think they even make these dessert pizzas anymore… so I decided to make my own!

Dessert pizza just like your local Pizza Hut used to make... except dressed up for the holidays with a honeyed cranberry sauce! There's crumb topping and vanilla glaze too. Each bite of this sweet treat is better than the last!

As you can probably guess, my dessert pizza is a little fresher, a little fancier than ye olde Pizza Hut’s was… but that’s okay, the original version was great in its own way! But let’s talk today’s version. Instead of a canned fruit topping, I made a cranberry sauce using Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries. Check ’em out at a store near you. I can’t find fresh cranberries at my local grocery store anymore, so it’s great to have a frozen option to help with those cranberry cravings in July. 🙂 They’ll even ship them from their website. How cool! But back to this pizza. My cranberry sauce is sweetened with honey and scented with grapefruit… and I would have eaten it by the spoonful had I not needed it for this recipe. In fact, I might make another batch soon so I can do just that! I know it’s pretty typical for cranberries and oranges to be paired together, but I personally love grapefruit and the aromatic bittersweetness it adds to dishes. The smell of the cranberries as they cooked in a mixture of grapefruit zest, juice, and water was fantastic! This sauce easily is the star of the dessert pizza… but it can’t be all by itself. In true Pizza Hut style, I also made a quick crumb topping with lots of brown sugar, oats, and pumpkin pie spice to layer on top of the sauce and crust. After baking, an easy vanilla glaze drizzled on top adds just the sweetness you need to contrast with the sweet-tart goodness of the cranberry sauce. Everything was absolutely delicious together–perfect for dessert or even breakfast. 🙂 I hope you enjoy this pizza as much as we did! Happy New Year! 2017!

one year ago: Cheesy Southwest Farro
two years ago: Spiced Biscotti with Eggnog Glaze

three years ago: Baked Fish Tacos with Cranberry Salsa
four years ago: White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies
five years ago: Classic Sugar Cookies
six years ago: Sweet-Spicy Pretzel Mix

Cranberry Dessert Pizza

  • Servings: 8
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Ingredients:

  • 1 batch pizza dough – I used my favorite but storebought or another recipe would work too!

for cranberry “sauce”

  • 1 1/2 cups Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries
  • zest and juice of 1 grapefruit – approximately 3 tablespoons zest and 6 ounces juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water

for crumb topping

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into chunks

for vanilla glaze

  • 1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons half and half [or milk]
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine cranberries, grapefruit zest and juice, and water. Cook until cranberries burst, approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in honey and the tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in a tablespoon of hot water. Allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, press pizza dough into a pizza pan [mine is 14 inches].

Prepare crumb topping by combining brown sugar, oats, flour, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut cold butter into the mixture until coarse crumbs are formed.

Spread cranberry sauce over uncooked pizza crust, then sprinkle on crumb topping.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until crust and topping are both golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make vanilla glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, half and half, and vanilla. Add extra powdered sugar or half and half to reach desired consistency.

Drizzle glaze on cooled pizza. I had extra… perfect for dipping! For best results, wait until the pizza is mostly cool before cutting to allow the cranberry sauce to set. It’s a little messier if you cut it while warm, but still delicious either way!  

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Beans, Breakfast, Egg Dishes, Main Dishes, Recipes

Tangy Sweet Potato Hash #FreshTastyValentines

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things… sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! 

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

I love recipes that work for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hashes are one of those classic recipes that can work for any meal, especially when you throw a fried egg on top. I used to make these meals almost every week pre-pregnancy. If it wasn’t a sweet/regular potato hash, it was arugula salad with fried potatoes and a fried egg… or fried rice with a fried egg… or a fried egg sandwich… or… you get the picture, huh? These days, I eat fried eggs oh-so-rarely. I have really tried to not be paranoid about the dietary restrictions with pregnancy [I’ll admit to licking the bowl when baking, and over Thanksgiving I accidentally ate a cobb salad with cold deli meat on it without thinking] but I don’t want to take too many unnecessary risks. I’m too much of a rule follower for that! Not to mention how devastated I would be if something I chose to ate hurt the baby. I know you can’t prevent everything [listeria in peanut butter or salad, anyone?] but I can prevent eating too many fried eggs. I think. 🙂

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

So that being said, you know that if I chose to eat a fried egg [yes, singular… before baby it was two 😦 tear!] it’s gotta be for a good reason. And this sweet potato hash is a GREAT reason! It’s pretty much the best hash I’ve ever tried. [Umm, sorry if that sounds weird.] Sometimes hashes can get a little too mushy, but this one doesn’t because I had the *genius* idea to a) roast the sweet potatoes instead of cooking them in the pan, b) layer them with the black bean and red pepper mixture, and c) top it all with bacon and the said fried egg. #mmmm

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

If that’s not genius, then I don’t know what is! Oh wait, yes I do. 🙂 In the summertime, part of what makes a sweet potato hash so darn good is that you can put half of your herb garden in as seasonings. Well, we are dead in the middle of winter here so I used the next best thing: Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Herbs and Spices! They’re one of our lovely sponsors for #FreshTastyValentines, and to spice up [ha] this dish, I used cilantro, ginger, and chili. So good! I also added some fresh grapefruit zest [love that lately!] for some zing.

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

That zing was intensified with the special sauce that took this already great hash out of the park! Not Ketchup is ANOTHER one of our amazing sponsors for this fun blogging event, and I have to admit that I was a wee bit skeptical of the Tangerine Hatch Chile sauce they sent my way. Until I opened up the bottle and tried a wee bit with a roasted sweet potato. Then I was in tangerine spice heaven! Unlike how it sounds, this sauce is NOT spicy, but is the best blend of sweet and savory tang. I thought about stirring the sauce into the hash from the get go, but the aforementioned soggy, mushy sweet potato hash I was trying to avoid nixed that idea. Instead, I drizzled a hearty helping over the hash after the egg had been broken, and OH MAN was it good! Out of all of the Not Ketchup flavors I’ve tried, this one is by far my favorite… and I love that it has no added sugar; it’s only sweetened with real fruit [tangerine, apples, dates]. It is so delicious! Hope you give it a try–with or without my sweet potato hash. 🙂

one year ago: Spiced Fig Turkey Mini Meatloaf
two years ago: Sweet Potato Pork Quesadillas
three years ago: Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies
four years ago: Caramel S’more Cups
five years ago: Bacon-Wrapped Feta & Almond Stuffed Dates

Tangy Sweet Potato Hash

  • Servings: 3-4
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Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper. Spread in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet, then roast for 20-25 minutes, or until tender. Flip after 10 minutes for even cooking.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Drain almost all the grease from the skillet, then add diced onion and chopped red bell pepper and saute for 5-7 minutes over medium heat until tender. Stir in black beans, cilantro, ginger, chili, and grapefruit zest. Reduce heat to low, and heat through, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Season with black pepper.

At this time, prepare 2 eggs per person as desired–fried or poached would be best. Also, chop bacon into bite size pieces.

When ready to serve, place a layer of sweet potatoes on a large plate or shallow bowl. Top with a layer of black bean/veggie mixture, a piece of chopped bacon, and two eggs. Serve with Tangerine Hatch Chile Not Ketchup for dipping!

Be sure to enter our #giveaway here! And check out the other awesome recipes that our #FreshTastyValentines blogging crew have come up with at the link below. 🙂

Find Not Ketchup

on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here
on Google+: here

Find Gourmet Garden

on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here
on Google+: here
Disclosure: I received complimentary sauce from Not Ketchup and herbs & spices from Gourmet Gardens for my participation in #FreshTastyValentines. However, I was not required to write a positive review and I was not otherwise compensated for this post. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Not Ketchup and Gourmet Gardens for their sponsorship of this event!
Cakes, Desserts, Recipes

Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake #FreshTastyValentines

Brighten up your Valentine’s Day celebration with this refreshing Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake! It’s even frosted too!

Brighten up your Valentine's Day celebration with this refreshing Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake! You won't want to miss the grapefruit cream cheese frosting! :) #FreshTastyValentines

Winter is made for citrus, is it not? Or citrus is made for winter… no matter how you put it, citrus brings warmth and energy to otherwise dull, cold, dreary days. I know a lot of people associate citrus flavors–lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit–with summer [lemonade sure helps there!] but I’ve always been in the winter=citrus camp. In junior high and high school, we sold citrus fruits in the winter to raise money for orchestra [yup, I was an orch-dork! #Violin #ThenViola]. And, how many classic books talk about children reaching into their stockings on Christmas and being THRILLED to receive an orange? Yup. Winter=citrus. So it was only fitting that my snow day baking last week involved this refreshing Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake.

Brighten up your Valentine's Day celebration with this refreshing Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake! You won't want to miss the grapefruit cream cheese frosting! :) #FreshTastyValentines

This cake reminds me, a little bit, of a classic lemon cake… tangy and sweet all at once, but remixed with the unique floral notes of a grapefruit so you know it’s something special! Since grapefruits have a certain degree of tartness to them, you definitely need the sugar and cinnamon in this recipe to balance out the flavors. This cake uses all of the grapefruit–zest AND juice–to make the grapefruit flavor really stand out.

Brighten up your Valentine's Day celebration with this refreshing Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake! You won't want to miss the grapefruit cream cheese frosting! :) #FreshTastyValentines

At first, I wasn’t sure if this would be a good recipe to contribute as part of #FreshTastyValentines [read all about it here–and be sure to enter the giveaway!]. After all, it’s a snack cake–made in a sheet pan–and doesn’t look all that fancy. But then I realized that Ben and I don’t really do fancy. Cozy nights at home are our thing. We’ve been together for eight years, married for nearly seven of them. I’m sure once baby boy comes in May we will look forward to date nights out more than we currently do, but for now, sheet cake in the fridge [that we can snack on all week] is perfectly fine with us! Plus, grapefruit is pink soooo it’s festive enough, right? Another point that tipped the scale towards “recipe for #FreshTastyValentines” was the fact that I used one of our sponsor goodies in the making of this recipe! Duh, better include it. 🙂

KitchenIQ is one of our fabulous sponsors, and generously sent the bloggers involved in this event a Strawberry Tool [can’t wait to find some good looking strawberries to test out this strawberry slicer!!] and a wonderful Better Zester! This zester was wonderfully easy to use and was so sharp that it hardly took any effort to zest a whole grapefruit. Love it! Thanks for your support in #FreshTastyValentines, KitchenIQ! You can find Kitchen IQ on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest… and be sure to enter the giveaway by February 8, 2016 for a chance to win some of their great products. 🙂 I hope you win so you can make this festive grapefruit-walnut snack cake! The grapefruit cream cheese frosting is NOT to be missed. Enjoy!

one year ago: Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas
two years ago: Chili Relleno Casserole
three years ago: Baked Jalapeno Popper-Ranch Dip
four years ago: Fried Eggs on Pesto Parmesan Toast
five years ago: Mini Meatloaf

Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake

  • Servings: 18
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from a magazine… I think Southern Living 🙂

Ingredients:

for cake

  • 1 Ruby Red grapefruit – zest and juice, divided
  • 1 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

for grapefruit cream cheese frosting

  • 1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened [I used the 1/3 less fat variety – Neufchâtel]
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • reserved grapefruit zest and juice [from cake, above]
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 12-16 ounces powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Begin by zesting and juicing the grapefruit. You’ll need 3 tablespoons zest [this was about 3/4 of the grapefruit zested for me] and 10 tablespoons of juice [the whole grapefruit–I was actually a wee bit short so I added about a teaspoon or two of water and zested the whole grapefruit to make up for it].

In a small bowl, stir together 8 tablespoons of the grapefruit juice with the melted butter and 1/2 cup water. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add butter mixture, 2 tablespoons zest, walnuts, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Stir until just combined. Pour into prepared pan, then bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. [Original recipe suggested 20-25 minutes bake time; mine took a full 30.]

Cool completely before frosting, at least 1 hour.

When ready to frost, beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes until creamy. Add vanilla, 1 tablespoon zest, and 2 tablespoons juice and beat for 30 seconds to blend. Gradually add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached, beating on low until blended. Frost cooled cake and enjoy! Store covered in the refrigerator.

Be sure to check out all of the other recipes that are part of #FreshTastyValentines today at the linky below! 🙂

Disclosure: I received a complimentary Better Zester! and Strawberry Tool from Kitchen IQ for my participation in #FreshTastyValentines. However, I was not required to write a positive review and I was not otherwise compensated for this post. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to KitchenIQ for their sponsorship of this event!

Main Dishes, Recipes, Salads, Sides, Vegetables

Grapefruit Arugula Salad

Once I tasted a bite of this awesome Grapefruit Arugula Salad, I knew I had to photograph and share it, even though it was late and I was making this salad when all the natural light had already bid Nashville farewell. [translation=indoor photography :(] My sister and brother-in-law were visiting, and this salad was the perfect accompaniment to our roasted chicken and vegetable dinner.

Grapefruit Arugula Salad | thepajamachef.com

I know there are a million variations of grapefruit arugula salad out there, and this is the first version I’ve ever had, so I can’t say it’s the best, but I can say it’s MY best. 🙂 How’s that? Well, it’s just so much yumminess in one bowl! You’ve got your juicy citrus, your tangy feta, and your peppery arugula all dressed in a lemon vinaigrette dressing. Basically an explosion of flavors. I totally wish I had made bigger salads so don’t make the same mistake I did. This is one salad I know I’ll be coming back to time and time again. Enjoy, friends!

one year ago: Herb, Tomato, and Cheese Crackers
two years ago: Smoky Fried Chickpeas
three years ago: Pantry Pasta for Two

Grapefruit Arugula Salad
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1 large grapefruit
  • 3 ounces arugula
  • 1 ounce crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • lemon pepper
  • salt

Directions:

Using a sharp paring knife, section the grapefruit into segments. I tried to do this without a tutorial and it didn’t go so well, so check out this tutorial and your grapefruit will look better than mine. 🙂

Divide arugula between four bowls, then divide grapefruit between the bowls as well. Top with feta cheese.

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, and balsamic for the dressing. Add lemon pepper and salt to taste, then drizzle over salad immediately before eating.

Time: 5 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Quinoa, Recipes, Sides

Sweet-Tart Quinoa Salad

So, sometimes when I don’t take my beloved black bean wraps in my lunch, I like to make big salads on the weekend, filled with veggies and protein and oodles of flavor, that I can dish out throughout the week. At home I love leafy green salads, but for portability and ease, grain-based salads are my BFF. They don’t get soggy or mushy, they have tons of different flavors and textures, and the dressing is already mixed in–no need to juggle a bajillion containers! These same salads are also great for a meatless dinner or a healthy barbecue side dish for practically all the same reasons, but I just tend to eat them more for lunch!

This salad is no different from my normal grain-based salad loves, though technically quinoa isn’t a grain. But in my little world, like most of the rest of the culinary empire, it’s lumped right in. Don’t go lumping this Sweet-Tart Quinoa Salad in with other quinoa salads, though!

This salad pairs the basic Mexi-grain salad components with something new, something fresh. Something sweet–some sweet potato and bell peppers, perhaps?–meets something tart. Not just the Mexi-staple tartness of lime. But the unexpected, refreshing burst of…. Grapefruit. Whaaaaat? What initially started as a scaredy-cat substitution because I realized I was out of limes and needed more liquid to mix into this salad turned into a “oh darn, I should have used more grapefruit juice” during the test tasting stage. Crazy!

See, here’s the deal. You toss together some quinoa, bell peppers, onion, black beans, and sweet potato. They’re great. Pantry staples, healthy, filling, relatively affordable. They’re filling and flavorful on their own, yet adaptable to a pretty wide range of seasonings. Then you add the Mexi-spices and flavors, including cumin, cilantro, red pepper, the typical lime juice, etc. Leave the salad alone here and it would be pretty good. But add some grapefruit juice and take it to the next level. Beyond the tang of lime there’s a familiar yet unexpected tartness. An explosion of yummy flavors that makes each bite enchanting and divine. Sweet-Tart Quinoa Salad is the perfect familiar yet unexpected addition to your next lunch conundrum, meatless meal, or barbecue side dish.

And yes, if you’re wondering… “Sweet-Tart” in the dish’s name was a nod to my all-time favorite childhood candy, SweeTarts, which I would happily munch on all day, everyday if that was a nutritionally sound choice. 🙂

What’s your all-time favorite childhood candy?

Sweet-Tart Quinoa Salad
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, dry
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped + more for garnish
  • 3/4 cup bell peppers, diced [I used green, yellow, and red]
  • 3/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place onion and sweet potato in a large baking dish, then sprinkle with garlic, red pepper, and cumin. Drizzle with olive oil, then use your [clean!] hands to mix everything together. Bake for 20-22 minutes.

While the sweet potato and onion mixture is a-cooking, prepare the quinoa. Boil 1 cup water, then stir in the quinoa. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cover, cooking for 12 minutes.

Remove quinoa from heat, then stir in cilantro, bell peppers, black beans, lime juice, and grapefruit juice. After everything is combined, cover and set aside.

After sweet potato and onion mixture is ready, add to quinoa, and season with lots of freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

Time: 25 minutes [10 minutes active].

Yield: 2-3 servings.

Notes: If raw peppers aren’t your thing, you can roast then with the sweet potatoes and onions. Also, feel free to use any combination of citrus juice–orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, etc. in place of the lime-grapefruit mixture.