Summertime Pizza Recipe

pizza, pizza recipe, summer, recipe

“What’s for dinner?”

“Pizza!”

Always music to my ears growing up. But let’s be honest, pizza for dinner still puts a pep in my step.  I suppose that’s the “youthfulness” in me. There’s just something about homemade pizza. It’s so much fun to make and to get the whole family involved.

Today I want to share with you my summertime pizza recipe.

But first, I want to share how I get my crust crisped to perfection. I shared this method with someone once, and they were so excited! I remember them saying, “This is a game changer! I’ve always struggled with soggy pizza! I’m learning how to make pizza from a real Italian!” Haha.


The Secret to Crispy Pizza:

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Pizza dough prepped for the oven!

I purchase my pizza dough from the bakery at my grocery store.  When you’re ready to start cookin’, let the dough rest outside of the fridge for a little while.  This will help the dough become more pliable. Roll the dough out or stretch it with your hands until it is the size and thickness of your preference. Brush it with olive oil and season it with oregano.  Take a fork and prick a few holes in the dough to prevent huge bubbles in the dough. Then, put the dough in the oven WITHOUT any toppings.  This is when you want to fully cook the dough and get it nice and golden. If you’re using a pizza pan with holes in the bottom you can leave it on the pan.  But, if you’re using a cookie sheet, you’ll want to shimmy the crust off the pan halfway through the cook time (this allows the bottom of the crust to brown).  Cook time will depend on your dough and the thickness, as well as your preference. Once your crust is crispy and fully cooked (should take 15 to 20 minutes), put your toppings on your pizza. Once the pizza is topped and ready to go, put back in the oven for ONLY 3 minutes.  This is simply to melt the cheese and heat the toppings through.

Using the above method will keep your pizza toppings from losing their freshness and crisp, and will prevent a soggy pizza crust!


So now for the summertime pizza recipe! This recipe has become a staple in the Brown Abode! Billy and I made it for our family the other night, and they’re already asking for us to make it again.

I created this recipe to be a light pizza that is perfect for warm summer evenings by the pool.  With peaches, fresh sweet basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze, it’s very gourmet and feels very southern.  Soul food for sure!

pizza, pizza recipe, summer, recipe

Summertime Pizza Recipe

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Pizza Dough
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Oregano
  • Shredded Italian Cheese
  • 1 Peach, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Salami, sliced into thin pieces
  • Fresh Basil
  • 2 TB Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven according to the directions of your chosen pizza dough.
  2. Brush with olive oil, season with oregano, and prick with a fork.
  3. Cook dough until golden and crispy. The crust should be fully cooked. Babysit the dough to prevent overcooking.
  4. Add cheese, peaches, and salami.
  5. Put back into the oven and bake for 3 minutes.
  6. In a small skillet, simmer balsamic vinegar til it thickens and forms a glaze. Set aside. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
  7. When the pizza is done, top with fresh basil and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

-From the kitchen of Julia Brown

http://www.theyouthful.me


pizza, pizza recipe, summer, recipe

Get in the kitchen this summer. Have some family or friends over, have a record spinning, and blow them away with this tasty pizza that looks straight out of a restaurant. If you make this recipe, comment below! I’d love to hear how you enjoyed it!

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Bruschetta Recipe

My sister and I have started a new Thursday night tradition. We have each other and our hubs over at each other’s homes, alternating weeks. It’s become a coveted time of laughter and good food! The perfect way to break up the week.

When they came over to our place, I made bruschetta as an appetizer and they enjoyed it so immensely! What I love about bruschetta is it’s delightfully light, looks impressive, but is deceptively easy to make! So I thought I’d share my recipe with you all–because that’s what friends are for!

Speaking of bruschetta, I must confess a pet peeve of mine—when people call it “broo-shetta.” Being the little Italian girl that I am, hearing bruschetta mispronounced is like nails on a chalkboard for me. Haha. “Broo-sketta” sounds far more beautiful, don’t you agree?

Bruschetta

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 tomatoes, petite diced and seeded
  • 1/2 onion, petite diced
  • A few leaves of basil, chopped
  • A sprinkle of salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • A dash of garlic powder
  • 1 to 2 TB of olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Baguette

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, basil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil.
  2. Refrigerator mixture until ready to serve.
  3. Slice baguette into 1/2 inch pieces.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and garlic powder and toast in even for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. (Or until desired crispiness.)
  5. In a small pan, simmer balsamic vinegar until it bubbles and reduces in volume. It will continue to thicken as it cools and will form a glaze. Set aside.
  6. Spoon tomato mixture on each slice of bread and drizzle the balsamic glaze on top.
  7. Enjoy!

-From the kitchen of Julia Brown

http://www.theyouthful.me

I love how light and refreshing this appetizer is! The perfect cheese board pairing! May this recipe delight your tummy and wow your guests.

Ciao!

Simple Marinara

Happy Hump Day! It’s a great feeling knowing you’re half way through the week. Ahhh 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you one of my original recipes. Recipe production is still something I’m working on. While I’m not able to come up with an elaborate cake recipe, I have been able to create a couple simple recipes.

The recipe I’d like to share with you today is a simple marinara sauce that you can throw together quickly on a weeknight or put on some homemade pizza. It’s easy, light, and has great flavor.

So, let’s get cooking. 🍝

(Quick note on the picture below. While “perusing” Homegoods, I stumbled across this mint Dutch oven. I’ve been wanting one so bad, and this one was only $30! I’m in love 😍. Dutch ovens are so versatile, and are especially great for sauces, soups, and chili! Oh and by the way, there is no such thing as perusing Homegoods. 😉)


Simple Marinara

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
2 cloves of garlic
1 small sweet onion
1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup of white wine
Salt
Pepper
Oregano or Italian Spice Blend
Fresh basil

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a medium sized pot. Mince garlic and chop onion.  Saute in the pot until translucent.  Add the crushed tomatoes, a splash (or more) of white wine, and the seasonings. Bring to a simmer. At the end, chop some fresh basil and stir in. Serve over pasta.

I hope you enjoy! This recipe is great if you’re looking for an easy “pasta night” but don’t want to just heat up a jar of pre-made sauce.  This one’s fresh and tasty. Happy cooking!

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The Beauty of Meal Planning 

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Happy Weekend!

I’m writing to you from a cozy leather chair in this fancy house I babysit for. I like to do little side jobs to earn money for random things I want. Tonight I’m working for this black jumpsuit I want to get for our anniversary trip to New York City. Hehe. The kiddos are in bed, so I thought I’d use this opportunity to write about meal planning.

I remember as a little girl watching my mom meal plan on a piece of lined notebook paper. I’d put in my requests for certain ice cream flavors or more apple juice. I’d always look forward to finding out what meals we’d be having in the upcoming week. Clam sauce, minestrone, and baked ziti were among my favorites. I had quite refined tastebuds for an 8 year old.

Now I’m all grown up, and meal planning just like my momma. On the couch. With a lined piece of notebook paper. 🙂

Why meal plan?

Well, there’s a few reasons.

1. It saves time. I know so many people who scramble after work trying to figure out what’s for dinner. So, they run to the grocery store last minute and throw together a meal when they get home. Then, the next day they repeat the whole process all over again. Hectic and unnecessary.

2. It saves money. If your buying ingredients as you go throughout your week, you will easily go over budget. Planning out your meals for the upcoming week allows you to keep your grocery list down to what you need and can afford.

3. You’ll eat healthier. Probably about 9 times out of 10, if you don’t plan what you’re having for dinner in advance, you’ll probably end up getting fast food somewhere. Meal planning allows you to create a balanced menu for the week. Instead of impulsively buying potato chips on your way out of the grocery store, you can plan to purchase healthy snack items like fresh fruit and nuts.

Allow me to explain how I personally mealplan for my husband and I. First, I write on one side of a piece of paper a grocery list. This list contains items we are out of stock or running low on. On the flip side of the paper, I write each day of the week. I plan my meals according to what works best for our lifestyle. I pull out the recipes for those meals and add the needed ingredients to the grocery list. Then, I post the meal plan on the fridge so my hubby can see what’s for dinner. He likes that. 🙂

Here’s what’s for dinner this week:

Monday: Frozen organic pizza with a salad (We have pizza every Monday, because…Monday.)

Tuesday: Fettuccine Alfredo (homemade, the Olive Garden recipe)

Wednesday: Leftover Alfredo

Thursday: Turkey Chili

Friday: Leftover Chili

Saturday: Date night

Sunday: Grill out at my parents’ house

Notice the flow of my meal plan. Monday-easy. Tuesday-cook. Wednesday-I get a break. Thursday-cook. Friday- I get a break, because I can never bring myself to cook on a Friday night haha. If you are cooking for two, I highly recommend following a similar pattern. I came up with this right when I got married, and it has worked out so well. We are eating a home cooked, healthy meal every night. But I don’t cook every night. Did you get that? I don’t cook every night! That is the beauty of meal planning!

Cook a big meal one night, eat it again the next.

It’s that simple.

I really hope you’re feeling inspired to get your meal planning game on!

~Julia

P.s. I also plan what to pack me and my husband for lunch. No getting unhealthy food at work or wasting money on food we don’t even like!