Cheese Pizza

February 2, 2011

Cheese Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza?!


½ Recipe Basic Pizza Dough

1 Cup Victoria’s Secret Pizza Sauce

2 Tablespoons Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Prepare pizza dough & prepare Victoria’s Secret Pizza Sauce.  Shape pizza dough as directed.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and spread sauce over Parmesan cheese and top with mozzarella.  Preheat oven to 450° F.  Let prepared pizza rest for about 20 minutes before putting into the oven.  Bake until crust is golden which should be approximately 15 to 20 minutes.  Serves 4

Pizza Toppings

If you want to top your pizza with more than cheese here are some ideas.  To keep the crust crispy, scatter cheese over the dough before topping with other ingredients.  Sprinkle fresh herbs over the pizza just before serving. 

Try these delicious combinations or make up your own:

1)    Grilled radiccio, cooked crumbled pancetta or bacon, crumbled goat cheese and chopped fresh sage.

2)     Sautéed cremini mushrooms, cooked sweet Italian sausage, black or green pitted olives, thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese and dried oregano.

3)    Coarsley chopped grilled eggplant, marinated artichoke hearts, chopped plum tomatoes, shredded mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves. 

4)    Thinly sliced mozzarella cheese, crumbled gorgonzola, spoonfuls of ricotta, freshly ground pepper and fresh basil leaves. 


Basic Pizza Dough


1 ¼ Cups Warm Water (105° to 115° F)

1 Package Active Dry Yeast

1 Teaspoon Sugar

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Teaspoons Salt

Approximately 4 Cups Unbleached Flour or Approximately 3 ½ Cups Bread Flour

Cornmeal for Sprinkling

In a large bowl, combine ¼ cup warm water, yeast and sugar. Stir to dissolve.  Let stand for about 5 minutes or until foamy.  Be careful that the water is not hot or it will kill the yeast. 

With a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining 1 cup of warm water, oil, salt and 1 ½ cups flour until smooth.  Gradually add 2 cups unbleached flour or 1 ½ cups bread flour, stirring until dough leaves the side of the bowl.  Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes), working in enough of remaining ½ cup of flour just to keep dough from sticking to the surface. 

Shape dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl.  Turn the dough to grease the top.  Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (80° to 85° F) until doubled in volume, for about 1 ½ hours. 

Punch down dough and turn.  Now turn onto a lightly floured surface and cut in half, cover loosely and let rest for about 15 minutes.  If you are not using right away, place dough in a large greased bowl, cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours. 

Sprinkle two large cookie sheets with cornmeal.  Shape each dough half into a ball.  On one prepared pizza pan (or cookie sheet) with floured rolling pin roll one ball into 14 inch x 10 inch rectangle.  Fold edges in to form 1 inch rim.  Repeat to make your second pizza.  Makes enough dough for 2 large pizzas. 


Victoria’s Secret Pizza Sauce


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Chopped Yellow Onion

4 Finely Chopped Garlic Cloves

One 28 Ounce Can Plum Tomatoes

2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil

½ Teaspoon Salt

In a nonreactive 3 quart saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook.  Stir until onion is tender (about 5 minutes).  Stir in tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste (I like to use the tomato paste that comes in a tube), basil and salt.  Heat to boiling, breaking up tomatoes with the side of your spoon.  Reduce heat and partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened slightly (about 20 minutes).  Makes 3 ½ cups.

Victoria’s Jalapeno Bean Dip

January 19, 2011

Victoria’s Jalapeno Bean Dip


5 Medium Jalapeno Peppers

1 ½ Cups Cooked Pinto Beans

1 Cup Cooked Black Beans

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

½ Teaspoon Salt

1 Garlic Clove

½ Teaspoon Oregano

1 Squeezed Lime

1 Teaspoon Cumin

½ Cup Salsa


Preheat oven to 325° F.  Cut off tops of peppers.  Combine whole peppers with all ingredients in a food processor and “puree.”  Pour processed ingredients into a covered dish and put in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with tortilla chips.  Serves 8

**I like to cook dried beans instead of using cans.  If you are pressed for time then canned beans are ok.

Tomato Basil Soup

January 16, 2011

Tomato Basil Soup


1 Pound Ripe Tomatoes (Cut in Half Lengthwise)

¼ Cup Plus 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Sea Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2 Cups Chopped Yellow Onion (About 2 Onions)

6 Minced Garlic Cloves

2 Tablespoons Butter

¼ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

28 Ounces Tomatoes (With Juice)

4 Cups Packed Fresh Basil Leaves

1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme Leaves

1 Quart Chicken Stock

Preheat oven to 400° F.  Toss together the tomatoes, ¼ cup olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.  In an 8 quart stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, butter and red pepper flakes for about 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown.  Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme and chicken stock.  Add the oven roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet.  Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for about 40 minutes.  Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade.  Serve hot or cold.  Serves 6


Insalata Caprese

December 25, 2010

Insalata Caprese


2 Pounds Vine Ripened Tomatoes (About 4 Large Sliced ¼ Inch Thick)

1 Pound Fresh Mozzarella – Slice ¼ Inch Thick

¼ Cup Packed Fresh Basil

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Sea Salt & Pepper to Taste

On a large platter arrange tomato, mozzarella slices and basil leaves, alternating and overlapping them.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper.

Potato Apple Gratin

December 20, 2010

Potato Apple Gratin


3 Eggs

3 Cups Buttermilk

1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves

2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

2 Pounds Peeled & Sliced Baking Potatoes

2 Pounds Granny Smith Unpeeled Apples (cut into 1/8 inch slices)

1 Pound Shredded Swiss Cheese

¼ Pound Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 400° F.  Grease a 3 ½ quart casserole dish.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, thyme, salt and pepper.  Set aside.  Arrange a layer of slightly overlapping potatoes in the casserole dish.  Cover with a layer of apples and sprinkle with a third of both cheeses.  Pour a third of the egg mixture on top.  Make 2 more layers.  Bake covered for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Remove the lid and bake another 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Fettuccine With Asparagus

December 16, 2010


Fettuccine With Asparagus


4 Ounces Uncooked Fettuccine

½ Pound Fresh Asparagus (Trimmed & Cut Into 1 Inch Pieces

¼ Cup Chopped Onion

1 Minced Garlic Clove

1 Tablespoon Butter

2 Ounces Cubed Cream Cheese

¼ Cup Half & Half

¼ Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

1 ½ Teaspoons Lemon Juice

1 Teaspoon Grated Lemon Peel

¼ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper

Cook fettuccine according to directions on package.  While fettuccine is cooking, sauté the asparagus, onion & garlic in butter until tender.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Cook and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is blended.  Drain fettuccine and toss with asparagus mixture.  Quick & Easy.  Serves 2

Red Lentil Soup

December 14, 2010

Red Lentil Soup


1 Cup Red Lentils

1 Teaspoon Salt

15 Ounces Diced Tomatoes (canned or fresh)

2 Tablespoons Fresh Minced Ginger

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

2 Cloves Minced Garlic

15 Ounce Can of Unsweetened Coconut Milk

1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander

1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin

1 Tablespoon Tamarind Paste

1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder

1 Small Jalapeno (Stemmed, Seeded & Minced)

¼ Cup Chopped Cilantro

Combine lentils, salt and 5 cups of water in a large saucepan.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until lentils are tender.  Puree tomatoes and ginger in a food processor until smooth and set aside.  Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and add garlic.  Cook briefly (for about 30 seconds or until just golden).  Add tomato mixture, coconut milk, tamarind, coriander, cumin, turmeric and jalapeno.  Simmer about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in lentils and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.  Serves 6

Vegetarian Chili

December 14, 2010


Vegetarian Chili


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 ½ Cups Chopped Red Onions

1 Cup Chopped Red Bell Pepper

3 Cloves Minced Garlic

3 Serrano Peppers (Stemmed, Seeded & Minced)

1 Medium Diced Zucchini

2 Cups Corn

1 ½ Pounds Cleaned & Cubed Portobello Mushrooms

3 Tablespoons Chili Powder

1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin

1 ¼ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Cayenne

5 Large Tomatoes (Peeled, Seeded & Chopped)

3 Cups Cooked Black Bean

15 Ounces of Tomato Sauce

1 Cup Vegetable Stock

¼ Cup Chopped Cilantro

In a large pot heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic and Serrano peppers.  Cook and stir until soft which will be about 3 minutes.   Next, add the zucchini, corn and mushrooms and cook until vegetables start to brown around the edges which should be about 6 minutes.  Add the spices and continue to stir.  Next, add the tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce and vegetable stock and stir well.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.  Super easy, super fast and super yummy!  May be served over rice, with tortilla chips or corn bread.

Victoria’s Naughty Naughty Mashed Potatoes

November 26, 2010

Naughty Naughty Mashed Potatoes!

Serves 6


5 Pounds Peeled & Cubed Russet Potatoes

2 Sticks Butter

¾ Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

¼ Teaspoon Garlic Powder

½ Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Cook potatoes in boiling water until very tender for approximately 20 minutes.  Drain well.  Mash potatoes with butter.  Add cream, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Mix well.  Super yummy and super naughty.

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