Homemade Pizza

Brian and I love to make pizzas together. So much that my sister actually included our pizza-making adventures in her MOH speech :) We even got the All-Clad Pizza Stone as a wedding gift from one of our HS friends. Ah, how I wish I can rewind to that day in May and play it all over again!

Here’s what we used, but of course you can pick whatever toppings you want – ham, pineapples, mushrooms, olives, the opportunities are endless!

  • Ready-to-use pizza dough (I’ve made my own, but it requires planning ahead as you need to let the dough rise)
  • Organic baby spinach
  • Pepperoni
  • Sweet Italian Sausage (it’s easier to get just the sausage meat instead of sausages in casings)
  • White Mushrooms
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, sliced thinly
  • Pizza Sauce/Pasta Sauce/Homemade Tomato Sauce

Spread pizza dough evenly on a pizza pan (we didn’t use our fancy pizza stone because we were too hungry and didn’t have the patience to figure it out). This required some elbow grease as the pizza dough kept on bouncing back to its original shape, but it was fun ;) Layer tomato sauce, then mozzarella cheese.

Top with your favorite toppings. For the spinach you would need to quickly saute it to wilt the leaves. We sauteed ours with garlic because Brian LOVES garlic. Mm… doesn’t this look delish?

Into the oven! 400 degrees for 35 minutes.

So awesome. Yes, I cheated on the dough, but nothing beats a (sort of) homemade pizza :)

What toppings do you like on your pizza?



These mussels are ALIVE??!!

For the past 2 days, I was in Montréal, Canada for a business trip. I had a wonderful time there but I think the airport food we ate at the last leg of our trip really made my stomach uneasy! I worked from home today and was amazingly super productive. Sometimes it helps when there’s no one around you and you just crank things out!!

I felt much better in the afternoon so while the hubs is sleeping before his night shift, I wandered across the street to the Food Cellar. I thought of grabbing some pre-marinated meat because I was too lazy for anything else, but then came across some mussels that were on sale! I was always intimidated by them mussels but I’m a sucker for any kind of sale, so I got a whopping 3 lbs. It actually creeped me out when the guy punched holes on the bag and told me he had to do it to keep the mussels alive. EEEPP!!! They’re alive!?

I also grabbed some fresh tomatoes and garlic, which I thought would go perfect together with some white wine broth and the fresh basil I still have left from making the Strawberry Basil Lemon Sorbet that I previously posted.

Off I went back to the kitchen, but not before sending out some emails for work. Uff! Type type type…. oh yea, I later found out that the mussels I got were from Prince Edward Island, which is a Canadian province. How appropriate!

Giada’s recipe was my inspiration and below is my own version:

“OH CANADA!” Mussels & Shrimp with Spicy Tomato Broth

  • 3 lbs mussels, cleaned &
  • 3 pcs tomatoes, fire roasted*  then chopped (I used my handy dandy cuisinart 4-cup chopper/grinder again!)
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 1/2 c basil leaves, chopped
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced (yes, I LOVE any opportunity for extra garlic)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • Shrimps, cleaned & deveined. I used about 15 medium-sized ones, but you can use however many you’d like or skip this

* You don’t need to fire roast your tomatoes. I decided to be fancy to give the broth a bit smokiness. I did this by putting one skewer into each tomato, then slooooowly rotating the tomato about 1″ above my fire stove. Of course I have no patience to get them perfectly charred, so I finished them off in the toaster oven, using the broiler setting :) p.s. you can even use canned tomatoes like Giada did in her original recipe

Start by heating some olive oil on the bottom of a dutch oven pan. You can use any heavy-bottomed pan. Throw in the onion, garlic, crushed red pepper, bay leaf and give it a quick stir. Let sit until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 1-2 minutes, then introduce the crushed tomatoes. Let sit about 5 minutes for all the flavor to go together and the tomatoes start changing color – they became darker! Pour in the cup of wine, let boil for the alcohol to burn off, and have the rest of the bottle to yourself ;) Just kidding.

the hubs took this picture – what do you think?

Taste the broth, add s+p, and a pinch of sugar if you’d like.

tomatoes and alcohol burning off… mmmmm

Then…. kill ’em mussels!!! I mean, toss them in the tomato-wine broth, cover the pan, and let sit for 5-7 minutes. Toss away any mussels that are still closed. It means the are dead and not healthy to eat. Yes, they are all dead by now, but these closed ones started off being dead, so you don’t want to force them open and get sick from eating them. Grab the good ones with a pair of tongs and plate them.


i love you, fire stove!!! so much better than your electric sister

Onto the shrimps! Throw them into the broth and let cook for about 1.5 minutes. Shrimps get tough if you cook them for too long, so move quick then plate them on top of the mussels. Don’t forget to pose for picture:


no make-up. whoopsies!!

Pour the tomato-wine broth on top of the mussels and shrimps, serve, and enjoy with some warm crusty bread! The bread is SUPER KEY! It is delish to dip in the sauce. I’m so proud of myself.

dutch oven pan is heavy… hubs help may be necessary ;)

I also made string beans as side dish, and of course we had (well, I did… the hubs has to go to work) the rest of the bottle of wine that we opened for this dish.

Actually, we now have 3 opened bottles of wines….. OH MY!!! 

Here’s a picture of the finished products – love the orange place mats from CB2. So happy and summery!


In the end, I was so happy with how this recipe turned out! I think next time I would go easy on the crushed red peppers, but the hubs didn’t seem to mind. We downed everything but the greens. HA! Yes, we had leftover green beans now… Booo…. but YES to leftover tomato broth from the mussels. I think they’re going to have an after-life… maybe a chowder with potatoes and corn. What do you think?

Until next time, I’m whisking myself away… to my bed!!