Long time readers know that I have a bit of an obsession when it comes to pizza. I remember a few years ago there were a string of Friday’s that Tony wanted to go out to eat, which I thought was odd, because he hated going out to eat on crowded weekend nights, but thought – wow – how nice that he wants to treat me to dinner out! Nope, on the 5th Friday he suggested we go out or carry something to take home, I suddenly realized it had been a month since I last made pizza – he was just trying to avoid having Party Pizza Friday!
Well, Jacob is much like Tony – he could take it or leave it, no matter what was on top of it. But Hannah, thankfully, has the Party Pizza Friday pants on every Friday like me. While she’s not into red sauce that much, I am more than willing to make her any kind of pizza she wants. Which is usually a garlic olive oil pizza with just mozzarella and spinach. Me? I like to switch it up. Mexican pizza, margarita pizza, pepperoni. But when I saw my blog friend Helen post on Facebook last week that she made a buffalo chicken pizza, I suddenly thought “why the heck haven’t I made that before?!”
I’ve started making a new pizza dough. My no rise pizza dough is still my go to in a pinch, but I like this one a lot for thin crust pizza – the corn meal gives the dough a bit of crunch when baked. But first, can we just admire my amazing food photography skills from 2008?
Pizza Dough (I used 1/6 of this dough for my individual pizza for 5 smart points)
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup white corn meal
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt (I used 1/2 celery salt and 1/2 regular salt)
- 1 cup (plus a couple more tablespoons) water
In a bowl, mix the flour, corn meal, yeast, salt together. Add in the one cup water, and with a spoon or your hands, mix together until all the flour is incorporated – you may have to add a bit more water to get it combine. Let sit on your counter for a minimum of one hour to rise.
So my next thought process for this Buffalo Chicken pizza – what kind of sauce should I make? Then I decided to make a blue cheese bechamel! A bechamel is nothing other than a white sauce – it’s a great jumping point to other great things. I just stirred in 2 ounces of blue cheese at the very end.
Blue Cheese Bechamel (I used 1/6 of this recipe for my pizza for 4 smart points)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1.25 ounces fat free milk
- 2 ounces blue cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
In a small stock pot, melt butter. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly add the milk, continuing to stir, until the sauce is nice and thick. Take off heat and stir in blue cheese, salt and pepper.
For the pizza toppings: (toppings came in at 7 smart points)
- 2 ounces fried chicken tenders, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Frank’s hot sauce
- 1 ounce of mixed cheese (I used provolone and mozzarella
- 1/4 cup chopped celery with stems
- 1 tablespoon fat free ranch dressing
Heat oven to 425. I use my baking steel, but a pizza stone, or even a cookie sheet is fine. Roll out 1/6 of the dough onto parchment paper. Add 1/6 of blue cheese bechamel (which was about 2 heaping tablespoons) to the bottom of the pie dough. Toss the chicken tenders with the Frank’s hot sauce and place around the pizza. Top with the mixed cheese and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until desired doneness. When it comes out of the oven, top with chopped celery, the ranch sauce and more hot sauce if you want.
As I was making this, I was trying to keep track of the points in my head, and thought this generous sized individual pizza would be 14 points, but it turns out to be 16. Still totally worth the points, and if you have a buffalo chicken lover in your house – eat half for 8 points and have a salad on the side for an indulgent, yet healthy, Party Pizza Friday.
It was a hot in our neck of the woods this weekend. I have to give a shout out to Mo H., a blog reader who stopped by to say hello to me in Glenview on Saturday! I am sorry I was busy with a customer, I wanted a chance to talk, but it got busy – but I so appreciate you stopping by and introducing yourself! If you live in that area, I’d be happy to meet up on one of my days off for lunch
That was pretty much the state of my face for the weekend – dripping sweat. And yes Mom, I wore sunscreen! Just seems that my freckles are more pronounced in this picture, since I don’t wear any makeup on my face – it would just melt off anyway!
I had plans to grill this weekend, but after standing in the heat all day, the thought of even lighting the grill, even for something that wouldn’t take that long to grill, was just too much. Hannah and Jacob were getting off of work around dinner time on Saturday, and Hannah said she’d treat for dinner – score!
Ah, that hit the spot – a cold Stella after a sweltering day? Priceless. And I’ve long since realized that if a place is known for a certain dish, to order it. Tony had a friend that would notoriously order lasagna in an Irish pub and then talk about how disgusting it was. This place? Is known for great burgers. I built my own: brioche bun, burger, mozzarella cheese, bacon, hot giardinira and their house made marinara sauce. Drop the mic people!
Can we just take a moment to look at all that melty cheese? And their house made pickles are amazeballs too. I ended up eating 3 fries (Hannah was going to make hashbrowns with the leftovers) and ate half the burger, which I counted as 15 smart points.
Sunday’s weather wasn’t much better, although there were points of cloudiness which helped it not feel as hot – not sure it felt as if it was 104 degrees, but it was hot!
We ended up getting more rain last night too. Just happy that both days the rain and storms didn’t come in after the markets were over.
Jacob’s Dad ended up joining us for dinner – just a simple Cheezy Beef dinner with tots was on the menu. Dietz & Watson was on sale too – score!
S. Rosen is a Chicago bakery that makes the best buns for beef sandwiches. They have a bit of texture on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside. Not that it really matters, because I had a small bowl of au jus on the side and soaked up the bread – I love a soggy Italian beef!
The bun was 5 points, the tots were 5 points, the beef was 2 and the cheese was 2. Pure Chicago comfort food for Sunday dinner.
I am actually headed to Chicago today! Can’t tell you yet why, but I am going to meet up with my sister for coffee/lunch/walk – or whatever fits into her work schedule today. It’s a gorgeous day – temps in the low 80’s and blue skies. I’ll leave you with this picture (Shelley, I know you’ll appreciate this – ha!) Side by side pics of us being Sia on Snapchat! Jenn is on the left and I am on the right. Too funny!
Jenn knows how to take a picture without those icons below, but because she knows I can’t stand it when she leaves them, she keeps them there.
Alright, time to make a quick breakfast and get ready to head to the train station. Make it a great day!