Tomato Pesto Pizza

I had planned to make a tomato pesto pizza at some point in the next two weeks but wanted to wait until I could find some time so I could make my own pizza dough. I have never made pizza dough before. This is partly due to the fact that I was too lazy and partly because I had it in my head that it would take longer than making bread. I’m not sure why I thought this but I did. I had some time while the kids were napping and I thought I would go for it. I feel dumb for thinking it would take longer to make than bread. Um, easy! Best part is you get to freeze half of the dough for your next home made pizza! How awesome is that? I know, I am a dork and I’m ok with that. Here is the trick with the dough- the thinner it is the better. My dough, pictured below, still isn’t thin enough for my liking.

Here is the pizza dough recipe! It’s at the beginning of the BBQ Chicken recipe. Did you notice it was a PW recipe 🙂 I squeezed her in again!  Here is the tomato pesto pizza recipe.

I used mozzarella sandwich slices for my pizza. I didn’t feel the need to go all out. I also left a little portion of the pizza empty (just cheese and pesto) for the kids. They don’t like tomatoes like I do. Looking back, I should have loaded this thing up with tomatoes- everywhere. For some reason I only put them on the slices of cheese. Not sure what I was thinking. Learn from my mistakes and load it up!

The kids LOVED the pizza. Usually pizza is a hit or miss with the kids. Thing 2 likes pizza only when it comes from Little Caesar’s (um, their breadsticks rock!). Thing 1 doesn’t have a preference but she will just refuse to eat it randomly. I think the real reason that they liked this pizza so much was because there wasn’t any sauce on it.

The dough recipe was awesome! Next time I am making pizza marinara with it because I LOVE it. When we went to Rome for our one year anniversary we found this little hole in the wall restaurant. It was family owned and they had the best food in all of Rome. After trying a few other places we refused to eat anywhere but there. The night before we left they took me back to the kitchen and the chef taught me how to make pizza marinara (I ordered it at least once a day at their restaurant! It was soooo good.). You have no idea how awesome that was to me! It was like a movie. Seriously, who randomly learns to cook in Rome?! We send everyone there when we find out they are going to Rome. I can’t wait to go back! By the way, I can not wait until Eat, Pray, Love comes out!

Cowboy Food

This post is about those delicious and easy calzones I made for supper last night.  At this point, I have determined if the Pioneer Woman is helping me cook in my kitchen, my kids won’t throw their food at the table and my husband won’t look up from his plate until he is done. Thing 2 does not normally eat hamburger meat in any form. Last night I saw him pick up his “child size” calzone and eat it until there was nothing left. I made Paul (my husband) a man sized calzone and after his plate had been licked clean he looks at me and says, “Pioneer Woman?” I said, “Yes.” He says, “Put this one on the rotation.” By rotation, he means my menu plans. The next post will be my menu plans for the next two weeks. I have been super slack at posting those.

This budget/kid/man friendly meal was SO easy to throw together and took very little time. Because I don’t have time, I opted not to make my own pizza dough. I am posting the recipe to her pizza dough in case you have the time and desire. I believe other than not making her pizza dough I actually followed the recipe this time. I am posting pictures from my experience last night. Oh, I ended up with extra dough so I carelessly formed some dough balls and brushed some olive oil on them, chives and cheese and made biscuits with them. The kids and man in the house loved those too.




Pizza Dough Recipe



The dough that I used.


Somehow I took this picture upside down- anyway, you get the point. I found this by the biscuits in the grocery store. Worked just fine for me. I should have purchased two of these because I had enough filling left over to make a second pan full of calzones.




Calzone Filling:
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook

1/2 lb breakfast sausage or you can just leave this out like I do
1 lb ground beef
1/2 diced onion or 2 tbs of onion powder
8 oz can of Rotel
8 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 egg, beaten
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450


Put your onion in your skillet, add your beef and sausage and cook until done. Drain the grease. 

2. Add 1 can of Rotel tomatoes and until heated through. Set aside to cool.



3. Combine your cheeses and egg.

4. Combine cheese mixture with meat mixture and salt and pepper to taste.



5. I roll my pizza dough flat and use bowls to help me create the pockets.







I used two different sizes of bowls. The smallest bowl on the left I used to make the kid size calzones. The one on the right I used to make man sized calzones and I halved that size to make one for me.


6. Just eyeball it. This is one of the kid sized calzones. My goal was to fill it until I could barely pinch the sides closed.






7. Close your pocket and pinch sides together then brush with olive oil.

8. Bake for 12 to 15 mins




See, mine weren’t pretty. I would blame that on my assistant (Thing 2) but truth be told, I have three hour increments to get everything done due to Thing 3‘s feeding schedule and I was nearing the time to feed him. 



Plate ’em. Serve ’em. Demolish ’em.