Posts Tagged ‘pizza’

Easy Italian

My brother told me a few weeks ago that as a child, I would only eat toast or cheese or something with a combination of  the two. I’m afraid to admit those still rank high on my favorite items list, but you know what, at least I can say I’m consistent. Since I eat like a kid, maybe your kid will like these too. They’re really simple to make!

  • Mazola Pure® Cooking Spray
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 envelopes Fleischmann’s® RapidRise Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup very warm water (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 2 ounces pepperoni slices
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Spray a 9-1/2-inch deep dish pie dish. Mix the ingredients that go in the dough and spread over the pie dish. Cover the batter with pizza sauce, layer with pepperoni, and then sprinkle the top with cheese. Place it in the unheated oven and turn it on to 350 degrees Bake the dish for thirty minutes and serve.

Pasta dishes can get boring, so spice up some regular rotini with some fun:

Boil whole wheat pasta according to the directions on the box. Smother in the sauce of your choice and mix in mozzarella cheese and crushed croutons or garlic rounds. Continue to cook until the cheese is melted and serve! This dish goes great with a Caesar salad on the side.


Gourmet Pizza in a Cinch

Pizza is my weak spot. I seriously cannot avoid trying pizza in every city I go to in search of the “best” pizza in the city. That said, I think I am becoming a real snob when it comes to pizza. I tend to get upset when people want to order in Domino’s (blasphemous, the worst excuse of a pizza ever). I find myself analyzing the crust (Too thick? Too thin? Too burnt?) and the ratio of cheese and toppings to sauce. My “ideal” pizza does not have heavy sauce, is not dripping with grease or overly cheesy, and completely loaded with delicious toppings. My ideal crust should be somewhat thin yet doughy with a pudgy crust and bubbling cheese. My favorite toppings are mostly anything minus meats… well unless it is in the form of meatballs, yum. So here is my guide to the places I know, the pizzas I eat, and the pizzas I make!

The best pizza in Miami: It is a toss up. Sir Pizza on Key Biscayne or New York Roma Pizza

Hermosa Beach/ Los Angeles: Paisano’s meatball and roasted garlic, Fresh Brothers thick crust pizza (Mama’s Special)

Dallas: Chicago Rick’s Pizza

My favorite kind of pizza is homemade because it fits my pizza ideal. It is simple to make and you can use wheat or white flour with this recipe:

Mix 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of yeast, and teaspoons of honey into one cup of warm water. Leave for 10 minutes. Add 3 ½ cups of flour and 2 teaspoons of olive oil and gradually mix it. Knead dough once it gives heavy and knead it into a ball. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with saran wrap, let dough rise for an hour. Push it down again and let it rise another hour.  Put onto floured surface and shape dough into a pie. Top pizza with Ragu pizza sauce, Kraft mozzarella cheese, and additional toppings of choice. You can create your own perfect ratios! Mine are a small amount of Ragu sauce, a whole package of Kraft cheese, Dole pineapple chunks, and jalapenos! My favorite toppings are Dole pineapple chunks and jalapenos. The pizza cooks in merely 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

The dough refrigerates and freezes perfectly so you can eat it at any time!

-Whitney Manson

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Old Friends and New

Old Friend Friday

Friday, I got to pick up Cameron’s brother Brandon at the airport at 12:30. It was my first experience at the Miami International Airport, and it is similar to LAX in that it is circular and obnoxious to navigate/ nowhere to sit and wait for a minute for a person. However, that said I found Brandon on my second attempt circling and head to Coral Gables for lunch at CPK. One focaccia sandwich later, we headed back to our duplex. I showed him the place and then we unpacked his belongings from the trailer and put them in my car. His new storage unit is in Medley, FL. I can tell you this much… I do not foresee a return to there for any  of us anytime soon. Medley is an industrial city with a small population. The woman working at the storage unit set up a beauty area with her friends in the office.  I overheard that they were highlighting someone’s hair. Very bizarre.

We came home and prepared ourselves for dinner while Cameron was out exploring the world of Cuban food with his classmates. He brought home some leftovers, and I asked what they were. “Tons of pork!!! I told them you wouldn’t touch it, but they made me bring home leftovers anyway.” Apparently, he tried about 3 kinds of pork, and he loved it all. Two of his classmates are Cuban and thus know what to order and where to go for real Cuban food. I still want to try it myself, but not the pork. The stringy texture of pork freaks me out.

We met two friends of the Weiss family for dinner. Granville is a Bahamian who visited for the weekend and then Lauralynn lives in Kendall and just completed building a house in the Bahamas. We ate dinner at a place in Coconut Grove called Jaguar, which is known for its ceviche spoons. Cameron and I each tried one, and mine was spicy! They were delicious, tiny, and just a taste of what’s next. I recommend trying them as an appetizer, but the dinner dishes are large too. I tried the Mambo Mango Salad with seared tuna for dinner. The dressing was cilantro-lime-jalapeno vinaigrette, avocado, mango, and more tuna than I could consume! Cameron had poblano pepper and chicken quesadillas. Jaguar is one of the best restaurants in the Grove, and I can say without hesitation that it lived up to the hype.(sp

Afterwards, we went out in South Miami at two bars with live bands. The first was a rock band at Bouganevillia (sp?) and the second was a blues band at the Titanic. The two bars and South Miami are apparently a UM party area. I also heard Coconut Grove is too, which should change things once they return to school this week. I don’t like that you can smoke inside bars, it is disgusting. Miami is a bit behind the times in that sense, and hopefully that will change while we’re here. Titanic brews their own beer (one of two places in Miami to do so) and has live music nightly. I think it will be a good place to return to once school picks back up and it isn’t so dead.

New Friend Saturday

Cameron and I went to pick up our metal bed frame finally out in Cutler Ridge, which is down Dixie Highway about 20 miles. Neither of us wanted to drive in his truck without AC on a day when it finally was warm., but we had to get it done. I called ahead of time, and then we trekked out there only to find out the frame was simply not there. They offered me no explanation for our pre-paid piece other than, “It’s just not there, but we can order another one.” Thanks?? They won’t deliver it to our place, but since they messed up they offered to ship it to their location in Dadeland, and I will pick it up tomorrow. I don’t understand how paid for bed frames go missing, but such is life.

We came home, hung out, watched the latest Jersey Shore episodes, and waited to meet Cameron’s classmates for dinner. We went to a pizza place with the largest pizzas about 3 minutes away from us, called Calusa’s. A whole small pizza is 14″. 14″ is usually a large pizza under normal circumstances. Cam and I got a slice of green bell pepper and a slice of mushroom between the two of us. They take each piece and cut it in half… and I still couldn’t finish my portion! We went to Moe’s later in the evening, which is famous for “Moose Juice”. Moose Juice has 3 types of Bacardi, a few types of juice, and is a giant beverage that tastes like candy. Yummmmmmm. I enjoyed meeting Cameron’s classmates and 2 new girls! It was refreshing and I look forward to more enjoyable nights hanging out with them.

Sunday brought rain, gym time where I got to watch the Cowboys flounder, and lounging. I hope that Dexter wins all the awards its nominated for tonight at the Golden Globes– John Lithgow especially deserves that Globe for his creepy portrayal of the Trinity Killer. Currently, I’m trying to figure out what’s for dinner and if I’ll make it to the end of the awards show (11 pm our time, seems so late!)…

The First Real Weekend in Coconut Grove!

This weekend felt more like a weekend. Friday we decided to stay in for the night, eat tamales, and play Super Mario. Nothing too fancy, but another enjoyable date night! We finally beat the first level, and hopefully I get better at the game overall because I am horrible! My nephew, who is 6, beat the first four levels alone and right away. One day, maybe I will be as good as him at Super Mario.

Saturday, it was raining and cold again. We even used the heat! We hung out, organized more, and enjoyed our time in together. We drove to the gym that day because there was no way we were walking in the cold rain! That night, we had plans to meet up with my awesome old roommate, Krista, and her boyfriend, Bryan, and go to dinner at Chicago’s Steakhouse in the Grove. For the night, they were offering $20 for unlimited deep dish pizza, house wine, and beer.  The pizza wasn’t fabulous, but the wine was coming, the Cowboys game was on, and the company was fun! We really enjoyed our night with them and it didn’t hurt that the Cowboys won.

Sunday, it was off to Dadeland Mall, Dadeland Station, and The Container Store. We found our necessary Container Store purchases, then went to the mall to wander around and explore it. It was huge and crowded, probably due to the unfortunate weather. After that, it was another return to Target (twice in 8 days, eek!) to check off another list we made on items we need. Afterwards, we tried to go to sushi in the Grove, but things were dead! Tons of restaurants were closed and people weren’t really walking around much at all, I think due to the fact that it was just way too cold for people to walk around in our area.

Back to the job hunt…