Easy Cheesy Pizza Pockets

September 5: National Cheese Pizza Day

Ah…mini pizza rolls and pizza pockets were one of our favorite afterschool snacks. They bring back childhood memories of coming home from school, settling down to relax/play and then snacking on them before tackling homework. Sure, the store-bought brands made it more convenient and quick for our moms to feed us hungry school kids. But homemade ones are just as easy to prepare ahead of time together as a family. Pizza pockets can be stuffed with favorite fillings that are not available from boxed brands, stored frozen and reheated in the oven whenever anyone wants a little something savory to eat. For National Cheese Pizza Day, we stuffed our snacks with plain shredded pizza cheese and waxed nostalgic about our childhood and the memories with our moms (dads and siblings) with whom we partook pizza pockets!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • Thin pizza dough (we used Wewalka brand)
  • Pizza sauce (we used Ragu brand)
  • Pizza cheese (we used Kraft brand)
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water for the egg wash

Directions

Unroll chilled pizza dough. Cut into 4×4” inch squares (we re-rolled the scrap to make five total squares).

Spread a little pizza sauce on each square, leaving about half an inch to the edge. Generously pile on the cheese (it will look bulky but melts down). Fold over and seal tightly with the tines of a fork.

Place on a sheet of waxed paper misted with cooking spray (or use parchment paper). Beat the egg with water and brush on the tops of the pizza pockets. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot. Be careful when biting into the pizza pockets as the hot cheese might ooze out and cause a burn.

Notes

  • Search our blog for other pizza recipes.

 

Pizza Bagels

pizzabagels

February 9: National Bagel Day and National Pizza Day

Highlander’s all-time favorite food is pizza! Our first-ever blog post was for a pizza recipe and we have made mini pizzas (pepperoni and sausage) as well. We have used different crusts for those recipes. But for National Pizza Day today we used thin bagels for the crust because it is also National Bagel Day! Pizza bagels are simple to make and doubly delicious for celebrating both food holidays.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • Bagels (we used thin bagels)
  • 1 small jar pizza sauce (we used Ragu brand)
  • 1 bag shredded pizza cheese
  • 1 package of mini pepperoni slices (we used Hormel brand)

Directions

Cut the bagel in half. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Spread pizza sauce on the bagel halves. Sprinkle the cheese shreds over them.

pizzabagelsteps1

Top with mini pepperoni slices. Bake in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before eating.

pizzabagelsteps2

Notes

  • The second week in January is National Pizza Week. September 5 is National Cheese Pizza Day. October is National Pizza Month. October 11 is National Sausage Pizza Day. And November 12 is National Pizza With Everything (Except Anchovies) Day.

Mini Sausage Pizzas

Mini Sausage Pizzas

October 11: National Sausage Pizza Day

Fall football is in full swing and Highlander’s attention turns to both college and professional teams on television.  Transforming junk food into game day gourmet, Islander would sometimes make mini (instead of man-sized) pizzas for him to snack on while he watches the sport. We have made mini pepperoni pizzas before but have substituted sausage for the topping today in observance of National Sausage Pizza Day and National Pizza Month.

Recipe

(Adapted from the Food Network)

Ingredients

  • 1 can refrigerated pizza crust
  • corn meal (optional)
  • 1 cup ground Italian sausage
  • ½ small red onion
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • slivers of sun dried tomatoes (we used Bella Sun Luci brand julienne-cut basil flavor)
  • shredded pizza cheese

Directions

Unroll pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut out circles using a 3-inch round cookie cutter. Lightly grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with a little corn meal. Place the circles onto the sheet. Set aside.

Mini Sausage Pizzas

In a skillet, brown the sausage. Drain any grease and set aside. Chop the onions.

Mini Sausage Pizzas

In a cup or ramekin, mix the minced garlic with the olive oil and infuse the flavors for five minutes. Brush the top of each circle with the oil mixture. Sprinkle the sun dried tomato slivers and onions on top of the circles.

Mini Sausage Pizzas

Sprinkle the cooked Italian sausage and shredded pizza cheese on top of the circles. Bake in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 7-8 minutes until the bottoms are crisp and golden and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

Mini Sausage Pizzas

Notes

  • Mini pizzas may be made with any favorite toppings (sausage, pepperoni, vegetables, Canadian bacon/ham and pineapple, etc.)
  • Instead of the garlic-olive oil mixture, spread tomato sauce on the mini pizza dough before topping with other ingredients and baking.
  • Search our blog for other pizza recipes.

Mini Pepperoni Pizzas

Mini Pepperoni Pizzas

October: National Pizza Month

We have eaten Chicago-style deep dish pizza when we lived in Illinois; New York City’s thin crust pizza when we took the 45-minute train ride to Manhattan from where we lived in New Jersey;  una pizza autentica when we traveled to Italy; cheap cardboard-tasting pizzas during college; delivery pizza for game day gatherings; frozen pizza for lazy meals; and semi-homemade pizza for creative cooking. Pizza is just a popular dish any way it is prepared! No wonder there are several related food holidays just for pizza (see Notes below). We celebrate National Pizza Month with a cute version of our comfort food: mini pepperoni pizzas.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 can refrigerated pizza crust dough(we used Pillsbury brand thin crust)
  • 1 small jar pizza sauce (we used Ragu brand)
  • 1 bag shredded pizza cheese
  • 1 package of mini pepperoni slices (we used Hormel brand)

Directions

Remove the pizza crust dough from the tube package. On a lightly floured surface, unroll the dough. Cut circles with the rim of a glass or three-inch round cookie cutter. Bake the mini crusts in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven. Spread pizza sauce over the mini crusts.

Mini Pepperoni Pizzas

Sprinkle the cheese shreds over them. Top with mini pepperoni Slices. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Mini Pepperoni Pizzas

Notes

  • Make mini pizzas of your choice or try our HI (Hawaiian) pizza recipe during the second week in January for National Pizza Week.
  • Omit the mini pepperoni slices for plain mini cheese pizzas on September 5 for National Cheese Pizza Day.
  • Substitute the mini pepperoni slices for Italian sausage on October 11 for National Sausage Pizza Day.
  • Add all your favorite toppings (except anchovies) on the mini pizza crusts on November 12 for National Pizza With Everything (Except Anchovies) Day.

HI Pizza

HI Pizza

April 11:  The day Highlander and Islander started dating; the day HI Cookery blog was officially launched

Our first recipe post is HI Pizza (popularly known as Hawaiian Pizza), a dish that our friends have used to described us as an intermarried couple. The main toppings are Canadian bacon and pineapple.  The meat represents Highlander’s Canadian heritage, although the bacon is really a ham like him!  The fruit represents Islander’s upbringing, although the pineapple is not native to Hawaii like her!

And just because a pineapple is an ingredient in a recipe doesn’t make it Hawaiian. In fact, the Hawaiian word for pineapple is halakahiki (foreign fruit); it is believed that it came to the islands from Latin America. Because visitors would take this tropical fruit back home to share with family and friends, the pineapple has become a symbol of hospitality.

So now we extend our hospitality to our blog visitors by sharing our first recipe post.

Recipe

Crust

We have used the roll-out refrigerated pizza dough, pre-made pizza crusts and even a homemade recipe using the dough-only cycle on our bread machine (one of the first appliances we bought with our wedding gift money).  Below is the modified bread machine recipe from AllRecipes.com substituting the butter or oil with Kauai herb macadamia nut oil for a more local and aromatic flavor. We also used a Hawaiian beer as an ingredient!  Layer all the ingredients in order and follow the dough-only cycle instructions for your specific bread machine.

  • 1 cup beer at room temperature (we have used Kona Brewing Co.’s Fire Rock Pale Ale and Longboard Islander Lager before)
  • 2 tablespoons oil (we used Oils of Aloha’s Kauai herb macadamia nut oil)
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (we used C&H brand, granulated white)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast

Once the bread machine cycle is complete, remove the dough from its container.  Roll out the dough on a floured surface to prevent from sticking then press into a pizza pan.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Brush flavored oil on the crust.  Prick several times with a fork.  Bake for 15 minutes before adding sauce and toppings.  Then bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

HI Pizza

Sauce

We have used pizza sauce in a jar from the store for a quick preparation.  But for those who are a little more ambitious, here is Islander’s modified recipe from her eighth grade home economics class in Hawaii, again substituting the oil for garlic-infused macadamia nut oil.

  • ½ chopped small onion (try a sweet Maui onion)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (we used Oils of Aloha’s Garlic Isle macadamia nut oil)
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (we used C&H brand, granulated white)

Heat the oil on high and sauté the onions until transparent.  Lower the heat then pour in the tomato sauce, bay leaf and spices.  Stir then simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf.

Toppings

Pizza is very versatile and the amount for the toppings can be adjusted according to one’s taste.

  • One package of shredded pizza cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, mild cheddar, etc.)
  • Canadian bacon (we used heart-shaped cookie cutters and diced the rest of the meat)
  • Canned pineapple

On top of the pizza sauce, sprinkle the diced Canadian bacon, then the cheese.  Arrange the Canadian bacon cutouts on top of the cheese.  Fill in the rest of the spaces with pineapple.

HI Pizza

Notes

  • Thanks to Auntie Maria B. for the macadamia nut oils sampler pack.
  • When we lived in New Jersey and Illinois, we ate New York-style and Chicago deep-dish pizzas, respectively. When we visited Italy, we also sampled different kinds of pizzas. Note that an American “pepperoni” pizza might get lost in translation as a “peperoncini” (Italian sweet pepper) pizza there.
  • See more pizza recipe posts on our blog in January (National Pizza Week–second week of the month) and October (National Pizza Month).