Kick back, relax and grill up a pizza party!

So far this season I’ve been fortunate to actually be planning tailgate parties at the same time I am writing this blog.  Every recipe has been cooked and photographed in my kitchen the night I post it. This week was a bit trickier because it was an away game and frankly, I was happy to have the break from my Friday night frenzy.  But don’t worry, I posted recipes for you last night and was back at it today, cooking up a storm and taking pictures for you.  My husband even invited people over so it would be a real party.  I used up half of what was left of the giant bag of jalapenos I bought last week on a Pinterest inspired jalapeno popper dip and then I grilled up a pizza-palooza. So crack open a bottle of red, toss some ice and a microbrew in the cooler, and you are good to go!

 Jalapeno Popper Dip

6 slices of bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled

2 8oz packages Neufchatel cheese or regular cream cheese

1 cup light mayonnaise

6 jalapenos, seeded and chopped

1 ½  cups shredded cheese (I used shredded mexican blend cheese)

¼ cup finely sliced green onion

1 cup panko bread crumbs

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

¼ cup  margarine, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the first six ingredients (bacon through green onions) in a large bowl.  Spread evenly into a 9” pie pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Mix the cracker crumbs, parmesan and butter and sprinkle over top of the dip.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.  Serve with your favorite crackers.

Grilled Pizza Party

Pizza-palooza!

Pizza is fun and easy to make, and this summer, I learned about making it on the grill.  If you want to have a pizza party, you can make individual crusts for people to top themselves, or make a variety of medium sized pizzas to slice up and share.  Either way, your peeps will be pleased.  Here is a recipe for spicy barbeque chicken and bacon pizza.

BBQ Chicken and Bacon Pizza

Spicy BBQ Chicken and Bacon Pizza

Refrigerated pizza dough (I like wheat dough)

¾ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (I use a spicy one from Trader Joe’s)

3/4 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided

¼ cup canned sweet corn

1 can all white meat chicken breast, shredded

4 green onions, thinly sliced

½ cup crumbled bacon

Follow the directions to prepare your dough and then roll into a 10-12” circle.  Spray one side with cooking spray and place on a lightly oiled grill set to high heat for 3 minutes.  Remove dough from grill and lay cooked side up on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.   Spread the sauce over the crust, about ½” from the edges.  Sprinkle half the cheese over the sauce, then top with chicken and corn.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the chicken and corn and then top with the bacon and green onions.  Reduce the heat of your grill to medium-high and return the pizza to the grill for 4-5 more minutes or until crust is cooked and the cheese is melted and bubbly.  You can adjust the amount of each ingredient depending on your tastes.

Pumpkin Cookie Pizza

Pumpkin Cookie Pizza

Cookie Crust:

3 cups white whole wheat flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup butter at room temperature

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

Topping:

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 tbsp fat-free sweetened condensed milk

1 tbsp agave nectar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

3/4 cup mini marshmallows

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a deep dish pizza pan or sheet pan with cooking spray and set aside.  Sift together flour, oats, baking powder and salt.  With an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla until creamy.  Add eggs one at a time and mix until well-combined.  Add milk and continue mixing.  Slowly add dry ingredients until you have smooth, sticky dough.  Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, agave nectar and spices.  Set aside.

Once the dough is chilled, press it into the prepared pan, using a flat spoon, finishing with your hands to make sure it is spread evenly.  Bake at 350 for 17 minutes.  Allow the cookie to cool for approximately 10 minutes.  Spread with the pumpkin mixture and sprinkle pecans, marshmallows and chocolate chips over top.  Return to the oven for approximately 5 minutes or until the marshmallows appear toasted.  Cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Hope you all had a great Saturday and cheered your team to victory.  Unless your team was playing my team, in which case, go eat another slice of pizza and drown your sorrows with a cold beverage.

Next week… Oktoberfest!

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