Tag Archive for 'book review'

Fruity Breakfast Pizza

I had the opportunity to spend some time Pam Anderson on her recent book tour for “Cook Without A Book – Meatless Meals“. Even at a glance, I could tell that this collection of recipes and techniques, for part-time and full-time vegetarians, was going to leave me wanting to turn the pages over and over again. The format of the book really breaks the chains of strict recipe cooking by providing one master formula recipe then suggesting numerous proposed variations. Call me a cooking geek, but this book is FUN!

And since we are discussing fun – how about a give-away? Yes, I have two copies of this book to give away and I can promise that the lucky winners will not be disappointed. At the end of this post, leave a comment and let me know if you consciously ever observe one (or more) meatless days (that includes you my vegetarians, sport your bravado!).

Note: Of the three pizza’s (AKA nearly danish like delights) depicted, I made were two of Pam‘s fave combos, and then, in keeping with the theme of her book, I created one of my own. (Photo cooking highlights at end of post.) I made some minor changes – wheat dough and no extra drizzle of honey so that a few of my diabetic friends could also indulge in these beauties:

– Blueberries, sliced almonds, and lemon zest

– Raspberries, sliced almonds, and lemon zest

– Fuyu Persimmon, green apple, cinnamon and pecans (Gina’s creation)

Master Formula Fruity Breakfast Pizzas


1/2 cup (4 oz) Neufschatel (or reduced-fat cream cheese)

2 TBS honey or agave nectar, plus more fore drizzling

Flavorings (pick 1)

1 lb store bought pizza dough (I purchased wheat)

Cornmeal, for baking sheet (or cooking spray)

2-3 cups fruit (pick 1 or more)

1/2-3/4 cup nuts (pick 1)


Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Microwave the cream cheese for 15 seconds to soften slightly. Mix the cream cheese with the 2 TBS honey and the flavoring.

Cut the dough into 4 equal parts and stretch each portion into a rectangle about 12 inches by 4 inches, arranging all 4 crosswise on a large cornmeal coated (or cooking spray coated) baking sheet. Spread the cream cheese mixture over each portion of the dough. Top with fruit and sprinkle with nuts.

Bake until the crusts are crisp and golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven; drizzle with additional honey or agave, cut into portions, serve hot or warm.

Serves 6-8

**Flavoring Options (pick 1)**

– 1 tsp ground cinnamon

– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

– 1/2 tsp ground ginger

– 1/4 tsp finely grated lemon or orange zest

– 1/4 tsp almond extract

**Fruit Options (pick 1 or more)**

– Firm, crisp apple or pear — quartered, cored, each quarter halved crosswise, and sliced

– Fresh Figs — quartered

– Apricots or plumps — pitted and sliced

– Peaches (peeled) or nectarines — halved, pitted, each half halved crosswise, and sliced

– Strawberries — stemmed and sliced

– Fuyu Persimmons –- peeled and sliced into thin squares

– Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries (halved if large)

– Pineapple — peeled, cored, and cut into medium dice

– Seedless grapes — halved

**Nuts (pick 1: buy roasted nuts or toast them yourself)**

– Toasted walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, chopped

– Toasted whole (chopped), slivered or sliced almonds

**Pam’s fave combos**

– Apples, hazelnuts, and cinnamon

– Figs, pistachios, and vanilla

– Apricots, slivered almonds, and orange zest

– Strawberries, sliced almonds, and orange zest

– Blueberries (or raspberries and/or blackberries), sliced almonds, and lemon zest

– Pineapple (or peaches), pecans, and ginger

– Grapes, walnuts, and cinnamon

Chefdruck- Reviews Italian Picnic Chicken

Italian Picnic Chicken from Chefdruck's Review

Italian Picnic Chicken courtesy of Chefdruck

This recipe was one that I remember my Grandmother (Nonnie) making for those casual Sunday night family dinners and we used to all want to scrape the pan for the yummy breadcrumbs at the bottom of the pan (AKA midiga – in her Sicilian dialect). Needless to say, with a family as large as ours was, she made more than one pan and there was plenty of ‘midiga’ to go around.

This past weekend Vanessa Chefdruck tried out the recipe and wrote a review that has some nice twists to her version of the dish. I excerpted a glimpse of her piece:

I had a tough time choosing which recipe to feature today, and I ended up choosing the Italian Picnic Chicken. I had never tried breading chicken breasts with corn flakes and I was eager to try it. The chicken was a huge hit, not only with Steve, but also with the kids. It was juicy and crunchy. I’m making another batch tomorrow night. I served it with some sauteed broccolini.

You really should check out the full article, not to mention her site (if you haven’t been there yet- please do visit)! Chefdruck Musings