Pillsbury Gluten Free Pizza Crust – Yay or Nay?

When Pillsbury came out with their line of gluten free products, I was more than just excited. I was ecstatic. Finally, something gluten free that would make my life EASIER! Let’s face it, when I come home from a long day at work, I don’t always want to make a pizza crust from scratch. (Although it is delicious that way!) And chocolate chip cookies? I have missed the days of just baking 3-4 cookies at a time from a tub of pre-made dough that is always ready to go in the refrigerator. Pillsbury’s new line of products was offering me just that! The ease of my gluten-filled days! But would it live up to my high expectations?

pillsbury+gf

The first thing we tried was the gluten free pizza crust. Though the crust is a little bit sweeter than I was expecting, and if you use a standard pizza pie pan it rolls out to make a fairly thin crust, both my husband and I really enjoyed it.

However, every time I’ve tweeted a picture of a pizza we’ve made with Pillsbury crust, or posted one on my Facebook page, I’ve gotten mixed feedback. I’ve heard from lots of people who have had trouble with the Pillsbury crust. Anything from the dough not cooking all the way through to toppings actually sliding off the crust! If you are one of those people, here is what I recommend to you:

DO NOT FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE CONTAINER.

That’s right – you read that correctly. Be a rebel. Don’t follow the instructions on the container the dough comes in. I know that this is a challenge for those of us in the gluten free community because we live for following baking instructions, but trust me, I’ve had great success with this dough by NOT FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS!

So how do I do it?

It’s simple really. First, I roll out my dough.

dough

Then, instead of pre-cooking it in the oven before adding toppings, as suggested by the instructions on the container, I simply place my toppings directly on the uncooked dough. (Aren’t I such a wild child?!) Adding toppings is the fun part! We’ve made regular pizzas with just sauce, cheese and pepperoni. Sometimes I even mix it up and add a little sausage for the hubs.

regularpizza

Or, when I really need a taste of home, I make a Buffalo Chicken Pizza. Those are my favorite. Instead of pizza sauce, I use Bleu Cheese as the base, sprinkle on Frank’s hot sauce (as desired), add some pre-cooked chicken and shredded cheese and bake.

pizza2

Now, here is the trick. Remember when I mentioned I don’t pre-cook my crust? I also don’t bake my pizza for as long as recommended on the packaging. The first time I ever made a pizza using Pillsbury dough, I simply kept an eye on it while it was cooking and after about 14 minutes at 400 degrees, I noticed it looked finished. It had cooked all the way through, even in the very center, so I was relieved. Now I know that my oven only requires about 13-15 minutes of cooking time, depending on how many toppings I pile on top of the crust.

pizza1

Your oven might not be quite as intensely hot as mine is. (I never keep any recipe I make in the oven as long as recommended) So if you find yours takes a little longer, don’t fret. The best thing to do is watch your first pizza and make a mental note for round two!

Hopefully this helps some of you who have been struggling with Pillsbury! And if not, stick with your other go-to crusts. Like Chebe Bread, which has always been a favorite of ours!

Good luck! 🙂

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Buffalo Chicken Pizza – Gluten Free!

When it’s dinner time and your husband is craving pizza (and your last experience with Domino’s Gluten Free Pizza went something like this…), it’s time to head to the fridge and see what ingredients you can scrounge up for a homemade Gluten Free version. This weekend, we did have a Pillsbury Gluten Free Pizza Crust at the house, but we were all out of pizza sauce. This meant it was time to get creative.

So I grabbed the essentials for any quality, Buffalo-inspired, meal: bleu cheese and Frank’s hot sauce. Then I set out to make a delicious Buffalo Chicken Pizza.

What You’ll Need to Make Your Own:
– 1 Gluten Free Pizza Crust (I love Pillsbury and Chebe, but any GF crust will work!)
– 2 Chicken Breasts, cooked and chopped into bite sized pieces
– Frank’s Hot Sauce
– Shredded Cheese
– Bleu Cheese

The process couldn’t be easier! Simply roll out your pizza crust. I always use my handy pizza pan from Williams Sonoma so I get perfectly round pizzas every time. What a fantastic wedding gift idea that was! 😉

pizza2

Then spread a layer of bleu cheese over the crust as your sauce. Top the bleu cheese with the chicken, Frank’s and shredded cheese (as desired). Add vegetables if you are feeling a little bit healthier than we were!

Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. What comes out is a Buffalo-inspired masterpiece that looks a little something like this:

pizza1

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Crescent Rolls

Read any of my previous blog posts and you will quickly learn about my love for all things Chebe Bread. Seriously, the stuff is amazing and makes for some killer gluten free recipes! (Including one of my favorites – the Buffalo Chicken Calzone!) But sometimes, you’ve got to stick with the basics. Chebe Bread is fantastic for basic, delicious dinner rolls.

About a week ago, I decided to put a little twist on my Chebe rolls. I was planning a yummy gluten free pasta night for the Hubs and myself – and what would go better with pasta than cresent rolls with cheese and garlic powder? Sounds great, right? Here’s how I did it…

photo (11)

What you’ll need:
1 box Chebe Bread Mix (I used the Chebe Cheese Bread Mix)
Ingredients for bread (eggs, oil, water)
Melted Butter
Garlic Powder
Cheese

Follow the instructions on the box to prepare the Chebe Bread mix. I never stray from the instructions except to sometimes add just a touch more water if it seems a little too dry.

Once you’re dough is ready, roll it out into a flat circle. Take your melted butter and brush it over the surface of the dough until it is completely covered. Then, sprinkle on some garlic powder (let your taste buds decide how much garlic is too much!)

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After that, cut your circle into triangles, as if you were cutting up a pizza. Sprinkle each triangle with some shredded cheese of your liking.

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Roll up each triangle into a cresent roll and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes.

photo (12)

The only thing left to do now is enjoy! 🙂

Gluten Free Enchiladas

If you’ve read my blog before, you know I love two things. Using my electric wok and mexican food! So when I get an opportunity to do both in one night, I’m pretty much in heaven! This combination of events made last night a wonderful evening, as I prepared delicious Gluten-Free Enchiladas. Sounds pretty good, right? They were! And even better, they’re ridiculously easy!

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:
Pace Picante Sauce (I use Mild because I am a wimp, but spice it up to your liking!)
1 bag shredded cheddar cheese
1 block cream cheese
3 boneless chicken breasts
Gluten-Free or Corn Tortillas

ingredients

Steps to Prepare:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut your chicken breasts up into bite size pieces. Cook chicken using your preferred cooking method until the middle of each piece is no longer pink. (Insert mental image of me smiling over my electric wok here).

2. Once your chicken is cooked, add cream cheese, 1/2 bag shredded cheese and picante sauce to the mixture. Mix it up until the cheeses are completely melted! Can’t you smell it already?!

3. Spray the bottom of a rectangular casserole dish. Take a Gluten-Free or corn tortilla and fill it with the delicious enchilada mixture. This time, I used Rudi’s Gluten-Free tortillas. Normally, I just use regular corn tortillas, but I wanted to try something new. I found the gluten-free tortillas held up better than corn tortillas typically do! They had a unique flavor to them, but they were good! The hubby liked them too!

tortillas

4. Once you’ve filled the tortilla with the enchilada goodness, wrap it up like a taco and flip it so the “folded side” is face down in the casserole dish. Continue to do this with the remaining tortillas until your casserole dish is full of enchiladas!

Enchiladas all lined up in a row...

Enchiladas all lined up in a row…

5. You should have some leftover sauce. Don’t throw it away! That’s the best part! Take the remaining sauce and pour it on top of your enchiladas. MMMMM. Is that going to taste good or what?!

sauceontop

6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. After 10 minutes, remove and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 bag of shredded cheese on top. Cook for an additional 8-10 minutes.

How delicious does that look?!

How delicious does that look?!

The only thing left to do is ENJOY! 🙂

Gluten Free Buffalo Chicken Calzone

I love Frank’s Hot Sauce. And cheese. Period. I shouldn’t even have to elaborate on why those two things are amazing when combined together. They’re just fantastic – and they remind me of home. So when I get a chance to use them in any meal I am cooking, I do.

This recipe is my husband’s absolute favorite meal that I make. In fact, before he ever found out he was gluten-free (that’s right, we are BOTH gluten-free. Aren’t we just two peas in a pod?!), this was still his favorite meal. That’s how incredibly delicious it is. No joke.

What do you need to make it?
Gluten Free Bread Mix (I recommend Chebe Cheese Bread Mix)*
Bleu Cheese
Shredded Chedder
Frank’s Hot Sauce
4-5 Chicken Breasts
Butter

*Plus any ingredients to make your bread mix. Chebe only needs eggs and vegetable oil. Easy and SO delicious! Don’t have Chebe in a store near you? No worries! Neither do we! I order my Chebe bread online – THAT’S how much we love it! Totally worth it!

Step 1
Cut your chicken into bite size pieces and cook it up with some butter until the middle of every piece is no longer pink! I like to use our electric wok, but you can cook it however is easiest for you.

Mmm - look at all that chicken

Mmm – look at all that chicken

Step 2
Make your bread for the crust! Follow the instructions exactly like they say on the box.

Step 3
Add full jar of bleu cheese, shredded cheese and frank’s hot sauce to your chicken mixture. (You decide how much Frank’s is appropriate for you and your family!)

Step 4
Grease your baking pan. I recently purchased an awesome pizza pan from Williams-Sonoma that is the perfect size for this! But any non-stick pan will do. Grease it with some non-stick cooking spray.

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Step 5
Section your ball of dough into 2 halves. Take the first half and use a rolling pin to roll it out flat to make a crust. I made mine into a circle shape since I was using a pizza pan, but feel free to get as creative as you want! I’ve made long, skinny calzones before and used rectangular cookie sheets to bake them on. The nice thing about this recipe is that the bigger the calzone is, the more leftovers you have afterwards! 🙂

That is some good lookin' dough!

That is some good lookin’ dough!

Once your dough has been rolled out, place it onto the pan. After much trial and error, I’ve learned that the easiest way to do it is roll your crust onto wax paper first then flip your wax paper over onto the baking sheet, peeling off the paper and leaving the dough behind.

Step 6
Pour your ingredients on top of the bottom layer of crust! Sprinkle some extra cheese inside, if you’d like!

Step 7
Roll out the second half of your dough for the top crust. Use the same wax paper trick to flip it over on top! Fold the edges of the calzone together so the yummy goodness stays inside while it is baking! Feel free to sprinkle some extra cheese around the edges for decoration!

Getting closer!

Getting closer!

Step 8
Follow the baking instructions for your bread mix/crust. For Chebe bread, it takes 20-25 minutes on 375 degrees. Remove from the oven and ENJOY!!! 🙂

Best. Dinner. Ever.

Best. Dinner. Ever.

Just writing about this makes me anxious for the leftovers! 🙂

Breadless Calzone

Usually 11 am rolls around in the office and it is time to start planning what we will be eating for lunch at noon. So for the next hour, we all toss around different ideas and instant message names of different local restaurants. Today someone suggested a local pizza place. (Not usually the friendliest of restaurants for a Gluten-Free diner like myself) But I know this restaurant well, and I had the perfect plan, so I happily agreed.

As we sat on the patio sipping our delicious Diet Dr. Peppers (seriously, if you are a restaurant and you don’t serve Diet Dr. Pepper yet, what exactly are you thinking? It is an incredible beverage!), I didn’t even need to look at the menu. I knew what I was going to order.

When the waiter asked me what I wanted, I smiled and requested a “Breadless Calzone – cheese and pepperoni only, please”, as I handed him the menu.

“Excuse me?” he questioned.

“Yes, a calzone with no bread. That would be just a bowl of cheese, sauce and pepperoni. Baked like a calzone. Without the crust.”

The look on his face was priceless, assuring me that he had never heard of such a thing. I promised him that it wouldn’t be a problem and I had ordered this very meal there before.

A while later, he returned with our meals. Delicious cheesy goodness in hand.

I am telling you, whether you are gluten-free or just low-carbing it, you must try this sometime. It is heavenly. What an incredible combination of ingredients all baked together! And of course, if you like things like vegetables in your pizza/calzones, go ahead and add them in! It is, after all, your creation! Live it up!

And that waiter giving you the crazy look? Don’t worry about him – he’s probably asking the kitchen to make him one of his own right now…

Cheesy Potatoes

So first thing’s first. Confession. I am done with Atkins. Shameful, I know. I lasted only one week. Then I went to Seattle for a business trip. And it all started with a latte. I mean I was in Seattle for goodness sake – I couldn’t skip out on Starbucks when I was in the BIRTHPLACE of Starbucks!!! Then it spread to dinner. I was with customers. I couldn’t NOT have drinks/dessert if THEY were having drinks/dessert… And one thing lead to another and after three days in Seattle, I was just toast. The diet was over.

But boy was it worth it. Seattle was glorious.

I am officially adding Seattle into my list of favorite cities

I am officially adding Seattle to my list of favorite cities

Anyway, I got back to Mississippi on Saturday afternoon. Exhausted from all the work (and fun!) And I realized I had to cook lunch for my in-laws the next day. Ah, Mother’s Day. Luckily, my wonderful husband volunteered to go grocery shopping for me. Isn’t he a doll?! 🙂

Because I was tired and wanted to whip something up quickly that would still be super delicious, I decided to make one of my favorites – cheesy potatoes. Mmmm.

Here’s what you need to make some of your own:
1 bag frozen hash browns
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 16 oz container sour cream
1 bag shredded cheddar cheese

Seriously, could this be any easier?
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix all of the ingredients together. Save 1/2 bag shredded cheddar cheese.
3. Pour into bottom of casserole dish. Cook potatoes for 30 minutes at 350
4. Add the rest of the cheese to the top of the potato casserole
5. Enjoy that cheesy goodness.

Just writing about it makes me excited to eat some leftovers tonight. Mmmm mmm good. 🙂