Fall Pizza {Apple, Sausage, & Gouda}

This pregnancy has me craving everything bad. I want pizza, cake, and donuts all of the time. Even right now. Fortunately, I have some free time in my schedule now so I can go to my Stroller Strides classes a few days a week! Bring on the donuts!

Anyway, back to the pizza.  I know “fall pizza” sounds kind of weird, but I decided to call it that because of the warm and cozy toppings that remind me of fall: apples, maple syrup, sausage, sage, and smokey gouda cheese!

pizza

I used this awesome recipe {and method} from one of my favorite blogs, Weed ‘Em and Reap.  Check her out if you love to eat cake but don’t want to feel guilty about it anymore.

Fall Apple & Sausage Pizza

Pizza crust – use recipe linked above or your favorite!

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 sweet onions, halved lengthwise, then sliced into 1/2 inch slices

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 apples (whatever variety you like), slices thin

3 tablespoons chopped, fresh sage

1lb sausage

2 cups baby spinach leaves

2 cups smoked gouda cheese

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat, then add onions and cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir constantly to make sure onions don’t stick to the pan. When the onions are soft and golden, add balsamic vinegar and cook and stir until vinegar is evaporated (5-10 minutes). Stir in apples, maple syrup, and sage. Cook for 2-3 minutes until apples have softened a bit. Cook sausage in another pan, making sure to crumble it like ground beef.

Assuming you have prepared your pizza crusts and preheated the oven according to whatever directions you are using, spread 1 cup of the spinach over the pizza crust, topped with half of the apple/onion mixture, half of the sausage, and half of the smoked gouda cheese. If you are lucky enough to have a big enough oven and two pizza stones, then prepare the other crust with the remaining ingredients and cook according to the directions for your choice of crust.  If you use the recipe linked above, I had to cook the pizza for about 20 minutes.

fall pizza2

The crust was so, so, so soft and yummy. If you are one of those weird people who like thin crust then this is not the crust for you. It’s fluffy, soft, and all sorts of perfect!

pizza2

Enjoy your Tuesday!

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Apple & Raisin Pancakes

Saturday mornings…

Growing up, Saturday mornings meant sleeping in, watching cartoons while sitting in the living room on the couch pillows, and pancakes (and sometimes french toast, but that is for another day).  My dad always made the best pancakes.  They were perfectly browned on both sides with just the right amount of butter cooked into them.  It took me a while to figure out his secret to getting them perfectly brown on both sides – DO NOT cook them in butter.  Instead, spray the non-stick pan with oil once, at the beginning, and that is all the non-stick-ness you need! For years I tried making pancakes but they always semi-sucked in the color department.  I say “semi” because the buttery flavor and the crispiness the butter added made up for the crappy color.  Glad I finally figured that one out.

So, now that I have that down, I have made it a point to make pancakes for myself at least once a month on Saturday morning.  I would make them for Sam too, but he is not a huge fan of sweet stuff for breakfast.  Well, until this morning he has not been.  As I was cooking these pancakes, I was setting them up on the plate for the photos I was going to take for this post, but they kept disappearing!  Then I heard Sam ask, “are these, in any way, healthy for me?”  Sam was stealing my photo op pancakes and needed some reassurance that he wouldn’t blow up as big as me.  The truth is, these pancakes are not that bad for you.  They have one full apple in them, a handful of golden raisins, and almost a cup of yogurt.  It’s when you spread the delicious cinnamon-brown sugar butter and the syrup all over them that they become a threat to your waistline.

Another reason I wanted to make pancakes this morning (not that a woman really needs another reason when she’s 9 1/2 months pregnant and it’s Saturday morning) is because my wonderful sister-in-law and her soon-to-be husband came up with a brilliant idea for a blog – InSearchofthePerfectPancake.  It’s all in the name, but I did hear from her that they will also be in search of the perfect (insert lots of random foods and desserts here), and they will be including a gluten free section of recipes and such for those of you who have trouble with that little protein.  Any blog about food is a fun blog, so I’m really excited to follow along on their quest to find the perfect pancake, taco, cheeseburger, and whatever else they plan on searching for.  Okay, on to the recipe!

Apple & Raisin Pancakes (from Brunch Galore by Sara Lewis)

These pancakes are thick, moist, and soooo yummy. Don’t skip out on the cinnamon butter or you will seriously take away from the glorious experience you could possibly have.  

Cinnamon Butter

4 tbls butter, room temperature

3 tbls brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Pancakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tbls brown sugar

2 eggs, separated

1 large apple, coarsely grated (peel left on, and watch out for the core if you don’t core it first)

2/3 cup plain yogurt (I used vanilla to add a little more sweet and it was delicious)

2 tbls milk

1/3 cup golden raisins

oil for cooking

1. Mix all the ingredients together for the cinnamon butter and set aside.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda together then add sugar.  Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until they form stiff peaks.

3. Add yolks, grated apple, yogurt, and milk to the flour mixture and stir together. Gently fold in raisins and egg whites.

4. Heat large non-stick pan over medium heat and spray with oil or wipe pan with oil-soaked towel.  Add large spoonfuls to pan leaving space in between them.  Cook over medium heat for a few minutes on each side. Serve topped with cinnamon butter alone or add some syrup! They are so good, either way.