27 August 2014

Something super exciting happened to me today.  I had two recipes published in the newspaper!  I know this is nothing special for a lot of food bloggers, but it's huge for me!  I got a call out of the blue last Wednesday from a journalist for the Kenosha News saying that they were doing an article on ways to use up garden tomatoes.  She kinda already knew me because she interviewed my husband and me back in February for an article on people who recently moved to Kenosha (we had lived here about a year then).  I happened to mention my blog during that interview, so then when she was assigned to this tomato article, she thought of me.  She had already perused my blog looking for tomato recipes and had picked out two that she wanted to highlight.  They are my Tomato Essence Sauce and my Tomato and Smoked Mozzarella Tart with Garlic Herb Crust.  They are both great uses for garden tomatoes.  Here is a link to the article, but I think you have to be a paid subscriber to see it in its entirety:  10 Things To Do With All Those Tomatoes

Here is a pic I took of the paper version:

You can click on the pic to see a larger version of it.

I provided points 3, 5, and 8.  I am referred to as "Kenosha foodie Lesa Roemke."  Love it!  This isn't technically my first time having a recipe published in a newspaper.  I was a finalist in a holiday recipe contest in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2011 and that recipe was printed along with all the other finalists.  But today's article is kind of more like a "feature" of my recipes and my blog and it's so exciting for me.

Since this article is all about using up tomatoes, I was wondering if I had a recipe to share with you today that included fresh tomatoes.  I love tomatoes, so of course, I found one!  I wouldn't call tomatoes the star of this pizza (it does have bacon!), but it plays a very important role.  This is a pizza I've made a couple of times now and it's always a bit hit with my family.  It got it from BlogChef.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

1 lb. pizza dough
½ cup ranch dressing
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked, and chopped
1-2 fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 cups shredded cheese
½ lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 425°.  Sprinkle a little cornmeal on a large pizza pan.  Stretch the pizza dough out on the pan to your desired size and thickness.  Bake in preheated oven 10-15 minutes or until it starts to lightly brown around the edges.  Remove from the oven.

Spread ranch dressing in an even layer over the crust. Top with chicken, bacon, tomatoes and cheese.  Return to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and the crust is golden brown. 

Makes 1 large pizza.

This time of year, I grill the chicken, of course, but when grilling isn't possible, like in the winter, you can cook these chicken breasts any way you like.  On the stove top would probably be the fastest.

How can you go wrong with chicken, bacon, tomatoes, and cheese with ranch dressing?  I made a slight variation on this pizza once: my dough recipe makes a bit too much for one large pizza.  So I usually take off about a third of it and make a smaller pizza for my daughters.  Since my youngest is allergic to dairy, sometimes ranch dressing bothers her (esp if it's buttermilk ranch), so I made the smaller pizza with honey mustard instead of ranch.  I sneaked a bite; it was delicious too.

Like I said, the tomatoes aren't the star of this pizza, but the pop of bright color and bright acidity amid all the other heavy ingredients are really important.

What's your favorite way to use up garden tomatoes?

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