Apple-Blue Cheese Pizza

Yep you read that right – this week I decided to make a pizza with apples and blue cheese on it. I originally got the idea from a recipe that I can no longer find, but it was an apple and gorgonzola pizza. My issue with it though, was that it was just a crap ton of cheese and apple. I needed something with more vegetables. I make two little personal-sized pizzas, since I just cook for me. You can always double the recipe to get something closer to a full pizza.

1/2 recipe pizza dough
1 medium shallot, diced
1 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and drained (or 3 cups fresh)
1 medium apple – honeycrisp, granny smith, or fuji would all work
2 ounces mozzarella, shredded
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese.

Roll out the pizza dough (I make mine from my all-purpose yeast dough) and stick it on the pizza stone. Cover with a bottom layer of spinach. If you use frozen like me, make sure you remove all the excess water or it will make the pizza soggy. On top of the spinach, scatter the shallot. Thinly slice the apple and place the slices on the spinach. Scatter the cheese on top and bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes.


This was really good. I was surprised how much I liked it actually. My only complaint was that I could have used a bit more shallot but the combo of flavors was awesome. Definitely making this again. And it’s perfect for fall. Song of the Week: No Diggity by Blackstreet. I have absolutely no idea what sparked this, but for whatever reason I’ve listening to the song a ton this week. ¬†And hey, it’s a pretty great song.

Recipe Mash-Up Stuffed Pattypan Squash

This week I did, for lack of a better word, a recipe mash-up. I bought new patty pan squash at the store and decided to stuff them with almost the same filling that I did for the tomatoes. Well, with one exception – I took out the olives and added cheese. Because I love cheese.

Stuffed pattypan

3 large-ish pattypan squash
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1-2 ounces fontina cheese, grated
handful of toasted pine nuts

Trim the top and bottom of the squash. Then use a spoon to scoop out the insides of the squash. Brush the squash with olive oil and bake at 375 in the oven for about 15 minutes. While the squash are in the oven, sautee the onions and garlic in a little olive oil (just a little, I always use slightly too much). In a bowl, combine with the bread crumbs, parsley, cheese, and pine nuts. Stuff the filling into the squash and return till they are fully cooked, around 30 minutes.

This recipe was good, but, and here’s an odd but, I really liked just eating the stuffing by itself more than I enjoyed eating it in the pattypan squash. I think partially this is because I didn’t cook the squash long enough – I thought it was done, but I might have just been inpatient. The other reason was, well, the filling was just super good. I really enjoyed eating it and kinda just want to find a way to have it without bothering to stick it in a vegetable. I’ll let you know if I figure out a good method for that in the future. But it is a good summer recipe regardless, and a fun one to try if you are interested in pattypan squash. Song of the week: Here Comes a Thought from Steven Universe. I heard of this TV show a couple weeks ago on NPR, started watching, and immediately got hooked. It is amazing. This song (there are lots of songs in the show) is also just so incredible, from an amazing episode dealing with trauma and how to cope with it in a healthy way. And yeah, this is an animated kids show.

What Cheese Goes with What Vegetable?

I’ve have been so focused on some of my other projects I have not been cooking as much lately. However, a couple days ago my BFF emailed me asking for some advice about a recipe and was worried about paired the wrong cheese with any given vegetable. And that’s something I’ve had concerns about over the years too.

So I pulled together a list of common cheeses and what kind of vegetable I’ve consistently successfully paired them with:

Feta: Spinach, kale, onions, sweet potato, mushrooms, zucchini

Zucchini pancakes

zucchini pancakes with feta

Blue cheese: butternut squash, bitter/more intense greens, portbello mushrooms

stuffed mushroom

Cheddar: broccoli, onion, cauliflower, tomato

tomato crostada

Tomato crostada with cheddar

Fontina (the kind at Trader Joes): Asparagus, eggplant

spring potato salad

Spring vegetable salad with fontina

Parmesan: basically everything


Parmesan roasted Cauliflower

Goat cheese: pretty much everything, although not always ideal for baking

zucchini pizza thing

Sauceless pizza with zucchini and goat cheese

I hope you found this little table (illustrated by some of my recipes from this blog) helpful if/when you’re pulling together a new recipe. Let me know if you have any cheese/veggie pairings I missed that you think are awesome! Song of the Week: La La La/Bang Bang mashup from Penn Masala. This is a super fun mashup by one of my favorite a capella groups. It’s fun and super pop-y and I’ve been listing to it a lot when doing tedious stuff at work.

Stuffed Tomatoes

There is one thing I hate about living in DC (besides the weather) – the tomatoes are just bad here. I know I grew up spoiled eating tomatoes growing in my backyard, but still. Disappointing. But baking the tomatoes or sticking them in dishes works fairly well, and I wanted to make Ottolenghi’s Herb-Stuffed Tomatoes recipe ever since I saw the picture. So this week I did, adjusting the recipe based on my fridge as always.

3 tomatoes
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
6 chopped kalamata olives
handful of toasted pine nuts
parmesan for serving (optional)

Cut off the tops of the tomatoes and using a spoon, clear out the middle part of them. Lightly salt the insides of the tomatoes and turn them upside down so the juice comes out. Meanwhile, saute the onions and garlic until the onion is transparent and fragrant. Add the bread crumbs, parsley, olives, and pine nuts and mix them in. Take the filling and use it to stuff the tomatoes. Bake at 325 for 3o minutes or until the tomatoes are soft. Sprinkle on parmensan if you want and serve.

Stuffed Tomatoes

I really liked this recipe. It was pretty simple and tasty and hey, if you don’t add the cheese it’s even vegan! It’s not a wow of a recipe, but it’s good. I actually thought it tasted better when I had it as leftovers the next day for lunch. My only warning is that the tomatoes kept tipping over on the pan, which was slightly messy and worrisome. Definitely pair with dry white wine – anything else would be overpowering. Song of the Week: Good as Hell by Lizzo. I heard this song a couple weeks ago on the amazing podcast Soooo Many White Guys, and have been in love with it ever since. It just makes you feel better and more awesome. Also, the background on the chorus. If you can, watch the video too cause it’s also friggin awesome ode to black female beauty.

Pastel de Choclo

I have been meaning to make this for months now. Since I first had it in my Chilean cooking class back in December, I have wanted to try making it at home. And then I kept not doing it. But this week I finally got around to it. Pastel de Choclo is basically a Chilean shepherd’s pie, with a sweet corn topping rather than mashed potatoes. And it is freaking delicious.


1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant, chopped
2-3 teaspoons paprika (adjust to taste)
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin (adjust to taste)
1 tsp sugar
2 tablespoons rasins
2-3 ounces crumbled feta
olive oil

Saute the onion and garlic for a couple minutes in some olive oil, then add the eggplant, paprika and cumin. Saute, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is soft and cooked, 10 minutes or so. Add the sugar, and then taste and adjust the spices as you see fit. Set aside while you make the topping.

3 ears of corn, kernels removed and chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon butter
1 cup milk
2-3 tsp sugar
Chopped fresh basil or dried basil

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the corn, and basil, and sugar and then slowly add in the milk, stirring frequently. Once all the milk is added, cook on medium heat until the mixture thickens (aka corn and milk sorta combine into a mush). It’ll take awhile – at least 10 minutes. Stir consistently so the bottom doesn’t burn.

In a medium, greased casserole dish, place the eggplant mixture. The add a layer of feta and raisins. Then spoon the corn mush so it forms an even top layer. Sprinkle the top with sugar, and bake at 400 until the crust is golden brown. Serve warm.

So. Freaking. Good. I was worried since I wasn’t really involved in making it that it wouldn’t taste the way I remember, but it turned out awesome. I upped the spices a little to counteract the sweet corn, but it works so well with the feta. I can’t wait to make this again. My only issue with it was that I ate a little too much of it each time I had it. Oh well, there are worst things than a recipe being too good to keep to smallish portions. Naturally, I served this with Chilean wine – a really solid Sauvignon blanc. Song of the Week: PMJ’s version of Dancing in the Dark. Confession time: I hate Bruce Springsteen. I sporadically try again, but it’s like “nope.” However, Postmodern Jukebox is awesome and so I’m completely obsessed with their 50s version of it this week.