Mushroom Ricotta Pizza

1 Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough

2 ounces crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 TBL olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced (or more, to taste)

1/4 tsp dried or 1 tsp fresh oregano

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves


Fresh ground pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare pizza dough–roll out on lightly floured surface and place on lightly oiled pizza pan.

Toss the mushrooms with the 1 TBL of olive oil. Top pizza dough with the mushrooms, garlic and oregano.

Drop dollops of ricotta, drizzle with olive oil, Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Top with fresh basil leaves. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over basil leaves.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until crust is done and cheese is melted.


Based on a recipe posted in Fitness Magazine, June 2011. Modifications by me.


Sausage Pizza

With limited time and ingredients tonight, I made a simple sausage pizza. I had no pizza sauce on hand so I used tomato sauce doctored with oregano, garlic, basil, salt & pepper, white sugar and a dash of cayenne pepper. I had two sweet Italian sausages, in casings, in the refrigerator. I stripped them of their casings and pan fried the sausage, breaking it up into bits.

I used Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough that I rolled out on a floured surface. This created a thinner crust and allowed me to roll the edges for nice crust edge. I oiled the pizza pan with olive oil, flipped the rolled dough onto it and rolled the edges for the crust. I spread the pizza sauce on the dough, carefully keeping it within the crust edges. I squeezed some of the oil out of the sausage (which I had allowed to cool a bit) and spread it on the sauce and then generously covered in shredded mozzarella. I would have used some veggies if I had them on hand (olives, green peppers, mushrooms) but I did not.

The pizza was baked at 425 degrees for 14 minutes. It was quite tasty, though Mark thought the sauce could have used more garlic. I had 3 pieces! Mark had 4. So one piece still sits there in the kitchen….

Pancetta & Pesto Pizza

I made this one on April 14, 2011. It was pretty good but requires some tweaking. Next time I’ll use more pancetta.

  • 1 whole wheat pizza dough (Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 tablespoons pesto sauce, approximately (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 tablespoons black olives, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomatoes, diced (I used canned, drained diced tomatoes because that’s all I had on hand; sundried tomatoes  would be good)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup pancetta, diced (totally guessed on quantity…it was a package)
  1. Prepare pizza dough per package directions, spreading on pizza pan and allowing to rest.
  2. Spread pesto sauce over pizza dough.
  3. Sprinkle with sliced olives, shredded mozzarella, diced tomatoes and pancetta.
  4. Bake 450 degrees for 12 minutes or until pizza dough is cooked through and cheese is melted.

RECOMMENDATIONS: add some oregano; use more mozzarella cheese and use entire package of pancetta. Grate some parmesan cheese over pizza prior to baking.

Six cats. Gulp. (Sneeze)


We’re settling in, all of us. Mark moved into the house in February and with him came Arwen, Thomasina, and Roxanne. Thomasina is the only short-haired cat of the three. The cats adjusted to each other (and the dog) rather well. By day 2, the “new cats” were venturing downstairs but not for very long. Within the week, however, they all freely came downstairs — giving the dog a wide berth. Stella was the least receptive to the new cats; she still is.


Big Old Kitty (16 years old today) was unaffected. I think he’s been through so much by now that nothing much phases him. And now Arwen has decided she loves Greta the Dog and brushes up against her, begging for some grooming. Greta usually obliges her. Greta should be developing hairballs any day now.


Garlic Hummus Pizza

In Pursuit of Pizza

Today’s experimental pizza was a bit of a divergence for us. It’s a vegetarian pizza and I used a recipe on as a base and added my own touches. We definitely liked it. I’d give it at least 4.5 stars; I’m not sure why I withhold 5 stars. Maybe just a tad more tweaking. I need to think on it.

Garlic Hummus Pizza
1 whole wheat pizza dough (Trader Joe’s, 16 oz)
1 cup garlic hummus spread
1 1/2 cups sliced bell peppers, any color (I used red)
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup sliced black olives
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, or combination of cheeses–your choice

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Roll out pizza crust and place on a pizza pan or baking sheet.
Spread a thin layer of hummus over the crust.
Arrange sliced peppers, black olives and broccoli over the hummus, and top with shredded cheese.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the crust is golden brown and cheese is melted in the center. Slice and serve.

More Cats!

Well, there are fewer cats…but soon to be more cats.

Teresa and Reno moved to IUP and they took Cowboy and Frankie with them. So that leaves three cats in the house, along with Greta, the dog. Stella is back to her normal affectionate, pesky self. I think Frankie’s aggression was too much for her and she hid a lot of the time. She’s even rubbing up against the dog and allowing a few grooming licks from her. Cupcake is making herself more present but still does the panther-stalk walk whenever she encounters Greta…which just entices the dog to chase her. Big Kitty is gaining weight and is on at least his eighth life. He still has a grooming problem, however.

So fewer cats, right? Until later today when Mark’s cats join the household, as he is moving in. Arwen, Roxanne and Tomasina will be joining the fray. We will segregate in the back bedroom for a while to allow them to adjust to new smells and new creatures. But oh my! Six cats and one dog.


South Side Slopes

South Side Slopes

Originally uploaded by nsaid

My first visit to the South Side Slopes of Pittsburgh. I had heard of the steepness of the slopes and seen them from a distance but I had never been there. This week I was assigned to care for a patient on the slopes. Oh. My. This photo doesn’t begin to convey the steepness of the hill that this house…and row after row of narrow houses…is perched upon.