Roasted Mushroom and Kale Pizzettes

5Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

I was feeling under the weather today and took full advantage of my day at home. While I should have taken the opportunity to clean my apartment, I proceeded to make more messes in the kitchen. But remember: behind every messy kitchen and filled sink is an incredible dish or two (or three). I realize now more than ever that the kitchen is my favorite place to be.

Today I graduated from my old camera, a Fujifilm I had in college, to a shiny, new, sparkly (did I say already say shiny?) amazing, professional, Canon 6D and a 50mm lens! I did the happy dance all over the house today. I’d been hoping and praying to be able to upgrade this summer. When an exciting food photography job came my way, I decided it was time to step up the game. If I was holding a glass of champagne, I would say, “Here’s to the future of Cuoco Contento and may it be utterly delicious!” I wish happy cooking for everyone.

I’ve been a huge Giada De Laurentiis fan for a while now. I’ve never seen a girl more enthusiastic about cooking, never mind  a girl with such a killer smile. She is one energetic, passionate, and needless to say, happy, chef. She released her book Happy Cooking late last year and I pre-ordered it. It’s filled with all the kinds of things that make me swoon: pastas, soups, healthy snacks, party drinks and little hors d’oeuvres that make you want to drop what you’re doing and host a dinner party. I love the Italian in her and it always shines through her dishes. I’ve had my eye on a few of her recipes that I finally decided to tackle this week. We begin with these darling little things: roasted mushroom pizzettes (just a cute word for tiny pizza!) topped with mozzarella, roasted button mushrooms, ribbons of kale, and blue cheese. Giada’s recipe calls for gorgonzola but I had blue on hand. And if you’re a fan of blue like me, it’s t-a-s-t-y. I could hardly wait for these to cool before I ate three in a row. They’re small so who’s counting, right? These are so great for summer parties or game day eats. Add a little sophistication to the wings and guac table. Follow along with me this week as we delve into three flavor-packed recipes from Giada!

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Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

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Ingredients:

  • 8 oz button mushrooms, de-stemmed, washed and sliced
  • 1 tsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 ball store-bought pizza dough (12-16 oz)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 small bunch kale, ribs removed, leaves sliced into ribbons
  • 2 oz blue cheese (or gorgonzola) crumbled
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss mushrooms with olive oil and salt on a parchment-lined sheet pan and roast for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
  2. Roll out your pizza dough to 1/4″ thickness. Using a 3″ round cookie cutter (or drinking glass) and transfer pizza circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the circles lightly with olive oil. Top each with a teaspoon of mozzarella, a little mushroom, kale and sprinkle of blue cheese. Drizzle a little more olive oil over each. Bake until bubbly and golden, about 10-15 minutes depending on your oven. Serve immediately.

Recipe/adaptation courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis.

Sweet Chile Hot Wings with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

1Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

It’s game day: what does everyone crave? Wings of course. Sticky, spicy and altogether succulent. The best part about this recipe is 1. you’re going to let the slow cooker do the work and 2. the meat falls right off the bone! Low and slow, baby. It’s a win/win. You’re happy, your man’s happy and your friends are happy. Broil these little guys at the very end for a crispy skin. If you need to cool down the spice, try this blue cheese dipping sauce. Game on!


Serves: 10-12 — Prep: 10 mins — Cook Time: 3.5-5 hrs

Wing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4- 1/3 cup sriracha (if you’re not a fan of super spicy, try a medium or mild wing sauce)
  • 4 pounds chicken wingettes and/or drumettes
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro, for garnish

Blue Cheese Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 4oz blue cheese crumbles
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large slow cooker, whisk the soy sauce, honey and sriracha until blended. Add the wings and toss to coat. Press the wings to submerge (add water or chicken broth, if necessary. Cover and cook on high heat until the wings are tender, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. (I chose to cook on LOW for 5 hours. Low and slow makes the meat fall right off the bone).
  2. Preheat the oven to Broil. Using tongs, divide the wings between two foil-lined baking sheets. Broil, turning once, until crispy, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the wings to a platter; sprinkle with the cilantro.
  3. For blue cheese sauce, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, and lemon juice in a bowl. Add in the milk, one tablespoon at a time until reaching desired consistency. Stir in the blue cheese and season with salt and pepper. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

Wing recipe adapted from Rachel Ray, www.rachelraymag.com

Blue Cheese Sauce recipe courtesy of Food & Wine, www.foodandwine.com