Veggie Pizza

What a great Memorial Day weekend we had!  Perfect weather, swimming, grilling and fantastic food from friends and family made it a great three days.  One of the many dishes I made for one of the celebrations was veggie pizza.  A soft-baked crust, creamy ranch spread and fresh cut veggies, and a little optional bacon, make this a tasty grab-and-go snack.

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  • 2 Rolls Crescent Sheets
  • 8 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Envelope Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1 Cup Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Cup Broccoli Florets, Chopped
  • 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
  • 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 Green Onions, Chopped
  • 6 Strips Crispy Bacon, Chopped (optional)


  • Spread crescent sheets on a large baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake according to package instructions and allow to cool.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise and ranch dressing mix until smooth.
  • Spread mixture evenly over baked crescent crust.
  • Top the mixture evenly, and all the way to the edge, with each of the toppings.
  • Finish pizza by sprinkling bacon on top.  Of course, this is completely optional if you would rather it be meat-free.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours and serve.  Do not make this a day ahead as the crust will get  soggy if it sits too long.

This recipe is delicious and versatile.  The crust and spread make a great base for any seasonal vegetables.  Think about using crispy radish slices or a variety of peppers.  Utilize your herb garden and sprinkle some fresh parsley or chives on as well.  I hope you give it a try and share any of your ideas with me.  Dig in!


Quick Pickled Veggies

We wait and wait all year for our gardens to mature and the farmers markets to yield summer’s biggest bounty and then all of sudden – it’s time!!  It only lasts a little while in our part of the country and we have to take advantage of all the fresh produce while we can.  When you have a ton of veggies, try making quick pickles for a twist on grilled, baked, broiled, fried and sautéed garden treats!  There’s endless possibilities and a super easy process for you to start from.  Below are three of my favorites – the ingredients are slightly different for each, but the process is exactly the same for all three.




  • 1/2 Large Sweet Onion Sliced
  • 8 Radishes – 1/4 Inch Slices
  • 1 1/2 Cups White Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Tsp Pickling Spices



  • 8 Small Cucumbers – 1/2 Inch Slices
  • 1 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • 4 Large Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Slightly Crushed
  • 1 Small Bunch Fresh Dill
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbs Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes



  • 6 Banana Peppers – 1/2 Inch Slices
  • 8 Serrano Peppers – 1/2 Inch Slices
  • 1 1/2 Cups White Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbs Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tsp Pickling Spices

Instructions (For All 3 Varieties)

  • Place sliced vegetables into a wide-mouth quart-size canning jar or similar container.
  • In a small saucepan, combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Salt and sugar should be dissolved and you’ll smell the spices.
  • Allow mixture to cool slightly – about 10 minutes.  Then pour mixture over veggies in the jar.
  • If there is not enough liquid to cover veggies, add a few ice cubes to fill the rest of the space.  It will also help with the cooling process.
  • Allow jars to cool for 20 minutes.  Then screw on lids and place in the refridgerator for at least 24 hours.
  • Eat and enjoy for up to two weeks.


Again, this process is basic and easy to execute.  You can buy pickling spice in several markets, but I love the mixture from Penzey’s Spices.  Click on the link to check it out along with their huge selection.  Can’t find pickling spice?  Try using a combination of bay leaf, mustard seed, coriander seed, cinnamon, allspice, star anise, peppercorns, and cardamom.  As I said before, you can use all kinds of flavor combinations depending on your preference.  Some of you will probably want more salt in each of these recipes, but give it a try and let me know how it goes.

These recipes are great for veggies to top your salads, on sandwiches or as accompaniments to a great charcuterie and cheese plate.  Heck, just snack on them with a few cold beers – how could you go wrong??  Good luck, enjoy summer’s bounty and happy pickling!!