Category Archives: Christmas

Napoli Pizza {Taste of Italy}

Ever since we got back from Italy, Christopher and I have been working on perfecting a pizza like the ones we ate in Naples. We’ve had the recipe at the point we have it now since mid-September, but I’ve put off sharing it because it’s still not exactly right. But since I shared the recipe with family over Christmas and it was a huge hit, I’ve decided to share it with you guys now. For purists, here’s what I think I’m lacking: We don’t have 00 flour so I used All Purpose. I think if I had 00 flour, the texture would be just slightly less chewy. Also, we don’t have a brick oven so we lack the charred bits on the dough that you get in Naples. But other than those two things – this recipe really is almost exactly what it was like in Italy! 🙂

pizza dough recipe {taste of Italy}The pizzas on top were our make-your-own ones that we let family decorate. Some of them are more traditional than others (we didn’t have any pineapple pizza in Italy, haha!). The pizzas on the bottom are the two we ate from Trianon which was our favorite pizza in Italy. 🙂

napoli pizza{click recipe to make it larger. Our starting point for this recipe was the Pizza Pilgrims’ recipe fond here}

pizza3My family decorating pizzas behind me while I’m about to put mine in! 🙂

I knew the adults would like them, but I figured the kids wouldn’t like the pizzas since they are so different than American-style pizza, but they loved them and ate every bite! So a definite hit with my family! And when Christopher and I are missing Italy, these pizzas are a great little reminder of our time there. 🙂
Love Rach


Let’s just pretend it’s still Christmas for a minute…

I know Christmas is supposed to be “over” but I was sorting through some photos from last month and I realized that I forgot to share two amazing recipes with you guys! So just pretend that it’s a week before Christmas instead of two after and check out these sugar cookies from Better Homes and Gardens (original recipe here)!

DSC_0003Sugar Cookie Cutouts  


2/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill about 30 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time until 1/4 inch thick. Using a 4-1/2- to 6-inch cookie cutter, cut dough into desired shapes. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.

4. While cookies cool, combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk in a small bowl. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it reaches drizzling consistency. Makes 1/2 cup. Use to ice cookies.

And since I might as well get all Christmas-related things out in the same post… I made Bacon Jam for Christopher’s stocking this year. Yes, bacon jam. If you’re not a fan of meat then this is obviously not for you, but if you like bacon… oh gracious, this is delicious. Plus, it’s such a “boy” sort of thing. Jam made from bacon… I mean, who makes jam out of bacon?? This girl! 😉 Thanks to inspiration from Tasty Kitchen and Serious Eats. 🙂

DSC_0032Bacon Jam


1 lb bacon, finely chopped
1 small onion, minced (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tbsp maple syrup


1. In a dutch oven, cook bacon over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to dry.

2.  Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from skillet; add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in coffee, vinegar, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add bacon and stir to combine.

3. Reduce heat to bare simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until liquid is syrupy, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

4.   Transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Let cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container up to 4 weeks.

Okay okay, you may resume your January mindset now and let Christmas be over. Or you can be like us and still playing Christmas music while we gaze at our lit tree at night. 😀 Either way, have a very merry January 7th! 🙂
Love Rach