I'm a big fan of cheese, in all of it's forms. Melted over fries? Check. Tossed in oil with fresh tomato and basil? Check. As a delicious spread for an easy summer flatbread? Check, check, and double check.
Gearing up for Memorial Day weekend and Daniel's birthday BBQ, I knew that it was going to be a weekend of cooking, cooking, and more cooking and that for Friday night's dinner I wanted to put something yummy together that was seasonal, but also low-key. We've really enjoyed doing homemade pizzas on the weekends, so I decided that this weekend shouldn't be any different ... I just put a spin on how I made it!
Below, you'll find the recipe for what I'm calling my Artichoke + Ricotta Pizza, which is now a go-to summer pizza recipe for me. The lemon-ricotta sauce keeps it light and fresh tasting, while the artichoke makes it a little tangier ... such a tasty combination!
For the crust, I totally cheated and bought pre-made from Giant. They sell these amazing packets for .50 cents that make a personal sized pizza each. I always find mine hiding in the International Foods aisle. If you have the extra time, go ahead and make your own! We usually do this, and it's a fun date night on a Friday or Saturday night without breaking the bank!
1 1/2 c ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
Juice of 2 lemons
1 c artichoke hearts
1 c baby spinach (arugula would also be tasty)
1. Make your pizza dough and let it rest and preheat oven. Mine required that the oven be set to 450 degrees F, but make sure to follow yours for best baking instructions.
2. In a bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, black pepper, and lemon juice.
3. Roll out pizza dough on a pizza stone and spread olive oil onto the top. Bake about 5 minutes, or until the dough seems more firm.
4. Remove dough, and spread ricotta mixture on. Add artichokes.
5. Bake another 10 minutes (or as your dough instructions require).
6. Remove the pizza from the oven, and top with spinach/arugula. Serve immediately.
As a wedding planner, I really thought that poor Dan wouldn't be able to surprise me with an engagement because I was convinced that I'd be onto him. In some ways, I was onto him and did guess the day that it'd happen; however, he still caught me totally off guard and I love that he did!
You see, he's not much of a planner (which he completely admits!) and I'm often the one to make us plans, so when he suggested weeks ago that we visit Chanticleer Garden on Saturday, May 12, I knew something was up. He even went as far as to recommend we go mid-morning ... I was convinced that this meant he was going to propose there!
I was wrong.
It was a normal Saturday, except for I woke up like a kid on Christmas because of course I was convinced that I would be getting engaged within the next five hours. I was wrong again. It was within two hours.
After breakfast, Dan suggested we walk our dog before heading to the garden to let him get some energy out before we left him for half the day at the garden. I agreed and slipped into some unattractive yoga pants and a tank top thinking that I'd have time to get cute when we got home. Wrong again, LOL!
We walked Rufus and when we got home, I realized I couldn't get in the front door because Dan had the keys. As I turned to hold the door open for him, I heard him say my name and when I turned around he was on one knee on our porch (which couldn't have been a more perfect spot!).
He made a lovely speech, though frankly I remember only the very beginning of it because I was in complete shock and couldn't stop crying. He doesn't remember much of it either and said he was so nervous the whole walk. I didn't sense a thing!
I couldn't have asked for a more special moment between us to share, and I'm so excited that I'm going to be marrying my best friend (we've been together 5.5 years). I hope to share my wedding planning journey with all of you, and hope that you enjoy coming along.