The Tiny Town In Florida That’s The Next Pizza Capital Of The World

There are plenty of awesome things a town can be famous for, like its landmarks, attractions or natural wonders, but sometimes all a city has to do is make a certain food really well. You’ve probably heard big cities like New York or Chicago referred to as pizza capitals of the country (or even the world), but there’s a tiny town in Florida that might just give them a run for their money.

Recipe of the Week: Whole Wheat Mediterranean Pizza

INGREDIENTS

For the quick pizza dough:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (do not sift)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (do not sift)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup milk
  • cup olive oil

For the topping:

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ green bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup olives, sliced
  • 1 cup tomatoes (cherry, heirloom or other), cubed
  • 2 cups feta cheese, crumbled
  • A few sprigs of fresh oregano (or ½ teaspoon dried)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 356°F (180°C).
  2. In a large bowl mix flours with salt, oregano and baking powder.
  3. Add milk and olive oil and stir with a fork until the dough comes together.
  4. Dust your work surface with flour and transfer the dough there. You don’t have to knead it, just roll out into a circle about 15 inches (38 cm) in diameter. If it’s sticky, dust with more flour.
  5. Transfer it to a greased pan.
  6. Mix the tomato paste with water and pepper and spread it onto the dough.
  7. Top with feta cheese and the rest of the ingredients except the oregano.
  8. Bake at the lower shelf of your oven for 20-30 minutes, until vegetables are caramelized.
  9. Sprinkle with oregano and eat!

Recipe of the Week: Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pizza dough, to make 2 pizzas
Garlic Butter
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • pinch of salt
Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup half-and-half or milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded Romano cheese or Parmesan
Pizza toppings
  • 1 boneless chicken breast or 1 cup meat from a rotisserie chicken, cooked and diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • handful of baby spinach leaves, optional
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked
  • 1 green onion, sliced

Instructions

  1. Let pizza dough come to room temperature and heat oven to 450 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven.
  2. To make garlic butter, melt butter over medium heat in a small pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and salt and remove from heat.
  3. To make sauce, melt butter in a medium pan. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Let cook for about 2 minutes. Mixture will be very thick. Stir in salt, pepper, and cheese. Remove from heat.
  4. Divide pizza dough in 2 pieces and roll or stretch into approximately a 10-inch round. Place on a lightly floured pizza peel or baking sheet with no edges.
  5. Spread half of garlic butter on dough and cover with approximately 1/2 cup of the sauce. You can use more if you want it heavy on sauce.
  6. Sprinkle chicken with thyme and poultry seasoning. Scatter 1/2 of chicken on dough.
  7. Top with spinach leaves, half of mozzarella, bacon, and green onion.
  8. Slide pizza off of pizza peel onto a the pizza stone or onto a baking sheet if you are not using a pizza stone.
  9. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes of until crust is golden brown.
  10. Repeat to make a second pizza.

Recipe of the Week: Bacon Ranch & White Cheddar Pizza with New York Style Crust

Ingredients

Crust:
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • cornmeal for work surface (optional)
Ranch:
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 large onion, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 ounces cream cheese (about 1/4 cup), softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Toppings:
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
  • 2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 large green onion, diced

Instructions

Crust:
  1. Stir water, sugar, and yeast together until yeast is dissolved and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Pour into a large mixing bowl and whisk in salt and oil until combined. Add the all purpose flour a little at a time and mix until dough comes together. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes, adding a bit more flour as needed until the dough pulls away from the surface. It should be smooth and resilient. Place in oiled bowl and cover, then place in warm place to rise for about 2 hours until nearly doubled in size. (If you have the time to let it rise longer it gives it better flavor.)
Ranch:
  1. Combine all the ingredients for the ranch in a blender or food processor and pulse until creamy smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Alternatively, if you do not have a blender, you can chop the garlic and onion by hand until minced and mix everything in a bowl.)
Pizza:
  1. When the dough is done rising, preheat oven to 450 degrees F (232C) and place a pizza stone or a thick pizza pan in the oven to heat. On a clean work surface dusted with flour or cornmeal, roll the pizza dough out into a circle that’s roughly 14 inches in diameter. Place the crust on large piece of parchment paper on a completely flat pan or tray so that you can slide it easily onto the pizza stone later. Pour the ranch sauce out onto crust and spread evenly. Top that with the white cheddar then crumble the bacon over the top and sprinkle on the green onion evenly.
  2. When the oven is hot, carefully slide your pizza onto the pizza stone or pan and bake pizza for 12 – 15 minutes until edges are golden and cheese is well melted and browning on top. Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes so the cheese doesn’t ooze off when cutting, then slice and serve hot!

KFC’s New Chicken-Pizza, The Chizza, Could Come To A Chain Near You

To set things straight, KFC‘s “The Chizza” isn’t something new. It actually debuted in the Philippines around 2015 and has been making rounds in the Asian fast food circles ever since. However, the popular food chain seems to be making a push for the chicken-pizza hybrid globally as it will now be available in Singapore.

To heighten the buzz, KFC’s Singapore social media accounts teased the menu item, resulting in a frenzy of responses that either loved or hated it. For the curious, “The Chizza” is actually made with a KFC fried chicken slathered in pizza sauce. Then there’s pieces of ham, mozzarella, and the brand’s own “KFC Cheese Sauce.” Also, it looks like pineapple chunks as toppings seem to be the default item when you order, but regular pepperoni could be out there too.

No word yet on when “The Chizza” will come Stateside or other places around the globe, but if you’re adventurous and in an Asian country at the moment, make sure to hit up a KFC near you.

Coffee, Beer, And Pizza Are America’s Most Tweeted Foods

Americans love tweeting about what they eat, and what they tweet about has a lot to do with where they live in the United States. A new study examining tweets about food and physical activity found clear links between socioeconomic status and people’s likelihood to tweet about healthier foods.

Such environmental connections fit with past studies looking at how people in lower-income areas often struggle to get access to healthy options, which can be prohibitively expensive. This new study provides 80 million tweets’ worth of data to support that hypothesis, and the specific foods that attract the most Twitter attention could help shape future public health initiatives to improve people’s diets.

Researchers at the University of Utah Health Sciences looked at a random sample of one percent of geotagged tweets from April 2015 to March 2016, representing 80 million tweets from about 60,000 users. They matched the geotags to 2010 census data to see which parts about the country were tweeting about which kind of foods, and how tweets about food and health were linked with tweets about general well-being.

“We found that economic disadvantage was linked to fewer happy tweets and also fewer healthy food tweets,” lead researcher Quynh Nguyen told Vocativ. People living in low-income neighborhoods or areas with many large households were generally less likely to tweet about healthy foods, while people living in areas with lots of fast food restaurants were more likely to tweet about fast food.

There aren’t many nutritional staples among the most tweeted foods. Coffee, beer, and pizza lead a list that also includes wine, BBQ, ice cream, tacos, sushi, burgers, cake, chocolate, steak, donuts, and bacon, the internet darling of foodstuffs. The only top foods that the researchers considered “healthy” were chicken – which very definitely doesn’t have to be healthy, depending on the preparation – eggs, and salad.

People generally weren’t tweeting about fast food as often as they were foods in general. Starbucks did come in fourth on the list, but the next chain to show up is Chipotle, way down at the 21st slot. That Chipotle is the second most mentioned fast food place despite being behind a couple dozen other chains in terms of sales suggests not all restaurants are considered equally tweet-worthy.

The fact that Chipotle had a major E. Coli outbreak last year may skew those numbers, though other explanations are also possibly part of the story. Way more people are going to McDonald’s than Chipotle, but perhaps they don’t feel compelled to tell their followers about it nearly as often, or perhaps people who go to Chipotle are more likely to be on Twitter than McDonald’s customers.That speaks to a basic issue with the study, one that Nguyen is the first to acknowledge.

“With Twitter, it’s an imperfect data source because not everybody uses Twitter,” she said. Only about 20 percent of the U.S. adult population is on Twitter, and some are a lot more active than others. “It’s differently distributed across demographic groups, so younger groups tend to use Twitter more. And also, people don’t report everything they do and eat, so we’re only getting what they’re willing to share, the image they present.”

That last point might explain why so much of the list is dominated by treats, as people are less likely to tweet about a random Wednesday meal than they are a special occasion steak or chocolate cake.

All that makes for a lot of noise in the data, although Nguyen said she and her fellow researchers are optimistic that the sheer scale of 80 million tweets is enough to overcome that and provide useful data. She said the goal here isn’t to provide definitive answers to questions of health, but rather to offer new ways to look at American health trends that other methods can’t turn up.

“You have a really hard time getting good data for the U.S.,” she said. Previous attempts to find this sort of data have relied on household surveys or in-person interviews, but those are necessarily limited to individual cities or counties. “That’s what we wanted to get with this research: a new data resource.”

Nation’s First Pizza ATM Proves Dreams Really Can Come True

Someone at Xavier University in Cincinnati must have a direct line to the gods of pizza (who rule our desires from atop their throne of cheese on Mount Pepperoni) because the Cincinnati place of higher learning is getting the country’s very first pizza ATM.

When the luckiest students in the entire world arrive back on campus, they’ll find the new addition serving fresh, “restaurant-quality” pizza in about three minutes, Cincinnati.com reported. The pizza ATM will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, because everyone knows there’s no time like the present when it comes to pizza.

“We were looking for a way to solve this problem of having a late-night pizza option on campus,” Assistant Vice President Jude Kiah told Cincinnati.com, speaking of what sounds like a very serious concern. “This meets our students where they’re at in their residence hall.”

Here’s how it works: the university’s dining services will make 70 pizzas a day just for the machine. Customers select which type of pizza they want — pepperoni, cheese and veggie, or whatever is popular — and then the machine takes the pizza from a refrigerated compartment and puts it into a convection oven.

Three minutes later, the pizza drops into a box, which then shoots out of a slot at the bottom of the machine and into the arms of its new lover. Err, customer. Each pizza is 12 inches in diameter and costs $9.

If you’re dreaming of your very own pizza vending machine, start checking couch cushions: the contraption cost the school $55,000, which Kiah says is a cost-effective way to keep the students happy.

“We like the idea of being first and innovative and trying something new,” he said. “There’s one Pizza ATM in the U.S. and this is it.”

Meanwhile, students all around the country are looking into how tricky it’d be to transfer to Xavier right about now.

Recipe of the Week: Skillet Zucchini Pesto Pizza

Ingredients

For the pesto
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Nakano Basil and Oregano Seasoned Rice Vinegar:
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the pizza
  • favorite store bought or homemade pizza dough (This whole wheat pizza dough: is my go-to for homemade)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • red pepper flakes for garnish

Instructions

For the pesto
  1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor. Process for a few seconds until finely chopped and combined.
  2. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Scrape down sides as needed and continue processing until desired consistency. You can add a bit of water to thin it out if you’d like.
For the pizza
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Place olive oil in a 12 inch cast iron skillet and turn to coat the entire surface.
  3. Place dough in the skillet and shape so that it fills the pan and goes up along the sides a bit.
  4. Spread about 1/4-1/3 cup pesto on the dough, leaving a small perimeter around the dough plain.
  5. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top of the pesto then lay the zucchini slices on top.
  6. Dollop the ricotta all over the top of the pizza and garnish with a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.
  7. Turn a burner on the stove top to medium-high heat. Once hot, place the skillet on the burner and cook for about 3-4 minutes until the bottom sets and the oil starts to bubble up along the sides of the dough.
  8. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and cook for another 10-12 minutes until starting to turn golden brown on the edges and completely set in the middle.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes in the skillet before using a spatula to gently remove.
  10. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the leftover pesto into a small bowl. Thin out with water or Nakano Basil and Oregano Rice Vinegar (or a combination of both) until you get a consistency that you can drizzle on top of the pizza.
  11. Drizzle pesto mixture on top of the pizza, slice and serve hot.

Recipe of the Week: Loaded Greek Chicken “Pitzas”

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • ¼ cup Greek dressing
  • 4 pieces pita bread
  • 4 canned artichokes (not marinated), drained and quartered
  • 1 roasted red pepper, cut into strips
  • 6 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 8 kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup fontina cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
For the tzatziki
  • 1½ cups greek yogurt
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons dill
  • Kosher salt, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a plastic container or freezer bag, combine the Greek dressing and chicken breast. Let marinate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine all of the tzatziki ingredients. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. When the chicken is ready remove from the marinade and shake off excess. Grill, saute, or bake until cooked through. Chop into small pieces and set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lay the pita bread on a parchment-lined baking sheet, concave side down.
  5. Spread the tops of each pita with 2 tablespoons of tzatziki, leaving room at the edges. Top with the cheeses, reserving ½ cup of feta. Distribute the chicken, olives, tomatoes, artichokes, roasted red pepper, and herbs evenly on top of the cheese, and then top with remaining feta.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges of the feta and pita bread begin to brown. Serve with the remaining tzatziki.

Recipe of the Week: Spanakopizza

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 cups packed baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ tsp salt
  • One 450g package puff pastry sheets, thawed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Red chili flakes, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic for 5 minutes until onions have softened.
  3. Add spinach (in batches, if necessary) and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.
  4. Add ricotta and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, 10-15 minutes. Transfer mixture to a fine mesh sieve and drain, then return to the pot. Stir in dill, ½ cup feta, and salt. Set aside.
  5. Unroll puff pastry sheets and transfer to prepared baking sheets. Use a fork to pierce holes in the puff pastry, then baste liberally with the egg mixture. Bake for 10 minutes until lightly browned and puffed up.
  6. Remove puff pastry from the oven and spread spinach mixture over top, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle with remaining feta and chili flakes. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until heated through.