Pizza Bowls


Hey, the kids are home for the summer !  Here’s a recipe–originally posted by Julie on November 21, 2016–that you can do together and it’s sure to please everyone at your house.  I’m thinking I might need to try this one soon…


You know those videos you see on Facebook?  The ones where they show amazing food?  Well, I save those.  And sometimes I actually make the recipes!  But this one…this one was different.

A Food Network dude was talking about one of his favorite places and that they served these Pizza Pot Pies.  I was drooling!  I mean, they looked amazing.  But hey, this place had some kind of Sicilian crust thing going on and, of course, a fancy restaurant oven.  I can’t make that at home, can I?

Challenge accepted.

I had to work with what I had.  So I took some poetic license with their concept.  With the crust.  With the oven.  With the name, even.

But the result was, well…..UH-MAZING!!!

These things are the bomb at my house–every single person in my family loves them.  And, they are so customizable!  Plus, they are fun to experiment with.


Adjust your cheese, sauce, and toppings to fit your mood, taste, or leftovers in the fridge!  here’s what I used to make the above 3 experiments:

  • Philly Cheesesteak:  leftover flank steak, provolone cheese, Thrive Bechamel sauce, Thrive red peppers, Thrive green peppers, Thrive onion slices
  • Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo:  mozzarella cheese, grated Parmesan, Thrive Seasoned Chicken Slices, Thrive Broccoli, Thrive Onion Slices
  • Meat Lovers:  mozzarella cheese, bacon, diced pepperoni, Thrive Sausage Crumbles, Thrive Ground Beef

I can see my oldest daughter wanting an experiment with pineapple and ham.  And I’d love to give a dessert pizza a try maybe with some ricotta and cream cheese, Nutella, and strawberries!

Pizza Bowls
Serves 4
Upside down pizza pot pie goodness baked in a bowl!
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Prep Time
1 hr 20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
1 hr 20 min
Cook Time
15 min
  1. 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  2. 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. very warm water
  3. 3 3/4 cup Thrive Country White Dough Mix
  4. cheese of your choice (mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, etc.)
  5. sauce of your choice (spaghetti, pizza, Alfredo, Bechamel, etc.)
  6. toppings of your choice (pizza meats, veggies, etc.)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast and the 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. very warm water. With the dough hook on the mixer, slowly add in the dough mix until well-combined, then let the machine knead for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the dough to an oiled bowl, turning dough over to coat. Cover bowl with a clean towel and allow to rest and rise for about 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Punch down and allow to rise again.
  3. Punch down and separate into 4 equal chunks. On a counter or floured board, roll or press out each chunk into a circle wide enough to cover the bowl and come down the sides of the bowl by at least an inch.
  4. Spray each bowl with nonstick cooking spray thoroughly. Also spray the outside rims a little. Layer 4-6 cheese slices in the bottom of each bowl.
  5. Mix the Tomato Sauce with the water until smooth. Pour 1/2 cup of sauce into each bowl.
  6. Add pizza toppings of your choice. It's okay to fill up the bowl to the top or even have it be mounded a little.
  7. (Note: you can use Thrive veggies and meats for toppings. Just refresh them first!)
  8. Take a circle of dough and carefully cover each filled bowl so that the dough goes over the edge and down the sides of the bowl by at least an inch.
  9. Place bowls on a large baking sheet making sure to leave space between them. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until deep golden brown on top.
  10. Remove from oven and brush the crusts with melted butter.
  11. Remove a bowl from the baking sheet and place it on a dinner plate. Take another dinner plate and place it upside down over the pizza bowl. Using both hands--thumbs on top plate and fingers under bottom plate--firmly and carefully turn the plates over. Remove the top plate.
  12. Using a couple of spoons, carefully release the bowl from the crust/filling by lifting up on one side. If cheese has stuck to the bottom of the bowl, use the other spoon to scrape it out. Carefully remove the hot bowl and set aside.
  13. Enjoy! You'll want to eat this with a fork and knife!
  1. Because I sell Thrive, I have a LOT of Thrive. So I used our bread mix. But you can use your favorite bread dough mix or bread recipe. Just use what you'd use for 1 loaf.
  2. I made this using our family's cereal bowls, which are OVEN SAFE*****. But you can use any oven safe bowl/ramekin. I've even used kid sized real baking tins. I like using the ramekins we have because it makes a smaller portion which is just right for me.
Mormon Mavens

Pesto Grilled Cheese

Pesto Grilled Cheese. <sigh>

So my son came back from a recent trip to visit his girlfriend in Utah, and mentioned that he’d had a grilled cheese with pesto. 

“Mom, can we make pesto?”

Duh.  Thrive Life has freeze dried basil, and why have I not tried that before and why am I drooling right now typing this?

Cuz I stinkin’ love basil, that’s why.

So, shaking my head in wonder as to why I’d never thought to make homemade pesto before, I pulled out my phone and searched the Thrive Life recipe site because I just knew our Chef Todd had a recipe for it.  He did.  Yay! 

I told my son he could make it.  (You gotta make them do the things, right?)


So of course, I have to share it with you!  The pesto is exactly the same as Chef Todd’s recipe, we just smeared it on our grilled cheese.  We’ve used Gouda, Provolone, Cheddar, and Colby Jack so far.  My fave is Cheddar.  Experiment with your fave cheeses and let me know which turned out best for you!

Pesto Grilled Cheese
Serves 4
This is by far my favorite way to eat a grilled cheese sandwich! If you love pesto.....well, you're welcome.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 1/4 c. pine nuts
  2. 1/4 c. Grated Parmesan Cheese
  3. 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  4. 2 tbsp. water
  5. 1/4 c. THRIVE Basil
  6. 1 tbsp. THRIVE Parsley
  7. 1/4 tsp. Salt, Table
  8. 1/8 tsp. THRIVE Peppercorn
  9. 1/4 c. really good olive oil
  10. The Sandwich
  11. 8 sli. bread of your choice
  12. 16 sli. cheese of your choice (thin sliced is what we used)
  13. 8 tbsp. butter
  1. Using a food processor, pulse together the pine nuts, parmesan, and garlic until well-combined. Add in water, herbs, and salt & peppercorn and pulse again until combined.
  2. Add in the olive oil slowly through the chute while the processor is running. Once combined, remove pesto to a bowl and stir by hand to incorporate all the oil.
  3. Heat a griddle or skillet to medium heat.
  4. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Have your pesto and cheese slices at the ready.
  5. When cook surface is at temperature, place one slice of bread (butter side down) on the griddle, add 2 slices of cheese and spread a heaping tablespoon of pesto over the cheese. Top with a slice of bread, butter side up.
  6. Cook on both sides until golden brown. Enjoy!
  1. Make up the pesto and keep it in the fridge. Then you can have a pesto grilled cheese anytime you want!
  2. I like my pesto with just a little more salt than Chef Todd's recipe. Adjust according to your tastes.
  3. We've tried Cheddar, Colby Jack, Gouda, and Provolone in these. I think Cheddar is my favorite!
  4. We actually used our George Foreman grill for this at home. An advantage to using this, if you have one, is that you can use much thicker bread and it will compress. We were able to use up some thick sandwich rolls this way!
  5. Really good olive oil? I use a Picual from Beaufort Olive Oil Company. It makes a difference, in my opinion. But use what you have.
Mormon Mavens

Quick Po’Boy Sandwich

po boy


Have you ever eaten a Po’ Boy sandwich?  I have had one in my entire life.  This past week we spent a few days at the beach and of course had to hit a local seafood joint to get me some shrimp!  I brought the leftovers back to the beach house.  Mostly I just ate the cold shrimp right out of the take-out carton, but one day I was thinking I should be a little more creative.  And here you have another tasty concoction from leftovers…


Quick Po' Boy Sandwich
Great way to use leftovers!
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  1. Hamburger Bun (or a baguette or other kind of roll of choice)
  2. Leftover shrimp
  3. Lettuce, shredded
  4. Mayo or mustard
  1. Assemble your sandwich and enjoy.
  1. Po' Boys can be made of different kinds of items, so be creative!
Mormon Mavens

Italian Elvis Sandwiches

italian elvis

A recipe so weird, I just had to try it.

 There I sat, thumbing through who-knows-what outdated magazine at the salon, color setting in my hair.  And I almost didn’t read it.  I almost passed right by it.  But when I read the ingredients I couldn’t help myself.  I snapped a pic of it with my cell phone and made a mental note to try it soon.
The family was up for it.  (They are adventurous with anything that involves Nutella.)  And when we bravely tried it for the first time, they were not disappointed.  It as a big hit!  And though this dish is a rich, not-every-day kind of food, it gets requested more often than I can tell you (especially from one kid in particular).
So tonight, when we had the missionaries over for dinner and served these for dessert (at the request of that one kid in particular), I remembered….”Oh yeah, I never put this on the blog, did I?”
It only took me a year and a half to remember to share it.  Once you try it, you may not forgive me for waiting so long!  My apologies…..but honestly, you’ll be so transported by the unique flavor, you’ll forget all about being mad at me.  🙂

p.s…..comment below if you get why it’s called an Italian Elvis.

Italian Elvis Sandwiches
Yields 4
A wonderfully weird sandwich that you can even serve as a dessert!
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  1. 8 slices sturdy white bread*
  2. 6 strips of crispy bacon, in bit sized pieces
  3. Nutella
  4. 1 ripe banana
  5. 8 ounce tub of mascarpone cheese
  6. softened butter
  7. lots of napkins
  1. Heat a griddle or skillet to medium-low heat (like you are making a grilled cheese sandwich, cuz well, you are!).
  2. Place the banana on a dinner plate and mash it well with a fork. Empty the tub of cheese on top of the mashed banana and use the fork to incorporate the two together. Set aside.
  3. Butter one side of a slice of bread. Place this butter-side down on another slice of bread. Then carefully spread Nutella on top of the slice that's face down with butter. About 1/8" thick is fine--it's up to you how much you want. Now place the bacon pieces on top of the Nutella. (Each sandwich has about 1 1/2 strips of bacon.)
  4. Carefully lift just the Nutella slice of bread and place it butter side down on your griddle or skillet. Immediately drop some scoops of your banana/cheese mixture on top of the Nutella/bacon and carefully spread it out (it will be about twice as thick as the Nutella).
  5. Place the other slice of bread on top (you know, the one you used earlier). Using your flipper/turner/spatula device, gently press down on that top piece. Then carefully spread some butter on it.
  6. When the bottom slice is golden brown, VERY carefully lift and turn it over to cook on the other side. All that gooey goodness might make this step a little challenging, but stick with's worth it.
  7. Once the other side is done, lift it out carefully and place it on a flat surface to cool for a minute or two before slicing and eating.
  1. Regarding the bread*--super soft white bread will not hold up well to the spreading of Nutella and tends to flatten too much during cooking. I recommend something like Pepperidge Farm breads, which are delicious and stand up well to this recipe.
  2. How many sandwiches this recipe makes will depend a lot on how thick you spread the ingredients on the bread slices. The amounts listed above reflect my family's preferences and you may need to adjust the recipe based on your own preferences.
  3. Where to find mascarpone cheese? In my grocery store, it's found in the deli department, but if you can't find it, just ask someone at the store.
  4. Yes, you do need to have the bacon in pieces. If you just lay 3 half-strips on bacon down, those suckers will slide right out of the sandwich when you take a bite. Also, my family prefers it crispy; yours may like it chewier (in which case it's even more important that the bacon be in pieces).
  5. Why lots of napkins? You obviously haven't tried to eat one yet. Go make one, eat it, and then we'll talk.
Mormon Mavens

Sloppy Joes

And who doesn’t have a recipe for this one?  But I needed a blog post and I am taking a meal to a couple of teen-aged boys and I think this will fill them up quite nicely.  Their Mom is at Duke Medical Center with another brother and several of the women at church are providing some meals for the boys in her absence.  This goes together very quickly, but does need to simmer for an hour.  I chose to throw it in the slow cooker because I don’t have time to cook when I get home from work. You can probably substitute ground turkey to make this recipe a little healthier.  I won’t do that to the boys–their palates would probably freak out.

1 lb. hamburger*
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 t. salt
dash of pepper
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup Catsup (or ketchup, whichever you prefer)
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. chili powder
hamburger buns (potato rolls are da bomb!)

1.  Brown meat and drain off fat.
2.  Mix meat and other ingredients together in a skillet and bring to a boil.  Simmer one hour.
3.  Serve on buns and add some celery/carrot sticks and maybe some chips of some kind.

NOTE:  I stretched the meat a little with Taco TVP that I had on hand so that I could keep some of this for our supper.  Also, if  you are using a slow cooker, just do everything according to the recipe and then cook on low for about 5 hours.

Bistro Chicken Twist

This recipe comes from a good ol’ Pampered Chef recipe book. I have been making it for years and used to make it for my family on Christmas Eve before we decorated Christmas cookies.

1 C. Chopped cooked chicken
1/2 C. diced red bell pepper
1/4 C. snipped fresh basil leaves
1/4 C. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 packages (11 ounces each) refrigerated French bread dough-I use frozen bread dough, thawed.

1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a bowl, combine chicken, bell pepper, basil, 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, mayonnaise and garlic. Mix well.

Place bread dough on a greased cookie sheet. With a knife, cut each loaf length wise, end to end, halfway through. Then, use your hands to spread the dough about a bit.

Spoon half the chicken mixture into each of the two loaves. Gather up the edges over the filling, pinching to seal. Turn the two loaves over so the seam sides are down.

With the two loaves next to one another, crisscross them together. Leave a 1 1/2 inch space between the two loaves in the centers of the figure eights that you created.

Combine the egg white and the Italian seasoning. Brush over the top of the twist. Cut a small slit in the tops of the twist to expose the filling. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes.
Slice and serve.

Grilled Santa Fe Burgers

Here is a really tasty burger recipe.  Yeah, I don’t eat burgers much any more, either, but this is a “framily” favorite at cookouts at our house. I keep getting requests to make them so an opportunity just presented itself yesterday.  It so happens that I am in charge of supper down at the beach for 23 family members so I am making these as sliders, and siding it with a double batch of  Mom’s Potato Salad.  Oh heck to the yes!

1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) Mexican blend shredded cheese
1/2 cup salsa, divided
1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 t. ground cumin or chili powder
1/2 t. garlic salt
4 hamburger buns, split or sourdough bread
Tomato slices
1.  Combine ground beef, 1 cup cheese, 1/4 cup salsa, tortilla chips, green onions, cumin and garlic salt in medium bowl.  Shape into 4 patties, 4 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick (if you are doing sliders, just make the patties the desired size.  I have a slider maker so I can press 5 at a time).

2.  Preheat grill or broiler.  Grill patties, 5 minutes per side for burgers and just watch closely for sliders.  We grilled some over charcoal, and did some on a George Foreman grill since we had so many to do.

3.  Grill or lightly toast hamburger buns.  Place burgers on buns; top with remaining salsa; sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Serve with lettuce and, if desired, tomato.

Source:  torn from a magazine, but it is from Sargento.

Pesto Chicken Pizza

Not an original recipe (see source below) but we all get to tweak away at someone else’s in this recipe blog world, don’t we?  This is a great quickie dinner that you can throw together in about 30 minutes or so if you have the ingredients on hand.  Or you can just send your daughter and her fiancé out to the grocery store to get the stuff for you while you clean off the kitchen island so that there is room to actually EAT there.
Pizza Dough (home- or ready-made)
Basil Pesto
Cooked Chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken from my local grocery store)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
1.  Preheat oven to temperature for your pizza dough.
2.  Spread dough onto pan or pizza stone; sprinkle corn meal on pan first so your pizza doesn’t stick.
3.  An extra step if you are using the refrigerated dough, is to pre-bake it for 6-8 minutes before adding your toppings.
4.  Spread pesto, chicken and cheese over the crust.
5.  Bake for suggested time for dough, about 8-10 minutes.
Adding a salad would be a great idea.
Source:  Shawni Pothier, 71 Toes Blog.

Savory Ham & Cheese Sliders

Another Super Bowl indoor tail-gating favorite at our house are these tasty morsels.  I had something like this at a friend’s house for dinner once.  This recipe was the closest I could find via the all-knowing Pinterest.  The grandsons didn’t even take this one apart, like they did the Reuben Pigs in a Blanket.

2 12-roll packages of sweet Hawaiian dinner rolls
1 1/2 lbs. smoked ham (not honey)
12 slices Swiss cheese
1 stick of butter–NOT margarine.  Seriously.
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

1.  Slice rolls in half, horizontally.  Place the bottoms of the rolls in two 9 x 13 pans or a large jelly roll pan works really well.

2.  Place about 2 shaved slices of ham on each bottom.  Cut the cheese slices into 4 parts and place 2 pieces on each sandwich.  Place the tops on each sandwich.

3.  In a small saucepan, mix butter, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder and poppy seeds. Heat until butter is completely melted.  Stir to incorporate ingredients.

4.  Brush the melted mixture over the ham sandwiches.  Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.  These can also be baked right away.

5.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. 

Source:  Heather Pettit, via Pinterest.

Pizza Crust

While I love a raised dough for crust, I often fail to plan enough time to allow for it.  So when that happens (which is often!) I turn to this recipe.  Not too thick, not too thin….it’s just right for me!

2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1/4 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup very warm water
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt

1.  Combine yeast, sugar, and water and whisk together.  Let sit for 8 minutes.
2.  Add flour and salt to yeast mixture.  Knead for 2 minutes.
3.  Roll out onto a greased pizza pan that is sprinkled with cornmeal.
4.  Top with desired sauce and toppings.  Bake at 500 degrees for 8-12 minutes or until edges reach desired brownness.

Makes 1 pizza crust for a round pan.  I usually double it and roll it onto a large baking sheet.