Happy New Year: Redux. Now with little pizzettes!

by Sarah on January 13, 2011

I ended last year helping some friends out with a party!  Oh, it felt so good to get back in the kitchen and make some party food.  I surely missed it.

We helped make the food for a party for Bobby and Paloma.  Their house is great and perfect for celebrating–and their giant kitchen was perfect for to work in.  Thankfully I didn’t need to use the fridge, because I certainly would’ve screwed up Bobby’s mojo in there (Uh, Bobby, the cream cheese labels don’t quite match up).  And it’s so clean!  Um, yeah, sure…mine is that clean too….

Bobby and Paloma are vegetarians, so our challenge was to come up with some options that didn’t include bacon.  This wasn’t as easy as it sounds, people.

I think we came up with a decent spread. We made enough food anyway—-I probably made enough for 30 people, not 15.  Oh well, leftovers are always good.

There was the ubiquitous mezze platter–what vegetarian feast would be complete without one?–with homemade hummus, baba ghanoush (I grilled the eggplant myself!), baked pita chips with olive oil and sea salt, olives and some good feta with olive oil.  And vegetables.

I have made these little pizzettes for parties for years now.  Everyone loves them and they just couldn’t be easier.  Dough, gorgonzola cheese, half of a little tomato and some basil.  Bake.  Eat. Happiness.  Big-head Giada DeLaurentis makes these too, they are all over the internet.  She even made them for OPRAH.  I figure, hey, if they are good enough for Oprah…..

Hell yeah I made macaroni and cheese!  Now listen.  You can argue with me that your mama makes the best, but I’ll challenge your mama to a throwdown right now…..because I make the best mac and cheese.  I’m serious.  This version had extra sharp cheddar, some triple cream brie, goat cheese, Mimolette, and Gruyere.  I know, that’s ridiculous, but when I have leftover bits of cheese, I like to toss them into the cheese sauce.  Great googly moogly it’s good.  If you’re good little girls and boys I’ll give you the recipe someday.  Maybe.

Ever had that crazy artichoke dip that they sell in the deli section of some grocery stores?  Well, it’s pretty good, if there’s not too much mayo, but we make a mean homemade artichoke spread that’s just great on toasted baguette.  And you can use frozen or canned artichoke hearts so you don’t have to peel and cook all those damn artichokes.  I think the frozen are best, but Guido likes the canned ones for some reason.  Don’t get the marinated ones!

More fooling around with the new camera before the guests arrived.  Speaking of, I took so many food photos last week at Food Blog Camp!  Some are good, some suck but I learned a few thing about light and position so I hope to have better looking (and bigger) photos for you to look at soon.  I just need to figure out how to do it.  I’m not very tech savvy.  I digress, but seriously, there will be more on that story later.

New Year’s Eve calls for some kind of fun dessert, so red velvet cupcakes were in order, with my favorite cream cheese frosting.  It’s the easiest thing.  I just made it last night for some coconut cupcakes over at my union hall.  (A shout out to JB and CC who mercilessly beat the frosting into submission without an electric mixer!  Woot!)

It was fun.  I love seeing everyone so happy and having a good time.  I almost feel like a proud mother.  Is that weird?

It is strange, though, watching the festivities from the outside.  You stand totally separate, smiling, watching, maybe you’ve snuck a little glass of something for yourself at this point.  It just feels a little surreal when it’s a universal celebration like New Year’s Eve–people tooting their horns, yelling, clinking their champagne glasses and kissing their loved ones.

Except this time the story has a happy ending, as I had my loved one there with me!  Happy new year to everyone– May you keep all your resolutions and may all your food porn dreams come true.

Tomato and Gorgonzola Pizzettes


  • 1 batch pizza dough--homemade or store bought. For this recipe, I usually buy bags of dough from Trader Joe's. $1.
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 1 cup Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • salt, pepper, olive oil.


  • Flour the dough and let rise for 20-30 minutes. Preheat the oven as high as it will go. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • When the dough is ready, roll or stretch it so that it is about 1/4" thick. Cut small rounds with a cookie cutter or the top of a small juice glass. You want these pizzettes to be small--think one bite. Place on the parchment-lined sheets. On top of the dough, place a few crumbles (around a tsp) onto each dough round. top with a tomato half and some shreds of basil. (If you want to make these ahead, stop here. Cover and refrigerate.)
  • Before baking, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Watch the salt though, because the cheese is fairly salty. Bake for about 10 minutes, keeping an eye on them, until they are golden and the cheese is melted.
  • Perfect for cocktail parties.

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