Friday Football Foodie – Pizza Loaf, Watermelon-Vodka Slushlees, and Garlic Bits

The pre-season. Supposedly “meaningless” games are spent trying to impress the coaches, shaking the rust off of the joints, and players doing their goddamn best not to get hurt.

Well do you think you, the football fan, are any different? Are you ready for at least one – if not two – days spent entirely on your sofa? After a summer’s harvest of nothing but the freshest fruits and vegetables are you ready to settle in and allow yourself the unhealthy snack foods that are best enjoyed with copious amounts of booze and yelling? Can you whip-up something besides the number for Domino’s, (GOD HELP ME DO NOT TELL ME YOU ORDER DOMINO’S), that will feed you and your crew?

I doubt it.

If you go into September without at least one or two practice runs, you’re going to find yourself sad and lonely with just your box of Bugles and six-pack of Natty Light come kick-off.

We’ll work our way up to the 9-layer dips, Four Cheese Quiche with Roasted Red Pepper (good for the PST crowd since games start at brunch time), and Pumpkin Spice cookies. But for now, we’ll start with something easy that is more about assembling than it is actual cooking, because the making of a championship year does not happen overnight.

(Let this guide not only be a review for what to eat at home, but snacks that a host would like to have when you show up at their front door because your cheap ass still has not ordered NFL Sunday Ticket. Or cable. Or replaced the 13-inch TV you’ve had since college.)

Week One of Football Foodie Training Camp: Pizza Loaf, Watermelon Slushes, and Snack Review of the Week: Snyder’s New Pretzel Bit Flavor: Garlic Bread.

You will need:

1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded low-fat, part skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup – shredded parmigiano reggiano cheese (Not the stuff in the green Kraft can!)
sliced pepperoni (quantity depends on how much pepperoni you like)
1 can of Pillsbury French bread dough (I have made this with homemade dough, but this is the pre-season, and we’re not quite up to that yet. DO NOT use the pizza dough in a can, as it yields tougher crust.)
One jar of pizza sauce, or homemade sauce of your choosing
Olive oil
Garlic powder and dried oregano (Most of the time I prefer fresh herbs, but there are times and places where dried works better and this is one of them.)
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

Dust your clean counter top with flour. Once you’ve popped open your can of bread dough, you’ll see there is a small seam on the roll. Gently pull open that seam and unroll the dough.

Lightly brush about a tablespoon, tablespoon and half of olive oil over the dough. If you do not have a pastry brush, use your clean hands to massage the oil over the dough. (You washed your hands, didn’t you, mister?)

Cover the dough with a layer of pepperoni. (If you are like me, you might have already eaten half the pack just working towards this step. With luck, you still have enough left for this project.)

Now, I just put the pepperoni on uncooked, but the person who taught me this recipe would microwave the pepperoni between paper towels for a minute to pre-cook it and get rid of some of the excess oil. Depending on how much you drink you might want that oil, so I leave that decision up to you.

Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the pepperoni, followed by a little of the parmigiano reggiano. 1 1/2 cups will be more than enough, but since packages of shredded cheese come in 2 cup sizes, I will not judge if you use the whole bag.

Give a couple of shakes of the garlic powder to the top. Be sure to crush the dried oregano between your fingers before putting it on the loaf as to release the oils from the leaves. (This also makes for smaller pieces that are less likely to get caught in your teeth.)

Carefully roll the dough back up, thinner end to wider end. (When you unroll the dough, you will notice one end is wider than the other. Why this is, I do not know, but it seals the loaf better to roll from skinny to fat.)

Crimp the ends together and place on your baking sheet. (Save yourself some clean-up time later by lining your pan with either parchment paper or foil. Halftime is for worrying about why the offensive line isn’t doing a better job blocking, not dishes.) Brush with a small amount of olive oil.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The oven will get quite hot, so do not let over-eager pizza loafers sit like this for too long lest they burn their noses.

The pizza loaf should take on this golden brown color when done.

Let cool for a few minutes, then slice into 1-2 inch wide sections.

Serve with pizza sauce of your choosing. (Although I generally enjoy my slices plain.)

Watermelon Slushees

Anyone who knows me, knows I love slushees, Slurpees, and dream of someday having the water-only Slurpee; The Turpee.

You will need:

3+ cups cut up watermelon
1+ cup of ice
1/2 cup vodka OR water if you do not want a boozy drink. Works either way.
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
Straws (Oh shit! I forgot straws! Is there time to run up to the corner market and get straws while the pizza loaf is still in the oven and before the game starts?!?!?! DAMMIT THIS IS THE TYPE OF MISTAKE YOU CANNOT MAKE ONCE THE SEASON STARTS! STUPID! STUPID! STUPID!)

Very important: ICE FIRST into the blender, then watermelon, and finally the sugar and liquid ingredients. As you can see here, I used a little extra watermelon and ice.

Blend. Do not “ice crush,” do not “liquefy,” but blend. Those higher settings will give you soup and not slushee. (You can also add more ice if you want a slushier drink after the first blending.)

Pour into glasses.

Garnish with watermelon. (Add more vodka if you like, but you’ve just put a 1/4 cup into each cup as it is and the sugar and fruit is going to make sure you feel it within minutes of the first sip. Trust me.)

And enjoy! You’re drunk before the kick-off!

New Snack Review: Synder’s Pretzel Bits: Garlic Bread

If you are anything like me, the snack food aisle is a dangerous place. Millions upon millions of dollars are spent each year developing corn, potato, and flour based items that are even better than the corn, potato, and flour based items that are already available. Come football season, I am tempted to try each one as I wander the grocery store stocking up to entertain for each week’s games.

Do you love croutons, but find that all those meddlesome vegetables and leafy green things get in the way of your crouton enjoyment? Then this is the perfect snack for you.

How good are they? They are so wonderfully glorious, I will never buy them again. Ever. Really.

It took all of my willpower not to eat the entire bag in one sitting, and with 140 calories (60 from fat), 7 grams of fat (3 of them saturated) and 160mg of salt in a 1/3 cup serving size — pictured here — they are just too dangerous to keep around the house. Buy them if you know you can share them, and by sharing, I mean there has to be at least two other people around who can prevent you from doing any real harm to yourself when you first open the bag. (You may however accidentally get scraped in the melee to get the last bits from the bottom of the bag.)

Next Week: Sweet and Salty Honey Roasted Pecans, The Wonders of Blueberri Stoli, and whatever Frito-Lay comes up with between now and then.

UPDATE – Steve/Athletic Supporter decided to try out the Pizza Loaf tonight!  He said his was done within 30 minutes, so please keep an eye on your loaves people! Here are the pics he took – 

Finished Loaf

Sliced open


84 thoughts on “Friday Football Foodie – Pizza Loaf, Watermelon-Vodka Slushlees, and Garlic Bits

  1. The Steelers have just issued a press release stating the mascot’s new name will be Steely McPizzaLoaf.

    Also, let TSW speak the truth: if you’re sober at kickoff, you don’t really love football.

  2. Great looking recipe. I can’t wait to try it out. I can’t even remember how many times I have been in the middle of making something and then totally realized I left out a key ingredient. Like the year I went to make broccoli dip and forgot the broccoli.

  3. Wonderful article. It’s 6 a.m. here and I’m contemplating making a pizza loaf for breakfast and getting into work late.

  4. I have a friend who makes a pizza loaf-like substance called “sausage roll”. The recipe is the same, bascially, but the fillings are Italian sausage, spicy mustard, and the same mozzarella cheese.

    I have had that and I vouch for its wonderfulness. I will now make a Pizza Loaf and do the same.

  5. bristlesage, I am fascinated by the sausage roll and wish to subscribe to its newsletter. Does your friend use sweet or hot sausage? What kind of mustard does your friend use? Could I use cheddar instead of mozzarella?

  6. So pizza loaf is a stromboli, just rolled up. It looks delicious. I will definitely serve this at my next Super Bowl party, and probably before then. I’ll need to make it a few times to get the recipe right.

  7. definitely going to try this recipe – I’ve tried a variety of pizza bread recipes over the years – they’re usually too soggy or they explode or something goes wrong.

    it looks great!

  8. TSW’s a brunette? For some reason I imagined she was a blonde…this has rocked my world

    Dude! It rocked my world too! I totally expected TSW to be a blonde. Weird.

  9. Wait. Who the hell gets excited by an appearance of me? Sometimes I feel like I need a t-shirt or blinking neon sign to identify me.

    Yes, the pizza loaf was FANTASTIC. I submit this comment only to further your jealousy.

    Totally worth burning my nose on the oven for.

  10. Yeah. I had totally mis-imagined the pizza loaf. A local pizza joint does them on a smaller scale and calls them “Pepperoni rolls.”

    And they are delicious. Even better when dipped in a little ranch dressing. And please, if you are eating that thing, the mariginal calorie contribution of the ranch dressing can in no way concern you.

  11. Pam – I have a friend who does put ranch on his pizza, so don’t feel bad.

    PR – The pursuit of the pepperoni roll is what inspired the pizza loaf.

    RBD – I thought stromboli’s had sauce in them.

  12. TSW, I have a Pepperoni Roll recipe which came from the Washington Post food section, circa mid-80s. The recipe is almost identical except in their case you make a dough. I should find it and compare the two. However, as a space trucker, having the dough in a can thing is very awesome.

    You have the right idea in this case – you need enough pepperoni to block out the sight of any bread object!!

    oh, and I love your stylish retro glasses! *snap*

  13. I want everything in this post. Now.

    And I’m eagerly awaiting next week’s Blueberry Stoli installment.

    Blueberry and Stoli…two great tastes that taste great together.

  14. It never occurred to me that I could make my own stromboli/calzone.

    It’s so simple, yet so brilliant.

    I’ll thank you now, before the clogged arteries & weight gain.

    *minds wonders off, dreaming of Nic-a-boli’s*

  15. Clare, she uses sweet, I like hot. I also will sometimes make it with CRUMBLED VEAL BRATWURST. Dear lord. Anyway, in the first case, the mustard can be anything in the Grey Poupon vein. In the second, I like something with more bite, like a horseradish mustard (Jack Daniels makes a good one.) And cheddar is, of course, an acceptable variant. With the bratwurst roll, swiss is also good.

    If you’re nervous about your sausage being underdone, you can brown it first, but honestly, 40 minutes in a hot oven gets the job done so long as the pieces are small.

  16. s2n – Would you judge me if I said that I have dipped this in alfredo sauce?

    (And why do you think I used the “veggies and fruits” tag??? You can only eat this way once a week!)

    ExtraP – Spoken like a true married man. :) (that is a good thing.)

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  18. 1 1/2 cups will be more than enough, but since packages of shredded cheese come in 2 cup sizes, I will not judge if you use the whole bag.

    Yinz can take the girl out of Pittsburgh…

    Looks like I’m going grocery shopping tonight. The Stillers/Brettfavres game should be a good place to start.

  19. What would it take to hire TSW to come to Chicago and cook/bake for a college football Saturday one weekend? Because whatever the price, it would be worth it.

    TheStarterWife: The Hugh Johnson Project’s official caterer.

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  21. This is great! Makes me wish I had a gang to watch foo-ball with this season, so I could make the pizza loaf and I don’t even cook. That said, I will definitely try the watermelon slushee because blender drinks do not = cooking.

  22. Nice! Thhe watermelon schlushuesss are delishhhiousss.

    No, really. Me and Mrs. apostles03 (and the couple next door) kicked a big ol bottle of the Goose tonight out on the back porch. Happened to have all of the ingredients, but required inspiration from SW!

    Go Steelers!

  23. Okay, you people have sufficiently convinced me – I will try my hand at the pizza loaf one day while watching college foobaw with the boyfriend.

    And of course, we’ll make the watermelon slushies!

  24. I went to the store tonight. I bought all the ingredients. And then I got back to my crap little apartment on my last night in town and discovered the oven doesn’t work. So I have to save the ingredients for when I get back to The Bend. *sigh*

  25. I made one last night, too. It was a big hit, all gone in a matter of minutes. I’ll be making them throughout college football season.

    May do the watermelon slushy thing this afternoon.

  26. Came here by way of Shakesville. I hope you are okay with me copying these recipes so that I can cook this just before the big game here in Seattle. I don’t want to go to Qwest Field and deal with the crowd and doom, but I can totally suck a watermelon slushie with a pizza loaf.

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  28. Good God sweet baby Jesus. That. Is. Awesome. I’m aroused. How the hell am I supposed to maintain a (kinda) in shape physique knowing that ungodly thing exists, waiting for me to eat it?

  29. Thanks TSW! Pizza loaf will be my contribution to my friends tailgate this season! (If I made it for just myself, I would eat the entire thing, and then probably have a heart attack)

  30. Yum! As football season starts it is always good to find new Appetizer Recipes for the games. My boyfriend and his friend have decided that our apartment is the official football apartment so it looks like I am going to need a few more recipes. I really like this one though it is simple and can easy be cut up and served. I work with Better Recipes and of all the recipes I review I think that more simple the better!

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