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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Easy Pizza Appetizers

Fresh baked bread does not keep long so it is best to make only what you can use within a day or two.  It can be wrapped tightly then froze if desired but I prefer to keep my freezer space for more expensive foods like meats and fish.  A few days ago I baked my first batch of homemade bread in my new natural gas oven.  I made the dough for a 1 lb loaf then divided into thirds.  If you look at the resulting loaves, there is purposely a size difference.  The reason being each sized loaf was destined for a different use. 

slicing French bread slightly diagonal
There wasn't a huge difference in size between the to larger loaves.  I used the mid-sized loaf to make easy pizza appetizers.  These are very similar to Bagel Bites without the high cost.  In fact, the homemade version comes in at under 5¢ per piece compared to the commercial version at 20¢ each.  The toppings can be a creative as desired but we like them rather simple. 

I cut the loaf into half inch slices on a slight diagonal.  This gives a bit more surface area for toppings.  Once the bread was sliced I arranged the slices on a Silpat lined baking sheet for topping. 

easy pizza appetizers ready for oven
I topped the fourteen French bread slices with homemade pizza sauce and a blend of four fresh grated cheeses.  I kept the toppings simply as this was a snack for my husband and a friend while they were watching Sunday afternoon football and a larger meal was planned for dinner.  Honestly, any topping is fair game so this is a great way to use up some those little bits of left-overs.  Other toppings that are good on these easy pizza appetizers include: homemade bacon bits, ham, green pepper, green onions, olives, ground beef and onion.  The nice thing is you don't need much of any one topping either.  For those who enjoy anchovies, one anchovies per appetizer would be delightful!

easy pizza appetizers ready to serve
I baked the pizza appetizers in a pre-heated 400ºF oven until the crust was light golden and the cheese was bubbly.  These were a quick, easy yet tasty afternoon snack.  

If you don't bake your own bread, the French baguettes in the bakery section of the grocery stores can be used for this same purpose.  In fact the baguettes are perfect as a base for garlic bread, cheese & bacon appetizers, and bruschetta.  It's easy to whip up a quick snack or appetizer simply by having homemade French bread or store bought baguettes on hand!

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