We’ve been having pizza night on the regular here. There’s always a new fun twist that I’m coming across in my daily blog reads, and making a note to try. We’ve had weirdo winners in the past, so I’m always anxious to try different topping combinations that wouldn’t normally come to mind. I’d had this chicken ranch pizza from Annie bookmarked for too long, and finally gave it a spin last week when we had some extra chicken hanging out in the fridge.

And, we have another winner! I went ahead and added bacon, simply because I had some of that hanging out in the fridge too. And really, when it comes to bacon – why not?  I loved that that the sauce of the pizza was buttermilk ranch dressing.Kind of white pizza-ish, but far less heavy. I  loved the tomato on top too. Tomato can be so good on pizza, if done right – but can easily turn into a soggy mess if overdone. Will definitely be putting this one into pizza night rotation from now on! A great summer pizza.

Last week, Shawnda of Confections of a Foodie Bride devoted a whole week to pizza. I happened to have pizza on the menu for Friday evening, and I couldn’t help but be inspired by all the fun twists on pizza that she’d shared during the week. I’ve been in the mood for wings for a couple of weeks now. So, I thought, why not a buffalo chicken pizza? Yum!

I looked around on a few different recipes, and there are several variations out there. I settled on Racheal Ray’s version. Say what you will about her “stoups” and sammies, but what recipes I’ve tried of hers have yet to let me down. I liked the idea of a Buffalo pizza sauce, versus just a buffalo sauce, or ranch dressing as the base. I didn’t have blue cheese, so I just mixed in a little bit of cheddar. I was thinking feta might be a good substitute as well, with the nice salty kick it lends. And last, but certainly not least, the red onions. Which, get nice and charred under the intense heat in the oven.

Everyone really enjoyed it, in fact we ate the whole thing that night. Usually, on pizza night, there’s always at least a half a pizza left over between the traditional pizza I make for the boys, and the more adulterated pizza I’ll make for us. I’m already craving this again, so I have a feeling it won’t be long before it’s making an appearance on our dinner table soon. Make sure you have plenty of ice cold beer to serve with it, as they go down too easy together!

A couple weekends ago, my girlfriend and I ventured out to the local flea market. I was hoping to find some unique vintage plates, flatware, linens, etc. to use as props. I’m happy to report that I did, flea markets and yard sales are a great source for stuff like that. There’s also a produce cart there, that a very nice Hispanic lady runs. Most of what she had to offer were things that one would use in Mexican food – chiles, tomatillos, dried beans, cactus (!!), garlic, onions. Everything was gorgeous too. I’m not stretching the truth when I say that it was the most gorgeous spread of produce that I’ve seen around here. I will definitely be going back!

At any rate, I bought a basket of 6 gorgeous, big, dark green poblano peppers for the small sum of $2. I knew I wanted to make chile rellanos for dinner, but we weren’t going to eat that many of them. I sat down to browse my favorite cookbooks and food sites when Courtney from Cook Like A Champion mentioned on the site’s Facebook feed that they were having these burgers for dinner. It was a sign, and I was sold. They were relatively quick to bring together, and absolutely hit the spot. Jon died and went to Heaven. We just had them last week, and he’s already asking for them again.

Poblanos are a relatively mild pepper, so I was worried the flavor would get lost in translation. But, it doesn’t! The flavor of the pepper shined right through the beef. And, the chipotle cream on top is just the perfect complement. Ant leftovers make a delicious dipping sauce for fries! I went full on pig style – and added a slice of Pepperjack cheese. But, eh, you hardly knew it was there. Next time I probably won’t bother. With all this gorgeous weather everyone’s been having, I know you’ve got to be itching to fire up the grill. These burgers are the perfect way to kick start the grilling season!

In case you hadn’t taken notice, St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend. I love all the glittery shamrocks, leprechauns, and Irish booze. What better way to mark the occasion than by baking cupcakes laced with two of the green isle’s two favorite spirits? Bailey’s and Guinness.

A quick Google led to several different variations. Many recipes called for a whiskey ganache filling for the cake, which sounded divine, but I was kind of pressed for time.  So, I went with a basic recipe for a moist, chocolate Guinness cake topped with a Bailey’s buttercream frosting.

I made these for my ladies book club that I hosted last Friday night, and everyone really enjoyed them. There is just enough of a boozy bite from the frosting to give it a kick, and the Guinness cake was just perfect – light, airy, and moist. I was honestly a bit worried about the cupcakes before putting them in the oven. With a whole bottle of beer in the batter, it’s very thin. Next time I might try using a batter bowl to fill the cupcake liners, instead of a scoop. Whether you’re creating an Irish celebration at home this St. Patty’s Day, or going out for a wild night on the town…try to squeeze in some time to make these cupcakes!