Pizza Bagels Grow Up

A series of culinary happenings at my home last week coincided to make for a fun and delicious breakfast last Saturday. Earlier in the week, my dear husband found himself craving fresh mozzarella and some of the garden tomatoes we'd picked earlier in the evening. Unfortunately, we didn't have any fresh mozzarella on hand. However, that didn't mean he had to ignore his craving. Instead, I tossed together a warm cheese dip that was somewhat inspired by fresh mozzarella and we bathed sweet cherry tomatoes into it, fondue-style. It got very high marks, but I made more than was reasonable for a light evening snack. The leftovers found their way into the refrigerator.

Then, plans for fresh tomato salsa and chips on the patio on Friday night were scuttled because of rainy weather. So I tossed the tomatoes and a bunch of garlic cloves with olive oil and herbs and roasted them. By the end of the evening, I had two small jars of roasted heirloom tomatoes and garlic on hand.

Finally, homemade pizzas on Friday night left us with just a few slices of pepperoni on hand. I'd contemplated adding them to a sandwich at some point, but an even nicer idea was born before I had the chance to act on it.

Saturday morning found us getting ready for a weekend trip to visit grandparents and that meant a quick breakfast before we all piled into the car. Out came the toaster and a variety of bagels. The youngster opted for a French toast bagel with cream cheese and fruit. My dear husband and I were looking for something more savory and that's when I got an idea. A couple of everything bagels were toasted. (Because who hates an everything bagel? They have everything.) A few slices of pepperoni were carefully arranged on each bagel half and the leftover cheese spread from earlier in the week was slathered over the top of that. Then, finally, some of the roasted tomatoes and garlic were carefully spooned onto the cheese and a quick run through the microwave left us with some very grown-up pizza bagels for breakfast.

When I think about pizza bagels, I think about kid-focused convenience snacks you find in the freezer section. The kind of thing I see each week at the grocery store and pass by for fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese and crackers, or peanut butter and homemade jam. You know, this kind of thing:

Instead, we got to enjoy bagels that were chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside with toppings that were gathered together over the course of several days in a culinary experimenter's kitchen. Sometimes it's just fun when things aren't planned, but they manage to come together nicely for an unexpectedly good meal. Enjoy!

Warm Mozzarella Dip and Spread

  • 1/2 c. low fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c. low fat cream cheese
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

In a microwavable glass bowl, combine the mayonnaise and cream cheese. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute and stir well. Add the mozzarella and seasonings and stir again. Microwave an additional 30-90 seconds until the cheese is fully melted. Stir again and serve immediately.

  • Yields: About 2 cups dip
  • Preparation Time: 5 minutes

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