Day Off Date!

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The last time I traveled down to Mystic, Connecticut was in the Summer of 2014 in the days following my return from San Diego Comic-Con. My friend Stef and I had gone down for the day to visit the aquarium and the neighboring Mystic Village for some shopping  before we finished up with dinner at Daniel Packer Inne. Since then, I’ve been meaning to head back to spend some time in Mystic’s downtown area- which is lined with independently owned businesses, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants- but I’ve just never found the time.

Last Tuesday, one of the hottest days of the Summer so far (although this past week had been brutal temperature, humidity, and severe weather-wise), I used my day off to finally make the trip back to Mystic- solo, this time- for an afternoon by the river.

While I was there, I managed to scratch one more thing off of my bucket list: I finally had a slice of pizza at Mystic Pizza. Yes, the one made famous by the 1988 Julia Roberts movie of the same name.

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While the exterior of Mystic Pizza is straight out of the movie- the inside is much tinier and lined with a lot more movie memorabilia and souvenirs for sale. It’s cute, but still maintains a “local” vibe- which I like. I ordered two slices of pepperoni pizza, which were made fresh- and was kindly seated at a booth in the adjacent restaurant area when the main part of the pizzeria was filled up with people on their lunch breaks and I couldn’t find a spot to sit and eat- and it tasted pretty good!

The employees at Mystic Pizza are all super sweet, too- and the fact that they were playing the movie on the TVs in the restaurant was a nice touch. I’d nearly forgotten how fantastically cheesy that film was.

After lunch, I went for a stroll downtown- stopping to window shop at Peppergass and Tulip and Once A Sale, Forever A Sea before grabbing an iced latte at Bartleby’s Cafe and making my way towards Mystic Village to pick up a couple of gifts for friends and family.

After a long, hot, and lazy afternoon- I took the back roads all the way home to enjoy some more picturesque scenery.

Overall, it was a lovely day. I’d love to head back to Mystic when the weather cools down a bit and spend more time outdoors- maybe even take a harbor cruise to pass the time when I know I won’t roast under the sun!

Oddly enough, this week marks the beginning of a mini-vacation for me that I didn’t know about until recently. I had a few unexpected days off at work starting today that run through the end of the week- so I’m looking forward to taking a couple more day trips before it’s time to head back to my office next Monday!

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xx

Quick Eats: Pizza Muffins

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For any of you reading this who know me particularly well- you’ll know that there are three types of food I will eat no matter what because I don’t think there is any feasible way for them to be prepared incorrectly or cooked poorly: Mexican food, breakfast food- and pizza. There’s just no way pizza can be sub-par. Even the stalest or greasiest slice of pizza is still incredible. It’s (probably) science.

What’s that saying? Pizza is like sex- even when it’s bad- it’s still pretty good? Something like that.

I digress- I’ve been in the mood for some homemade pizza for a few days now, and only recently stumbled on this pizza muffin recipe that looked quite delicious, unique and ridiculously simple to make- so over this past weekend I decided to gather the ingredients and give it a go to make sure that the longstanding theory of there being no such thing as a bad pizza was still alive and well.

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 3 pounds pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1½ cups marinara sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Olive oil, as needed for finishing

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OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the cavities of a 12-cup muffin pan.

2. Divide the pizza dough into 12 even pieces. Use your hands and a lightly floured surface to pull each piece of dough into a ¼-inch-thick, 2-by-4-inch rectangle.

3. Working one at a time, spread 2 tablespoons marinara sauce on the surface of the dough. Sprinkle ⅛ teaspoon oregano over the surface and then sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese on top.

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4. Starting at one of the longer sides, roll the dough into a spiral. Fold the spiral in half and place it in one of the prepared muffin cups (ends facing up).

5. Repeat with the remaining dough and fillings. Brush the surface of each muffin with the olive oil and then bake until the dough is golden and the cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes.

6. Let the muffins cool slightly and then serve warm (or at room temperature) with a side of warm marinara sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

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I’m not gonna’ lie. I ate three of these things in one sitting. Three. The equivalent to a personal pizza, I think- but they were SO good. They were warm, cheesy, crispy- and oh so satisfying. Best of all? Just like regular pizza- they taste awesome cold, too. Any muffins I couldn’t shove into my mouth were put in the fridge to munch on later.

I don’t know if these count as a breakfast food since they’re technically a muffin- but I won’t judge if anyone makes these before 10 a.m.

xx