As most of you know one of my favorite foods is pizza! You’ve seen me order Margherita Pizza from Andrea Restaurante to creating a spin on pizza with Pizza Sliders. Since it is my favorite I wanted to look for different takes on that wonderful cheesy and saucy food we all know and love.

Ingredients at the Ready

We are all familiar with the ingredients of pizza from the zesty marinara sauce to the gooey cheese that settles on top. But you may see one ingredient that one would normally not see anywhere near a slice of pizza, cream cheese. Cream cheese is the perfect ingredient for anyone looking to add some creaminess to a dish.

Sugar and Rosemary

Let’s rewind the clock because before we make the drink for this Make Your Own Happy Hour Adventure we need a key ingredient. Syrups are essential to add a unique taste to any cocktail. In this particular case, we are going for a wintery taste with a little bit of rosemary. Luckily for me, I’ve been keeping some rosemary alive from my Honey Crisp Apple and Goat Cheese Lady Fingers Adventure.

Cooking the Syrup

So instead of the typical white cane sugar that one typically uses I ended up getting some Demerara Cane Sugar. This sugar has a deep rich caramel flavor to it and it helps to add a new dimension to the drink. There are many different ratios when it comes to making simple syrups but I used 2 parts sugar and 1 part water in this scenario. While the sugar is breaking down throw in some sprigs of rosemary to help build some wonderful rosemary notes into the syrup. I’m not sure what happened but the syrup did not come out at the right pourable consistency that I’m used to. It turned out to more of a molasses consistency which made it difficult to pour into the jigger.

Cocktail Ingredients

This is a cocktail that I came up with myself! I know it’s just a nice simple cocktail but I think that makes it easier to allow others to recreate it. A fruit that pairs excellently with rosemary is cranberries, so I had to use cranberry juice as the base for the drink. Then lime juice helps to give the drink a little pizzaz! All that is left is to decide on the liquor to star in this wintery cocktail. I decided that vodka would be a perfect fit because it is a liquor known for being drunk by Russians on a cold winter’s night.

Holiday Surprise

  • 1.5 oz cranberry juice

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • .75 oz of rosemary syrup

  • 2 oz of vodka

Holiday Surprise

There you have the Holiday Surprise! I’m not sure if the use of Demerara sugar was the best sugar to use for this simple syrup. Just because a caramel rich syrup isn’t the best pairing with cranberries. So I would suggest using plain white sugar for your syrup. Also another note I would throw in a couple more sprigs of rosemary to enhance the rosemary flavor more. Overall it was still a tasty drink but it did just taste like a vodka cranberry with a squirt of lime juice. Which there is nothing wrong with that but if the rosemary flavor was more forward I think it would have improved.

Cream Cheese Layer

Let’s start with the base of the Pizza dip which is a package of cream cheese seasoned with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Then you’ll sprinkle on some parmesan and mozzarella cheese as the second layer. After that, you will pour on some marinara or pizza sauce as the third layer. The recipe I found didn’t call for pepperoni which I thought was blasphemy! How can you have something pizza-related without having those iconic circular pieces of spicy sausage?

Ready for the Oven

Then it is time to top it with even more parmesan and mozzarella cheese because extra cheese makes things better. Then even more pepperoni! I guess it’s important to make things healthy so to add some greens I used bell pepper and green onions. The recipe wanted me to throw it in the microwave which I think is ridiculous. I guess if you want to take the lazy route that is the way to go but I wanted to take a better path. That is why you are seeing all of these wonderful ingredients being layered into a cast-iron skillet. It was time for this skillet to be thrown into the oven at a steamy 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Pizza Dip

After tirelessly waiting for this beauty to come out of the oven it was time to partake! Just look at the golden brown edges which were probably my favorite part of this dish. The specklings of pepperoni are what will bring some spicy goodness with every single scoop. But what are we using for scooping? Well, sliced baguettes will be the ideal vessel to be topped with all of this cheesiness. The cream cheese at the bottom almost gives off a ricotta consistency which I think makes this dish even more wonderful. This skillet has everything one would expect to bring on the flavors of a pizza.

Website: Pizza Dip





Work Level:


I’ve always been willing to go the extra mile to make sure something is done right. When it comes to pizza leftovers you won’t see me throwing them in the microwave. I’ll be throwing them in the oven or air fryer so it comes out perfectly. So my question to you is are you someone that has the patience to wait for food to be perfect or do you go the quick route?

Let me know down below in the comments and be sure to share with friends and family that would enjoy this Happy Hour.

May the adventures continue! Cheers!


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0 Responses

  1. It depends on the type/quality of food, how hungry I am, or how much time I have. If I have time and good quality food I'll wanna prepare it the best way possible.

    I think your ratio of sugar to water has more to do with the consistency than the type of sugar. I can't be certain about that, I'm no professional, but I've always heard to use equal parts sugar and water no matter what, and then the amount of the flavored thing you're adding is the part you can mess around with. If your syrup doesn't taste strong enough you should totally throw it back on the stove and boil/steep it with more rosemary. If you ever add too much of a flavor, put it back on the stove and add more equal portions of sugar and water to dilute it. Easy peasy!

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