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I live a little over a mile away from a Trader Joes. A short 10 minute bus ride and I’m there. Only, when I need to get groceries, I sit with my cookbooks and just click away on FreshDirect and boom, groceries arrive the next day. It’s the easiest way to plan! And also the best way to stay within my budget. However, there is something to be said about browsing aisles and aisles of neatly arranged grocery stores… its highly addicting. And makes me quite the compulsive shopper.

I hadnt been to Trader Joes in a while and I was feeling the urge to go. So, on Sunday, I got dressed and took a walk… about a mile or so later I was standing in front of Trader Joes.

And I went shopping. I hadnt the slightest idea of what I was getting myself into. I knew I went in with a game plan and left almost doubling what I had intended to spend.

Whoops.

It all started when I walked in. The store was so crowded, as it usually is during the weekend. People flock to those deals. Oh Joe, how you make me dig deep into my pockets for things I didn’t even know I needed.

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It was crowded so when I was in someone’s way, I stopped and in front of me would be something really awesome… and I was also committing the cardinal sin: Shopping while hungry. And I look up to see chicken sausage with a sign under that said “Perfect for pizza”.

Okay, Joe. I can make pizza today.

And then I got a bag of whole wheat pizza dough. and Mozzarella. Dammit. And peppers. When I was done shopping, and also picking up 2 packs of Trader Joe brand beer (the hofbrau bock is the cats meow), I walked back home and unpacked the biggest impulse buy of the year.

Chocolate pretzels

Veggie chips

sweet potato fries

oranges

cumquats

Roasted seaweed

And more! But What I was really excited about, was after unpacking my groceries, I made some pretty tasty pizza.

Sausage and Pepper Pizza (makes 10-12 slices)

1 lb whole wheat dough

1 lb sweet italian sausage (sliced into 1/4 inch rounds)

3/4 cup pizza sauce (your favorite marinara sauce will do)

1 cup sliced peppers

2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella

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Directions:

Start by preheating your oven at 425*. While the oven is heating, let the pizza dough rest. Allowing the pizza dough to come to room temperature will allow the dough to keep its shape when you stretch it. (if your pizza dough is springy, or shrinks whenever you attempt to stretch it, its not ready).

I  opted to make mine rectangular so I could get more slices out of it.

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I parbaked the pizza dough for 7 minutes once it was stretched to my liking on my baking sheet. While the dough was parbaking, I decided to heat up the fully cooked chicken sausages.

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I used a grill pan to create those lovely char marks. I set them aside after 10 minutes or so, to allow them to cool without drying out.

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When the pizza dough is done, spread the sauce all over the pizza dough making sure to leave about 1/4 of an inch around the border.

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Arrange a healthy sprinkle of cheese as the first layer followed by a healthy application of sweet tri color peppers.

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By now, the sausage should be rested and sliced. You can arranged them onto the pizza.

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Because the pizza is so topping heavy, I add more cheese to make it like GLUE and I don’t have sausages rolling around all over the place.

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I baked the pizza at 425 for 18 minutes. The dough bag said 8 minutes but the pizza was far too soggy after 8 minutes. Use your discretion and if you arent sure, take it out when the sausages start to turn brown around the edges, or until the cheese is in all its melty gooey glory. 

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I served myself a healthy slice of pizza and set the remaining slices on a cooling rack to cool and prevent the pizza from overcooking.

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The slices were pretty heavy… but they tasted great!

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I enjoyed my 1 2 3 slices of pizza with the Trader Joes Hofbrau bock.

I really wish I could be mad about my impulse grocery shopping… but I cant. It was a great way to clear my head and in the end, you can never have enough homemade pizza and ice cold beer.

What goes on your pizza? To be honest, if I had some sliced black olives- this pizza would have been worthy of tears.

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