Even though the calendar has turned to September and I still am getting acclimated to our back-to-school routine. It certainly feels like summer every time I step out the door. Officially, it IS still summer until fall arrives on September 22nd and no one can stop me extracting every last kernel of enjoyment from the season. On these last warm-weather weekends, my family will eat our dinners al fresco, turn cartwheels barefoot in the grass and usher in the autumnal equinox with a few last cannon balls in the pool.
One of our favorite outdoor meals is a CaliCornia Shrimp Pizza – I bestowed this name on the pizza because it reminds me of the sunshine state with a laid-back attitude and a showcase of Mother Nature’s best bounty. Succulent roasted shrimp, sweet corn and creamy avocado slices blend with melted fresh mozzarella and OPA by Litehouse™ Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing. A crispy yet soft and chewy crust is easily “made’ with Naan bread or pre-baked crusts. Other convenience items like frozen shrimp, a southwestern roasted corn blend with peppers (found in freezer section) and Instantly Fresh Herbs from Litehouse Foods, means I spend less time cooking and more time with my feet up on the chaise lounge reading gossip magazines. Any day, the pizza paparazzi are going to be peeking over my fence – I just know it! Did you know Ranch dressing has its roots in California? A Nebraska cowboy living in Santa Barbara, CA invented the stuff during the mid-1950s and served it as the house dressing at his dude ranch named, errr, Hidden Valley. The traditional recipe is pretty fattening made with whole buttermilk and over the decades, health-conscious consumers started demanding healthier versions. Many lightened ranch dressings have made it to the market place but, in my opinion, the shelf-stable dressings (e.g., those with preservatives) taste weird and have ingredients I wouldn’t want to put into my body. In 2013, OPA by Litehouse™ Greek Style Yogurt Dressings made their debut and put their own healthy spin on America’s favorite salad dressing. Whahoo! OPA! by Litehouse™ Ranch uses Greek yogurt to reduce calories, fat and add more protein than the traditional alternatives – plus, no preservatives, chemicals or yucky stuff! This pizza recipe reminds me that creamy dressings aren’t just for salads; Ranch dressing is an all-purpose condiment in my book! Put a dollop here and there and everywhere like on baked potatoes, wrap sandwiches, nachos, soups or anywhere you’d use sour cream or a creamy spread.