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Food, Recipe

BBQ Pizza? Why Not!

You know how you can get up in the morning some days and have a burst of energy and insight and plan and start a meal for supper, before you head out the door to work? Me neither. But sometimes Hubs is capable of this miracle. Yesterday morning he decided that we would have homemade pizza for supper, since the Teen would be with us, and we haven’t had it in a while.  I heard him mixing the dough, and thought, “Yes, that sounds like a yummy idea.”
All was well, and I felt like we were ahead of the game.
Until, about half-way to work, the coffee finally kicked in, and I asked him, “How are you planning on cooking the pizza tonight?” “Huh? Oh, crap.”
You see, we have been without an oven for about a month now.* We’ve been coping pretty well, but there are certain meals we can’t make. Like pizza. Yeah.
Then it hit me – what about the BBQ. People do pizza on the grill, right? We have cooked pretty much everything else out there, so why not. Hubs was dubious, but I felt confidence in the wisdom of my friends and followers. So I took it to Twitter and Facebook. Oh the responses I got!
Apparently this is the easiest thing in the world, and delicious to boot. So we dove in. (Thank you all for your input!! You know who you are …)
We prepped the dough as usual, but pressed it out a little thinner than we would for the oven. I told Hubs that folks said to go light on the toppings, and he did hold back a little,at least on the sauce, but we still had lots of cheese and pepperoni. Everything was readied in advance.
Slice the pepperoni pretty thinly
Oil the pan to help ease the dough off onto the grill.
Some corn meal helps as well.

 

Oil the grill as well.
Make sure the flames die down
before adding the pizza dough.
Preheat and use high heat.
Check the bottom after 2-3 minutes to
make sure it’s browning, not burning.
Ensure it doesn’t burn in one area by rotating the
dough about half-way through cooking. (Thanks Darryl!)
Slip the dough off the pan
and place directly on the grill

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
When the crust looks nice and brown on the bottom, it’s time for the flip. But first be sure to oil the top of the crust so it doesn’t stick when you flip it to the grill. We removed the crust back onto our pan to do the oil and add toppings, then replaced on the grill. To avoid the intense heat. Just be sure to close the lid of the BBQ to keep the heat in while you’re topping.

 

Check out the great grill marks and lovely golden brown  colour. And we only lost a little bit. (Ignore the martini glass. Yeah.)


Add a light coating of sauce, then your toppings, including cheese. This all goes on the grilled side. Then transfer back to the grill.


Reduce heat slightly and cover to melt the cheese.

Check for doneness after a couple of minutes. Lift the crust gently to check for browning vs. burning underneath. We had a bit too much cheese on ours, so we put it under the broiler for 2 minutes at the end to get things all melty and crispy on top. We’ll go lighter on the toppings next time.


This was definitely not our usual homemade pizza, or “Daddy Pizza” as it is known around here. But boy was it ever tasty! The thinner crust, the grilled taste, the olive oil – it was scrumptious. I asked the Teen what he thought and he gave it the thumbs up. He commented that the crust was thin, but still soft inside with a nice crispness on the outside. He said he preferred our usual thick crust pizza from the oven, but he’d happily eat this one too. For me, I think I prefer this one, as I like the crust a lot better. Hubs and Little Boo both enjoyed it too and we have added this to our list of fun family meals!
I think I might try this out with some sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and basil leaves. What do you think would taste great on a grilled pizza? Have you tried this before?
*We have a gas stove, so we can’t mess around to try and fix the oven ourselves. It seems the lighting element in the oven is cracked. Top burners and broiler still function fine. Our part is finally ordered, and we’re expecting the repair guy next week. Wish us luck!
Food, Recipe

Fried Green Tomatoes

No, not the movie, although that was an excellent flick. I’m talking about the actual dish. Have you tried them? I thought it was an odd concept, but the first time I tried them I knew I was hooked. Fried green tomatoes are delicious, and a great way to serve your early produce. They don’t taste like your regular red ripe tomatoes, though they are sweet and juicy.

I planted one beefsteak tomato plant this year. This was the first time for me, and it took me totally by surprise. The plant is completely tipped over from the weight of the fruit, so I harvested a bunch way before they got ripe.

Huge, hey??

To make Fried Green Tomatoes, you basically just slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick, dip in egg, then coat in a mixture of corn meal, salt & pepper. (You could add other seasonings too if you wish.)

Fry in some olive oil for about 3-4 minutes per side, over medium-high heat, until browned and softened. (The traditional southern recipe probably calls for frying in lard, but olive oil works well.)

Drain on some paper towels, then serve up and enjoy!!

 

Gardening, Recipe

First Crop of the Season

This has been a glorious weekend so far. The weather has been fabulous, and we’ve really been able to get out and enjoy it, plus get a lot of hard work done in the garden. (Maybe more on that later.) I was quite excited to see how well my rhubarb has done. I picked up a single rhubarb plant last year at our neighbourhood garage sale, so this is the first year I could harvest. It did great and there’s still new growth coming so I’m hoping for a second harvest.

Rhubarb plant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love rhubarb. We always grew it when I was young, and I’ve always enjoyed rhubarb pies and jam and crumbles. It definitely isn’t the sweetest thing going, but I love its sharp tang. And you can always use lots of sugar to sweeten it in a recipe if you wish. It’s particularly good combined with strawberries.

Did you know that the leaves and roots are inedible? The leaves are poisonous and must be thrown out. You can though make an effective pesticide by boiling the leaves and combining the resulting liquid in a spray bottle with a tiny bit of liquid soap (to make the liquid stick to plants). We always just steeped the leaves in a bucket of warm water in the sun. This is a great remedy for leaf-eating insects.

To harvest rhubarb you simply grasp a nice thick stalk low to the ground and pull it free, You may need to wiggle it a little. Then chop off the white bottom of the stalk and the leaf.

I used a very special knife to do this that used to belong to my grandmother. Her father gave it to her when she got married. It eventually became her garden knife, and she always used it for the rhubarb. It is one of my most prized possessions, and I was so happy to be able to use it on my own home-grown with love rhubarb.
So what did I do with my harvest? Muffins!!
I found this recipe online, at www.rhubarbinfo.com. They turned out really yummy and moist. I used oil, not margarine. And I divided the batter into 24 muffins instead of 12 and baked for just about 20 minutes. I like smaller muffins so that Little Boo will finish one. We big kids can always have two if we want.

Rhubarb Muffins
Ingredients:
2 1/2 C. flour
2/3 C. brown sugar, packed
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
1/4 C. oil or melted margarine
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, beaten
2 C. finely chopped rhubarb

Procedure:
Heat oven to 400 degrees; grease or paper line 12 muffin cups. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk, oil, vanilla and egg. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in rhubarb. Divide batter between muffin cups. Sprinkle tops liberally with sugar, if desired. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until light golden brown.
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There are all kinds of recipes on this site for rhubarb in snacks, desserts and main courses. Check it out if you’re looking for some new ideas for this great spring vegetable.

Food, Recipe

Best EVER Pumpkin Cookies

Just finished icing (and taste testing) my favourite cookies, and thought I’d share the recipe here. It’s the recipe I get asked for most often, and I can take no credit for it. It came to me from a friend in grad school. She got it from a woman I think was a friend of her mother’s. So without further ado, here is the recipe for what I (and many others) think are the best pumpkin cookies ever.

 

Makes about 3 dozen
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin
1 egg
Cream together & add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix.
Add in 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt
Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Frosting:
3 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
Mix & boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly
Let cool slightly, then add 1 cup icing sugar & 3/4 teaspoon vanilla.
Beat well, and frost cookies.
Enjoy!