It’s been a little hard lately to focus on the things that make me happy, but I’m working on getting back on track. Part of my therapy over the last couple of weeks has been cooking and baking. Getting creative in the kitchen is something I’ve always enjoyed. And I love putting a delicious meal on the table for my family. I can be a bit of a 1950s housewife that way.
We do make a point of sitting down to dinner together every night, even if the meal is take-out we grabbed on the way home, or something quick and convenient I pulled out of the freezer. Finding the time to cook a meal from scratch can be a challenge with our schedules. But we’ve set Saturday night aside as a special family dinner night. On Saturday night, there is no TV during our meal. No devices. Just family, food, and conversation. And usually some music. Family dinner is followed by family movie night, which may or may not include buttery popcorn, depending on how elaborate and filling dinner was. This is like a standing date, not to be messed with.
Spending this quiet time together with my boys makes me happy. It’s a great chance for us all to re-connect and be truly present with each other.
When the meal I present to them results in praise and requests for second helpings? That makes me really happy!
This was our dinner last Saturday night. Prime Rib roasted medium rare, with mashed potatoes, rice, honey-glazed carrots, steamed broccoli, and Yorkshire puddings. Don’t forget the gravy!
I cook a mean roast, if I do say so myself. I like to cut little slits all over and stuff those with slivers of garlic. Then season with Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and a steak seasoning. Cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes at 450, then lower to 275 and cook until a few degrees below your desired temperature (temp will continue to rise). I take it out at 135 for medium rare. Remove to a plate, tent with foil, and let sit for about 15 minutes or more before carving.
For the carrots I just cook them over medium heat in a saucepan, with butter, salt, pepper, a generous dousing of honey, and some maple syrup. Brown sugar works in place of maple syrup for a bit of a different flavour. This is pretty much the only way Hubs will eat carrots!
A hearty meal enjoyed with a nice glass of wine and my lovely boys. That’s definitely on the list of happy-making.
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!