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necessity is the mother of invention

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Hallowe’en Hacks – Keep Those Tombstones Standing {Tuesday Tips}

With my love of Hallowe’en comes a love for erecting spooky tombstones in my front yard for a couple of weeks each year. I’ve collected a few over time, and have a selection of both plastic and styrofoam varieties. But we have what seems to be a constant  struggle with some of these decorations falling over in the wind. Or even in a light breeze.
The issue is twofold. One, the ground under the tree where we set up the graveyard is pretty uneven, so it’s difficult to get the little spikes in on a stable footing.  And two, those little spikes on some of the tombstones are just so, well, little. 
I was sizing up the situation yesterday, when it suddenly occurred to me that the plastic decorations were doing fine, because they came with metal pegs to keep them in the ground. These are long and sturdy. The styrofoam have short plastic spikes.
Lightbulb! 
Tent pegs, my friend. Tent pegs. I went into the backyard toy bin and grabbed a few pegs from the soccer practice nets. And guess what? They were oh so easy to puncture through the bases of the foam tombstones, leaving lots of metal to go down into the soil.
Problem Solved!

Play tents, soccer goals, golf practice nets, so many things come with these metal pegs to keep them firmly in place. If you’re struggling with keeping foam decorations upright in your lawn, have a look and see if you have any of these lying around. Press the end of the peg firmly and carefully into the foam to puncture through, and you’re all set!

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Tuesday Tips: Beer Can Chicken

Have a craving for beer can chicken, but all your beer is in bottles? (Please don’t put a bottle on your grill. Just saying.) I personally don’t like to drink beer from a can; I always taste the metal. So, I need to buy cans specially for this recipe. But yesterday I had none, and I really wasn’t in the mood to roast my little chicken for dinner.

What did I do? I grabbed a can of pop instead, poured the pop into a glass for one of my boys, gave the can a quick rinse, then poured in a half bottle of beer. Of course I then drank the other half 🙂
Any can will do in a pinch!
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!