Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A New Homemade Pizza

We have very limited choices for carry-out pizza around here, and while we usually enjoy not having to cook, we really, really like homemade pizza. This is a recipe I found a few weeks ago on a blog, and I thought it sounded  pretty delicious, and it was. Oh, it was…

Of course, I made a couple of changes, which I’ll note at the end of the recipe. Try this one. I mean it.

(Click on the recipe title to see the blog.)

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Thin-Crust Chicken Bacon Artichoke Pizza

Thin crispy crust with a light garlic sauce, topped with grilled chicken, turkey bacon, mozzarella, baby spinach, marinated artichokes, and feta cheese


8 large slices


Crust Ingredients:

1/2 cup warm water (115 degrees)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 teaspoon dry yeast

Garlic Sauce Ingredients:

1/4 cup light or fat free Italian salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash black pepper


1/2 cup cubed or thinly sliced grilled or rotisserie chicken breast meat
1 cup (loosely measured) baby spinach leaves
1/3 to 1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, blotted dry and cut into bite-size (small) pieces
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
2-3 slices turkey bacon ("fully cooked"), chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Green onion slices, optional
Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)


1. To make crust, place warm water and salt into a medium mixing bowl. Add a cup of the flour and the yeast, and stir. Add remaining flour (1/3 cup) and stir or knead into a sticky dough, adding additional water if needed. Allow dough to rest, covered with a clean towel, for at least 10 minutes but up to 30-45 minutes.

If you have a bread machine, this first step can be done by putting all crust ingredients into the machine and using the dough cycle to knead for 10-15 minutes, until a soft, sticky dough is formed. Stop the machine and allow dough to rest for at least 10 minutes, or up to 30-45 minutes.

2. Liberally butter a 16-inch round pizza pan, and then with your clean buttery hands, spread dough thinly over the pan. Be gentle and have patience, as this does make a perfectly thin crust!

3. Combine the garlic sauce ingredients and spread the sauce over the dough/crust and allow to rest for 15 minutes or longer (up to 45 minutes).

4. Sprinkle toppings evenly over sauce in order listed.

5. Bake pizza in a pre-heated 450-degree oven for 10 minutes or until top is browned and bubbly, and crust is slightly browned on the bottom. Watch carefully to avoid burning! :)

Cut pizza into 8 slices and serve hot, with parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!*My Notes: our crust was not crispy, and I know why. I did not ‘liberally butter’ the pizza pan and use my buttery hands to spread the crust. Next time I’ll use the stone and see if I can stay away from the butter, yet get that crispy crust.

I added sautéed mushrooms. Everything is better with mushrooms. Yes it is!

Only half the pizza got spinach. Some things I just cannot get him to like…

Surprisingly, I had no feta cheese in the house. We didn’t miss it, but it would add a little touch of tang.

I used sliced fresh mozzarella instead of shredded.

No green onions, but next time I think I’ll add thinly sliced red onion.

After she took one bite, Jessica told me, “I keep telling you, we could cater!”  Hmmm… we?


Monday, August 23, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday

Muffin Tin Mom

I discovered Muffin Tin Monday (MTM) a long time ago, and think this is such a fun way for kids to have a special meal or snack. A couple of years ago I put one together for Taylor when she was staying here, but am just coming back to it again now with Bradley. Take a peek at Muffin Tin Mom’s blog and see what the other participants are putting together for fun meals with their kids. I’m so excited to find fun picks and things for when Bradley gets a bit older.

Speaking of Bradley, he is eating most all table food now (except for things he cannot have until he’s one or two for allergy reasons), so the other day I put together this fun plate for his lunch.

The theme for this week’s meals was “ABC” so instead of a muffin tin, I used this sweet compartmentalized ABC plate. (I picked it up at Target at the beginning of summer when it was on clearance for 75 cents.)

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I used white cupcake papers to hold the food: avocadoes for “A”, blueberries for “B”, and cheese toast for “C”.

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He’d been sick and wasn’t eating great quantities, so this looks pretty chintzy on food, but it was fine for him that day. In fact, he didn’t eat the blueberries until later. Of course, at 10 1/2 months old, there is no way he was leaving this plate and cupcake papers on his high chair tray and eating from it. To pre-empt the mess that would have been him tossing the plate, I showed it to him, then we dumped the avocado and the cheese toast on his tray so he could feed himself.

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I hope this becomes a fun tradition he and I have together, and as he gets older he can help plan and prepare the MTM. I’d have loved to have done this on home visits when I was a family educator for Head Start. What a great way to get kids and parents together in the kitchen to create nutritious meals, and possibly try new foods!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy!

Randy went fishing in South Dakota last month and brought home some walleye. This is a very flavorful and firm white fish and I was quite happy when he gave me a package of fillets to take home.

I did some recipe searching so we could make the most of our walleye, but pretty much it was just breading and frying, so that’s what we did. I first dredged the fillets in flour, then dipped in beaten egg, then covered them with panko crumbs. Greg fried them in some canola oil in a cast iron skillet and they came out golden brown and crispy on the outside, juicy and flavorful on the inside.

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To go along with our delicious fish, we had zucchini fritters and sweet corn. I made two simple sauces, just mayonnaise and ketchup mixed together for one, and mayo with sweet pickle relish for the second.

I did email Randy after we finished eating and told him that if he should have any extra walleye hanging around, to please think of us!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Wrapping the Salmon

Last week when Greg grilled our salmon for supper, I gave him an extra piece so I’d have leftovers. There was an idea in a Martha magazine for a wrap using salmon mixed with cream cheese and cilantro.

I didn’t have any cilantro, but was able to run out to the garden and snip some dill instead. Chopped that up, crumbled up the salmon, and mixed both with part of a brick of low-fat cream cheese.

After spreading the mixture onto a flour tortilla, I added thin-sliced tomato and avocado for a yummy lunch wrap.

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I had enough mixture left for three more tortillas. Those were sliced into rounds for finger food at another lunch. Bradley loved them!