Search This Blog

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pizza and movie Date Night

Tonight, I didn't make pizza nor did I watch a movie. Our church offered a Parent's night out and we took advantage of that! So, the kids watched Alvin and the Chipmunks while eating pizza and decorating cookies at the church, while hubby and I went out to eat at a local Mexican restaurant. I don't even remember the name, but it was yummy! And it great to have a little date. We don't get that much anymore. See you next week!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sweet and Savory Turkey

It's the day after Thanksgiving and I bet you can guess what I put on my pizza this week... :D  Actually I have been looking forward to Thanksgiving Pizza all week! Yes, Thanksgiving was wonderful; my sister came to visit, we had a great time! The meal was wonderful; I made my very first turkey ever and we'll be eating turkey for 2 weeks! But as I planned each dish of our Thanksgiving meal I couldn't help but think about how it would taste on the pizza the next day.

Like I said, my sister is in town. This is extra good news because it means I had to make two pizzas!

The first one I'll call Cranberry Delight. For this pizza I took my Sweet Potato Roll dough and rolled it out (one recipe made enough for both pizzas). I put my Mango Cranbango sauce through the blender so I had a smooth sauce to spread (texture thing - you can leave it chunky if you want but it sure made it easier to spread). After that it was just chopping chicken and sprinkling cheese (mozzarella). The pizza was simple and good. If you try this one I would recommend getting a sharp, flavorful cheese like brie or blue cheese. If you do use standard mozzarella, make sure you don't skimp (did I mention I'm trying to cut back on fats? Ya, I need to quit doing that to my pizzas. More Cheese!!).

Before I move on, let me just mention something about this Mango Cranbango sauce. This is another of Chef John's recipes but I had to alter it. First of all, I'm very nervous about adding too much heat to my food. I don't do hot. So I replaced the ghostsauce with a couple jalapenos that had been carefully seeded to strip out the heat. I put these in at the same time that I added the cranberries. I really don't know enough about how to use jalapenos to know when I should have put them in, but it worked. The, now mild, jalapenos gave it a great flavor. However, if you like heat, go with the ghostsauce! The other thing I had to change was that I couldn't find garma masala and wasn't sure about adding Indian Curry to my cranberry sauce, nor could I find a star of anise so I left these two spices out. I would like to try it again with these spices sometime. This was an easy and beautiful addition to our Thanksgiving table.

The second pizza I think I'll call Savory Stuffing. Again, I used the sweet potato bread dough and I spread our leftover gravy on this one. Topped with a Vegetable Stuffing Bake and Turkey then smothered in cheddar cheese (I didn't skimp this time!), this one was a big hit. I blame the gravy. Did I mention it was curry gravy? Oh ya! Just add some regular American curry to your turkey gravy. I love curry in our gravy.

I still don't have my cord, so hopefully I'll get pictures up soon.

The kids watched The Happy Elf but I was taking care of something else and was unable to join them tonight. You can stream it on Netflix if you're interested.

A few other thoughts about Thanksgiving leftovers: I love them!

Tomorrow morning we are having homemade orange rolls that I made with the Sweet Potato Roll recipe. I'm really looking forward to them. Just roll out the dough, spread with melted butter, sprinkle with the zest of an orange mixed with 3 or 4 Tablespoons of sugar (I lost track). Roll it up and cut into rolls. Let rise for an hour or until doubled and bake until done (don't I make baking sound easy? It's just because I don't know how). For glaze mix powdered sugar with the juice from that zested orange and pour over the rolls.

Sunday night I'm making Turkey soup. I have boiled and stripped the carcass and put that soup base in the fridge so the fat will separate and I can skim it off. I'll be tossing in an onion, some celery, carrots and of course, sweet potato and serving it up with some grilled cheese sandwiches. Does anyone want to come to dinner with us?

If you need some more ideas, I came across this website for leftover turkey recipes. I have not tried these recipes nor do I endorse the website, but it looked useful and thought I'd share it. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!! Happy Holidays!

I can't believe I let the whole go by without writing about my pizza! Our first Pizza and Movie knight in our new home. I had my rolling pin and my good pizza cutter and I was loving it!! We had Chicken Parmesan. Does it sound good? It was!

Do you remember the Caramel Chicken I posted about a few weeks ago? Now, do you remember that Chef John from whom I got the recipe? Well, a friend of mine posted a Chicken Parmesan recipe from him that looked so good I just had to give it a try. Admittedly, the first try didn't go over so well. If you watched his video you are now asking yourself, "How could she mess that up? It looks pretty easy and straight forward." Well, it is, but I forgot to buy croutons so I used stuffing, I didn't use enough sauce, and I didn't use near enough cheese. I know, it's terrible that I scrimped on the cheese, but I'm really trying hard to cut back on the fat in our diet. So, I made it again, and the second time it was WONDERFUL!! So try it. But don't scrimp on the cheese!

The pizza was just as easy and straight forward. Crust, (I don't remember which one I used probably Jay's Signature Pizza Crust from allrecipes) sauce (I used a jar had canned myself), chopped Parmesan Chicken, lots of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

As for the movie, sadly I don't even remember what we watched!! It was from redbox and we forgot to take it back so we were charged for two days and I don't even remember what it was! Oh, hooray for Hubby, he just walked in and told me it was Hoodwinked Too. Obviously it made a big impression. I do, however, remember two things that Granny said (now that I remember the movie) that I really liked. Both are rather cliche, but every line in that movie was. She said, "A person can never really fail unless they give up." and "Once a Sister, always a Sister."

Hopefully I'll find my cord soon and can upload the photo. Have a great week!

Friday, November 11, 2011

What to do when I can't make a pizza?

Tomorrow is moving day and and we've got the house all packed up and ready for the morning. Of course, this means I'm not making dinner, let alone pizza. So what do we do. Cici's.

When I was in Utah, I'd see these Cici's commercials and drool. They always make it look so good. But, they don't have a Cici's in Utah, so I was left to drool at the TV. During our move across the country, we found one on our way and stopped there for a meal. Sadly, it didn't sit very well and we all had tummy aches that night. (Of course, who wouldn't have a tummy ache after gorging on pizza then sitting in a car for another 4 hours?) Now we are settled in our new city and there is a Cici's just up the road. Sadly, I have eaten more Cici's pizza than I care to recall.

Their pizza is marginal, their prices have been better, their salad leaves much to be desired. So why then, do I keep going back? Well, my 2 youngest eat free and often I have a coupon so the oldest eats free, too. That's real nice; especially when daddy is working late and I don't want to cook. I can feed the rest of us for about $6 and they can eat as much as they feel like of whatever is there. That's nice. They have a BBQ pizza that I think they must spike with something because I am so addicted. But if I had to point to one thing that keeps me coming back for more, I'd have to say, it's the cinnamon rolls. I crave them, and no, I'm not pregnant! But that the problem. they really AREN'T that good, so I can't figure out why I think they are. They are dripping butter and don't have quit enough cinnamon sugar. But they are so soft and gooey and melt in my mouth....mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Oh sorry, a little Homer moment there. Anyway, no gourmet pizza tonight (unless you count the Philly Cheese Stake, Kansas BBQ, and Taste of Italy pizzas that I gorged myself on). In fact, we didn't even get a move (unless you count cartoon network that the children stared at over my shoulder while I ate way too much). But, we're fed, kids are in bed, and I've got a little more packing to finish up. So, have a good night and I can't wait to tell you about the first pizza I make in my new house next week.

Friday, November 4, 2011

green pizza to go with a green ogre

Have you ever called someone and left a message for someone else then that first person calls you back two weeks later and you end up inviting her and her daughter over for pizza and movie night? That is what happened to me as I was chopping chicken for my Pesto Pizza tonight. And I'm glad to say I made a new friend, and so did my son. Of course, it's easy to make friends when sharing gourmet pizza on homemade crust (my first attempt) and watching Shrek. I mean, really, Shrek brings everyone together. :D

Pesto Pizza. Easy enough. We had Pesto Pasta last night with a store bought pesto and those oil packed sun dried tomatoes. I made sure to save enough sauce and sun dried tomatoes, and I cooked up a little extra chicken. I made my own crust from scratch, sautéed some onions using the oil from the sun dried tomatoes and topped it with mozzarella. The only thing I would change is the Parmesan cheese. How can I not have Parmesan cheese in my house? My new friend brought a salad and we finished with a slice of home made pumpkin pie - from fresh pumpkin that I bought at the last farmers market of the year! It couldn't have been a better meal.

The pizza is pretty self explanatory (pesto sauce, tomatoes, onions, chicken, cheese) so I'll post the crust I tried. (Sorry, Mir, I couldn't find the one you linked - would you please link it again?)

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes (I used the quick rising yeast, so I didn't do this, I just mixed everything together).
Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour.
Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out. Use for your favorite pizza recipe.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). If you are baking the dough on a pizza stone, you may place your toppings on the dough, and bake immediately. If you are baking your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise for 15 or 20 minutes before topping and baking it.
Bake pizza in preheated oven, until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

We liked this crust, though, frankly it was a little too much crust for me. I have to have a thin crust, but this was REALLY thick. You could cut it back (and if you follow the link to they'll do it for you) but this was the right measurements for one packet of yeast, so *shrug*

We enjoyed our green pizza while watching Shrek's FinalChapter, amid the children running in and out, playing with the Hulk gloves (yes the ones that make noise) with their new friend. The kids pick the movie ever week, but they almost never watch it to the end, and with new friends around, who can focus on a movie?

Anyway, Shrek makes the comment that his life was so perfect. Donkey comes back with, "Then why did you wish it away?" The simple answer that I hope I can learn from him and not have to learn it myself: "I didn't know it until I lost it."

This should probably go on my rambling blog but here's my pizza night ramble: I've got the baby climbing on me and trying to eat MY pizza, even though she has a plate of her own right next to me; children are running in and out, punching each other with stuffed gloves, laughing, crying, and even fighting over the toys when they are supposed to be sitting down watching a move; pizza that I have picked up off the floor at least 4 times is on the floor again and the baby still won't eat it; and on and on. Part of me feels a lot like Shrek did at the beginning of the movie. Same thing day after day week after week, no break, no nice "mud bath" for me. And sometimes, I just feel so exhausted. But as Shrek found out, This. Is. The. Perfect. Life. I am so blessed to have a great husband, great children, a great new friend, and soon, a great new house. Life is good. Sometimes you just need a reminder to show you just how good it is. As we celebrate Thanksgiving this month (what? not Christmas? - Hush you! Thanksgiving is first!) I remind myself how blessed I truly am. I am thankful that my children are healthy and able to run through the house yelling and punching and laughing and crying. I am thankful for daily opportunities to meet new people and make new friends. I am Thankful for a sink full of dishes and a stove covered in pots and pans because it means we've eaten several times today (good food, too, if I do say so myself). I am thankful for the piles of dirty laundry in every corner of my house because we have clothes to wear and keep us warm. I am thankful for the roof over my head and the soft warm bed I have to sleep in. I am thankful for my family and friends, far and near. And most of all, I am thankful for the Gospel of JesusChrist and hope and direction that it gives me.

Ok, I'll stop rambling. Enjoy your Pizza!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Madagascar2 with BBQ Pork

Tonight we're revisiting one of our favorites, Hawaiian Pork. This easy crock pot recipe is at first served over rice then remade into chimichangas or enchiladas. A few weeks ago I remade the enchilada mix into pizza but this week I looked at all the pork I had left and thought this would make really good BBQ pork sandwiches. And from there, yes, of course, BBQ pizza! So, now that I can do Hawaiian Pork, chimichangas/enchiladas, enchilada pizza, BBQ pork sandwiches, BBQ pork pizza...all from the same pork! What else can I do with this recipe?

BBQ Pork Pizza

Bisquick crust
2 cups bisquick
1/3-1/2 cup hot water
left over Hawaiian pork
sauted onions
cheddar cheese

Mix and press onto pizza stone. Spread with BBQ sauce. Top with shredded Hawaiian pork (I mixed the sweet potatoes into it), sauted onions, cheddar cheese. Bake at 450* for 15-20 minutes. If I had had pineapple, of course that would have gone on, too, but there was pineapple in the Hawaiian pork so I wasn't really missing too much.

We watched Madagascar 2; I had never seen this before and I was laughing so hard!! From the Granny and the penguins to everything in between, I loved this one.

"I'm too old to die."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Franklin and Carmel Chicken

I often search for a new recipe each week as I create my menu. This week I found Chef John's Carmel Chicken, based on a recipe from a popular Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco called The Slanted Door. The picture looked delectable and it had rave reviews. I was getting really excited until I read the ingredient list; it calls for fish sauce

Many of you may be asking, what is fish sauce? It's a popular ingredient in many Asian  dishes, it's rather salty and so adds a lot of flavor. You can usually find it the Asian section of your local grocery store. 

The problem? IT STINKS!! I served a mission in Hong Kong for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and every now and then, as we were walking down the streets of Hong Kong there would be an over whelming stench. We were told it was a local favorite called Stinky Tofu and was sold by street venders. I could never being my self to try it; anything that smells THAT bad can't be good!

I took another look at the picture of the Carmel Chicken and read the reviews again and decided to give it a try, fish sauce and all. I was very glad I did. It was delicious! Yes, the fish sauce was a little stinky but the brown sugar and ginger more than made up for it. The only recommendation I would make is that it was pleanty salty. I don't think you need the extra soy sauce.

We had plenty left over for Pizza and Movie Night! I've been doing left-over-pizza more and more. I love being able to feed my family specialty pizza for about two dollars, just the price of the crust and cheese. Plus I get to use up the left overs.

So, first of all, here's the Carmel Chicken recipe from Chef John. He has video instructions on his website.

2.5 pounds chicken thighs (boneless, skinless, about 8-10 thighs)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbl grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
2 jalapeno peppers
1 bunch green onions
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
fresh cilantro to garnish

After enjoying this on Wednesday, I mixed the leftover rice with the chicken and saved it for Friday. Tonight I stir fried a julienne carrot (fancy word for thin strips, there is a special tool to do this, or you can just cut small carrot sticks like I did) and a small sliced onion. Jiffy was the crust of choice tonight. I added just a little bit of water to the chicken to make it a little more saucy and spread that on first followed by the carrots and onions, then topped with a little mozzarella cheese. This was a wonderful pizza and a great use of these leftovers!

We enjoyed our Carmel Chicken Pizza to a movie called Franklin and the Green Knight.I had never heard of this one before, but the kids found it at the Library and it's the one we brought home. In this cute little movie spring is late to Woodland and the animals long for the snow to melt. One little turtle, Franklin is especially anxious because he'll soon be a big brother. His friends make him dread the coming baby with warnings of how troublesome babies are, not to mention parents only have time for the baby. The one thing that really annoyed me about this movie was that the coming baby turtle was not in an egg. Rather, the mother turtle was drawn pregnant. 

 The Green Knight is a story within the story about a brave knight who brought spring to the wintery country while learning an important lesson:

"A true knight acts with a true heart"

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pizza in DC

We had a fabulous weekend in Washington DC complete with Pizza and Movie night. Since I didn't have leftovers to use on my pizza this week I went for my favorite, Barbeque Chicken with Pineapple. Yum! I just used lunch meat to keep it easy and French Bread for the crust. Usually I would make this pizza on a Bisquick crust, mostly for nostalgia reasons. My mom used to make a BBQ Bisquick pizza when I was little. I didn't want to buy a whole box of Bisquick while on vacation and although I looked and looked and looked for an instant pizza crust, such as Jiffy, I couldn't find one. In the end, I'm really glad I ended up using the French Bread because it was super good, much easier to prepare and faster to bake.

Barbeque Chicken Pizza

1 pizza crust (French Bread is quick and easy or a the sweet flakiness of a Bisquick crust is a great compliment.)
about 3 TBS of your favorite BBQ sauce (I like the sweet ones)
1 cooked and cubed chicken breast (I used deli meat this time)
1 small can of Pineapple tidbits, well drained
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (feel free to use more or less)

Though, I didn't use them this time, I also like to add sauted onions and green peppers!

Spread BBQ sauce all over the crust. Add topping and bake until cheese me melted and crust is done. Fast, easy, and so good! This "specialty" pizza costs a small fortune from the pizzerias but is not very expensive to make and customize.

Our BBQ Pizza was accompanied by Ratatouille. "Why do they call it Ratatouille? It sounds like Rat and patootie." "Oh, I'm sensing nuttiness alright." "If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff."

But among the more profound thoughts from this great show:
Django: This is the way things are. You can't change nature.
Remy: Change is nature, Dad. The part that we can influence. And it starts when we decide.
Django: [Remy turns to leave] Where are you going?
Remy: With luck, forward. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tacos for Christmas

Yeah, I know it's way too early for Christmas, but that's what my daughter picked out at the Library: Disney's Christmas Special including Mickey's Christmas Carol, the Small One (about the donkey that carried Mary), Pluto's Christmas Tree, and Santa's Workshop. It's always fun to see classics from my own childhood.

When that was over we put on The Little Mermaid  (a treasure on VHS that we picked up at a yard sale for a quarter) and as my daughter dances around the room while they float along in a blue lagoon I think of my friends, Melinda and Skylar, who are getting married today in another state. Congratulations you two!!

I thought the pizza this week was wonderful, though the kids didn't take to it well. We had Massaman Curry and Tacos during the week and while Massaman curry sounded tempting I thought I'd try that another time. Taco Pizza was very easy. Salsa for the sauce, left over taco meat and corn, and some fresh toppings after the pizza came out.

Taco Pizza

2 cups Bisquick
1/3 + cups very hot water (just enough to moisten Bisquick into workable dough)
Salsa (I used peach salsa, yum!)
left over Taco meat
left over corn
Cheddar Cheese
Spinach, shredded
Olives, sliced
Tomatoes, diced
Anything else you like on your tacos

Mix Bisquick and hot water until  ball forms. Press on to pizza stone and bake 5-10 minutes (I made a thicker pizza this week so had to bake it a little longer). Spread salsa over crust, top with taco meat, corn, and cheese (if you like your olives cooked you can put them on now, I don't, so I waited). Bake another 10 minutes or until crust is done and cheese is bubbly.  Add remaining toppings and serve with additional salsa and sour cream if desired.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

In the words of Tiny Tim, "God Bless Us, Every One!"

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Lion, the Witch, and the Strawberry Pizza

Last week when I asked my daughter what we should have on our pizzas she matter of factually said Strawberries. I smiled and nodded at the childish request. I wasn't about to make a strawberry pie, but thought maybe a dessert pizza, you know, the sugar cookie with cream cheese and fruit. Either way it wasn't going to happen that week. But I've been thinking about it all week and began to wonder; my favorite salad is spinach, strawberries, and balsamic vinaigrette. What if I put that on a pizza? Maybe someone already did? Sure enough on I did find a strawberry pizza that looked spectacular! So here it is, borrowed from The Cafe Surcre Farine - I made only a couple adjustments:

Chicken Strawberry Pizza

1/4 cup strawberry jam or preserves
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 ball pizza dough
1 cup diced or shredded chicken breast, from rotisserie chicken or left over chicken of any kind
2 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup thin sliced sweet onion (I sautéed the onion in a little bit of the bacon grease)
12 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese (I just used mozzarella and I used far less)
1 cup spinach, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, diced small

1. Place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 4-5 minutes or until reduced to half of original volume and mixture is thick and syrupy. Add strawberry preserves and mix well. Set aside to cool.

2. Pat or roll out pizza dough on a lightly floured pizza round. Bake at 425 for 3-5 minutes.

3. Combine chicken with 2 tablespoons of the balsamic-strawberry mixture and mix to coat all chicken with sauce (I forgot this step).  Pour rest of sauce onto pizza dough and spread to cover.

4. Scatter chicken, bacon, onion, and cheese on pizza, distributing evenly.

5. Bake for approximately 12 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Watch carefully, at this temperature it is easy to burn the pizza!

7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped spinach and fresh diced strawberries. Serve and enjoy!

And to end with a thought from The Lion, the Witch, and theWardrobe, "You will [feel nervous], dearie, and no mistake, if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly.'"

Friday, September 23, 2011

Indian in the Cupboard? No. Tuna in the cupboard!

It wasn't that I forgot about pizza and movie night, I just didn't think about what kind of pizza to make. So when I picked up a movie at the library, Indian in the Cupboard, it made me wonder what was in my cupboard that I could put on a pizza. The answer? Tuna. Isn't it amazing that sometimes the best meals are the ones with the least planning?

Now, I didn't think that tuna sounded very good on a pizza but I got on the internet and was very surprised at the number of tuna pizza recipes I found. One that sounded really good called for artichokes and feta. YUM!! Sadly I didn't have those, but I used the infused oil from that recipe with some ideas from another and managed to throw together what I think was the best pizza we've had yet (well, next to BBQ chicken with pineapple, because you just can't get better than BBQ chicken with pineapple)!

As I was getting out a bowl to mix up some pizza crust and get this pizza started, I saw the half loaf of Garlic Parmesan French bread left over from last night's spaghetti dinner. An epiphany turned that left over bread into really good individual pizzas (and used up my leftovers!). I sliced up the bread and cut 1/2 an onion while I was heating some olive oil. Using my Pampered Chef garlic press (I love this thing!) I squeezed some garlic into the oil and added the onion. The artichoke and feta recipe infused their oil with garlic and I thought adding the onion would make it that much better, plus cook my onions because I don't like crunchy onion. Topped with flaked tuna, frozen peas, red peppers, and some mozzarella, these little pizzas were VERY good!

Individual Tuna Pizza
Garlic Parmesan French Bread, sliced (or use a pizza crust for a full size pizza
1 can tuna drained
1/2 onion, cut in half and sliced
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 red bell pepper, sliced
3 TBS olive oil
1 garlic clove
Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat oven to 450 °F. Place bread on baking sheet. 
Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onions. Sauté for about 1 minute (do not burn
Brush garlic infused oil over bread. Top with flaked tuna, red peppers, cooked onion, peas, and mozzarella cheese.
Bake about 8 minutes (longer if using raw pizza dough). Enjoy!

And from Indian in the Cupboard, "Yes. I am [real]. Are you?"

Friday, September 16, 2011

Care Bears: Daydreams and Enchillada Pizza

It doesn't happen often but one night I found myself home alone and wondering what was for dinner. Tah dah! My good friend showed up with a homemade chimichanga. It was so good, naturally I asked for the recipe. The best thing about this recipe is that it gives you different meals for a couple of nights with very little effort. Start with Hawaiian Crockpot Pork and Sweet Potatoes:

2 lbs pork tenderloin
1 can 20 oz. crushed pineapple
1/4 c honey
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/3 c brown sugar (I usually reduce this to 2-3 TBS)
2 medium sweet potatoes

Place pork in crockpot. Combine crushed pineapple, honey, vinegar, and brown sugar. Pour over pork. Put washed, whole sweet potatoes, with skins, on top. Cover and cook 10 hours on low. After cooking, cut up sweet potatoes and gently pull apart pork. Spoon sauce over meat and sweet potatoes. Serve on rice.

Next for the Oven-Baked Chimichangas:

Mix left over pork, 1 can pinto beans, 1 8oz jar salsa, 1 small can diced green chiles, and some grated cheese together. (I also mix in the left over rice and sweet potatoes)
Melt some butter and brush over one side of the tortillas. Place butter side down and spoon mixture onto tortillas. Fold in sides and roll. Place in casserole dish. Top with more grated cheese and bake 20-30 minutes, until they look crispy and a tiny bit brown. Serve with quinoa (honestly, I don't know what this is), sour cream and guacamole.

So, those are the original recipes; any guess as to how I topped my pizza? :D Sure enough, we had Hawaiian Crockpot Pork last night. I mashed up the sweet potatoes and mixed it and the left over rice together with the pork. Instead of salsa, I used enchilada sauce. This was all mixed up and spread on my pizza crust (Jiffy this time). I then sprinkled some beans, olives, and cheddar cheese on top. After it was baked we topped it with lettuces, tomato, and avocado.  And I still have plenty to make my chimichangas tomorrow.

Now, sadly, this wasn't as good as I had hoped, but I think it could be! Next time, rather than mixing my enchilada sauce into the meat to begin with, I will actually spread it on like a sauce and mix the salsa with the pork like the recipe called for. And while I like the sweet potato in the chimichanga, they kinda diluted the enchilada flavor on the pizza. I  think the rice and beans did the same. So, if you are going to try this, use the enchilada sauce as the pizza sauce, top with left over pork mixed with salsa, olives if you like them, cheese, and if you liked the tomatoes cooked put them on now too. Once done, lettuce, tomato (if you prefer it cold), and avocado (or guacamole). I would also add some sour cream next time (I didn't have any tonight). Of course if you want to toss on the rice and beans, please do! They didn't ruin it and they are healthy for you. Well, there you go. Good luck and enjoy!!

In parting, a kind thought from the Care Bears tonight: "Making a friend is very simple; being a friend is simple, too!"

See you next Pizza and Movie Friday!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pollyanna and Curry

I have been so excited to make this pizza; I've been counting down to Friday. When I found Disney's "Glad Girl" Pollyanna at the Library I was equally excited! After all, what could be better than pineapple on pizza than Pollyanna?

So what is this special pizza that has me so excited? Well, as I was making my menu this week I found among my recipes Pineapple Chicken Curry over rice and I thought, a pineapple curry pizza sounded real good. So last night I made my Pineapple Chicken Curry, making the curry separate and reserving some for the pizza sauce. I cooked extra chicken and cut extra veggies. So tonight all I had to do was make the crust. There wasn't as much curry flavor as I had hoped, but over all, I thought it was a wonderful creation.

So here's the Pineapple Chicken Curry recipe:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 can (12 fluid ounces) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 1 MAGGI Chicken Flavor Bouillon Cube
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli florets, thawed and drained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks in juice, drained
  • 2 cups cooked rice


HEAT oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Reduce heat to medium; stir in evaporated milk, cornstarch, curry powder, bouillon, ginger and red pepper flakes. Continue cooking until mixture begins to gently simmer and bouillon is dissolved.

STIR in bell pepper and broccoli (if using frozen broccoli, add for last 3 minutes). Cover; gently simmer for 6 minutes or until broccoli is tender. Remove from heat; stir in pineapple. Serve with cooked rice.
Now, to prepare for the pizza, I took the chicken out the pan, made up the curry, removed about 1/2 cup of the curry, then added the meat and veggies back in. Also, like I said, as I was cutting the veggies, I chopped up what I needed for tonight.

Well, in addition to making pizza and watching Pollyanna, I am at the same time talking to a lender and telling Dave about the papers he needs to sign to make an offer on a house. With everything else going on tonight, we didn't finish Pollyanna, but I'm sure you are all smiling just knowing that we had this classic feel good movie on tonight.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Kung Fu Panda

Everybody blogs. Jim has his pancakes. Aubrie has her photos. Tanya has her crafts. Mir has her, well, I think Mir has a blog for just about everything, but my favorite is her food. I vowed never to blog. But after watching Julie and Julia I longed to have a purpose. I know, it sounds silly, I have a purpose to blog about. My kids!! And boy do they ever keep me busy. I didn't want to blog about them. I do my best to keep them off the internet. Nothing else moved me enough to blog about it. No, "moved me" isn't the right expression. Tons of things "move me:" Tai Chi, hand-made greeting cards, scrapbooking, sewing, reading. I love these things and find them very relaxing, when I get the chance to do them. But nothing said, "blog me!" until tonight.

Every Friday night we have Pizza and Movie night. The kids look forward it to all week. We visit the Library, Redbox, or neighbor's house to pick out a movie a day or two before. I pick up a frozen pizza or sometimes we splurge and get delivery. Then a few weeks ago, I'm walking the frozen pizza isle and thinking, "Man! Frozen pizzas are expensive and I still have to cook it!" So I leave the frozen pizza isle thinking I'll just order out this week when I pass a jiffy pizza crust mix. It's like $0.80 or something and I'm thinking I already have spaghetti sauce in my fridge, I could get some ham in the deli meats and can of pineapple. TahDah! I just made my own pizza for about $3.00 and it had all the pineapple I could squeeze on. The next week I picked up a box of Bisquick for a crust, knowing I could use it for several weeks, and made a BBQ chicken pizza with all the pineapple I could squeeze on it. I even used the same can of pineapple from the previous week. That one was such a success I did it again last week. I discovered I like making my own pizzas! And the possibilities are endless.

So, what was so special about tonight? Well as soon as I figure out how to post a picture, you'll see! Chicken Spinach Alfredo. Oh ya! And I have enough alfredo for pasta tomorrow, left over spinach to have salads for a few meals, and I only used one Chicken breast from my freezer. Really, it's like it cost me nothing because I already needed all that for other meals. Sure beats $7 frozen or $15 delivered!

Making my own pizza, however, has made me realize that I left a few of my can't-live-without kitchen tools in storage. I have my chopper! and my round stone! But I don't have my pizza cutter or my rolling pin. I guess I'll have to make a trip out to the storage unit this week.

The recipe for this Chicken Spinach Alfredo Pizza:
2 cups bisquick
just enough water to moisten it into a dough
1/4 - 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce
1 chicken breast
Chopped Spinach - I used a ton!
a little diced onion
4 minced baby carrots
2 slices bacon
sprinkle the top with a little mozzerella cheese.
Bake at 375 for 23 minutes.

And, since it is Pizza and MOVIE night, I'll include a great quote from the movie of the week, "Kung Fu Panda."

"There is no secret ingredient. It's just you."