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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!"