Pizza, Pots du Chocolats, and Peat Pot Pests…

It’s been a while since I’ve  had a food post…

I finally had a chance to try out the new pizza stone Kaylee and Scott gave me for Mother’s Day last week.  I made homemade spinach/feta/mozzarella pizza and barbecue chicken/mozzarella pizza.  I also realized what I was doing wrong all this time: Better Homes and Gardens cookbook says to cook the crust before putting the toppings on, and then cook it again.  That’s why my crust used to be so hard!  The secret is just to put the toppings on the raw dough and cook it once!  For the spinach one, I used thawed chopped spinach (I squeezed as much water out as possible) and crumbled feta cheese.  Here are my latest results:

Spinach/Feta/Mozzarella Pizza on the pizza stone...yes...it was as yummy as it looks!

Barbecue Chicken/Mozzarella Pizza on regular pizza pan...

Saturday morning, I got up early and made a batch of chili and some homemade spaghetti sauce.  I used some of our frozen garden tomatoes for both.  We had the chili for supper on Saturday night (Hope was at a friend’s house and isn’t a big chili fan), but even with only six of us, we polished off most of the pot (four cans of assorted beans)!

When I got up (at the crack of 10:30) on Sunday morning, I went out to water the garden.  I was surprised to see a car pulling a trailer come into our driveway and a man unload a rowboat onto one of the lots that are for sale (owned by our landlord).  He then proceeded to pull his boat down to the water by hand.  I momentarily considered how much fun it might be to have his car towed, since I had no idea who he was, and that he was trespassing as far as I was concerned.  I didn’t, and he soon came back to his car and drove away.  I still don’t know if it was somebody my landlord knows or not…

I used the spaghetti sauce I made Saturday to make a lasagna-like thing with elbow macaroni (we were out of lasagna)…we’ll have that for supper tonight.  I also cooked some barbecue chicken thighs to have on Tuesday night: we’ll be rushing out the door for the Saint John Men’s Chorus Spring Concert.  While I was cooking, I reorganized our main pantry cupboard…I found fruit cups from 2008…chucked those out in a hurry!  We won’t run short of barbecue sauce any time soon…there were about eight bottles of various brands in there!  If only we’d get a sunny day to barbecue now…

We went over to Kaylee and Scott’s for supper yesterday, and Kaylee made pizza for us too (check the comments below for her pizza crust recipe).  She put green peppers on her Barbecue Chicken pizza, which I picked off and gave to Jim.  Devin picked off the mushrooms on his, but didn’t give them to anybody!  Elise had “deconstructed” pizza (pieces of chicken, mozzarella, green pepper, and mushrooms), which Kaylee took away once Elise started chucking pieces on the floor.  Released from her high chair, Elise then repossessed what was left of her mother’s pizza on the plate on the coffee table, and started eating that.  She threw it on the floor a couple more times, but it landed topping side up each time…five-second rule applies in that case!  After supper, Hope and I sang the “If You’re Happy and You Know It” song along with Barney on TV, much to Elise’s delight…I pretended not to know what to do when Barney said to “Do all three.”  What I didn’t know was that Anna was taking a video of us acting the fool with her phone…there’s a video I hope will never see the light of day!

We checked out a garden center near Kaylee’s after supper…I was in the market for a magnolia bush.  The ones at the garden center in our area cost more than $200, which is way out of my price range!  Anna didn’t want to get out of the van, even though Hope told her that cute boys were working there!  We didn’t buy anything…they had mostly flowers.  It was a nice drive, but it made me realize how much I love where we live!

When we got home, Anna and I made lava cakes (this recipe is from Food Network’s Chuck Hughes)…note to self: when buying ramekins, check the size!  The recipe called for 4 oz. ramekins…the ones we got were about 7.5 oz.!  The lava cakes were delicious though, and very easy!

Our lava cakes...we doubled the recipe to make eight, and didn't have any ice cream to top them with...

Once the lava cakes were done, I went out to check on my garden.  To my great disgust, something, probably the baby groundhog I saw the other day, had started digging up my transplanted peat pots and chewing on them.  He had no interest in the plants, just the biodegradable pots I’d gotten at the dollar store!

Dug-up peat pot with lone leek seedling sticking out...

Something is also nibbling the occasional bean plant and some of the sunflowers too…most of the seeds I planted last week are up, with the exception of the lima beans.  I don’t know if my transplants are going to make it or not…they got very dry sitting out in the sun.  I’ll probably have to replace all of the cruciferous vegetables, and most of the peppers and tomatoes.

Jim and Devin went out last night and trimmed some trees…one of the largest trees in the back yard suffered some damage due to the big snowfalls during the winter.  There was a big branch hanging down over my garden, which was providing unwanted shade and a hazard for me!  They got rid of that one!  Jim also made a path for me to the hose (the outdoor faucet has a large pine tree in front of it, and I was scratching my arms every time I tried to water my plants).  I appreciated the new nozzle Jim had picked up for me earlier in the week…the old one hadn’t survived the winter well, and was giving me more water than the plants!

It’s raining today…weeding will be my next task in the garden once the rain stops!

*Note to my blogging buddies: I am running about a week behind with my reading…I’m not ignoring you…I will be visiting soon!  WM

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38 Comments

Filed under cooking, family, food, gardening

38 responses to “Pizza, Pots du Chocolats, and Peat Pot Pests…

  1. Wow–that pizza looks amazing! I never knew the trick was to bake it twice–great pointer!

    (But, I’m wondering if the damage to you trees has continued. Again, so sorry to hear about the lilac and apples treees!)

    Kathy

    • Hey, Kathy…don’t bake it twice…that will make it hard! I don’t have an update on the yard…the guys weren’t there on Friday…will see what the situation is when we get home tonight… Hugs, Wendy

  2. BBQ chicken pizza is one of my all-time faves. And I’m really hungry now. What’s it cost to ship something like that?

  3. What a wonderful assortment of goodies, Wendy. The pizzas look delicious, as does the lava cake. The chili sounds tempting. My husband and I love chili. But, with the temps in the high 90s F (high 30s C), I’m not sure chili is the way to go…

    Happy Monday! ~ Lenore

    • Yikes, Lenore…I don’t miss those temps…I’m quite happy with 75 (which we haven’t had more than once yet this year). I just made chili because we hadn’t had it for a while…was suffering from “meal monotony”! Wendy

  4. When I read your food posts, it always inspires me to open up a cookbook and…learn. Then I come to my senses.

    Everything looks delicious!

    • It’s really not hard, Amanda…the best basic cookbook I know is still “Joy of Cooking”…if you can find one of those, it will get you started! It’s also something fun you can do with your kids! Wendy

  5. That made me hungry. Might have to try those! So…is the pizza stone worth the money? What’s your favourite crust recipe?

    • Sorry to butt in and answer the comment, mom, but I’m going to! :P

      Crust recipe:
      1 small packet active dry yeast (about 2 tsp.)
      1 cup warm water
      1 tsp. white sugar
      2 1/2 cups flour
      2-3 tbsp olive oil
      Dash of salt
      Garlic powder
      Pinch of oregano (optional)

      Mix yeast, sugar and warm water together in a bowl, let sit for 10 minutes until foamy. Add remaining ingredients, mix until dough forms (I usually just use my hands, works much better). Let dough sit for 10 minutes. Voila!

      Also, the pizza stone is totally worth it. I actually found Mom’s (Paderno brand) at Sears for only $20! I’ve also seen cheaper ones at the grocery store for about $12 and they work well too. :)

    • Yes, Leanne…get the pizza stone! The recipe I use for crust is really simple (don’t have it with me right now)…just water, flour, oil, quick-rise yeast and salt…no rising necessary, just roll and go! Check out allrecipes.com…I’m sure they’d have a good basic recipe! Wendy

      • I have to add my vote for getting the stone. It’s so worth it. It’s not just for pizza, either. Once it’s good and seasoned (like a good cast iron pan), you can make all kinds of bread products on it. I’d invest in a peel or two as well (the wooden paddles used to transfer the pizza).

        I also like to use different flours in my dough recipe. I usually do four cups (makes four thin crust pizzas) – 2 cups of whole wheat, 1 cup of white (plus whatever gets soaked in when I’m kneading) and 1 cup of oat flour (just put a cup of rolled oats into a food processor or blender and presto! Oat flour).

      • Sounds good, limr! I’ve been making bread for about 20 years, but haven’t experimented with different flours in pizza dough yet…I just learned how to do it so it wasn’t hard as rock! Wendy

  6. I just ate breakfast (well, drank it–it was a fruit and yogurt smoothie) but now I am hungry again.

    which makes me angry…

    which means…
    I
    am
    HANGRY.
    :)
    blessings
    jane

  7. Both pizzas look really good (said the guy who had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch).

  8. Oh.. how I wish you’re my neighbor!! :)

  9. The pizzas look delicious now you’ve got me wanting one, Wendy. 10:30 at night, that’s not a good thing.

  10. Pizza looks very yummy. I think it is written that you are allowed to be silly and foolish with your grand baby. Sounds like fun was had by all!

  11. Lava Cakes! I am actually salivating. That is a compliment. ;-)

  12. The spinach feta pizza sounds awesome. My wife makes something similar. Feta makes everything better. I look for any excuse to add feta.

    • I had to grow up before I actually started liking feta, Paul…I used to think it smelled like sweaty socks…come to think of it, it probably still does! I still like it though, especially with spinach! Wendy

  13. Great food post! You’re a wonderful foodie, young lady!

  14. jacquelincangro

    That spinach pizza looks delicious. I think I’ll try that combo soon. Did you find that the pizza made a difference over the regular pan?

    Also, what happened with the backyard brouhaha you had going on last week?

    • Yes, Jacquelin…the pizza stone makes a big difference! They’re putting in the septic bed this week…I’m looking forward to not having a big pile of dirt in my back yard very soon! Wendy

  15. Fooey on Better Homes and Gardens. On your own you did it right. They look great. And don’t apologize for not reading, heck I just got back to writing. Trying to get garden in and move son to Eu Claire, WI so no time to write or read.

  16. I love the look of that spinach & cheese pizza! All this food is making me hungry, more so coz it’s lunchtime as I read and the smell of lunch from the kitchen is making my mouth-water :) Elise…a girl after my own heart :)

    Hugs, H.

    • I’m really excited about making some more pizza, Harsha…I picked up some pesto last night to make chicken and pesto pizza!

      We’re looking forward to seeing Elise this weekend.

      Hugs,
      Wendy

  17. Pingback: Blossoms, Babies, Bell-Ringers, Breakfast, and BBQ…NEW POST! | Herding Cats in Hammond River

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