It’s Summer…. Enjoy the simple things

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in so many activities during summer time that we forget to slow down and enjoy it. There’s a reason they call it “the lazy days of summer”, but you wouldn’t know it by most parent’s summer schedules. This summer as a break for mom (me), we have been taking turns making meals. To make things interesting we’ve been trying at least one new recipe a week. It’s so easy to be stuck in a rut when it comes to meals, especially when you are on a budget. This has become one of our new family favorites: BBQ Grilled Pizza!

  

It may not be pretty…but it’s delicious!

It’s so easy! All you have to do is plan ahead. These pizzas are very inexpensive if you make your own dough. About one and a half hours before you’d like to eat, mix up a batch of pizza dough and leave it to rise. (Recipe follows.) When you are about ready to eat…punch down the dough and heat up the grill. Separate dough into 4 equal pieces and have each person roll out their own. 

The key to making it great it how you cook it. When you heat up your grill, half of the grill will need to be set on medium to high heat and the other half set to low. Oil the hotter side of the grill with a little bit of olive oil. Then put your pizza dough on that side. Watch it carefully and just when the bottom is starting to turn golden turn it over and put it on the cooler side of the grill. Now is when you put on the toppings. Next you close the grill for a couple of minutes, just long enough to melt the cheese without burning the bottom of the pizza. Finally, remove pizza and enjoy while it’s still hot.

 You can use whatever you want for toppings. My favorite is a simple garlic marinara sauce with fresh basil leaves and fresh mozzarella pieces. My daughter, Summer likes one with BBQ sauce, leftover grilled chicken, fresh basil and shredded jack & cheddar cheese. The combinations are endless. You can just use whatever leftovers you have on hand; pre cooked meats, lunchmeats, sliced veggies, etc. We’ve even tried dessert pizzas… Sliced fresh peaches with cinnamon & sugar. Or caramel sauce with apples, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with sea salt. I think they are great sweet or savory. Let everyone get creative and make their own masterpieces.  Please share what you come up with! We’d love to hear your ideas!

 

iPhone pic of my daughter’s masterpiece 
Grilled pizza dough recipe: 

Ingredients

  1 teaspoon sugar 

  1 packet active dry yeast 

  2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing 

  1 teaspoon salt

  2 1/4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface 

  1 cup warm water 

Directions

1. Pour 1 cup warm water into a medium bowl; add sugar and sprinkle with yeast. Let stand until foamy, 5 minutes.

2. Stir oil into yeast mixture. 

3. In a standing mixer with dough hook attachment, add flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and mix on low until liquid is incorporated (dough will appear dry). Knead on low setting, until dough comes together in an elastic ball, 2 minutes. Transfer to an oiled medium bowl; brush lightly with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; set in a warm, draft-free place until dough has doubled in bulk, 30-45 minutes. Punch down dough and cover; let rise another 20 minutes.

Roll out using extra flour. Lightly oil dough and take it to the grill 🙂

  

  

Yay! It’s spring!

I know I’m jumping the gun…and we will probably get a spring snowstorm just to foil my gardening plans… But I don’t care! Woohoo!!!! I love spring! I’ve had a slow week in the studio so I’ve spent the week at home cleaning the yard and starting on some gardening. It’s always rejuvenating to spend time out in the fresh air, but springtime is special. It’s the start of a new gardening season and a time to plan and dream of the harvest.  My green house has its starts going. I have fresh herbs for vinaigrettes so I’m a happy camper. I hope my fellow gardening nuts are having a great spring too!

Gratitude

This past two weeks has been a time of lots of reflection on my personal and professional life. I tore a ligament in my lower back and have been flat on my back in bed. It has been a terribly painful experience. I have had to have assistance to even walk some days. Those who know me, know that I am a very active, “busy body”, do it myself type person. To lay in bed and not accomplish anything is torture. Now that I am recovering I realize this experience has been a time of growth. I am so thankful for those dear ones around me and for the good health I have enjoyed. I have taken my blessings for granted but I have a new appreciation for even the little, seemingly insignificant things in my life. Walking, going to the restroom without assistance, picking up my grand baby, playing with my little girls, are all things I have taken for granted! The people around me have been amazing during this trying time! My children who have tended me through it all (without too many disasters) ☺️.
I am so grateful to be healing now!
GRATITUDE …. I want to make it a part of me, of my being.

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