Grilling Spree

Memorial Day marks the official first weekend of summer and unofficial grilling season. After a long, cold winter I was pretty excited to get outside and flex my grilling muscles so I went on a bit of a spree. I grilled avocado for guacamole, I grilled bacon for breakfast, and I even tried grilling fruit. But the best dish we had all weekend was the grilled pizza.

Since my homemade pizza/ ketchup was due to expire soon, I decided pizza was a must for our first BBQ of the season. Pizza is one of those superfoods that my kids never ever tire of. It’s right up there with grilled cheese and chicken nuggets.

I broke out the rolling pins (we have 4), lined the boys up and we got to work. If you like to cook with your kids I highly recommend you invest in some rolling pins. It’s the cheapest babysitter in town. They keep my kids busy and happy for at least ten minutes, sometimes, even fifteen before they start fighting with them. Enough time to heat up the grill and get my own dough rolled.

Easy Peasy Pizza

Ingredients

1 package pizza dough (buy 2 if you have some little helpers)
Flour, for dusting
2 Tbsp olive oil, for brushing
Salt & Pepper
½ cup homemade pizza sauce
½ cup grated fresh parmesan or ½ cup ricotta cheese
1 tsp fresh oregano or 1 tsp fresh parsley

 
Method
Preheat grill to high. Divide pizza dough into eight small pieces. Dust your surface and rolling pin with some flour so dough doesn’t stick. Roll each piece out to desired thinness. If dough is springing back just let it rest a few minutes and start again. When dough is rolled place on baking sheet.

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Add oil to small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Brush one side of dough with olive oil and place oil side down on heated grill. Cook about 2-3 minutes until dough begins to get bubbly and is lightly browned.

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Brush top side with some oil and flip. Cook another 2-3 minutes until crust is lightly charred and then transfer crusts back to baking sheet. Spoon one tablespoon of sauce on each crust. Less is more on the toppings. Too much sauce will make your pizza soggy. Add parmesan cheese and oregano, or ricotta cheese and parsley.

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Place baking sheet onto grill and close cover, heat an additional 2-3 minutes, until crust is crispy and cheese is melted. Enjoy!

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And the VERDICT is:
Matthew (age 6): “Thumbs down on that ricotta stuff! But I love the other one”
Liam (age 5): “This pizza is GREAT”
Dylan (age 5): “What kind of cheese is THAT?”
Parmesan was the clear winner but the ricotta was also GREAT!

 

For my local readers:

Great event this weekend at Fairway Market in Pelham Manor!

Saturday May 31st. 1-3pm

Funny Food Workshop Breakfast Event – Bill Wurtzel, author of “Funny Food 365 Fun, Healthy, Silly, Creative Breakfast” teaches families how to create funny food art.

Register at customer service or online at www.fairwaymarket.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Breakfast

Sunday breakfast in our house is usually an elaborate affair. We break out the silverware and fancy plates (no Thomas Train plastic) and cross our fingers that the boys don’t break anything.  To date, there has only been one plate casualty, not bad considering the clientele!

I used pumpkin in this recipe but sweet potatoes work too if there are any leftovers still sitting in the fridge from Thanksgiving.

Making them small takes forever but it’s worth the extra effort. Plus, using the pumpkin adds some cooking time so silver dollars are the way to go.

These were so good the boys never even asked for syrup! Of course there was a little in the mix but it was a lot less then they would have normally poured over them…..

Pumpkin Cranberry Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 3/4 cup 2% or whole milk

4 Tbsp butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

3-Tbsp maple syrup

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup dried cranberries

 

Directions:

Combine puree, milk, butter, eggs, and syrup in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just enough to combine. Fold in cranberries.  (Batter can be made and refrigerated overnight – just leave out the cranberries till the next morning)

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Scoop a heaping tablespoon onto griddle or pan. Brown pancakes on both sides.

Extras can be frozen and popped into toaster to reheat. Cool completely before freezing.

And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (big brother): Not as yummy with the raisins – but still delicious.

Liam (little brother): Maybe I do like the raisins, I need a toothpick

Dylan (littler brother): I only want crabby patties for breakfast! (hmmmm, too much Spongebob maybe?)

Leftovers

One of my assignments this year for the Thanksgiving feast is sweet potatoes. Yes, somehow I managed to escape hosting another year! I have never made traditional mashed sweet potatoes so I did a trial run before the big day. Consequently, we had lots of leftovers even before Thanksgiving.

I knew the boys wouldn’t go for the mashed sweet potatoes straight up so I came up with a great idea for pizza that I thought they would love. Anything with cheese usually does well at our house.

Since the sweet potatoes were well hidden I was counting on the boys to like it. Plus the recipe called for maple syrup to sweeten the deal – how could I go wrong with that? But then again, our crazy crew tends to react exactly opposite to what you would expect…. I think they do it just to drive me insane  keep me on my toes– but that is another story…

“Sweet” Sweet Potato Pizza

Ingredients:

3 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1/4-cup milk

2 Tbsp butter, room temperature

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp Olive Oil, plus some extra for brushing on dough

1 lb sweet sausage, casings removed

Pinch of salt

1 ball pizza dough (16 oz.)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups grated fresh Mozzarella cheese

 

Directions:

Make the mash:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and mash with fork or potato masher. Add milk, butter, syrup and salt. Blend until smooth and set aside. (Potatoes can be made ahead, bring to room temperature before using)

Make the sausage:

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and add the sausage and salt. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage and sauté until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer sausage to plate with slotted spoon, then set aside to let cool. (Sausage can be made ahead)

Roll out the dough:

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly oil a large baking sheet. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pizza dough with rolling pin and transfer dough to baking sheet. Lightly brush dough with olive oil.

Spread sweet potato mixture evenly over dough, leaving about 1/2 inch border. Top with mozzarella cheese, sausage, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake until the crust is golden, about 16-18 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Cut into slices and dig in! Yield: 12 square slices.

And the VERDICT is:

Matthew: The BEST PIZZA I ever had! (total = 2 1/2pcs)

Liam: It tastes burnt- the sweet potato is disgusting (total = 2 1/2pcs)

Dylan: Mmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm (total = 2 pcs)

Brian: When I saw you spreading sweet potato on pizza I was skeptical but this is really good! (total = 4pcs)

This pizza came out so yummy, entirely worth the effort. Next time I am making two because if you do the math there was not much left for me!