How To: Grilled Pizza

Have you ever had grilled pizza before? I’ve had it on my “to try” list for quite awhile now but never got around to it until now. And you know what? I’m kicking myself for waiting so dang long. The outside of the crust becomes crispy and a little charred while the inside stays chewy. It’s kind of the best ever.
Grilled Pizza 3
We love having pizza nights at home but usually steer clear of them during the summer because I don’t want to heat up the house. This is the perfect way to keep the tradition going and it’s just as easy as the traditional version.
Grilled Pizza 2
You’ll start by preparing your favorite dough, pizza sauce and toppings. I always double the dough and sauce recipes and freeze half. Plus, we ALWAYS have cheese. This means we can have pizza quickly on a weeknight without much effort at all. Winning.
Grilled Pizza 1
This time around we went traditional with what we already had in the fridge, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, mozzarella and sharp cheddar but feel free to top this tasty crust with anything you like. I think I might go with buffalo chicken next time around.
Grilled Pizza 4
How To: Grilled Pizza

1/2 recipe pizza dough (freeze other half or make 2)
Olive oil
Pizza sauce
Toppings of choice

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Meanwhile, roll out pizza dough thinly and brush one side generously with olive oil.

2. Place dough, olive oil side down, on the heated grill and close the lid. Grill for 3 minutes then gently lift the crust to check if it has begun to brown. My grill flared up so check if any areas are burning and rotate so that the crust is evenly browned. If crust hasn’t browned and gotten grill marks, continue to grill, checking every minute or two.

3. Brush uncooked side of crust with olive oil and flip. Top pizza with sauce, cheese and desired toppings quickly and close lid. Cook for 3 minutes and check crust as you did in step 2. Cook until crust is browned and crispy and the cheese has melted completely. Remove pizza from grill and allow to sit for a minute before slicing.
How To: Grilled Pizza

Pistachio Pesto Pasta

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Pesto is a food of love or hate in our house. My kids and I are big fans but Joel makes gagging sounds just at the mention of it. Dramatic, I know. He was in Boston a couple weeks ago for a work conference and although I hate when he is out of town (especially for 6 days!) it is nice to have the opportunity to make something he despises.
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We’ve been addicted to pistachios lately so we had a big bag in the house so I decided to use them in place of the pine nuts in a traditional pesto for a fun twist. Pretty sure I will never use pine nuts again. The pistachios lend a slightly sweet taste to the pesto along with a little punch of salt.
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I prefer my pesto with a little bit of texture but blend until you are happy with the consistency. And this sauce isn’t just for pasta. Try drizzling it over roasted or grilled veggies. Or mix it with a little mayo and spread it on your sandwich.
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Does garlic breath seem stronger in kids or is it just mine? Man, Noah and Hannah reek after they have had something with onions or garlic. Pesto for dinner? No waiting for bedtime to brush your teeth because child, you stink. And I mean that in the most loving way possible.

Pistachio Pesto Pasta

1 garlic clove
3/4 cup pistachios
1/2 cup basil
1/4 cup parmesan
1/2 cup olive oil
Pinch salt and pepper
8 oz. short cut pasta

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, place garlic, pistachios, basil and parmesan in a blender or food processor and pulse into course crumbs. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, while pulsing, until sauce forms and desired consistency has been reached.

2. Drain pasta and toss with pesto.
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Farro, White Bean and Broccoli Gratin

Farro, White Bean and Broccoli Gratin
My little man graduated from preschool on Saturday. And I kept it together through the whole ceremony. Mostly. Both of those facts are incredibly hard for me to believe. You know the saying, “the days are long but the years are short.” I’m pretty sure there is nothing more true. It’s seriously mind boggling how this has happened. Where did my baby go? Well, I’ll always call him my baby especially when he’s an obnoxious teenager and his friends are over.
Preschool Graduation
I noticed today that he’s getting hair on his legs. What? Slow down time.

We had lots of family and friends come to his graduation and help us celebrate. After the ceremony we went to Noah’s favorite restaurant, HuHot. I gave him the choice of me cooking whatever he wanted or going out to lunch. He chose out. Major burn for a food blogger but how can you compete with food being cooked with giant sticks? In a 4 year olds mind, you’re never going to win against that.

I did make these cute graduation hat cupcakes, roasted strawberry ice cream (with lemon Oreos mixed in) and raspberry white chocolate chunk ice cream and they were all big hits. It was a wonderful celebration with amazing family and delicious food. Which brings me to today’s post.
Graduation Cupcakes
After all that decadence this weekend, I feel the need to lighten things up. This Farro, White Bean and Broccoli Gratin is a great meal after over indulging on the weekend and the perfect Meatless Monday dish.

It comes together quickly and is really hearty and filling. I’m new to farro and this was only the 3rd time I’ve cooked it and has definitely been my favorite version. Farro has a nutty flavor that goes particularly well with the creamy parmesan sauce that it’s coated in for this dish. I mean, a cheesy sauce that’s still healthy? You’re sold right?

When cooking the farro, be careful not to let it absorb all of the liquid otherwise you won’t yield a creamy sauce. I’m speaking from experience here so trust me. The first time I made this, I wasn’t keeping a close eye on it and it got dry quickly. It was still yummy but didn’t have the smooth, sauciness that you look for in a gratin.
Farro, White Bean and Broccoli Gratin 2
The navy beans add a dose of protein to the dish and help plump it up as a main dish.

I am always looking for new ideas to add to my arsenal of meatless Monday meals and this one is definitely going into the rotation. It uses a few different ingredients than our usual meatless meals but still has that cheese to bring it home for the boys. Win, win.

Farro, White Bean and Broccoli Gratin
recipe adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely minced
1 1/2 cups farro
2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper
1 lb. broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15 ounce) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Add one teaspoon olive oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the farro and cook until it’s lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in stock and water and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low heat and continue simmering, stirring often, until the remaining liquid has thickened into a creamy sauce and farro is tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan, salt and pepper.

2. Meanwhile, lightly steam the broccoli, about 3-4 minutes. In a skillet over medium heat, add the remaining oil (1 tablespoon) and garlic, cooking for 1-2 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the navy beans and cooked farro.

3. Pour mixture into a baking dish and top with shredded cheddar. Place under the broiler until browned and bubbly, 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Cinco de Mayo Taco Tuesday Party

Whole Wheat Tortillas 3
Cinco de Mayo falls on Tuesday this year…coincidence? I think not. It would be a travesty not to participate in Taco Tuesday this week. So to help you out, I searched around the internets for some of the most delicious looking tacos that will totally do the holiday justice. I hope one of these inspires you for an all-out taco par-tay!

Carnitas = Best.Tacos.Ever.

Sweet Potato Tacos are skinny but still delicious and could do double duty on Meatless Monday.

The Quesarito isn’t quite a taco but I had to share this one with you. A cheese quesadilla is filled with toppings and rolled up burrito style. Dying.

Korean Tacos for a little Mexican Asian fusion.

Grilled Taco Lime Chicken is great for busy weeknight meals and one I have made over and over. Soo easy and delicious.

Loaded Carne Asada Tacos. Carne Asada + Fries + Guacamole + Cheese. Need I say more?

Smoky Shrimp Tacos with Chorizo Beans and Mango Salsa – smoky and sweet is always a winning combination.

Huevo Rancheros Tacos for something on the lighter side and another meatless option.

You all know I don’t really like fish but these Blackened Fish Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce look incredible.

Chicken Fried Steak Tacos. Ummm, whaaaaat? Mexican and Southern, the fusion of my dreams.

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Slaw and Avocado Cream are all about the texture. Oh, and they are vegan too.

Apple Pie Tacos, because what’s a Taco Tuesday Cinco de Mayo party without a dessert taco? I mean, at this point, do the calories really matter?

And wash ’em all down with Lime Sorbet Margaritas.

 

 

 

 

Honey BBQ Pork Meatballs

Honey BBQ Pork Meatballs 3
I love a pulled pork sandwich covered in barbecue sauce but that takes a lot of effort. We have a smoker so that’s the only way we do pulled pork in our house. It’s quite a process though so it doesn’t happen too often. I was craving it like mad the other day so I decided to try something a little different that would be reminiscent of that delicious sandwich but take a lot less effort.
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In come these little beauties. Done in less than 30 minutes and totally comfort worthy. I made a simple, traditional meatball but switched out the ground beef for ground pork. Once they are done they are slathered in that delicious honey bbq sauce I shared on Monday.
Honey BBQ Pork Meatballs 1
I served these alongside some oven baked fries but can you imagine them on a roll with a little coleslaw? Absolutely happening next time.
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Honey BBQ Pork Meatballs

1 lb. ground pork
1 egg
1/4 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh black pepper
1 Tbsp. parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 batch Honey BBQ Sauce

1. Combine egg, panko, salt, pepper and parsley in a large bowl. Crumble ground pork over the mixture and mix until just combined. Form mixture into 1-inch balls and place on parchment paper.

2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook meatballs in a single layer, flipping after they have browned for 1-2 minutes. Cook until no longer pink in the middle. Remove from the pan and toss with honey bbq sauce.
Honey BBQ Pork Meatballs 6

Recipe Updates

As I make recipes that I’ve shared in the past, I’ve been updating photos to help with the appeal of the posts. These are all great recipes but the photos definitely didn’t do them justice. I asked on Facebook if you all would be interested in seeing what I’ve updated lately and I got some positive reviews so here it is. I’m still learning a lot when it comes to food photography but I think I’ve definitely improved! I’ll randomly share these posts after a few recipes have been updated. For now, I have two yummy updates to share with you.

These Broccoli and Four Cheese Calzones are pretty intense. I mean, four cheeses, you can’t really go wrong with that. I originally made this recipe in June 2011, only months into starting my blog. An oldie, but a goodie.
Broccoli and Four Cheese Calzones 4
If it was up to Noah, he would eat these Mini Corn Dogs all day, every day. This recipe was also written in 2011 and has stood the test of time. We don’t fry often but when we do we savor these little nuggets of goodness. The original photos were seriously awful. They were taken at night with my terrible kitchen lighting and the flash on my camera to illuminate them. Definitely not my greatest work! But now they are shining with natural light and have some fun props to add visual interest. Looks like I’ve learned a little something in four years.
Corn Dogs 3
That’s all I’ve got for you today. Let me know if you would like to see more of these types of posts.

Mini Bagel Bites

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Did you guys love Bagel Bites when you were a kid? I remember my brother and I always got so excited when my mom bought them for us. I don’t even know if they make them still but every time I think of them, it brings me back to my childhood. Whoever thought of turning a boring bagel into pizza is kind of a genius.
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I don’t know about you all but I really struggle with lunches for the kids. I don’t really want to cook a full meal but I also don’t want to do sandwiches every day. A lot of times, we have all the ingredients on hand for English muffin pizzas but recently we had some mini bagels lying around and I thought it would be a fun change. They were gobbled down within minutes and that’s saying a lot considering it often takes up to an hour to get Noah to eat a meal. The kid is just too busy for silly things like eating. He’s also a big snacker so he would rather eat like a bird all day then sit down and have 3 meals. I will be nice to have this one in my back pocket when I need him to focus and eat.
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I have to tell you too, they were equally well received by the 30 year old boy in my house too. Nice to know iconic kid food can span the decades.
Mini Bagel Bites 1
Mini Bagel Bites

4 mini bagels, split in half
8 Tbsp. pizza sauce
8 Tbsp. shredded mozzarella cheese
mini pepperoni, or desired toppings

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place bagel halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Spread each bagel half with 1 tablespoon of pizza sauce and top with 1 tablespoon each of mozzarella. Top with mini pepperoni or other desired toppings.

2. Bake for 8 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
Mini Bagel Bites 2