Posts Tagged ‘pizza


Hella Hot Jalapeno Pizza

I don’t consider myself a total wimp when it comes to spicy food.  In fact I prefer food to be a bit on the zippy side.  But I made a pizza for last night’s dinner that burned my fingers!  I’m not talkin’ burnt from heat.  The peppers made my fingers burn!  And they still smarted this morning.  Here’s how it all started:

 blog shots 2014 002-001blog shots 2014 004-001I didn’t have a lot of topping stuff on hand last night, so I decided to load the piazza up with fresh jalapeños and the nacho style jarred variety. There is also fresh pineapple, onions, soyrizo, chopped tomatoes and cheese in there.  so, I load it all up and slide into  the hot oven.

blog shots 2014 012-001And there it is, starting to cook.  You can see all of those peppers in there, looking all innocent.

blog shots 2014 014-001It’s almost ready.

blog shots 2014 021-001It’s go time.  Normally, I can eat three slices of my homemade pizza, no problem.  Seriously, I could only make it through 2 slices, and that second one took me a while.  I was savoring it, right?  Actually, I had to let my mouth cool down in between bites.  Can you believe Katie not only put crushed red pepper on her slices but also a TON of cayenne pepper!?!  Ok, I put crushed red pepper on mine, too, out of habit.  I really didn’t need to do that.

I noticed my hands were burning a bit all evening after dinner.  At least I had the foresight to remove my contacts before concocting this blistering affair, but I still managed to rub my eyes during the course of the evening, causing a bit of pain there.

Leftovers for lunch today.  Where are my food safety gloves?


Nothing says Christmas like camping at the beach

This is how we chose to celebrate Christmas 2011. For the past three years we have opted out of the tree, the presents, the stress and hassle. This year was a little different. Instead of no tree we were surrounded by trees. Beautiful, living breathing trees! And the Pacific ocean. Our gifts were the sound of the surf, a walk on the beach on Christmas Eve and a short hike on Christmas morning. Camping in a yurt for Christmas was brilliant! We were toasty warm in that yurt, sipping hot chocolate and watching silly movies on our computer.

Look at this beautiful coast! Katie wandered out on the rocks in search of starfish in the tide pools.

Beverly Beach State Park on the Oregon Coast is a perfect place to get away from the holiday hub bub. But even in the woods, people still decorated their RV’s and yurts. As we were strolling around the camp loop we passed a yurt that was totally tricked out in lights and a decorated tree.

I had never been in a yurt before, have you? It’s this totally cool already-set-up-for-you round tent. It has a locking door, a wood vinyl covered floor, a heater, a sky light, wood frame that ‘s covered in a heavy canvas. Yurts are amazing good fun! Ours had a table with 2 chairs, a futon couch, a coffee table (that became my kitchen) and a bunk bed with a full size mattress on the bottom and a twin on top.

Katie on the front porch of our yurt

We brought our bedding and camped in style with 1000 thread count sheets, a brand new mattress pad cover, down pillows and our down comforter. We were plenty comfortable.

Did you know you can make a pizza without an oven? I did it while we were camping. So easy, so cool, so tasty.

All you need is a pre-made crust and some toppings

I placed a pre-baked crust (Like a Bobali) in a wide skillet. I spread a layer of jarred pesto sauce over the crust, sprinkled some grated cheese, added chopped onion, jalapeño, soyrizo, black olives and tomatoes and more cheese over the top. The pan went on the hot plate, covered it with a lid and turned the heat on to the lowest setting.

Low heat and a lid - could not be easier

Then you just wait for the crust to get hot and all the cheese melts. The pizza will heat all the way through, the bottom gets a little toasty, but not burnt. I checked it periodically as it heated, just to be sure the bottom wasn’t getting too crispy. It was perfect.

There you go, Camp Pizza!

The cheese doesn’t get browned like in a conventional oven, but it the flavor was wonderful. After all, we were roughing it!

This is my portable kitchen, complete with 2 burner hot plate and an electric tea kettle!

We always have more food than we need!

Vampire Gran enjoying the beach on Christmas Eve - look at that beautiful blue sky!

Well, that’s the Readers Digest version of our Christmas at the Beach weekend. I hope you enjoyed the photos. You should do all of these things at least once in your lifetime: Camp in a yurt, walk on the beach and make pizza in a skillet. Happy New Year everyone!


Home Made Pizza in under 30 minutes or less


Before the trip to the oven......

Before the trip to the oven......




Shove over, Rachel Ray.  I too can make a dinner in 30 minutes or less.  Fresh hot homemade pizza, perhaps?  Who doesn’t like pizza?  Even vegans like pizza, especially if they prepare it themselves and know exactly what’s in it.


My secret for homemade pizza in under 30 minutes – buy the dough already prepared for you. I used to make pizza dough from scratch but it takes so long!  That’s fine if you have all day (ok half a day) to mix it and wait for it to rise until doubled and then punch it down and roll it out, etc.  I feel tired just writing about it.  I’ve discovered it’s so much easier to stop by your local pizzeria on your way home from work and just buy a fresh handmade dough ball and some sauce.  My current favorite place is called Bellagios and there are several locations around Portland and the surrounding area.


You can also buy pizza dough in the refrigerated section of most major supermarkets.  I know they sell them at New Seasons Market (local market), Trader Joe’s ( national market) and I believe Fred Meyers ( Pacific Northwest market chain).  These doughs, however, are probably not made that day (check the date on the bag) and usually not quite as tasty ( I have purchased some duds) as the pizzeria balls.


Out of curiosity I telephoned around to pizza establishments near my home to inquire if they too sold just the dough and/or sauce.  Five out of eight places told me they would sell me just the dough and/or sauce.  I am going to buy dough from all that said yes and report back about the results.


So, for those of you who are curious, here are the places that told me NO we do not sell our dough:  Pietro’s Pizza in Milwaukie, Pizzacato – locations throughout Portland, and Pizza Hut, national chain.


I highly recommend you use a pizza stone for best results, but if you don’t have one, Papa Murphy’s (national chain) will sell you a rolled out unbaked crust on their paper pizza pan that goes right into the oven and doesn’t burn.  They charge $3.00 for a large crust and .50 for sauce.


Round Table  (national chain) gave me a whole slew of information:


x-large dough ball – $2.25

Large dough ball – $2.00

Medium dough ball – 1.75

Small dough ball – 1.25

Sauce – .25 per cup (I think these are pretty small cups so you need to decide how much sauce you would need)


Flying Pie Pizza (local chain)


Dough ball – $2.00  enough for a thin large pizza  If you like a thicker crust buy 2 balls.


It’s a Beautiful Pizza (local Portland favorite)


Dough ball – $2.00 makes a large pizza


Sauce?  – and I quote “If you bring in your own container, I’ll hook you up”  Does that mean they give it to you gratis?  I’m not sure but I have eaten their pizza before and it is good so I am willing to pay for sauce.


Godfather’s Pizza (national chain) – I talked to the nicest guy named Matt.  He identified himself as the General Manager.  He didn’t quote any prices and he didn’t turn me down.  Matt suggested that I call ahead in the morning that I would want the dough and let them know when I would be in to pick it up.  Apparently there is a short window when you have to use the dough.  It also comes in the pan, like Papa Murphys, only it’s an aluminum pan.  He told me that he once sold some crust to a woman who made pizza on the barbeque grill.  I asked if she reported back to him and he said yes, it turned out great.  I might have to try their dough out using that method.


Like most cities, Portland has tons of pizzerias and I didn’t call all of them.  Eventually I may, but I’m sticking close to home for now.  I’m excited about trying all of the doughs.


I like the sauce from Bellagio’s because it is thick.  You can use your own homemade sauce or something out of a jar, but, really, paying .25 – .50 for sauce from the parlor is cheaper than a jar of sauce from the store.


You can put whatever you like on your pizza. As far as cheese goes, I prefer fresh mozzarella to the awkward, hard to grate ball.  The fresh is so much nicer and melts beautifully.  I like to top it off with a sprinkling of shredded parmesan as it browns nicely and gives a nice finish.  If you are making vegan pizza, the Follow Your Heart brand of soy cheese melts great.


Rule of thumb:  HOT OVEN – 425º – 500º


I have a convection oven so the 425º works best for me.  If you have a gas or electric oven I like to go for the 500º mark.  You just have to experiment and get to know your oven.


Place your rack on the bottom of your oven, as low as it will go.  I think this works best if using a pizza stone.  If you are using the Papa Murphy’s crust on their paper pizza pan, stay in the middle of the oven.


Set a timer for 13 minutes and then check the pizza.  It usually takes about 15 -20  minutes, depending on your oven and how thick the crust and toppings are.  Using a large metal spatula, slide it under the crust and take a peek underneatheth.  The crust should be a very light golden brown.  If it is still white, it ain’t done!


So, I think I have given you enough information to get you started on making your own pizza at home.  It is economical and super yummy and it really beats the frozen pizzas, hands down!


Manga Manga and Bon Appétit




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