30 July 2014

Another great way to use up that zucchini!  This is the side dish that I mentioned the other day when talking about making tuna steaks.  It's colorful, it's flavorful, and it's super versatile.  This is a really great recipe to know.  I did mine with a Thai spin to it, since I was serving it with an Asian-flavored tuna steak, but you can easily make it Italian, Indian, Mexican, Greek, or any other cuisine you need.  It's adapted from EatingWell.

Thai Veggie Couscous

2 tbsp olive oil
¼ large onion, chopped
1 medium-large zucchini, diced
2 medium carrots, grated
1 tsp Thai seasoning (I use Penzey's Bangkok Seasoning)
1½ tsp salt (use less if your Thai seasoning contains salt)
2 cups water
1½ cups couscous
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Peanuts, chopped

Heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté a few minutes until it begins to soften.  Add the zucchini and the carrot, and sauté until zucchini begins to soften.  Stir in the Thai seasoning, salt, and water.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in the couscous, turn off heat, and cover pan.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Remove lid and fluff couscous.  Test for seasoning, adjusting if necessary.  Transfer to a serving dish, and garnish with cilantro and peanuts.

Makes 6 servings.

This was the perfect side dish for this tuna.  If you can't find Thai seasoning, you can simply use some garlic and ginger.  That would be good too.  The amount of couscous that I used was the same amount that is in the little boxes of it that you can buy.  Sometimes I buy the big jar of it, and sometimes I just grab one of those little boxes.  It comes in a plain variety.  If you don't have Thai seasoning, you could get one of the flavored varieties.  I think they have a roasted garlic variety that would be good.

I love how the veggies and the pasta all cook in one pan.  Easy clean-up!  And I also love how fast this comes together.  Couscous doesn't need to boil, so you just add it to the pan, turn off the heat, and wait 5 minutes.  Easy peasy!

As with changing up the seasonings in this dish, you can also use any kind of veggies you like or have on hand.  Mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, yellow squash, small broccoli or cauliflower florets all would work in here.

28 July 2014

Tuna steaks are one of my favorite foods ever.  So good.  However, I went years without buying them because they are expensive.  They would always be the first thing I looked for on restaurant menus because it was something I never made at home.  My grocery budget just couldn't accommodate it.  But a few months ago while walking around Sam's Club, I noticed some Ahi tuna steaks in the freezer section.  I looked at the price, then I looked at how many pounds were in the bag, and I got excited.  Still definitely not the cheapest thing to buy, but definitely doable.  So we now have tuna steaks every two or three weeks.  

There are lots of fun things to do with tuna steaks, but this marinade is the simplest and best.  The orange, soy, ginger, and garlic flavors are perfect on tuna.  This marinade allows you to cook the tuna any way you like: grill, pan-sear, bake, or any other way you can think of, with perfect results every time.  It's adapted from one I saw on Allrecipes.

Orange Soy Tuna Steak Marinade

¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp powdered ginger
½ tsp garlic powder
4 tuna steaks

Pour all ingredients in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.  Smoosh to mix.  Add tuna steaks and seal.  Marinate for 1-2 hours.  Remove tuna from bag and discard remaining marinade.  Cook tuna as desired.

So simple, but so good.  My favorite way to cook the tuna is grilling, as you can see above, but when it gets too cold to grill I will switch to pan searing.  

I have served this tuna with rice, peanut noodles, and most recently with a Thai Veggie Couscous (in the pic above).  It's very versatile.

26 July 2014

I'm taking a little break from the grilling recipes today to share a recipe from that other great summertime food category: zucchini.  We are now in the time of year when gardeners have oodles of zucchini becoming ripe and are constantly looking for new ways to use it up.  I am not a gardener and therefore don't have extra zucchini, but I was fortunate enough to come home from our trip to Indiana with a bunch that two different friends gave me.  We got two humongous ones and three large ones.  We have eaten zucchini almost every day this week, which is awesome.  On Monday I grilled it, on Tuesday my husband fried some for lunch, on Wednesday I made Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins, on Thursday I sauteed some and put it in an Asian couscous dish, and this morning I made this yummy egg dish.  My husband and I love zucchini and have had no problem eating it every day.  My girls are hit or miss with it.  They don't really care for it when it's by itself, like when I grilled it, but Lena loved the fried version and they both loved the muffins and this egg dish.  I first tried this dish a couple of years ago and decided to dust the recipe off this week to take care of another zucchini.  I got the recipe from Meatless Meals for Meat Eaters.

Zucchini Oven Omelet

1 cup zucchini, grated (1 medium)
6 eggs
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
¼ tsp salt
½ dried dill

Preheat oven to 350°.  Coat an 8x8” baking dish with baking spray.

Squeeze as much water out of the zucchini as you can.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, eggs, ¾ cup of the cheese, salt, and dill.  Pour into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle top with remaining ¼ cup cheese.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the eggs are puffy and no longer runny in the middle.  Remove from oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

Makes 9 servings.

This is a pic from when I made it a couple of years ago.  That time I just stirred all of these cheese in instead of saving some to sprinkle on top.  Either way is fine, but I think my kids like the look of it better when they can see the cheese on top.

Dill is my favorite herb to go with zucchini, but you can use anything you like (thyme would be good too), or you can omit the herb altogether.

My daughters who don't like to eat zucchini by itself love this egg dish.  One of their favorite breakfast items is cheesy scrambled eggs, so I billed this dish as cheesy scrambled eggs with a little zucchini in it that gets baked.  Which is really pretty true.  Worked like a charm!

I grated one of my large zucchinis for this and ended up with two cups, so I put the other cup in a baggie and threw it in the freezer for the next time I want to make this.

The muffins I mentioned were a huge hit.  They were gone before I had a chance to get a picture of them.  But luckily, I made so many that I froze some, so hopefully I can get a pic of those and share that recipe with you soon.  Look for the Asian couscous recipe coming soon as well.

What's your favorite way to use up zucchini?

24 July 2014

Surprise, surprise!  Another grilling recipe!  How about some chicken this time?  Drumsticks and thighs go on sale for so cheap (79 or 99 cents a pound), that I always have some in the freezer.  I try not to serve them too often, because my husband isn't a huge fan of bone-in chicken, but he doesn't usually complain if I serve it about once a week.  This is an awesome way to grill drumsticks.  First they are marinated in a salty savory concoction, then near the end of grilling they are brushed with a sweet and slightly spicy glaze.  A lovely combination of flavors.  This is adapted from Skinnytaste.

Asian Grilled Drumsticks

8 chicken drumsticks, skinless or skin-on
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
½ cup sweet chili sauce

Place drumsticks in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.  Pour in the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic powder, and ground ginger.  Seal bag, making sure all the air gets out.  Smoosh bag until the seasonings are evenly mixed into the marinade, and place bag in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.  Turn bag over occasionally.

Preheat grill to medium heat.  Remove drumsticks from bag; discard marinade.  Place drumsticks on the grill.  Grill for about 25 minutes, turning drumsticks every 10 minutes or so to get grill marks on all sides.  Brush each drumstick with a generous amount of the sweet chili sauce and grill another 5 minutes or so until the glaze is sticky.  Remove from grill and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

You can certainly take the skin off of these if you wish.  They will be just as good.  I left it on because my daughters (especially six-year-old Lena) love crispy chicken skin.  You can also use thighs instead of drumsticks.  Boneless breasts may work too, but you will have to adjust the cooking time.

The main thing I changed from Gina's recipe is omitting the heat.  She added Sriracha, both to the marinade and to the glaze.  But we aren't huge fans of spicy, so I left that out.  In fact, I was worried that the sweet chili sauce would be too much for my girls, so I didn't glaze their drumsticks.  It's not that spicy (I loved it), but they have been super picky about spicy lately, so I didn't want to push it.

I served these with brown rice and edamame.  The weather was nice so we ate outside on the patio.  I love summertime!

22 July 2014

Ready for another grilling recipe?  I told you; I can't get enough grilling lately!  Now normally I am not a fan of hot dogs.  My girls eat them for lunch occasionally, but they don't do much for me.  And I'm at that point of the summer when I inwardly groan when I hear that someone is serving "burgers and dogs" because they are such go-to summer grilling dishes that I am sick of them by now.  So it's kind of surprising that I have been all about grilling hot dogs this summer.  It's because they are not just your usual run-of-the-mill hot dogs.  These hot dogs have it going on!  They are stuffed with creamy havarti cheese, then wrapped in bacon, then slathered with tangy barbecue sauce, then grilled to perfection.  Who wouldn't love that?  I got the recipe from Barbara Bakes.

Barbecued Bacon Hot Dogs

7 regular-length hot dogs
2-3 oz. havarti cheese
2.5 oz. pkg. fully cooked bacon
⅓ cup barbecue sauce
Toasted hot dog buns

Preheat grill to medium-low heat.

Slice each hot dog down the middle, but not all the way through, creating a long pocket.  Cut the havarti into long strips and stuff the hot dog pockets with the cheese.  Roll two strips of bacon around each hot dog, securing with toothpicks.  Brush each hot dog with barbecue sauce.

Place hot dogs on the grill, cheese facing down.  Cook for just a few minutes, and flip to the other side.  Cook a few more minutes, or until cheese is melty and bacon is crispy.  Remove all of the toothpicks and serve on toasted buns.

Makes 4 servings.

 You don't have to be perfect and pretty when stuffing the dogs with cheese.  Just smoosh it in there!

 I forgot to brush these with the barbecue sauce before throwing them on the grill, but no worries.  I just brushed it on as soon as I remembered.  It's a very forgiving recipe!

It may seem a little awkward that my recipe calls for seven hot dogs.  It's because I use two pieces of bacon for each dog and my package of bacon (I buy the store brand) contains 15 pieces.  So I can fully wrap seven hot dogs.  And that is enough for my family of four anyway, sometimes with one leftover for lunch the next day.  Your package of bacon may have more or less than mine; check the number of servings on the back to make sure there are enough slices for however many hot dogs you want to make.  Barbara used the bun length hot dogs, and I tried it that way the first time, but I needed three slices of bacon to cover each one.  Since the bacon is the priciest component of this meal, I like to minimize it by using only 2 slices for each dog.  So I use the regular length dogs.  

I know what you're thinking: "I want to see the inside!"  (At least that's what I always think when someone posts a "stuffed" recipe.)  Here's a cross-section for you:

My youngest daughter is allergic to dairy, but is in the process of growing out of it.  So we have been giving her little bits of cheese in stuff and while she can handle it okay, I have been noticing that she really doesn't like cheese.  I guess it's because she's never really had it before and it's weird to her.  I hope she gets over it because we live in Wisconsin, for heaven's sake!  You can't grow up in Wisconsin and not like cheese!  Anyway, the point of this story is that every time I make these dogs, she picks the strip of cheese out of it and eats the rest.  (Her sister is usually happy to take the extra cheese off her hands.)

Yum!  These are some hot dogs I wouldn't ever mind eating at every barbecue all summer long!

21 July 2014

If you're like me, you've been totally obsessed with grilling this summer.  Last month we upgraded from a charcoal grill (which neither one of us was able to master) to a used, but new-to-us gas grill.  So much better!  Now we are grilling everything we can think of.

I love potatoes and had some a couple of weeks ago that I needed to use up.  I read online somewhere (can't remember now exactly where) that grilling potatoes works best if you pop them in the microwave first.  That ensures that the insides get cooked before the outside burns.  So with that idea in mind, I came up with this recipe for grilled potato wedges.  Super simple and super yummy.

Grilled Potato Wedges

4-6 red potatoes
Olive oil
Seasoned salt

Preheat grill to medium heat.

Cut potatoes into wedges.  Place them in a microwaveable dish (I used an 8” Pyrex) and microwave them on high for 6-8 minutes or until they are beginning to get tender.

Remove from microwave and brush all sides liberally with olive oil.  Generously sprinkle all sides with seasoned salt.

Place the wedges on the grill, cut side down.  Close grill and cook for about 5 minutes, or until nice grill marks form.  Turn each wedge over to the other cut side and turn grill down to low.  Cover and cook another 5 minutes or until you get good grill marks on that side.  At this point, check them to see if they are done in the middle.  If they are, remove from the grill (you can place back in the same dish you brought them out in).  If not, turn them over to their skin side and cook another 5 minutes or until they are fluffy inside.

Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

 I made these wedges again tonight.  So far they have turned out perfectly each time I have made them.  I think they are pretty hard to screw up!  They are the perfect combination of crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.  I think I could eat these everyday!

I did our whole meal on the grill tonight.  These potato wedges, some barbecued smoked sausage, and some zucchini seasoned with dill.  Such a perfect summer dinner.  The first time I made these wedges, I served them with Baked Cornmeal-Crusted Cod and fresh corn on the cob.  They would be awesome with hamburgers.

These wedges are absolutely perfect as they are, but they also make great dippers.  When I served them with the cod, I dipped a few in the tartar sauce that I made to go with it.  Yummy.  They are also good with ranch.  

The other great thing about them is that you can easily change up the flavor profile by using different seasonings.  Italian seasoning would be great, as would your favorite barbecue rub.  The possibilities are endless!

The next time you are grilling out and need an easy side dish, throw some potatoes on the grill!

17 July 2014

It's time for this month's Improv Challenge!

The premise of the Improv Challenge is easy: each month there are two assigned ingredients.  The participants must make a recipe using both ingredients and blog about it. 

This month's ingredients were popcorn and peanuts.  Interesting!  Made me think of baseball of course, since I'm a big baseball fan.  I wasn't sure what there was to do with them though, until I started looking around on Pinterest for ideas.  I found Thai-style chicken that was breaded with popcorn and peanuts, fudge with popcorn and peanuts in it, and several different varieties of popcorn and peanut snacks.  While I am still very intrigued by that chicken, I went the snack route this time.  We are getting ready for a car trip and I thought I would make us a fun car snack.  I found a recipe for Butterscotch Popcorn Crunchies on Nestle's website, and since I love all things butterscotch, I had to try it.  It's basically like caramel corn, but with a butterscotch twist.

Butterscotch Popcorn and Peanuts

12 cups popped popcorn
2 cups lightly salted peanuts
¼ cup butter
11 oz. pkg. butterscotch baking chips
¾ cup light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 300° . Spray large roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place popcorn and peanuts in prepared roasting pan.  (Make sure there are no unpopped kernels in there.)  Lay a large piece of parchment paper out on the counter.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Add butterscotch chips and corn syrup and increase heat to medium-low.  Stir often until butterscotch chips are completely melted and mixture starts to bubble. Immediately pour over popcorn mixture in roasting pan; toss as well as you can to evenly coat.

Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, for 20 to 30 minutes. Carefully pour mixture onto parchment paper and spread evenly. As mixture cools, it will harden. Once completely cool, break into bite-size pieces. Store in airtight container. 

Makes about 14 cups.

So I have to admit that it took me two tries to get this stuff right.  It was my fault, though.  Instead of using a roasting pan, I used my two stoneware large bar pans (from Pampered Chef).  They are rimmed so I thought they would work just fine.  And they did, except that I put them both on the same rack, side-by-side.  I should have known not to do that, because every time I do, the outside edges are too close to the sides of the oven, and those sides burn.  I forgot.  I noticed it the second time I went to stir them, so I moved one pan to a different rack and centered them both.  That stopped the burning, but the damage had been done.  The butterscotch caramel coating got too dark.  In hindsight, I realize I should have taken it out sooner, because the original recipe called for cooking it a total of 40-45 minutes.  So I just followed the recipe.  But like I said, the butterscotch part got too dark.  The result was still edible, and my husband liked it just fine, but I was very disappointed. The butterscotch flavor got cooked out.  :(

I wasn't sure I would try again, because I was busy getting ready for our trip.  But I had more of all of the ingredients and I thought it would make an awesome car snack, so I squeezed in some time to make it again.  This time I started out with the pans on different racks so there was no burning.  And I played it safe, and only baked it for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes everything was evenly coated and the butterscotch stuff seemed to be the right consistency, so I took it out.  Perfect.

This is kind of a messy dish to make, but it's worth it.  When you first pour the butterscotch syrup on the popcorn and peanuts, you're going to think that something went wrong, because it's very difficult to stir.  You can't possibly get all the popcorn evenly coated.  Don't worry about it.  When you go back to stir it after the first 10 minutes, you will see that the sauce has melted and loosened up quite a bit so you are better able to stir it and get all the popcorn covered.

The first time I made this, I made it just as written, and when my 4-year-old, Eva, found out she couldn't have it (because she's allergic to peanuts), she was heartbroken.  So when I made it the second time, I did half of it with peanuts and half without.  Then I had a very happy girl on my hands!

Check out all the other popcorn and peanuts recipes below and come back next month to see what I make with bacon and beans.  Yum!

An InLinkz Link-up

11 July 2014

Did you see that? Yes, I am doing a giveaway!  Healthy Solutions Spice Blends contacted me and asked if I would like to try out some of their tasty spice blends.  Of course!  They have a fantastic array of spice blends that make it easy to "create gourmet meals in minutes".  These little packets of awesomeness take the guesswork out of choosing how to season your meals.  Check out the different varieties:

Herb Crusted Tilapia
Shrimp Scampi
Cajun Seafood
Encrusted Haddock
Lemon Pepper
Sesame Ginger Tuna
Grilled Swordfish
Salmon with Dill
Bold Beef Rub
Authentic Chili/Tacos
Hearty Beef Stew
Italian Meatballs
Perfect Steak
Savory Meatloaf
Ultimate Burger
Pork & Poultry

They have a spice blend perfect for whatever kind of protein you are cooking up!  And the best thing about these spice blends?  Most of them contain no salt and no sugar.  They are a great choice for anybody trying to eat healthier without sacrificing flavor.  I decided to try out the Sesame Ginger Tuna variety.  I recently discovered very affordable tuna steaks at Sam's and have been stocking up!  They are really good and this spice blend was just perfect for them.  Here's how I made them.

Sesame Ginger Grilled Ahi Tuna Steaks

1 1/2 lbs. Ahi tuna steaks, thawed if frozen
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Healthy Solutions Sesame Ginger Tuna Spice Blend

Place tuna steaks in a large resealable bag.  Whisk together soy sauce, honey, and spice blend in a small bowl.  Pour marinade into bag, seal, and place in fridge, turning occasionally, for 2 hours.

Preheat grill to medium heat.  Remove tuna from bag and place on the grill.  Pour some of the remaining marinade on top of the tuna steaks.  Discard bag.  Grill tuna for about 5 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned on the outside but still pink in the middle.  Remove from grill and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

My whole family loved this tuna.  The flavors were just perfect.  I served it with some peanut noodles and roasted broccoli and carrots.  It was an awesome meal.

Now, about the giveaway!  I have three more packets of these spice blends and I would love to share them with my lovely readers.  Unfortunately, I don't have another Sesame Ginger Tuna, but since we are in the middle of grilling season, I have three different blends that will take your grilled beef dishes to a whole new level.  Up for grabs are:

Perfect Steak: The perfect blend of rosemary, garlic & onion to beef up the flavor of your select cut.
Ultimate Burger: Not your average burger blend. This summer grilling favorite turns your boring hamburger patties into Ultimate Burgers bursting with a unique blend of beefy flavors.
Bold Beef Rub: A robust roundup of herbs and spices that even the finickiest cowhands at your table will enjoy. This rough riding dry rub enhances any cut of beef with rich juicy flavors of the West.

If you would like a chance to win one of these little packets of heaven, do the following three things:

1. Like Healthy Solutions Spice Blends on Facebook
2. Follow Healthy Solutions Spiced Blends on Twitter
3. Leave a comment here telling me which of the three blends above you would most like to try and why.  Also include your Facebook and Twitter names for verification of the first two requirements.

This giveaway will close on Sunday, July 20th at 11:59 pm.  I will pick three winners at random and will contact you to get your shipping address.  Please include your email address when commenting; you do not have to include it in your comment, just enter it into the form. That way I will have it but it will not be seen publicly.  If a winner does not give their email address, or he/she does not respond in a timely manner to my email asking for his/her address, another winner will be chosen.

I was given free samples of Healthy Solutions Spice Blends in exchange for an honest review of their product.  I was not compensated in any other way and the shipping costs for the giveaway are coming from my own pocket.  All opinions expressed in this post are completely my own.

Good luck!

06 July 2014

It's time for this month's Secret Recipe Club! The Secret Recipe Club is a group of food bloggers who secretly make one of someone else's dishes and post them all on the same day at the same time.  It's really fun, choosing a recipe to make, making the recipe, then reading about everyone else's recipes.  It's a great way to "meet" other bloggers and check out some great blogs that you never knew about before. 

Secret Recipe Club

This month I was assigned the blog The Tasty Gardener.  I couldn't find the author's name anywhere on her blog (maybe I missed it), but I know that she is a gardener who loves to cook!  I have to admit that looked for something specific when deciding on which recipe to make and I found it!  I have been on a homemade pizza kick lately.  I make a different homemade pizza every Friday night.  It's really fun!  In fact, my pick for last month's SRC post was homemade pizza too. :)  I like finding really fun, unique pizzas, so that was the first thing I looked for on The Tasty Gardener.  She had a recipe posted for Fig, Prosciutto, and Walnut Pizza.  Perfect!  I made it and loved it.  Here's my slight adaptation.

Fig, Prosciutto, and Goat Cheese Pizza

Pizza dough
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 cup dried figs, stemmed and chopped
½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
3 slices prosciutto
½ cup goat cheese crumbles

Preheat oven to 425°.  

Spread pizza dough out on a pizza stone.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until dough begins to brown.  Remove from oven and brush with olive oil.  Sprinkle with garlic, figs, and walnuts.  Tear prosciutto into small pieces and lay them on top.  Sprinkle with goat cheese crumbles.  Bake an additional 10 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.  Remove from oven and drizzle entire pizza with honey.  Slice and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

This pizza is a salty-sweet combo lover's dream!  I just love the combination of the fruity figs, salty prosciutto, crunchy walnuts, creamy goat cheese, and sweet honey.  Amazing.

Like last month, I made this pizza twice already.  The first time I made it, I took lots of pics only to find out that I had a smudge on my camera lens and every single picture had a blurry smear on it.  But that was okay because I was happy to make it (and eat it!) again.  I made my girls regular tomato sauce/pepperoni pizzas because I wasn't sure they would like this one, but they begged me to try and they both loved it.  )They are 4 and 6.)  They were big fans of the figs and they can't resist anything with honey on it. :)

My only complaint about this pizza is that there isn't much to hold the toppings in place.  They liked to tumble off right before I took a bite.  But I'm not sure what would make a good "glue" for them.  Anyway, that was a minor complaint compared to how much we loved this pizza.

 I used goat cheese instead of mozzarella because for some reason, figs, honey, and goat cheese seemed like a great pairing to me.  Have you seen these goat cheese crumbles?  I had never seen them before, but I loved them.

I love goat cheese, but it can be a pain in the butt to "crumble" because it's so sticky.  I always end up with big clumps instead of petite crumbles.  Then I saw in the store and had to try it.  It's weird because when you look at it, it looks like feta, and you really expect it to taste like feta, even though it's not.  It's a surprise when you put a crumble in your mouth and it melts into smooth and creamy goat cheese.  Awesome.  And perfect for topping pizzas.  (You can see the blurry smear I was talking about in these two pics because they were taken the first time I made the pizza.)

Thanks for a great recipe!


    An InLinkz Link-up

03 July 2014

Happy 4th of July!  I know it's kind of last-minute, but I wanted to share the fun patriotic pizzas we had for dinner tonight.  I decided to try making red, white, and blue pizzas.  I think they turned out pretty well!  These aren't so much recipes as they are ideas.

My patriotic mise en place.

Red, White, and Blue Pizza #1

Purple potatoes

Pizza dough
Jarred alfredo sauce
Pizza seasoning
Grape tomatoes, sliced
Mozzarella pearls
Shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 425.  Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Boil until tender.  Drain.

Meanwhile, spread pizza dough out on pizza pan.  Bake for 10 minutes or until just beginning to brown.  Remove from oven and spread with alfredo sauce.  Sprinkle with pizza seasoning.  Run potatoes under cold water to cool them down a bit, then slice.  Season with salt and put them on the pizza.  Place tomato slices and mozzarella pearls on pizza.  Top with a small amount of shredded mozzarella.

Return to oven and bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.  Slice and serve.

Red, White, and Blue Pizza #2

Purple potatoes
Pizza dough
Pizza sauce
Pepperoni slices
Mozzarella pearls
Shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 425.  Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Boil until tender.  Drain.

Meanwhile, spread pizza dough out on pizza pan.  Bake for 10 minutes or until just beginning to brown.  Remove from oven and spread with pizza sauce.  Run potatoes under cold water to cool them down a bit, then slice.  Season with salt and put them on the pizza.  Place pepperoni and mozzrella pearls on pizza.  Top with small amount of shredded mozzarella.

Return to oven and bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.  Slice and serve.

Yes, technically the potatoes are purple, but they are a really blue kind of purple and they look pretty blue next to the red and the white.  And they are the closest thing to blue you will find that will go on a pizza!

My kids don't really like potatoes, but they still liked these pizzas.  They loved how patriotic they were.

I hope you have a safe and fun Fourth of July!