Crema

noticing joy on the surface of simple things … the evidence of holiness happening in the daily grind.

Pizza Floats August 24, 2014

I have an issue with getting started.  Its just plain hard to get going on anything.  My issues shows up first thing in the morning; getting out of bed; putting on my swimsuit to do laps; getting all the necessary car paraphernalia together to go somewhere; sitting down to write something; dialing a phone to call a friend; the full list would bore you.  So today it was not a surprise that it was hard to get myself going EVEN to go kayaking with the hubby.  I normally overcome the getting started issue and did today – thankfully.   This morning paddle was a chance for exercise, enjoyment, and fear facing.

 

And I found out that pizza floats.

 

Calvin the dog and I mutually enjoy one anothers company.  He made it clear that he would like to be with me on the kayak.  So, he got strapped into the a dog life vest I recently purchased.  Don’t laugh – today it did just what I needed it to do.

Before the hubby was seated on his kayak, Calvin fell/slid/losthisbalance/jumped out of the boat.   Know that I am not afraid of the ocean, but am afraid of this sting-ray, big fish, gigantic iguana infested intracoastal water.  For the dog, I am afraid of not getting him back in the kayak, and that he might swim away from me in front of another boat or too close to the razor sharp barnacles.  Reasonable Fear.

Calvin went out of the boat twice (the second time followed the pizza sighting).    We did not capsize.  I did not go in.  The handle on top of the dog life vest made it possible for me to pull his soggy 80 lb body onto the kayak.  I Am No Longer Afraid…to kayak with the lab…who whined the entire ride.   I now know if he ends up in the intracoastal, I don’t have to join him.

Halfway through our mostly delightful yak paddle, we came upon a large slice of pepperoni.  Pizza Was Floating, I never wondered before if pizza floats, but I am here to let you readers know – it does.  Pass it on.  Eat it, throw it away, but please don’t put it in the ocean. Yuck.

Dinner tonight – Pizza.  My Adie-foodie-friend shared this recipe via her son who prepared it for her.  It apparently has the WOW factor.  Looks simple enough to make.  I make my own pizza crust because its yummy, easy, & inexpensive.  No special recipe for that part.  Here is the  recipe for Malaysian Chicken Pizza

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons natural-style chunky peanut butter
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 (12-inch) Basic Pizza Crust
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 500°.

2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.

3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from pan.

4. Pour rice vinegar mixture into pan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 6 minutes or until slightly thickened. Return chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until chicken is done. (Mixture will be consistency of thick syrup.)

5. Sprinkle cheeses over prepared Basic Pizza Crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border; top with chicken mixture. Bake at 500° on bottom oven rack for 12 minutes or until crust is golden. Sprinkle with green onions. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

Note:  This recipe originally ran in Cooking Light September/October, 1991 and was updated for the November, 2012 25th anniversary issue.

(more…)

 

Day 30: Food Love Stories November 7, 2013

Three Food Love Stories

Key Lime Love

When I turned 40 (yesterday…not really, a few yesteryears ago) my hubby threw me a surprise party.  He planned it via email in one week and no one blew it.  A handmade card from the girls gifted me with “go out with dad and we will stay home alone and pay for your dinner.”  My sweet near 12 year olds offered the gift of bravery and we took them up on it.  JR paid for dinner.  There were 2 calls during dinner which JR took,  passing on the updates from the brave ones.  Of course, they were in on the whole thing.

We pulled in the garage, I opened the door into the kitchen and in 2.5 seconds all of this happened:

  • I noticed the room was pitch black
  • The dog didn’t come to the door
  • The girls would NEVER have all the lights off
  • There was the silhouette of a very tall man dressed in all dark clothing
  • I panicked
  • The lights went on
  • 40 people I love shouted surprise
  • I fell in the doorway.

Horrific fear and delightful surprise slammed into each other.  The next 10 seconds all of this happened:

  • I saw my BFF  sitting on my kitchen stool
  • I went to her and started crying
  • I sobbed, “I LOVE SURPRISES”
  • She laughed and said, “I know you do”
  • I turned and saw all the people and couldn’t say anything
  • Then I saw the table full of everything Key Lime you can think of
  • I indignantly said to my hubby – who pulled off this wonderful surprise,  “Why did you let me order key lime pie at the restaurant?”

He said he didn’t want to blow the surprise over dessert!  It is the best gift he’s ever given me.

Hand Me Downs

When reorganizing my file drawer after moving into our little apartment here, I came across this envelope from my Grandma Rozie (Mother Mary’s mom).  Here’s what was inside:

  • One 4×6 card with a recipe for Never Fail Tomato Soup.  It has a swirly line under the title and this comment:  From Pella’s Choicest Cooking Recipes, green book.
  • “Leanne’s recipe – Delicious” on a Ciba Seeds note page with a recipe for something that has strawberries, yogurt, marshmallows in it and she took it for a potluck in R.Rapids Health Centre
  • 6 newspaper cut outs with recipes for Three Bean Salad, Rhubarb Blueberry Jam, Crock pot Barbecued Roast Beef, Sumi Salad, Creamy Rice Pudding, and Good Moist Coffee Cake
  • A Mutual Telephone Company  ‘tear off and remit with payment’ portion of the bill with a recipe for Penuche frosting on the back.
  • And a newspaper poem.  I’ll just share these few lines:

“All angels don’t have silver wings, Or long gossamer robes of white, Nor do they have haloes,  Of gold that glow both day and night.                                                                       There are those in polyester,  Who hasten to a sick friends’ bed, With love, a bowl of chick soup, And loaf of homemade bread.” 

Foodie language handed down through generations found in an envelope.  That explains a few things I love.

Crunchy Chili and Hard Tack

Michigan in the fall is spectacular.  They have colors there I’ve never seen anywhere else.  Michigan has two of the best things in my life.  1Pyc565026517m

I was just there in soup season, in my sweet spot.  Friday pizza birthday party night was a kitchen that slowly filled up with college students.  They came to celebrate,  meet and be met, and take part in dinner preparation.  I stood in the center of  kneading bread, chopping veggies, grating cheese and thinking, ‘life doesn’t get much better than this for me.’  I laughed when the girls pulled their dough covered hands out of the bowls asking why ‘hers looks different from mine’ and I remembered the missing 1/2 cup of water.  I thankfully handed the many blocks of mozzarella to ‘i want to do something’ helpers.  A meaningful conversation happened by the sink as one shared a piece of her life and learnings so kindly with me.   When it was time for assembly the volume increased around what would go on first, last, on half  or the whole thing.  Evenutally we ate the pizza creations, opened birthday gifts, shared life stories.

A day later, JR and I arrived at the house loaded with groceries once again and started some beans to soak overnight and prepare ingredients for chili the next day.  Prior to church Sunday, we threw ingredients in 2 crockpots and turned them on high.  What smelled good when we returned for lunch turned out to be chili with hard beans.  I took out a pot and poured one crockpot full into it and boiled away.  Even after 2 hours in the crock pot and an hour on the stove the beans were not very done.  Turns out that crunchy chili went well with the missing baking powder cornbread (aka: hard tack).  Yet, this less than perfect food didn’t take away anything from the joy of sitting around the table with my family and their community of delightful friends.   

Getting the food, making the food, eating the food…this is the love language I speak.

DSC_0782  

 

Day 3: My Specialty October 3, 2013

Filed under: baked chicken,Food and recipes,Food Stories,pizza — lauradegroot @ 4:11 am

Final Button 3On a tropical day during an enthusiastic cooking conversation with a fellow foodie, I was asked what my specialty is.

I blurted out, “I don’t know, cinnamon rolls, baked beans, homemade pizza?  Both the question and the answer bothered me the rest of the night.  No one had ever asked me that before and I really didn’t know if I had a specialty.

I just like to cook.  I like to cook for people.  What I make is delicious and ordinary and lacks in fancy presentation.  As a cupcake is a vehicle to frosting, or a chip to salsa, so the food I prepare is a vehicle for conversation, connection, community.

We bought a square table that seats eight so when guests join us everyone can hear well and be part of what’s happening.  No one gets left out down on the end.  A large lazy-susan sits in the center making it easy to spin butter and salt, more potatoes and salad to whoever needs it.  The person telling a joke or sharing a story has a captive small group audience.  One evening I threw out this table topic:  “What is something you’ve done that might surprise the rest of us?”  If it were not for the square table we may have missed the one quieter guest. She put down her fork,  and said, “spending the night in a mexican jail.”  She then picked her fork back up and started eating again.   The room got loud with questions and comments and the demand she stop eating and share the detailed version.

Food invites people to join in, maybe even helps make people comfortable so they will engage.  That has been my experience.  Most of the time  we have people over is in the evening.   Most of the time I spend preparing food, even on ordinary days, is for the evening meal.  I’ve decided that my specialty is dinner.

It could be that my specialty has its roots in my early years of learning.  More correctly stated; being forced to learn.  Mother Mary (my mother) was  determined to teach cooking to this strong-willed daughter.  My memory is that she MADE me make something every other weekend. It seemed to be a silly thing for me to cook bad when everything she made was so wonderful.  Ask anyone about her cooking to this very day – you leave wanting more, wanting the recipe, wanting to come over again.   She won.  I cooked.  I learned to make one whole meal and repeated it because Father Andrew (my dad) loved it.  The Menu:   “Coating For Chicken” , twice baked potatoes, and cream puffs with vanilla custard, topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.  There may have been something vegetable as well, I just have no memory of that.

Sorry mom for all the grief I provided.  Thanks mom for teaching me to cook good.

Tonight, one of the house favorites:  homemade pizza with JR’s favorite crust.  Which could I guess be a specialty within the specialty.

Chicago Style Pizza Crust

  1. 1 pkg active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp from the jar)
  2. 1 Tlb sugar
  3. 1 1/2 cups of water
  4. 3 1/2 cups of flour
  5. 1/2 cup cornmeal (this is what really makes this crust delish)
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 3 Tlb olive oil
  8. 2 tsp olive oil for the bowl
  • JR;s favorite toppings:  sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, jalapeno.  Use your favorites.
  • Sauce it, cheese it, top it, bake it for 20-25 minutes at 400  degrees until crust is brown and cheese is bubbly.    This makes one large thicker crust pizza or 2 large thin crusts.

Coating for Chicken – from the Sioux Falls Christian HIgh Cookbook

  1. 1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs
  2. 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  3.  1 tsp paprika
  4.  1/4 tsp garlic salt.
  5. Melt butter; mix crackers with cheese, paprika and salt.  Dip chicken in butter, roll in crumb mixture.  Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and spray with non-stick something.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1/2 hours.

(more…)

 

 
followingthewatershed

wa·ter·shed (noun) 1. an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas. 2. an event or period marking a turning point, a change of course.

Life with Emily and Matt

(and two kiddos make four!)

Ellen Brock

Professional Freelance Novel Editor

created for the love-light.

stories of a life captivated by an imaginative, creative God.

Crema

noticing joy on the surface of simple things … the evidence of holiness happening in the daily grind.

Don't Ask the Fish | Christian Daily Devotional

noticing joy on the surface of simple things … the evidence of holiness happening in the daily grind.

Big Fat Sweaty Guy

The personal blog of Derek Brouwer.

%d bloggers like this: