Easter Blessings: Faith, Family, Food!

 

Well, it was bound to happen.  There was no denying and no escaping it.  Sometime during this pregnancy, I was sure to get sick.  Funny, I was just marveling at how healthy this ride has been….just thinking to myself, “Wow….I feel good…despite the early mornings and long days I have been putting in.  This pregnancy gig isn’t so bad!”  And then….I woke up…SICK.  The culprit…no doubt my flights home from New Jersey last week.  There was some coughing and sniffling going on nearby and on a small regional jet, there was no escaping it!  Fortunately, I was able to come home and enjoy Easter weekend while the bug incubated.  Then I woke up yesterday and BAM!  Oh well….this too shall pass….but this time, without the soothing qualities of medication!  I know I’m not the first pregnant gal to come down with a bug…so I’m sure I’ll survive.  🙂 

Speaking of Easter, what a weekend it was!  Ryan and I were so thankful to have my parents in town to spend some time with us (which was mostly spent over meals!) and help us with projects around the house that we’re trying so desperately to complete before the baby arrives.  An example day….Saturday.  While Dad and Ryan spent hours upon hours tidying up the yard, fertilizing, and putting on a new storm door, Mom was busy with her sewing machine making Baby B a blanket to match her pack n play…which was chosen to match our living room (I know…I’m a little OCD!!) and I overhauled the inside of the refrigerator & cupboards.  It always amazes me how much we are able to get done with a little help….but how much is left on our list!  One day at a time….One day at a time.  (With 2 perfectionists living under one roof, we have to tell ourselves this over and over and over.)

Another fun perk to having Mom & Dad visit over Easter: THE EASTER BUNNY CAME TO VISIT!!  Yay!  LOL.  I can’t tell you the last time I had an Easter basket!  I assume…high school.  Thanks, Mom!  What a thoughtful, fun, cheerful basket!  A bunny and books for Baby B, some dark chocolates & Starbucks gift cards for Ryan & I….and of course, some Robin Eggs!  My Easter baskets were never complete without Robin Eggs.  Obviously.  😉

We really enjoyed that Easter morning surprise.  I guess that just proves…you are never too old for a visit from the Easter Bunny.

To end our weekend together and celebrate Easter the right way…I whipped up my first Easter Dinner…with some recipe help from Mom and Grandma, of course.  🙂  NOTHING says Easter like ham and cheesy potatoes!  Isn’t is funny that this delicious meal is something that we look forward to ALL year….but never make on any other night of the year?!  At our house…ham and cheesy potatoes are an Easter tradition…pulled out on Easter only.  (With the high salt and calorie content, I think that is a wise decision!  I have to save my calories for some of my creamy pastas!  LOL)

Mom’s Ham, Grandma Alice’s Cheesy Potato Casserole, and Garlic-Parmesan Asparagus.

  

All in all….a simple delicious meal that sent everyone back for seconds!

AND THEN….there was dessert.  You can’t have Easter without a sweet treat of a dessert!  With Mom & Dad is town, I thought I would treat them to a new award-winning recipe that I found on the Food Network.  “Grandmas Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.”  Need I say more?!

Before I share the recipe with you, I have to share a story…0ne that left me laughing out loud in shock and embarrassment.  As you can all see on this blog, I spend quite a bit of time photoing the food for each recipe that I share with you.  Some photos I take at an angle…some I take outside…some I edit and edit and edit….and some, I just stand on my tippy-toes and shoot from above.  Well, as I took the latter approach (on my tippy-toes from above) with this tasty pie, I suddenly looked down at the screen on my camera and noticed that the pie wasn’t the only thing that made it’s way into the picture…SO DID MY BELLY!  I immediately exclaimed, “Well!  I have never had THAT problem before!”  After I quit laughing, I thought…well…I will move this pie a little closer, bend my shoulders over a little bit more and try this again.  Umm…yea.  Baby B still made her way into the photo….and interestingly enough, she also adjusted her position…notice the bump isn’t so lop-sided in photo #2.  What a little nugget!

 

I’m pretty sure my little nugget put on a few more ounces after Easter dinner and a hefty slice of pie! 

GRANDMA’S STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB PIE

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-challenge/grandmas-strawberry-rhubarb-pie-recipe/index.html

Cook Time:  1 hr 5 min

Level:  Intermediate

Serves:  1 pie

Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional flour as needed, up to 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup cake flour (recommended: Soft As Silk)
  • 3 teaspoons sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening (recommended: Crisco)
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ice cold water

Filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb, fresh
  • 2 1/2 cups de-stemmed, washed and cut strawberries (in larger pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (1 1/4 cups for high altitude)
  • 2 tablespoons minute tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cubed small
  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • Large granule sugar

Crust Preparation:

Directions

Using 2 pastry blenders, blend the flours, sugar, shortening, butter and salt.  Whisk the egg, vinegar and water in a 2-cup measure and pour over the dry ingredients incorporating all the liquid without overworking the dough.  Toss the additional flour over the ball of dough and chill if possible.  Divide the dough into 2 disks.  Roll out 1 piece of dough to make a bottom crust.  Place into a pie dish.  Put dish in refrigerator to chill.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Filling Preparation:

   

Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, flour, zest and juice of lemon, dash of cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix well in a large bowl and pour out into chilled crust. 

Dot the top of the filling with the butter.  Brush edges of pie crust with egg white wash.  Roll out the other piece of dough and place over filling.  Crimp to seal edges.  Brush with egg white wash and garnish with large granule sugar.  Collar with foil and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. 

Decrease temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling.  Higher altitude will take 450 degrees F and 400 degrees F respectively.  Also, you can use a pie bird for extra decor.  Let cool before serving.

SHORTCUT SUGGESTION:  I opted to use pre-made dough for the crust.  If your grocer carries the brand “Pappies”, give it a try!  It is easy to use (just thaw and roll it out) and it is delicious!  You can’t go wrong and you will save yourself a lot of time!  WIN WIN!

Serve your pie with vanilla ice cream (Breyers Vanilla Bean, anyone?!), a strawberry on the side, and a sprinkle of cinnamon!

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

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Asian BBQ Chicken

 Hello Friends!  Today I write you from the Detroit airport where I am delayed on my voyage to Newark NJ for work.  The good news is…I made the first leg of the flights without any Braxton Hicks contractions.  I’ve been  anxious to get this “trial run” (as I call it) under my belt before our Babymoon to the Dominican in early May.  So far…So Good!  I’m thinking that a splurge on a Jr Chocolate Frosty at the Wendy’s across from my gate may make this wait just a little more enjoyable.  Whadda ya think?  🙂

In other good news, my handyman of a husband has made GREAT progress on that kitchen backsplash of ours.  I am SO proud of him.  Without exaggeration, Ryan has put in almost 50 hours so far and his works looks like it was done by a professional.  While we were told that “putting up tile is easy”…we now know that “easy” is relative.  With the detailed design that Ryan put together, the number of cuts and critical measuring necessary made this job anything but easy.  With just 2 walls of grouting left to finish, I expect to come home to a all-new kitchen on Friday.  I can’t wait!  Thank you, Ryan.  You are so talented (and determined and patient and thorough). 

In the meantime, we have “enjoyed” lots of salad…and easy food to go.  With the kitchen completely out of commission (including the sink/water), we were left with few options.  So that said, I have struggled to come up with delicious new entrée to share with all of you.  As I looked through the photos of our meals from the previous week, I found this Asian BBQ Chicken.  If you are looking for a simple, flavorful, grilled dinner…one perfect for a work night, this is a sure bet.  We can thank Sunset Grill for this recipe!

BARBECUED CHICKEN WITH ASIAN FLAVORS

Courtesy of Sunset Grill

  • 8 skinned chicken thighs (we used 2-4 chicken breasts)
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (I used a little extra!)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Lime Wedges (optional)
  • Green Onions (optional)

Rinse the chicken and pat dry.  Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, red pepper, curry powder, and garlic in a large resealable plastic bag and add the chicken.  Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Prepare a grill for cooking over medium-high heat.  First, oil the grill rack.  If using a charcoal grill, prepare a solid bed of medium-hot coals.  If using a gas grill, preheat to high and close the lid, then open the lid and lower the heat to medium high (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 inches above the grill level only 3 to 4 seconds.)

Remove the chicken from the bag.  Transfer the marinade to a small saucepan, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.

Lay the chicken on the grill rack.  If using a gas grill, close the lid.  Grill the chicken, turning once and basting frequently with the marinade, until the meat is no longer pink in the center of the thickest part (cut to test), about 8 minutes on each side.  Garnish with the lime wedges and green onions if you like, and serve immediately!

My recommendation would be to save the excess marinade (instead of basting) and pour over the chicken once it is served.  We served with asian rice and broccoli…and a big glass of cold milk.  🙂

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

Grilled Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

There’s no doubt that the fresh spring air stirs up motivation to work in the yard, tackle projects around the house, and plant flowers all over the property.  Our house is no different.  With an 80 degree weekend last Sat/Sun, we took every opportunity to do just that.  Ryan made his way out to the backyard to fulfill his role as the “Pool Boy” and I waddled into the front yard with my Black N Decker power tools in tow.  A HedgeHog, Leaf Blower, several brown yard waste bags and a pair of gloves was I all I needed to have my way with the shrubbery.   Last year I was the “blonde chick next door” who did yard work in her sundresses (quite the sight I’m sure…but seriously, what else was I supposed to do?  Go buy “yard clothes”? Ummm no.).  And this year, well, this year I am the “pregnant chick” struggling to move comfortably while hacking away at the landscaping.  And let’s not even mention what I probably look like as I attempt to bend over or squat down to retrieve all of my clippings.  Sure glad I can provide some entertainment for the neighbors.  🙂

Despite my craving to plant flowers, I accepted the reality that a “frosty” night is still a good possibility…and that waiting until mid-late May to brighten up the yard might be a more responsible decision.  Instead, we’ll continue to enjoy the gorgeous baskets of flowers I picked up at Costco….inside!  They are proving a bit tempermental…but they are colorful nonetheless. 

After hours spent outside, we moved inside to continue our “nesting”.  Since we moved into this house in 2009, we’ve been meaning to tile the kitchen backsplash.  For one reason or another, this project continually gets pushed to the back burner while we complete other items on our list….painting, recessed lighting, painting, ceiling fans in every room, painting, conversion to home gym, painting, granite countertops, painting, bathroom countertops, painting….you get the drill.  But this week…yes THIS week, Ryan has started the backsplash!  After recieving an estimate to have the work done by someone else, we opted to save the $500 and tackle the project ourselves.  Let’s be honest, this requires me to be a good, patient wife (one who doesn’t get too sassy) while Ryan does all of the labor.  We’re both doing good so far….lol. 

To hold up my end of the deal, I decided to surprise Ryan with a dinner full of flavors he loves.  I decided to have Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas and a cold beer waiting for him for dinner on Tuesday night.  I knew he would get home from work (and a trip to Lowes) and want to immediately jump into tiling….so the least I could do was feed him something he’d love!  With that plan in mind, I whipped up this recipe…made one “practice” quesadilla (and ate it! hahhaa) and then prepared his so they were waiting for him when he walked in…along with a Corona & Lime!  If you enjoy “Chipotle/Adobo” flavors as much as we do, give these quesadillas a try…they are fast and easy to make.  Oh…and Ryan says they are the best quesadillas he’s EVER had.  Really?!?!  They were good….

Grilled Chipotle-Chicken Quesadillas

Courtesy of: Sunset Grill

Prep and Cook Time:  35 minutes.

Makes 4 Quesadillas

  • 4 boned, skinned chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, drained and minced
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (I used light)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 corn tortillas (6 in. each)
  • 2 cups freshly grated Monterey jack cheese

Preparation

1.   Brush chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay chicken on a grill over medium heat (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 in. above grill level only 4 to 5 seconds) or put chicken in a grill pan over medium heat.  Cook chicken 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through (cut to check).  Slice cooked chicken breasts into 1/4-in.-thick slices.  Keep grill or grill pan hot.

2.  In a small bowl, whisk together chipotle chile, sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, and cilantro.

3.  Spread 1 tbsp. chipotle-lime sauce on each of the tortillas. Top 4 of the tortillas each with 1/2 cup cheese and a quarter of the chicken slices, then cover with the remaining tortillas (sauce side down). Put each quesadilla on a dinner plate.

4.  Slide quesadillas off the plates onto the grill over medium heat, or slide into a grill pan over medium heat (you may need to grill the quesadillas in batches). Grill uncovered, turning once, until cheese is melted and both sides are golden, about 2 minutes each side (use a large spatula and tongs to flip the quesadillas). If grilling in batches, keep finished quesadillas warm in a 200° oven until ready to serve.

5.  Slice each quesadilla into wedges and serve with salsa on the side.

Dress it up by adding some of your favorite fillings…grilled corn, black beans, jalapeno peppers, onions, etc.  (We kept it simple and added thinly sliced green onions and finely diced serrano peppers…because we like it HOT!)

Sauces: Serve with the chipotle-lime sauce, pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream.

            

Grilling adds a mildly smoky note, the perfect complement to big flavors like lime, cilantro, and chile.  Plus there’s no dirty skillet to clean.  Serve with store-bought pico de gallo or other salsa.  Or, if you have a little more time, make fresh Pico de Gallo.

Mmmmm….MUY BIEN!

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

Figs by Todd English

It’s hard to believe that it is almost summer again.  Don’t get me wrong, I am THRILLED that the weather is warming up, the plants are budding, and the windows are open but it seems like just yesterday that we were in the middle of football season…the heart of the fall.  On one particular weekend last fall, Ryan and I were lucky enough to cross paths in Boston for a quick date afternoon & evening.  I was there for work…and so was he!  Our trips overlapped for just a day.  With both of us jet-setting here and there, it was nice to catch up…even if just for a few hours.  🙂

During our time in Boston, we stayed at the Liberty Hotel.



If you’ve never been, I would highly recommend it.  I am including a description below…but in brief, it was originally a prison…now transformed into a hotel.  The interior is so cool…and the story intriguing!  http://www.libertyhotel.com/

“Completed in 1851, the original building was a collaboration between architect Gridley James Fox Bryant, widely considered Boston’s most accomplished architect of the time, and Rev. Louis Dwight, a prominent Yale-educated penologist whose travels shaped his interest in and advocacy for prison reform.  In 1973, after 120 years of housing some of Boston’s most notorious criminals, prisoners revolted because of poor living conditions and the jail was declared unfit and in violation of the inmates’ constitutional rights. On Memorial Day weekend 1990, the last prisoners were moved to the new Suffolk County Jail. 

The transformation of the site into a hotel is the work of a team of designers and architects collaborating with historians and conservationists from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the Boston Landmarks Commission, the National Park Service and the Boston Redevelopment Authority to ensure that the end result is a careful balance between preservation and dynamic new use.

Apart from a new addition, the jail’s granite exterior and expansive, light-filled interiors remain largely unchanged. Soaring 90 feet, the jail’s central atrium was beautifully preserved and forms the core of the hotel. It features the building’s trademark windows and historic catwalks. The preserved jail cells within the hotel restaurant and wrought-iron work on the windows are just two examples of preservation. The jail’s former exercise yard is now a private, beautifully landscaped courtyard that is destined to take its place among the beloved “hidden gardens” of the Beacon Hill neighborhood.”

When we weren’t enjoying relaxation at the hotel, we were out and about exploring all of the history around us…

 

And indulging in a delicious lunch at Figs…an excellent Todd English restaurant.

 

Having never eaten in a Todd English restaurant previously, we weren’t sure what to expect but with rave reviews from our friends Greg & Lisa, we knew we had to give it a try!  So.Glad.We.Did.

Simple artisan breads and olive dipping oil to start the meal…

 

An elegant Boston Apple Salad…fresh and flavorful…

APPLE SALAD:  Baby argula, shaved red onions, roasted pecan, goat cheese crema, & apple cider glaze.

And a His & Hers pizza to share!  Bianco on His Half…and Sweet Sausage with Braised Fennel on Hers!

I was able to find Figs’ Bianco recipe online…feel free to check it out and try at home! 

http://www.toddenglish.com/Recipes/Pizza/bianco_card.html

PIZZA BIANCO

by Todd English

Makes 2 pizzas
Ingredients:2 pizza rounds
Cornmeal for sprinkling
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 pinches kosher salt
2 pinches black pepper
3 cups arugula (2 to 3 bunches), well washed and torn apart
4 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
6 slices mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Caramelized Onions
Instructions:• One hour prior to cooking, place a baking stone in the oven and preheat it to 500 degrees.
Roll out 1 pizza dough as thinly as possible. Place it on a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover the surface with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic, and 1 pinch each salt and pepper. Be sure to leave an outer lip of 1 inch all the way around.• Place the arugula, tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, and 2 teaspoons Parmesan cheese in a bowl and toss to combine. Set aside.• Evenly distribute 3 slices of mozzarella cheese on the pizza. It is not necessary to cover the bottom completely Top with 1/4 cup Caramelized Onions and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese.• Shake the paddle lightly and slide the pizza onto the baking stone. Bake until browned, about 6 to 7 minutes. Evenly distribute half the reserved arugula salad on the pizza, transfer to a firm surface, and cut into slices.• Serve immediately.• Repeat with the remaining dough.

Sweet Sausage & Braised Fennel
(sweet Italian sausage, tomato sauce, fontina cheese & roasted garlic)

Since our visit to Boston and our lunch date at Figs, I have been yearning to find another Todd English restaurant.  I mean, come on, did you see those pizzas?!  Unfortunately, finding one in the Midwest is proving a little more difficult.  So the next time you pass one on your travels, stop in!  You won’t regret it. 

In the meantime, we will replicate this meal at home!

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

Grilled Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onion, Roasted Red Pepper & Italian Sausage Pizza

“When I walk into my kitchen, I am not alone.  Whether we know it or not, none of us is.  We bring fathers and mothers and kitchen tables, and every meal we have ever eaten.  Food is never just food.  It’s also a way of getting at something else:  who we are, who we have been, and who we want to be.” 

-Molly Wizenberg from a Homemade Life.

It has been several months since my good friend, Bonnie, shared this quote with me.  Since then, I have read it several times…over and over.  I have often wondered, do I love to cook…just because I love to eat?  Do I love to eat…just because I am really hungry?!  OR….do I love to cook…and love to eat…because of all that cooking & eating means…signifys…conjures.  I believe the latter.   For me…cooking (and eating) is like magic.  I walk into the kitchen and suddenly (like the quote says above) I am not alone there.  Being in the kitchen reminds me of every family gathering I’ve ever been to…which inevitably is in someone’s kitchen.  It reminds me of every time I’ve served a group of friends.  Being in the kitchen takes me back to the days I watched my dad make me “egg-on-toast” when I was sick or the evenings I talked to my mom about “what happened at school” while she whipped up chicken and potatoes and corn.  Spending time in the kitchen cooking brings a sense of relaxation after a long day…time to turn off my “Medtronic” brain and mindlessly indulge in the flavors and memories that accompany the food we prepare.  Creating a meal in the kitchen evokes a sense of nurturing and providing for family & friends.  There are few things I enjoy more than preparing a meal while my family or friends surround me in the kitchen…laughing, sharing, being.  And there are even fewer things I enjoy more than an afternoon “alone” in the kitchen…alone with my thoughts…alone with all my family/friends who joined me in the past…preparing a meal to be served to the guests arriving later.  So yes.  I agree.  I love to cook…to spend time in my kitchen because it reminds me of who I am…who I have been…and who I continue to become.  Thank you for sharing, Bonnie.

One of our latest creations in the kitchen is a spin on a pizza we shared with Cory & Kelly in Madison several weeks back.  With my recent food aversion to “pepperoni” our classic homemade supreme pizza has fallen by the wayside and new toppings have become a mainstay.  With flavors similar to the Bomoblotti Al Forno that I posted last week, this pizza is a must-try!  We love it…and I hope you will too.

GRILLED GOAT CHEESE, CARAMELIZED ONION,

ROASTED RED PEPPER, & ITALIAN SAUSAGE PIZZA

Serves 2-3

  • 1 Red Pepper, Quartered, Seeds-Removed, Roasted and Skinned
  • 1/2 Medium Yellow Onion, Caramelized
  • 1/3 lb Hot Italian Sausage, Browned
  • 3-4 oz Goat Cheese
  • Pizza Crust Mix (HyVee or Jiffy preferred)
  • HyVee Canned Pizza Sauce (seriously…this generic brand is delish!)
  • Garlic Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • Presti’s Spicy Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp EVOO, divided
  • 6-8 oz Low Moisture Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 3-4 Leaves of Fresh Basil, shredded

Prepping the ingredients:

To roast the red pepper, preheat your grill to ~350 degrees.  Slice the red pepper into quarters and brush the outer skin with EVOO.   Rest the red pepper, skin-side down, on the grill until the skin is blackened.  Remove from the grill and gently discard the outer skin of the pepper.  Thinly slice the red pepper and set aside.

  

While the red peppers are roasting on the grill, thinly slice half of 1 yellow onion.  Drizzle EVOO into a small saute pan.  Add 1 tbsp butter and the thinly sliced onion.  Saute over low heat until the onions are “caramel” colored.  Leave on low heat until ready to top the pizza.

Finally, the sausage.  Divide 1/3 lb of hot italian sausage into quarter-sized balls.  Place the sausage in a wide-based pan and brown on each side (~5 min).  Remove from heat, wrap in tin-foil and set aside.

  

Once the toppings are prepped, you can begin making the pizza crust.  Follow the instructions on the back of the package AND ADD a dash or two of Presti’s Spicy Italian seasoning, garlic salt,  and garlic powder prior to adding the water.  Be careful not to add too much water.

Thoroughly flour your rolling-pin and pizza stone.  Roll dough to shape and thickness of your liking.  We make our pizza rectangular to fit half of the gas grill so that it may be cooked by indirect heat (see below).  Brush both sides of the dough/crust with olive oil and carry on stone out to the grill. 

Warm the grill to ~400 degrees.  Turn one half of the grill OFF to cook crust and pizza via indirect heat.  Place crust on the grill (burner side OFF) and cook until crust has formed and “grill marks” have been established.  Flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.   Once crust is lightly golden brown, remove pizza from grill and carry in on pizza stone. 

Pour half a can of HyVee (or brand of your choosing) pizza sauce into a small ziploc container and save for another use.  Pour the remaining sauce onto crust and spread with the back of spoon until evenly distributed.

Next up…the toppings!  We start by layering a good portion of caramelized onions on top of the sauce, followed by a layer of thinly sliced roasted red peppers, italian sausage, and dime-sized drops of goat cheese.  Finish with shredded Mozzarella cheese. 

Place pizza back on the grill (indirect heat once again) and heat at 400 degrees until the mozzarella cheese is melted.

Remove from grill and serve immediately.  This pizza has a tendency to cool down quick! 

Sprinkle with fresh basil and enjoy bite after bite after bite!

(Goat Cheese Disclaimer)…To all of my friends who happily join me in the “pregnant boat”, I have good news to share.  Many of you have raised concern about my consumption of “soft” cheeses and the risks these indulgences pose during pregnancy.  Well don’t you fret…I have done my homework (I did from the moment I knew I was pregnant…because this girl LIVES on cheese).  While it is true that the FDA and USDA recommend that pregnant women avoid unpasteurized soft cheeses, I have found that most women are not aware that the majority of cheese made in the Unites States (yes, soft cheese included) ARE in fact, made with pasteurized milk.  So read your cheese labels…worry less…and indulge in cheese!  I have found VERY few cheeses to be made with unpasteurized milk.  God Bless the USA!   For more information, read on.  http://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-safe-to-eat-soft-cheese-during-pregnancy_3175.bc

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.