Monday Mixture

IMG_4234Okay I feel the need to write since Mr. Mixture keeps referencing things I can put on the blog.  Yes ,I am calling him out on this.  I have not written recently and there is no specific reason for my lack of writing, except I have not been in the mood to write, and wait I have been trying to work on some other random projects around the house and for the family.  Wonder if Mr. Mixture or Little Miss Mixture would notice if I forgot to do those other things?

Apparently Mr. Mixture is not the only one as some other family members seem to miss my post showing up in their inbox.  How great it is to feel missed and loved.  So here it is an update of things that have been going on in the life of “Let’s Have Mixture.”

1. What We Are Eating – yes here it is an account of all the food we have been enjoying.  Even though I have not been snapping photos and writing post, I have been busy in the kitchen this month with some old favorites as well as some new meals.

Week of 10/5

Sunday – Enchiladas

Monday – Spinach Ricotta Pizza

Tuesday – Ham & Cheese Homemade Hot Pockets, Fruit Salad

Wednesday – Leftover BBQ and Pizza from our weekend festivities

Thursday – Leftover Enchiladas and Salad

Friday – Tony’s De Napoli (NYC)

Saturday – Mercer Kitchen (NYC)

Week of 10/12

Sunday – Catch (NYC)

Monday – Pumpkin Ravioli with Sauteed Spinach in Brown Butter Sauce

Tuesday – Spinach Salad with Chicken, Avocado, and Bacon

Wednesday – Scrambled Eggs and Fruit Salad

Thursday – Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Sandwich on Challah Rolls, Cauliflower with cocktail sauce

Friday – Sandwiches on the go before Homecoming Football Night

Saturday – BBQ Chicken Pizza

Week of 10/19

Sunday -Pizza @ a Camp Open House

Monday – Collard Wrap with Tuna Salad, Veggies and Naan bread with Garlic Hummus

Tuesday – Srirachi Chicken over Couscous

Wednesday – Waffles and Sautéed Maple Syrup Apples

Thursday – Little M and a sitter had Macaroni & Cheese and Veggies with Ranch Dip

Friday – Dinner out before the Lower School Football Game

Saturday -Collard and Black Bean Soup with Cornbread

Week of 10/26

Sunday – Tacos

Monday – Raisin Challah French Toast

Tuesday – Grilled Chicken and Peach Salad

Wednesday – Leftover Collard & Black Bean Soup, Cornbread and Salad

Thursday – Chicken and Shrimp Fried Rice

Friday – Halloween Pizza Party in the neighborhood

Saturday – Braised Short Ribs over Polenta, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Apple & Blue Cheese Salad, Turtle Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream

2. New York City Eats – Recently we went on a trip to the Big Apple.  Being the foodie family that we are, we are always searching for good eats when we travel.  We started and ended our time in the city at a favorite – Shack Shack.  Who can resist a good hormone free burger, chicken sausage, and caramel shake when it is a block and a half from your hotel.

For lunch one day we happened upon a great food court where we enjoyed sandwiches from Num Pang, based on a recommendation.  The sandwiches were more than just a sandwich and definitely hit the spot.  Little Miss Mixture and Mr.Mixture like cupcakes, so it was hard from them to pass up Sprinkles.  The infamous cupcake shop out of Los Angeles lived up to the hype for this family.  We each got a mini cupcake and they were so moist and full of flavor they left us wanting more.

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What I love about NYC is how easy it is to find good food and a variety of it.  Some of our meals were healthier than others, but all were very good.  We enjoyed different settings from a family style italian restaurant, to a kid friendly spot, to more eclectic choices that focused on sushi and seafood tapas.DSC_0929

 

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3. GOTR – I have done it, I have signed up for my first ever race.  Little Miss Mixture is participating in the Girls on the Run program and it culminates with a 5K.  I began training about five weeks ago to be her running buddy.  Unfortunately I have learned the cooler weather is not a big motivator for me, which does not fair well since our race is in early December.  Wish me luck as this is definitely a bucket list item.

4. Girls Rock – Little Miss Mixture got to celebrate her birthday with several different groups of people in her life.  She took cupcakes to school, we had a family gathering, and she had a sleepover.  The one cake she wanted was a cookie cake for the family celebration.  She was very specific on what she wanted, so we placed an order.  On the day of her birthday, we were less than thrilled with the purchased cake.IMG_4060

Luckily I had all the necessary things at home from making cupcakes to turn this not so great creation into one that did in fact rock.  Honestly though regardless of how it looked.  It is hard to go wrong with a chocolate chip cookie cake.

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5. Package sizes – I try not use use a lot of processed products, but there are a couple of recipes I find it necessary.  We have a favorite cake that calls for Devils food cake mix and caramels.  Last year I noticed the size of the cake mix box had decreased based on the recipe.  This year I decided to give my hand a try and make the cake from scratch, but I still needed the caramels.  I have always used Kraft and I like the bits that can be found seasonally, but I was unable to locate them.  I grabbed a bag of the individual wrapped squares as the recipe simple stated one 14oz package, but as I started at a bowl that looked low in volume, I realized the current bag size is 11oz.  I cannot recall what the cost of the bag used to be, but I am sure it is more now and you get less.  Be careful during this baking season as you will need to purchase more packages to make sure your recipes came out correctly.

On other note two stores in the same shopping center are selling this package at different prices.  One local based large chain grocery store seems to think it is worth $.75 more than another major retailer.  #thingsthatannoyme  The change has even confused one of the retailers in their marketing.  Look closely here they are selling a 13oz package, but the actual picture shows differently.

Caramels

6. Halloween candy while this sits in the pantry and probably gets untouched.

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I am scanning recipes on how to use the candy in a way it may get consumed or just not tossed in 6-8 months.  Here Are some great ideas I pinned this weekend.  I also love the idea of using the candy in non edible ways – science experiment, decorate gingerbread houses.

I hope you enjoyed catching up on what Let’s Have Mixture did throughout the month of October.  I will try and post more this month as we continue to enjoy fall and its flavors.

 

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BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken PizzaWhen you live in North Carolina you start to realize people have some very strong opinions about BBQ. Growing up in the south, but not this far south I had BBQ as a child, but I had really only had one type. Looking back I believe it would have been considered Eastern NC style BBQ – a shredded pork with a vinegar based sauce, no tomato.  BBQ was not something we ate often, but I did enjoy it and I still do.  To be honest I am not a tried or true BBQ purest. I like both Eastern and Lexington style, which apparently there are bills regarding the BBQ in North Carolina.  I may not be a BBQ purest, but I do know that North Carolina reigns in BBQ.  Don’t get me wrong other areas in the South claim to know BBQ, but throwing something on the grill is not the same as pork barbecue slow cooked, covered in just the right amount of sauce and served along side cole slaw and hush puppies.  That is called grilling and I love that to, with just about any type of meat, fish, vegetable; but to me that is not BBQ.

Here is where I allow my own opinions and taste to enter.  Barbecue sauce, which typically when I think of BBQ sauce I am looking for that tomato influenced sauce that tends to be served with Lexington style BBQ or the wet ribs of Memphis style BBQ can add a nice flavor to meats other than pork.  I enjoy chicken tossed on the grill and basted with bbq sauce, or ribs done well and served with bbq sauce on the side.  So for this recipe, I meld my opinions together and create my own BBQ chicken Pizza.  These days you can find a bbq pizza on a lot of menus, but that was not always the case.  California Pizza Kitchen was one of the first restaurants known to have added a pizza like this to their menu.  It was an instant success.  I don’t remember when I had my first taste of BBQ pizza, but I have been making a version of my own since the early 2000’s.  It has changed some over the years as I have realized I prefer to keep it simple in flavor using Mozzarella and a small amount of cheddar or gouda, but only as an additional flavor.IMG_3947

BBQ Chicken Pizza

1 Pizza Dough ( my go to is trader joe’s pre made dough)

1 Chicken breast, cooked and chopped*

1/4 cup red onion, diced

1/2 cup pineapple, chopped (fresh, frozen in small pieces)

1/4 cup red onion, diced (optional)

1/2 cup Barbecue sauce of choice, divided

3/4 cup shredded or sliced mozzerella cheese

1/4 cup shredded or sliced cheddar or gouda

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

* I find it easiest to plan ahead for this pizza and cook an extra chicken breast a day or so ahead. I prefer to grill chicken and use what we do not eat or plan by cooking an extra breastPreparing the Pizza Dough

Preparing the Dough

Allow dough to sit out for at least 30 minutes to become room temperature. This will make rolling the dough out easier. I did not say it would roll into a perfect circle as that takes skill which I don’t focus on, I just roll and go. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and allow to heat for 30 minutes with pizza stone. Remove hot pizza stone from oven and pour 1 Tbsp olive oil over the stone. Spread it around if you want or the quick and easy way just toss the dough on top. I always try and roll a little more once the dough is on the stone to thin it out and reach the edges of my stone.

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IMG_3943Preparing the toppings

In a small bowl toss together chopped chicken, red onion, pineapple, and red pepper.  Add 3 Tbsp. barbecue sauce.

Assembling the pizza

Remove the pre baked dough from the oven when it begins to turn golden brown in some spots.  If there is an air bubble in your dough allow some steam to escape.  Spread the remaining barbecue sauce on the dough then spread the toppings evenly around the pizza.  Cover with cheese and return to preheated 425 degree oven.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to bubble an turn brown.

Remove from oven sprinkle fresh cilantro over the pizza.  Slice and serve.

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A couple of our favorite pizza recipes

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Traditional Turkey Pepperoni & Veggie Pizza

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Shrimp Pesto Pizza

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Naan Bread Pizza

Homemade Pizza in Take Out Time

IMG_3822I love pizza. I am not sure where my love for this food comes from. As a teenager, I remember Friday night was generally pizza night but this was because we were a busy rushed family heading to football games. We were a family of two girls, but when you are on the dance team your Friday nights are just as busy. And what father would complain when the game he sat through to see his girls perform at halftime just happened to have the Barber twins playing for the same team.

Pizza night in high school was take out and it was around the time the “lovers line” became popular. Well in my mind pizza has come a long way since then.  I grew up in the south, so I know a lot of naysayers will claim I know nothing about pizza, but in my mind I do.

What you like when it comes to food is personal and when it comes to pizza, I like flavor. So whether it is traditional New York Style pizza, Deep Dish Chicago style, brick oven, or a flatbread if the flavor is there I enjoy it.

Today’s post is not a unique pizza but the type of pizza I make if we want a traditional flavor pizza.  So often you think homemade pizza takes forever, and yes it can.  If you make your own dough, you have to plan ahead.  If you make your own sauce, you have to plan and make it ahead, but this is your quick and easy homemade as in put the toppings on, make it what you want, and cook it at home.

This pizza takes a little bit of preparation as you cannot walk in from an afternoon of activities and have it on the table in 30 minutes, unless you plan ahead.  When I say plan ahead you need to have your dough room temperature for best results.  The Trader Joe dough recommends sitting out for 30 minutes.  I also find having a hot oven and pizza stone help ensure the crust cooks evenly.

Jamey’s Better than Take Out Traditional Pizza 

1 recipe pizza dough (I like Trader Joe’s pizza dough – you roll your own)

1 cup Marinara Sauce**

8 oz Mushrooms, washed, sliced

1/2 Red Pepper, chopped

1/2  Green Pepper, chopped

1/4 cup onion, chopped

2 cups Spinach

1/2 cup fresh pineapple, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups cheese, mozzarella (Occasionally I use a combination of any of the following: Mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, and cheddar)

20 slices pepperoni (optional)*

3 Tbsp. Olive OilIMG_3818

Preparing the Pizza Dough

Allow dough to sit out for at least 30 minutes to become room temperature.  This will make rolling the dough out easier.  I did not say it would roll into a perfect circle as that takes skill which I don’t focus on, I just roll and go.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees and allow to heat for 30 minutes with pizza stone.  Remove hot pizza stone from oven and pour 1 Tbsp olive oil over the stone.  Spread it around if you want or the quick and easy way just toss the dough on top.  I always try and roll a little more once the dough is on the stone to thin it out and reach the edges of my stone.

Place pizza stone with dough in oven for about 8-10 minutes to pre bake.

Preparing the Toppings

In a skillet over medium high heat, pour 2 Tbsp olive oil and minced garlic and heat for 2 minutes.  Add peppers, mushrooms, onions, and spinach and cook until lightly sautéed.IMG_3808IMG_3817

Assembling the Pizza

Remove the pre baked pizza dough from the oven and spread the marinara sauce over top.  Spread your sautéed vegetables, pineapple, and pepperoni evenly over the marinara.  Top with cheese.  Return to the 425 degree oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to bubble and brown.  Slice and enjoy.

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* perfect Meatless Monday recipe if the pepperoni is omitted

** I tend to use marinara sauce for my pizza base as I think it is lighter and more flavorful than pizza sauce.  This is just a preference as any sauce will work.IMG_3824

Yellow Squash & Chard Naan Bread Pizza

 Do you eat naan bread?  Are you familiar with it?

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I had the experience of trying naan bread for the first time at a wedding for some friends.  At the time I had never eaten Indian food and I do not think I ate it again for several years.  I liked it. In fact I really enjoyed it, but I was a little intimidated to go to an Indian restaurant and order.  I was happy going to a buffet style restaurant where I could pick and choose, but even that was slightly overwhelming.  A couple years later I again had naan bread, but this time it was far more memorable.  The naan bread was being prepared fresh outside in a oven type contraption.  This is one of those food memories I will never forget.  The naan bread was hot and delicious and the garlic naan was even better.

Not long after this experience we got a Trader Joe’s in the area.  Other grocery stores may have sold naan bread, but I never noticed.  I began purchasing naan bread as I liked to heat it slightly and dip in in hummus.  One evening I was home alone and wanted something warm and comfort like to accompany a salad.  Being that I love pizza, I decided to melt cheese on naan bread.  Oh my goodness.  Naan bread pizza as it is called in our home was born.  This is now a routinely requested item for an easy dinner or a warm weekend lunch.

Several years went by before I ever saw a recipe posted in a magazine or on the internet for a similar type item.  Obviously I kicked myself as to why I did not think to make my new found food known.  Have people been making something like this for yard now or is it a new discovery that blends different traditional foods?

One evening, I noticed that our recipe must make list included a flatbread that used naan bread as a base.  The recipe also incorporated several seasonal summer ingredients.  I planned to try corn, squash, and green onion flatbread from the April 2014 Cooking Light.  However on the evening I went to make the meal, I realized I had already used all but 1 green onion and all the corn had been grilled.  As I browsed the contents of the refrigerator, I noticed a 1/2 bunch of chard that needed to be used.  Though I still want to try the original recipe one day, the result from what I hand on hand was a perfect summer pizza.

Yellow Squash & Chard Naan Bread Pizza       

1/2 bunch of chard, washed and chopped

1 yellow squash, washed and chopped

1/2 onion, sliced (I had 1 green sliced as in as well)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 cup Mozzerella cheese, sliced or shredded

1 piece of Naan bread per person

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I used the frozen Trader Joe naan bread, so as my chard, onion, and yellow squash were sautéing in a skillet, I heated some olive oil and lightly heated the naan bread as well.  Doing this helped to make a crispier base for the pizza.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a skillet over medium high heat, sauté chard, onions, and yellow squash until chard is lightly wilted and yellow squash is soft and starting to brown.  Transfer naan bread to a pizza stone or baking sheet and cover with the green mixture.  Top with mozzarella cheese and place in oven until cheese melts to desired doneness.

Though the flavors of this naan bread pizza are not Indian.  I enjoy naan bread and it makes a great quick and easy pizza dough.  Luckily I am no longer intimidated by Indian restaurants and am able to enjoy Indian style food at home and out.

Enjoy.

Printable Recipe here IMG_3085IMG_3086

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled Peach, Goat Cheese, & Arugula Salad Pizza

IMG_3528The other night I had some friends over and I seem to always over think the food thing, but that is just who I am.  I knew it would be a small crowd, but I find often this is the only chance I get to try what may be considered more girly type foods or appetizers and desserts.  Don’t get me wrong Mr. Mixture is typically game for trying most things, but I know there are certain foods that I enjoy more than he would.  I could easily make a dinner out of cheese, crackers, and other pick me up type things.  Add a glass of wine and a sweet bite and I am a happy girl.

To make myself happy, I put out some food and decided I would make a simple dinner for the family that I could use for my guest as well.  I had thought about making a basic pizza as we love pizza and really have not had one in awhile, but then I got creative and things got more appropriate for a ladies night.  I had some grilled peaches that I had planned to use for a salad, but then our menu got moved around a bit, so I decided a pizza with peaches would go perfect with some good friends and wine.  I figured Little Miss Mixture would enjoy it as her dinner as well.

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Grilled Peaches, Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad Pizza

1 Pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s)

2 oz. Arugula Pesto (optional – this could be substituted with olive oil)

3 Grilled Peaches, Halved and sliced

2 oz. Goat Cheese

2 oz Mozzarella Cheese

6 oz Arugula

1 Tbsp. Balsamic Dressing

1 tsp. Olive Oil

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Prepare pizza dough as per package directions.  I always allow dough to set out in order to get to room temperature so it is easier to roll.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees and allow to heat for 15-30 minutes with pizza stone.  This will help to cook the dough thoroughly in a shorter time when it is placed on a hot pizza stone.

Roll out pizza dough and transfer to hot pizza stone that has been prepped with about 1 tsp. olive oil.  Place pizza dough in preheated oven until it begins to rise and start to turn golden.

Remove pizza dough and brush with arugula pesto.  Dollop the goat cheese around the pizza dough and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese as well.  Place grilled peaches around the pizza dough and return to oven.  Cook for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Meanwhile toss arugula and balsamic dressing together.

Remove pizza from oven and top with arugula salad.  Slice and serve.

IMG_3530IMG_3523IMG_3526Well the pizza was a success.  Everyone enjoyed it including Mr. Mixture who arrived home late and was hungry.  Lucky for me since I have way too many peaches from our family adventure peach picking this weekend.  Looks like we may be seeing this again soon.  Might be perfect for our next meatless monday meal.