Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Easy Frozen Pizza, Enhanced

Would you believe this is a frozen pizza from the grocery store?

It is! (And, yes, I know you want it NOW!)

Dr. Oekter is a German-based food company with origins back to the 1800's. Throughout Europe, it is known for such things as cake mixes and cake decorating items.

And frozen pizzas.

My European-based grocery store does not carry the entire line of their incredible pizzas, but I've yet to be disappointed with any they do stock.

The "thin crust" is perfect. Crisp but tender without being dry like a cracker.

These pizzas do not "ooze" tomato-sauce. Instead the sauce spotlights the toppings to take center stage. The flavors are fresh, clean, and never bitter or acidic.

This spinach selection is my favorite because it lends itself to "doctoring" (no pun intended). On sale, I purchase it at my grocery store for $3.99. Yes, you heard me. $3.99!

Halfway through the baking process, I top it with two shredded slices of smoked deli-ham and 2-3 slices of torn, white, American-cheese. Sometimes, I use a slight handful or two of blended Italian cheeses in place of the American cheese. I always powder it with a light sprinkle of smoked paprika to enhance and mimic the outdoor flavor of barbecue.

This pizza is already purchased with Edam and mozzarella cheeses. With my additions, it is an enhancement that floats above heaven.

Feast your eyes on all that cheesy-hammy-spinachy goodness! I'm never, ever disappointed when this pops out of the oven and then lovingly melts into my mouth with that perfect pillowy-crunch of crust.

Honestly, better than most pizzas for which I pay twice the pay-tag. And no tipping needed for home delivery!

But don't stop with these toppings. Maybe some black olives? A few thin-sliced red onions and green peppers? Asparagus? Pineapple?

Bottom line? When it comes to frozen pizza, think out of that frozen box. Be the artist of its canvas-crust. What colors and flavors will you add?

Yes, you can create a masterpiece!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Thinking of My Dad ...

My father spent several days in the hospital ... I hate being so far away. I wish he had technology. If so, I would send him this video. Dad, thank-you for everything. Don't apologize for anything. You taught your children by example. Never abandoned any of us. And included so many. You are beyond wonderful. You are my Father.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Smothered Chicken Wings

Fall-off-the-bone tenderness with a rich, satisfying sauce.

It's been a rough week at KB since I had to put my cat, Chalk, to sleep. I never realized how much I talked to him. It's a very quiet apartment.

I needed some real comfort food. These smothered chicken wings hit the spot, for sure. And they filled the empty apartment with wonderful aromas that mixed with memories.

It's a cinch to prepare. The gravy is incredible. Serve with rice, noodles, biscuits, or just a good, sturdy bread for sopping all that richness.

I love Bell's seasoning. It is mostly ground rosemary and thyme, so use those two powders if you don't have access to the real thing. Or poultry seasoning. The measurements are approximate, not exact. It's that kind of recipe. The red onion makes this dish. So many onions are now "sweet," I find myself using red ones more and more for their exuberant flavor and aroma.

Wondra flour is superfine and used as a thickener. Use flour mixed with a bit of water if you can't find it. Or use potato starch.

  • 6 chicken wings
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons minced RED onion
  • 4 tablespoons diced celery
  • Finely minced parsley
  • Seasonings: 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon, Bell's [or poultry seasoning], seasoned salt
  • 3/4 can cream of celery soup mixed with 1/2 cup water
  • Wondra Flour

Place wings in bowl. Powder with seasonings and a drizzle of olive oil.

Place in a 9 x 9 metal pan, skin side up. Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes in a 400 F oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and add butter and sprinkle the celery and onion around the wings. Lower oven to 375. Place back in oven for about 15-20 minutes. Remove. Add the cream of celery soup being careful not to coat the wings. Cover tightly with foil and continue to back for another 20-30 minutes. Uncover. Add about two teaspoons of Wondra flour. Add the minced parsley. Re-cover and back for another 15 minutes to thicken the sauce. Serve with rice, pasta or bread.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Good-Bye, Best Friend Ever! You, Wait For Me!

Not an easy day, dear Subscribers. How did I get through this?

I cradled and rocked him. Told him how much I loved him. Thanked him for all that he had given to me through the years, so many years, including the now-beautiful scar above my lip in his early scary, feral days. I wear it like a badge. A wedding ring.

Acute kidney failure.

The last two days, he wanted to sit on the back porch facing the woods. He knew. He loved Nature.

At the Vet's he was so unusually quiet. Tired. Exhausted. His head nestled in the nook of my arm. A slight purr. Tears into fur. And then stares ... beyond the beyond.

For as long as we were together, each day I left where I lived, I told him, "Bye, Chalk, you wait for me."

And he did.

Among hugs, caresses and kisses, tears, deep sobs, those were my last love words to him. "You wait for me." And I know he will.