Pizza Partay!

The other day, May 26th to be exact was my birthday.

It’s a holiday weekend. Coincidentally, my birthday falls on or around Memorial Day every year… that’s the OTHER holiday of the weekend. It makes it a very convenient weekend for a quick trek home.

The first night there… I got quite the surprise when my cousin and her husband surprised me from Texas!

The morning of my birthday, I got my hair cut for the first time 9 months! The afternoon of my birthday, we went for a nice hike around Liberty Lake. Nothing like an 8.5 mile hike to make you feel 25. AND I did the whole thing without a hair-tie!

The night of my birthday, we had CAKE and other delicious food, insignificant in comparison. My request to my mother was very specific, a Rosauers (local grocery store with scratch bakery) white cake, white buttercream icing, with white and blue flowers ALL over. Rosauers homemade buttercream is a game changer. Your life will be forever changed and you’ll just want more buttercream. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure you can make a great cake from scratch on your own but it ain’t no Rosauers cake.

I have come to terms that I get a little obsessive about my sweets, it’s genetic…blame my mother.

Besides the cake… all weekend we ate real good, including personal sized pizzas from the grill.

At the Turner household, we spare no expense (calorie). The pizza toppings including some of my favorites: Mushrooms, Zucchini, Olives (Green, Kalamata, and Black), Jalepenos, Artichokes, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Pesto and CHEESE.

The dough recipe is simple. Find yourself a Trader Joe’s and pick up a couple bags of whole wheat pizza dough. That’s it!

The hardest part is dividing it up evenly into 4-6 pieces (depending on how big you want your pizza) and then letting it rise at room temp. for 20 minutes. Why is waiting always the hardest part?!?

Once it has risen, start to work it into the shape you desire. It’s likely it won’t come out perfectly round… don’t stress, it all adds to the “rustic” effect.

After adding all the toppings… transfer it to the grill (I spaced getting a picture). This part can be tricky, at least that is what my dad said. I’m too afraid of making someones perfect circle a giant blob, so I “passed the buck” and just watched.  Tip: Make sure to flour the bottom of the dough to transfer from plate to grill more easily. Using a paper plate will help it slide off easier too!

15-20 minutes later on the grill-turned-pizza-oven (see details below) and the wait is finally over!

Easy, delicious, fun for a group, and perfect for a summer night on the patio.

Here’s how to do it…

Grilled Personal Pizzas

Servings: Makes 8 large personal sized or 12 small/medium sized.

Ingredients:

2 packages prepared whole wheat pizza dough (Trader Joe’s is fantastic)

Toppings of your choice. See list above and/or add the following:

  • Marinara/Pizza Sauce if Pesto isn’t your thing.
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Mini Turkey Pepperoni and Canadian Bacon are great additions if you are a meat lover.

8 bricks

Foil

Directions:

Prepare the pizza dough according to package cutting into the desired number of pieces, up to the point of baking.

Add the sauce and toppings, putting the cheese last to seal it all in once it bakes.

Prepare the grill. Wrap the bricks completely in foil and place on the grill rack. (My family just has a stack of bricks that stay wrapped). Fire up the grill and close the lid to heat the brick and make an oven-like atmosphere. You’re looking for a temperature of 350 degrees or so. If its hotter, it will just take less time to cook.

Gently and quickly transfer the prepared pizza to the grill bricks. Close the grill quickly after the transfer to limit the amount of heat lost.  Cook for 15-20 minutes or until pizza is crisp but not burnt.

Remove from the grill, slice, and enjoy!

Where Everything’s Bigger

It’s Wednesday evening and I just got home from my first day at work after a two week vacation. I had exactly 222 emails to greet me this morning.

I need to go back to my happy place so I just thought I would share some of it with you…

I’m exhausted, good exhausted. I think thats what usually happens on vacation.

I’m sunburnt, I mean ripe tomato sunburnt. Thank goodness I don’t see my dermatologist for a few weeks, she would KILL me. But I’m over-dosing on aloe, hoping for a nice tan in a few days.

I’m full of love. Sometimes I think I have to be one of the luckiest people alive. I’ve got family that isn’t just blood related. To feel unconditional love from so many people, its pretty legit. My love tank is far from “E”.

When most people think Texas, they think Hairspray, Humidity, Heat, and Howdy but for me, Texas is my motherland.

This is my Texas… and there’s always Shiner on tap.

We went down to Austin for a wedding. It just so happened to have some of the most beautiful wedding flowers I have ever seen. They scream Spring, right?!

Architecture in Fredericksburg, a quaint Hill Country town.

Rustic fence while hiking the Greenbelt in ATX. Very Texas, the only thing missing is a cowboy in Wranglers leaning against it.

The dirt and rocks above is supposed to be a river. Much of Texas is experiencing a major drought, again. Me? Well, I live in the rain and Seattle is in no drought. Admittedly, I’m selfish… I wanted nothing to do with rain. Now that I’ve left, lets pray for a good soaking.

A great winery in the Hill Country of Texas. Okay, I can’t really say great since I don’t drink wine, beautiful nonetheless.

It’s a beautiful place. My roots are there and always will be no matter where I go.