Pizza on the Joe!

Pesto, mushroom, and chicken pizza going on the Joe!

We love to cook on our grill and smoker! We had two of our smokers go out on us, and this last one was a real problem. It was an electric smoker, and it only lasted us a year. Since we have plans of building an outdoor kitchen in the future, we decided to go ahead and get what will hopefully be our lifelong smoker: a Kamado Joe. It’s a ceramic smoker, similar to the “Green Egg,” but not as expensive. We love our Joe!

This smoker runs on charcoal and it’s also a grill. We have plans to do more baking on it, but up to now, in addition to smoking fabulous meats, we’ve only baked pizzas on the Joe.

Charcoal glow: the magical source!

The best and easiest pizza dough recipe I have found is on sugarspunrun.com, the recipe is here. It only needs a half hour to rise. I add dried basil to the dough, and when I roll it out, I brush it with melted butter or olive oil and garlic powder, otherwise the dough is bland.

The hubby spreading on the butter and garlic
Classic pepperoni
Pesto based pizza

I love how this dough cooks. It holds toppings and isn’t at all flimsy. I have not baked it in the oven, but I imagine if a pizza stone is used, the effect would be the same.

Pepperoni going on the Joe
Now that’s a pie!
Our version of Mellow Mushroom’s Magical Mystery Tour pizza.

We live in a fairly rural, coastal area. There isn’t a Mellow Mushroom anywhere around us, so we cook to recreate some of our favorite restaurants’ signature dishes. This pesto, chicken pizza is my husband’s favorite!

We set our Kamado Joe to 450 and set the stone in 10 minutes before the pizza. Then, we cook the pizza 7-10 minutes. Then, it’s pizza perfection!

Happy Cooking,

J.

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Rosemary Gone Wild!

I’m like my rosemary plant: we love the sand and the sun! They say you should plant rosemary by your front door for luck. Mine is in the ground, as close to my front door as it can be, in my front flower bed. I love the smell, but I think of it as a winter herb to be used in marinating meats and cooking in stews…mixing into potatoes. What other uses does it have besides drying it and cooking with it?

Rosemary, rosemary, and more rosemary!

A lot. Here are a few I’ve tried.

Stovetop Potpourri: Right now, my house smells amazing! I love to put water and herbs on the stovetop to simmer and fill my house with amazing fragrances. I have a rosemary and lemon concoction on now, and it’s so clean and refreshing!

I love lemon in my water and drink it throughout the day. We have a baby lemon tree in the back yard that has produced a few lemons, so while I used some lemon wedges in today’s potpourri, I like lemon in my drinks, so I took some lemon tree cuttings (minus the barbs!), and set those to simmer.

Other Uses: I plan to make a few wreathes for indoor use, and I have also set some in small jarred bouquets around the house, and I made a few sachets.

I am looking forward to trying different projects and recipes. How do you use rosemary in your cooking or in your home?

Happy Harvesting,

J.

It’s Halloween My Pretties: Costuming Time!

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Who doesn’t want to pretend to be a kid again? Take a break from “adulting” for a day, or an evening. Whether you like to plan and make costumes, visit the pop-up Halloween seasonal stores, or your local WalMart, Target, or craft store in pursuit of the perfect costume, everyone has a closet in their home full of clothes. Regular, every day clothes. If you have a last minute costume party or event, and no costume, go to the closet.

My favorite “closet costume” was my “Grandparent’s Day” costume from my teaching days – Homecoming week had dress-up days for each day of the wee, but this would be a great costume for Halloween, too. I decided to go “tacky office worker” and wear mismatched clothes, carry a cane (formerly my granddaddy’s), and shove a pillow under my skirt.

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Much of this look was completely unintentional, but I will use it again, someday. I put a square throw pillow in the waistband of my skirt. The elastic pushed it in so that my figure truly shifted! I didn’t realize I looked like I had saggy boobs until I went to the main office and the ladies who worked the front laughed until they cried. I was told the square corner at the bottom of the pillow looked like a hernia. Now, the purse and the separated pearls had belonged to my grandmother. I didn’t have time to get gray hair spray to color my hair, but I think baby powder would’ve worked. I just wrapped a scarf around my hair. And, yes, I did walk around all day with a scowl. I was a grumpy old office lady! 🙂

This next closet costume was so simple: black! Add ears and a tail, maybe a little makeup, and you have a black cat costume. I made the ears and tale, but you can always buy a set at a party store. CVS or Walgreens may carry them close to Halloween.

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The gloves had finger nails on them already – I found them and they’re actually witch gloves, but they worked okay as claws. Heavy eye makeup and eyeliner jumps up the dramatic cat look. I didn’t do the nose and whiskers, but if you do want to create the look, use an eyeliner pencil, and color the underneath part of your nose around your nostrils, and lightly draw a few whiskers on your cheeks.

There are a slew of easy DIY “closet costumes” available. Check out your character or idea and google it and “DIY” and then go look in your closet. You always have the option to be a ghost, after all, if you have a white sheet!. A white sheet also transforms into a toga, or wrap it around you and go as an Egyptian (my 4th grade Halloween costume). Got a trench coat? go as a detective or Sherlock Holmes (my 9th grade last minute Halloween costume).

My brother is pretty creative at costumes, especially last minute numbers. Can you guess who he is?

 

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Granted, he comes by the beard natural, but if you guessed Chuck Norris, you’re right. He grabbed one of my dad’s old karate belts and a hat, and there you go. (That is my St. Paulie Girl costume I made…a little more description and how to for another post.

Pick up vampire teeth at a drugstore, and yes I have seen them at CVS at Halloween – I bought them – and rock the subtle, “modern-day” vampire look. 😉

The point is, my Pretties, is you have no excuse! Tease that hair and go 80s, cut the neck out of an old t-shirt and rock Jennifer Biles, Flashdance 80s look. Wear jeans, boots, and a flannel and be a cowgirl or cowboy. The possibilities are endless and so is the fun.

Happy Haunting,

J.