Blogging

I have been conspicuous by my absence, lately, except for postings of videos that interest me and (maybe) you. I told my Southern Man that I need to get blogging, again, hopefully with some recipes. Yum!! Meanwhile, we have been busy with life, just like everyone else who is…living. One child is learning some life lessons while off at college; nothing bad, just learning about life as a responsible adult trying to find their way. I remember those days! The process never really ends, does it? The other child, once quiet and somewhat aloof, has blossomed at her new school with new friends, a new church and youth group, and extracurricular activities. We’re very proud of both our children. We have been truly blessed.

So, I hope all is well in YOUR lives. Back soon! :)

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Intellectual Froglegs 2014 #6

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Intellectual Froglegs 2014 #5

I’ve been falling behind with posting these videos, put together by Joe Dan Gorman. Enjoy! Or not….

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Intellectual Froglegs 2014 #4

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Every Praise

A flash mob in Five Points South, Birmingham, AL in September 2013

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How Great Is Our God (World Edition)

Sung in English, Hindi, Indonesian, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Zulu, and Chinese.

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Cast Iron Pan Pizza

The cast iron pizza that I wrote about at an earlier date came out wonderful, although just a little bit watery. Since that night, I’ve made it twice more with better results and the family loves it! Homemade pizza (homemade anything, for that matter) is so much better than store-bought or take-out; better-tasting and better for you. My body also doesn’t revolt from the homemade foodstuffs, especially when using quality ingredients, i.e., organic or, at the very least, hormone- and anti-biotic-free meats. I am not a trained chef; my recipes are usually adaptations of ones I’ve found over the years. In other words, try it my way and modify as you need or want to. I like this recipe because it is quick and easy. Also, pizza can have so many different variations using whatever topping you have on-hand, even if it’s only sauce & cheese. Typically, I’ve been making this on Friday nights, when I am tired and really don’t feel like cooking.

I used my 12″ cast iron skillet. In a nutshell, here is what I did. You can grease the pan, if you’d like, and dust it with cornmeal. I also have used it just as-is. It is well-seasoned and oiled after each use, so it worked just fine. Make your favorite pizza crust recipe (or buy pizza dough from the grocery store) and spread/roll it out either on the side or in the pan, pressing the dough into the edges and up the sides. Bake that at 425° for about 5-10 minutes. I have an easy no-rise pizza crust that I use, which is ideal on short notice or for those who aren’t great planners are spur-of-the-moment cooks. Add your sauce, toppings, and pop it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until done, meaning bubbly with a lightly-browned crust. Let it sit for a few minutes, slice it up, and mangiare! Meat toppings must be cooked ahead of time and, depending on the water content of the vegetables, cooking them ahead is also a good idea, otherwise you’ll end up with a watery pizza, like I did the first time when I used raw peppers and mushrooms. Live and learn! :)

Easy No-Rise Pizza Crust Recipe — Oven 425°

  • 1 pkg of dry yeast or 2 1/4 tsp
  • 1 c warm (not hot) water
  • 2 1/2 c flour (I use a combo of regular and whole wheat flours; 1/2 cup being whole wheat)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water. Combine the flour and salt; add water mixture and olive oil. Mix together until combined. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes. Press into bottom, edges, and sides of the pan with your fingers; I also use a metal spoon to help smooth it out, evenly. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until it starts to firm up or feel a little crusty. Remove.

Burger, Green Pepper, Mushroom and Onion Pizza

  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced
  • 5 or 6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1b ground meat, fully-cooked
  • 16 oz low-moisture mozzarella cheese or Italian cheese mixure
  • 1/3-1/2 cup tomato/pizza sauce
  • Italian seasoning

All amounts can be adjusted to your preference–or try other ingredients. It’s food–be adventurous. (I saw a tuna pizza recipe…not sure I’m that adventurous, but maybe you are. Let me know how it is, if you try it.)

Sauté one lb of ground meat (venison) until fully-cooked. I sliced up a small onion, 1/2 of a green pepper, and several mushrooms. The second time I made this, I added the vegetables to the meat, after it was almost done and cooked them. Mushrooms, especially, have a high water content; cooking ahead resulted in a pizza that wasn’t soggy/watery. Also, how thinly-sliced vegetables are, the type of sauce used, as well as whether or not the cheese is low-moisture, can all make a difference in whether or not the pizza is watery. It’s still delicious, regardless!

Spread your sauce onto the baked crust. You can buy pizza sauce, which is thicker, but I usually use what I have on-hand–regular pasta sauce– which, if too much is used, can result in a watery pizza. However, I don’t use a lot of sauce, perhaps 1/3 cup, at the most. Spread your meat/veggie toppings, cover with cheese, sprinkle some Italian seasoning over the top, if desired, take a picture,

Before

Before

put the skillet creation in the center of the oven and bake until crust is browned and the cheese is bubbly.

Remove the pizza from the oven, let it sit for a few minutes, slice it up, and ENJOY!

After

After

Up until I made this skillet pizza, I had been making pizzas on an oblong stoneware bar pan, using the same recipe. My family prefers the thicker pan pizza, but you can also use this on other things–pizza stones, etc.. Since I made this first pizza, I’ve also done the same recipe, minus the mushrooms, but cooked the meat & veggies together, which resulted in the pizza not being watery. I also made a “taco/nacho pizza”, using the same crust recipe, but adding taco seasoning & onion to the meat, baking until the crust was browned, then adding shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, tortilla chips, and Colby-Jack cheese on top. I popped it back into the oven just until the cheese was melted and then we ate it. You can serve it with sour cream/yogurt, salsa, and guacamole, if you have that. It was rather mountainous and, therefore, messy to eat, but quite delicious!

I will probably be making a Hawaiian pizza, soon, with the sliced deli ham and pineapple chunks–one of our favorites. Once you have that pizza crust, pretty much anything goes for what you pile on top of it, including dessert toppings. Get creative and happy eating!

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