Grilled Pizza Recipe: Make Ahead and Freeze for Quick Dinners

Pre-grilling Pizza Dough for Delicious Grilled Pizza's

I am such a lucky woman - not only does he clean; he bakes bread too! My husband, Jason, has become quite the avid baker. He loves trying new recipes and I enjoy eating them (my waist does not). He has been making grilled pizza dough for a few months now and freezing them to use at a later time. I was really shocked by how delicious they are. I tried to show photo's of the process step by step (forgive the photo's, I am not by any means a photographer) but, I left out the finished product. I was so excited to eat it, I forgot the picture. :) I will post the finished grilled pizza as soon as we make it again. I know Jason found this idea online or Food Network, but I am not sure of the source.

First whip up your favorite pizza dough recipe or use this one. Allow to rise for an hour or so then place in refrigerator if you have the time - something to do with the dough rolling out more easily. Form dough into softball sized balls and place onto floured cookie sheet or counter; Cover with dish towels to keep from drying out.

Rolling Out the Dough

On a floured surface, roll out dough useing a rolling pin until dough is approximately 1/4 inch thick. Brush both sides of dough with olive oil. Pre heat grill to a medium low - medium heat. Place carefully on hot grill for 5 minutes; flip dough over and cook 5 minutes more. If dough starts to get a big bubble, poke it with a fork or knife. Remove pizza; and place onto cookie cooling rack.

Finished Dough off the Grill

At this point, the pizza crust can be frozen for a later use. Wait for it to cool completely on the drying rack and then place into large 2 gallon freezer bags. When ready to make pizza, pull out frozen dough, place on counter; cover with sauce, mozerella and basil; or, the toppings of your choice.

Prepped Pizza for the Final Grill

To make a quick and easy pizza sauce, cut tomatoes into large slices, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle well with salt and place directly onto grill when pre grilling the crust. Remove tomatoes and smear onto prepared dough; top with cheese and basil. Or, try this easy, Simple and Fresh Pizza Sauce recipe.

Place the prepped pizza back onto a medium- low heated grill until cheese melts. Place onto cutting board and sllice using a pizza cutter. Serve hot and enjoy!

Pizza Options

Margarita Pizza: Fresh Mozerella, Basil Leaves
Taco Pizza: Precooked ground beef or used master meat mix, mexican blend cheese, onions, bell peppers. Try using hot sauce as pizza sauce and sprinkle pizza with taco seasoning. After cooking add lettuce and fresh chopped tomato if desired.

Aglio di Olio Pizza: Instead of using a tomato based sauce, drizzle olive oil onto crust and sprinkle crust with fresh chopped or sliced garlic. Another option would be to mix oil with roasted garlic and rub onto crust.

More Pizza Ideas here @ cdkitchen

Pizza Dough Recipe

My husband is the baker in the family - me, I do not like following directions. This really is an easy recipe. He whipped it up while making coffee, so it must be easy. I found the originial recipe at Baskers Fun Foods Blog and my husband has revised it over the last several months. This recipe is perfect for pre-grilling pizzas and freezing.
Pizza Dough Recipe

1 pkt yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar or honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 - 4 cups flour

In stand mixer, combine flour and salt. Add yeast and sugar to warm water and let sit for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. Add water and yeast to flour mixture and combine using a dough hook. Mix ingredients until dough forms. Allow dough to rise 30 minutes or longer. Using a olive oil mister, mist pan with olive oil; or, brush pizza pan with olive oil using a basting brush.  Dust pan lightly with cornmeal to keep from sticking to the pan. On a floured surface roll dough out into desired pizza size and place onto pizza pan or baking sheet if making a square pizza. Top with sauce, cheese and desired toppings. Bake at higest setting in oven (550*) for 10 - 12 minutes. Watch pizza to make sure you do not over cook it. For a more authentic italian pizza, try grilling your pizza.

Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza
Top with sauce, cooked bacon, cooked hamburger, sliced onion, cheddar cheese and mozerella.

Hawaiin Pizza
Top with sauce, mozerella, canadian bacon or ham, and pineapple

Bianco Pizza
Top with olive oil, chopped garlic, and italian cheese blend.

Roasted Salsa Recipe

Roasted Salsa Recipe

An easy, yet delicious recipe for salsa. I love salsa fresh or roasted. To make fresh salsa just throw everything into the food processor instead of roasting first. Roasting the ingredients gives the salsa more depth in flavor. You want the ingredients to brown a little, but not burn - No one likes burnt salsa :)

4 Large Beefsteak Tomatoes or 7 Roma Tomatoes, quartered
3 small jalapeno's, sliced in half and seeded (leave more seeds for extra heat)
1/2 medium or small onion
2 cloves garlic, whole
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
Fresh Cilantro (about 1 cup before chopping; bunch leaves together and chop)
tiny pinch sugar

Heat a cast iron skillet. Drizzle with 1-2 Tbsp oil to coat the bottom. Place tomatoes, jalapeno's, onion and garlic onto skillet. Roast for approximately 30 minutes on medium to medium high heat; turning ingredients occasionally to roast all sides. Remove from skillet and place into food processor; add lime juice and cilantro; Blend using the pulse setting until salsa reaches desired consistency. This can be as pureed or chunky as you like. Pour into serving bowl or container to refrigerate. Salsa tastes better after the flavors sit for a few hours.

Giant Eagle 7/29 - 08/04 Deal Roundup: Capri Sun, Edy's

Giant Eagle 7/29 - 8/04: A Few Deals Worth Noting

Capri Sun 4/$8 ~ Get a $3 Coupon OYNO during checkout
Final Cost; $1.25 each wyb 4

Edy's Ice Cream 4/$9 ~ Get a $4 coupon during checkout when you buy $12 (regular prices, not sale price) worth of Edy's
Final Cost; $1.25 each wyb 4
*This worked at my store, but may not work everywhere.

Ball Park Franks BOGO - Prices range from $3.50 - $6
~ Use .75/1 coupon 6/27 RP;  expired 7/27 so hurry. I was able to use them today in self checkout.
Final Cost Ranges: $0.50 - $1.50 each

Grapes .88 lb
Peaches .99 lb
Tomatoes .99 lb
Green Beans .99 lb (not shown)

Colgate Toothpaste $1.50
~use .75/1 coupon (found in military coupon booklet) or .50/1 coupon 7/25 SS, or $1/1
Final Cost; FREE after coupon or .50

Camping on Fort Story, Virginia Beach

Fort Story, NAS Oceana, JEB Little Creek, Camp Pendleton: A great place for a vacation.

I noted in one of my recent posts I would give a little info on our camping trip to Virginia Beach, so here goes. For those of you who hold a current Military ID card, camping is available at an extremely low rate. Where else are you going to stay in Virginia Beach for only $18 a night? Unless you have somewhere free to crash, $18 a night is pretty darn cheap. The best part about camping at Fort Story was the beach located right on base. They have lifeguards, but the hours state it closes at 6, so I am not sure if that means you have to leave or if they just post the sign due to safety. The beach area is really nice and there are two areas to pick from. The swimming beach is located on the Chesapeake Bay, while the Non-swimming beach is on the Atlantic side. The base is now known as JEB, or Joint Expeditionary Base, and maybe if your lucky you will see an amphibious exercise or an Airborne jump from a plane. We were lucky enough to see the later of the two. If you feel inclined to hang out on a different beach check, there is a beach right outside the main entrance. Park your car in a parking lot located about a block from the entrance, walk outside of the gate; turn left and you will see the entrance to the beach on your left. It is a residential beach, but it is open to the public.

If you are looking for a great place to boogie board and brave the waves (its not that bad - really) head to the other end of Virginia Beach - about 20 minutes away by car. Head out the entrance. Take a left onto Atlantic and then drive all the way down until it changes to General Booth Blvd. Take a left on Bird Neck road. The entrance to post is on your left. Show your ID and drive straight. Turn right at Jefferson and follow it down to the beach parking lot. This was one of our favorite spots to boogie board. We loved it and will be going back again!

Looking for something to do at night? Check out NAS (Naval Air Station) Oceana's or JEB Little Creek's $2 movie theatre where they have new releases 5 days of the week. They do not allow outside food or drinks and will rip you off if you try to buy anything inside - I guess they have to make money somehow. If you want a schedule head over to the Recreation Center across the street from the Shoppette on Fort Story aka JEB. Another great place is the Tap House. They have 30 plus drinks on tap and happy hour daily from 12-6. Drinks are $2 off and appetizers are half price, so if your tired from boogie boarding on Camp Pendleton, catch the Wave (City Bus) to the Tap House Restaurant. A max pass is only $2and is good until 2 am. You can purchase these passes from KOA, Sunsations, and a few kiosks located on the Boardwalk. Beware of the $2 snake bites at the Tap House. They definitly will bite you back.

NAS has a Commissary located off post, which is the first time I have seen this. It is located separately from the main base. The Commissary is very large and the prices were really good for Virginia Beach. We noticed several great deals. Some of which we would have purchased if we would have had a freezer with us.

Make sure to check out the JEB Little Creek's NEX (Navy Exchange). This place is massive. I think they must have made a mistake and built a huge department store on this post. Honestly, I have never seen a post exchange this large. The store contains what looked to be it's own Coach Purse Department, every makeup brand imaginable, and It even has it's own jewelry store. Madness. We have lived a lot of places and I have never seen a Post Exchange this large. Go check it out.

*I did read online that both the NAS Oceana and JEB Little Creek also have camping, but we did not get to see it. Let me know if you have any experience with these campgrounds.

Menu Plan Monday 7/26 - 8/01

As the last week in July creeps by, I realize how close we are to the end of Summer. Sometimes I wish the kids would have a little more time to enjoy their childhood before heading back to the hustle of the school year. I remember as a kid getting out of school in May and not going back until the begining of September - those days are long gone. Now the kids here do not get out until the middle of June and go back the last week in August - Is this supposed to quantify as a Summer break?

Moving on....the last few weeks have been a blur because we have been out of town off and on, kids went to grandma and grandpa's house; and to be honest I just have been all over the place mentally and physically. This week I am going to try to get back into a routine - if only for one week, since next week I leave to pick up the kids. We have recently learned we will be moving this Fall; during Christmas time (courtesy of Uncle Sam). I am sure this is going to be a fun experience. Usually we move during the summer, but we will make it work. I am hopeful the next stop will be our last for a while; retirement is on the horizon -We are almost there! We are heading south to Georgia and I am psyched. I am praying we find a nice home in a great neighborhood, you know, the usual stuff. I realize the time will sneak up on me and I will be overwhelmed. This is what always happens. I can try all I want to prepare, but this procrastinator must need pressure to get things done. The military will pay to have our household goods moved, but it is everything else that seems to take time: medical records, dental records, school papers and transferring, house hunting, school and neighborhood perusing, STRESS! And...Oh, did I mention STRESS?  Enough about stress, lets move on to how to not worry about what's for dinner with this weeks menu plan. For more worry free dinner ideas, check out Orgjunkie!

Menu Plan Monday 7/26 - 8/01

Roasted Mediteranean Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Carrots (Drizzle with olive oil, rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, pepper)
Ensalata Caprese as an appetizer (fresh mozerella and tomatoes sliced, snipped leaves of basil; drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper)

Oven Baked Stuffed Jalapeno Pepper's

Arrabiata Bon Pomodoro - Spicy Tomato Garlic Olive Oil Pasta Sauce

Chicken Quesadilla's, with Black Beans and Rice

Grilled Pizza with Pre-made Pizza crusts

Bolognese Mashed Potato Meat Pie (Using Leftover Bolognese and Frozen Mashed Potatoes - will update on how this turns out)

California Sushi Rolls

Cheap Grilled Steak, Baked Potatoes, Frozen Chard from the Freezer

Chicken Meatball Asian Soup (trying this for the first time, will post if its good)

Giant Eagle7/22 - 7/28 , Weis 7/25 - 7/31 Free Crest and Sun Crystals

A Few Freebies This Week

Giant Eagle

Crest Toothpaste $1.50
Use .75/1 from 7/4 P & G insert
Final Cost; free after coupon doubles

Sun Crystals Sugar Substitute $1.99
Use $2/1 coupon from 7/25 RP (this weekends paper)
Final Cost; Free after coupon.

Sun Dried Tomato Spicy Bow Tie Pasta aka Arrabiata Bon Pomodoro (Translation: Angry Happy Tomatoes)

I came up with this tonight after spotting sundried tomatoes at the store. I know I often say that a recipe was really good, but this dish made me feel like I was back in Italy eating at a Trattoria. It will be made again and again and again if my husband has it his way. He absolutely went gaga over this dish. It was very simple to make. Most of the recipe is prep work - cutting the onions, tomatoes, garlic, peppers, etc. Its best to get everything chopped and ready to go before hand. Then it takes about 20 minutes to throw it together.

Edit: I prepared this again and checked the measurements, so the recipe is good to go now. If you do not have fresh herbs, dried herbs should be fine, just substitute 1 1/2 tsp italian seasonings instead. If you do not currently grow your own herbs, it is really one of the easiest things to grow outside. My thyme, oregeno and majoram survived ten feet of snow on top of it. I usually buy a pre grown basil plant and put it in the ground around the end of May, but depending on where you are you may be able to start it earlier. There is just nothing like using fresh herbs and who can afford to purchase them in the store at $3 - $4 for a small amount; ridiculous!

P.S. The photo does not do it justice. :)

1 Box Bow Tie Pasta
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, Diced
5 small garlic cloves, sliced thinly or chopped
1 Roma Tomato, chopped (optional)
6 Sun Dried Tomatoes in oil, chopped
3 Roasted Red Pepper slices from jar (I get mine from the $1 store)
1/4 cup Roasted Red Pepper liquid (the water from the jar)
1/2 small lemon zested and juiced, (if using large lemon only use 1/4)
1/2 - 3/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
 1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
7 leaves Fresh Basil, Chiffonade (roll up leaves and slice thinly)
1 sprig thyme leaves, chopped
1 small sprig oregeno leaves, chopped (about 4 inches long, pull leaves off and chop)
1 small sprig majoram leaves, chopped (about 4 inches long, pull leaves off and chop)
1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, reserve 1/4 cup for garnishing

Under cook pasta by 2 minutes - if the box says to cook 10 minutes for al dente, only cook 8- it will cook a little more in the pasta sauce. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water for sauce.

In a sauce pan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less according to taste). Add onions to pan and saute on medium heat with 1 tsp salt for 10 minutes or until golden in color. Mix in Roma Tomatoes, Sundried Tomatoes, remaining 1/4 cup olive oil.  Simmer for 5 minutes to develop flavors. Mix in roasted red pepper, garlic and 1/4 cup of roasted red pepper liquid from the jar. Simmer for a 5 minutes more; Add herbs, zest and lemon juice; Cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes. At the same time you are simmering the sauce for 10 minutes, begin cooking pasta noodles) When pasta has finished cooking pour 1/2 cup pasta cooking water into sauce. Strain pasta noodles and stir into sauce mixture. Continue cooking on med-low for two minutes. Sprinkle pasta with 1/4 tsp salt, fresh or ground pepper and 1/8 cup parmesan cheese; mix well; taste. Add more salt and crushed red pepper if desired..  Serve garnished with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.   

Military Summer Fun

I know I have not been around the blogosphere lately, but I am alive and well. The kids are off at grandma's and the husband and I are having a great time in our new pop-up camper. I hope this was an investment that will get used often. If not, well I guess we made a bad choice. We just tested out our camper this past week down at Virginia Beach, Virginia. I have lots to say about the area; especially for those of you who hold Military ID cards. We discovered several free beaches on Military Installations and boy are there lots of bases out there! It is a smorgasbord of branches. I have a few fun and some not so fun exeperiences to share, so check back for updates on our trip. If we can squeeze some more money out of our money tree we may just head off to an undisclosed location this weekend. If we do, I will update when we return.

Do you love camping? Own an rv or just pop a tent? What do you like about camping? What's your favorite camping spot? I would love to hear any ideas or comments.


A Few of My Favorite Things: Makeup and Kitchen Utensils

I don't usually post about makeup and  and cooking items, but I was thinking to myself, "why not?" I love makeup - some might suggest a little too much - and I love cooking. I have found a few things over the years that make my life easier, so I am sharing with whoever is reading out there in blogger world. I know sometimes word of mouth is the best way to find great things, so here goes....

My top item is Jane Iredale Bronzer in Sunbeam. It is a quad bronzer which contains a higlighter, a blush color and two bronze colors. It is really an all in one. If you have your foundation and this product, and some mascara you can put your face on in a hurry. I use mine with a chisel flat top brush my mom gave me from Kroger, "Salon Collection" is the brand I think and its been a pretty good little brush over the last few months. There are several brushes like this out there. One of my new favorite brands is Studio Gear.

Studio Gear brushes are not cheap, but they do carry a lifetime warranty. Something I just recently discovered! I purchased two brushes at Ulta about a week ago and I am sooooo impressed. I picked up a concealer brush and the large powder brush. Let me tell you, these brushes are amazing. They are so soft and my finishing powder is going on perfectly.

Next up, one of my favorite kitchen items, the Microplane. I absolutely love my Microplane grates, it zests, it grinds up nutmeg, the list goes on. I purchased my Microplane about 2 years ago - my brain cells do not rememeber when - in Bed Bath and Beyond. It was a hard little bugger to find. I am sure they are more common now, but back then I had to hunt.

Cowboy Quinoa Soup

Another winner in the kitchen. The kids give it two thumbs up and I really enjoyed it to. I am not really a vegetable soup lover, but this was really good. The name comes from a recipe I love called "cowboy soup", but this one has noodles instead of potatoes and also quinoa added in the mix. You cannot even taste the quinoa or tell its there, so its a healthy addition to the soup. The next time I make it I will increase the onion to 1 whole and the garlic to 2 cloves.

1 pkg ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1- 28oz large can diced tomatoes (puree half)
1 Large Can of water (use tomato can - or 28 oz)
1 can tomato soup
2 Cups beef broth (used two bullion cubes w/ 2 cups water)
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery, chopped
1 cup uncooked macaroni noodles
1/3 cup quinoa
1 cup chicken broth or 1 can
1 - 2 tbsp chili powder
1 - 2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt; add more as needed (not sure of the final amount added)
1/2 tsp pepper
Italian Cheese Blend

In a large soup pot, brown ground beef; Drain fat and return to pot. Saute onions and garlic with meat. Add seasonings. Add tomatoes, soup, water, beef broth, and chicken broth, quinoa, carrots, celery and simmer for 10 minutes; taste. If needed, add more salt, chili powder and cumin - this is what gives it flavor. Mix in macaroni noodles and cook 7 minutes more. Serve with italian cheese sprinkled on top.

I will try to make this again soon and measure the seasonings a little better. I know I am notorious for not measuring and this makes giving a recipe out very difficult. If you try this, please come back and let me know how it turned out.

Chili Cheese Burritos OR Chilito's

Chilito's Chili Cheese Bean Burrito's, a knock off of the Taco Bell Version (can chili, cheese, refried beans, hot sauce and flour tortillas....its that easy!

4-6 Large Burrito Tortilla’s
1 Can Refried Beans
1 Can Chili with or without beans
1-2 Cups Cheese
Sour Cream
Taco Bell Hot Sauce Packets (or other hot sauce)

Heat up tortilla’s in pan. Warm up beans in the microwave. Warm up chili in the microwave. Assemble burritos by smearing a spoon full of sour cream, a few tablespoons of beans and a few tablespoons of chili onto the burrito. Squirt two packets of taco bell hot sauce or the desired brand onto the burritos. Sprinkle with cheese; Roll up. Microwave for about 30 seconds to reheat, if desired.

Note: I tried to mix the beans and chili to cut down on dirty bowls and it did not taste as good. I realize this does not seem to make any sense, but trust me. I guess it has something to do with layers tasting better…who knows!?!

Quinoa Alphabet Vegetable Soup (or Any Noodle)

Last night, I wanted to experiment with this strange looking grain called "quinoa", which I am still trying to figure out how to pronounce. So, I thought, "why not throw it into a noodle soup?" The soup turned out really well. The kids loved it - they did not even ask about what was in it - and so did I. I liked the fact that the noodles were very small, so you could hardly tell if you were eating quinoa or a noodle. This could be made with any kind of small pasta or even orzo pasta. This could also be made using homeade chicken or vegetable stock, but I used 2 boxes of chicken broth due to time contraints and the fact that we were out of chicken. :)



Quinoa Veg Noodle Soup

  • 2 Large boxes Chicken Broth or 12 Cups pre-made stock
  • 3 Celery Stalks, chopped (reserve celery leaves to make stock)
  • 3 Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Clove Garlic, whole peeled (option: use roasted garlic)
  • 1/2 onion, whole with skins
  • 1 can Tomato Soup
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 -1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
  • 1- 7 oz bag Alphabet Noodles, uncooked
In a large pot, add broth, celery leaves (the part most of us throw away), half of onion with skin, and whole garlic clove. Simmer for about 20 minutes covered; Strain and put the broth back into the pot. Add tomato soup, carrots, celery, seasonings, and quinoa. Simmer for 8 minutes. Add Noodles and cook 7 minutes longer.
Notes: Quinoa takes about 15 minutes, and the noodles took about 7-8. Remember the noodles will continue to cook after you turn off the heat. It's better to have a slightly undercooked noodle than a soggy one.
Tip: To eliminate the first step, pre-cook chicken stock by simmering chicken bones, celery, carrots, onion with skins and garlic for 30 minutes to an hour. Cool; strain; Freeze to save for a later use


Need help learning more about nutrition? Join my next 10 day nutrition group for help with serving sizes, food combinations, how to maximize fat burning by increasing your metabolism, and daily support in a private Facebook group. You even get a MEAL PLAN with lots of different options. This recipe actually came from our clean eating meal plan. Click the link to sign up, or message me, Jennifer Wood via email or Facebook.