What I am about to describe to you may sound slightly gross, but trust me on this one. Pesto, Red Grape and chicken pizza. Now, grapes may sound like an odd pairing for pizza but the heat of the oven really brings out the sweetness and they taste amazing with the other elements.
If you grill the chicken the day or night before when you’re making another meal, this pizza will take about 15 -20 minutes to make. Perfect “coming home to dinner after commuting” meal. It’s from a cooking light recipe, but you don’t even need a recipe to figure out how to make this.
I simply used a Boboli ready made thin crust pizza, topped it with pesto, shredded chicken, halved red grapes and cheese. My pesto was made the other day from my 2 foot tall basil plant (it was taking over my garden! my other herbs have barely seen sunlight all season because of the basil jungle), but store bought is just as easy to use. I used preshredded low fat mozzerella cheese, but freshly grated the parmesan.
15 minutes later, pizza!
The pairing kind of reminds me of something I would find at my favorite pizza place, Flatbread Pizza Company. But it’s much more convenient to make this rather than fly over 12 hours to get it.
Before I talk about my first experience with a borrowed slow cooker, I just want to tell my commuting story of the week. And I’m not talking about the 6 foot five man wearing a top hat I saw on the subway. For those of you not living in New York, you may not know we got hit by two tornadoes on Thursday. Specifically Brooklyn and Queens.
My experience on Thursday was similar to many of those packed into Penn Station. When I left work on Thursday, I noticed a greenish sky and saw lightening before jumping onto my subway across the street. I usually have a half hour to kill before my train to Long Island arrives, but EXACTLY when my train is supposed to arrive the boards go blank. There are no trains, and the station is turning into a sweaty mess with all the people crammed in there. Eventually we find out that trees fell across the track, eliminating service between Penn and Jamaica. This means NO service.
So what does a girl in this situation do? She meets up with her dad in a bar, her awesome boyfriend drives in to pick them up, they eat and drink…and then sit for four hours in traffic.If anyone is ever in a similar situation, the Pig and Whistle on 36th near 7th is a fantastic place to wait a Penn emergency out.
But back to the picture at the top of this post. I tried the all- american chili slow cooker recipe from Family Circle. I plopped everything in the cooker at 7:30 in the morning, and my mom turned it off when she got home at 4 pm. For the convenience factor, this recipe gets four stars. Flavor wise? 2.5. The chili was a little too thin for my family’s taste, and the fresh oregano added at the end saved it. Next time I would up the cumin, add hot pepper, and add another vegetable to the mix. So far I’m a fan of the slow cooker. I like coming home from work and having dinner all ready to go. It gives me time to exercise and socialize before going to bed and repeating my day all over again.
There is no one under the age of 20 in my household, yet our go to tomato sauce recipe comes from this book.
I go this book about 10 years ago when I was making my first forays into cooking. (For those of you who don’t know, that would make me 13). I took it out from the library and proceeded to host a dinner party for my extended family, making both this sauce and Emeril’s spinach stuffed shells. My aunt gave me a copy as a gift, and I proceeded to make spinach stuffed shells again. And would again several years later when I hosted a dinner for 20 friends. I think these are the only two recipes I have ever used from this book, but they’re good. And the sauce is super easy to make, I have it simmering away right now as I type.
In other news, the blog finally has a header! Check it out. My original drawing was much crisper, but as with anything I do that then involves technology, resizing it led to a fuzzier result.
I’ll probably be posting once a week now on Mondays because my life is about to get crazy. Commuting into the city 5 days a week will lead to change in how I plan my meals. Expect to see some experimentation with a slow cooker and attempts to keep lunch from getting boring, all while trying to eat healthily. Maybe I should rename the blog Commuter Cooking (just kidding).
And of course, some cultural excursions because as my friend Stef said to me last night ” I cannot let work become my life”.