I’ve been embracing my inner DIY’er lately. My current unemployment status means I’ve had plenty of time to complete projects that have been on the to-do list for a while, go on long runs and read for pleasure… gotta find the positives right? Between a little bit of graduation money, prize money from an award I got right before graduation and my refunded college deposit check, I’ve got enough money to make it through the next couple months… which takes the pressure off for a little bit.
One of my projects was to give a little TLC and some new cushions to 4 kitchen chairs. These chairs are special… They used to provide seating at Flat Street Brew Pub, Mark’s Dad’s restaurant. Hurricane Irene brought tons of silty water into their basement dining room. They were able to reopen their upstairs bar area, but the basement has remained closed. These chairs were beautiful and in need of a loving home… so love them I did. I gave them 3 good scrubbings to get the silt off, I sanded down the rough areas and touched them up with a bit of black semi-gloss. Mark cut the plywood bases for the cushions and I attached batting and stapled on some beautiful teal canvas. They came out beautifully and for only $15 a chair! And we get to have a little piece of Flat Street up here with us!
We also painted our bedroom this weekend! When we moved in, there was some pretty awful wallpaper and our landlord was more than willing to let us take it down. After all, we were doing him a favor. So, I decided to tackle removing the wallpaper while Mark was at work last week. He came home while I was working on the last wall. His jaw dropped when he walked in the room. “surprise” I yelled “look what I did!” I felt kind of like a three year old who had just colored on the walls, as I stood shin deep in strips of pink floral wall paper. Luckily, he wasn’t mad; I had done a good job!
We chose “wisdom”, an off-white with hints of green and blue. After 2 coats this weekend, it looks great!
On Saturday, we met our friend, Rachel, in Burlington for a walk along the lake and a drink at American Flatbread. After salivating over the specials board, we had to convince ourselves out of staying for dinner. I did, after all, have a large ball of whole wheat pizza dough sitting in the fridge. When we got home, I whipped up a massive pizza topped with local feta cheese and tons of veggies from the farmers market and cooked it up on the grill.
Things you should know about pizza
1. Grilled pizza is delicious… it is like the brick oven pizza from home, thin and crispy
2. Pizzas should be piled sky high with veggies
3. Using a small amount of a strong flavored cheese is way better than mounding on loads of cheap mozzarella. It’s less calorie-laden and way more flavorful in the long run
4. If you make your crust thin, load it up with lots of veggies and only a little bit of cheese, you can justify eating multiple slices without feeling guilty
Flatbread Pizza a la American Flatbread
makes 1 square pizza, roughly 10×14″
1 ball of pre-made whole wheat pizza dough
1 squash, cut into ¼” rounds
4-6 cups spinach, roughly chopped
1 red pepper cut into ¼” strips
1 Vidalia onion cut into ¼” slices and separated into rings
10 button or baby portabella mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced 1/4″ thick
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, divided
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons of your favorite Italian dressing
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided
Few dashes of dried garlic
½ cup of your favorite tomato sauce
1 cup of frozen corn
2 oz of fresh feta cheese
First preheat your grill to a medium heat. While the grill heats up, work the pizza dough until it is about ¼-1/2 inch thick and resembles the shape of a pizza. This is tricky, I like to use my fist, pulling the dough gently. I shaped mine into a square so it would fit on the grill. Place the dough on the grill and grill about 2-4 mins, until it has light brown lines on the underside. Flip (I used 2 spatulas), and grill lightly on the underside. (Don’t grill the second side as much as much as the top because the pizza ends up on the grill again later)
While the dough grills, chop the veggies and put them (minus the spinach and corn) in a zip top bag with the dressing, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, garlic powder and black pepper. Close the top and shake to coat the veggies.
Once the crust is done, remove it and place it on a cookie sheet. Place the veggies on the grill and grill 5-7 mins on each side. While the veggies grill, spread a thin layer of sauces onto the crust leaving a 1″ boarder around the edge free of sauce. Then arrange the spinach, feta and frozen corn on top of the sauce. Sprinkle on the remaining Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. When the veggies are cooked, arrange those on top of the pizza, I placed the pizza on the cookie sheet on the side of the grill and transferred the veggies with a pair of tongs. Then place the pizza (sans cookie sheet) on the grill for another 2 minutes so the crust can reheat and the cheese can get melty. Transfer the pizza back to the cookie sheet, slice up and enjoy!
Next kitchen investment… a pizza cutter!