July 27, 2011

Blackberry-Lime Dessert Bars

Remember those Brown Butter Peach Bars that were all the rage in the food blogosphere a couple summers ago?  Well, the thing is, once you make them, you keep thinking about them and you're bound to do something with the recipe again.

For those of you who may have missed it, I'll catch you up: it's a recipe from Big Sur Bakery that was featured in the New York Times Dining Section. It's a two-day process, and the steps include making peach jam and browning two separate batches of butter.  One batch is frozen and then cut into flour and powdered sugar for the crust, the other is used for the filling.  The end result is buttery, ooey-gooey, citrusy-peach deliciousness on a sandy-delicious shortbread crust.  They truly are some sort of amazing. 

It's been a year since my first attempt with Brown Butter Peach bars.  Last week I found myself with a little more than a pint of freshly made blackberry jam and a hankering for some buttery-sweet pastry.  What else was I to do?

Take a perfectly good recipe, and make it better. Oh, yes, I did.

You may remember that my only beef with the original bars was that the orange in the jam and filling overpowered the peach a little bit.  So not only did I substitute blackberry for the peach, I substituted lime for the orange and dialed back the citrus quite a bit.  Also, I didn't bother with browning the butter for the crust (gasp).  Yes, I know, the whole point of a "Brown Butter Peach Bar" is the brown butter and the peaches (well, no, if it were the peaches, they wouldn't have put so much citrus in them); hence, the name change, "Blackberry Lime Dessert Bars."  The crust browns in the oven, and in the summer heat when I'm in the mood to bake, I am in the mood to bake right then, not to brown some butter and freeze it overnight and see if I'm still motivated the next day.  So I skipped browning the butter. And I skipped the vanilla bean too.  I just didn't feel like another flavor element was necessary (and I didn't feel like finding the right knife to scrape the seeds out of a vanilla bean).  I admit it, I've completely bastardized their recipe, but you know what, I think these Blackberry Lime Dessert Bars are every bit as amazing as the Brown Butter Peach Bars. And since this streamlined version takes a little less time, well... You might as well try it and let me know what you think.

While the peach version seems at home as an indulgent breakfast pastry, this version strikes me more as dessert.  I served it to dinner guests in small squares topped with vanilla ice cream.  The vanilla ice cream pairs with the tangy lime, the summery blackberries and the buttery crust to make you want to sit out on the patio for just a little while longer. Of course, we had leftovers, and those we ate as snacks... and a couple of them were "pre-breakfast snacks."

Yes, I made my own jam, but you could certainly use a good purchased jam.  (And for that matter, you don't even have to do blackberry, but I really like the blackberry-lime combination.)  In fact, this recipe would be a great place to showcase a really good jam.

And finally, yes, I am leaving you with a naked lime, but I'm sure you can figure out something to do with the juice.

Blackberry-Lime Dessert Bars
Adapted from the Big Sur Bakery via The New York Times
A buttery, melt-in-your-mouth, perfectly-sandy shortbread crust, topped with a sweet-tangy, summery blackberry-lime, just-barely-crusty, bright-citrus-kissed... You get the point.
Makes about 30-36 bars (one 13x9" pan).

For the Crust

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup confectioner (powdered) sugar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the filling/topping

10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pint (2 cups) seedless blackberry jam*
zest of 2 limes, plus the juice of 1 lime
3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1.  Make the crust:  In a medium bowl, stir together confectioner sugar and flours.  Cut in 1 cup butter using a pastry blender, two knives in a criss-cross motion, or your fingers.  When butter is evenly distributed, press crust into an ungreased 13x9" glass baking dish.  The crust does not need to go up the sides, just evenly cover the bottom of the pan and press it firmly.  Refrigerate crust 30 minutes.  Then bake at 375º for 18 to 20 minutes.  Crust should be golden.  Let crust cool at least 30 minutes before filling.

2.  Melt 10 tablespoons butter in small saucepan over medium heat.  Watch butter carefully as it browns.  Remove from heat when it smells nutty and is nicely browned, before it burns.  Let cool.

3.  Put jam into a small mixing bowl (and bring to room temperature if refrigerated).  Stir in juice of 1 lime and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.  Set aside.

4. In medium bowl, whisk together 3 eggs, the zest of 2 limes, 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup all purpose flour.  Whisk in cooled browned butter to make a thin batter.

5.  Assemble:  Spread half of the batter over the cooled crust.  Tilt pan to spread evenly.  Distribute jam fairly evenly over the batter.  It doesn't have to perfect.  Little pockets of jam in the finished bars are what you want. (Use a pastry bag with a 1/4" tip if you have one, or put your jam into a Sandwich- or Quart-size zip-lock bag.  Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag.  Snip off one the bottom corners of the bag to make a small opening.  Then squeeze ribbons of jam evenly onto the batter.  Alternatively, dollop small spoonfuls of jam over the batter.)  Finally, pour the remaining batter over the jam.  Tilt pan to distribute evenly.  Bake at 375º for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely in pan before cutting into bars.

*I made blackberry jam using the recipe inside the box of Sure-Jell Pectin for Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes. All you need is the pectin, blackberries and sugar.  When you skip the canning step, which you can do if you will be storing your jam in the fridge and using within a month or so, it's a quick process.

July 25, 2011

A Big Yellow Squash

Gracie is going to Farm Camp this week.  (I wonder if our little family seems podunky to readers of this blog who don't know us.)  She's having a blast! Today when Jason picked her up she was picking up chickens.  How cool is that? Sure, in the past I've thought it would be cool to raise chickens for eggs, but I'd never confronted the reality of having to pick them up without being pecked.  The truth is, I'd be freaked out to pick up a chicken, but Grace was loving it! She also picked weeds, watered vegetables, and brought home two squashes for dinner:  one big yellow one and one big green one (a zucchini).


We scooped out the inside of the big yellow squash, stuffed it--we seem to be on a stuffed veggie kick lately, don't we?--with sautéed onions, Spanish chorizo, roasted red pepper, corn, green onions, cilantro, olives and cheddar cheese.  Then we baked it at 350º for about an hour and served it with tortilla chips.  Beans would have been good too, but we didn't have any.


And since the oven was on, we used the zucchini to make two loaves of Zucchini Bread.

Corn & Squash Blossoms

I love eating from our very own garden.  On busy weeknights I tend to rush out to the garden while the kids aren't looking and pick a handful of chives or a bunch of chard.  On weekends there is more time, and I enjoy exploring the garden with the girls, commissioning Grace to find the one ripe cucumber and having Abby "help" me shuck corn.

This Sunday we harvested ten squash blossoms, ten small ears of corn, a cucumber, some chamomile flowers, and a couple sprigs of parsley.

We left the chamomile flowers in a paper bag to dry.  Maybe by the end of summer we'll have enough to make tea.

Gracie made a salad with the cucumber and some lettuce from the farmers market, which she dressed with a honey-mustard vinaigrette and grated cheese.  She's been making salad frequently lately; with a little supervision, she does really well.

She and I worked together to stuff the squash blossoms with fresh mozzarella and parsley.  Then I batter-dipped them and fried them.

But the highlight of the meal was the homegrown corn, simply boiled and slathered with butter.

July 22, 2011

Chard Stuffed with Chorizo and Rice (Dolmas)

I really enjoy my vegetable garden, especially when it's producing edible things.  It's fun, in a nerdy-gardener way, to figure out how to use all the chard that is so prolific that I am quite sick of it.  Yeah, it's frustrating to harvest an ear of corn and find 20% of the kernels mature and juicy while 80% of them are non-existent, but it's kind of fun.  And it's exciting to see that the first cucumbers are finally maturing.

I'm not a big fan of chard.  Though I really, really like it in this fall dish, I generally prefer collard greens and kale.  This year we planted six little chard plants, because that's what the vendor had the day we decided to plant.  At least once a week we harvest a handful of leaves and have to figure out something to do with them.  As tempted as I am to tear out the plants and replace them with something else, it's not that simple.  Would there be enough sun in that spot to plant some stevia or another pepper plant?  I don't know.  And as I consider the question, the chard just keeps growing.

This week the leaves got pretty large, so I decided to stuff them in this fashion .  I harvested about two dozen large chard leaves.  I blanched them.  Then in a small skillet in olive oil, I sauteed one small minced onion, two inches of Spanish (hard) chorizo*, minced; one grated carrot and a sprig of thyme. I added about 1/4 cup of short grain white rice and sauteed for two more minutes, then turned off the heat and added "the rest" of a jar of Italian Tomato Sauce and some chopped parsley.  (The tomato sauce was left over from our Pizza Grilling Adventure earlier this month.  I would guess that there was about 1/2 a cup left in the jar.)

I carefully separated the delicate chard leaves from each other, sliced off the tough stem end of each leaf and placed one tablespoon of filling onto each leaf.  I folded over the edges and rolled each leaf into a little bundle.

In the same large pot that I had blanched the chard, I melted a tablespoon of butter.  I set the bundles on top of the butter and added just a little water and tomato sauce. (I swished a big splash of water around in the tomato sauce jar to take advantage of any sauce left in there.) I brought the pot to a simmer without stirring, reduced the heat to low, covered the pot and simmered for 20-25 minutes to cook the rice.

Abby and Jason chose to eat cereal instead, and I can't blame them; dolmas are not an attractive food.  But Grace and I genuinely enjoyed them.  Maybe part of our enjoyment is the excitement of harvesting our own food.  I've heard some experts recommend the strategy of having a kid harvest their own veggies and help cook to encourage kids to eat more veggies (and that has definitely worked with Grace this week); but I don't want to discount the opinion that they taste really good.  The smoky chorizo cuts the grassiness of the chard.  The carrots and onions had sweetness, the rice adds a nice texture.  All-in-all, they are a nice little package, and one I will surely resort to again.

*While soft Mexican chorizo is readily available in discount supermarkets in our area, Spanish chorizo, a hard paprika-laced sausage, is not.  I find Spanish chorizo at S&S Produce.

July 21, 2011

Grilled Vegetables with Creamy Cojita Dressing

Tomatoes and peppers are (finally) available in the farmers markets!  So if you've been waiting for them, go to it!  All the "summer produce" is officially available.

...Except melons.  Understandably, those have a longer growing season, so it may be a couple more weeks before we see bins full of watermelons and such, but...

Right now there's a plethora of cucumbers, zucchini and yellow summer squash, eggplant and tomatoes, green beans and yellow beans.  And of course, there is all the summer stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums and pluots). 

This Wednesday we came home with blackberries (huge blackberries--the size of a quarter), strawberries, peaches, apricots, green bell peppers and carrots.  (Not a lot of veggies, I know.  We've got some left over from last week and our garden is producing cucumbers, chard and corn right now, so we're taken care of in that department.)


Do you grill vegetables?  I am not much of a grill-er; they always seem to burn, but in midsummer, isn't that all you want to eat?  A meal completely from the grill with an ice-cold-something-or-other to accompany it?  ...Or maybe all you really want is the ice-cold something-or-other, but since there are other people in the house, you have to cook something.

So last night we attempted Grilled Vegetables again.  And this time we did it right. With the heat on medium-low everything cooked in under ten minutes (regardless of what my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook said). Hint:  watch your veggies carefully and par-boil* things like carrots or potatoes until crisp-tender, then grill just a few minutes to add some delicious char flavor.

We grilled one bell pepper (halved) and three par-boiled carrots, along with one roundish yellow summer squash (in 3/4" diagonal slices, a small white onion (halved horizontally) and four ears of corn from our garden (shucked).  (Our corn is pretty small and many of the kernels are not maturing, so the amount of corn was probably equivalent to one normal-sized ear.)

Cut veggies into pieces that are big enough so that they won't fall through the grate.  You can always cut them smaller later.  Rub veggies with cooking oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper before grilling.  Because sizes and temperatures vary, keep an eye on the vegetables while they grill.  You want some char, but you don't want burnt.  The outside of the bell pepper will blacken; don't be intimidated.  Peel off most of the blackened skin and save the soft, smoky flesh.

Chop the grilled vegetables into bite-sized pieces and combine with dressing.  The creamy, cheese-and-herb-spiked dressing pairs nicely with the outdoors-y char.

Creamy Cojita Dressing
This dressing adds a nice element to grilled vegetables and also adds a welcome "cooling element" to spicy shredded meat tacos. Makes about 1/2 cup dressing.

In a small bowl crumble about one ounce cojita cheese.  Stir in 1/4 cup plain yogurt (you could sub mayo if you don't have yogurt on hand), and a small handful minced cilantro, parsley and onion, and maybe one (smashed and thoroughly minced) garlic clove, a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper and maybe a pinch of ground cumin.  Thin the dressing with the juice of one lime.  Let sit 15 minutes for the flavors to blend.

*Parboil: "Partially cook by boiling."  Heat salted water to boiling on your stove top, add veggies and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes for whole farmers market-sized carrots.  Rinse veggies in cool water to stop the cooking process.

July 12, 2011

July Garden Inventory

I harvested the last of our onions today.  I have approximately two dozen small to medium bulbs drying on the back porch, and at least a dozen in left in the cupboard from earlier harvests.


I have three raised beds.  Two of them measure eight feet by four feet; the third is eight feet by three feet.  I also have some herbs in pots near the side of the house.

Currently growing in the pots I have lemon balm, spearmint, sage, lavender and chamomile.  The oregano that I expected to overwinter did not survive.  I've inter-planted some purple iceplant and sedum, and a couple nastritiums, which self-seeded from last year, are growing around the pots.

In Bed #1  I tried to plant a "Three Sisters" garden:  corn, beans and winter squash.  Apparently Native Americans grew these vegetables together.  The theory is that the corn provides the beans a place to climb, while the beans enrich the soil with nitrogen which benefits the corn and squash.  The squash grows along the ground providing a living mulch to retain moisture in the soil.

The corn is doing better than I've ever had corn do in our little beds.  There are one or two ears forming on almost every plant, and there are at least 40 plants.  This Sunday we harvested five ears of corn.  Maybe because the corn is doing so well, it's too shady underneath for the squash to grow(?).  For whatever reason, only two of the squash seeds have formed plants (I think I planted about 10 seeds).  A couple weeks after I planted the corn, I planted a Kentucky Wonder bean by each stalk, but at last count, I only saw three bean plants climbing the corn.  So far there is no sign of any actual green beans on any of the plants.

There is a lot of diversity in Bed #2: When we first planted it this spring we planted (from starts) a row of pansies and alyssum, a row of spinach, a row of chard, two rows of lettuces, a row of garlic chives, half a row of regular chives, half a row of cilantro, half a row of parsley and one more row of alyssum and pansies. There's a four-foot-square trellis in this garden; I devoted each side of the trellis to one thing.  I planted about 8-10 seeds of each: morning glories, musk melon (cantaloupe) and two varieties of cucumber.

A couple months later, the alyssum and pansies are doing well.  The spinach has been replaced by the morning glories which have climbed to the top of the eight-foot trellis.  The chard and the chives are still growing contentedly.  The cilantro bolted and I replaced it with newer cilantro plants, which are close to bolting themselves.  All but one of the parsley plants bolted;  I removed the bolted plants.  The lettuces served us well until it got too hot, but the cantaloupe that was supposed to take their growing area didn't even sprout. I've planted in their place one fennel plant and one celery plant (both I've never grown before), a Anahiem pepper and a watermelon plant. Three of our cucumber seeds have survived to attach themselves to the trellis, so I planted one more cucumber plant, a 'Straight 8'.  Potato plants (volunteers--I guess I didn't harvest the potatoes as thoroughly as I thought I had) are trying to take over half the garden, but I like potatoes, so that's okay with me.  I just hope they crowd out the chard, not the cucumbers.

In Bed #3, the 8'x3' bed that I just harvested the last of the onions from, there is a row of thyme, a couple pansies and some alyssum and three big squash plants.  I don't remember what kind of squash they are.  Today I transplanted four squash (?) plants that I found growing in the compost pile.  Maybe I should be worried about cross-pollination, but I'm not knowledgeable enough about that type of thing, so I am not going to worry about it.  Besides, even if I don't get anything edible from the plants I rather be looking at big beautiful leaves than dry dirt (which unfortunately tends to become a cat box in our neighborhood).

What's growing in your garden this summer?

Green beans

Green beans, blanched, then stir-fried with onions, garlic, ginger, thinly sliced BBQ'd tri-tip, soy sauce, sesame seeds and just a little sugar; served over Chinese noodles.

July 11, 2011

Eggplant Panini

Isn't that what the gourmet-types call a grilled cheese sandwich? A panini?

I seem to be the only person in my family who likes eggplant, so I don't buy them often, but I really do enjoy a good eggplant sandwich every-so-often.  This Sunday at church someone with a more-productive-garden-than-my-own had generously left a large box of summer squash and eggplant in the lobby.  I snagged a small eggplant and after church I made grilled cheese sandwiches: standard cheddar for the rest of the family,   eggplant and Rosemary-Asiago for me.

I sliced the eggplant on the diagonal and fried it in olive oil with one crushed clove of garlic.  Then I sandwiched the eggplant and sliced Rosemary-Asiago cheese between two slices of Tuscan-style bread* and cooked it like a standard Grilled Cheese sandwich.  Crispy buttery bread; creamy, soft, garlicky eggplant; nutty, sharp cheese.  I can't imagine a better lunch.

*Both the cheese and the bread were from Trader Joe's.

July 6, 2011

Sautéed White Fish with Caramelized Lemons

Nope, it's not lemon season.  It's chard, onion and garlic season. And kind of the end of lettuce season. (Praise God for those knowledgeable farmers who have the skills to produce heat-tolerant lettuces in the valley's summer heat.)  And it's nectarine and apricot, plum and pluot season.  But not lemon season.

All loca-vores draw the line somewhere.  I am okay with buying lemons and limes, avocados and cilantro when they are out of season locally.

So Sunday night, we had Mahi-Mahi topped with Caramelized Lemon served on a bed of frijoles, sautéed spring onions and chard.  The dish is better with halibut and it's quickly becoming one of my favorite dinners.  Some people might prefer mashed potatoes in place of the beans, but there's something I really like about the combination of fish and beans.  I like that the dish is layered, because it encourages diners to try everything together, without mushing and mashing the flavors together too much.

Halibut with Caramelized Lemon
adapted from William-Sonoma's Cooking from the Farmers Market

1.  In a large skillet, sauté onions (or, the original recipe calls for fennel, but I almost never have that) in about a tablespoon each butter and olive oil.  Add chard and cook a few more minutes.  Arrange sautéed veggies on individual plates.

2. Add a little more butter and oil to the pan.  Season four halibut fillets with kosher salt and pepper. Cook over medium to medium-high heat 2-3 minutes per side, until just opaque.  Top veggies with halibut.

3.  Add just a bit more butter or oil to the pan.  Reduce heat to medium.  Sauté one lemon, cut into 1/8 inch slices, with 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and softened.  Arrange lemon slices on top of fish.

July 4, 2011

Flawless French Toast with Raspberry Sauce

I may not have mastered homemade pizza yet, but French toast is one thing I can do.  French Toast is a lot like grilled cheese sandwiches in that making a great version isn't much harder than screwing up a mediocre version.

We made this for breakfast on the Fourth of July.  Maybe not as festive as those homemaking magazine cover cakes with Cool Whip, blueberries and raspberries in a flag design, but delicious and simple.

Flawless French Toast
This recipe is simple enough for almost any morning.  Leftovers freeze well and can be eaten as a snack (without syrup because there's sugar in the custard).  Dress it up with Raspberry Sauce (see below) or sliced strawberries and whipped cream for a special occasion. 
Serves 4

unsalted butter
some good french bread (not too fresh), sliced about 1/2" thick (or whatever bread you prefer: 8-10 slices of whole wheat sandwich bread, 1/2 a sourdough baguette in 1/2" slices, cheap sliced french bread)  Have a few extra slices handy.  Depending on the texture of the bread, you may have extra custard left over, in which case, you should make a few more slices to use up all the custard.
2 farm fresh eggs
about 3/4 cup of milk or half-n-half
1/4 sugar or brown sugar
a dash of ground cinnamon and a splash of vanilla extract
Maple syrup and butter or Raspberry Sauce to serve.

1.  Heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in your largest skillet.

2.  In a shallow dish such as a pie plate, whisk together eggs and milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  Whisk in melted butter, leaving just a film of butter in the pan.

3.  Dip a couple slices of bread into the custard.  Let excess liquid drip off.   Then place bread in pan.  Cook over medium heat 2-6 minutes per side.  (Yep, I know that's a big range. Actual cook time depends on how thick the bread is and how much liquid it absorbed, which depends on the texture of the bread, so I can't be more exact.)  You want to cook it until it is just golden brown.  If the toast browns too quickly, turn the heat down just a little.

4.  When the first batch is done, add just a little more butter to the skillet, dip a couple more slices and cook.  Don't dip the bread ahead of time.  It may be too soggy.  If you prefer to serve the French Toast all at once, cooked slices can be kept warm on a baking sheet lined with a kitchen towel in a 200º oven.

Serve warm with maple syrup and butter or Raspberry Sauce.  Let leftover French toast cool, wrap in plastic and freeze for put to 2 weeks.  Warm in microwave.

Raspberry Sauce

In a small saucepan over medium heat combine 1 heaping cup fresh or frozen raspberries, about a 1/4 cup honey and a big splash of vanilla extract. Let simmer over medium-low heat while French Toast is cooking.  Turn off heat.  Add half a tablespoon of butter and swirl the pan to melt and butter and thicken the sauce.  (Stain through a sieve if you have an aversion to seeds.)  Serve over French toast.

July 2, 2011

An Adventure in Grilling Pizza

Have you ever grilled pizza?  It has been featured in a lot of trendy food magazines in the last few years, but I'd honestly not done it myself until tonight.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may remember that I am a bit averse to recipes.  Especially in the summer, I tend to "experiment."

Yeah, that's generally a bad thing when trying to do something trendy.


It's too hot to cook.  But Jason's finally feeling better, and after doing a little yard work and lounging in the backyard for a few hours this afternoon, it felt as if the only appropriate ending to the day would be to grill something.



No, earlier in the day, inspired by our newly-fixed dishwasher, I had decided to make a double batch of pizza dough.  Except that I couldn't find the recipe I normally use , so I just mixed equal parts (about 2 cups each) all-purpose flour and semolina flour with about 1/2 a cup of high-gluten flour, a few teaspoons each of salt, sugar and vinegar, a teaspoon of yeast, a drizzle of olive oil and just less than 2 cups of water.

Yes, I know baking is a science and you're supposed to actually measure ingredients and follow recipes. I have no excuse for my laziness.  None whatsoever.

I let the dough rise in the mixing bowl on the counter, turning it every so often for at least 4 hours. Then Grace and I pulled and rolled the dough as thin as we could, while Jason heated the grill.  She kept asking if we could do one of the four crusts in a heart shape, or a square.  I explained that the primary objective is to get the dough as thin as possible.  The finished shape is secondary, but when you get good at it, it will be a circle.  Her crust ended up being the shape "of the Blue's Clues dog without ears." One of our four crusts resembled a circle.

Of course, this would have been a great time to look at a recipe. But if you're not even gonna use a recipe for your dough ingredients, why confuse things by researching the proper procedure?

We cranked that grill up to high heat, sprayed it with oil--could we have exploded that can of Pam, like my juvenile friends and I used to try to do with WD40?--and used a rolling pin to "roll" the dough "rounds" onto the grill.  We closed the lid and waited.  One minute made the crust nicely bubbly and seemed to put nice char marks on it.  More than two minutes seemed to be too much.

We let the crusts cool, chose our favorite two, and Grace and I each topped one.
(We froze the two extra, oddly-shaped crusts for use another day.)  We arranged the toppings on the cooked side of the crust, assuming we'd put the pizzas back on the grill to cook the bottoms and melt the cheese.

Gracie topped her pizza with homemade pizza sauce that we had canned last summer, mozzarella cheese, chicken sausage, potatoes and thyme.  (The sausage and potatoes made a happy face on the pizza and the thyme was the hair.) Kids!

I topped my pizza with olive oil, sautéed onion and chard from the garden, a yellow potato which I had thinly sliced and baked with olive oil , salt and pepper--I know, the whole point of grilling is not heating up the house by using the oven-- chicken sausage, thyme and just a little provolone cheese.  (Yes, I was thinking of this pizza . No, I don't know why I didn't just follow the recipe.  Someday. Someday, I will.)

Welp, we put my pizza back on the grill, turned the heat to medium, closed the lid and cooked it for almost five minutes. Oops:  "One minute made the crust nicely bubbly and seemed to put nice char marks on it."  Four minutes killed the whole bottom of the pizza. But the cheese on top was barely melted.

Conveniently, the oven was still warm from those potatoes, so we opted to cook Grace's pizza in the oven.  Five minutes at 450º and it was perfect.  Crispy crust and bubbly cheese, with some grill flavor from the first grilling.

The thing about experiments is that sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.  Maybe next time I'll use a recipe.