Hello friends! Hope you are well — before I begin, can I just say how thankful I am that you are here reading? Do I tell you that enough? I am so grateful for this space, I think more grateful than I have been in the ten years I’ve been writing. Thank you! Thank you especially to those of you who wrote supportive comments on my last post (and notes directly to my inbox). They all made my day. In other news: I’m working hard to get this book out into the world — the next round of shooting begins this weekend. When I’m not planning, I’m testing and editing, and feeding my all-online high school senior a snack or a treat or a lunch. (Shown above: tomato toast with burrata, olive oil, basil.) I figure, I’m home and I might as well make a crappy situation as delicious as possible for her. Here’s the rest of your PPP…
Project: Beets with Dill-Feta-Pistachios
As I go through my book for the zillionth time, I’m realizing something about myself: I have a real thing for a feta-dill-pistachio trinity. Have you noticed this about me? I absolutely leaned into it on Saturday night when I topped roasted beets (wrap them in foil, unpeeled and bake at 375°F for 1 hour 30 minutes) and I suggest you try it yourself at your earliest convenience. And yes, there’s a bed of herby yogurt there, too, but you’ll have to wait for the book to get that part of the recipe. Oh! How beautiful is that bowl? The nice people over at Signe ceramics are lending me a few pieces for the book’s photo shoot and I’m taking full advantage of having them around, even for just a regular old Tuesday night dinner.
Pantry: Fresh Tomato Pizza
Are you sick of tomatoes? Don’t you dare say yes! Andy made this the other night after a long day and it hit the spot. Press your 16-ounce ball of dough to all corners of a 17x-12 baking sheet, brush the edges with garlic-salt-spiked olive oil, cover with shredded mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, a few rings of red onion, salt, pepper, and basil. Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes or until crust looks golden.
Purpose: JFK Biography!
Here’s something you might not know about me: I’m Kennedy obsessed. One of my first jobs out of college was launching the magazine companion to A&E’s Biography TV series (that’s how old I am) and I remember my boss, Anne, telling me that whenever we had a chance to cover a Kennedy we should. Why? I asked, somehow not getting it. Because, she said, people everywhere have an insatiable appetite for anything Kennedy. For my tenure at the job we wrote about them all — from Jack to Jackie to Joe Senior to Joe Junior to Caroline to Bobby to Ethel to John Junior (who died in a plane crash while I was working there)…even to Letitia Baldrige, who was Jackie’s social secretary during her time in the White House. (I still have a recipe for “Jackie’s fruit sauce” somewhere in my recipe notebook.) And my boss was right — People couldn’t get enough! Eventually I became one of them, inhaling anything I could about America’s most glamorous, and most staggeringly tragic royal family.
Twenty-five years later, my appetite remains voracious, which I learned as soon as I picked up Fredrik Logevall’s new biography JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century. It’s the first of two volumes, much of it devoted to Joe Senior — Joseph Kennedy — son of Irish immigrants, and the iconic patriarch of the family, who was born in working class Boston and drove himself and his children into the most rarefied upper echelons of power. He pushed them to be politicians, bestselling authors, deep thinkers and winners-at-all-costs, once telling Ted, his youngest: “I’ll still love you if you don’t do something serious with your life, but I just won’t have much time for you.”
But JFK is the star, of course, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Logevall weaves an extremely satisfying level of salacious anecdotes (not shockingly, almost everyone, especially women, found him charmingly irresistible right from the beginning) into the more serious bullet points of his resume and biography. Living in the shadow of his older brother, Joe, the “golden child;” breaking from his father’s intractable (and controversial) position on appeasement in the ramp-up to World War II; fighting in the Pacific; becoming a war hero; suffering from his relentless health issues; running for Congress and eventually the Senate. (Volume 1 ends in 1956, before he becomes President.) I love biographies, and I’m not going to lie, it feels really good to immerse myself in a completely different world every night. And it’s not just that I’m pining for the era of the Greatest Generation and all that — it’s just fun to be inside the actual Kennedy family. At their dinner table, where they’re grilled about current events; on sailboat races in Hyannis Port (once, when JFK came in second, his dad wondered why he bothered to compete at all); at the prestigious Choate boarding school and inside Harvard’s old-boy “final clubs;” at Hollywood parties; in the front row of Papal coronations; in the Ambassador’s house in London… it goes on.
And the photos! Here he is with his father, Joe Sr. I can’t remember if this one is in the book, but it might as well be. (The book has really sent me down a time-sucking rabbit hole on YouTube and Google.)
And here he is at…actually I have no idea, but does it matter?
Stay safe. Wear a mask!
The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, connected, and USEFUL. It began in March 2020. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what your story is, and especially how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think weâre all looking for any new, creative dinner ideas we can get our hands on these days. But instead of something completely new and different, how about reinventing a recipe you already know your family loves?
Homemade whole-wheat pizza is something weâve had hundreds of times, but my girls were both super happy when I told them I was turning our normal pizza recipe into pizza rolls. Itâs amazing how much a small change-up can be exciting. Sometimes itâs just the little things, right?
Now, I put in some of my personal favorite pizza toppings into this recipe below, but really you could throw anything into these rolls. Whether you want to go classic with pepperoni or add even more veggies, just about anything will work here.
Also, weâre clearly not in the era of sending kids off to school right now, but I bet these would freeze nicely and be a welcoming addition to the lunch box (whenever that time comes again)! Give them a try and let me know what you think. :)
Whole-Wheat Pizza Rolls
4 from 1 voteCourse: DinnerCuisine: ItalianKeyword: homemade pizza, spiral pizza rollsDietary Restriction: Egg Free, Peanut/Tree-Nut FreeCategory: Freezer Friendly, Pork
Active Time: 20 minutesCook Time: 25 minutesLet dough rise: 2 hoursTotal Time: 2 hours 45 minutesServings (Adjust to suit): 6 (makes 12 rolls)Calories: 593 kcalAuthor: Lisa Leake
Change up your normal pizza with these Homemade Whole-Wheat Pizza Rolls. They work great leftover and freeze well.
For the Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough
For the Rolls
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, + extra for greasing the bowl
- 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into small dice
- 4 ounces mushrooms, (any type), sliced
- 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage
- 2 cups pizza sauce, divided
- 2 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese, (about 8 ounces)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
For the Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough
Sprinkle the yeast into 1 cup of warm water. Drizzle in the honey to help it get to work. Once it foams up and doubles in volume (about 5 minutes), pour in the olive oil and set aside.
Pulse the flour and salt together in a food processor fitted with a dough blade. With the machine running, pour in the yeast mixture through the feed tube until you have a dough ball chasing itself around the machine. If it's too sticky, add a teaspoon or more of flour. If it's too crumbly and dry, add a teaspoon or more of water. You can also bring the dough together kneading it by hand.
Place the dough in a large zip-top bag or bowl (with plastic wrap over top) that's been greased with a little olive oil. Let it rise on the counter for 1 or 2 hours or in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
For the Rolls
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, peppers, and mushrooms to the pan and cook while stirring occasionally until the veggies soften, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage to the pan and cook while breaking it up with a spatula until brown (and no longer pink in the middle), about 5 more minutes.
Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 10 X 14 in size. I folded the dough over a few times and rolled it out again to help form a nice rectangle. Spread a 1/2 cup of the pizza sauce over the dough. Sprinkle both cheeses on top and then add the cooked toppings.
Starting on the long end, tightly roll up the dough, and then using a sharp knife, carefully slice it into 1" slices. Place rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let rise for another 30 minutes.
Bake until golden brown and cooked all the way through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Warm remaining pizza sauce and serve on the side for dipping. The rolls are also good leftover (after being stored in the fridge or freezer)!
Iâve included instructions for my toppings of choice, but you could sub in any of your pizza topping favorites!
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.Nutrition FactsWhole-Wheat Pizza RollsAmount Per ServingCalories 593 Calories from Fat 279% Daily Value*Fat 31g48%Saturated Fat 12g75%Cholesterol 66mg22%Sodium 1848mg80%Potassium 639mg18%Carbohydrates 54g18%Fiber 9g38%Sugar 7g8%Protein 29g58%Vitamin A 1299IU26%Vitamin C 33mg40%Calcium 341mg34%Iron 3mg17%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Good morning. Hope you all had a nice Mother’s Day. We went for a long hike and spotted a scarlet tanager and possibly a black-throated blue warbler. My Mother’s Day gift to myself was a goldfinch feeder, which I hung in the backyard on Saturday. Ever since I was little, I’ve interpreted a goldfinch sighting as a sign of good luck, so why not do what I can to flood the backyard with these bright, happy, magical vehicles of positive energy? I’ll keep you posted on sightings. Here’s your PPP heading into week nine…
Pantry: Pizza Night
We made pizza last night with homemade dough — we used to do this all the time, but somewhere along the line (blame it on busy weeknights) we just got used to falling back on the store-bought balls, which are legit good, but (breaking news) definitely not as good as homemade. Andy rolled out two balls, distributed a (drained) 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes on each; then topped one with mozzarella, leaving the other plain, and baked each (separately) at 450°F for 15 minutes. We turned the just-tomato one into our go-to salad pizza dinner. It occurred to me that I should try to find a new interpretation of that salad pizza I’ve been making forever. It’s such an easy vegetarian dinner and would work well in my book. Ideas welcome!
Project: Mixed Berry Gallette
Before we went hiking, I made my mom a galette. It’s my favorite kind of baking project because it takes under an hour start to finish and the more artless it looks the better. Basically, take whatever berries you have (if they are about to go rotten, all the better), approximately 2 cups, then toss with 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, juice from half a lemon; then spoon that whole mess into the center of a 9-inch pie dough (I used a storebought dough; if you want to go next-level, go pate brisee) and fold dough in around the edges as shown. “Paint” the folded perimeter with a whisked egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar if you have it. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, then decrease heat to 350°F for another 20, keeping an eye on it. My mom loved it. Though, as a mother myself, I think what she appreciated more was the (socially distanced, gloved, masked, etc. etc.) delivery service.
Purpose: More Gratitude
My cross-country runner has been injured for the past three months, diligently doing her PT every day, and was just recently cleared to start up again. The kid is so happy to half-run, half-walk around a track you wouldn’t believe it, so there’s been a lot of talk about gratitude in my house. There are easier ways to remind yourself to be grateful than injuring your femur, though. I’ve seen a few people on instagram regularly posting Gratitude Lists and I like that trend. Last year, I was using Happy Feed, a gratitude app that makes you write down three things you’re grateful for every day, and when it’s the same thing day in and day out (health, family, food) you start to internalize the message. Lastly, for the sweats out there, I’m guessing this poetry collection (from the iconic Everyman’s Library publishing imprint) would be a nice way to read yourself to sleep every night. Or at least, it should be better than twitter.
Stay safe. Stay home.
The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, and connected. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what your daily routine is, and especially how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at email@example.com.
Kick off the summer with this Grilled Sausage & Apple Pizza with Goat Cheese that combines your favorite sweet and savory flavors into one delicious meal!
This post is sponsored by Aidells Sausage Company, Inc. All comments and opinions are my own.
Summer is my absolute favorite time of the year which means it’s officially GRILLING season! Our grill is always in constant use during the spring/summer months because it’s just so easy to use with little clean-up and I don’t know about you, but everything just tastes so much better coming off of the grill! Not only can you grill chicken, fish, steak, kabobs, I mean you name it, but guys, grilling pizza might just be the best thing you do all season.
One of my favorite things to do in the summer is host events in our backyard and since building our home last year, having friends and family over has been the best part of our move! If you follow me on Instagram then you know how I love to throw a good party and with that comes making delicious food! Grilling is essential for an outdoor gathering and it’s nice to mix things up sometimes. Instead of serving up the usual summer favorites, having your guests make their own personal pizzas can be way more fun!
When deciding on pizza toppings I am ALL about flavor combinations which is why I knew I needed Aidells® Dinner Sausage on my pizza. I’ve been a huge fan of Aidells sausage links for quite a while now not only because they are crafted in small batches using the highest quality of meats and all-natural ingredients, but they are also made with no added hormones or nitrites so you can really feel good about what you are eating!
Aidells carries several delicious products all with unexpected flavor combinations such as bacon mushroom swiss, sun dried tomato with mozzarella, Cajun style andouille and even habanero with pepper jack cheese. For this particular recipe I used Aidells smoked chicken and apple sausage links that contain their trademark spice blend along with delicious chunks of apple in every bite!
As you can see above, for a limited time, each package of Aidells sausage links currently has a sticker containing a unique summer recipe so make sure to look for that on the packaging the next time you’re at the store!
To really bring out that apple flavor in this sausage, I topped each pizza with some fresh apple slices along with goat cheese, baby arugula and finished it off with a drizzle of sweet honey vinaigrette. If you’re not a fan of goat cheese, feel free to use some gorgonzola (which tastes delicious with apples!), burrata or really any cheese you prefer. This pizza turned out incredible and was the perfect sweet and savory combination!
If you’re making pizza at a backyard cookout or even on a camping trip, it’s important that you pre-chop all of your toppings ahead of time. I pre-sliced all the apples and put each of the toppings into individual containers so that assembly would be nice and easy for everyone! We grilled the chicken sausage right there on the grill and sliced it up right before adding it to the pizzas.
To make the honey vinaigrette, I whisked together a little olive oil, some honey, Dijon mustard and fresh lemon juice and drizzled it over top of the pizza and arugula which really gave the pizza a sweet, fresh taste! If you have any extra dressing left over, make sure to save it because it tastes great on salads too. I actually make this vinaigrette a lot which is why I wanted to use it on this pizza. A definite tried and true dressing that just tastes delicious on everything!
Now if you thought that was easy to make, grilling the actual pizza is even easier! To keep things simple we used naan flatbreads that were brushed with a little olive oil. Naan crisps up so nicely on the grill and is the perfect size for individual pizzas. The key though to a good grilled pizza is placing the toppings on the pizza while it sits on the grill! You’ll want to grill the naan first before adding any toppings, about 2 to 3 minutes per side, until you see some nice char marks and this is also a good time to go ahead and cook your sausage. Then once the naan is ready, just add your cooked sausage, apple slices and goat cheese grilling for an additional 4 to 6 minutes until the cheese is nice and gooey! Easy right??
This pizza is definitely a new summer favorite and one I can really enjoy eating because of all the fresh flavors and quality ingredients. I purchased all of these ingredients at my local Safeway. You can easily find your closest Safeway store on their store finder here! Safeway offers tons of delicious summer recipe inspiration so make sure to check them out!
So whether you’re hosting a backyard party or planning a fun camping trip with friends, this grilled pizza with sausage, apple and goat cheese is sure to be a winner with your family this summer! Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!Grilled Sausage & Apple Pizza with Goat CheeseServes: 8 ServingsIngredients
For the honey vinaigrette:
- 4 whole grain naan flatbreads
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, for brushing
- 1 (12 oz) package Aidells Chicken & Apple Sausage
- 2 cups thinly sliced apples (I used Fuji)
- 8 oz goat cheese
- 2 cups baby arugula
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1½ tsp. honey
- 2 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Nutritional InformationServing Size: ½ flatbread • Calories: 410 • Fat: 19.6 g • Saturated Fat: 6.3 g • Carbs: 36.4 g • Fiber: 6.3 g • Protein: 17.3 g • Sugars: 8.2 g • WW Freestyle Points: 93.5.3218
- Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium high heat.
- Brush each naan flatbread on both sides with olive oil and place on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until you see some char marks.
- While the naan is grilling, cook the sausages for 8 to 10 minutes until heated through, turning occasionally. Remove from grill and cut into ½-inch slices.
- When the naan is ready, top with goat cheese (2 oz on each flatbread), apple slices and chicken sausage and grill for an additional 4 to 6 minutes until cheese is slightly melted.
- To make the honey vinaigrette, whisk together olive oil, honey, dijon mustard and lemon juice and set aside.
- Remove pizzas from the grill, top with fresh arugula and drizzle each with honey vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve and enjoy!
For more recipe inspiration, check out this delicious Grilled Chicken Sausage with Pears recipe from Safeway!