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Pizza on the Grill

Guys, I took a break. I took a vacation where I turned off my email and checked out of all of my work and responsibility and just relaxed. We started our vacation in Southern California and then drove up the Pacific Coast Highway (holy wow) and then spent a second week in Northern California. Then I came home to my own little paradise and spent the week paddle boarding, hanging out with friends, hanging out with my dogs, eating takeout in bed, and (best of all) treating myself to a nice long Thai massage. I had not really considered how burnt out I was- as a teacher, as a writer, as a friend, as a partner- until I took this break. I needed it, and I feel like a new person. So, I’m back! Refreshed and renewed (and with a killer tan).

 

grilled pizza 4

 

grilled pizza 1

 

Last night we had some good friends over for a grilled pizza party (followed by cider donuts- it was glutenous gluttony), which was such a lovely way to end my break. Grill your own pizza parties, like grits bars, are one of my favorite ways to entertain. It’s a totally customizable experience, and everyone gets to pick the toppings that speak to them in that moment. And, if you make enough dough, they get to try a few different options! I like to offer an array of meats, fruits, vegetables, and cheeses. Some are meant to be put on while the dough is cooking (meats, cheeses, mushrooms) and some are meant to be added after the pizza is off the grill (cabbage, sprouts, arugula). Finish with a drizzle of a fancy oil or vinegar and a sprinkle of sea salt and you’ve created a smorgasbord of custom gourmet pizzas.

 

grilled pizza 2

 

grilled pizza 5

 

 

Pizza on the Grill

serves 8

 

pizza dough:

2 tbsps dry active yeast
5 cups bread flour
1/4 cup tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsps sea salt

 

pre-grill toppings (these are just suggestions, feel free to add/adapt!)

Chop/cook as needed and place in bowls for your guests to serve themselves. 

A selection of cheeses, such as mozzarella, smoked mozzarella, parmesan, jack, cheddar, goat

A selection of cooked meats, such as chorizo, Italian sausage, pulled chicken, shrimp, proscuitto, soppressetta, thinly sliced steak, bacon

A selection of vegetables such as thinly sliced red potatoes, jalapeños, squash, caramelized onions, caramelized mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, leeks, broccoli

A selection of fruits such as apples, pears, figs, apricots, satsuma

A selection of spreads such as pesto, babaganoush, barbeque sauce, tomato sauce, tapenade

 

fresh toppings

A selection of vegetables and herbs such as green onions, basil, chives, arugula, sprouts, shaved cabbage, mache, finely chopped kale, spinach, collards, oregano

A selection of oils & vinegars

dough:

Whisk together olive oil, yeast, salt, and water. Whisk until fully incorporated, at least 2 minutes. Add half of the flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Add remaining flour and knead for ten minutes, until the dough feels like a stress ball.

Coat a glass bowl with olive oil. Place the dough ball in the bowl, turn once, and cover with a damp towel. Let rise for at least an hour. Punch down and let rise another 15 minutes.

 

topping:

Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece flat. Heat grill to as hot as you can make it. If your grates are a little gunky or rusted, top your grill with tin foil. Oil and salt one side of each piece of dough and place on the grill. Cook for 4-6 minutes or until golden brown. Pull of the grill and oil and salt the uncooked side. Allow your guests to top the cooked side with all the pre-grill toppings of their choice. Place uncooked side down back on the grill and cook for an additional 4-6 minutes. Allow the guests to add their fresh toppings and dig in!

 

Read More

Lovely Internet 7.17.15

 

1. The South is so much more than a flag. #theytookitdown

2. An incredibly moving and funny This American Life covering race, sex, and death and how we talk to kids about the uncomfortable discuss and messy subjects in life.

3. This is a brilliantly done piece on privilege.

4. I’m moving to Lemurs  Madagascar.

5. “Cause it’s yo ho, but we don’t say ho, because ‘ho’ is disrespectful yo!” 

6. Yup, this is the best video series on the internet.

7. This Obama is my favorite Obama.

8. Holy smokes, Rhiannon created something incredible.

9. I’m pretty psyched about this.

10. “Tastes like bacon” is a fool proof selling point.

 

For more tidbits from Elena the person, follow me on twitter (@elenabrent or @biscuitsandsuch), instagrampinterest or facebook. Subscribe to my bloglovin’ feed to make sure you never miss a post. Follow along with MissElenaeous for thoughts on everything other than Southern food.

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Blueberry Mountain Pie

 

My birthday falls in the middle of the summer, just after Independence Day, so all of my birthday memories are wrapped up in this wonderful haze of long, hot days filled with swimming and laughing and family and love. It’s  one of my favorite days of the year, not because of the presents but because of the time spent feeling enveloped in special expressions of love. It’s the perfect way to celebrate your life, to be surrounded by people who are really and truly thankful that you are alive.

 

blueberry mountain pie 2

 

 

blueberry mountain pie 1

 

Every year for as long as I can remember my grandmother, Bobbie, made me a blueberry mountain pie for our birthdays, which fell just seven days apart. The origins of mountain pie are a little unknown (though apparently my Aunt Jinx has the full story), but it is essentially a cobbler. It’s a simple recipe, but it brings out the best of all the ingredients and there is nothing better than a bowl full of hot pie topped with cold ice cream eaten on a warm summer night over looking the water.

 

blueberry mountain pie 9

 

In the years since she passed I’ve carried on the tradition, making myself a mountain pie every year for our birthdays. It’s a little ritual, sometimes the pie is just shared between Dan and I and sometimes my family and friends are with us to enjoy it. This time of year is magical, full of fireflies and tomato sandwiches and late night dips in the ocean. It’s a time to be with family, to enjoy the countless bounties of life, to appreciate how fortunate we are. The abundance of summer keeps me floating all year long, I spend long cold January nights imagining the exact flavor of a tart ripe blueberry.

 

blueberry mountain pie 6

 

 

blueberry mountain pie 5

 

So here’s to making the most of your summer, enjoying everything that it has to offer. The traditions, the new experiences, the food, the people. Load your basket full of blueberries at the farmer’s market and enjoy the best of what’s around.

 

blueberry mountain pie 3

 

Note: we are on vacation for the next few weeks, so I’ll be taking some time away from this space. Feel free to follow along over on Instagram / MissElenaeous

 

Blueberry Mountain Pie

 

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup whole milk

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups fresh blueberries

1 stick salted butter

 

Heat oven to 350F. Place the butter in a deep casserole dish and put in the oven to melt. Mix together all ingredients except the blueberries. Whisk together until fully combined.

 

When the butter is melted pour the batter into it. Do not mix. Pour the blueberries on top. Do not mix.

 

Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes and then serve with vanilla ice cream.

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