Thursday, April 24, 2014

Daily Dish - Chicken, asparagus pizza

Well, now that the kitchen is done, we're back to being able to cook in it regularly.  It's a joy!  I'm making a conscious effort to keep the excessive number of appliances we have off the counters as much as possible.  I'm also making an effort to use them more! 

My little brother is general manager of a very high end restaurant, so qualifies as a mega-foodie.  As it turns out, he has been known to sneak around our kitchen, when visiting, to evaluate what appliances we might be missing, and then fills in the blanks for holiday gifts.  That is how we ended up with our bread machine.  We weren't particularly happy with the pizza dough recipe that came in the instructions booklet, so gave this one a shot, which turned out nicely.  I made a double batch so that we could freeze half for later.  I definitely enjoyed the convenience of being able to attend to the little one while the machine worked it's dough magic - hands free!  Of course, you could make your own pizza using a store bought dough or base as well.

Chicken asparagus pizza

- 1 cooked chicken breast, cut into cubes
- 4oz skinny asparagus (cut into 2" pieces)
- 1/2 medium onion (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 red bell pepper (sliced)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup grated mozarella cheese
- 4 tsp olive tepenade

Pre-heat the oven to 425.  If using raw dough, roll out the dough and put onto the pizza pan.  Once the oven is at temp, put the prepared dough in the oven for about 5 minutes to crisp the top.  This prevents it from becoming soggy once the toppings are added.  Remove from oven and add toppings - use the olive tepenade as your base, then top with mozarella cheese, chicken, veggies, and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Enjoy! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Daily Ramblings - Kitchen Reno Completed aka I'm A Slacker (Part 2)

I must apologize for my unexcused absence.  I've had photos of our kitchen renovation on my camera for a few weeks now and just never got around to taking them off, or posting about anything at all.  So, here we are and I do want to share these, seeing as you got to see the before photos!

The project took a little over 2 weeks total.  We kept the existing cabinets and all the appliances, except the dishwasher, which we switched to stainless steel to match the rest.  We added new ceramic floor tile, "tan brown" granite, glass mosaic backsplash, stainless steel sink and faucet, cabinet hardware, and under cabinet lighting.  We ended up getting a new water heater installed, adding a light above the pantry, refinishing the ceiling, and removing the garbage compactor which served no purpose other than to remind us that the 1980s happened.  I can hardly recognize the white/bland kitchen that was there before now it's been replaced with a warm and happy space.

Renovations with a toddler in the house?  Not the most fun thing ever, but this was the biggest and most inconvenient one we have planned.  Unlike doing a bathroom where you may have other bathrooms to use in the meantime, most houses only have the one kitchen, which makes life hard when you don't have access to it, especially considering we cook a lot in our house.  

We still have a bathroom and living room space to work on, but for now, we'll take a break in our (finally) dust free space!  Back to regularly scheduled programming...