Thursday, February 9, 2012

Food, Wrestling, and Suzuki Mishmash

Since we have transplanted to MO I have been trying to find a piano teacher for the boys. A friend of mine has two boys about the same age as my boys and they take piano lessons so I hit her up for the teacher.  I called the teacher – she is a very nice woman and she told me that we would be meeting for six parent training sessions and then the boys would be watching other children play the piano for about six lessons before they even started piano.
Whaaaaaaa?  Not only am I attending the parent training, the “lessons” with the boys (while I make sure that Sam isn’t too distracting – he likes to dance to the music), but I have HOMEWORK.  This last training session I did not have all my homework completed and I was sorely ashamed. Part of me thinks – this is piano right?  On the other hand, I like the parental involvement. I have been struggling to find activities that are one on one – especially with Ben since he is in school all day.  Suzuki piano requires that the parent sits with the child while they are working their pieces.
It will be a good time for me to practice patience – hence the parent training – putting into action the Suzuki philosophy, which is actually very valuable!  Teaching children patiently and realizing that all children have potential if fostered in the right environment. It’s piano right?  It is also a discipline and a learning experience.  I am excited about it……
I’ll keep you posted.
Earlier this week I made such an awesome pizza from “Cook’s Country” magazine.  It is called “Grandma’s Pizza” and I am soo posting the recipe because it was DELICIOUS! As far as ingredients – pretty basic – make your own pizza dough (with olive oil) and canned tomatoes, garlic, basil, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese.  Well – you can see from the recipe below. I also made the antipasti salad, which was good, but kind of a little complicated.
Grandma’s Pizza
Serves 4
If the dough snaps back when you press it to the corners of the baking sheet, cover it, let it rest for 10 minutes, and try again.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups (8 1/4 ounces) bread flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1. FOR THE DOUGH: Coat rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons oil. Combine water and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 1-cup liquid measuring cup. Using stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour, yeast, sugar, and salt on low speed until combined. With mixer running, slowly add water mixture and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-low and mix until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, about 10 minutes.
  • 2. Transfer dough to greased baking sheet and turn to coat. Stretch dough to 10 by 6-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours. Stretch dough to corners of pan, cover loosely with plastic, and let rise in warm place until slightly puffed, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees.
  • 3. FOR THE TOPPING: Place tomatoes in colander and drain well. Combine drained tomatoes, oil, garlic, oregano, and salt in bowl. Combine mozzarella and Parmesan in second bowl. Sprinkle cheese mixture over dough, leaving ½-inch border around edges. Top with tomato mixture and bake until well browned and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Slide pizza onto wire rack, sprinkle with basil, and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve.

Marinated Antipasti Salad
      Marinated Antipasto Salad
      Why this recipe works:
      We used crisp, neutral-flavored romaine lettuce as the background. Matchsticks of provolone and salami added creamy and spicy elements, while cherry tomatoes and basil contributed freshness. Jarred marinated vegetables were greasy and raw onions were too pungent, so we simmered both in a combination of vinegar, water, garlic, and dried oregano, essentially quick-pickling them, and then added a modest amount of olive oil for balance. Using the leftover pickling liquid in the vinaigrette tied all the flavors together.
      Serves 6 to 8
      If you buy whole artichoke hearts, quarter them through the stem after thawing. The drained marinated vegetables and vinaigrette can be refrigerated separately for up to one day. Dress the salad just before serving.
      • 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
      • 1/4 cup water
      • 2 garlic cloves, minced
      • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
      • Salt and pepper
      • 1 red onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
      • 9 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and patted dry
      • 1/3 cup jarred sliced pepperoncini
      • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
      • 2 romaine lettuce hearts (12 ounces), chopped
      • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
      • 3 (1/4-inch-thick) slices provolone cheese (6 ounces), cut into 1-inch-long matchsticks
      • 3 (1/4-inch-thick) slices salami (6 ounces), cut into 1-inch-long matchsticks
      • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
      • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
      • 1. Bring vinegar, water, garlic, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until onion is nearly tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in artichokes and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Off heat, add pepperoncini, transfer mixture to bowl, and refrigerate until cool, about 20 minutes.
      • 2. Drain marinated vegetables through fine-mesh strainer into bowl; reserve ¼ cup vinegar mixture. Toss marinated vegetables with 1 tablespoon oil in bowl. Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon oil into reserved vinegar mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Toss romaine, tomatoes, provolone, and salami with vinaigrette in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer salad mixture to platter and top with marinated vegetables, olives, and basil. Serve.
      Pretty much every day there is wrestling going on in our house. I have chronicled it before, but these days Sam is getting into the mix. It’s so cute.  Proving that he is no slouch he runs and jumps on Dad just like the older ones.
      Notice that Gabe is at the rear on Dad – Gabe has a weird obsession with bottoms. I am not sure if I should be worried.

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