Tag Archives: HEB

Lazy Day Dinner: Easy Pizza at Home

Thrown together in minutes, this lazy day pizza is a must have.

The Complete Package was traveling last week, and when he travels I usually eat things like Honey Nut Cheerios for dinner. Hey, don’t knock it until you try it. They’re delicious. But after a while, even cold cereal can’t hold my attention. So what do you make when it’s 103F outside and you don’t want to spend hours in a hot kitchen? How about easy homemade pizza? Works for me!

I started with a ball of frozen pizza dough in its whole wheat version.

Frozen pizza dough – it’s the key to quick homemade pizza

Just spray a mixing bowl with Pam, drop in the frozen pizza dough, give the dough ball a quick spray to keep it from sticking, and cover the bowl in plastic wrap. I like to secure the plastic wrap with a large rubber band. Better safe than sorry, I always say. For a rapid thaw at summer temps, place it on your back porch (out of the reach of kids and pets) for approximately 30 minutes. If you’re making this for dinner, you can let it rise on your kitchen counter all day.

While the dough is thawing, I like to prep the rest of my toppings. For this pizza, I browned one package of my favorite breakfast sausage in a skillet. I like to break it up with a wooden spoon and stir it frequently until done. If it’s too greasy, drain the cooked sausage on paper towels, pour most of the grease off and return the skillet to the stove.

Next, I make my own pizza sauce. It’s easier than you think. Really. In the same skillet, brown half a small onion (chopped) and 3 cloves of garlic (minced) in about 1 tablespoon of the sausage grease. Once the onion starts to become translucent, add one 15-ounce can of pureed tomatoes. Toss in 1/8 teaspoon of ground oregano and 1/4 teaspoon of dried basil. Allow the mixture to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken, then add salt and pepper to taste. If you like a little spice, throw in a pinch of red pepper flakes. That’s how I roll.

Homemade pizza sauce – it’s easier than you think & tastes better, too.

Once your dough is thawed and risen, spray a cookie sheet or 13″ x 9″ baking pan, then gently press the dough into the pan. You can roll it; I use my fingers.

Look at that gorgeous dough. You’d never guess it’s store-bought.

Using a spatula, spread as much or as little pizza sauce as you like then top with the sausage, some grated parmesan cheese, and a nice layer of sliced provolone.

Building the pie – the only thing missing is the provolone. Yum!

Bake at 425F for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese begins to brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting & serving.

Thatsa’ one pretty pizza pie!

Feel free to change up the toppings to your preference. The options are literally endless – pepperoni & sauteed mushrooms, leftover grilled chicken & spinach, summer veggies, leftover steak, Canadian bacon & thinly sliced onions, meatballs (sliced or cut in half). Heck, you could even substitute alfredo sauce, buffalo sauce, or BBQ sauce and get really creative! The point is that a good frozen pizza dough and a quick homemade sauce can turn any homemade pizza pie into a treat in mere minutes. So what are you waiting for?

Sorry. This one’s for me. Go make your own pizza. Shoo!

And if you like to multitask meals like I do, save that leftover pizza sauce.

Yes, there will be leftover pizza sauce. You will not want to waste it.

Grab a bag of frozen fully cooked meatballs from your local grocery store and a package of frozen French baguettes. They make another great meal in minutes.

Yet another reason I love my local HEB grocery store.

Throw the meatballs in a baking dish and cover with foil. Place the baguettes on a baking sheet. Heat your oven to 400F, then put the meatballs and bread in to bake. The baguettes are ready when they’re toasty on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. Both should be ready in about 20 minutes. To assemble, microwave the sauce until hot and smear a generous amount into the baguettes. Toss in enough meatballs to fill them and top with a slice of provolone cheese. Presto – a second quick & easy dinner in about 30 minutes.

Do you plan meals that multitask? If so, what is your double-duty favorite?

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“Buy Local” Spotlight: Lola Savannah Coffee Company of Houston, TX

Hawaiian Grog Coffee - Hello, Luvah

As I’ve said before, buying products grown or produced in my own community is a new passion of mine. I find myself looking for local products more and more often when I shop. I like the idea of buying stuff made or grown close to home. It makes me feel like I’m helping make Houston a better, more self-sufficient place. With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to the Lola Savannah Coffee Company. They opened for business in 1995, and are known for producing an incredible array of coffees and teas while staying committed to sustainable agricultural practices. Their list of flavored coffees alone is staggering. My personal favorite is “Hawaiian Grog.” It’s incredibly tasty, and it also makes my house smell fabulous when I brew it. Here’s how it’s described on their website:

“You don’t need to be Hawaiian or groggy to enjoy this special mix of 100% Arabica beans, real coconut flakes, Highland crème, and just a hint of coconut crème. You’ll be saying “Aloha” with every sip!” -LSCC

They’re right. Sometimes, early in the morning, I whisper “Aloha, Hawaiian Grog! I love you soooo much!” before I take that first sip. It’s really good stuff, especially if you’re a nut for coffee and coconut like me. Other flavors I plan to try soon: Almond Bliss, Angel Dust, Chocolate Crème Brule, Strudel Cake and Tiramisu. My winner for their most unique blend is “Lunch with Elvis.” That’s right…it’s a peanut butter and banana flavored coffee. Yes, I know it sounds bizarre, but I’ve tried it and it’s actually pretty good. Unexpected, for sure, but it’s good! You’ve got to give it to them – it’s pretty clever.

I like to buy my Lola Savannah coffee from the large bulk barrels at my local HEB Market so I can grind my own, but HEB also sells small foil packages so you can try other flavors in small batches. They can also be found in Central Market and Fiesta stores in south Texas. If you’re not from the Houston area and/or you don’t have access to an HEB market, don’t sweat it! If you’re more of a tea person than a coffee person, that’s okay too! They sell both! They have a really nice website with online ordering. They’re also thoughtful enough to include a page called “Coffee 101” to help you learn more about coffee in general, and a “Brewing Tips” tutorial to help you make that perfect cup of Joe. Intrigued yet? I hope so. They certainly got my attention, and now they’re a part of my morning routine. You can check them out at www.lolacc.com.

As a special treat for one lucky reader, I’m giving away three sample pouches of Lola Savannah coffee. The flavors are Texas Pecan, Lunch with Elvis, and Chocolate Creme. Leave a comment telling me your favorite flavor or type of coffee and where you get it. Be sure to include your e-mail address. All entries must be received by midnight Central Standard Time on Thursday, October 7, 2010. One winner will be chosen at random and notified by e-mail on Friday, October 8, 2010. I’ll post an update on the blog to announce the winner, as well.

Lola Savannah Coffee Samples - 1.75 ozs. each

Disclaimer: The Lola Savannah Coffee Company of Houston, Texas has no earthly idea who in the tarnation NanaBread is, so it goes without saying that they have in no way compensated or bribed her to provide this endorsement. But that won’t stop her from buying her weekly pound of Hawaiian Grog and shooting her mouth off about it. The sample packs for the giveaway were purchased by NanaBread with her own cash money. That just proves how much she loves this stuff and how strongly she feels it must be shared with the coffee lovers of the world. Think of this as a public service announcement for fellow java junkies everywhere (12-step program not included).

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