Grilled Pizza

June 7th, 2009 | Posted by james - the dad in food - (1 Comments)

I’ve been wanting to grill pizza for a while now and finally got around to it last weekend.  I decided it would be a nice treat for Chanin’s birthday since she loves pizza.  So, I had her pick her favorite toppings and this is what we ended up with.


  • Feta Cheese
  • Pepperoni
  • Spicy Sausage
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Caramelized Onions
  • Kalmata Olives
  • Fresh Mozarella
  • Fresh Basil


I made the basic pizza dough from which can be found here:

And made the basic pizza sauce from which can be found here:


Then I grilled them all up and we enjoyed them!


Be sure to put your mouse over the picture below and click the arrow on the right to scroll through the images, or click the arrow on the bottom to play the slide show.


[autoviewer id=”24″ width=”480″ height=”320″]


The pizzas turned out soooooooo good!  We’ll definitly be making these again.

Homemade 100% Whole Wheat Bread

April 20th, 2009 | Posted by james - the dad in food - (0 Comments)

We’ve started buying those frozen loafs of bread from the store because they’re pretty tasty and they’re cheap!  But yesterday I got the itch to make some completely homemade bread.  I already like to bake sweets and figured bread would be fun.  We bought some King Arthur Whole Wheat flour and used the recipe on the back.  You can find that recipes on the King Arther site (click me).  Here are some pictures of the final product.

[imagebrowser id=22]

The bread turned out great and made a yummy turkey sandwich.  It was pretty dense but not dry.  And packed with flavor.

I think I caught the bread making bug.  Next I’d like to make a rustic bread like the one seen on The Teacher Learns How to Cook blog.

Grilled Lime Shrimp

March 23rd, 2009 | Posted by james - the dad in food - (2 Comments)

During lent Chanin forces likes me to avoid red meat. 😉  We both love seafood so it’s not a difficult thing to do.  Last Friday I decided to cook dinner and found a promising shrimp recipe on  The recipe is really simple to prepare and VERY tasty.  To go with the shrimp I grilled some veggies as well.



Grilled Lime Shrimp


  1. Mix together the first 8 ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add shrimp; toss to coat.
  3. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes to marinate. – We let it marinade for at least an hour.
  4. Thread shrimp on metal skewers; reserve marinade.
  5. Place skewered shrimp on grill over medium heat.
  6. Cook 3-7 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, turning once and brushing with marinade occasionally.

Grilled Veggies

  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 green pepper


  1. Slice along the long side of the zucchini and squash, slice red onion, slick green pepper into strips
  2. Grill veggies on medium-hot grill and brush with olive oil, lime juice, and salt/pepper mixture.  Cook until done.  We like ’em a little “blackened.”

Key Lime Pie

December 21st, 2008 | Posted by james - the dad in food - (1 Comments)

Now that the holidays are upon us I have the baking bug.  I love to bake but out here in AZ it’s usually too darn hot to turn on the oven.  But, recently, the temps at night are getting pretty chilly.  As I type this the weather says it’s 34 degrees!


So, my first big baking project was a key lime pie.  I don’t remember ever having key lime pie but it’s one of Chanin’s favorites and it sounded tasty.


The main cookbook I use for baking is called Baking Illustrated, from the editors of Cooking Illustrated (magazine) and that show of TV called America’s Test Kitchen.  Basically they test recipes using all types of variables.  For example, for pie crust they’ll try it with all butter, all shortening, and a combination of butter and shortening as well as combinations of other ingredients.


On to the pie!



We both think it turned out great and had a ton of flavor.  And, it was one of those times where I can’t think of anything I would do different next time.  For those interested the recipe is below.


Pie Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups flour, plus some for rolling out dough
  • 1/2    cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2    teaspoon salt
  • 1        tablespoon sugar
  • 3        tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
  • 4        tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 4-5    tablespoons ice water
  1. Process flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until mixed.  Add shortening and mix until texture of coarse sand. Scatter butter over mixture.  Cut in butter until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs.  Butter bits should be no larger than small peas.  Note: I just used a manual pastry cutter since we don’t have a large enough food processor.  If anyone wants to get me one for Christmas feel free!
  2. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture.  With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix.  Press down on the dough until the dough sticks together and add more ice water as necessary if the dough won’t come together.  Note: I used about 5 tablespoons of water.  It’s better to be too wet than too dry because you can add flour when rolling it out later.  Flatten dough into a 4-inch disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days) before rolling.
  3. Remove dough from fridge and let stand until malleable (about 15 minutes for me).  Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs onto rolling surface and then roll out dough to a 12-inch circle.  Add crumbs as you roll to evenly coat the crust.  The crumbs give the crust a nice flavor and some extra crispness  and holds up well to the creamy filling.  Your pie pan should be a 9-incher.  Roll the dough around the rolling pin and then unroll it over the pie pan.  Make sure to carefully push the dough into all of the corners.  Refrigerate the dough-lined pie plate until firm, about 40 minutes and then freeze until very cold, about 20 minutes.
  4. Adjust oven rack to lower middle and heat to 375 degrees.  Remove dough from freezer and press a double lined layer of foil into the crust.  Then add your pie weight.  I used rice because I couldn’t find a pie crust weight at our local store.  Be sure the rice (or weight) goes up the side of the crust to hold it up.  Also, the foil should cover the rim of the crust so it doesn’t get overcooked.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (25 did it for me).  Remove foil and weights and bake again for another 5 minutes or so.  Cool on a wire rack.  The crust won’t be fully cooked by this time but will cook a little more after we add the filling.

[singlepic=242,320,240,,]  [singlepic=243,320,240,,]  [singlepic=245,320,240,,]

Key Lime Pie Filling

  • 4 teaspoons grated zest plus 1/2 cup strained juice from 3 or 4 limes (4 smaller limes worked for me)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Whipped Cream Topping

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar for us simple folk)
  • 1/2 lime, sliced paper thin and dipped in sugar (optional, for garnish)

Making the Pie

  1. Whisk the zest and yolks in a medium nonreactive (usually glass for us simple fold) bowl until tinted light green, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the milk, then juice; set aside at room temperature to thicken (about 30 minutes).
  2. Pour filling into crust; bake until the center is set, yet wiggly when jiggled, 15-17 minutes (right about 17 for me).  Return pie to a wire rack; cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours.
  3. Whip the cream using a chilled bowl.  Whip to very soft peaks then slowly add sugar until whipped to just-stiff peaks.  Plop the whipped cream onto the pie and you’re done!

[singlepic=239,320,240,,]  [singlepic=241,320,240,,]

Chinese Chicken Salad

July 15th, 2008 | Posted by james - the dad in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


I love this salad and Chanin makes it really well! But, then again, she makes everything really well!

Here are the basic ingredients:

  • – Romaine Lettuce
  • – Red Cabbage
  • – Green Onions
  • – Mandarin Oranges
  • – Nuts (I think almonds this time)
  • – Toasted Ramen Noodles
  • – Chicken
  • – Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing (or Oriental dressing) – Sometimes Chanin makes it and other times we use the bottled stuff.



Homemade Salsa/Chile

May 18th, 2008 | Posted by james - the dad in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

I’ve always loved my Grandma’s chile (chee-leh as she says) but usually have to go long periods without it since we don’t all live near each other. I’m actually lucky enough to have two Grandmas who make excellent chile. So, on a recent visit to Grandma Becky’s we brought home a jar and promptly gobbled it up. We figured it was time we tried to make it on our own. After firming up a few details with the Grams we hit the store and bought all of the goodies. Chanin is an excellent cook/chef so she improvised a little to make it her own.


I roasted those bad boys on the grill as the first step.


The house smelled really good after bringing the veggies back inside. I’m not too clear on the rest of the steps but after much blending and seasoning Chanin produced an excellent chile. I know she wants to try a few more things to tweak the recipe but I’m sure it will become a family recipe.


Easter 2008 & Carrot Cake Cupcakes!

April 12th, 2008 | Posted by james - the dad in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

OK, just catching up here. So here goes a few posts that we’ve been too busy to write!


So, we ended up back in Southern California for Easter, partially because I had some customer work to do in San Diego. We figured we would just drive out there so we could spend some time visiting our families and hanging our for a bit.

We celebrated Easter at Chanin’s parent’s house with lots of family and food. Of course, I forgot to take pictures of all of the food but we had ham, potato cheese casserole, yams (with marshmallows), corn, deviled eggs, and lots more! I can’t seem to remember what else we had but I assure you it was a FEAST!


I was charged with making dessert and decided to make carrot cake since it seemed “Eastery.” I love carrot cake and hadn’t made it before so I scoured the ‘net for recipes and found one that looked good on Chowhound. My bro and sis in law suggested cupcakes since they’d be easier to eat so I went with that approach. I must say they turned out really good. I think I outdid myself! Even Chanin said that if she liked carrot cake then she would’ve liked mine!

Here are a few pictures of the cupcakes. I’ll post the recipe further below.





Chicken Marsala

December 13th, 2007 | Posted by james - the dad in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

So, we’re at the store the other day and spotted the Marsala wine and thought “Hey, we should make Chicken Marsala!” I love mushrooms so I went and picked some out and we also got a few of the other necessary ingredients. The next day I looked up some recipes with the help of, which is a recipe search engine which searches lots of different sources. One of the recipes, from Cooking Light magazine, looked promising so we decided to make that one. I had planned on making this dinner but we decided that I should make the next dinner (probably Shrimp with Red Chiles, Ginger, Garlic & Scallions) and Chanin would make this one. She’s good at making adjustments and I pretty much just stick to the recipe so this one suited her better. I’ve put our version below but if you’d like to see the original (and slightly more healthy) recipe you can find it here.

Chicken Marsala 2.jpg

Now, on to the recipe:


  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms (fresh)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup dry Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 package fettuccine



Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 teaspoons olive oil, shallots and garlic; cook until tender. Add mushrooms and cook 3 additional minutes; remove mushroom mixture from pan. Set aside.

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to a 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge chicken breast halves in flour.

Add butter to pan, and place over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook until browned. Remove chicken from pan. Add broth and Marsala to pan and scrape pan to loosen browned bits. Bring mixture to a boil and thicken with a flour water mixture (1 teaspoon of flour to 2 tablespoons water). Return chicken to pan and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes; add cream, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Return mushroom mixture to pan and stir in peas. Cook until thoroughly heated. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta.


Chanin modified the recipe to use some ingredients we already had on-hand and to make a larger amount of sauce. The original recipe was lower fat but considering that this made four big servings we don’t think it was too bad for us. I’ll just skip the ice cream tonight!

Chicken Marsala 1.jpg