Pizza with a Princess

Recipe for Smoked Chicken Pizza as it appears in Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication: 30-Minute Dinners

Recipe for Smoked Chicken Pizza as it appears in Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication: 30-Minute Dinners


Ingredients gathered to adapt the Smoked Chicken Recipe

Ingredients gathered to adapt the Smoked Chicken Recipe

Dear readers this post will be my first ever to not only promote a recipe and a food product or two, but to introduce a fabulous cooking piece that has me giddy! Any gal my age may remember the “Princess House” parties our moms or grandmas had bringing friends and family together to purchase crystal glasses and vases that were only used once a year or more often given as wedding gifts. The Princess House Company has endured, but let me tell you, fancy crystal is only a sliver of the type of products they now peddle. Still only available through home parties or direct order from your consultant, Princess House offers fabulous cookware that fits my “Foodie without Big Bucks” lifestyle perfectly.http://princesshouse.com
A few nights ago I adapted the above recipe to fit my need-for-speed, taste and most importantly my desire to use my “Ultimate Grill, Bake and Serve Stone” recently purchased from my dear friend and personal PH Consultant (thanks C!). This stone is as versatile as it gets….grill (gas or charcoal), bake, broil, chill or freeze…..it does it all. This night, after getting my ingredients together, every step of preparation was done on the stone atop my gas grill as shown in the pics below:


Besides using the grill, changes to the recipe for me included use of a deli-roasted chicken, one large whole wheat pizza crust and probably more like a 1 1/2 cups of smoked mozzarella. The smokiness of the cheese is what gave this pizza a rich and unique flavor. I substituted iceberg lettuce and my own tomatoes for the arugula because my guy likes the crunch of a fresh iceberg (no matter that it’s nutritional value is nil) and besides my edible landscaping is paying off in tomatoes and other veggies currently. As one might guess if you’ve read my previous post, I drizzled Gazebo Room Salad Dressing on the whole darn thing in lieu of plain old EVOO……yum.http://gazeboroom.com

Finished Product

Finished Product

Springfield Manor Revisited

Springfield Manor Winery and Distillery, Thurmont Maryland

Springfield Manor Winery and Distillery, Thurmont Maryland

Almost a year ago (July 13th to be exact) I wrote the post below after spending a lovely afternoon at the newly opened Springfield Manor Winery. While there, we learned that plans were made to put in a Distillery  to compliment the Winery. I’m happy to report that the Distillery is in currently making Pear and two different Apple Brandies that can be sampled and purchased to take home. There’s also plans for more liquors to be distilled too!

Again, my favorite wine tasted was  the Ironmaster Reserve (actually I like the regular Ironmaster a lot as well).  We also repeated getting the large meat and cheese platter which is still huge and the same price as last summer.  When you visit, if you get Chris as a pourer you won’t be disappointed. This young man is extremely knowledgeable and holds a treasure trove of information about the Winery. The Patio area filled with umbrella clad tables is quite large and typically on weekends you can listen to live music.

Springfield Manor is a perfect venue for weddings and from what I understand, it can accommodate both small and large events, rustic or formal. This visit, I got to see a Wedding Party getting pictures taken in the Lavender field where the flowers were just starting to bloom….so beautiful!

In addition to having another exceptional experience at the Winery, I’m thrilled to report that Zoey the Zebra and Zack the Zonkey were happily grazing in the pasture across the way. What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

The Post from July 2014:

Headline: Zebra hunter discovers Winery instead!

The Lavender Fields of Springfield Manor Winery

The Lavender Fields of Springfield Manor Winery

http://www.springfieldmanor.com

 

 

Zebra? Donkey? Both – The Frederick News-Post : Archive.

http://www.springfieldmanor.com
Having adult children who live in Washington DC, I find myself traveling a familiar stretch of US Route 15 a lot. For the last few years as I made my jaunts to DC, I swore I saw out of the corner of my eye what looked like a Zebra in one of the farm pastures around Thurmont Maryland. On one occasion I was absolutely sure that I saw a zebra so I googled the darn thing and sure enough, Zoey the Zebra indeed resides along Rt. 15!

Generous Cheese and Meats can be found at Springfield Manor Winery

Generous Cheese and Meats can be found at Springfield Manor Winery

On a trip a few months ago while my husband was driving I was determined to get a glimpse of Zoey as I hadn’t seen her for quite a while (read the article in the link above and you’ll find out why….a zonkey, who knew?). To my dismay, Zoey was no where to be found but as I turned my head my eyes beheld another exciting sight….the grand opening of Springfield Manor Winery and Distillery! Immediately I knew what our next day trip would be.
Springfield Manor sits along Route 15 as well, but is far back on somewhat of a hill so the traffic sounds aren’t noticeable. I found the wines quite good with the Ironmaster Reserve being my favorite (and the most expensive of course). On this particular Saturday they were offering pre-made platters of meat and/or cheese. We got a large one which was way too much for two people so we actually took home a doggie bag which is definitely a first for us. The weather was perfect which made sitting outside ideal, but I must say the tasting room while somewhat small is quite nice.
The most unique aspect of this winery is the lovely Lavender Field which is a prominent part of this venue. You can pick it, have it in lemonade, buy T-shirts with pictures of it or be like me and just frolic in the field much to the amusement of my husband. I love the fragrance of Lavender!
What a great day trip for anyone who lives within an hour radius of Thurmont. I plan to visit again soon and hope that Zoey and baby Zach will be out to pasture next time!

The Patio at Springfield Manor

The Patio at Springfield Manor

Chow down in Chi-Town

A bit of the Bubbly on the 96th Floor at the Signature Lounge

A bit of the Bubbly on the 96th Floor at the Signature Lounge


Since our daughter was doing a rotation in Chicago for work, my husband and I took the opportunity to visit her as well as the city for the first time. My daughter knows me well and is a bit of a foodie herself. She did an excellent job planning a long weekend packed with “touristy” stuff and a sampling of the fantastic restaurants Chicago is famous for. As with all my blog posts, this will pertain to the culinary portion of our visit!
Roasted Bone Marrow was just one of the exciting choices at the Purple Pig

Roasted Bone Marrow was just one of the exciting choices at the Purple Pig


We arrived just before lunch so after a short walk along the river we found ourselves at our first restaurant….the Purple Pig. The subtitle on the menu is “Cheese, Swine and Wine”. I felt obligated try all three. One of my picks was the picture you see above. I was given instructions with this dish…slather the marrow on freshly baked bread, sprinkle with sea salt and top with herb salad. I followed the instructions to a tee and was rewarded with a taste like no other. A few of the other dishes we tried were Chorizo Stuffed Olives, Pigs Ear with Krispy Kale topped with a Fried Egg and Pork Secreto with Roasted Pepper, Leeks and Pickled Watermelon Rind. My first meal in Chicago was better than great!
Next up was a glass of Bubbly at Signature Lounge which was only ninety-six stories up…definitely a tourist trap but well worth the surprisingly short elevator ride to experience that view!
Dinner that night was at GT Fish and Oyster. Again, delicious food with my favorite being the Squash Blossom with Crab, Zucchini and Mozzarella. I also totally loved the Halibut Romesco with grilled peaches and scallions.
Who knew Chicken Thighs could be such an exciting lunch?

Who knew Chicken Thighs could be such an exciting lunch?


My daughter and I had girl-time the next morning with breakfast at Xoco (a Rick Bayless place). We shared a Chorizo-Egg Torta and a wonderful Churro with Pistachio Glaze. I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but my daughter will attest to the Chocolate Cappuccino being excellent.
Lunch was at Eataly, a place which more sophisticated foodies than I will say is a bit touristy. Well call me a Country Bumpkin…I thought it was great! My lunch was Seared Chicken Thighs with Sundried Tomato Bread Salad of Kohlrabi, peppers, green onion and tomato vinaigrette. The Thighs were about as tender and juicy as I’ve ever had outside my own home. If you’ve never been, Eataly is like a Foodie Amusement Park. You can shop, get food to go, dine amidst the butcher, the baker and fish monger or go to one of the sit down restaurants. What’s really appealing is you can take your glass of wine or beer with you throughout the two-story establishment. I could’ve stayed for hours but eventually we had to leave to get ready for the ball game at Wrigley field….my chosen destination for a Chicago Hot Dog (oh, and the Cubs were playing the Nats). Chicago Hot Dogs Rock!
Brunch on Sunday was at Siena Tavern which resulted in another great meal. I ate light as I knew what was coming up for dinner that evening (spoiler alert-Beef), but couldn’t have been more satisfied with my Shrimp-topped Salad of Roasted Red, Yellow and Candied Striped Beets with Pickled Fennel, Toasted Hazelnuts, Creamy Nocetto (a sheep milk cheese)and pea shoots.
After a full day of seeing the sights we arrived at our dinner destination which was Bavettes Bar and Boeuf. A Classic Rib Eye-Chicago was shared with my daughter. We had them put maître d’butter on top…yum. The side dish I found most impressive was Elote style corn with chili, lime and parmesan.
I’ve just scratched the surface of the fantastic food we had while in Chi-town. I love being with my family and others who love to share food and sample a large variety. Chicago truly is a great city and while it’s not keeping with the title of my blog I just have to mention how beautifully the city is kept. The city and park gardens are in pristine condition. Some even have herbs and vegetables growing in them. I can’t wait to visit again.