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Posts from — August 2009

things they are a changin’

kidsHappy Friday!   It’s time for a change… my youngest, Connor, is beginning his freshman year at Northern Arizona University.  My oldest, Marissa, is in her final year at University of Arizona, so it’s time for me to learn something new too!  I’ve had my website up for many years, but I’ve never really “managed” it, so it is time to take the site into my own hands, have control, and be able to get my information out there more often and with more content.

So welcome to the new and improved LesPetitesGourmettes.com!  I’ll be blogging as often as possible with recipes, entertaining ideas, cooking tips, and much more.   And, of course, you’ll still be able to find out information about summer classes for kids ages 8-18.  So check back and in the next few hours, this site will be ALIVE!

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August 21, 2009   4 Comments

back in the valley of the sun

pizza-kidsConnor is safe and sound and cool in beautiful Flagstaff and I am trying to settle back into my new routine of blogging. As promised here are the pizza recipes from Connor’s “Last Supper” (I know, how dramatic can a mom be?!?) You’ll notice that the dough/crust recipe is the same for all four…. that is because this is my favorite and most reliable crust recipe. There are different techniques for each in the baking, but any and all can be done which ever way you prefer. On Monday night, I baked all pizzas on a stone in a 500 degree oven. When I feel like going outside (I did not on Monday, since it was sweltering outside!) then I prefer to use the grill, directions for grilling pizza can be found in the Barbecue Chicken Pizza recipe below. But until the evenings cool off, you won’t find me out there unless the pool is also involved!

Connor’s California Club Pizza

Dough
1 tablespoon or 1 package dry yeast
2 cups flour, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sliced rotisseri chicken breast
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup cooked thick bacon, crumbled-about 8 slices
3 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 large tomatoes, two diced, the other two each sliced into 8 slices
1 avocado, sliced into 16 slices

Dough: In the large bowl of a standing mixer, combine 1/4 cup lukewarm water, the yeast, and 1/4 cup of the flour. Let stand for 20 minutes, this is called the sponge.

Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups flour, 1/2 cup lukewarm water, the olive oil, milk and salt and mix thoroughly. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, elastic, and a little bit tacky to the touch, about 8 minutes.

img_3986jpgPlace the dough in an oiled bowl and turn the dough over to cover with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap…

and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

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Place a pizza stone in your oven and preheat to 500 degrees.

Divide the dough in half. Form each half into a 10-inch circle on a lightly floured surface.
Place one round of dough onto a pizza pan or a pizza peel that will be used to slide the dough onto the hot pizza stone. Be sure to dust the pizza peel liberally with flour or cornmeal so that the assembled pizza will slide off easily. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Repeat with remaining half of dough.

Brush the pizza crust with olive oil. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella on the crust, followed by 1/2 of the crumbled bacon and 1/2 of the chicken. Return to oven until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining crust.

Assemble: Combine the iceberg lettuce with romaine lettuce in a large bowl. Stir in mayonnaise and mix until lettuces are well coated, then gently stir in the diced tomatoes.

Cut each pizza into 8 slices. Top each slice of pizza with a slice of tomato and 1 slice of avocado. Top each with lettuce mixture and serve immediately.

Makes 2 pizzas, 8 slices each

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August 19, 2009   1 Comment

moving day is tomorrow

babies1Well the big day is almost here. Tomorrow I will be moving my son, Connor, into his new digs in Flagstaff, Arizona…the dorms at Northern Arizona University – Go Lumberjacks! Tonight will be our last family dinner for quite some time. Marissa, my 21 year old daughter, who is a senior at University of Arizona, is home this week before she heads back to Tucson on Friday. How did this happen? I know everyone says it but really… how and when did this happen… when did my two cute little toddlers grow into this gorgeous woman and handsome young man?!?!  OK, don’t worry, although I am sitting here all melancholy – I am not crying…. yet! So on to a less dramatic and taxing subject – dinner! Since it is Connor’s last dinner before he leaves for college, I told him I would cook him anything his little heart desired or we’d take him out to the restaurant of his choice. He asked that it be homemade pizza night with something chocolate for dessert. He always has been the “easy” child! And on top of that, he even picked out a pre-made chocolate dessert – Yay! So Con and I went to Trader Joe’s and Safeway and purchased the makings for the pizzas and all his “pantry goods” for the dorm. The conveyer belt at Safeway was an especially funny site, for me anyway. The entire cart was full of Easy Mac, Chunky Progresso soups, Top Ramen, cans upon cans of chili, beans, tuna, etc., and way too many packages of cookies, crackers, cereal, etc. And then at the very end of the belt, was just four items of fresh produce for the pizzas!  Let’s just say that it’s usually the other way around when I shop. A few processed items and loads of produce, oh well, that’s dorm life, right?

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August 17, 2009   No Comments

finally trying my hand at blogging!

mtaofc-1st-ed

My treasured 1st Edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking

I’ve been meaning to do my own blog for at least two years now. I’ve consulted with professionals, looked at templates (so very many templates!), wondered if I really had anything to say that would be worth blogging, and so on. So today, Sunday August 16, 2009 at 11:13 AM, is finally The Day! My inspiration to make the leap?

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August 16, 2009   3 Comments