Showing posts with label tomatoes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tomatoes. Show all posts

Monday, January 15, 2018

Triple Bacon Club Sandwich

This triple decker sandwich is packed with bacon! Starting with crisp bacon strips, tender slices of Canadian bacon, and an amazing Bacon Basil Tomato Mayo spread--this recipe is perfect for a game day crowd or a satisfying solo lunch with a good book.

photo of  a triple bacon club sandwich with chips

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The Ohio Pork Board asked me to write a post about bacon. I can't believe I'm getting paid to do this. I mean, bacon. A crisp slice of bacon, crackling as I bite into it and then dissolving in my mouth . . . well that's bliss right there. Creating this recipe was truly a pleasure, and I hope you enjoy re-creating because it's easy to make this restaurant-quality dish right at home!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Heirloom Tomato and Mascarpone Pizza

This grilled pizza is a gourmet version of the cheese and tomato classic.  Flavorful heirloom tomatoes on a mascarpone-spread crust topped with feta, fontina, and mozzarella cheeses. Simple is good when you start with fresh, amazing, local flavor.

close up title image of an heirloom tomato and mascarpone cheese pizza

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Sometimes it's good to keep things simple on a pizza. Just some cheese and tomatoes.  You could order in a plain cheese pizza or you could make it yourself, a variety of ways. You could pick up a box on the shelf of the grocery store, grab a fork, and have a simple cheese and tomato sauce pizza.
You could pick up a bag of dough, a jar of sauce, and a wedge of cheese and get busy. Or you could get an heirloom tomato in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share and decide to go gourmet, like I did.

One of the reasons I like to eat locally grown produce is because it tastes better than something trucked in from off. That flavor discrepancy is never more pronounced than in a tomato. There's something about a fresh tomato, picked at the height of it's ripeness, that cannot be matched by anything trucked into a grocery store.

an heirloom tomato and a tub of mascarpone cheese

When tomato season starts, I make it a point to enjoy a fresh tomato sandwich every week. That sounds easy, now, in the beginning of the season. Let me tell you--it can be a drag come September. But I do it anyway--changing it up with bacon, avocado, whatever looks good that day to me.

I also like to put fresh tomatoes on pizza. The trick to keep your pizza from getting soggy is to slice your tomatoes a good 30 minutes to an hour before you put them on a pizza, like I share in my Tomato Basil Pizza recipe. If I'm using my oven, I'll have my pizza dough sitting on the counter for a couple of hours before I plan to bake, just to get up to room temperature so I can work with it. I'll slice my tomatoes and leave them on a cutting board to drain, then turn on the oven to preheat my pizza stone for an hour. By the time the dough has relaxed and the stone has warmed up, the tomatoes have given up a fair amount of juice. I can tip that off the cutting board and I am good to go.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Fried Egg, Lettuce, and Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Grilled cheese meets a fried egg then mashes up with a BLT. This colorful sandwich rocks three classics in one delightfully messy handful.

Grilled cheese meets a fried egg then mashes up with a BLT. This colorful sandwich recipe rocks 3 classics in one delightfully messy handful.

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February in the Midwest is NOT the time for ripe tomatoes and fresh lettuce. Why am I sharing a recipe calling for these ingredients on my blog that celebrates locally-sourced foods? Simple. This is the time to lock down YOUR local source for the upcoming season's fresh fare.

If you're local to the Dayton area, there will be a Community Supported Agriculture Fair at the 2nd Street Market on Thursday, February 25th from 5:30-7:30pm where you can meet farmers, learn cooking tips from a local chef, and hang with like-minded folks. Look around your community for a similar even this time of year, or try Barn2Door or LocalHarvest to find food near you.

Grilled cheese meets a fried egg then mashes up with a BLT. This colorful sandwich recipe rocks 3 classics in one delightfully messy handful.

If you read this blog often you realize that these photos were not taken last week because they feature ripe tomatoes. I do not buy tomatoes at the grocery store. Period. Even a plain Jane eater knows that tomatoes grown locally and picked when ripe--not picked prematurely and shipped across many wintery states--just taste better. LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO EAT FOOD THAT DOESN'T TASTE GOOD. So, I eat my fresh tomatoes in the summer and Fall. I eat so many that at times I'm sick of fresh tomatoes and welcome any simple tips for putting them up for winter (like this freezer-friendly Fresh Tomato Pesto), but in October I know I'm facing at least 7 months with fresh tomatoes, so I gorge while I can.

I'm not a Foodie, though. I couldn't tell you the difference between one Fancy Name Chocolate and Another Fancy Named Chocolate. You don't have to be a Foodie to eat local, though. Even a little kid can tell you that a local strawberry, picked during your area's strawberry season, beats anything you can pull out of a plastic clamshell for sweetness and flavor. That's one reason why I eat locally. Keeping my dollars in my local economy is another.

Grilled cheese meets a fried egg then mashes up with a BLT. This colorful sandwich recipe rocks 3 classics in one delightfully messy handful.

Whatever your reasons, this is the time to research your options for a More Local 2016. You'll need to fortify yourself, so I suggest a sandwich. For more grilled cheese sandwiches, please check out my Clickable Collage of Recipe Suggestions--I've got a whole photo collage devoted to Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup, showcasing locally foraged, grown, and sourced produce. But wait there's more recipe ideas! For more recipes using tomatoes, please see my Red & Yellow Tomato Recipes Collection. For more recipes using Salad Greens, please see my Lettuce & Salad Greens Recipes Collection. These are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me wondering how to make the most of the farm share. I'm pinning recipes from all over the web to my Pinterest boards, follow me there. I'm sharing new finds on my Facebook page, follow me there. And I've discovered how fun it is  share quick photos on Instagram, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Baked Ravioli Valentines

Heart-shaped cheese-filled ravioli dipped in a tangy sauce and coated with seasoned breadcrumbs, then baked. Serve with sauce to dunk and you've got a kid friendly vegetarian Valentine's day meal.

Heart-shaped cheese-filled ravioli dipped in a tangy sauce and coated with seasoned breadcrumbs, then baked. Serve with sauce to dunk and you've got a kid friendly vegetarian Valentine's day meal.

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Heart-shaped cheese-filled ravioli dipped in a tangy sauce and coated with seasoned breadcrumbs, then baked. Serve with sauce to dunk and you've got a kid friendly vegetarian Valentine's day meal.
After sharing the contents of my fridge--as is--on my Instagram feed and Facebook page I figured I'd pan back from the tight Polish Pottery hearts photo to instead show the real state of one of my cookbook shelves.

For the past few years we've been eating this simple supper on Valentine's day. It's festive, but easy to get in the oven and it cooks quickly. I usually don't take photos--after all, I just picked up the package of ravioli at Costco and didn't make them myself--but I figured I'd share since the idea is a simple and good one. I got the idea from this recipe.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Slow-roasted Tomato Pizza with Late Summer Vegetables

This pizza is a vegetarian's mid Late Summer Dream. Squash, peppers, olives and slow-roasted tomatoes covered with cheese.

This pizza is a vegetarian's Late Summer Dream. Squash, peppers, olives and slow-roasted tomatoes covered with cheese.

My strawberry patch is growing summer squash/zucchini volunteers, not strawberries. I didn't really expect strawberries to grow at the end of summer, but squash? Eh, I'll run with it. 

This pizza is a vegetarian's Late Summer Dream. Squash, peppers, olives and slow-roasted tomatoes covered with cheese.

It may seem like I am on a roll with pizzas. No pun needed there--if you saw my photo collages in my Pizza Primer post you'd know I don't use a rolling pin to make pizza. No need [the fingers hovered over k-n-e-a-d . . .] as I just use my hands to push/pull the dough into the shape it wants to be.

This pizza is a vegetarian's Late Summer Dream. Squash, peppers, olives and slow-roasted tomatoes covered with cheese.

Perhaps that's what comes with having teenagers? I know that I can still help guide them a bit, but ultimately they are in charge of their final shape, not me.

This pizza is a vegetarian's Late Summer Dream. Squash, peppers, olives and slow-roasted tomatoes covered with cheese.

I continue to help guide my readers in ways to use and put up seasonal produce. This week our Community Supported Agriculture farm share farmers canned 100 pounds of tomatoes outside over a fire. That's 37 quarts, people, and a mere one time energy outlay in return for a year of shelf stability. Canning tomatoes is awesome.

This pizza is a vegetarian's Late Summer Dream. Squash, peppers, olives and slow-roasted tomatoes covered with cheese.

You know another excellent way to put up tomatoes? Slow-roasting them. With cooler evenings, this time of year is more tolerable in the kitchen than the height of summer. Alanna's tutorial on slow-roasting tomatoes is my guide. I'm here with suggestions on how to use that bounty, and since it's a Friday that means pizza.

This pizza is a vegetarian's Late Summer Dream. Squash, peppers, olives and slow-roasted tomatoes covered with cheese.

For other ideas on how to use and put up tomatoes, please see my Tomatoes board on Pinterest and my Red/Yellow Tomato Recipe Collection, part of my Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, farmer's market, or garden abundance and rogue volunteer squash in the strawberry patch. For more pizza recipes I've got the Visual Pizza Recipe Index and the Friday Night Pizza Night Pinterest board. Wanna know how to use this blog? Click here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How to Make a Roasted Farm Share Dinner

This combination of roasted green beans, corn, tomatoes and bacon is an example of the perfection of September. The nights are cool enough that a hot plate of vegetables is a welcome sight and the produce is still in full swing.

I'm proud to say that I threw the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share on the grill this summer. I had successes (check out the grilling category I added to my drop down recipe index on the right side bar). I had failures [I've fed far too many 'too small' eggplant slices to the Grill Gods with flipping failures] and I somehow drained a brand new tank of propane [I blame the deployment gremlins on that one] but overall the grill became my 'go to' appliance when I thought about how to feed the family from the farm share.

When the weather starts to cool down a wee bit I'm not afraid to turn on my oven. Instead of grilling ALL THE THINGS I start roasting what is abundant in the farm share box and at the farmer's market. I want to keep things easy, though, and clean up is one of those things I like to simplify.

After reading Aimée's Spring breakfast recipe I started trying out a few combinations. It's almost too easy to throw a bunch of vegetables in a pan, add some meat for additional flavoring, and have dinner done.

For other recipes using green beans, please see my Green Bean Recipes Collection. For other recipes using corn, please see my Recipes Using Corn Collection. These are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, and the garden bounty. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Make Your Own Layered Taco Dip Bar

Set out skillets and bowls of your favorite fixings, along with plenty of chips, and let everyone make their own layered taco dip just the way they like.

I think this time of year is an ideal time to strut your stuff. Show off what you've been up to in the kitchen, show off the fabulous job your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers or you cousin's sister's daughter* did in the farm or garden. I think a Make Your Own Layered Taco Dip Bar is an excellent way to do so.

A Make Your Own Layered Taco Dip Bar works for a variety of eaters and appetites. Vegetarians and omnivores alike can heap their plates high, and if you just want a nibble of a few things you're good as well. It can be an appetizer spread or a full on meal. Most of the toppings can be prepared in advance, making this as easy as browning ground beef and whipping up a Fast & Easy 3 Ingredient Bean & Hatch Chile Dip.

You can set up this concept any time of year as fresh vegetables--while delightful--are not integral to the spread. Preserved [I've put up 4 kinds of salsa so far this year] and frozen vegetables work just fine. A Superbowl party, an entertainment industry award event, basketball playoffs, the Stanley Cup . . . [do they do something for baseball?] or just because. Or you could just set up a Make Your Own Layered Taco Dip Bar for a family dinner, like I've shown here.
My brilliant friend Cathy, upon hearing all about the salsas I've been making, suggested I host a Salsa and Margaritas party. I love the idea! Right now is hectic--along with putting up the garden bounty as it comes in fast & furious, I'm spending my energy helping my spouse deploy. The idea of a party is a wonderful thing to clean the house for look forward to, so I've scheduled one for later this year. I'll provide the house, my Cheater Margarita Smoothies and an assortment of salsas [and dogs, I also have an assortment of dogs--but they will be out of the way with the kids]. I will invite my guests to bring their favorite margaritas, guacamole or salsa, chips, or dessert. Let me know if you host one!

For more appetizers, please see my Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks board on Pinterest. For more Layered Vegetable Appetizers, please check out my Clickable Collages of Recipe Suggestions page and scroll own past the beets. Finally, because I started this blog not to bury Caesar my recipes, I've got both a Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient and a drop down menu of ideas on the right sidebar. Want to know how to use this blog? Click here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pot Luck Tabbouleh with Feta and How to Chop a Lot of Herbs Easily

Feed a crowd at a summer gathering with this vegetarian salad that shows off the flavors of summer. Packed with herbs, tomatoes, cucumber, feta, and chewy bulgur wheat grains lightly coated with lemon juice and olive oil this side dish can sit on a buffet table and keep its flavor.

For other recipes using a massive bounty of herbs, please see my Herb Recipes Collection. For other recipes using Cucumbers, please see my Cucumber Recipes Collection. For other recipes using ripe red tomatoes, please see my Red & Yellow Tomato Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, or the garden abundance. For another kitchen hack please see my Sun Gold Tomato Panzanella.

Normally I'm just cooking for our family of four so when I go bigger with a recipe that works for a crowd, and also uses the produce from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, I want to share with the rest of the class. I've done it before with my Pot Luck Asian Chicken Cabbage Salad.

The First Tomato of Summer [yes, worthy of capitalization if you're like me and just don't buy fresh tomatoes November through June] needs something worthy to celebrate its arrival [then you can move on to the weekly Summer Tomato Sandwich]. I'd been eying my unruly mint patch and craving tabbouleh--oh, my mommy pronounces it tah-BOO-lee so that's what I say--so I picked up a package of bulgur and gathered my goodies. I followed the directions on the package and used Bob's Red Mill Red Bulgur (Amazon affiliate link). No sponsorship--I tell you the brand name because the recipe I started with came from the back of the package and because I'd never tried red bulgur before. Usually I buy it in bulk somewhere, and since I know the company name I thought I'd share. The product did work great, though, if you're looking for bulgur. I picked mine up at the grocery store down the street.

That tabbouleh was all I'd hoped for--bright and fresh with all the herbs, tangy but not gloppy from the dressing, crunchy from the cucumber, chewy and filling from the wheat. Plus the flavor of a local tomato picked when ripe and grown for flavor, not travel ability. /rant.

After the success of that tabbouleh I thought it would be good with feta, and with loads of herbs still to use I was looking for an excuse a reason to make more. Lots more. Cue marching band camp--filled with hungry teens, who arrived promptly at 11:30 each day and, like polite locusts, left the serving area decimated 10 minutes later. The band has both vegetarians and kids with sophisticated taste, as well as my kid (I shouldn't rag on him, but he's delighted with leftover concession stand hot dogs . . .). I knew it would not be ignored. One musician came back for seconds 3 times! That's probably not called seconds, but you know what I mean.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Sun Gold Tomato Panzanella with Mozzarella and Capers

Cherry tomatoes tossed with cubes of bread to soak up the luscious juices, seasoned with capers and marinated mozzarella. This salad is an excellent, fast, and easy addition to summer entertaining.

This tomato bread salad with mozzarella and capers makes a terrific meatless main dish in the summertime, as well as an excellent addition to a summer cookout or potluck.

It is easy to throw together at the last minute. Why? Here's a kitchen hack for you:
If you have unsliced bread--from your oven, your bread machine, or your local bakery--you know how hard it is to slice the last couple of inches? STOP DOING THAT. Cut it into cubes instead, and store those bread cubes in the freezer.

Having bread cubes on hand comes in pretty handy. In the winter I make Panade, in the summer I make panzanella, and one of these days my son is going to make croutons on the grill. Or so he claims. Teenagers.

Besides the bread cubes in the freezer, this salad also uses cheese, capers, and vinaigrette that can all hang out for weeks in the fridge. This means it's an excellent last minute recipe--when I've got onion, basil, and of course the star of the show--cherry tomatoes.

When I get a pint of cherry tomatoes in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share I usually snack on a few bunch on the way home, then my spouse snacks on them if he's around--and otherwise they need a job. The kids aren't snacking on them. Throwing together a salad like this takes care of a pint quickly, though you can always use chopped regular tomatoes if that's what you've got. 
Now the photo above is this week's pint from the farm share. The tomatoes in the salad were from last week's share, and were all Sun Gold tomatoes (like the lil' orange one in the photo above). I just didn't get an ingredients shot since I was throwing the salad together minutes while a cake was baking and we were fixing to go to a cookout. A very last-minute dish, but since the cake took longer than I expected I snapped some photos of the completed dish.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Tomato Sandwich with Bacon and Avocado Mayo on Naan: Eat a Summer Tomato Sandwich

Fresh summer tomato with crisp bacon in a warm piece of naan spread with avocado mayo. What are you waiting for? Eat a summer tomato sandwich!
This one is tomato, avocado slices, fresh mozzarella, basil and bacon on toasted sourdough.

I feel slightly silly sharing a recipe for a summer tomato sandwich here, but I have to remind myself that an article in the Washington Post got me to try my first one a couple of decades ago. If I can move on person to slap a few tomato slices between 2 pieces of mayonnaise-spread bread, sprinkle on some salt and pepper and take a bite, I'll have passed along the summer tomato sandwich karma and be happy.

Now, I grow tomatoes in the back yard as well as get them in the farm share. I'm a little nuts about tomatoes because I think homegrown just tastes better.

Yesterday I spent the day putting up tomatoes, and I'm about halfway through the volume that my girl harvested from our back yard. Those photos appear on my FB page, but here's a shot of what I aspire to each August--a pantry shelf stocked with various tomato preparations.
No, the shelf doesn't look like this now. Picture all the jars hanging out in the basement waiting to return to service.

With all the tomatoes lying around waiting to be processed, you'd think the last thing on my mind would be a humble tomato sandwich, but you'd be wrong.
On sliced ciabatta bread with who knows what type of green stuff and fresh mozzarella.

I do not have fresh tomatoes in my house after the tomato season ends [usually the first frost sometime in October, though I'll have some green tomatoes ripening into November]. That means for 7 months out of the year I'm serving my family tomato pesto, tomato soup from home-canned tomatoes, and spaghetti sauce. I will miss fresh tomatoes, I know, so I set a goal to enjoy a fresh tomato sandwich each week while the season lasts.
With my summer favorite beverage--DIY Iced Chai.

I usually toast my Multigrain Sourdough Bread for sandwiches, but at Costco last week I picked up some of these mini naan breads which I opened like a pita. They fit in the toaster to warm up without heating my kitchen. Spread with some avocado mayo and topped with tomato and bacon, this is a delightful summer sandwich.

If you haven't tried a tomato sandwich recently--try one. Not liking tomatoes through your teens doesn't count. If you've tried fresh tomatoes into your 40s and still don't care for them--fine. Go on about your business. If you like tomato sandwiches--set a goal to enjoy one each week during the season.

No one ever says on New Year's Eve 'I ate too many summer tomato sandwiches this year'.

Friday, July 31, 2015

What is Tomato Pesto? Why Put it on a Pizza?

A vegetarian's delight: pizza with marinated artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and pickled banana peppers on fresh tomato pesto, topped with salty feta crumbles and creamy burrata cheese, finished with fresh summer savory.

Have you made Fresh Tomato Pesto yet? It's one of my most popular posts every summer, and with good reason. This flexible dairy free recipe uses ANY type of tomato (I've tried cherry to Roma), assorted nuts--or sunflower seeds--and whatever herbs you've got handy. I prefer a combo of flat Italian parsley and basil, but I'll be experimenting with cilantro this year.
This is after thawing!
Eat it fresh, and if you've got a bunch of ripe tomatoes--put some up for later by freezing! I like these reusable storage caps for freezing (Amazon affiliate link) and freeze my pesto in half pint size jars. I use a piece of clear tape to write down the contents so I don't get mixed up--for example between arugula pesto and  garlic scape pesto. The lids wash up fine and only break when you swing the freezer door open too quickly and everything falls out and rolls on the floor to the delight of Robert Barker. [I'm sure that only happens to me, though].

I like to dip a variety of veggies and crackers into my fresh tomato pesto, but I really like to use it on pizza. I thaw a jar a day or so in advance, in the fridge, and drain off any water that rises to the top [For use as a pasta sauce I just stir it in.] Then I've got a flavorful sauce that adds a homemade touch to pizza.

Go make Fresh Tomato Pesto. My tutorial is here. For other recipes using tomatoes, please see my Red & Yellow Tomato Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For other Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks, please see my Pinterest board. For more vegetarian pizzas, please check out my Visual Pizza Recipe Index and my Friday Night Pizza Night Pinterest board. Wanna know how to Use This Blog? Click here!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Fast Pasta with Slow-roasted Tomatoes

Pasta sauce sourced locally from ingredients put up in summertime to be enjoyed during wintertime: slow-roasted tomatoes seasoned with hot turkey sausage served over ricotta-feta tossed fettuccine.

Permission and Encouragement in today's post.

Did you put up a bit of summer's bounty in your freezer or pantry last year? Perhaps you dabbled a bit in freezing some strawberry jam, pesto, or tomatoes? If so--have you started to use what you put up? If yes--I should have made a flow chart--good for you. If no--what are you waiting for? Now is the time! It's cold enough to crave hearty homey hot dishes but the lengthening days tease you with the promise of seasons to come.

If you didn't put up any of the bounty from your garden, your neighbor's garden, your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share or farmer's market--no worries! Let this recipe plant itself like a parasite in the back of your brain so that, when the days become shorter and the tomato plants are laden with ripe tomatoes, you'll think about trying your hand at putting some up. Then, through the magic of Pinterest (link to my Pinterest page where my first board, Farm Fresh Feasts, is all the posts I've ever posted on the blog) you can find this recipe next winter and enjoy your own homegrown tomatoes. In the meantime, a can of good crushed tomatoes will do.

About a year ago I shared a recipe for Creamy Tomato Soup with Home-canned Tomatoes. It was one of my most popular recipes of 2014. In that posted I planted the seed about canning your own tomatoes. It worked in at least 2 folks that I know of, and I couldn't be more delighted. Your turn?

Today I'm going to share a recipe for pasta with a slow-roasted tomato sauce, and I'll nag you to roast some tomatoes in the Fall. Oh, I mean plant the seed [forget the parasite analogy now] that you should consider slow-roasted as a method of preservation. Slow-roasted tomatoes require an oven, a rimmed baking sheet, and a freezer. I am fortunate to have all 3, and according to the results of the Hunger Study 2014, most folks in my area have access to the same kitchen appliances. No excuses!

Consider slow-roasting some tomatoes this year. Head to Alanna's excellent tutorial for step-by-step info and photos. For other ideas on how to use slow-roasted or fresh or canned tomatoes, please see my Tomato Recipes Collection, part of my Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. I pin interesting tomato recipes to my Tomatoes Pinterest Board.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Loaded Pizza Fries #EatWithWest #ChubbyChasingMission #CysticFibrosisAwareness

Beef and salami sautéed with farm share vegetables then coated in a seasoned tomato sauce top these baked fries. Mozzarella and cheddar cheese covers the whole pan in cheesy goodness.

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For the first year of this blog I posted a new pizza recipe every Friday night. I shared recipes for pizza dough, savory pizzas with fruit, vegetarian pizzas and pizzas with meat toppings. I posted so many pizza recipes that I even created a Visual Pizza Recipe Index to keep them all tidy, and a Pinterest board devoted to pizza, Friday Night Pizza Night.
Over the second year I added to the Index more slowly, interspersing Friday pizzas with other types of recipes but broadening the types by adding Deep Dish pizzas [I'll probably add a Deep House Dish category to the VPRI at some point since I'm amassing a collection in my notebook].

Today's post is a three-way collision between a Friday pizza recipe & meaty appetizer, a bonus alternative use for the topping, and a request for my readers to help out a family in my town by posting photos on social media. Let's start with the food, which weaves its way throughout the post. I admit I'm slightly surprised by how this idea of mine turned out. When I started thinking about this recipe, I envisioned some sort of pizza-flavored sloppy joes served on slider buns. Kinda like these:

The flavor of the filling was fine, but it was too . . . sloppy for me. This is when the kids are pretty tickled to come home from school and hear "I'm trying a new recipe. Eat one of these pizza sliders for after school snack and tell me what you think." [They like those days better than the "we've got too many beets in the freezer, here's a smoothie" or "find something to eat, I'm busy editing" days].

I'm posting these photos of my kids eating on the blog for one reason--to encourage a little guy in my town, Weston, to take another bite of food. Weston is 3 and needs to gain some weight, and if he doesn't do it by eating he'll need to have a feeding tube inserted in his tummy. Seeing photos of folks eating tasty food encourages Weston to take another bite, so I've tagged this post with the hashtags #EatWithWest, #ChubbyChasingMission, and #CysticFibrosisAwareness. I'd really appreciate it if you could tag and share photos of you/your kids/your uncle eating and share them on your favorite social media channels too.