Monthly Archives: June 2013

Greetings… from Portland!

Well, I’m in Portland and have been here for a week.

I’m not settled though.

So I won’t say much.

Because I think being settled will allow for more literary creativity and what now.

I do have a fun picture of a box of donuts to share though.  Donuts are important.  Especially Voodoo donuts.  Especially Voodoo donuts at 10PM on a Friday.

Don’t judge, you would do it too.

I hope to post more soon – just let me unpack my home office first.

1 week shy of 9 years

I’ve been trying to write this post for a couple of weeks but it hasn’t come easily.

I want to talk about what the move to a new venue, new job and new town really means to me.

I mean REALLY means to me.

But I’m afraid I can’t figure it out.  4 weeks ago, when I got the offer, I was bouncing off of the walls with glee.  Last week at my 2nd year of Venue Management School, I couldn’t wait to tell everyone.  At the beginning of this week, I started a countdown until the moving truck pulls away from our town home for the last time.  Last night I rejoiced in the fact that we were getting down to packing the final few boxes.

However, today, today I’m just here.  I came to work and it feels like any other day.  I was gifted a delicious chocolate croissant, Starbucks gift card (COFFEE) and thoughtful card from one of my favorite coworkers, but it still feels like any other day.  My desk and walls are bare – I should feel differently than I do.

I’m baffled.

Where are my emotions?  Where’s my fear?  Where’s my excitement?  Where’s my anticipation?  It’s not here.  Wait, that’s not true.  I’m OVER THE MOON with excitement about my move.  I feel like I’m going on a permanent vacation.  I hear Portland is where young people go to retire, I see where that comes from.  I’ll be moving, it will be work, I’ll have to make money, but I’ll be in one of those towns that always is at the top of my “I need to go on vacation there” list.

But why does today feel so normal?  It’s almost disappointing that it doesn’t feel otherwise.

Today is exactly one week shy of my 9 year anniversary at Walton Arts Center.  I feel it’s poignant to end with that.

In other news, I’m going to Pesto Cafe tonight to stuff my face full of my favorite Italian food and fill my belly with a bottle of wine (shared with friends, of course).  So there is that.  I’m sure I’ll feel differently when I’m there, celebrating our new adventure.

Wish the Sweet Boy and me luck – we’re off!

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Comfort food… reinvented

Hey… over here. Just a bit of legal jargon before I really dive into this post: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Tyson Foods #cbias #SocialFabric

I’m going to go ahead and let you in on a little secret…

I ADORE pepperoni.

I also have been meeting myself coming for three weeks.

That makes two secrets and I promised only one – consider it a gift.

I spend a lot of time staring at the lunch meat section at Walmart. I have the hardest time choosing between turkey or roast beef and quite often end up leaving with bologna or salami because the decision was just that hard! Last time I found myself in this place of indecision, my eyes landed on a new Tyson Foods product.

Guys, you might need to sit down for this. Tyson Foods is now making SLICED PEPPERONI.

I said above that I adore pepperoni. I’ve been known to eat it straight out of the fridge when necessary. If it’s a topping on a salad bar, rest assured it will end up on my plate. I think I make my own pizza at home just so I can snack on this manna from heaven.

Oh, I love it.

Unfortunately, I had to pass it up on that trip as I was about to head out of town and any cooking would have to wait, but I’ll be back, pepperoni, I’ll be back.

And back I was. I was recently given the opportunity to try this new product out. I just had to share a meal solution that was slightly beyond the typical use for pepperoni… you know, the beloved pizza? Well, I could eat pepperoni on just about anything so this would not be a challenge at all. It actually was going to give me the opportunity to make something I haven’t put together in years.

Shall I present to you, the ever so humble, yet delicious, pizza ring? I shall? Good, here goes.

Disclaimer, my recipe doesn’t have exacts, use amounts that feel right to you. Sometimes I add more olives, sometimes I add more parsley, it’s really up to you.

Disclaimer number two, this is really the easiest recipe in the world. If it’s so easy that you decide to make it every day and gain 5 pounds in a month because you really shouldn’t eat crescent rolls every day, then don’t blame me.

Consider this a warning.

Ingredients:
2 cans crescent rolls (I used Pillsbury because I got a good deal, but you can use store brand if you want)
1 package Tyson Toppings Sliced Pepperoni
1 small can sliced olives
1/3 bunch of curly parsley
3 cups shredded Italian cheese or Mozzarella
Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence
1 jar of your favorite marinara (or you can use homemade)

Preheat oven to 375.

Start out by pulling out about 2/3rds of the package of pepperoni and stacking them up in small towers. This took a bit of time to do but will result in pepperoni that is all the same size when your done. After they are all stacked up, quarter the pepperoni. Then put them into a large mixing bowl, separating them as you go.

Open your can of olives and drain completely before adding to the pepperoni. I mean it, don’t let any olive juice go into the mixing bowl. No one likes a mushy pizza ring and olive juice will result in a mushy pizza ring (I speak from experience, people, just trust me on this one).

Grab your small bunch of parsley and rough chop the leaves. Discard the stems – no one wants a stem in their pizza ring. In case you’re wondering if you can use flat leaf parsley, you can. This is actually the only dish I use curly parsley with and I do it because I like the texture it gives this one and it seems to hold up better in the ingredients. Add the leaves to the bowl.

Next, add about 3 cups of cheese to the mixture. You want enough to be stringy when you cut into after it has cooked but not so much that it oozes everywhere. 3 cups is perfect for me.

Now I add a generous amount of herbs de Provence. I used these instead of Italian seasoning because it’s what I had on hand. It also has rosemary in it which really adds a little somthin’ somthin’ to the finished dish. You could use either.

Mix up the ingredients until combined.

Now, on to the fun part. Unroll the 2 cans of crescent rolls and pull them apart until you have 16 triangles. Assemble them in a star shaped pattern as seen above on the baking dish of your choice (I prefer a well seasoned pizza stone). Towards the inside of the ring, but on the dough, pile up the pepperoni mixture. I have to mush mine together to keep it from spilling over. The cheese helps with this. I’m able to get the entire mixture in the ring, it might take you some practice.

After you’ve used up all of the filling, take the skinny end of the crescent rolls and wrap them around the mixture and press against the dough underneath the mixture. This takes some practice and never looks perfect so don’t worry if you struggle here. There isn’t a wrong way to do this. Tuck any toppings that fall out back in.

Next I sprinkle additional seasoning on top. It makes it pretty… and it adds a bit of extra flavor. I wouldn’t skip the pretty/flavor step.

Pop this bad boy in your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Once finished, allow to cool for just a couple of minutes, slice and serve with your favorite marinara for dipping.

You’re really going to love this. I promise!

See more pictures behind the story here.

If you make this and add different toppings in with the Tyson Foods Sliced Pepperoni, let me know how it turns out. I bet it would be wonderful with sauteed onions or mushrooms. Get creative!

Or better yet, after making your own version of this with Tyson Foods Sliced Pepperoni (or any of their delicious new toppings), go post it on their Facebook page or share with their Twitter account. Share the love, why don’t you?

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