Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Speaking of Date Night
My Mother was wonderful at making a normal day something special. She didn't do it frequently but she did it enough to leave her kids with a wealth of wonderful memories. One example of that would be her picnics in front of the fire.
Every once in a while my Mom would put together a special picnic dinner, build a fire in the fireplace and place a blanket on the floor in front of it. We would all gather around the blanket and stuff our faces. If we were really, really, really lucky she would have marshmallows and after dinner we would toast marshmallows over the fire. I mean how great is that. Here you are having a normal day and all of a sudden it's a picnic with marshmallows and everything.
I'm afraid I don't have my Mother's knack for creating special moments and memories but I've never forgotten the romance and excitement of dinner in front of the fire. This last Friday as a rare snow storm loomed upon us my husband and I decided that we'd be better of eating in for our date night. A homemade pizza in front of the fire was just the ticket.
Although I can make a pizza crust by hand I try and keep a Trader Joes pizza crust around because they are easy and tasty. At $1.99 they are also an excellent buy. Taking stock of what else I had on hand I came up with a barbecued chicken pizza idea. One of the things I keep in the freezer is a Costco 6 pack of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. My husband and I usually split 1 packet of thighs into 2 meals so it comes to about $3.00 per meal.
I cut up the chicken into bite size pieces, seasoned them with salt and pepper, and cooked them in some olive oil until done. Then I put together my own sauce with stuff from the refrigerator like peach butter, hot sauce, ketchup, brown sugar and garlic salt. Once the dough has been placed on the pizza pan spread it with barbecue sauce, spread cooked chicken over sauce along with chopped fresh tomatoes and fresh cilantro. Top with either skim Mozzarella or Fontina. Bake in 450 degree oven until top is golden brown...about 15 to 20 minutes.
Let me assure you that your husband will not be disappointed to join you for a tasty pizza in front of the fire. Add a bottle of wine (see Trader Joes wine selection for great bargains) or if he must a couple of mugs of beer (also see Trader Joes beer selection for same reason) and your evening will be complete. Our dinner in front of the fire, including wine and lots of leftovers, cost approximately $12.50 for two. That is something we can live with.