Boxing Day!

I, the guest blogger Josh Dean, would like to welcome guest blogger Josh Dean to thedeanteam.  Josh?

Thanks so much for having me!  I’m a long time reader and a first time writer.  So since the lovely Celina is still downstairs drinking Sauterne out of teeny crystal glasses with our incredible hosts I figured I’d hop on the ol’ compute and bring you up to speed.  I’ll cover Boxing Day quick like a bunny because there’s still more to cover after that, and then tomorrow we eat (and stay at) Paul Bocuse.  Yes.  He.  The titular Paul Bocuse of the Bocuse D’or.  I’m getting ahead of ourself.

How to celebrate boxing day in Geneva.  First, an espresso.  Then a beautiful spread in the dining room including fresh squeezed apple juice from just up the way, fresh baked baguette, croissant and pain au chocolat from the gas station up the way (that isn’t a joke, it’s always fresh and delicious, meanwhile we’ve got Tim Horton’s donuts that have travelled for three weeks from Mississauga in our gas stations), a variety of egg dishes including one with leeks, an underused aromatic in my opinion (I don’t even know if it qualifies as an aromatic… googling now… yup!  Okay, I didn’t google it, too lazy) and a fresh fruit salad.  This being Europe and an extremely civilized portion thereof we also had a delicious spread of cured meats and four cheeses, one of which would inspire our adventure for the day.

Gruyere, Switzerland is about an hour and half drive, or an hour and half snooze if Martin’s dad is driving, east of Geneva.  En route we passed through Lausanne, home of the Olympics museum, and by Montreux, home of the famous jazz festival.  Eventually the already mountainous regions surrounding Lake Geneva stop playing coy and just commit fully to being even more mountainous, dramatic, crisp and beautiful.  It is as we enter the higher altitudes that we pass our first stop, Broc, home of Le Maison Cailler, the Swiss equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  It’s actually the Cailler/Nestle chocolate factory and, not being eedjits, we hopped out and bought a ticket.  Inside there are walls of perfectly wrapped chocolate bars in every color of the rainbow, nestled in their shiny foil and soft paper.  The advantage to being on a continent where grown ups eat chocolate is evident when you see that chocolate bars can look elegant.  They don’t need garish purple wrappers and cartoon alligators on them.  I think a well appointed bar of chocolate sets the tasting experience up so much better.  It says “Enjoy me, don’t just eat me.”  North American chocolate bars just say “Eat me” and that’s rude.  Except for Skor.  That shit is classy yo.

Too much chocolate. Just too much chocolate.

Oddly the tour wasn’t of the factory itself, rather it was like It’s a Small World, only a little more refined?  It took itself pretty seriously and mentioned the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl a few more times than was necessary.  Hint, necessary amount of times: one.  There was animatronic busts of Monsieur Cailler and shifting set pieces and a multimedia room with animated cows. But, and here’s the rad thing, at the end we were let into a beautiful wood paneled tasting room which was exactly the thing you want to see at the end of a chocolate factory tour.  It was the dream.  It was silver platters of perfectly organized little chocolates on a large rectangular counter that ran the length of the room, turned the corner and came back the other way.  Behind the silver platter was a large version of the chocolate bar or box of chocolates you were sampling.  And you just got to eat.  Like as much as you wanted.  But here’s how they getcha, they start with the basics, you’re eating little miniature versions of their basic bars, milk chocolate, dark, milk hazelnut, dark with honey and nougat, etc, then you round the bend, white chocolate, raisins, truffles, then on to the homestretch and THAT’s where the variety boxes are.  So from sampling one chocolate per tray suddenly you’ve got seven PER tray.  I’m ashamed to admit but I just gave up.  Celina and Martin’s step sister Chantelle figured out halfway round that if they shared each variety they could have them all.  They did not share this information with me and I will resent it forever.

Then we wandered through the chocolate shop and lemme tell ya, they could have charged fifty francs for a glass of milk and we’d have paid it.  Holy crow.  Just rich, sugar shock, diabetes blood coursing through our veins.  They have a chocolate themed playground on the way out which is genius because you need those kids to burn some energy off before packing them into the car.  I was too disappointed to play because I didn’t see one Oompa Loompa and apparently the best chocolate is not stirred by waterfall but rather than a guy named Fritz in a lab coat and a hair net.

We chugged up the mountain a little further, past picturesque green fields, old Swiss buildings and beautiful vistas to the actual town of Gruyeres.  One more factory tour, but this time of the Gruyere cheese factory.  Gruyere is one of my favorite cheeses in the world.  It’s sharp and creamy and deep and melts well and goes with lots of things.  This tour was much shorter and they gave us our samples of cheese beforehand so we could eat it on the way home (we didn’t, foreshadowing!)  I now know that it takes like a billion gallons of milk to make an amount of cheese, and that the process involves more guys named Fritz wearing basically the same thing only with the snazzy addition of white rubber Stormtrooper boots.  There’s milk, rennet, stirring, hoses, pressure, filtering, then this super cool robot turns the giant rounds of cheese to cure them, then I eat it.  That’s that.  I was still pretty high from the chocolate.

We climbed up the hill further to the medieval walled town itself.  Built in the 1100’s, also known as the eleventy’s, it looks like Harry Potter land at Universal Studios Florida, only I’m going to say thirty times more authentic.  There were turrets and crenellations and ramparts and all the cool castle stuff you learn about when building lego.  It’s now a respectfully developed tourist town with three thousand fondue restaurants and little churches and gift shops and the like.  Prior to entering the castle though there is one of the strangest non-sequitur’s I’ve encountered.  This is a castle village built on top of a mountain in the eleventy’s.  Yet, suddenly there is a cafe/bar with giant alien vertebrae framed windows, shelves filled with teeny baby heads, giant Alien skeleton tables and chairs.  Turns out H.R. Giger is from here.  The guy who created the Aliens artwork.  There’s an extremely lascivious sci-fi alien humpy hump museum right next to a lovely church.  Sure.  Why not?

After walking around the walls of the castle we felt we’d somehow earned a meal so we chose a fondue restaurant at random (when in Rome, eat Swiss cheese as they say) and sat down with Martin’s father as our interpreter/guide.  Sitting in the dining room along the window, looking out over the ancient town, the stunning mountains, and a steep grassy hill which slowly became entirely populated with deer that were likely hired by the Swiss Tourism Board, we ordered two fondues (each is for two) and two raclettes (same) and one plate of cured meats.  The fondue comes in one pot, a giant, fragrant bubbling pale golden gooey mess.  Accompanying it is a basket of bread which never runs empty.  You tear pieces of the bread, use your fondue fork to stab it, and then you give it a twist in the cheese.  It’s not thin or soupy like I somehow expected, it is completely melted but instead of coating the bread it completely obscures or envelops it.  It’s almost like a non sticky marshmallow, but the same consistency.  Curiously when it cools on your plate it doesn’t stick to it.  We also learned never to drink cold water with fondue or it will congeal in your guts and you’ll die.  I’ve dramatized the end there a little for effect.  Instead you drink an extremely acidic swiss wine to cut the fattiness of the cheese.  To say the least it was divine.

Raclette though, holy crow, RACLETTE!  I’ve never had it.  If you haven’t here’s how it goes.  In this establishment a heavy electric desk-lamp object is plugged in on your table.  It’s like a desk lamp but instead of a lightbulb there is a heating element like what you would find in an electric stove.  Below that is a metal plate with wooden knobs that swivels to either side on a little arm.  On this plate, which adjusts closer or further from the heat source as you like, is placed a brick of cheese.  Shaped like two pounds of butter or like an actual brick I guess.  Every person at the table is given a long stemmed utensil with a squat curving blade at the end.  We are also given a small wooden basket of baked potatoes, pearl onions and pickles. After two or three minutes the top few millimeters of cheese melts (it has a rind which helps it maintain it’s shape) and you swivel the metal plate towards you, lift your plate (with your potatoes, pickles and onions on it) underneath the edge, and using your knife you scrape the top melty gooey layer off the brick and onto your waiting food.  Then you eat the heck out of it.  Raclette is a semi firm cow’s milk cheese which is similar but not the same as Gruyere.  Eat it.  Do it.

After that amazing meal of approximately all the cheese ever we jumped back in the car and all fell asleep, except the driver against all odds, and then disembarked and slept until the middle of the evening when what else could we do but make leftover turkey dinner sammies.  Right?  RIGHT!?

Next installment to come!

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Christmas Day in Geneva!

After completing an amazing six week job in Louisville, Kentucky(more reflections to come on that in the New Year!), Josh and I hopped on a plane and now find ourselves in Geneva, Switzerland. We’re embarking on my dream vacation over the next three and a half weeks: Switzerland, France and Italy. Holy jeez! ImageInspiration for our trip? Our best friend Martin invited us to holiday with his family in Geneva, where his father is finishing out eight more months of his four year post here as a Canadian Ambassador.

We arrived just after noon on Christmas morning and were picked up from the airport and whisked to the Ambassador’s residence where Santa had somehow found us and left us a heap of prezzies (including black salt for me and a Swiss army knife for Josh. What the?!? Santa, you’re a real dapper Dan). Tourtierre for lunch, a two hour nap, and then champagne, duck fois gras and crudités during the cocktail hour, followed by a New Zealand Chardonnay, then a Bourdeaux from the 1970’s to go with our roast turkey, sweet potatoes, broccoli mash, roasted potatoes, baguette… and finally a sweet Sauterne paired with hand made Bailey’s truffles, lemon tart and chocolate roll and cookies and… and then Bailey’s… and…  good lord. All served on beautiful Wedgewood china from England- made expressly for the Canadian government.

The house sits on Lake Geneva, and on the clear Christmas Day that we arrived, and this morning as I sat by the window typing this, I could see Mont Blanc rise up from behind it. The home is lovely and impressive to say the least, and comes with a Raclette kitchen that I haven’t even seen yet (and don’t even know what that exactly is) to say the most. Our hosts are the kindest, most generous people, and I endeavor to have an opportunity to return their kindnesses.

We’re off to spend the day in Gruyere, where I expect to find the cheese. And an alien museum.

Listen. If the jet lag doesn’t get me, being thrust into the throng of large amounts of delicious food and drink just might, but don’t worry guys, I brought my draw-string eatin’ pants and a can do spirit.

 More travel food updates to come anon!
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Cratchiting and Cooking in Kentucky

it sure is pretty here

Greetings from gorgeous Louisville, Kentucky! 11 days ago I arrived to take part in a splendid production of A Christmas Carol at The Actors Theatre of Louisville. I’m playing Mrs. Cratchit and aside from the fact that I’m missing my fella and my pup like mad, I couldn’t be happier to be here, doing what I love.

Here’s the challenge when I work away from home for any length of time: staying on a schedule, and a budget. It’s pretty easy to let myself go and pretend that I’m away at summer camp with my super swell cast and crew, because, well, it’s actually kinda like that. This is when being in this business is THE BEST. Yes, there truly is challenging work involved, but there’s also seeing other theater in town, late night bourbon, betting on horses at Churchill Downs and doing it all with a fantastic group of new friends. Not bad, right? But guys, I’m totally a grown up. How can I reconcile my desire to stay out late and drink mint juleps with my need to keep some amount of healthy structure in my life? By exercising regularly and trying not to eat like an idiot, of course! My goal while here (aside from BEING THE BEST MRS. CRATCHIT I CAN BE… ah, life!) is to prepare most every meal I eat, save for a weekly blow out dinner at one of the many amazing restaurants that Louisville has to offer. Not only that, but it can’t be just sandwiches and salads and pre-prepared things… I have to cook proper dishes made from real food, and make them meatless (I save the meat for restaurant day. Hey Proof burger, tonight I’ve got my eye on you. Coming to Louisville? Get to Proof, stat. I’ll be devoting a whole post to the fun finds, food and other treasures that I’m discovering in Louisville, so stay tuned!).

The other challenge? My kitchen. I’ve been put up in a fantastic 100 year old apartment building that’s so charming, I can hardly stand it. High ceilings, gorgeous wood floors, deep tubs- it’s well cared for and delightful and also there’s complimentary homemade baking every so often in the lobby because apparently that’s the way they do in the south. What’s not to love? Well, maybe my kitchen? Nothing! Each unit in this 10 floor structure seems to be a little different from the next, and this year, my kitchen is well, petite. It’s a closet. But I’ve got four burners and an oven, and it turns out, that’s all I need. Yep, I miss my food processor and my mixer, my good knives and my cutting board. I’m missing access to my spice cupboard and various oils and vinegars and the convenience of having my car to get all the things that I’m missing. But I’m discovering that I really don’t need any of it. With simple ingredients and a little time, I’m eating… really really well.

Some things I’ve cooked so far: kale chips, granola, kale salad (I know, I know, I just love kale, leave me alone), mushroom fried rice, french toast, mixed lentil soup… all of it quick, easy and so stinkin’ satisfying. Thanks to Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks for having arguably the best meat-free blog on the internet- most of my cooking while here has been inspired by her recipes. The two I’m going to share with you below are riffs on recipes I found there.

The Simplest Ever Homemade Bread (inspired by Easy Little Bread from 101 cookbooks):

You can do this, yes you can! It’s a sure way to feel like a champ and have the house smell a treat as well. Butter it or top it with goat cheese, use the left over dry pieces for french toast- you’re gonna love this easy little charmer.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups warm water

1 packet rapid rise yeast

1 tbsp. agave (or honey is fine too! I just use what I have kickin’ around)

*2 cups white flour

1 cup oats

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. butter, melted, for oiling the pan

Preparation:

1) Pour packet of yeast into warm water. Once it dissolves, add agave and let sit for 5-10 minutes until a foam forms.

3) Measure flour and oats into a large bowl, add salt. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix well with a spoon.

4) Pour the dough into a greased loaf pan, or whatever you have. (I found a small enamel pot and my loaf came out lovely and round).

5) Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for a half hour. Heat oven to 350 and bake bread for 35-40 minute. Broil for an additional few minutes to brown the top.

6) Remove bread from pan to prevent it from steaming, and serve warm, with just a ton of salty butter, if you know what’s good for you.

*The original recipe calls for a cup each of white and whole wheat flour, but my arms didn’t want to carry two sacks of flour home from the ghetto Kroger (the closest grocery store to my apartment, totally fine if a little rough around the edges.) This recipe is simple, forgiving and delicious. GO! Make some bread!

the easiest bread you'll ever make, ever

Mixed Mushroom Soup (inspired by Mixed Mushroom Chowder from 101 Cookbooks)

This is perfect rainy day soup. Leave out the tofu and add cooked barley or rice, leave out the curry powder and red wine vinegar and add soy sauce… I used the things that I had around and you should too. Because, just yum, guys. Just yum to the max.

Ingredients:

4 tbsp. olive oil, or butter, or a combo of the two

1 lb mixed mushrooms, cut into small pieces

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 small red onion, diced

1/2 pkg. firm tofu, cubed

1 tbsp curry powder

6 cups vegetable stock

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. sesame oil

salt, pepper to taste

Garnish with cilantro and add a scoop of greek yogurt to your bowl, if desired.

Preparation:

1) Heat 3 tbsp. oil in large pot. Add mushrooms, season with a tsp. of salt and cook for 8 minutes.

2) Remove mushrooms to a plate, add remaining oil and sauté onion for 2-3 minutes. Add cubed tofu, season with curry powder, 1 tsp. of salt and pepper and continue to cook for 3-4 min longer.

3) Add stock, more salt and bring to a simmer. Add mushrooms and vinegar and simmer for 10 minutes. Add sesame oil and check for balance- season with more salt, pepper,  sesame oil, and vinegar as necessary.

4) Serve up a bowl with a tbsp of greek yogurt and bit of fresh cilantro, if that floats your boat. Eat with above Simplest Ever Homemade Bread and be happy!

mixed mushroom soup

Spooky Supernatural Tricks and Treats

Happy Halloween! I’ve got a couple three quickies (YOU know what I mean! Ungh!) for you to try out. One that will basically absolve you of any guilt that you might be feeling regarding that package of “fun sized” peanut butter cups that you purchased a week early and then proceeded to polish off before the trick or treaters knocked on the door, forcing you to to turn the lights out and go to A Frame for dinner and rationalize that no kid is going to find your funny little back house anyway. Another recipe, well, because I made some this morning and am always smugly pleased with myself when I do (but you’ll need a food processor). And a cute third recipe. I like cute things a lot (have you met my dog?) and I could forever live off of all the things that go into this assemblie (I’ll call it that: it’s not really a recipe). None of these three have much in common except that they’re just so speedy to put together. And they’re all sorta kinda a little bit guilt free because of how super natural they are. Booooooooo.

Kale Chips! (the guilt absolver)

I like salty snacks. These snacks make me feel like a champion. They taste great (for reals, yo), and there’s just nothing bad to feel bad about when you eat them. Get ready for some rocket science.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of kale

2 tbsp. olive oil

salt, to taste

Preparation:

1) Preheat the oven to 350.

2) Wash and dry kale, then remove tough center rib and tear into bite-sized pieces.

3) Toss with oil and salt.

4) Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until edges begin to brown.

5) Allow to cool, then dig in. Kale chips! Crrrrrunch!

*you can jazz this up with some chili flakes, soy sauce, whatever seasoning floats your boat.

Peanut Butter

Right? So easy! You just need a food processor.

Ingredients:

1 pkg. peanuts, salted or dry roasted or plain or whatever

2 tbsp. peanut oil (I use grapeseed, it’s always in my kitchen)

a squirt or two of agave or honey, to taste

Preparation:

1) Dump peanuts into your food processor and turn it on. It’s noisy folks! Just bare with it!

2) Drizzle oil then agave through the top while the peanuts get smooshed up. Let’er rip for as long as you like, the longer, the smoother. (It won’t get perfectly smooth, but I don’t mind a bit of texture).

3) Done. Spread on everything. Homemade buns. Your husband’s buns (zing!). Works great in cookie recipes.

Cute Little Cocktail Caprese Salad

Bring these to a party! Or just make them and throw a little party, for your mouth.

Ingredients:

Cute skewers (those bamboo ones with the little knots at the end are good)

Cute little balls of bocconcini in oil and italian seasoning (if you can only find the kind in water, drain the water, pour olive oil over top and add some basil and oregano, fresh or dried)

Grape Tomatoes

Basil leaves, washed

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

1) Toss tomatoes with bocconcini and oil. Season with salt and pepper, fairly liberally, since this will be where most the the flavors come from.

2) Skewer alternately a tomato, a bocconcini ball, a basil leaf (fold it accordion-style and stab it with a skewer), another bocconcini, another tomato.

3) Serve and eat ’em up. Yum yum, gimme some.

Big City Sandwich and Bluebird Cakes Pop Up

Dear Jack Skellington, for Halloween this year I would like a time machine to travel back to Edmonton last Sunday.

My brother-in-law knows his way around bold flavors and meat (and how!), which has led him to follow his heart and chase a dream- to open a gourmet food truck in Edmonton: Big City Sandwich. You get the idea… he’ll sell super deluxe sammies all around Festival City for as long as weather permits. Yeah yeah, another sandwich truck, what’s the big deal? The big deal is that a) food trucks aren’t yet a big deal in Edmonton and b) that wouldn’t matter anyway because these aren’t sandwiches for the faint of heart. Chris Delaney brings his love for meat, for BBQ, and for obsessive research and testing, and sandwiches it (see what I did there? Boom!) between the most delicious, thoughtfully selected buns, then serves up some crazy good times on the side. The man is an infectious slab of pure joy, and it tells in his culinary offerings. But it’s not cheap to buy a food truck, no siree. In an effort to raise awareness (and funds!) for his New Year endeavor, Chris Delaney has been “popping up” at local Edmonton restaurants. He shows up with his ingredients,a crew, and a game plan, and takes over an established restaurant that’s generally slow or closed for the evening: food profit goes to him, drink profit to the establishment, done.

Big City Sandwich popped up at the delicious and well respected Packrat Louie last Sunday, and to great success. Beef brisket sammies with bacon jam, topped with Delaney’s signature jalapeño popper. Fresh cut fries sprinkled in “bone dust.” Oh folks! Cap the evening off with my sister-in-law Amanda’s pumpkin whoopee pies from Bluebird Cakes, and you’ve got yourself an epic win! 168 meat sammies were sold, 10 vegetarian, and the whoopees sold out. (You’re maybe going to get tired of hearing me sing Bluebird Cake praises, but you shouldn’t. Guys. The things that this woman can do with baked goods will haunt. Your. Dreams.)

Last month, Big City Sandwich debuted their pop up at the Bend, to the tune of Cuban Pork Sammies (oh, holy hell- toasted bun, swiss, pulled pork, candy caramelized onion, sour pickle, spicy mustard, jalapeño popper), bone dust fries with a side of chipotle mayo, and some sweet and cool slaw. Bluebird rocked out some red velvet whoopees, and Josh and I were fortunate enough to be assistant Bluebirds in the baking of the 160 tiny temptations, then served as line cooks on the night of the big event. It was a bit of a dream come true, and the evening was a raging success.

Congrats to Big City Sandwich and Bluebird Cakes for getting it done, and in an old school way. (If you’re reading this and happened to be there, leave a comment and let me know how delicious it was). I’ll keep you posted as to where their next pop up attack will be- I don’t want to miss it, but without my Halloween time machine, I don’t like my chances. So please, oh oh plea- ea- ease… go for me?

A visa, some pizza

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I have obtained another coveted 3 year 01 visa. It wasn’t easy to get. I’ll save the song and dance for a proper catch up face to face with wine!, but needless to say, I’m back in Los Angeles. The timer started 11 days ago. I figure I’d better make the next 3 years count.

Here’s an interesting statistic: auditions since returning- 0. Catering gigs (for my best buddy, so it only barely counts)- 1. I might love food more than what I came to LA to do. To act. I definitely love food more than twiddling my thumbs and waiting: for auditions, jobs, to grow up, have babies, to figure it all out. I love cooking with and for my fella and friends, and I’ve had the happy pleasure of guest blogging about it for my dear chum Jewel at Happy Opu (Yes yes, that Jewel. Sci-fi babe and actress extodinaire. Girls, guys, believe the hype. She’s your dream, I promise. She cooks like Betty, orders and eats like Veronica and does it all with a wine in her manicured hand and a cocker spaniel nipping at the scraps by her Jimmy Choos.) She’s been the best cheerleader a girl could have, let me tell ya, and among many other things (all involving wine), she’s inspired me to write this blog.

Tonight, we, the Dean Team, made pizza for dinner. Dear god (Martha Stewart), thank you for your pizza crust. Why? Because it’s just the fastest and easiest food processor recipe you could hope to whiz together. Top that good ol’ good ol’ basic dough with some leftover stinky blue, mushrooms and prosciutto from your best pal’s bon voyage soiree and Thursday night becomes a little Visa pizza party for two. In the mouth region.

Dough Recipe (Martha Stewart):

1 c warm water

1 pkg active dry yeast

1/4 tsp sugar

2 & 3/4 c flour (I used 1 & 1/2 c wheat and 1 & 1/4 c white)

1 tsp salt

1 & 1/2 tbsp oil

Preparation:

1) Whiz the flour and salt together in the food processor to combine.

2) Sprinkle yeast and sugar into warm water, stir with a fork and allow it all to bubble bubble toil and trouble for 5 minutes.

3) Pour oil and yeasty water over flour and pulse together until a ball is formed in the machine. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knead 4-5 times, and form into a smooth ball.

4) Lightly oil a bowl, put dough inside, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 40 minutes.

5) Punch down, knead 4-5 times, and return dough ball to plastic wrapped bowl for another 40 minute.

6) Punch down again, divide dough in half, cover one for a later use (like a half hour after you digest the first pizza, you glutton) and let other half rest for five minutes before rolling into your  crust shape.

BBQ Blue, Mushroom Visa Pizza

Some olive oil

1/4 lrg onion, finely diced

Some more olive oil

1/4 lb of your favorite mushrooms (we used a combo of shitaki, diced portabella, and plain ol’ button)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

a splash of white wine, whatever you plan to drink

salt and pepper

2 pieces proscuitto, cut into strips

1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded

healthy handful arugula

4 big basil leaves, torn

Preparation:

1) Get Josh to light up that grill and let it get hot (the grill guys, the grill… keep it clean! For now).

2) Saute onions in a generous glug of olive oil until translucent and cooked through. (you could spend a half hour and caramelize them, yum, but we were too hungry to wait).

3) In a different pan, saute mushrooms and garlic over medium heat for 5ish minutes. Splash in the wine, make sure it boils or the pizza’ll taste all boozy, let the mushrooms absorb, season with salt and pepper, add chopped proscuitto. Cook another minute, then remove from heat.

4) Bring onions in oil, blue cheese, mushroom mix, mozzarella, arugula and basil out to the grill area.

5) On parchment paper, roll dough to a size that will fit on your grill. Bring rolled out dough, still on its paper, outside.

6) Remove paper (look ma, it doesn’t stick!) and place on hot grill, but turn it down to medium right away. Tss! (that’s the sounds it’s gonna make). Cook dough for approximately two minutes (until you see happy grill marks, but not too deep or dark), then, using tongs, grab a corner and flip it onto the raw side.

7) Work fast now! Spread onion and oil mix on crust, followed by blue cheese, mushrooms, mozzarella, arugula and torn basil. Close the lid of the Q for a few minutes- the time it takes for cheese to melt, crust to crisp, and also to run inside and grab a big cutting board or plate.

8)Remove pizza from grill onto cutting board, have your partner carry it in while you grab all the pans and bowls from prep.

9) Get Josh to cut the pizza while you clean the kitchen faster than a tornado.

10) Pour yourself a glass of Demetria Chardonnay, turn on the Edmonton/Minnesota hockey game, and enjoy your Visa Pizza with the one you love. Let it get hot.  Bedwise.