Diversity and equality…pizza anyone?

I have previously mentioned that I have a slight love of pizza.  Okay, okay, an absolute obsession.  Thick or thin crust.  Don’t care?  White or red sauce?  Either is great!  Types of toppings?  I’m open.  Cheese?  Mozzarella / feta / goat cheese…I ain’t picky.  Meats?  Any kind are fine.  Veggies?  All are welcome!  False, almost all.  I was in Croatia and got a veggie slice.  There was corn on it.  Not so great.  Picked off the corn and the rest was great!  Being a pizza fanatic I have found ways to eat pizza when the craving hits.  Today, I share with you, the diverse ways to satisfy your pizza craving.  As a bonus, I will share my newfound way of getting a pizza hit!

My mother would occasionally make pizza for dinner.  That enchanting smell emanating from the kitchen…yummy!  Pizza night was the best!  Our parents never ordered take out food.  We never went out to restaurants to eat so pizza at home was divine.  As we got older and started going out, the quickest way to satisfy a food craving at 1 a.m. was PIZZA!  We would order a pie and eat this deliciously, hot, and satisfyingly fresh piece of heaven.  Ah, nothing like pizza.  Then one day, my view of this indelible meal drastically changed.

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I was at work and realized I had left my lunch at home on the kitchen counter.  Hungry, I went to the nearby coffee shop and heard people ordering this thing called a “pizza bagel”.  A what?  It smelled like pizza.  It sounded like pizza.  New pizza heaven!  Crunchy bagel, tomato sauce, cheesy topping.  Needless to say, I became the hero at home when I reproduced this delectable feast.  Slice the bagel in half.  Toast it.  Top with pizza sauce, cheese and your choice of toppings.  Into the toaster oven and bake for about 15 minutes.  BAM!  Lunch was served.  I shared this tidbit with many a co-worker who were grateful for this wonderful and easy way to make pizza at home for their kids.

Then, one day, there were NO BAGELS!  Trauma!  Drama!  I had promised the kiddies pizza and now…well, I had to think of something quick.  I perused the contents of my fridge and inspiration came:  Greek pitas.  Pita bread pizza is so commonplace now, but I tell you, I invented this recipe!  The reason I like Greek pitas is that they don’t have a pocket.  They have a thin crust pizza thickness too.  That day, I pulled four pitas out of the bag.  I put them side by side on a cookie sheet and preheated my oven to 400 F.  Then I told the kidlets that they could put whatever toppings they wanted on their “very own, personal pizza”.  Who was the hero now?  Woot woot!  Yes, necessity is the mother of invention.

My pizza cravings have never subsided (obviously), but I have found ways to shake things up.  I make my own pizza at home with fresh pizza dough.  I still cheat with the pita bread or the bagel version if I have last minute guests.   Now, for my latest and greatest pizza version.  PIZZA EGG ROLLS!

This idea came to me when the restaurant chain, Kelsey’s, had a summer special of reuben spring rolls.  Yes, they took the reuben sandwich filling and put it in a spring roll, fried it up, cut it in half and there was a mustard dipping sauce on the side.  Incredibly yummy and crunchy.  I took that idea and came up with:

PIZZA EGG ROLLS!

Egg roll wrappers are thicker than spring rolls wraps.  You can purchase egg roll wrappers in the produce section of any grocery store.  The spring roll wrappers are usually only found at Asian markets / grocery stores.  Egg roll wrappers are easier to work with.  They are thicker so not as easy to tear and you don’t need to have a damp cloth over them, like spring rolls, because they won’t dry out while you are filling them.  Genius right?  Thank you.

THE PROCESS:

First you grate up mozzarella and chop up pepperoni into small cubes.

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Next, in a small bowl, make an egg wash  (one egg and a bit of water and with a fork mix, mix, mix).  After that, take an egg roll wrap and put it in front of you so that it is sitting like a diamond.  Put a dollop of pizza sauce in the middle.

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Add some mozzarella and some pepperoni bits on top.

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Take the bottom corner and cover the toppings.  Tuck that corner slightly under the filling.  Then take the left corner and cross over into the middle.  Do the same with the right corner.

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On the top corner, brush some of the egg wash.  This is like licking an envelope closed (for those of you who have ever had to seal an envelope.  I’m showing my age again).  It will seal the egg roll so that it doesn’t open up while you are frying.

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Put that flap into the middle and put your newly rolled pizza egg roll onto a parchment lined cookie sheet (they get kind of sticky so it’s easier to peel them off for frying if they are on paper.

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I have a deep fryer so I fry them in there, but if you are using a pot, make you sure you put in enough oil so that it will cover your egg rolls.  Heat oil to 340 F (170 C).  Put in about 4 egg rolls (in a small pot or 6 in a large pot or deep fryer).  If you put in too many the oil cools off quickly.  Since they float, you might have to flip them to get an even crunch all over so best to have only a few to deal with.

Once they turn a lovely shade of tan / brown remove them with a kitchen spider or a slotted spoon.  Place your wonderful new delectable creations onto a cookie sheet with a cooling rack on it.  This helps to let more oil drip off AND the egg rolls aren’t sitting in their own greasiness getting mushy.

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If you are feeling brave, or are not averse to getting your tongue (or the roof of your mouth burnt) take a gloriously, satisfying bite.  The crunch of the egg roll, stretchy mozzarella cheese, the yummy tomato sauce, the bits of pepperoni.  Mmmmmmm.

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Once these cool, you can freeze them for up to three months.  They can be reheated in the oven on 400 F for about 12 minutes.  You can also take them out of the freezer and put them in the fridge to thaw.  Reheating would only take about 6 to 7 minutes.  The kids get impatient and just microwave them for about 40 seconds.  Not as crunchy, but still satisfying.

With regards to the filling, you can customize it as you would any pizza.  Peppers, onions, olives, pineapple…the pizza egg roll is your oyster.  You can even have a marinara sauce to dunk them in. If serving as bite size appetizers, cut them through the middle on a diagonal once reheated.  They will look colourful and smell absolutely fabulous.

I hope my newest pizza obsession is something you will try.  Very versatile.  Very portable.  Very customizable.  So many great options.  Yes, diversity and equality…found in pizza.

Equality for men and women…and a pair of shoes

I was just pondering this morning how much I love being a woman!  No really, I do.  I love being able to dress up and feel fantastic about myself.  I love when my hair turns out just the way I want it to.  I love it when I actually get my eyeliner on evenly on both eyes (unlike the one morning that I got interrupted and then FORGOT to complete the process…yikes!).  I LOVE…no, I OBSESS about shoe shopping!  I love gabbing and texting and emailing all my lady friends.  Now when it comes to equality, I am sure that NO man would want to be a woman’s equal.

I do realize that there are some negatives in being a woman.  Childbirth.  Yikes!  Numero uno for pain factor, but the beauty of a baby and knowing that you carried that little, helpless, child is just a miracle.  (Really, if men had to do it, every family would have only one child…that’s my theory.)  The monthly bloat visitor…yes necessary for the eventual finality of creating that bouncing, bundle of joy.  (But really, why couldn’t it last 5 minutes and let us get on with our lives?)  In many cases, it is still the designated task of women for the upkeep of a few things, namely:  child, husband, household.  Really, just three things right?  And ladies, I do believe that whenever we assign said tasks to either children or spouses they purposely do not complete the tasks to our liking so that we end up hanging onto these chores and then lovingly complain about them over glasses of wine and takeout food.  Really, where else would we get all of our interesting tales from if not from everyday life?

Men say women gossip.  They believe that the re-telling of any tale told by another female is automatically gossip.  Well, here is the definition of gossip:  Casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.  Honestly, most of my female companions confirm the details before sharing any narrative.  The truth is usually waaaaay better and more interesting than any lie you could make up.

I do recall reading somewhere that the circle of women and companionship began back in caveman days.  Men would go hunting and gathering food and the women would stay home, watching their offspring, cooking meals and basically being bored with life.  I am sure one cavewoman suddenly poofed and THAT led to the beginning of women and conversation.  One cavewoman “ugged” to another cavewoman…(a whispered “ug” of course).  Basically what she said in one quick “ug” was “can-you-believe-her-and-how-she-contaminated-our-living-space.”  Yes, I am sure it went down something like that.  Once the men got back, the women shared their tale of woe.  The men laughed and laughed.  The women became divided.  Suddenly the men were getting the cold shoulder from their women folk.  They didn’t know why.  Body poofs are hilariously funny!  The men cracked them off all the time and they kept telling their cavewomen that they should be laughing.  They really couldn’t understand what the problem was.  Then the men hunted more and stayed away from the caves more.  Some of the cavemen had to find new caves because now some of the women didn’t want to stay with the “Poofer” cavewoman or her friends.

You know those cave paintings that you see today?  The ones with all the buffalo and the hunters throwing arrows?  Well, that was the caveman’s cry for help.  Those drawings don’t mean “we hunted buffalo today”.  What they are really trying to tell us is:  “I would rather go out and hunt and get gored by a buffalo than listen to the complaints of women.”

Men and women definitely look at and understand things differently.  If you ask a man what he is thinking about and he says nothing, well, he really means he is thinking of nothing.  If you ask a woman, she will SAY, “Nothing,” but she has so much on her mind and it’s up to you to keep asking until you discover the magic word that will unlock the flood of thoughts that she has going on up there.  Men usually deal with situations as they come up.  Women, will have a situation, they will think of the outcome (many different endings mind you) in order to proactively come up with the best possible ending.  True?  Yes, it is.

Why do women do this?  Well, it goes right back to having to take care of three things:  Children, husband, home.  Take care of those three things, squeeze in jobs outside of the home, and you have the life of a woman in a nutshell.  One big, monstrous, huge nutshell, but a nutshell nonetheless.  So much to think about.  So much to keep organized.  So much to plan and preplan in order to keep this well-oiled machine of life running smoothly.

So men, we do realize that you work hard too.  We appreciate you very much.  We also appreciate when you do notice and thank us for the jobs that WE do.  We love you and we will take care of you.  (Even if you can take of yourselves, we don’t think you are qualified to do it properly or well enough).

Equality for women and men?  Not sure if it will ever happen.  Definition of equality is:  The state of being equal, esp. in status, rights, and opportunities.

Right now, I believe I have the right and the opportunity to buy a cute pair of shoes.  (Men, you really don’t understand the special status you would need to experience that kind of state of equality.