Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Check Mate or Why I Grilled Pizza

 There are a few things you need to know before I tell you this story. Background information so you get how it all came about.

First: When it comes to meals, my kids are . . .  well . . . still kids. That cr@p they tell all moms so they don't lose their minds about kids' food dislikes diminishing and likes expanding? Bull. And, FYI, they don't get any more diplomatic about what they dislike either. If you're going to torture them with a dinner of . . . say for instance . . . fish or chicken or pork or . . . anything other than steak or lobster, then it's open season on you.

Also: My boys are complete opposites. In pretty much every way. I wrote about it just a month after I started blogging in a post about the Zombie Apocalypse called A Sense of Balance (which, btw, is my mom's favorite post of mine ever). Anyhooo . . . it's not so much that they don't work well together as that they don't work together at all. They like and respect each other, but they don't hang out.

OK, you're up to speed.

Manipulation. It's a very interesting concept. An art, really. When a parent first starts to understand its value, is a beautiful thing. A  light bulb going off in their head. Such an amazing strategy, really. You can talk, beg, reason, cajole, yell, demand, punish. OR you can manipulate. And it's fun. Like a game of chess, your child makes one move and you make another. But they're just reacting and you're thinking 3 moves ahead. Who can outmaneuver who? Easy when they're kids.

CheckMate or Why I Grilled Pizza: parents vs kids, a humorous look at who outmaneuvers who | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #family

But they aren't always little kids and here's the slippery slope you've been slopping in. They learn the game. And then it is infinitely less fun.

Unless . . .

It was the week before school was starting and we have a back-to-school tradition in our house of making all the boys' favorite meals and treats that whole week. I talk more about this in my Blog With Friends: Back to School Traditions post.

Shocking though it may be, given what I've said about my boys and my cooking, we somehow ended up in the position of having more meal requests than days. So it came down to this: College Boy wanted pizza and PurDude wanted Leftover Night Steak Sandwiches.  

Let the manipulation begin.

College Boy: I know you have leftover Homemade Marinara, so pizza's really the easier meal. Just thinking of you, Mom.

PurDude: I know you have steak that's already cooked leftover from dinner the other night, so the sandwiches would be easy. Just thinking of you, Mom.

College Boy: You talked about wanting to try grilling pizza but that's way too much work. You could just make it in the oven like you always do, Mom.

PurDude: College Boy will be local and I'm going back to school 700 miles away. He'll still get his favorites now and then, but I'm really going to miss having all my favorite dinners, Mom.

And so it went.

Grilled Steak and Pepper Pizza: thin crispy crust with a hint of smoky flavor, topped with fresh ingredients and dressed with toppings of your choice | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #grilling #dinner #pizza

Grilled Steak & Pepper Pizza
Grilled Steak and Pepper Pizza: thin crispy crust with a hint of smoky flavor, topped with fresh ingredients and dressed with toppings of your choice | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #grilling #dinner #pizza

The next night I walked in from the grill with the tray of Grilled Steak and Pepper Pizzas in my hand. From all the way upstairs I could hear the boys all proud of themselves:
College Boy: See, I told you we could get her to make pizza on the grill!
PurDude: See, I told you we'd get pizza AND steak and peppers!

You have learned well, Grasshopper(s).

Hubs, who knows I'd planned on trying this Grilled Steak and Pepper Pizza for days, takes the tray of pizzas from me and puts it on the counter.
Me (in a whisper): See, I told you I could get them to work together.

Check. MATE.

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Grilled Steak and Pepper Pizza


Ingredients (makes 3 pizzas):
1# pizza dough (I use a defrosted loaf of Rhodes frozen bread dough)
1/4 cup flour
2 TBSP cornmeal
6 TBSP olive oil
1 cup marinara, my Homemade Marinara recipe HERE 
3 TBSP grated parmesan
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
6 sliced of provolone, cut in half
Steak and Peppers, my recipe HERE
OPT toppings: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced black olives, pickles

*NOTE: If using Homemade Marinara, you can make it that day or the day before, but have the sauce ready before you start to make your pizza. Make the Steak and Peppers ahead also, and be sure to drain very well.
*Divide the dough into thirds. Mix the flour and cornmeal onto your counter and roll out each of the dough thirds until very thin. Rectangles fit well on the grill. Mine were 12" X 5".
*Cut out and grease 3 pieces of parchment paper large enough for each crust to fit on. Place one crust on each and move them to a baking sheet for transport to the grill. With a pastry brush, paint the tops with half of the olive oil.
*Before turning your grill on, spray the grates with on-stick spray. Have your topping ingredients ready.
*Heat the grill to medium high.
*Take the cookie sheet out to the grill and, using the parchment paper, flip each pizza crust, oiled side down, onto the grill. Discard the parchment paper and quickly paint the tops with the remaining olive oil. Lower the heat to medium and close the grill. Checking every minute, allow to cook until the bottom browns.
*Gently flip the crusts and immediately spread with the marinara, then the other ingredients in this order: parmesan, mozzarella, provolone slices, pepper steak. Close the grill lid again.
*Checking every minute, cook until the bottom crust has browned and the cheese is melted.
*Top with shredded lettuce and/or any other toppings of your choice.


  1. Replies
    1. Honestly wasn't sure I'd be able to do it, thought I'd burn it or not be able to flip it or even get it off the grill, but I'm SO glad I tried it.

  2. Steak pizza is my favorite pizza. You've taken it to a whole new level.

    I pride myself with be decent at chess.

    In our house, Whit is the Chessmaster. I'll get the title back. Soon. I hope.

    1. Yeah, kids learn well and take over the title, but we get it back. . . or keep trying anyway.

  3. Ha! They can never get one over on you! I'm on my phone so I'll have to come back and pin and share in a little bit, but I definitely have to try this!...or rather get the hubby to since the grill is off limits to me. I burn to easily...usually me!

    1. I bet you love it. This was so good and easy too since so much of it can be done in advance.

  4. Oh!! This is GREAT!!!! LOVE IT!!!!
    Too funny!!

  5. Awesome job, Mom! :-) It sounds yummy, too!


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