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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Building from Stone (Now THAT's Traditional)

So my plans for the busted up driveway that is ahem, on top of my driveway were thwarted. Apparently although I had a vision for a large fire pit/grill in the sink hole in the backyard, my husband had a vision for a retaining wall. And as his vision was closer to the driveway and immensely more practical, he won.

So we spent most of the day yesterday (Ok, he spent most of the day yesterday, I spent about two hours) moving busted up chunks of concrete off of the pile in our driveway to the bottom of the hill adjacent to it and forming it into a rock wall.

It's actually turning out pretty good, I think. But the chunks of concrete are much heavier than they appear. Couple that with a crying baby and a whining 6-year-old, and I wimped out early. But after our 4th of July celebrations I'll be back at it. It is a great workout for the arms. And back, and legs, and.. well I have a 5 month old baby and haven't lost the weight. So I can use the toning. Besides we are recycling what would otherwise be fill, so I'm all for it.

The night before the building of the great wall of our house, M picked out mini-Asian pizza appetizers from her latest cookbook. Little did she know they would turn out not to her liking since she only looked at the picture and didn't read the ingredients. Kids! At what age do they learn to listen?

So they were pretty basic, using eggroll wrappers, ground pork or chicken, soy sauce, mozzarella, and Chinese 5 spice powder. Of course, I didn't have all this on hand, so I did some substituting.

I used:
wonton wrappers
shredded beef from my soupbones from yesterday's stock
soy sauce (low-sodium)
shredded mozzarella
canned tomatoes (completely drained)
cooked turkey bacon, shredded
shredded turkey pepperoni
shredded leftover buffalo wings
star anise
fennel seed
black pepper
sea salt

I know, I know. It seems like a big departure. But not so much really. I took the won ton wrappers and fried them up in olive oil and put to the side. I pulled the beef out of the still-going stock pot and pulled all the meat off, reserving the bones for doggy treats. I had M shred the beef and remove the fat once it cool down. I then soaked the beef in the soy sauce, ginger, cinnamon, star anise (ground), salt, pepper, and ground fennel seed. The spices were my approximate substitution for 5-spice powder. Using two cookie sheets, we laid out the won-ton wrappers and topped them. M used pepperoni and bacon (SO annoying since the other was from HER recipe.) I used the beef on all but three and put buffalo chicken meat on the other. We topped with mozzarella and a couple of bits of tomato. Baked in the oven at 450 for 5 minutes and all done. Despite my complaints about the beef, it was delicious and I really didn't mind her not eating it! And the grand bonus.. we used grass-fed beef and the entire meal which fed those of us on solid food cost about 5 bucks!

I used the leftover wonton wrappers and filled them with spinach dip and pizza dip leftover from a Tastefully Simple party (which I attended but didn't host and do not sell) and fried wontons. They were DELISH!

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