Wood burning brick pizza oven

English: A wood-burning pizza oven baking pizz...

English: A wood-burning pizza oven baking pizzas at Maurizio’s Pasta-Pasta at Brunckstraße 8 in Speyer, Germany. Deutsch: Traditioneller Pizza-Ofen mit Holzbefeuerung, aufgenommen in Maurizios Pasta Pasta, Speyer Español: Horno de leña tradicional para pizzas Italiano: Un forno a legna Svenska: Vedeldad pizzaugn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For those of you who know me, you know I owned a little pizza shop for several years. While the oven we used was a gas oven, it did have a brick (stone) floor. You really need that to make a great pizza. Right now, when I make my own pizza at home, I have to settle for using a pizza stone. A lot better than using a pan, but still not even close to what a brick oven can do for your pizza.

Imagine my delight when I was browsing Amazon’s Kindle books the other day and came across a free e-book, How To Build A Kick-Ass Wood-Fired Pizza Oven by Dylan De Luca. The book gives you some basic instructions to build, you guessed it, a wood-fired oven. The author explained that they ended up doing a lot of research and then combining various bits of DIY info to come up with an oven that worked in the space they had and for the purposes they needed. There are lots of pictures detailing the different stages of construction and even hints about making a great pizza crust (because, really, a great pizza depends on a great crust).

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page here, this is an oven that you build outside. So it will be exposed to the elements unless you build some kind of cover for it. But I can just picture this sitting on the far side of a brick patio-type area in back of my future tiny abode. When I get it done, everyone’s invited over for a pizza party!

The long and winding road to fitness, day 55

I did a little cooking today…had some adventures with zucchini…found a way to make fried zucchini (and probably other veggies would work as well, mushrooms, eggplant, green tomatoes)in the oven with no oil…yea me!!

I walked for about half an hour this morning…unfortunately that’s all the exercise I managed to get in.  I’m a little disappointed with the amount of exercise I’ve put in while I’ve been on vacation. I really meant to do a lot more than I’ve done.   It’s  been nice walking at sunrise every day, the sky has been gorgeous.

Today I didn’t  get much done around the house.  There are so many things I want to do, but I couldn’t seem to get motivated to do any of them.  I’m not even really sure where the day went…oh well, is that so terrible when you’re on vacation?  I fooled around on the computer (how do you like my new background color?  the very pale grey/green rather than the bright green?  I’m playing around with the look of my blog…let me know what you think, what suggestions you have for me…).  I read for a while…and snuggled with Spooky while I was reading…she loves that.

My eating today was decent…had that oven fried zucchini for lunch along with a slice of zucchini bread.  Dinner was a couple of pieces of focaccia and a glass of milk.  I also had oj and half a banana today, peanut butter on frozen waffles with skim milk for breakfast.  As far as calories are concerned, I did fine.  But I know I could have eaten more fruit and veggies.  Tomorrow is grocery shopping day (very early in the morning) so I’ll come back with some fresh produce…that should help me take in a few more servings each day.

I may not come home with all of that, but I want to have a little variety for when I go back to work.  How does vegetarian taco salad sound?

What in the world am I going to do with all of this zucchini?

I’ve been gardening long enough to know that even one tiny (?) zucchini plant can provide you with more zucchini than you can possibly eat.  All week long I’ve been saying I was going to do something with the zucchini on my one plant.  The abundance of zucchini on my one plant.  After being shamed (thanks, Patti) for not following through with my zucchini plans, I decided to tackle it today.  I only picked the two largest fruits on the plant, knowing full well that those would be more than what I needed for my purposes today.

So the plan was to bake a loaf of healthier zucchini bread and freeze the rest of the shredded zucchini in 2 cup freezer bags..then I can have zucchini bread all winter long.  I had printed a recipe for a healthier type of zucchini bread from backtoherroots (thanks, Cassie), so figured I’d give that a try.

So I set about shredding those monster zucchini, ended up with enough for the bread and three bags to put in the freezer.  I had some left over and decided to try oven “fried” zucchini.

The bread recipe was easy to follow and used ingredients I already had on hand…I love it when I don’t have to buy special ingredients for a recipe, don’t you?

Now on to the oven fried zucchini…when I was a kid, we ate a lot of fried foods.  That’s something I’m trying to get away from in my quest for a healthier lifestyle.  But fried zucchini sure did sound tasty to me.  Soooo…how can I get that taste and texture without all of that fat? 

I bought Panko bread crumbs a while back and had yet to open the box…so that’s where I started.  I read the box and saw a recipe for baked breaded shrimp…figured that would probably work for zucchini too. Why not?  Took a couple of eggs and beat them in one bowl.  Mixed some flour, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese in another bowl.  Then poured some of the Panko into another bowl…Dredged the zucchini rounds through the flour mixture, then dipped into egg, and patted Panko crumbs over that.  Placed on a baking sheet, baked in a 350 degree oven.  I checked them after 10 minutes, decided to leave them in for another five minutes.  Then I turned them and put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

I can not believe how seriously good these things are…crispy, tasty and so not fried…wow!!  Will I be making these again?  You betcha!!

I feel like I accomplished what I set out to do with my zucchini…that and more today…I’ve got a lot of little zucchini on that one poor plant…there has to be more oven fried zucchini in my future!