How messy is your house?
Christmas morning we cleared up all the paper and big boxes, but they are still stacked up waiting for someone to move them. The problem with having Christmas is Summer is there is no chance of throwing the extra cardboard and paper on the fire. Although knowing Stew and I the boxes may remain stacked somewhere until Winter so we might yet burn the Christmas debris 😉
So the rubbish is contained but the house is still a mess. I could have cleaned it up this morning, but I chose to have a water fight with the new water guns and remind myself how rubbish I am at swing ball, whilst trying out the boys new equipment. I am at least a little better than Mr 7 so I still have a chance of winning 🙂
I suppose in all honesty I could be tidying up now. Everyone, young and old, is entertained with their Christmas toys, but hey it's a holiday so I am sat at my laptop. I thought I'd get a post written whilst I drank a cup of coffee.
We had a great Christmas. Mr 7 was up around 5 but he had to wait for his brother to wake up. Mr 4 decided to have a lie in and didn't surface until after 6. After that it was pretty hectic.
When I was a child we opened our Santa stockings before breakfast. Then breakfast with bacon sandwiches topped with melted cheese, fresh orange juice and then we could go into the living room and check out the larger presents that Santa had brought. The presents under the tree from family and friends weren't opened until after lunch. We always took it in turns and unwrapping Christmas presents lasted most of the day. My parents used to write cryptic riddles and clues on the tags of their presents to each other. As a child I didn't appreciated the fun and humour as much as they did, but as an adult I wish I had the kind of mind that could write exceptional cryptic clues.
We try to do a similar thing with the boys. And although the under tree presents don't always last until after lunch we do make sure that we take it in turns and get to watch each other unwrap their presents. The excitement and look on peoples faces is such a wonderful part of giving presents. And happiness comes from seeing others happy.
The boys faces were lit up all morning as they unwrapped so many wonderful things from Santa; they must have been good boys all year. I wonder if perhaps Santa had a few days when he wasn't watching 😉 or maybe the Thursday after school supermarket trips are just things that happen in my nightmares!
I had a wonderful Christmas, I got a new tripod for my camera and I was speechless and so excited when I unwrapped my main present. The one gift on my 26 Christmas Gift Ideas that I said would not be under the tree was exactly what WAS under the tree. I am now the proud owner of a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. Something I have been coveting for many years and something I though I would be coveting for many years to come. But I was wrong and it now graces my kitchen.
You might think I'd be sharing a recipe that uses the new stand mixer. Nope 😉 I used it this morning to make pancakes, but the recipe I want to share with you is a great way to use up Christmas leftovers. It is also the perfect dinner to eat whilst you watch those new DVD's. This is a Christmas leftovers pizza. A creamy base topped with turkey, ham, mushrooms, red onions, cheese and fresh herbs. I did use the mixer to make the dough 🙂
This is truly delicious and if you don't have leftovers you can still enjoy it by using chicken and bacon. The cheese can be anything you have left over. Traditional mozzarella works well but a hard crumbly cheddar or a soft brie or camembert are equally as good. A blue cheese would also be delicious.
The creamy base sauce is a mixture of whatever you have leftover or to hand. I like to mix a bit of cream cheese with some thick cream and a small handful of grated cheese. This gives a nice creamy sticky base sauce that stops all your toppings slipping off when you take a bite. You could use left over crème fraîche, mascarpone or ricotta. Or even scoop out some of the cheese sauce from the leftover cauliflower cheese. Really anything goes. If you are totally struggling I have included a recipe for a small portion of béchamel sauce at the bottom of the recipe.
Due to the creamy base I tend to pre-bake the pizza bases so you get a nice crispy base when you eat it. This is something I have been doing more and more with our Friday night pizzas. The difference is great and well worth the extra time. You don't want to cook it completely, just enough that the topping sit on top rather than sinking and melting into the bread base.
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- One portion of pizza dough
- 4 tablespoon creamy base sauce (See recipes below)
- 100g turkey
- 75g ham
- 5 button mushrooms
- 2 tablespoon sliced red onion
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme (or herb of your choice)
- large handful of grated cheese (See above for types of cheese)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan forced/Gas mark 6
- Roll out your pizza dough until you have a pizza about 25cm in diameter. Don't worry too much about the shape or size, you just want to make sure the pizza base is nice and thin.
- Slide the pizza base onto some cooking paper and cook for 5 minutes until the base is just starting to colour and puff up.
- Remove the pizza from the oven. Allow to cool slightly. You can pre-bake the bases in advance. Just allow them to cool, then keep them well wrapped until you need them and use within 24 hours.
- Roughly chopped the turkey and the ham.
- Slice the mushrooms.
- Spread the creamy base sauce over the pizza.
- Add the turkey, ham, mushrooms and sliced red onion.
- Sprinkle over your fresh herbs and topped with a generous handful of cheese.
- Bake the pizza for 7 minutes until the cheese has melted and the ingredients are warmed through.
Creamy Sauce Base.
Like I said above you can use left over crème fraîche, mascarpone, ricotta or the cheese sauce from the leftover cauliflower cheese. With these you will need about 4 tablespoons worth.
To make the cream cheese topping mix the following ingredients together in a small bowl:
- 3 tablespoon of cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon thick cream
- 1 tablespoon shredded cheese.
To make a small portion of béchamel sauce:
- 30g butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 240ml milk
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan.
- Add the flour and whisk until smooth.
- Cook the sauce for 2 minutes, over medium heat.
- Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add ¼ of the milk.
- Whisk until smooth.
- Return the pan to a medium heat, slowly add the remaining milk, whisking all the time.
- Continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and thickened.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and stir through the parmesan.
- Check the sauce for seasoning.
- Allow the sauce to cool and thicken before using on the pizza.