Monday, July 23, 2012

Grilled Tomato & Basil Flatbread

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I have a life-changing announcement. Well, it's really more life-changing for me than for readers of my blog, but it's an announcement nonetheless. Some may already be aware that my marital status has changed several months ago. It's always interesting to see how folks react. Do they offer apologies? Congratulations? Maybe something else? For the most part, it's been an amicable split. But rather than dwelling on the end of one thing, I'm all for the excitement of a new chapter in my life - being single again.

Before my married years, I used to hate being single. It was all about finding that one person to be your "forever, til death do us part." The pressure of getting married, starting a family, yada yada yada made me think I had a problem because I was single. Now I know better and have quite a few lessons learned tucked away in my back pocket. With a refreshed outlook on life and liberating spirit, I'm embracing being single, being a mom and being me.

Then there's the single's dating scene. It's different for everyone, but I was ready to open up myself to dating not too long ago. For me, I've always enjoyed meeting new people with similar interests {often times, it was food} and just go from there. The dating scene is no different, aside from specifically meeting others who are interested in a connection that may go beyond the average platonic friendship. And so here I am... experiencing the dating scene. It sure is a different animal walking into it 1) in your mid-30s, 2) with child, and 3) divorced. The good thing is that I can take comfort knowing I'm not the only one. Oh, and I feel the need to state I'm in no rush to jump into any serious relationship. {That is the last thing I need!}

Here's where it gets interesting. Having been on a handful of dates already, it's been a fun entertaining experience. It's been so entertaining that I need an outlet to share these experiences. I thought about creating a second blog but realistically, between a full time job, my freelance job, and being a mom to a {darling} two year old, that wasn't an option. Instead, I thought I'd try sharing these experiences on this blog. Huh? Dating and food? How does that work? Well, you can connect pretty much any topic to food and the topic of dating is no exception. Don't worry. If you enjoy the recipes I share, you can still get your daily dose. There just might be a day where you get a extra chuckle from a tidbit of my life in the dating scene.

One of the first things I've noticed being back in the single dating scene is that folks just want to grill you with questions right off the bat. It's like a pseudo job interview of your stats - your age, height, weight, occupation, education, salary range, marital status, etc. Once folks check out your stats, the questions begin. It's much more involved as you get older because people want to know you've been up to since the college years. How long have you been working? Were you ever married? If you were divorced, was it amicable? Any crazy exes to be aware of? Are there kids involved? What were the grounds for divorce? What's your visitation/custody schedule? Seriously, the questions are non-stop. It almost feels like you're in a speed round of Family Feud... and with every answer you hear or every question you ask, you're formulating a judgement call on the person. Do I like being grilled? Not at first. But after a few times, it makes it easy to determine if you want to invest time in getting to know someone.

So with being grilled on various questions in mind, here's a Grilled Tomato & Basil Flatbread that's a no brainer. It's a light meal or appetizer for the summer and the toppings are as straightforward as they come - sliced tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, a pinch of dried oregano, salt, pepper and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese for good measure.

This recipe is from Dawn Jackson, one of my clients I've done some freelance work for. She has some amazing recipes that are healthy and easy to make. Feel free to adapt this however you'd like with other topics of your choice. If you're gluten free, try finding some gluten free pita bread and use it as a pizza crust! This can be made indoors using a grill pan on the stovetop or outdoors on a grill.



Grilled Tomato & Basil Flatbread
recipe adapted from Dawn Jackson

10 ounces homemade or store bought pizza dough (or gluten free pita bread)
Cooking spray
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 12 thin slices total
12 fresh basil leaves
Dried oregano, to taste
Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese


Over high heat, preheat grill pan or grill.

Prepare by pizza
dough and roll out into 2 thin crusts. Mist one side of each crust (or gluten free pita bread) with cooking spray. Place misted crusts/pita bread down onto hot grill.

Cook for about 3 minutes until the raw dough is cooked and firm enough to hold its shape or if using pita bread, cook until toasted.


With tongs and spatula, remove the pizza crusts from grill and carefully flip over to cook the other side. 
On the cooked side, place 6 basil leaves, 6 tomato slices, oregano, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of  parmesan cheese on each crust.
Remove from grill and cut each crust into 6 pieces.

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