How about the cool weather finally? I got up this morning to a full-as-you-can-get pond full of water — just like I like it. I hope the fish are enjoying it too, but if not, oh well.

As all of you who are members of St. Michael’s know Father Leo is in the hospital, and I know all prayers are with him.

You all know I write columns a week early, but at the time of this writing, he is not allowed visitors. My feelings on this are when someone is in the hospital, that is not the time to go visit unless called upon to do so.

I believe even if the doctors say he can receive visitors, please don’t go. He needs all the undisturbed healing time he can get unless he wants people to come.

That really wears a person out. I know from experience, so keep this in mind.

He knows everyone loves him and a card would be just the thing to do. I love him as much as anyone, and I certainly would be the last one to show up unless he calls me and says, “Where are you?” Then I would say, “That’s none of your business.” Then I would immediately show up.

So “Leo,” quit enjoying poor health and get out of that bed!

n n n

Let’s have some recipes from Pillsbury and maybe a couple from Zatarain’s, too, if room permits.

Classic Margherita Pizza

Ingredients

1 package Pillsbury’s Best refrigerated classic crust pizza dough

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup Muir Glen organic crushed tomatoes (from 14.5-ounce can

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese pearls, patted dry

1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves.

Directions

Heat oven to 400 degrees for nonstick sheet pan (425 degrees for all other pan types). Place oven rack in low position. Unroll dough with oven-safe parchment paper onto ungreased large cookie sheet (dough bakes on paper). Nonstick parchment paper will brown during baking. Brush with olive oil.

Top crust with tomatoes and garlic. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake 17 to 22 minutes or until bottom of crust is golden brown. Top with basil.

Thoroughly pat mozzarella cheese pearls dry to prevent crust from getting soggy.

Seek out smaller basil leaves for this recipe. If your basil leaves are larger, chop or thinly slice them before placing on pizza.

For extra flavor and a beautiful garnish, drizzle with more olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.

Always read labels to make sure each recipe ingredient is vegetarian. Products and ingredient sources can change.

This would be a good pizza to help a craving for a loaded pizza that would not be nearly as healthy for you. And of course, there is no law that says you can’t add more ingredients. I would be tempted to add mushrooms at least.

Greek Veggie Pizza

Ingredients

1 package Pillsbury’s Best refrigerated classic crust pizza dough

1/2 Muir Glen organic crushed tomatoes (from 14.5-ounce can)

1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves (lightly packed)

1/4 cup chopped Progresso marinated artichoke hearts (from 6-ounce jar), drained, patted dry

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

2 tablespoons quartered pitted Kalamata olives

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves.

Directions

Heat oven to 400 degrees for nonstick sheet pan (425 degrees for all other pan types). Place oven rack in low position. Unroll dough with oven-safe parchment paper onto ungreased large cookie sheet (dough bakes on paper). Nonstick parchment paper will brown during baking. Spread tomatoes evenly over dough. Bake 10 minutes.

Top with spinach, followed by artichoke hearts, red onion, olives and garlic. Top with mozzarella and feta cheeses.

Bake 7 to 12 minutes longer or until bottom of crust is golden brown. Top with parsley and oregano.

Expert tips: No fresh oregano? No problem, Substitute 1/4 teaspoon dried. Sprinkle it over the tomatoes before topping with spinach.

Don’t skip the step of patting the artichokes dry, it helps keep the crust from getting soggy.

Always read labels to make sure each recipe ingredient is vegetarian. Products and ingredient sources can change.

Of the two pizzas, I like them both, but the Greek pizza really sounds like it would be the one for me. I love pizza!

Listen up “Leo,” I would eat this pizza with you. And I wouldn’t even fuss at you. I can just hear you saying, “Yeah, right.” But if I didn’t fuss at you, who would? That’s what we do!

I did run out of room for some Zatarain’s recipes, but they will be here next Wednesday.

If you have recipes or tips to share, or a request, send to Conversations with Gin, P.O. Box 334, Clute TX 77531, or ginscolumn@hotmail.com.

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