Ray’s Recipe: Joy of Pizza (Mexican, that is)

I’m in the mood for pizza, Mexican pizza that is. If I were living in New York, I’d head down to Little Italy. If I were in Boston, off to the North End. I’m of Italian descent, pizza is a marked on my DNA. At least that’s what came back when I sent a sample of my saliva for DNA analysis to Tony’s Pizzeria. I live in San Antonio, I go with the local cuisine, which by the way is awesome. Maybe I’ll a plug from the Chamber of Commerce. Then again, maybe not.

Mexican Pizza is perfect for an easy, good tasting, healthy meal. Let’s start with easy. It’s as easy as uno, dos, tres. It’s Mexican pizza, right? It’s a requirement I count in Spanish. What can be easier than a can of Bush’s reduced sodium pinto beans?

Step by step if you read directions. If you’re a guy, just go with the photos and pretend you’re reading. That’s what I do.

  1. Hold can firmly in the right hand, insert the can into the electric can opener. Turn on the can opener. Remove can. Don’t forget to recycle the top and the can when rinsed.
  2. Drain the can – caution, don’t dump the beans out when you drain the can (this warning is for absently minded challenged people – did I get that politically correct?).
  3. Put the beans in a blender. If you need a bit of salt or pepper or other seasonings, this is the time. You don’t want to do it after the dance is over. Where did that metaphor come from? Too much iced tea at lunch I think.
  4. I turn the oven on to 380 – It takes a few minutes to heat up. At the same time, I have a poblano pepper, onion, and green pepper doing the salsa in the sizzling hot pan. I toss in a bit of red crushed pepper (guy speak, toss means unmeasured, looks good, go for it).

    5. I place two, high fiber, high protein, low calorie tortilla on a baking sheet. I baste them with EVOO and zip them in the oven for two and a half minutes. This step lets the tortillas know I mean business. No fooling around. It frijole time. I smooth my bean mix over the tortillas, artistic enough to be sold at a garage sale for fifty cents if you’re into tortilla ornaments. I pace sliced tomatoes around the edges of the tortillas, basically to cover up the spots I missed with the beans. There I go, spilling the beans. Forgive the lame joke, por favor. I stick the bean and tomato covered tortillas back in the oven for three minutes to get them good and hot. When I pull the pan out, I cover my tortillas with my poplano, onions, and green pepper mix. I add non-fat mozzarella from Kraft, and put the whole thing back into the oven. Now, it’s eyeballing time. I can’t watch ESPN. I can’t check my Twitter feed. I can’t text. Well, I can do all those things, and I can do them all at once. I can even use the remote at the same time. I force myself to keep a close eye on the oven. I know it’s ready when the cheese is perfectly melted. Now how hard is that? On a scale of one to ten, I’d give it a 7. That gives me three spaces to play with.

    Finished product. I hide one pizza from view (it looks good BTW). Please take note of my guacamole (guacamole goes with everything even my oatmeal). If you make this meal, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and as much I did writing this post.

Look Back With Kindly Eyes

 Look back on Time, with kindly eyes —
He doubtless did his best —
How softly sinks that trembling sun
In Human Nature’s West — by Emily Dickinson
Now that I am dancing alone, when I pack for a flight, I try to keep it light and simple. I take all I need in one carry-on and my backpack. When my carry-on is full, it’s full and that’s it. Everything else stays behind. It’s easier that way. I don’t have to check baggage. I easily pass through TSA. Okay, I get a pat down now and then. I have to remove my shoes and belt. You all know the drill. After I pass through security, I go to Starbucks, get a coffee and head to the gate. I’m relaxed and ready to enjoy my flight and destination. Traveling alone is a teacher.
I’m learning to “Look back on Time, with kindly eyes.” The poet Emily Dickinson had it right. I’m learning to pack only good memories, and consider the rest excess baggage. I can look back and know, “He doubtless did his best.” I think knowing I did my best is a good thing. All the would have’s and could have’s and should have’s are excess baggage I’ve discarded. Here’s hoping you “Look back on Time, with kindly eyes,” too.
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