My daughter and I went to the zoo today.  I hesitate to admit that this was not the first time she has been to the zoo.  We went last year when she was barely 2 months old just to get out of the house.  This time was so different.  She enjoyed herself.  She laughed hysterically at the kids running around and shrieked at all the animals.  The girl can barely crawl and she tried to climb the fence to pet the turkeys.  I never knew it could be so fun watching someone else have fun.  It’s addicting.

I was looking forward to this zoo trip for weeks.  The weather was forecasting 75 and sunny.  After the spring we’ve had (rain, rain and flooding) it was like a dream come true.  You can imagine my disappointment when I woke up to lightning and a crack of thunder.  It literally poured all morning long.  (In case you were wondering, I did pout like a 6 year old.)  We went anyway, and although the sun didn’t come out until we left (which made for the perfect ice cream excuse), we still had a lovely time with friends.

Baby at the Zoo | Jersey Up!
OMG, fish!

It did eventually get to 75 and sunny though, which is perfect weather for grilling pizza.  What?  You don’t grill your pizza?  We have found that it is seriously the only way to eat pizza.  (That is, unless you’re at Vinnie’s in Freehold.)  The crust is crispy, the cheese is gooey, and it just screams summertime.  Pair it with a cool breeze, setting sun and an ice cold beer and life just doesn’t get any better.

Roasted Garlic & Chicken Pizza | Jersey Up!
First dinner on the patio this season!

Roasted Garlic & Chicken White Pizza
Adapted from Dinner, Dishes and Dessert

1 lb pizza dough (I get mine from the freezer section.)
1 tbsp butter
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup milk (whatever % fat you want is fine)
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1.5 cups shredded chicken
1/4 cup diced red onion (I unfortunately didn’t have any on hand today)
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese (or more, if you want)
Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

1. Melt butter in small saucepan.  Add garlic and saute for about a minute.
2. Whisk in flour and mix until well blended.  Cook for a minute.
3. Slowly stir in milk and half and half.  Mix in pepper.  Cook until it thickens.
4. Remove from heat and add parmesan cheese until melted.
5. Preheat grill and pizza stone.  (We have a four-burner grill.  We put the two outside burners on high, and leave the center two off, so there’s no heat directly underneath the pizza.  It’ll burn otherwise.)  Once your stone is heated through, you’ll want to bring it in to set up your pizza.
6. Sprinkle stone with cornmeal (super awesome secret trick!).  Stretch out your dough to make a 12″ round pie.  (Um, mine was more like a square…).  Spread out sauce, add chicken, onions and cheese.
7. Grill pizza for 10-15 minutes (ours took 14).  Sprinkle with your herb garnish if you’re doing that part.

*Grilling pizza takes some practice.  We’ve burnt a few before we got it down right.  The trial and error is totally worth it!