The Farmer ‘Artisan Pizza’ Redux

Pre-cooked pizza

Originally from this previous blog post that inspired a number of different concoctions, the subject here was the 3rd on that list. Here I am revisiting that recipe for a little refinement. While the first version included fresh basil, that lacked any authority, and was overcome by the sharp cheddar cheese. Here I dispensed with the basil, and added a bulb of roasted garlic with sliced raw jalapeno instead. As a base pizza, I used a Red Baron Cheese pizza. The crust worked out alright for this effort.

The previous attempt rated 3 out of 5 stars, this attempt I was satisfied to call it 4 out of 5 stars. The addition of roasted garlic really makes for the occasional explosion of flavor that is memorable (especially if you love garlic). I hope you might agree!

The Farmer (redux, version 3.1)

  • Ingredientsraggsjo-2399087_1920
    • Sharp Cheddar Cheese, 1/4 cup
    • Shredded Bacon, 1/2 cup cooked and dried
    • Jalapeno, 2 sliced thin
    • 1/2 Onion, chopped course
    • Bulb of Roasted Garlic cloves, peeled
  • Take frozen pizza and prepare it for dressing
  • Arrange all above ingredients on frozen pizza and place in oven
  • Check near end of recommended cooking time on frozen pizza package
  • When the crust looks done but not yet burnt, take out pizza and enjoy

Faux Artisan Pizzas

Something I do for fun is play with food–something I’ve been doing lately is that I use a frozen cheese pizza as a base, then make what ever I want on top of that. You can’t overload the crust though, or it will end up getting soggy and disappointing.

Select your starting point of a frozen pizza carefully. Perhaps most importantly, will the crust stand up to as much as you want to put on it? Will it have enough cheese and sauce on it’s own, or will you be needing to supplement that?

A couple of brands that I’ve found useful is Aldi’s Mama Cozzi 5 Cheese Frozen Pizza, and Palermo’s Primo Thin Extra Thin 5 Cheese Pizza. The Aldi’s crust is okay, but the Primo has a more delicate crunch. You may already have a favorite- there are many out there.

A final tip- if, after sitting on the stove top for a while, your pizza gets soggy anyway, pop it back in the oven at 350 F. for 5 or so minutes, and it’ll crisp right back up. It may even be better that way then when you first made it, from less moisture.

Use ingredients below as a guideline- you may or may not use everything. Drain all moist toppings as much as possible for best results– and have fun!


For a printable PDF document, click the link below


The Farmer (3.1) Redux

Image credits: 4 pages of MS Word 2007, printed to PDF, saved as images
Use of Clip Art, except large pizza picture by author for images

Subject to revision and updates as needed

Arroz y Frijoles Negros del Tomás

This recipe is far from unique, but nails many of the basics in the Mexican pallet that I know of. Cumin, onions, garlic, tomato, even a carrot for fun. I try to use most common ingredients that I have on hand so as to not make the process too complicated. Here, I prepare the Rice and Beans with a separate, simple Salsa. This way you can add as much fireworks to your beans as you like.




  • 2 cups dried Black Beans (makes 6 cups cooked)
  • 1 Gal. water, or as needed
  • 1 cup Beef (or Vegetable for Vegetarians) Broth
  • 2 cups dry White Rice (makes 6 cups cooked) (Substitute Rice Noodles, if desired)
  • 7 sliced Garlic Cloves (4 cloves for the Black Beans, the other 3 for the Salsa)
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes, sliced thin (for Salsa)
  • 2 Yellow Onions, diced (one each for beans & rice, and one for salsa)
  • 6 Serrano Chili Peppers, stems removed, sliced (for Salsa)
  • 1 Carrot, peeled and sliced thin (for Salsa)
    • 1/2 TSP Chili Powder (for Salsa)
    • 1/2 TSP Coriander (for Salsa)
    • 1 TSP dried Oregano (for Salsa)
    • 2 TSP Cumin (Cumino – 1 TSP for Beans, the other for the Salsa)
    • Salt to taste (I used about 1 TSP for Beans and another for the Salsa, 2 total)
  • 1 bunch Cilantro, rinsed and de-stemmed (for garnish)
  • Chopped Lettuce or fresh Spinach for serving bed in bowl

RICE and BEANS Directions for preparation

  • Take large pot, add water until just over 1/2 full, and bring to mild boil
  • Rinse dried Black Beans thoroughly in colander, and put them in boiling water with 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • Once the pot is boiling again, reduce heat on burner suitable to keep it at a simmer or low boil, adding 2 cups of Rice, or equivalent Rice Noodles
  • Add one of the diced Onions, and 4 of the sliced Garlics to pot
  • Check pot once in a while to monitor the water level and give it a stir so that none sticks to the bottom of your pan
  • Once your liquid achieves a certain brothiness, take a sample of a few Black Beans to see if they are cooked yet (the Beans will take longer to cook than the Rice or Rice Noodles)
  • Keep simmering until the liquid level gets down to the point you have to add more liquid, and add 1 TSP Cumin, Salt to Taste (I used 1 TSP for Beans)
  • Take your cup of Beef (or Vegetable) Broth, and pour that into the pot, stirring as you do
  • Simmer an additional 20 minutes and set aside

SALSA Directions for preparation (Can be made concurrently with Rice & Beans)

  • Take Sautee pan and coat with 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • Heat on burner until you can feel the heat on your hand near the skillet
  • Add 1 diced Onion, 3 sliced Garlics, stirring quickly so they do not burn
  • Cook until soft, then add
    • 3 Roma Tomatoes, sliced thin
    • 6 Serrano Chili Peppers, stems removed, sliced
    • 1 Carrot, peeled and sliced thin
      • 1/2 TSP Chili Powder
      • 1/2 TSP Coriander
      • 1 TSP dried Oregano
      • 1 TSP Cumin (Cumino)
      • Salt to taste (I used about 1 TSP for Beans and
        another for the Salsa topping, 2 total)
  • Monitor progress on pan and stir contents frequently to minimize burning, adding more Olive Oil only as needed
  • Once all contents properly melded and cooked, set aside after sprinkling with a handful of Cilantro and cover

COMBINING  Directions

  • Line individual serving bowls with Lettuce or Fresh Spinach
  • Take Rice and Beans pot and fill each serving bowl half to two-thirds way
  • Take Saute pan Salsa and add on top to each serving as much as you dare to

Be sure to try the Salsa before laying it on so you know how hot it is!

GARNISHING To add on top

  • Cilantro
  • Crumbled or shredded Farmer Cheese (Con Queso, optional)
  • Sliced Avocado (optional)
  • Dollop of fresh Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt (optional)
  • Handful of crushed Corn Chips (optional)
  • Squirt of fresh Lime (optional)

Thomas Gorman Aug. 4, 2017
Photo credit: Thomas Gorman

Summer Salsas 2017, No. 1


There seems to be a number of recipes vying for supremacy this season, mostly from availability of stocks. They vary from fresh to cooked, though all here follow similar themes of using alternates to traditional ingredients like tomato or sugars.

Follow me as we see what materializes.

Jalapeno Mango Avocado Summer Salsa
Primavera Fresca – Medium hot as made

  • 1 LG Diced Cucumber, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 LG Diced Mango, diced
  • 1 MED Avocado, diced
  • 3 Fine chopped green onion
  • Healthy Handful of Cilantro
  • 2 Chopped Jalapenos, 1 Ancho Pepper chopped
  • 4 Minced, Peeled Garlic
  • TBSP Honey
  • TSP Fishsauce
  • 1/2 Lime Juiced
  • 1/2 TSP Soy Sauce
  • Sprinkle of Sesame seeds to finish
  • Dash Salt, Cumin
  • Stir well together
  • Let rest covered in refrigerator overnight for best flavor

The flavors are subtle, but I was not out to burn the house down with this anyway yet. With just 2 Jalapenos I thought it was a nice flavor enough.

My experience was much improved by letting it sit overnight. The hotness evened out, and the avocado dissolved largely. While the mixture did get a bit more watery, just remember to keep it stirred periodically and serve with spoon (or fork).

Enjoy as a condiment on chips, tacos, burritos or whatever.

Pictured above: Finished salsa with decorative strips of cucumber
Photo by Tom Gorman 2017

Tom’s Taco Ensembles

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Here we find not just one, but a collection of recipes from meat, to condiments for a healthy made-from-scratch meal to satisfy all.

Look at the options below and select your favorite meat, toppings, and have a great time!


This can vary in selection due to audience or preference. Choose the meat you’d like to start with here, then move on to the guacamole and salsa sections for best results. Each result should open up in a new window or browser tab.


Try out a relatively low fat yet rich topping for not only tacos, but burritos, nachos and more here. Not spicy by design, but you can always of course add more salsa!


Salsas add life to any dish, and certainly as much ‘fireworks’ as you can stand. Join in exploring the ‘threshold of excitement‘ with one of these recipes.

Enjoy any of these combinations in taco or burrito tortillas,
corn or flour, and LOTS of guac to counter-act that heat!

What ever your preference. Who says ‘food can’t be exciting?’ 

Have fun!

Tom’s Salsa Fresca


I had thought that I already had written a recipe like this, being that my fascination with hot chilis started over 25 years ago, but oh well. When I first started making salsas, I made some toooo hot, but found adding sour cream made them edible. Here I have laid out a basic recipe that is a base for other concoctions. I have made more cooked salsas, but for something ready to go I’ve found this general formula very useful.


  • 3 cups coarsely chopped med. Roma tomatoes (this variety better for flavour)
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 2 minced large jalapeno (or 4, if you like it hot)
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice, or orange juice (not from concentrate!)
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1 TSP ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  • Add all ingredients to glass or ceramic bowl
  • Cover with plastic wrap or other item, like a plate
  • Let sit in refrigerator for 4-6 hours for fullest flavour

Then serve on tacos, burritos, with chips or eggs. An epic fool-proof topping.

Enjoy!   Thomas Gorman – April 2017

Part of ‘Tom’s Turkey Taco Ensemble’

Tom’s Jalapeno Salsa


I like the pre-marinated flavour of cooked salsas often resulting from cooking forcing things to meld.

If this turns out too hot, you can always cool it down with sour cream or plain yogurt as I’ve found.


  • 4 minced large jalapeno diced
  • 8 chopped Roma tomatos
  • 1/2 green or red bell pepper finely diced
  • 4 minced garlic cloves minced
  • 1 LG diced white onion diced
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • 1 TSP chili powder
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1 TSP ground cumin
  • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice, or orange juice (not from concentrate!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 TBSP olive oil


  • Add TBSP olive oil to preheated skillet
  • Add all ingredients above and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring as needed
  • Cook another 10 – 15 minutes on reduced heat, adding olive oil as needed
  • Once reaching desired consistency, turn off heat and let cool to room temperature
  • Place in glass bowl once cool, cover and store in refrigerator overnight for best flavour

Then serve on tacos, burritos, with chips or eggs. An epic fool-proof topping.

Part of Tom’s Taco Ensemble

Enjoy!   Thomas Gorman – April 2017

Papaya Habanero Hot Sauce


This is terribly hot as well as exciting for me! I claim no originality with this having read something like this in a few different places. All I know is that it makes me very happy, hopefully it will you to–if you like hot and sweet together.


  • 3 (4 if you like it blazing hot) habanero peppers, remove stems and retain seeds, minced fine
    [CAUTION: Use utensils or rubber gloves handling peppers. You will know pain if you don’t]
  • 1/2 to 2/3rds cup fresh papaya, mashed to a pulp
  • 3/4 cup of raisins
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 TSP ground turmeric
  • 1/4 cup malt vinegar (red wine vinegar also works in a pinch)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil


  • Heat sauté pan, and add 1 TBSP olive oil
  • Dump in all ingredients listed above
  • Stir regularly making sure that no burning takes place
  • After 5 minutes, reduce heat and let simmer an additional 3-5 minutes
  • Let cool to room temperature
  • Puree in blender or food processor
  • For best flavour, let sit in refrigerator overnight covered

Then serve on tacos, burritos, with chips or eggs. An epic fool-proof topping.

Part of Tom’s Taco Ensemble

Enjoy!   Thomas Gorman – April 2017

Tom’s Guacamole Fresca


I enjoy guac on many things, but mostly on tacos, nachos and burritos. Here is a simple recipe to hopefully satiate your desire for this wonderful food.


  • 3 small-medium avocados peeled and smashed with fork in bowl
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • 2 plumb tomato, diced
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1 TSP ground cumin
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 2 minced large jalapeno
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/5th cup almond milk for liquidity
  • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice, or orange juice (not from concentrate!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  • Add all ingredients to glass or ceramic bowl
  • Stir together well to acheive even consistancy
  • Cover with plastic wrap or other item, like a plate
  • Let sit in refrigerator for 4-6 hours for fullest flavour

Then serve on tacos, burritos, with chips or eggs. An epic fool-proof topping.

Part of Tom’s Taco Ensemble

Enjoy!   Thomas Gorman – April 2017

Tom’s Simple Turkey Taco Meat


I like simplicity when I eat. Yes I can get complicated when it comes to spices, but not when  I am working with some of my base ingredients. Here is a simple way to start off any winning taco night.


  • 1 LB ground turkey
  • 2 or 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TSP ground garlic (or 3 cloves peeled and minced, preferred)
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1 TSP ground cumin


  • Warm medium sauté pan with 1 TBSP olive oil, adding more as needed later
  • Begin browning meat, then add garlic, then spices
  • Brown meat to desired brownness or crispiness and serve
  • That’s it! I said it was simple

Then serve in tacos, burritos, with chips or eggs. An epic fool-proof starting point!

Part of Tom’s Taco Ensemble

Enjoy!   Thomas Gorman – April 2017