Kicking off the last week of summer with a grilled pizza

So Parker’s 9th birthday party sleepover this past weekend was a huge success.

The cake was a bit rough around the edges. The frosting didn’t behave as it was supposed to, so my “waves” looked more like smears. But in the end, all that mattered was that Parker liked it. So all good.


These birthday parties always remind me how smelly, high-energy and generally gross boys this age can be. Glad to have just one of my own. But everyone was very well behaved — and all were asleep by 10:45 p.m. The biggest miracle? They slept until 8 a.m.

By dinner last night we were pretty exhausted. So when Parker asked for his favorite pizza, I was happy to comply. I’d bought dough and toppings so that all the boys could design their own for dinner during his party. But I had extra, so Sunday’s dinner was simple.

Parker’s favorite pizza? Candied bacon (of course), cheese and a drizzle of maple syrup. It sounds odd, I know. But it’s so delicious. Like breakfast, on a pizza.

I did it on the grill, which adds such a wonderful flavor to pizza, no matter what toppings you use. Pizza on the grill does require a special approach, though it’s hardly difficult. And it is very fast.

It works like this — roll out your dough and lightly oil one side. Pop it on the grill directly on the grates. In a couple minutes it will be puffed and nicely browned on the bottom, but still kind of raw at the center and top.

Remove it from the grill and flip over. Now top it (on the grilled side) with whatever you want. The only caveat — it will cook very quickly on the grill, so any toppings should be mostly cooked before they go on the pizza. Now return the pizza to the grill, lower the heat to low, cover the grill and cook until the bottom is browned and the cheese is nicely melted.

Here’s our pizza last night. And leftovers made a fine lunch today.

Easy lunch ideas: grilled pizza topped with candied bacon, cheese and maple syrup.

By the way, to make this pizza even better I sometimes crack an egg in the center when I return it to the grill. Let it cook until just runny. Delicious!

By the way, the Buy Lunch, Get Dinner Free! giveaway continues. There’s about 20 free books left up for grabs (give or take, given my ability to count). So head over to Amazon and preorder “Beating the Lunch Box Blues,” then forward your order confirmation to and I’ll send you a free copy of my last cookbook, “High Flavor, Low Labor.”

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7 Responses to “Kicking off the last week of summer with a grilled pizza”

  1. Tammy says:

    I was thrilled to see the final product of the bday cake, I followed along the other night with your progress,and totally felt your disappointment when the icing didn’t go as planned. It happens to the best of us, and usually the kids don’t even notice. Glad the party was a hit!

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Thanks! I was tired and cranky. If I’d had my wits about me, I would have scraped it off and tried over. But I was too tired and stressed out at that point. This is why I bake just once a year! But the kids had a blast and didn’t care, so I decided I wouldn’t care, either.

  2. Lynn says:

    The cake was a great effort and looked nice. And you’re right, the only thing that matters is that it tasted good and Parker liked it. Imperfect cakes can be redeemed by taste but a perfect-looking cake cannot make a bad tasting cake taste any better, so I’d much prefer the former.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Good point! The cake itself was a pound cake that was pretty tasty. And the frosting — while not as attractive as I’d hoped — did taste good.

  3. Beth says:

    Hi. I learned about you and your lunch book from Rachael Ray’s show. My kids are all grown (just) but I am always interested in something new. So…do you still have your book “High Flavor, Low Labor”? I would love to have both :).
    I am getting ready to start a blog about cooking for one. Stay tuned.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Good for you! You probably know about Joe Yonan, the food editor at the Washington Post. He writes cookbooks for single people. They have been very well received. And you are in luck. I have two copies of the free book left. If you’d like one, order “Beating the Lunch Box Blues” on Amazon, then forward your order confirmation to And thanks!

  4. Beth says:

    I should have said, free book.