Asparagus, Fingerling Potato, and Goat Cheese Pizza

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This recipe comes with a pretty serious warning: once you start making your own pizza dough and keeping it handy in the freezer… you will not. stop. making. pizza.  For a long time, I thought pizza was one of those things best left to the professionals; when I made it at home is always seemed like a lot of work for something that never quite lived up to what I expected.

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So what changed?  First of all, I started making big batches of dough, dividing it up into single-pizza portions, and freezing it.  Pizza dough freezes extraordinarily well and thaws on the countertop in no time at all.  So that took the hassle-factor out of it.  Secondly, I found this recipe (from the same genius that brought us no-knead bread) in Bon Appetit last year.  Not only is it absurdly easy to throw together, but it makes some of the best pizza crust that I’ve ever had.  Baked up, it is tender, chewy, and gets perfectly bubbly, crispy edges.  Simply put, pizza nirvana. [Read more...]

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Laugenbrezel (German Pretzels)

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In your circles, do you have “inside” foods?  You know, like foods that are kind of like an inside joke, except they’re no joke at all/  A food that when you mention it, everyone gets this knowing look on their faces, because they understand that the food is more than a food- it’s a memory?  For example, if I mention say, “Pokey sticks” to my friends from college, it’s followed by a chorus of, “Oh, pooooookey sticks.” Not because they are really all that good in the cold clear light of day, but because they evoke so many fond memories of cheesy, garlicky dough in the wee hours of the morning after a rather long night out.  It’s not about the food, it’s about being transported to happy times with people you love. [Read more...]

Browned Butter Banana Bread with Blueberries

Browned butter banana bread with blueberries? I know what you’re thinking: Someone has been reading too much Dr. Seuss.  And you may be right, I have.  But, if loving alliteration (and browned butter) is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

I’ve made my share of banana bread in my day, so much so that I took a break for a while, until I came up with these beauties, then I went through a phase with those, and then needed a break again.  And now, banana bread’s time has come again, and I must say, I think this might just be it’s best incarnation yet. [Read more...]

No-Knead Bread

So, how’s everyone doing with their New Year’s resolutions?  While I sincerely wish you all the best in your endeavours, I can’t say I commiserate.  I’ve resolved to no longer make New Year’s resolutions.  Because really, things that seem like such a great idea at the beginning of January rarely seem like such great ideas by the end of January.  Heck, let’s get real- they don’t seem like such great ideas by the end of the week. 

And you know what, I’m feeling pretty good about my decision.  Because here I am, a full week into 2012, and I’m not feeling guilty about not following through with some crazy resolution.  I highly recommend it.  But all this not feeling guilty got me to thinking about last year’s resolution.  At the beginning of last year, I decided I would become the kind of person who bakes homemade bread instead of buying it from the store.  I came up with this plan that once every week or so, I’d whip up a double batch of dough (I told myself no big deal, I have a nice big stand mixer…), bake a few loaves, then keep one loaf out for the week and put one in the freezer.  Not only would I always have nice fresh bread, save some money, and avoid those nasty air-filled grocery store loaves, but I could also say the sentence, “Oh, I never buy store-bought bread; I make my own.”

I will give you a moment to stop laughing hysterically at the ridiculousness of this. [Read more...]

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

So, I promised you a few days ago that I’d share the recipe that keeps me from getting sick of zucchini at times when my garden seems to be spitting it out faster than I can handle. Without further ado, here it is… Chocolate Zucchini Bread.

I got this recipe last year from my mother-in-law, after I subjected her to my complaints about the abundance of zucchini coming from my garden. When she first told me she had this recipe, she said something to the effect of, “I used to make this for the kids all the time, because it got them to eat zucchini and it just tastes like chocolate cake.” I was skeptical that anyone could pass off zucchini bread as chocolate cake, but figured even getting close would be worth giving it a try. [Read more...]

Black Grape and Rosemary Focaccia

 

I’m a huge sucker for those food combinations that are opposites, but go together so perfectly that you wonder why they’re opposites in the first place.  You know… sweet and salty, crispy and chewy. So it’s no surprise that when I saw this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs a while back, I had to have it.  And I proceeded to save it on my computer,gaze at the pictures longingly once in a while, and justify in my head why today just isn’t the day for it.

Finally, finally, finally, the day had come.  I had things to do around the house all day, which as we all know, is the perfect kind of day for making yeast dough.  Now, before you say you don’t do things like that, hear me out.  It’s really not so bad as people make it out to be.  And the results are so delicious and worth it.  Ok, here is how I see it: there are things that take a little more effort in cooking that are worth it and then there are some things that aren’t worth it.  The worth it things, for me, include: using real chocolate in brownies, organic cage-free eggs, and homemade yeast dough.  The not-worth-it things:  expensive pepper, bottled water, table-tempering chocolate. [Read more...]