Friday, April 22, 2011

This Week I...

...canned my new favorite jam (for this week anyways): strawberry rhubarb.

...played with some pretty new fabrics.

...hard boiled some eggs...
...and then dyed them.

Friday, April 15, 2011

This Week I...

...started making some preserved Meyer lemons.

...added more little baby succulents to my collection.

...consumed way too many chocolate Easter eggs.

...kicked some ass at bowling.

...cooked a pizza with an egg on it, even though it seemed a little odd at the time.

...enjoyed some snuggle time with this little monster.

Ok, same question as last time: how did you all spend your week?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Carbonara Pizza

I love this pizza. I love its thin crust, it's crispy bits of prosciutto, it's little bits of green onion. I love it runny egg and all. I love this pizza so much, that I want to make it Saturday night for dinner, eat the leftovers for breakfast Sunday morning, and then make it again with the remaining pizza dough Monday night.

Oh wait, I already did that.

Did I mention that I've also been trying to eat healthier lately? I'm sure a 3-day pizza diet isn't included in that. But at least we shared the pizza on Monday with my parents, which meant no leftovers to snack on, and we ate it with salad, see?
Salad negates bad diet choices, correct? Yeah, I thought so.

Make this pizza. It's yum. And totally worth a 3-day pizza binge.

Carbonara Pizza
Adapted from Sunset, February 2010

Pizza Dough
I used my favorite pizza dough recipe here
Note: this recipe makes enough dough for six pizzas, extra dough can be refrigerated for two days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Carbonara Topping

8 or 9 green onions, chopped
9 ounces coarsely chopped prosciutto
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated pecorino romano
Freshly ground black pepper
9 tablespoons heavy cream
3 eggs

If following the pizza dough recipe above, prepare dough, and let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours for the final rise.

Heat a pizza stone or baking sheet on lowest rack of oven at 550° (or as high as oven will go), at least 30 minutes (I like to let mine preheat an hour if possible).

Once dough and oven are ready, working with one dough ball at a time (keeping the rest covered), begin to assemble each pizza. Here are some helpful pizza dough shaping instructions:

To stretch dough into an 11- to 12-in. circle, first tap down the center of the ball with your fingertips to gently deflate it. Next, push it outward from the center with your fingertips. Then pick up the dough circle and, holding it under the rim, turn it like a steering wheel, letting the gravity of the dough help it stretch. Drape the dough over the backs of your hands and gently stretch outward, rotating periodically. Flop the stretched dough down onto the pizza peel.

Spread about 1/2 cup pecorino evenly over dough. Top with a third of green onions, then a third of the prosciutto. Grind on some pepper and drizzle with 3 tbsp. cream. Give the peel a good shake every few seconds to keep dough from sticking.

Using peel or baking sheet, slide pizza onto preheated pizza stone. Bake 2 minutes, then remove from oven with pizza peel or baking sheet, crack an egg onto center, gently push back into oven, and bake 3-4 minutes more. Just before serving, drag a knife through the egg to spread it around.

Repeat with 2 dough balls and remaining toppings.

Friday, April 8, 2011

This Week I...

...enjoyed a walk through the valley.

...picked up some pretty new pottery at the flea market. some garden beds ready for planting.

...canned some pickled carrots and pickled asparagus.

...devoured this book (oh my goodness it's so good).

...enjoyed a few glasses of this while soaking up some sunshine.

Happy Friday everyone! What did you all do this week?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chickpea Salad with Parmesan & Parsley

Sometimes, simple is better, no? I like to think I'm a pretty un-complicated gal myself. Especially when it comes to recipes. Some of my most favorite recipes, are also the easiest, but what they all must have in common is that their results taste amazing. Maybe simple means just a few high-quality ingredients with little fussing or fixing to let their flavors shine. Or maybe a simple recipe means a one pot meal, with not a lot of dishes to clean up. Or perhaps a simple dish, is one that takes all of five minutes to put together, with ingredients you already have laying around in your fridge and pantry.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tortilla Soup

This may sound ridiculous to all you adventurous eaters out there, but I credit the beginning of my love for cooking and food to the California Pizza Kitchen.  That's right...  Not a semester with a family in the hills of France.  Not a backpacking trip through Asia.  Not a jovial Paula Deen-esque grandmother who cooked all the classics.  Nope, for me it was my three year stint as a waitress at CPK.  Corporate, chain-ey, California Pizza Kitchen.  You see, when you're waiting tables, you don't stop for meal breaks (at least we didn't).  You pilfer ends of loaves of bread from the slicer, grab a few gulps of water out of conical paper cups (having a water bottle in the kitchen was a health code violation), and if the kitchen makes a mistake, like chicken on a pizza when the guest said, "no chicken", you eat that mistake as fast as you possibly can.  So I discovered lots of deliciousness like balsamic vinaigrette, pesto sauce, and the insanely delicious wonder known as peanut sauce.


Oh.  And this soup.  At CPK, cups of soup were one of the few items that didn't have to be entered into a computer (and paid for).  So we'd all fill up on tortilla soup before a shift started, loading it up with crispy tortilla strips and lots of Cholula.  It's one of those food memories that instantly takes me back to those superhuman nights when I could work a 9 hour shift on my feet, and then close the bar next door with my cute coworker.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Preserved Grapefruit Segments with Mint Syrup

So I canned some yummy grapefruit the other night...
...they were little segments of deliciousness...
...soaked in a fragrant mint syrup...
...tasty on their own, but oh so good with some softly whipped cream.
And then I decided to candy the grapefruit peels at 9:00 at night...
...which may not have been the best idea...
...but that's a story for another day.

Preserved Grapefruit Segments with Mint Syrup

Recipe from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff
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