This year I gave some people, some people that I love very much, a voucher for a home-made pizza. This is an excellent gift idea. What could be better than having some one bake a delicious pizza from scratch especially for you? Nothing.
I was so crazy for all things pizza after my pizzalicious birthday gifts. While I was shopping with one of my bffs at World of Mirth, a beloved toy store in Richmond, VA, we noticed all these really adorable pizza toys. Ages four and up is baloney! I wanted them all! I have a small collection of funny toys already. I think I might need to quit messing around with these other trinkets and start collecting pizza toys for my future babies, or nieces or nephews and stuff.
Later in the week I was shopping with my mom and we stopped in 8 1/2 to get a pizza. Not only is 8 1/2 named after my favorite Frederico Fellini movie, but it is also the best place in the entire city to get a pizza! Their white pizza is particularly great, but mom is a red sauce kind of lady. So we got pepperoni and mushrooms with tomato sauce. I have to admit it wasn't the best looking pizza we ever laid eyes on, but it smelled phenomenal and it was so so delicious-- the best pizza I've had in a long time. Mom was really impressed. It was super cold outside so we pulled into this little park nearby and put the pizza on the dashboard. It fogged up all the windows and it made the whole car smell like a pizza. Yum!
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Well that's not really rare, I make pizzas all the time. Duh! This one is totally worth mentioning though. I used my new pizza books for inspiration, rolled up my sleeves and got to work!
Here's what you need to make this pizza and dough. It only takes about an hour to make, which is about how long it takes to get a delivery pizza anyway. I call this Garlicky Best Friend Pizza with Pesto(ish) Sauce. Enjoy!
* 2 1/2 cups of flour
* 2-1/4 tsp. (one packet) of active dry yeast
* 1 cup very warm water
* 1 tsp. salt
* 1 tsp. sugar
* 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Soften the yeast in the warm water and add salt, sugar and 2 cups of flour. Stir with a wooden spoon. When flour is mixed in, gently knead the dough on a floured surface until it is stretchy but firm. Brush the dough with extra virgin olive oil and cover it with a clean cloth. Set the dough aside to rest in a warm place for about 30-45 minutes. Once it has risen to double, preheat the oven to 400F and punch the dough down. Then roll or press it out onto a greased baking sheet. Fold over the outer edge of the dough to make the crust. Parbake the crust for about 7 minutes. Remove it from the oven and top with the ingredients below.
for the sauce:
* 3 large cloves of delicious garlic
* 2-3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
* 3 tpsp. Parmesan cheese
* 3 tbsp. Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc)
* salt and pepper to taste
Mince or crush the garlic through a garlic press into a small dish. Add herbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and let rest for about 10 minutes. Spread the mixture over the crust evenly and then top the pizza with the rest of the ingredients:
* diced tomatoes
* roasted red peppers
* a li'l bit of red onion
* fresh Buffalo mozzarella cheese
* more Parmesan cheese
* whatever else you want!
Bake at 400F for about 20 min or until crust is golden brown. For the love of GOD let the pizza cool before you devour it! You'll burn the roof of your mouth on the molten cheese lava. I shared this pizza with my best friend Kelly immediately, hence the name. Then later I shared it with my good friends Tiffany and Danny.
Yum! What's next in the pizza oven? I'm thinking Pizza Puttanesca with basil, chilies, capers, black olives and maybe some eggplant. I'll let you know how it goes. Buon Appetito!
Monday, December 8, 2008
For my birthday I received several excellent books about pizza, FOUR to be exact. Now I have five cook books. Honestly I don't know why I didn't get any pizza books sooner. What kitchen could be complete with out them? My eyes get huge and my mouth waters as I leaf through these books. They have already inspired me to make one delicious pizza from scratch which I shared with some good friends. I'll write more about that one when I upload the photos.
My sister, Maya, was responsible for 3/4 of the growing pizza library which she gave to me wrapped in a hilarious pizza pillowcase she made. heart shaped pizza iron on transfers! Be still my (pizza shaped) heart! Mom gifted the other pizzalibra and my brother gave me a sweet book about women graffiti writers. I'm sure it has pizza in there somewhere!
Here are the recent additions to the Pizza Library:
1.) Pizza: A Global History by Carol Helsotsky. This is excellent pizza book revealing not just the history of this fine food but also the fact that pizza was also once a socioeconomic thermometer, as it started out as a food commonly eaten by poor folks in Napoli etc.
2.) The Pizza Book by Evelyne Solomon. Haven't opened this one yet! I'll report back later.
3.) Pizza by Silvana Franco. This beautifully photographed book includes recipes for sauces, crusts. There are also a bunch of really delicious recipes like the classic pizza Margherita, and the unusual fresh fig and prosciutto pizza. There is even a recipe for a dessert pizza that has grilled peaches with a dark rum, brown sugar and chocolate sauce. Full color photos of each scrumptious slice. DANG!
4.) Pizza: A Slice of Heaven by Ed Levine. This is a totally fun book that delves into pizza history, especially in the United States. It includes The "Family Tree" of NYC pizza places, lots of tasty recipes and pizza praises from random celebrities- Edward Norton and the like.