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Squash-crusted Pesto Pizza

18 Feb

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My friend Tyffanie and I were batting around ideas the other day for how to use up the winter produce that we received in our Corbin Hill farm share boxes this month. She suggested making this butternut squash pizza crust. I enjoy making pizza at home, and I am partial to making my own “no-knead” pizza crust with bread flour, but this gluten-free squash-crusted pizza looked like an intriguing and new-to-me cooking project for a too-cold-to-leave-the-house Sunday afternoon.

Who knew winter produce could look this good?! Continue reading

Mushroom Pepperoni and Mozz. Pizza with Mike’s Hot Honey

20 Dec

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Me, hovering over the stovetop to snap a picture before I dive into the pizza

There’s a bottle of Mike’s Hot Honey sitting on my desk. Honey spiked with vinegar and chiles.

This spicy honey begs to swirled on cheesy pizza and if there’s bits of oven-toasted cured meat, even better. (For more food pairings, look here).

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I made a quick, no-knead dough with a mix of bread flour and whole wheat flour. Olive oil and a dash of cornmeal go onto the baking sheet before the dough to get a nice crust with color and texture.

The dough recipe makes enough for two pizza pies.

Sauce, fresh mozz, mushrooms, pepperoni, Parmesan, fresh oregano. Top with lots of honey. Enjoy with a big salad (whoops, not pictured, but this meal definitely calls for a big salad).

I had extra toppings leftover, so I just toasted some regular, whole wheat bread, spread it with the toppings, and popped it in the oven for 10 minutes. Another easy option if you don’t want to make the dough recipe.

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Mushroom Pepperoni and Mozz Pizza with Mike’s Hot Honey

For the dough recipe, I used Joy’s version, which was based on Tracy’s version, which was originally from Jim Lahey’s book (it makes enough for 2 pizzas. You can freeze one or save it for the next day). I found the dough to be very shaggy. It ended up working, though, so just let it do it’s thing. I had to knead it one or two times to get it how I wanted.

**NOTE: This dough recipe needs about 2.5 hours to do it’s thing before it can go in the oven. Give yourself enough time if you are making your own dough.

Toppings (for 1 pizza): 

3/4 cup sauce

3-4 oz ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced

4 oz mushrooms, sliced

1/8 pound thin sliced pepperoni, cut into wedges or strips (I found pepperoni at the Whole Foods Deli, from Chestnut Valley Charcuterie)

1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded or grated

Toppings after the oven: fresh oregano, red pepper flakes, spicy honey

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 450-500 degrees F.

Oil a 13×18-inch rimmed baking sheet with olive oil, and sprinkle cornmeal over the oil. Place the 1 of the 2 dough balls on the pan and stretch and press the dough out into a flat rectangle.  If the dough springs bag as you’re pressing it out, simply wait five minutes to allow the dough to rest and then try again.  The dough should be very thin. If the dough tears, don’t worry, just press it back together.

Top the dough with sauce, cheeses, mushrooms, and pepperoni.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the edges are charred and bubbling.  Remove from the oven.  Allow to cool for a few moments then slice and top with fresh oregano, red pepper flakes, and spicy honey.  Serve immediately, with a big salad.

Cheeseboard Pizza

5 Mar


Oh Cheeseboard Pizza how I miss you. That thin and perfectly toasted dough, those gorgeous browned cheesy bits, fresh corn, lime, chile, and a garlic olive oil drizzle. Just $2.50 for the most perfect slice of pizza. And they give you a little sample sliver, too.

Sure, living in New York, I see pizza joints all over town. But none have wooed me like Berkeley’s Cheeseboard. Open 5 days a week (closed Sun/Mon) and cooperatively run and owned, this place is a win. Did I mention the live music?!

I’m kind of in love with the Cheeseboard Collective shop next door, too. The ginger cookies, any variety of the cheesy breads, and those corn cherry scones just kill me! And the cheeses, oh the cheeses. They will let you sample cheese on cheese on cheese until you find your perfect match.

I have many memories at Cheeseboard Pizza, sitting on the median lawn in the middle of the street (technically it is illegal to sit on the median, but everyone does it), soaking up the sun and enjoying a slice or two. There is usually a long line, but it moves very fast and offers some great people-watching. The pizzas are always vegetarian and the menu changes daily (check the website for the week’s pizza listing).

Boy oh boy do I miss the food in the Bay Area.

Please excuse my while I wipe the drool running down my chin.


The Cheeseboard Collective

On Shattuck Ave. at Vine St.

Berkeley, CA

Grimaldi’s Pizza, NY

1 Aug

Grimaldi’s Pizza. A New York institution. Right off the Brooklyn Bridge in “Dumbo” (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).

After a good solid hour of waiting in an epic line, this classic oven-baked tomato, mozzarella, and basil pizza with pepperoni was eaten in about 10 minutes, maybe less.  It was pretty dang great, though.

I recommend taking the pizza to-go and eating it in the nearby park.

Because sometimes…you’ve got to be a tourist in your own city…

Some info:

-wear sunscreen on a hot day

-it takes about 20-30 min to walk across the bridge

-be prepared to wait in a LONG line for Grimaldi’s pizza, OR just eat ice cream for your meal from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

-to get back to Manhattan, you could walk back over the bridge, catch a ferry ride, or subway-it

Chicken Pizza with Broccoli, Kale, and Lemon

25 May

Today I spent an hour cleaning only half of the refrigerator and let me tell you, it was not a pretty site. We’re talking spills of who knows what that must have occurred who knows when. These spills had overtime created a nice crevice to cake onto and into. I was on my hands and knees scrubbing away at the mess, taking shelves out, getting sprayed by my own sink, slipping on the water that dripped onto the floor.

Today I found a hidden mold creature in my backpack. After taking a closer look I realized that it was a dried apricot from 2 months ago that somehow got stuck to the bottom of the backpack and had begun growing a rancid-smelling and deep gray-green mold. I quickly zipped up the bag and threw it in the corner. I am still contemplating whether I should just suck it up and clean my backpack or just throw it away and never look back.

Today I took a walk to the farmer’s market. I am sort of in this in-between phase where I don’t want to buy too many groceries because I am skipping town for good in 4 days but I need just enough to get me by until then. Anyway, I bought some kale and broccoli and then I made a pizza for myself for dinner. I ate my pizza alone in my empty (literally no furniture except my bed and desk) apartment, staring blankly into my computer screen.

Of course while I was making this beautiful pizza I felt so inclined to munch on everything in site. And then after I ate this beautiful pizza I proceeded to eat a bowl of cereal after. Why? For silly reasons of sheer boredom, laziness, and comfort.

I love food. I love sharing food. I love the idea of food. But sometimes, actually a lot, I feel the need to shove my face for emotional reasons. I’m trying to work on that. Let’s just say its an ongoing process that has its ups and downs. I’m sure many of you can relate. Or not. Whatever. I’ll beef it up with myself.

Well as the old saying goes, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Make this pizza, try not to munch while its baking, enjoy it at a table and not on the floor of your deserted apartment, enjoy it with a friend or a family member, and drink a beer with it instead of a bowl of cereal. Ok?

Great. Because this pizza really deserves more credit than I gave it tonight. It is easy to prepare (especially with Trader Joe’s amazing already made pizza dough). I guess that lately I’ve been into the whole approximating of ingredients (aka lazy method) cooking and recipe writing. Again, whatever, that must mean I’m a good enough cook, right? And you should be, too.

Chicken Pizza with Broccoli, Kale, and Lemon

makes 1 pizza

*Note 1: As you can see below, I really just approximated everything

**Note 2: If you really want to impress, check out the Pioneer Woman’s BBQ Chicken Pizza

Ingredient Ideas

1 breast of chicken

barbecue sauce

1 pizza dough (from Trader Joes, homemade, or whatever you prefer)

some sauce

some cheese (I used pepper jack and Parmesan)

Some sliced garlic

Some curly kale

Some broccoli

Some lemon zest

A squeeze of half a lemon

Preparation Ideas

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Salt your chicken breast. Coat the breast with barbecue sauce on both sides. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. When done, chop it into bite size pieces.

2. Turn the oven up to 475. Stretch your pizza dough into a nice shape and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet sprinkled with a mix of flour and cornmeal (I love the crunch of the cornmeal on the bottom of my pizza crust, mmm!).

3. Spread your dough with some sauce, cheese, veggies, more cheese, chicken, lemon zest, and lemon juice squeeze. Bake for about 10-15 minutes.

>Lunch at Eataly

13 Jan

>Eataly is jam-packed with people and Italian food-goods.

There is everything from wine and cheese pairings to il pesce (fish) and la verdure (emphasis on produce). There is a beer garden, a panini stop, a pastry counter, and a coffee shop. You can purchase pastas, meat, bread, fish, cheese, liquor, produce, snacks, and desserts.
After tasting some wine and cheese (we were a quartet of mother-daughter duos), we headed over to dine on Eataly’s homemade Neapolitan-style pizza and homemade lasagna.
On the website, Eataly’s pizza is described as having a charred and elastic crust. I think that is a fitting description. The pizza we ordered was extremely simple; it had San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, and a about 2 basil leaves on top. Is it possible that the simple was almost too simple? Ok ok, the pizza was good. But I have definitely had better. And it sure took a long time to bring out this “simple” pizza.
We also shared a lasagna (“pasta al forno con zucca”) with homemade noodles. It had pumpkin, butternut squash, and Pecorino cheese. This was quite good. It did sort of fall apart when you took a bite, but I liked the flavor and the creamy texture.
I will have to go back and try some of the other restaurant vendors at Eataly, or at least buy some groceries there. It will have to be after the crazy holiday season, though. I don’t know how well I do with large crowds and a lot of noise while I am lunching…oh, everything is an experience in New York…

Eataly NY
200 5th AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10010
Entrances on 5th Avenue and 23rd Street