Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Non-Celebrity Endorsment

Have you ever used something in the kitchen that you were just SURE would be a total gimmick and never ever do what it claimed it would? (That was a total rhetorical question... of course you have! Everybody has!) The better question is- Did it work? Odds are-No. Yet the handful that do work keep us going back to the kitchen tool aisle to see what else might work.

Now, I did not want to try out this pizza pan. I had been using a cookie sheet for a long time to bake pizzas and they always turned out the same- taste great but the crust was always just a little doughy. John was the one who decided that we needed this pan. You know, one with all the holes in the bottom. And the dumb thing works. It makes pizza that is, the only way to describe it, AWESOME. Crispy crust, well done cheese, and a perfectly even cook. Worth every little pink penny.

So, go get one! And then make this crust and top it with all of your favorite ingredients. Then, open the drawer full of take out menus and throw away the pizza place ones. You won't need them any more. Promise.

From one non-celebrity to another,

Basic Pizza Crust

1 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1/3 Cup Olive Oil

Dissolve yeast in 1 1/2 cups warm water. While that is sitting, mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. With the dough hook attachment on your mixer, slowly blend in the olive oil. Dough will be very crumbly at this point. Finally, mix in the water and yeast. Dough should form into a large ball.
Drizzle a small amount of olive oil into a clean mixing bowl and put in dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
*Makes enough for 2 pizzas. The dough will keep for up to 6 days in the refrigerator.

*If you want to make pizza immediatly, do not cover and refrigerate. Lightly flour your countertop and kneed for 10 minutes. Split dough in half and refrigerate what you don't use for the next time!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Full sized Appliances!! Oh My!

Well, we are moved, still lacking a lot of furniture, but I am LOVING my new kitchen and John is LOVING his big ol' GRILL! We have had so much fun cooking in a space big enough for two people and a dog. It's a much happier experience for everyone involved- John and I aren't walking on top of each other and Sadie has more surface area for crumbs to drop. 

The cookies for today were an idea that came to me in France but couldn't try them out because Craisins and dried cherries are a little hard to find there.  (Especially the Craisins.)So, they are the first recipe I decided to try out in my new oven. (Other than the brownies I made after we had a rough moving day... We needed some comfort..)

Oatmeal Cher-Craisin Cookies
Original recipe from Smitten Kitchen

1/2 Cup (1 stick) Butter, softened
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar (I use 1/3 dark, 1/3 light. I love dark brown sugar)
1 Egg
3/4 Cup All-purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt 
1 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats ( I use a combination of Old Fashioned Oats and Quick Oats )
1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Craisins
1/4 Cup Dried Cherries

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- In a mid-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. 
- Add baking soda, salt, oatmeal- blend slightly. Add fruit and chips- blend well. 
*Dough can be chilled at this point but personally, I think they turn out better if you don't.
- Spoon them onto a non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned at the edges. 

Eat and ENJOY! 
picture to come.. as soon as I figure out how to upload from my phone to blogger or it stops raining and I have enough light to take a good picture... ha!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I Haven't Forgotten You!

I promise! Thanks for being patient with me guys. Since the last post we have traveled across 5 states, seen some of our amazing family and friends and finally arrived in our new home. It's been a looooong few weeks. We still have boxes scattered everywhere and absolutely no living room furniture... but it will be a process. As for the area- We LOVE it. The people are nice, some good restaurants, and our apartment is pretty close to everything. I think it's going to be good.

So, now that I am back- be looking for some new recipes! I have kept a folder full of things to try once we made it back over here!