Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Saturday Pizzeria

What is the heart of Italy? Pasta, pizza, risotto? Or is it the fresh produce, fish, and meat available?
I personally can only make an assumption. Italy is a country I have never been, but visit every Saturday in my supper.
As a runner, Sunday is my long running day. 7+ miles, if I'm lucky maybe less. So Saturday is carb loading night. Pasta or Pizza.
One would think I would get sick of it and I often do, but I don't find myself changing my routine. Every Saturday its the same trip to Italy. I change it up of course. Usually pasta one night, the next week pizza. Or in this weeks case, pizza back to back.
Which I have a love for. Pizza is heaven. I wish I could have a wood-burning stove. However, a college girl has no place for one. Despite that I have found a great pizza dough recipe. It is by Ms. De Laurentiis in Bon Appetit. I of course, change it up a little bit. I let it rise twice. If you like thin, crispy dough, it is perfect.
Here is my suggestion for toppings:
  • spinach, pancetta, black olives, and goat cheese (I heard it was a good combo and didn't disappoint)
  • pepperoni and mozzarella (Classic, you can never go wrong)
  • pesto, artichoke, basil, tomato, mozzarella, olives, and goat cheese (It is a take on my pizza joints best pizza the #7)
  • Any suggestions?

Pizza Dough adapted
3/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 envelope active dry yeast

2 cups (or more) bread flour
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

Pour 3/4 cup warm water into small bowl; stir in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Brush large bowl lightly with olive oil. Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons oil; process until dough forms a sticky ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface. KNEAD dough until smooth, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is very sticky, about 1 minute. Transfer to prepared bowl; turn dough in bowl to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. PUNCH down dough. (I let it rise for about another 30-45 minutes, punch down, again) DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. ROLL out dough according to recipe instructions. (Start in center of dough, working outward toward edges but not rolling over them.)

*It makes 2 "medium" pizzas or one large. I split the dough, and freeze one half. To unfreeze it let it rise room temperature. I usually take it out the night before and let it rise until I get home.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Summer Flavor

Ah summer! My favorite season. That's why I decided to do the Summer Flavor Challenge. Below are the bloggers who decided to join in. They kept to the rules and did local fruits.

Elle's Plum Coffee Cake- I'm a sucker for coffee cakes and this looks delicious. It's not a standard coffee cake because it uses yeast and biscuit mix, but I bet it tastes divine!

Lynn's Blueberry Ice Cream
- Lynn can stray from ice cream and who can blame her with "Perfect Scoop" in her collection. So when it comes to her blueberry ice cream, I will just tell myself its good for my heart!

Nicole's Banana Fritters- I love bananas and what a better way to eat them than to fry them. And to live in a place where you can do them without having to ship them is even better.

Julie's Boysenberry cobbler- Who can go wrong with berries? Especially a berry that I've never tried except in yogurt. It looks like a blackberry, but really it is its own berry and Julie does it justice!

And the winner is (drum-roll please.......) Ms. Julie, going on a whim to buy boysenberries. Thank you to all participants. I want to eat everyone of ya'lls glorious entries.

Next month is August Heat
August is always one of the hottest months of the year. You can never get away from it. So the theme for this month is a cool and refreshing dish. It is up to you. But remember it has to be LOCAL!
1) One must be centered around some local fruit or veggie from your farmers market or own garden.
2) It can be a main dish, dessert, drink, side dish. I'm open to anything.
3) Must be posted by August 19 and there will be a round up on August 20 on this here website. Send me information with name, blog, and dish. And don't for get pictures!
Good Luck and I'll be picking a winner and sending a goodie!
Send all entries to fallenphotoangel {at} msn {dot} com

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Heartfelt Balance

Summer means a lot of things-- berries, cherries, peaches, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and the list goes on. Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me with her bounty. I thank her daily through my yoga practice.
Lately, I've been asking her for guidance. And each day she helps me through another. My yoga flow has renewed me and made me realize a lot of things. It keeps me going through the job I hate, it reminds me how strong I am, and how beautiful I am, too.
Being a woman, who has struggled against so much. Realizing your roots makes you grounded and loving. What I have struggled with lately is a balance between my passion of food and my health. I let my passion take over, causing me to over eat, and what woman hasn't. However, I've been at the other end many times, not eating, causing severe health problems, weighing 112 lbs and wanting to lose more not gain. Where's the balance?
Being a runner, makes this a challenge. I have to eat enough protein to sustain my activity. As well as the fact that I need to lose what I gained overeating. Since my marathon, I've been struggling with this. And being in a job you loathe does not help things.
So I back to where I was last summer, but with a new twist. I will eat what I want in moderation. I will watch what I eat and when I'm not hungry, I don't eat. Sweets are down to twice a week. I will not be a vegetarian like I was last summer. Protein in quantities that I need. Oh and eat all the fruit and veggies I want.
I realize that this is a food blog, but there are times, when things have to be spoken or written. I always find it easier in writing. So to everyone hanging in the balance, meditate and eat chocolate. What do you have to lose?

P.S. Summer Flavor Challenge has been extended to Thurs.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Seven Spices

Miss Lynn got tagged by the Cooking Ninja and I got tagged by Lynn! So I have write down 7 random things about me. So here is some glances in my memory.

1- I am a journalism student, who wants more than ever to work for the specialized food magazines. I have way to many ideas and feel constricted by not being out in the field.

2- My dad was/is the cook of the family. As I often blog about my dad's bar-b-que, he doesn't just do brisket. No, he can do almost everything I ask for, which is great because the last thing I want to do on a visit is cook.

3- I've run 2 marathons, and I'm not going to stop. My knees don't hurt and running is one of my releases. I don't know what I would do without it.

4- When I go clothing shopping, I usually end up buying shoes. Why? Cause that's the size that is always constant. Sales are the only enemy.

5- I've had my food photography published in a local magazine. I'm working on making it. Why do you think I have a blog and a website?!

6- I like everything homemade, as much as possible. Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker have made tons of money off of there boxed and bagged mixes. But isn't it just as easy to make your own? I mean when you have a time limit they are great, but when you have time to kill, making a cake is so much fun.

7- I have set rice aflame in the microwave and I WAS following instructions. The bagged recipe said 35 minutes on high, halway through it there was smoke. Whoops!

Here's my tags!

Elle - She is so wonderful and always leaving lovely comments.
JenJen - I don't know why she doesn't own a bakery.
Kristen- A stay at home mom that makes me want to move in!
Desert Candy- A reason to move to the Middle East.
Bake and Shake- A woman who can create wonderful baked goods and make me salivate everytime!
Homesick Texan- She is wonderful, and brings Texas to the Big Apple.
Tamami- She is a lovely baker in London with her own table at the farmer's market. How cool is that?!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Blueberry Dreams

As a boy an event was a blueberry cream pie, but one day the recipe was lost. His mother had loaned it to someone, and later would never receive it back. However, a red recipe book would find its way into his daughter's hands by chance and she would recreate the pie. The blueberry cream pie would be savoured, complimented, and devoured by all.
My father was this boy. For the past 5 years, I have heard constant, whining and proding at my grandmother for a blueberry cream pie. She looked and looked and looked, but never found the recipe. I was then given an old Military wives cookbook from my other grandmother. I flipped through it that night and found the blueberry cream pie recipe. I knew that I had to make it.
And oh did I fall in love. Vanilla pudding folded into whipped cream. Licking my plate never tasted so good.

Blueberry Cream Pie

1 pkg vanilla pudding (don't use instant)
1.5 cups milk (I used whole)
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped (I used regular cream, not heavy, but the recipe called for heavy)
2.5 pints blueberries
4 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp lemon juic
2 tsp lemon rind
1 baked pie shell, cooled

Mix the pudding together as directed by the box, chill. After pudding is chilled, fold in whipping cream, and place in pie shell. Add 2 cups blueberries and the rest of ingredients into a saucepan, cook into thicken. After thickening, add rest of blueberries, and chill. Once blueberries are chilled add to pie. Chill.

*I suggest maybe doing it overnight. I did it all in one day and it is very time consuming, but well worth it. The pie needed to set more, before we cut into it, but it didn' take away from the taste. It just made a finger-licking mess.
*This not only was made for my father but for Weekend Cookbook Challenge #18!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Taking on Mountain

For several months I've debated whether or not to host a challenge. I mean there are tons out there and I'm one meager college student with lots going on, but how would I know if I could handle it, if I didn't try. So here it goes ladies and gentlemen. If all goes well this might become a monthly thing.

Summer Flavor
As HOT days come upon us, markets open and bring in fresh produce. Nothing is better than a peach from the farm or a watermelon from the garden. There is no limit to your imagination from ice-cream to cupcakes to grilled fruit. Whatever makes you salivate you can post. However, it must be local and it must be fresh produce. Here's general guidelines.
1) One must be centered around some local fruit (veggie if you really like) from your farmers market or own garden.
2) It must be a dessert!
3) Must be posted by July 21st and there will be a round up on July 22nd on this here website. Send me information with name, blog, and dish. And don't for get pictures!
Good Luck and I'll be picking a winner and sending a goodie!

Send all entries to fallenphotoangel {at} msn {dot} com