Posts Tagged ‘pizza’

The problem with baking and only having a two person household is the fact that there are only two people to eat all that yummy stuff that comes out of the oven. That may not seem like a problem to some people. To me, it’s a wee bit scary. So any time there is a group event or people are coming over, I jump at the chance to make something that I’ve been putting off for fear of calorie overload.

The other night my husband comes home from watching football (aka soccer) and tells me he invited a couple of people over for pizza. I immediately, almost as if on instinct, give him this half-felt, sideways glare like, “Oh really…” Then I smile. It’s pizza, I got this! I’m always frightened when I think about entertaining people for dinner because none of my friends are veggies, “What will I fix?’ And then there’s the minor detail of not having a dining table… But pizza is easy because everyone can have exactly what they want, and eat it anywhere.

My mind then went straight to the fun part, dessert! Initially I thought about making this caramel filled snickerdoodle cupcake I’d been thinking about, but my continual obsession with procrastinating by mindlessly staring at FoodGawker popped an idea into my head. Dessert pizza! My original version had Nutella in it, but the melting didn’t go according to plan so we ended up with chocolate ganache instead, but I wouldn’t complain.

I also finally got my camera outside in some sunlight (yes, there was sunlight in Portland last weekend) so I took a few more pics than normal as many of them were actually turning out ok – but I guess we’ll let FoodGawker be the judge of that (they reject all my pics).

Dessert Pizza (vegan, can be made gluten-free)

  • 1 tub of strawberries, sliced
  • Cream cheese frosting, recipe here
  • Brownie batter
  • Chocolate ganache

I used the brownie recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, but any brownie recipe would likely do. Also in this book is a gluten-free flour mixture that will allow you to make this, or any other brownie or cookie, gluten-free. There is also an adaption of that mixture on this post (if you don’t have the book).

Bake the brownie on a large, round pizza sheet. Mine has holes in it so I laid a piece of baking parchment on it. It took a bit of finessing to get the batter spread out and round, but my little red silicon spatula did a nice job. Bake as directed and let it cool before applying the icing. If you’re impatient, stick it in the fridge.

While the brownie is in the oven, make the ganache. It’s just 3 tablespoons of non-dairy milk and 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. Barely scald the milk, remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips until melted. Set aside to cool. If it doesn’t set enough, stick it in the fridge for a couple of minutes, but not too long or you’ll be heating it up again.

Next, slice the strawberries and make the frosting while the brownie is cooling. When the brownie is cool, apply the frosting with an icing knife and then lay the strawberries on the pizza. I went in a circular direction starting from the outside. To drizzle the ganache on I used a pastry bag. It came out a little quicker than I expected but I think it’s way better than it would have been if I had free-handed it.

This was really tasty and actually pretty damn easy. I’m thinking there are going to be more dessert pizzas in our future.

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I love mushrooms.  They’re right up there next to my friends the eggplant and butternut squash.  I think I might even prefer them over chocolate sometimes… sometimes.  I really like expensive mushrooms that I never get to eat because Freddy’s charges over $12 a lb for the little guys.  I must be in the mushrooms gods’ favor however as I received a whole bunch of them in my CSA share this week.

Well, color me happy! There’s shiitakes in here for two!

I’ve only used a handful of them so far as I had some cremini in the fridge to get rid of, but last night we made pizza and I made a shroom pie.  I used a variation of this crust (less cornmeal, more flour, no pepper, and Earth Balance instead of oil), a half order of this sauce (all crushed toms), the Cashew Ricotta from Veganomicon, and a whole bunch of shroomers.  It was quite tasty.

Also in my share this week was some kale (supposedly, though I think it’s chard), new potatoes, scallions and fava beans. I don’t recall ever having fava beans before.  I’ve definitely never shelled fresh ones so I think I have some learning to do.  I hear you have to shell them not once but twice.  Fun, fun.  Hopefully the taste will be worth the effort.  Anyone have any favorite fava recipes?

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The Corny Kind

Cornmeal pizza crust!  Had a slight resemblance to cornbread but it still tasted good.  The version that was thinner and crunchier than mine was said to be quite delicious (his was on the larger pan, hence the difference in thickness).

The way it goes:

1 C cornmeal
1 C wheat flour
1 C unbleached AP flour
1 T garlic
2 tsp salt
½ – 1 tsp pepper
¼ C olive oil
1 C hot water (115 degrees)
1 T sugar
2 ½ tsp of yeast (or 1 package)

Mix sugar and yeast to hot water and let stand for about 10 minutes; it should foamed at this point. If not you’re technically supposed to start over but don’t go throwing out 10 batches of yeast; if 2 don’t foam just go about the rest of the steps.

While yeast is foaming (activating), mix the rest of the ingredients except the oil. After the 10 minutes are up, mix in oil and yeast mixture with the flour and knead into a ball. If your dough is too sticky add a little more flour until it stops sticking to your hands.

Rub olive oil on kneaded dough, put it in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise for 2 hours.

Roll it out, sauce it, top it, and cook it at 475 degrees for about 12 – 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

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So I started trying to make pizza from scratch about a year and 1/2 ago.  It’s been a battle ever since.  If anyone has any ideas for continual success at getting the yeast to foam, please pass it on.  It doesn’t seem to matter what I do or how exact I get the temperature of the water, it never foams.  Except for this one time.  The only time the yeast has ever foamed for me ended up in the best pizza I have ever made.  It’s topped with roma tomatos, zucchini, grilled eggplant, and mushrooms.

the dough:

1 C hot water (110 – 115 degrees)
2 – 3 tsp yeast
1 T sugar
1 ½ C wheat flour (or 1 C wheat and…)
1 ½ C unbleached AP flour (… 2 C all purpose)
¼ C olive oil (or grape seed oil works well if you have a store of it in the cupboard)
1 T Italian seasonings
½ – 1 T garlic powder
2 tsp salt
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Mix yeast with 1 cup hot water and 1 T sugar and let sit for 10 minutes. This is where the yeast is supposed to foam, let me know if you succeed. Mix the rest of the ingredients, sans the oil, in a food processor if you have one, else just a large bowl. Once the yeast mixture is ready add the oil to it. If you’re using a processor, turn it on and slowly pour in the yeast mixture; once all of the mixture is in it takes about a minute for it to be kneaded. If you are mixing by hand, pour some of the yeast mixture in and mix. Repeat this until everything is combined. If you are doing this by hand, you’ll need to knead the dough for about 15 minutes. Once kneaded, form the dough into a ball, put some olive oil all over it and set it in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap and a towel for about 2 hours. You can prepare your pizzas at this point or put it in a plastic bag and throw is in the fridge. I usually get 2 med – large pizzas from this.

the sauce:

If you don’t want to use a premade sauce, this is typically pretty tasty: https://parsnipsandsprockets.wordpress.com/2009/03/29/my-my-my-my-marinara/

Baking it: If you have a pizza stone, bake the pizza on it at 475 – 500 degrees for about 10 minutes.  If you don’t have one because it broke in half like mine did and you’re too cheap to buy another one just use a baking sheet with the holes throughout it.  It usually takes about 10 – 15 minutes at 475 on the bottom rack.  Cut and enjoy!

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