Wild bread!!

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If you went to school in San Luis obispo or in Davis California, you are very familiar with wild bread. I was lucky enough to go to school in both towns, so I’ve had my fair share of wild bread! Basically, it’s pizza dough, brushed with oil, and topped with oregano, garlic, and salt. Cheese is optional. Then you dip in ranch dressing or pizza sauce. Yum!
I made a version of this bread using some leftover dough. Just oil your dough, spread on a pizza pan, top with seasonings of your choice (oregano, salt, rosemary, garlic…get creative!) then bake at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes.
Need a good dough recipe, try this one
Now, mine should have a lot more spices, but, they are too green for my son and he won’t eat it. If I were to make just for me, I’d be way more generous!

March 24, 2012. Tags: , , . Food and Drink. Leave a comment.

The best ever pizza dough

Well, it’s that time of year again where I have to come up with meat-free meals. Yep, it’s lent and time for cheese pizza Fridays! My husband is incredibly picky and there are few things he’ll eat with out meat (pasta), he doesn’t like fish, and he’d starve as a vegetarian. So, cheese pizza it is!
I have a great pizza dough recipe I’m going to share. It’s kinda my specialty. It’s very simple, but you do need an electric mixer! I made a cheese version, but feel free to get creative!
Ok, here we go!
Start by putting a package of rapid rise yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 1/2 cups hot (100-110 degrees) in your mixer bowl.

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Let this sit for about 10 minutes, and it should look like this:

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Now add 4 1/2 cups of ap flour, 1 tsp kosher salt, and 3 tbsp oil. Mix together with your dough hook. Now, once mixed, Adjust your consistency. If its sticking to all the sides and not forming into a ball, sprinkle in a bit more flour. If it forms a ball, but doesn’t stick to the bottom, add a bit more water. You want it to form a ball around the dough hook, and only stick to the bottom of the bowl. Like this:

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Now, continue to kneed at low speed for 10 minutes. Then, coat your mixing bowl with oil, cover your bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rise. At least 2 hours. It will go from this:

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To this:

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Now it’s time to make your pizza! Preheat your oven to 500 degrees, and put your oven rack as low as you can. Grease the pan with butter or margarine. Spread out your dough thin (this recipe will make 2 pizzas). No rolling or stretching, just use your fingers to spread it out in your pan.

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Now let’s talk sauce! The key is San marzano tomatoes! Just mix a can with some olive oil and garlic salt. Use your hands to gently break up the tomatoes. Or, buy a jar of Mario batali pasta sauce. Tomato and basil is perfect. That’s what I had on hand:)

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Then add your toppings. Place pizza on lowest oven rack and bake for 6-10 minutes, until your cheese starts to brown (more toppings = longer cook time). The pizza cooks fast, watch it closely!!

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Your crust should be golden brown, like this.

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But, if not, I have a great trick! Turn your stove on low, place the pan directly on the stove, turning it often, until your crust is crispy and browned. Then enjoy! I cut my pizza in a grid, like they do at Chicago fire pizza in Folsom.

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Any unused dough can be stored frozen. Just let it rise at room temp for 4 hours before use.

February 25, 2012. Tags: . Food and Drink. Leave a comment.

A little experiment…or two

This post has two purposes. First, a little experiment to try a post using the WordPress app. Second, tell you about my latest quest.
See, my kids love Rubios. I guess it’s ok, just not incredibly healthy. But, they have one menu item that I love. And it’s not the fish taco! I love their tortilla soup. I really want to create it at home. I love that it has a light broth and isn’t too heavy (a lot of the recipes I’ve tried are heavy, like chili). There have been a ton of recipes posted on pinterest, so I decided to try this crockpot version. It actually looked hearty in the picture, but the recipe sounded like it may be close. Anyway, we had it tonight. Not bad, but not Rubios:( I’ll keep searching!

Here is my version. If you have a great recipe, please share!!

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February 22, 2012. Tags: , . Food and Drink. Leave a comment.

Engagement Dinner Party

There is some really great news in our family. My brother-in-law has asked his girlfriend Shannon of four years to marry him…finally! I was so excited to hear this news, that I knew I had to do something special to celebrate with them. So, I threw them a little dinner party.

I wanted the table to be simple, but elegant. So I went with a black and white color scheme, and added some red rose centerpieces for a little pop of color.

I made little menu cards for each place setting. Gives it a more formal feel. Then I busted out my silver chargers. I actually got these for my wedding, but I rarely have such a formal event to use them for. I do have 2 young boys, after all! I also used my chalkboard painted wine glasses for the seating tags. I love how they tie in with my black and white theme. I served a green salad with Dijon vinaigrette, twice baked red potatoes, Gorgonzola crusted Fillet Mignon, and sauteed green beans with toasted almonds.

For desert, I wanted to make them something really special. Here are some “champagne” Cake pops. I used white nonpareils¬† for the bubbles and a white candy melt for the glass base.

The champagne bottle was really fun to make. But a lot of work, so there is only one! I made the bottle green, then painted it with some gold edible paint for the foil at the top. The black and red decorations were colored on with edible pens. The bottle monogram was made by piping white chocolate on some wax paper. I flipped the label over, then used an edible pen to draw on the monogram.

Overall, it was a great night. The food was delicious, the wine was flowing, and most of all, the bride and groom to be really enjoyed that we made this celebration special. Congratulations David and Shannon!

February 19, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Food and Drink. Leave a comment.