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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Spring Pizza

Over the course of the last month, we’ve been eating pizza twice a week. This is not to prove that we eat unhealthfully, but rather to get our fill of Casey’s signature pizzas before the outside temps in Phoenix make turning the oven on unbearable.

Over the past month, Casey has perfected his use of the ever-famous Lahey no knead pizza dough. With the help of Lahey’s “My Pizza“, which was gifted for our anniversary last year, and a pizza peel, which Casey received as a birthday gift this year, Casey and our oven have been cranking out delicious pizza.

Our combinations are still pretty traditional: ricotta with asparagus, peas and pancetta; red onion, parm, tomato base, and sausage; mushrooms and cheese.

Pizza and Wind: Kitchen Notes

Here’s what Casey has learned during the process:

  • As any baker knows, just because the oven beeps and tells you it’s at the preset temperature, give it another 15-20 minutes to actually get to the temperature
  • Use cornmeal to help maneuver your pizza dough from peel to stone
  • Always preheat the stone. I repeat: always preheat the stone
  • Don’t go over board the toppings
  • When making the dough, be precise. A change in the water content changes how the dough will cook.

Our pizza making season is over, at least until November, when temps start to die down again. But for those of you with mild springs and summers, here is an additional article to read about making homemade pizza.

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Liebster Award

A big thanks to Annie over the The Little GSP for nominating this blog for the Liebster Award. This award is given from one blogger to another in the spirit of celebrating the blogs you enjoy. There are rules attached to it, but they’re pretty fun.

The rules

  1. Post eleven facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you and create eleven questions for people you’ve nominated.
  3. Choose eleven people (with fewer than 200 followers) to give this award to and link them in your post.
  4. Go to their page and tell them.
  5. Remember, no tag backs.

My 11 Facts

  1. At least once a week, I let Parker con me into giving him double treats. He’s just that cute.
  2. I like to dance in the kitchen when I’m making dinner or baking.
  3. I like to put sparkling water in my apple juice.
  4. I play PC Games..well, really more like two games (diablo and gw2).
  5. I think it’s easier to shop for the house or the kitchen that it is for myself.
  6. When I don’t feel like cooking, my favorite fallback is stove top popcorn, crisp, cool apples, and cheese (preferably a sharp white cheddar or brie).
  7. I’m surprised that my patio garden is lasting as long as it currently has (almost 6 months). I have a terrible black thumb.
  8. I always take my coffee to work with my during the week, rather than drinking it at home.
  9. I don’t have cable or even network television; however, I probably watch more TV than I should thanks to Netflix.
  10. Our house revolves around a 10 pound Snowshoe Siamese. And boy, does that cat know it.
  11. I love shoes.

My 11 Questions from The Little GSP

  1. What is your all-time favorite movie? Difficult to say, put most likely the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. 
  2. What do you eat for breakfast on a typical weekday? One of these three options: whole wheat toast with salted butter and Nutella, honey Greek yogurt with granola, or honey nut cheerios.
  3. Favorite blog post that you have ever written? I’ve really enjoyed most of my posts this year. If I had to choose one: Casey Cooks: Thai Chicken Curry. Who doesn’t like dinner cooked for them? 
  4. Do you have any leftovers in your fridge right now? If so, what are they? Left over pasta from last night: leeks, peas, asparagus, orecchiete, and pork meatballs in a light marscarpone sauce.  And some left over garbanzo and roasted tomato soup. 
  5. Three favorite online shopping websites? Amazon.com, RueLala.com, and Harney and Sons. 
  6. If you won $300 million in the lottery, what would you do with the money? Pay some bills, start or support an animal rescue, buy Parker a lifetime supply of treats, take a vacation, invest wisely, and buy my sister a horse. 
  7. How many countries have you been to? Which ones? Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Jamaica, the Bahamas, 
  8. Favorite author and/or book from your childhood? Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
  9. Cats or Dogs? Parker.
  10. Did you go to college? Where? What did you study? Northern Arizona University: Marketing and English
  11. How many hours of sleep did you get last night? Seven and half or eight hours. And I’m still tired 😦

11 Questions for my Nominees

  1. Favorite Snack?
  2. What is your big goal for 2013?
  3. Coffee or tea?
  4. What do you enjoy the most about blogging?
  5. What inspired you to start blogging?
  6. If you were independently wealthy and didn’t “have” to work, how would you spend your time?
  7. Do you have a guilty pleasure television show? If so, what is it?
  8. How would spent an extra 30 minutes in your day?
  9. What are you currently reading?
  10. Ideal vacation?
  11. Which actor/actress would play you in a movie?

My Nominees

Just like Annie, I had a hard time finding the number of followers on many of these blogs; if it’s “over 200″…forgive me, my goal was to be in an acceptable range of that number Here are 10 goodies from my blogroll!

  1. The Sundress Chef
  2. Chez Sasha
  3. The Goodie Plate
  4. Old Vogue
  5. SophieBowns
  6. In Real Life
  7. Le Pirate
  8. At 350 Degrees
  9. Kitchen Inspirations
  10. Pretty Happy Baking

Thank you again for the nomination, Little GSP! Regular food posts will return next week!

a flavorful, caramelized veggie and chickpea hash

a flavorful, caramelized veggie and chickpea hash

There comes a time in each and every week where the produce from the weekend market trip begins to feel old, abandoned, and underused. Lately, it’s been my root vegetables, those stalwart standbys whose storage life and adaptability amaze. With the spring bounty that’s been cropping up (leeks! asparagus! strawberries! oh my!) I’ve been forgetting about the roots till the very end…

Enter this weekend night hearty meal. Eat on those nights when spring has decided to be shy and the last tendril of winter chill creeps through even the best insulated windows. Top this caramelized veggie dish with a sunny side up egg and let the creamy yolk add velvety texture to the spiced vegetables underneath. I can’t agree enough with Michael Ruhlman’s observations in Ruhlman’s Twenty that an egg has the power to make a dish a meal.

*As a warning, this recipe is written for feel and not precision (my favored method of cooking). Be sure to taste as your cooking to ensure the flavor profile meets your palate.

Chickpea and Caramelized Veggie Hash

For two people

  • Half of one large red onion, diced
  • Half of one large sweet potato, finely diced (or one small sweet potato)
  • Two carrots, peeled and diced to equal size as the potato and onion
  • Half of one red pepper, diced to match the potato, carrots, and onion
  • 15 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 eggs, fried sunny side up
  • Spices: chili powder, shallot pepper, cumin, salt and pepper – all to taste

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and a sprinkling of salt. Allow onions to caramelize and get crispy (about 5 to 8 minutes). Add the carrots, bell pepper, and potato, stir together. Cook the dish without stirring for about 5- 10 minutes, allowing the veggies to caramelize on the bottom of the pan. Stir and allow the veggies to caramelize again. Add chili powder, shallot pepper, cumin to taste – I used large quantities of chili powder, so that the colors of the veggies darken. Add the chickpeas. Stir. Allow to caramelize for another five minutes. Stir. Continue this for at least 30-40 minutes until the veggies are cooked through.

While the veggies continue to cook through, prepare the eggs.

Serve the hash in a shallow bowl, with the egg on top. Garnish with parsley. *Bacon can be added to enhanced the smokey flavor of the dish.

Chick Pea and Veggie Hash from Kitchen Notes

I realize this isn’t much of a recipe, so if you’re looking for a recipe to guide you, I suggest Deb’s from her Smitten Kitchen Blog and this orzo with caramelized vegetables from The Kitchn for the caramelization technique.

Also, if you’re looking for less smokey of a dish, consider Chez Sasha’s curried chickpeas.

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