Tag Archives: tuscan gun

I wonder wednesday…

I wonder…

…why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways?

Yea yea, pretty lame. But I can’t for the life of me think of anything I’m really wondering about. Maybe I should wonder about that! 

So anyway, on to other things (don’t worry, I’ll be sure to be wondering for next week!)…

Oh! The pizza! In case you missed my last post, I was doing homemade pizza using the pizza dough recipe from Tuscan Gun. This is the second time I’ve used the recipe and the initial attempt delivered a really great, crispy yet chewy crust. So I figured I’d give it another shot. 

Not sure what happened this time around but the dough ended up being a bit dry while it was mixing. I really think I should have added some more water but I didn’t want to alter the recipe. I wonder if cooking in a non air conditioned kitchen with 80%+ humidity had anything to do with it? I’ve read that heat and humidity can wreak havoc on baking and this is sorta baking so maybe?? If anyone knows please offer up some advice. 

I was worried that the dough would be too dry/thick that it wouldn’t proof/rise. I was wrong! That sucker plumped up like a champ! 

 

pre-proof

  

after two hours! score!

 

The next step is punching it down and letting it proof for one more hour. This is not a quick pizza crust so make sure you give yourself time to let it rise. 

And, of course, that’s where the pics ended. Ggrrr! What else goes on the pizza? Great question! I use buffalo mozzarella, the roasted tomatoes, grated fontina cheese, and vey thin proscuito de Parma. In Dothan, I would have also added figs but I cannot find them here. 

Overall, it turned out pretty tasty. The crust was a little suspect and I think it was because of it being a bit dry. It came out pretty thin and ended up being cracker crispy. Not too bad though.  

I’ll be giving it a whirl again in the next few weeks as I have the leftover dough in the freezer. How nice is it to go into the freezer and pull out some fresh dough. This is why I love to cook! At anytime I can go in to my freezer stash and pull something out that I know is fresh and healthy. Speaking of fresh and healthy, here’s the bolognese I made last week for our dinners as well as single servings for gabriela. Gotta love snack sized ziplocs!

   

  

  

 
Gotta end with a Gabriela pic!

absence makes the ….

Sorry, again, fellow followers for my absence. After our fun week with Amee we thought things would go back to normal. “Normal”. Due to bad timing, last week found Gabriela and me alone for 8 days. For those who don’t know, my father lives with us which is a HUGE help for the day-to-day things that I (try) to get done. And Gabi loves her afternoon naps with him so I can get dinner together. AND the husband was out of town for two weeks for work. Yikes.

Now I know thousands of women and men are single stay at home parents and this is something that is done everyday but when you are used to having that extra set of hands everyday, not having it really does make me appreciate all that my father does. We run 3 days a week and bike twice and while I get Gabi ready my father would get the stroller and/or her bike trailer and our bikes ready to go and on the Monte. Without him here, it’s all on me and let me tell you, I don’t know what is harder: actually doing the running or bike or getting the gear loaded! Whew!

Needless to say, our schedule has a been out of whack in terms of the baby sleeping, cooking, and just regular everyday things. So blogging has been furthest from my mind. Sorry gang!

I did, however, knock out a few batch cookings earlier in the week that included bolognese sauce (which i just sorta threw together with grated carrots and zucchini for some extra veggies) and quinoa and zucchini bites from Littlegrazers.com . I was really surprised by how yummy the quinoa bites turned out! And extra bonus: Gabriela (and Amee, the best friend) LOVED them! And they are a great source for protein so extra WIN! And then the week went down hill from there ending in getting dinner from our local pizza joint.

Speaking of pizza, as I am writing this (and Gabi is napping beautifully!!), I am prepping pizza for tonight. To begin, I have a variety of different tomatoes slow roasting in the oven. I try to start these as early as possible in the day because the longer you roast them (on the lowest oven setting possible) the natural sugars caramelize and you get a more deep and flavorful tomato bite. I wish I could say these came from my garden, but alas, only four of them did. This weather has been brutal on my veggies and I’m actually just waiting for the rest to dry and die off so I can plant again as we near winter cooler weather. Did I mention we’re reaching almost 90 degrees today with 75% humidity!!??!! NOTE: do not roast your tomatoes on aluminum foil as the acid interacts with the foil and you’ll get a tinny (is that a word? tin-ny) flavor. Instead, use parchment paper.

 

before…


 

After! Yum!

  
I’m trying to perfect my crust so I have dedicated myself to just using one master recipe (from Tuscan Gun) and tweaking that rather than using different ones. If you have any tips on how to get a great, crunchy yet chewy flavorful crust, please drop me a line! I’ll update how the pizza turned out tomorrow on my “I wonder wednesday” post.

So everything is sorta falling back to normal: the husband has returned home but the father is still out of town so it’s gabi and me time during the day and then daddy takes over (as he pours me a cocktail). Gabi has been trying to roll with things but she ended up having some tummy troubles earlier this week that is really unlike her. We have been blessed with no issues at all for almost 15 months so I figure we were due. Thankfully, she is all good now and back to her bubbly, REGULAR self! 

 

checking out her new golden books from her tia amee

 
I am freaking out though because I have the Mujer Brava 25 mile bike race and 10k running race on October 10th and training alone has not been my strongest suit, especially pushing a 20 pound baby and a 20 (?) pound jogging stroller. But that’s ok– I’m committed and looking forward to it!

Please check back as for more posts as I get back my groove back and please check me out on Facebook!

Cheers!

Ps- check out my fellow blogger friend  over at GoingDad who just got back from a stay-at-home-DAD’s convention! How cool is that!? And just so you know, dad’s don’t babysit! 😉

One prep, two recipes + JULIA!

Happy last day of August! (or at least it was when I STARTED writing this post. Ooops) This was a fun month filled with lots of day adventures and checking out some new and awesome places around the island. I’ll be doing a quick wrap-up of our month in the next day or so to share our journey through the island! So stay tuned!

In the meantime, tropical storms Danny and Erika completely bypassed our fair island. I was hoping (not really HOPING) but looking forward to being rained in on Friday so I figured it would be a good time for a Julia recipe.  I deviated from chicken, although I wanted to finish off that chapter first, and instead checked out the beef section because my supermercado had a great selection of eye of round. 

I made Boeuf À La Mode (beef braised in red wine). Doesn’t it just sound so much better in French! This recipe called for a 24 hour marinade of the beef in a red wine, vegetable, and herb marinade. 24 whole hours. Talk about flavor! Unfortunately I was unable to locate (as prescribed by Julia) a cracked veal knuckle or a split calfs foot. I had to settle for a modified pork rind. What can you do, right?

After the 24 hrs, all that’s left is searing the beef and then adding in the marinade and braising it slowly for 3 hours. And can I just say- the house smelled AMAZING! To accompany the beef, julia suggests ‘quartered carrots braised in butter.’  BUTTER. it surely doesn’t get any better. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pics and it was gobbled up rather quickly by the husband and my father so I guess it was a hit! Back to chicken next week– maybe the classic coq au vain. Mmmmm… 

(Note- the recipe in the link was found online from finecooking.com. I have yet to find a lot of Julia’s recipes online and typing out 4 pages of a recipe just ain’t happening so I try to find blogs or sites that have it. I’m very thankful to these folks for doing the hard work of getting her recipes out there!)

I also filled up Gabi’s freezer stash today during one of her naps. It’s so nice having small bites around for when we head out on trips or need something quick to whip up. 

Gabi has been loving meatballs lately so I figured I’d whip up a batch. I had a huge packet of ground beef so I had the idea of knocking out two different recipes using similar ingredients to save time and get the most out of her nap time. 

Nothing like fresh herbs from my garden!

I used this recipe for the meatballs. I liked the idea of using quick cooking oats instead of bread crumbs. In fact, there’s an Ellie Krieger recipe I use for meatloaf that has the oats in it. Also  hiding the spinach (which Gabi is not quite a fan of) in the meatball is a great way to get those greens in her. 

 

Meatball prep


  

For some reason I was craving pasta so I thought I’d do some ravioli for la nena. While I wish I could say I rolled out my own dough for this, sadly I did not. But one day I will take on making my own pasta! Is anything better than fresh pasta? I think not!

Instead I cheated and used egg roll wrappers. The filling was somewhat similar to the meatballs but I omitted the oats and added ricotta for some ooey gooey cheesy goodness. I found that you can fit 4 raviolis on a sheet and after some trimming, they come out to a good size. 

not the best pic but you get the idea.

I did ravioli once before using wonton wrappers and it turned into a big gooey mess. Not quite sure what I did but the wrappers just didn’t hold together.  I haven’t tried these out yet but I’m hoping for a better outcome. Fingers crossed. I’ll keep you posted. 

And to round out the evening I made a proscuito and fontina pizza with oven roasted tomatoes for dinner. I’m trying to perfect my pizza crust (it’s either too thin and crispy or too thick and gummy) so I’ve been going through lots of recipes. I used a recipe from Tuscan Gun (did I mention I’m obsessed with that show in the Cooking Channel?!?!) and I think it’s been the best tasting crust so far. It still didn’t have the texture I wanted and that’s what I’m still trying to figure out. But the guys liked it so again, I’ll take that as a win! Do you have a favorite pizza crust recipe? Any advice on how to achieve that perfect crust (I’m trying real hard to convince my father to build a pizza oven in the back yard. That’s practical, right? 😉)

 

its’s amazing how much dough tises and how light snd airy it is.

 
 

gotta have a Gabi pic! First time trying raspberries and she gobbled them all up!

 

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