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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sourdough Pizza continued!

Hello again! It's time to delve into what we put on those gorgeous pizza crusts that I posted about last week. We made four smallish pizzas (about 8''-10'' round)- one for my Mom, my sister, and me, and one for the three of us to share. I'll go through the toppings that we put on each one and how it was so that hopefully I can inspire you to do some creative topping of your own! It is completely within your power to make your perfect pizza!

Here are (most of) the ingredients we started with: various cheeses, onion, tomato, apple, pesto, pancetta, etc!

And here are our four pizzas topped, ready to be baked...

First, my Mom's pizza- she calls this one a "hearty margherita". She started with olive oil, then topped with tomato slices, Italian blend cheese, sliced onion, pancetta, basil, Parmesan, and feta. This is a more complex twist on the simple margherita pizza, and was great.

Second, my sister's pizza. She too started with olive oil but added pesto as well. Then she topped with Italian blend cheese, feta, onion slices, pancetta, basil, garlic powder, red pepper, and red pepper flakes. She likes hers on the spicy side, clearly, but it was spicy and cheesy and fabulous.

Third, there was my pizza. It's called honeymoon pizza because our friends Rodney and Bryan had it on their honeymoon in Canada, and it turned out to be so fabulous that I make it almost every time we make pizza. You start with pesto, then top with mozzarella, green apple slices, and walnuts. After baking top with lime juice and cilantro (I didn't have any cilantro this time and it was still great!). I obviously love this pizza, and though it sounds unusual, you should totally give it a try because it is fantastic- I've made a lot of converts!

Last, here is our collaborative pizza- arugula and pancetta pizza. We started with olive oil and pesto, then topped with garlic powder, arugula, feta, and pancetta. It was fantastic and I highly recommend trying arugula on your pizza- it was spicy and delicious.

I hope that these have inspired you to go out and make some pizza of your own and top it just the way you like it. Feel free to make any size of pizza, but I love making the smaller ones because you can mix and match slices and try all of the different styles of toppings! Enjoy!

Savor it!
love, rue

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sourdough Pizza Crust

This sourdough pizza crust is super easy to whip up and makes absolutely delicious pizzas. Today I'm going to go over how to make the crust, and in my next post I'll tell you all about what we put on our four pizzas- we're creative with toppings if I say so myself!

Here's the dough at the beginning- you just throw all the ingredients together and knead with a stand mixer (with dough hook) for 7 minutes.

And here's the dough after rising and doubling in size- ready for shaping!

Here are the crusts all shaped and ready for their second rise...

And here they are after the second rise and ready for the pre-bake.

And here they are after the 4-5 minute pre-bake. Ready to top!

Sourdough Pizza Crust
-1 cup sourdough starter
-1/2 cup hot tap water
-2 1/2 cups flour
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon yeast
Mix all ingredients, then knead for 7 minutes (ideally in a stand mixer with a dough hook).
Let rise 2-4 hours, until doubled in size, in an oiled bowl, covered with a dish towel.
Shape and put into greased pans (you can make one or two or several like we did).
Let rise again for about 1 hour, or longer if you like a thicker crust.
Heat oven to 450 F and pre-bake 4-5 minutes for small pizzas, and 8-10 minutes for a larger pizza.
Top with whatever you like and bake for another 4-5 minutes or 8-10, depending on your pizza size.

Get excited to see what we topped with- and imagine what you would put on your favorite pizza!
Savor it!
love, rue

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hashbrown Casserole

This dish is fabulous comfort food at its best. It's warm and cheesy and delicious with little crisped bits on top. It's also super easy (you know that's my favorite!), you just throw together the (5) ingredients and throw it in the oven for an hour- or do what I did and make it the night before and bake it when you wake up- perfect! So I hope you give this a shot, and feel free to add veggies or bacon (yummm!) or play around with the cheeses- make it your own!

Just toss all the ingredients in a big mixing bowl...

And stir it all up!

Then pat into your buttered pan (don't pat down smooth, you want some cragly bits to get crunchy)

And here's your finished, cheesy, delicious hashbrown casserole!

Hashbrown Casserole
-32 oz. frozen hashbrowns, thawed (or 2 lbs potatoes, shredded thick)
-2 cans condensed cream of potato soup
-16 oz. sour cream (I used reduced fat with no ill results)
-2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
-1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
-salt and pepper
Mix up all the ingredients in a bowl, and add salt and pepper to taste (go easy on the salt because the soup is pretty salty).
Pat into a greased 9x13'' pan, and bake at 350 F for 1 hour, until browned and a little crispy on top!

I hope you give this a try!
Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, August 15, 2011

Whipped Cream Cupcakes

Hi everyone!

It's the dog days of summer and I've been traveling, so I've been pretty darn tired, so this won't be too lengthy of a post. But! I have a great recipe for you and a few pictures so you have something to try out until next time I post.

These whipped cream cupcakes use, somewhat obviously, whipped cream as their base instead of butter or oil. They're light and delicious. I topped mine with a simple chocolate frosting, and they were fabulous.

Here's the light and fluffy batter...

And the cupcakes ready for the oven (I did a few stars as well!).

Whipped Cream Cupcakes
-1 cup heavy whipping cream
-2 eggs
-1 cup sugar
-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
-1 1/4 cups flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Whip the cream to stiff peaks, then beat in the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Then stir in the dry ingredients. Spoon into cupcake tins lined with papers (or greased) and fill halfway.
Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned. Top as you like!

Here are the cupcakes all baked up to light golden perfection.

And the finished cupcakes- fantastic! I hope you try this recipe!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dutch Babies (German Pancakes)

Dutch Babies have been a staple in my family since long before I was born, and I've been eating them my whole life. They're not really pancakes at all, but a thin batter baked up in the oven that puffs up beautifully. When my mom and I get hungry, we like to whip these up for a quick and filling snack- we usually make them in individual sizes, though they can be made in one large pan and cut up as well. You can make these plain or add a fruit like apples, something we're big fans of. We use the recipe from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Let's get on to the recipe and pictures!

Here are the dutch babies (in 8'' and 9'' round pans), ready for the oven.

And here they are all baked up- see how puffy and beautiful they've become?

Dutch Babies (German Pancakes)
-3 eggs
-1/2 cup milk
-1/2 cup flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons butter
-apple slices (optional)
-lemon juice
-confectioner's sugar
Preheat oven to 450 F. Whisk together the eggs and milk. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Whisk in the melted butter. Pour into greased pan(s) (about 3 8-9'' pans, or one big one). Add apple slices on top if desired.
Bake at 450 F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for 10 more minutes (it will probably take less time for smaller pancakes, so keep an eye on them!).
Let cool slightly, then top with confectioner's sugar and lemon juice (if desired) and enjoy!

Here's my Dutch Baby, ready for eating!

Savor it!
love, rue

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Spinach (Yogurt) Dip

I've been gobbling up this spinach dip for the better part of my life, and it never fails to satisfy. It's light and delicious on chips, pita, carrots, other veggies, baked potatoes- I could go on. My mom has had this recipe for years and passed it along to me and my sister. I'm including the picture of the recipe in a community cookbook as submitted by my mom. This is a quick post as I pack to fly across the country, but I really hope you give this a try- it takes minutes to make and makes a wonderful appetizer or snack!

Spinach Yogurt Dip, memorialized in an early 90s community cookbook.

Here's the spinach and the rest of the ingredients are in the bowl.

Spinach Dip
-1 package frozen spinach, thawed
-2 cups plain yogurt
-1/2 cup mayo
-2 green onions, diced, or 1/2-1 teaspoon onion powder
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon sugar
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Drain and chop spinach (squeeze out as much water as possible).
Mix all ingredients together, and enjoy with whatever you can think of!

Here's the unglamorous but fantastic spinach dip- enjoy!

Savor it!
love, rue