Pizza · Recipes

pizza worship

Delicious Pizza!We love pizza.  We’ve been working on perfecting it for years!  It’s an endless mission, but we love a challenge.  Our original pizza dough is great, but I’ve got another one I’ve been working on.  We’re always trying new toppings.  I think I’ll try using the roasted butternut squash or Laura’s bacon jam next time.  Now my mouth is watering.

Wood Fired Pizza OvenWe love pizza so much, we had to build a wood fired pizza oven in our back yard.  It was a lot of fun and a lot of work!  We finished in just under 6 months, thanks to my genius Dad and wonderful Sunshine.   Check out our journey on my new blog, Marge-Alicious Morsels.  I’ve actually moved Marge-Alicious Morsels to a new location and added some cool features and a new look.   You’ll have to re-subscribe to the new site, but I promise it will be worth your trouble.

Miss PaigeyHey Mom, Paigey needs a new dress.

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Cakes and Cupcakes · Chocolate · Dessert · Pizza · Recipes

The Soul Sisters



I miss the Soul Sisters.  Isabel, Lucy and Pearl came out to California for their annual visit.  We had a great time feasting together.  We made ice cream for vacation Sunday, and we had a pizza party at our house.  We swam, actually floated in Veronica and Joey’s pool until our fingers and toes were shriveled up.  That’s a lot of floating time.  More on that later.  First I want to show you the cake I made for their last day in town.  It’s a chocolate-chocolate chip cake with cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 box Duncan Hines devils food cake mix
  • 1 box chocolate pudding mix
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup corn oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1-8 ounce block of cream cheese
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla
  • 1 pound confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine ingredients for the cake and mix for 3 minutes.

Place in 2-10″ round cake pans lined with parchment. Do not butter and flour the pan. You actually want the cake to cling to the sides of the pan to ensure straight sides to the cake. I like to use baking strips . The top of the cake stays flat, and the sides do not overcook. Bake for 35 minutes. I tap the cake in the oven, if it jiggles, it needs to continue baking. Cool on a wire rack, then wrap the pan in foil until ready to frost. That usually means the next day for me.

To make the cream cheese frosting:
Cream butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle until smooth. Add the vanilla. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar.
Frost the cake, refrigerate overnight.

I used smaller cake pans and loaded them up a little too much.  The cakes sunk in the middle, so I cut off the top to even them out.  I used the rest of the cake to make these cake balls.  I dipped them in dark chocolate, and then drizzled them with the white chocolate.

Check out Lucy, she’s enjoying a little pre-taste of our home-made vanilla ice cream.

Lucy is one talented artist.  I’ve commissioned her to paint something for me.  We’re not sure what she’s going to paint yet.  You can’t rush artists.

We had to have a pizza party!  Everyone made their own.  Pearl’s looks amazing, with a lot of cheese and just a sprinkling of pepperoni.

We had an awesome conversation about her goals.  She plans to marry a professional football player who’s loaded with money so that she can open a ski resort.  She plans to have five houses at different locations.  She told me sometimes her goals are a little hard to achieve, but it’s worth trying anyway, even if she’s a little disappointed when things don’t turn out as planned.  How old is she?  So wise for such a young age.  And then she mentioned she would like to be a mermaid.  And it would be great if she could just take a pill and transform back into a human.  Then she could have twice as many friends.  Ahhh, yes, she really is eleven.

Lucy and Isabel have plans to open a bakery.  Or maybe a bakery/tattoo parlor.  Or maybe a bakery with cakes that are adorned with tattoo-like art.  I just know that I can’t wait for whatever it is they decide.

Can’t wait for next year!

Main Dish · Pizza · Recipes

90 second pizza and a 20 minute massage

Check out these lovely pizza pies.  We made them in Chik’s ALMOST finished pizza oven.  He’s been building it for about a year now.  Of course we’re building one too.  He really copied us even though he made his first.  I still think we may finish our pizza oven first, even though we haven’t started it yet.  As a matter of fact, we just got the plans.  I wanted to bypass the year of thinking and let someone else do that for me.  We ordered our plans in April and they have only just arrived this past weekend.

Some things are worth waiting for, right?  I’ve got a great birthday weekend planned of watching all the boys in my life build my pizza oven.  Who wants to join in the fun?  I promise I will make it worth your while.

A good pizza has to start with the dough.  I’ve been fussing with my recipe for years.  I think it’s pretty damn good.  I posted it a long time ago, here it is so you don’t have to go digging around for it.

Pizza dough

  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup water, between 100 and 110 degrees
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add honey and yeast to the water and let it sit for 5 minutes.  The yeast should start to bubble.  If it doesn’t, start over with a new package of yeast.

Add olive oil to the yeast mixture and slowly add to the flour mixture, run the mixer on low using the dough hook.  Mix for 4 minutes.  The flour and yeast mixture should be well combined, and the dough should be a little tacky to the touch.  If it isn’t, add a little more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.  Continue to mix after the dough has rested for an additional 2 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a ball.  Place the dough in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and cover with a damp kitchen towel.  Place in a draft free area.  The dough can be refrigerated overnight at this point.  If using the same day, do not refrigerate and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 30 minutes.  Punch the dough down, gather into a ball, and either refrigerate at this point or cut into 4 equal parts.  Shape each piece into a ball.

It really is better if you can make it a day or 2 ahead.  The flavor improves and the texture of the dough is more elastic, which makes it easier to shape your pie.

Chik came up with a great tip…dust your pizza peel with rice flour before adding your dough, and then building your pizza.   I’ve been using corn meal, but rice flour works so much better.  It’s ground finer than the cornmeal and doesn’t burn.

Glory be.

I’m not kidding.

Chik!  You are almost done!!   Finish it already!  It is quite glorious.

How cute is Sunshine.  Chik bought a crazy massage chair.  Can’t beat a 90 second pizza and a 20 minute massage.

Bacon · Main Dish · Pizza · Recipes

New Year’s Eve Pizza Party!!

Happy New Year!!!!  We had a great time making pizza with our friends on New Year’s Eve.  And when I say we had a great time, I mean we had A GREAT TIME!!!!   I’m still in my pj’s.  It’s January 2nd.

Laura had the genius idea to spread a little bit of her bacon jam on her pizza.  It was delicious!  Luckily I have another jar.  I think I’ll try a little bacon jam and blue cheese the next time I make pizza.  Here is her recipe:

Laura’s Slow-Cooker Bacon Jam

  • 1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon
  • 2 medium yellow onions, small dice
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup brewed coffee

Cook bacon until lightly browned.  Remove bacon and  drain fat.  Add onions and garlic.  Cook until onions are translucent.  Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup and coffee and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the skillet.  Add bacon and stir to combine.  Transfer mixture to a 6 quart slow cooker .  Cook on high, uncovered, until liquid is syrupy, about 3 1/2 to 4 hours.  Transfer to a foood processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.  Let cook, then refrigerate.

Nice dough ball.  Making your own dough is worth the effort.  Check out the recipe on my other pizza party post.

Cheers!!

Laura’s pie!  Yummy….I see the bacon jam!

Fully loaded!!

Tawny and Shawn’s pizza!

Have a slice!

Veronica’s pizza…

OMG.

A little bubbly.

Happy New Year!!!

Oh Sunshine, you are so funny!

Good night Thom.

Good night Laura.

A little slide show…I told you we had fun:)

Appetizers and Snacks · Pizza · Recipes · Vegetarian

Mom needs a snack for the car

My Mom cracks me up. She can find her way blind folded to any shopping mall, but when it comes to driving 10 minutes up the street to her friends house, well, that’s another story. That 1o minute drive turns into 4o minutes and then requires an escort after 10 calls. Then there’s the GPS. The damn GPS always tells you to turn in a half mile. NOW HOW ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH IS SHE SUPPOSED TO KNOW HOW FAR A HALF MILE IS??? And the GPS lady is so mean! Just because my Mom isn’t really listening to her, doesn’t mean she has to yell at her! Anyway, it’s times like this when you need a snack.   So this one’s for you Mom, just in the off chance you get lost again.

Here’s Mom!  She loves NYC.  This is a photo from her visit to see her grandson, Jason.  Luckily she didn’t have to drive in NYC, there’s taxis for that.

Zucchini, Red Onion and Herbed Goat Cheese Flatbread

  • 1 prepared pizza dough
  • 1/2 red onion, thin slice
  • 1 zucchini, thin slice
  • 8 ounce log of goat cheese
  • 1/4 buttermilk
  • handful of basil leaves, chiffonade
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Roll out the pizza dough to fit the sheet pan.  Combine goat cheese with buttermilk to create a spreadable consistency.  Add basil, salt and pepper to the goat cheese mixture.  Spread half of the goat cheese mixture on half of the pizza dough.  Sprinkle with a generous amount of parmesan cheese.  Using the parchment paper as a guide, fold the pizza dough in half lengthwise.  Spread the top with then remaining goat cheese mixture.  Place zucchini in a row along the right and left sides, and the onion in a row down the center.  Sprinkle with more parmesan.  Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Notice all the wine.  Greg and Silvia picked up a few bottles for us at Amazing Grapes, their wine store in Rancho Santa Margarita.  Go check it out.  They have a really cool wine bar.

Main Dish · Pizza · Recipes

Pizza Party!

Last week I got a surprise in the mail.  It was a plaque from my Alcatraz Swim in June.  I came in first place for my age group!  Never mind how old I am.  First place!!!!!  I had no idea. A perfect excuse for a pizza party, wouldn’t you agree?  Our San Marzano tomatoes are perfectly ripe in our garden, another good reason for a pizza party.  I could find a million reasons, I’ll just stop here.

First things first.  Gotta make the dough.  The ingredients are always the same for any pizza dough recipe, just a few tweaks here and there.  It’s more of a touchy feely thing.  You can’t have the dough too dry otherwise it’s difficult to work with, it should be a little tacky to the touch.  It’s also always better to let the dough do it’s thing overnight in the refrigrator.

Pizza dough

  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup water, between 100 and 110 degrees
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add honey and yeast to the water and let it sit for 5 minutes.  The yeast should start to bubble.  If it doesn’t, start over with a new package of yeast.

Add olive oil to the yeast mixture and slowly add to the flour mixture, run the mixer on low using the dough hook.  Mix for 4 minutes.  The flour and yeast mixture should be well combined, and the dough should be a little tacky to the touch.  If it isn’t, add a little more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.  Continue to mix after the dough has rested for an additional 2 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a ball.  Place the dough in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and cover with a damp kitchen towel.  Place in a draft free area.  The dough can be refrigerated overnight at this point.  If using the same day, do not refrigerate and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 30 minutes.  Punch the dough down, gather into a ball, and either refrigerate at this point or cut into 4 equal parts.  Shape each piece into a ball.

Time for Pizza!

This is Chik’s pizza, he was the first to make his.  He added burrata cheese, I can see it oozing on the lower right corner.  He also added a mixture of porcini and crimini mushrooms sauteed in butter, asiago cheese and ricotta, all topped off with arugula.  Not bad, Chik!

Cheers!!!!!

Murphy made his next.  He’s adding some proscuitto, and there’s the burrata cheese!

It’s a beauty Murphy!

Up close and personal look at Murphy’s glorious pie.

This one has to be Sunshine’s pizza, it’s the snow flurry of parmigiano reggiano that’s the tip off.

Yep, that’s Sunshine’s.  See the snow flurry??

Carrie put shrimp, cheese, basil, tomatoes and a splash of balsamic vinegar on her pizza.  How did I not get a bite of your pizza, Carrie?  I feel cheated.

This one’s mine.  I added the fig jam I made earlier, asiago, mozzarella, gorgonzola, prosciutto di parma, parmagio reggiano, and topped with arugula.

Oh yeah, we had some wine.  Look familiar?

Carrie and Paige!  Carrie is so cute, but Paige…that pose isn’t very lady like.

One last pizza.  We had to make one traditional margarita, well close anyway.  San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, ricotta and basil.  Not a bad night.