Monthly Archives: June 2013

Pizza (or A Fine Place to Start)

Pizza Margherita

This past weekend I had a whole host of people from my ultimate frisbee team at my dad’s vacation home on an island in the Puget Sound. We had planned this for probably three months and I was wiped out when the time came. I mentioned in my past post that I had recently finished a big project at work. Well it was a BIG project and I’ve gotten very little sleep the last month. As we ramped up for our launch, I also put an offer on a house and bought it! I launched something huge on Tuesday at work and stayed up all night and Wednesday to monitor, I signed all the paperwork for the house on Thursday, and we left for our retreat on Friday. Monday I got the keys to my house. It’s been a huge week. I collapsed Saturday afternoon and succumbed to a cold for the rest of the weekend. I’ll give some more details of the house later!

Luckily, this pizza was made Friday night and prepped earlier in the week when I used a cooking spree to decompress from the stress of house buying and website launching.

I made the tomato sauce on Tuesday and froze it for use that weekend. The pizza dough I literally made while on the phone with my aunt in 5 minutes using my food processor. It was refrigerated and then rose in the car on the way up. We then assembled the pizzas and baked them on a pizza stone at 500-550F. We sort of threw random stuff together with red sauce and mozzarella: salami, sauteed mushroom and onions. Margherita (basil, tomato, mozzarella). Sauteed zucchini with mushroom and onions. Even a dairy-free Romesco Pizza with Carmelized Onions and Squash that Steph contributed the toppings and sauce for. The sauce was very delicious and I didn’t miss the cheese one bit! It uses almonds so it’s actually fairly rich.

Tomato Sauce
The tomato sauce comes from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s New York Style Pizza Sauce.

Tomato Sauce

Pizza dough
The pizza dough also comes from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. His New York Style Pizza Dough is awesome. He recommends weighing it out but I usually just go by cups and it works alright. One of my pizza crusts was noticeably tastier and stretchier than the other so obviously there’s an optimal way to measure the ingredients. This was by far the best pizza dough I’ve made before and now I have an itch to improve upon it and try different things. It’s a great pizza dough recipe to start from.

summer 003

My First Kale Salad

Kale Salad

I’ve had a bit of a love affair with kale the past year. Sauteed kale, veggies, and sausage is one of my default weeknight dinner meals. I toss it into soups, frittatas, and have enjoyed it raw in salads (notably at Serious Pie). I’ve never made a raw kale salad at home though, and I have been feeling like I’ve been in a salad rut lately. Romaine. Tomatoes. Cucumber. Balsamic Vinegar. The world of salads is so much greater than these ingredients, yet it’s so easy just to reach for the default that gets it done.

I got to leave work a bit early one day this week (after having been there very late a few other days this week) and used my time off to cook. My team just launched something BIG. Something I’ve been working on since I started my job 1.5 years ago, and something people have been working on for a decent amount longer. It’s involved some very, very late nights the past month so I haven’t been treating myself right. I used my free afternoon to bake a cake for the launch, a cake for my coworker’s birthday, and prepare some pizza sauce for a weekend trip with my Ultimate Frisbee team. And then I made this salad for me.

Sam was a skeptic of this salad and spent his first 6 or 7 bites grimacing. He then proceeded to eat normally and say I could make it again because it was quite delicious and he was just trolling. He enjoys messing with me a little too much! But I (secretly) like it.

I looked at a few kale salads to get inspiration and ended up basing mine off one I found on Serious Eats. I would probably make more dressing next time. If you have a particularly huge bunch of kale, definitely double the dressing part of it.

Kale Close Up

Kale and Stone Fruit Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing
adapted from┬áSuzanne Lehrer’s Make Ahead Roast Chicken and Kale Salad

  • One bunch kale ( russian red was especially delicious)
  • 2 nectarines (or some other stone fruit)
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan

Dressing

  • 3 T. Water
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp. tahini
  • 1 medium or small Lemon’s worth of juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a bowl. Add salt and pepper last to taste.
Wash Kale, remove stems, and chop leaves.
Cut nectarine into slices.
Chop almonds.
Combine all ingredients and toss.

Nearly Flourless Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

On the weekend we were invited over to a friend’s place for a pot roast dinner. I didn’t want to arrive empty handed, so I made Molly Wizenberg’s Winning Hearts and Minds Cake. It only has a few ingredients (chocolate, eggs, butter, sugar, and a smidge of flour and salt) and it’s actually pretty close my family’s winning brownie recipe. Both come together quickly and are very tasty. That must be why I really like it!

Although it definitely came in second after the host’s delicious roast, it was still a winner among friends. This cake is sooo easy to make and has one of the highest deliciousness to effort involved ratios of any baked good I know. It’s a pretty foolproof recipe to try if you feel intimidated by baking. The only things you might mess up would be adding the chocolate mix to the eggs when it’s still too hot (you might cook the eggs!) or not cooking it the right length of time.

Here‘s the recipe again in case you missed it above!