Friday, November 9, 2007

Pizza pizza

I ate a Red Baron pizza for dinner tonight, which reminded me I still needed to write a post about the pizza I made a few days ago. Not that my pizza and the Red Baron pizza had that much in common. I mean, I used a white sauce, while his was tomato all the way.
I think the crust is perhaps the most important part of a pizza--it's the foundation, for gosh sakes. For my crust, I use a recipe for ciabatta bread that I adapted--the original was difficult to work with and had way too much salt.

When I make pizza, I start pretty early in the day, say around 11 a.m. That's when I throw together 3/4 cup water, 3/4 cup flour and a tablespoon of yeast. It looks about like this:

About four hours later, it looks like this:
That's when I mix in another 3/4 cup water, two teaspoons of salt and two tablespoons of olive oil. Then I just dump in some flour, about a cup at a time, and mix it with the Kitchenaid until it's still kinda sticky, but not so much that it sticks to my hands.
Then I let the dough rise for about two hours, punch it down, let it rise two more hours. Then comes the fun part: choosing the toppings for the pizza. This time, I went with a sort of a basic alfredo sauce, with some roasted garlic thrown in to liven things up. On top of that went Italian sausage, bacon, sweet Italian red pepper, olives, pineapple and mozzarella. When I got the mozzarella out of the refrigerator and noticed half of it was moldy, I was a little concerned. But hey, you gotta have cheese on a pizza. Unless, of course, you're vegan. I just cut off the green parts and grated up what was left. Here's the pizza going into the oven:

And here's the pizza, just moments before it was devoured:
Red Baron, you can kiss my ass.

Friday, November 2, 2007


So, last weekend I made applebutter. It's kind of old news now. I'm not going to say too much about it, except it took FOREVER. And by forever, I mean it cooked for more than 12 hours and it still wasn't quite as thick as I wanted it to be. But it sure turned out tasty!
Here's the ingredients I used:
10 pounds apples
about 2 cups of sugar
a tablespoon of cinnamon
a few dashes of cloves and nutmeg
a squirt of lemon juice
about 2 cups of water

I cut up the apples in chunks and threw them in a pot with the water, seeds, peels and all. After they were nice and soft, I ran them through my Kitchenaid food mill attachment. At that point, I had a lovely applesauce. Then I put the sauce back in the pot with the sugar and spices and waited. I had started this project at about 11 in the morning, and by midnight it was still pretty runny, so I put it in the fridge and heated it back up in the morning. Oh, at some point I also ran an immersion blender in the sauce, which made it nice and velvety.
I finally got tired of waiting and decided to go ahead and can it up. With my brand-new pressure cooker, I canned about 9 half-pint jars using the boiling water method: Basically, I sterilized the jars, filled them with applebutter, put the lids on, and put them in boiling water for 15 minutes. I can't wait to do it all again next time I pick apples. Really.