a pizza party celebration

 Hi.  My name is Sarah.  I am a food blogger, and I like to play with dough.

Nicole (aka, Loving Simple Moments) wanted to celebrate her one year blog-iversary with a fun meal and a movie. 

Step One: We bought a hunk of fresh mozzarella. 

Step Two: We sought high and low, and finally found a bunch of fresh basil (apparently, it’s not the easiest herb to find right now!?) 

Step Three: We had ourselves a pizza party, while watching Eat, Pray, Love. 

Nicole and I have a past history of buying a Freschetta pizza and drinking root beer floats during some random girls’ only night.  And—really—far be it from me to knock this divine experience.  I may be dietetics student, but I still know the pleasure of a frozen pizza and a girls night out. 😉

That being said, after tonight, I don’t think either of us plan on going back to the frozen isles anytime soon. 

The kitchen smelled only of olive oil.  Warm dough. 

And Oh. My. Word.  That intoxicating smell of fresh basil!

The entire experience of making the dough from scratch, slicing the fresh mozzarella, and stripping the basil was absolutely delicious.

Delicious.

We both agreed.  Best.  Pizza.  Ever.

I’m very picky about pizza.  Especially the crust.  This one was outstanding.  And best of all, it was the most uncomplicated piece of dough to work with. 

As for the movie, “Eat, Pray, Love,”  I thought it was just okay.  I think there could have been way more eating and a little less praying and loving. 😉  I realize this sounds totally strange and wrong, but if you’ve watched the movie, I’m sure you’ll understand.  The book captivated me with traveling.  And Italy.  And gelato.

The book was fun and inspirational.  I guess I just didn’t get that same feeling from the movie?

It was still worth the watch though, especially after reading the book.  And it really was kind of fun eating pizza with Julia Roberts in Italy. 😉

Dessert: Cannolis from our favorite bakery!!

(p.s. Blog-Iversaries need to happen more often, I think. 😉 )

Happy Birthday to Nicole’s Blog!!! 😀

Goodnight, World!!

Pizza Dough—by Bobby Flay, as seen on Food Network, with minor tweaks

We chose not to use whole wheat for our blog-iversary celebration pizza.  However, I’m sure you could use half whole wheat/half all-purpose with delicious results. 

This was thrown together in under 1-1/2 hrs. from beginning to end.  You’ll be rewarded with a handsome crust and a delicious meal.  Enjoy! 😀

  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 envelope instant dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons
  1. Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in a medium bowl. Add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour.

Pizza with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil—by Giada De Laurentis, with some minor tweaks

This is a delicious masterpiece of a pizza.  The fresh mozzarella oozes throughout the pizza.  The crust puffs up into a warm, doughy bite.  And the oils emitted from strips of fresh basil create an intoxicating aroma.  This is a no-fail, go-to recipe, which Nicole and I both highly recommend for your next pizza party.  Enjoy!

  • 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
  • Pizza Dough (using above recipe) 
  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8-oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced thin 
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced, optional 
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Position 1 oven rack in the center preheat to 450 degrees F. Sprinkle the cornmeal over a rimless baking sheet. Roll out pizza dough into a 10 to 11-inch-diameter round or rectangle. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  2. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of oil over pizza dough. Spread the mozzarella over the pizza dough, dividing equaling and leaving a 1-inch border around pizza. Arrange the tomato slices in a single layer over the cheese.  Arrange basil leaves on top, drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle garlic all over. Bake the pizzas until the crusts are crisp and brown on the bottom and the cheese is melted on top, about 15 minutes. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of oil over pizza. Sprinkle with basil for garnish and salt. Cut the pizza into wedges and serve immediately.  ENJOY! 😀

Question: Have you read or seen Eat, Pray, Love?  Did you enjoy either one, and which did you prefer?

a simple dish

Reason why my sister is my best friend, number one million and three

cat not included.

 Nicole makes a different pancake flavor for each new month of the year.  And while banana chocolate chip, maple walnut, and pumpkin rank high on my list of favorites, I don’t think any can compare with the gingerbread pancake.  It’s a little like eating a spicy gingerbread cookie for dinner.   :mrgreen:

Last night, Nicole had me over for dinner and a movie.  We plopped ourselves on the floor, watched Home Alone 2, and ate our fill of gingerbread pancakes, scrambled eggs and fresh fruit for dinner.  It feels a lot like Christmas. 😀

(If you’re dying for a batch of gingerbread pancakes too, she posted this recipe on today’s blog post: click here.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

 Over the weekend, my dad grilled a couple of  ‘beer can chickens,’ and we’ve had heeps of leftover meat sitting in the fridge ever since.  Aside from using it for salad toppings—or just picking at it here and there—I really wanted to make a meal of it.  A simple, nutritious meal that I could get on the table quickly, after a long day of battling it out at the supermarket.

This meal *screams* simple.

(1) Diced chicken and halved pea pods sitting—waiting—in a colander.

(2) A simple sauce simmering.  Whisk, whisk, whisk.

(3) Hot (cooked) fettucine poured over chicken and pea pods.

(4) Everything poured back into pan, along with sauce and pineapple.

(5) Stirred gently.  Meal served.

 

Simple, simple, simple.  I love it when meals are fast, healthy and tasty to boot.  This is especially important during the holidays, wouldn’t you say?

Turkey and Pasta with Peanut Sauce—as seen in Better Homes and Gardens.

This meal could easily be made vegetarian, if you take out the meat and maybe add in some baked tofu.  If you do decide to go vegetarian, I recommend doubling the sauce and letting the tofu sit in some of the liquid before tossing it all together.  You could also double up on the veggies as well.  Sauteed red or green bell peppers would be a lovely addition. 

And while this simple dish is best served immediately, it reheats decently well for lunch the following day.  Enjoy! 

  • 6-oz. dried fettuccine or linguine
  • 2 c. fresh pea pods, cut in half
  • 1 c. cooked turkey or chicken, chopped
  • 1 c. chopped fresh pineapple OR one 8-oz. can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1/4 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 T. all natural peanut butter
  • 1 T. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T. lime or lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, place pea pods and turkey or chicken in a colander.  Pour hot cooking liquid from pasta over pea pods and turkey or chicken in colander; drain well.  Return pasta, pea pods and turkey/chicken to the hot pan.  Add pineapple.
  2. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small saucepan, stir chicken broth into peanut butter.  Heat and stir with a whisk until peanut butter melts.  Stir in soy sauce, lime juice, red pepper and garlic.  Heat thorough.
  3. Add sauce to pasta mixture.  Gently stir and toss to coat.  ENJOY! 😀

Question: Are you doing any traveling for Christmas or are you the one putting on the feast?