Category Archives: Cooking at Home

Things I Did This Year and Didn’t Write About

All day long I go around writing in my head.

I construct grand entries
witty one liners
things that happened I want to remember
or I take a million photos of something to document later.

Then the kitchen needs cleaning
the dogs keep bringing me their toys to play fetch
hair needs washing
and I fall asleep, exhausted and feeling behind,
again.

At least, that’s how I feel
until December rolls around.

December holds the key to self-redemption in the Blog Universe.

I can dump everything I wanted to write about
(but was too busy throwing slobbery, dirty Kongs around for our dogs to get to)
in a grand ‘look back’ entry
and no one will think twice about it.

In fact
people may hope that January will see a turn around the bend
and that I’ll post more often.

It’s nice in my head you know.
Lots of puppies and dandelions.
No alarm clocks, either.

Without further ado/procrastination
I present to you the things I did this year and didn’t write about:

I saw my family a lot
which a bit out of the ordinary.

I ended up eating Pappasitos more than should be allowed, though
so hanging out with the family has its downsides.

There are redeeming qualities:

like how they are not afraid to give you a really stupid look
when you ask a question that deserves it.

I also started taking a lot more photos this year.

Of everything.

Having a phone with a camera made for innumerable impromptu photoshoots
exponentially increasing documentation of cooking projects.

I can’t decide if having a camera on my phone is a good thing or a bad thing.

One part of me is glad that I’m documenting
the other sees it as lazy.

If I used the More Advanced Camera
my photos wouldn’t look so grainy and dark
but I am spoiled by the instant gratification of one-click shoot, upload, and post.

So, I’m split
but I will stop with the agonizing and post the damned photos.

Italian Creme cake for a surprise party in April or so.

I was obsessed with panna cotta in the spring and summer.
Thinking about it still makes my mouth water.

Breads also took over most of my brain.
I grew and killed a starter

R.I.P., R.I.P., R.I.P., and R.I.P..

After a period of mourning
I received the gift of mature starter.

Dead starters notwithstanding
breadmaking is going swimmingly.

This year I made the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had

and possibly the worst bread I’ve ever made
(that actually made it into the oven instead of the disposal).

It was terribly dry and dense.
I was not the only one that had a problem with this bread
so I felt a little bit better about wasting all that chocolate.

Both shots are pre-baking.

In my bread making mania
I also tackled croissants
(armed with the More Advanced Camera).

I can’t stop laughing at this picture:

If you know what is about to happen
then you can imagine the little pats of butter in there crowded together
saying
‘OH NO!’

Pull out a cookbook and find out the ending
’cause I’m leaving you with that cliffhanger.

They turned out alright but I will be revisiting croissants with a different recipe and better lighting.

One can only eat bread alone for so long
so it was fortunate that my other obsession this year was sandwiches.

Red wine braised skirt steak with peppers and cheese on ciabatta

Grilled guyere on rye with butternut squash soup

Pork shoulder with cabbage and jalapenos on cheater (purchased) bread

Roasted eggplant with tomato sauce, red peppers, and basil on sourdough

Roasted eggplant (again!) with mozzerella and pinenut-anchovy relish on ciabatta

Of course
of course there have been cakes almost every Monday:

I need to remember to never again employ whatever technique I used to decorate the top.

Yep.

Not all the cakes turned out beautifully.
Some of them were too ugly to even photograph.

I’M LOOKING AT YOU, BOSTON CREAM PIE.

I am getting better at the frosting
slowly
so I need to keep pushing myself
no matter how frustrating.

Lest the stream of poorly lit cameraphone photos lead you to to think that I ignore my More Advanced Camera
I have photos to prove that I did haul it around every now and then.

Sometimes I had it with me in my kitchen:

Other times I toted it around town.

Caesar Salad Class with Carla Cardini:

Photography Workshop with Penny De Los Santos:

Taco Truck Crawl II put on by this guy, this place, and these guys:

Actually, it was probably best if you didn’t follow the bus.

Unless you like doing U-turns.

One of the several trucks that took credit cards.

It was a grand year for food
in my house and about town.

Next year, I think it will be much the same at home
although I can’t say the same for what it will be like out the door.

In three months we’ll get word on if we move from Houston or not.

Medical school ruled our lives for the past five years
and I can hear residency stomping around the corner.

To make a short list:
we could move to Pennsylvania, New Jersey or West Virginia.

We could also stay right where we are.
Match Day is in March
and we’ll know at the same time as the rest of the U.S. where we will be spending the next three years of our life.

I hope those years will be filled with cakes, sandwiches, and fun things to learn, though.

It is comforting to know
that if good food is hard to come by in our new locale
I’ll just stay in and make it on my own.

And write about it
of course.

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October Smells Like Cake

Cakes have been a major component of my life for the past few weeks.

I found myself with some time on my hands this month
and it coincided nicely with receiving Rose Levy Beranbaum‘s new book
Rose’s Heavenly Cakes.

Although I’m not a big cake eater
(I’ll take pie over cake
and ice cream over them both)
I love to bake them.

Given my tepid feelings towards cake consumption
I consistently have a problem with what to do with cakes once I make them.

The thought of having too much cake on hand
and then it going to waste
is what normally stops me from baking
but I put that concern aside for a little bit earlier this month.

Inspired by the new book
I took an evening to lounge around in bed and page through my new treasure.
The dogs kept me company as I looked through it
passing by the chocolate chocolate chocolate cakes
and then suddently staring at a photo of a beautiful four layer cake
called Woody’s Lemon Luxury Layer Cake.

While I like milk/dark chocolate
I never really crave it.
I do crave lemony things, however.

That yellow cirtus has my heart for sure.
Have you ever seen a piece of fruit look so happy?
It’s BRIGHT YELLOW! It FITS IN YOUR HAND!
You can cook/bake/clean with it!
It’s MULTIPURPOSE!

I go through a lot of lemons and need to plant a lemon tree already.

Now that you know my feelings on lemons
you could understand why I would be drawn to a recipe calling for zest in the sponge, curd to fill, and curd in the white chocolate frosting.

Sponge set up

Zest bomb

Out of the oven

Pulling away from the pans
as it should
after a few minutes

I left it to cool and started on the curd.

I would have photos of the curd in progress
but the first batch turned out poorly
and it was because I followed directions.

PSA: Don’t make anything that is lemon-based in a stainless steel/metal container.
Just don’t.

I don’t care what the recipe says.
Use a glass bowl and wooden utensils and I promise you
your lemon whatever won’t taste like it passed through water fountain pipes.

Cause that’s what happens in a stainless steel pot.

PlusIgoofeduponanotherthing
but we don’t need to talk about it.

(Don’t forget to add the eggs when making your curd.
You can’t just add them in at the end.
Yeah. I did you a favor and learned for you.)

So I made another batch and then set everything aside to cool overnight.

The next day I made the buttercream.

It had a fair amount of white chocolate

Melted

Back to the stove with some butter, eggs
and vanilla

The frosting base had to cool too
(notice the name of the cake did not say “Woody’s Quick Lemon Luxury Layer Cake)
but after cooling I whipped in some butter

then the some of the lemon curd

and ended with a whole boatload of amazing buttercream.

I put that aside and went back to working on the cake layers.

Cooled and torted

Simple syrup to keep them moist
(helpful since they were already a day old)

Curd in between

I sigh a happy sigh.
It looks like sunshine.
Who wouldn’t want to eat sunshine
…that tastes like lemons (and not of fire)?

Whoever doesn’t want to
well, I’ll have their piece of sunshine then.

Buttercream on top and in between the sandwiched layers

Crumb coat

I know some bakers don’t do a crumb coat
but I swear by them.

True to its name
this is the coat that captures all the crumbs in your frosting
that way they don’t end up marring the surface of your pretty cake.

After I applied the crumb coat
I put the cake in the refrigerator to set up a little bit
so as to make the final frosting layer nice and smooth.

That was the goal at least.

Perfectly smooth buttercream frosting on a cake is one of the hardest thing for me to do.
Possibly harder than Pie Crust.
If I ever met Crust and Buttercream in a dark alley at night
I would run away
screaming in terror.

Buttercream won the battle this time.

It also seems I was so enraged at losing the Battle of Smooth
that I could not take a decent picture of the finished product.

It was a night of failures
because I also added some yellow food coloring to the icing
and it turned splotchy from lazy mixing.

Thats what you get.
Bad lighting
subject cut off
and the equivalent of cow spots on the cake.

You’re just going to have to like it
or not like it.
Whatever you want.

It wasn’t winning any beauty pageants
but hot damn it was good.

If you’ve ever wondered
what it’s like to try to get a nice slice of cake for a photograph
it looks a little like this

I quit after three slices.

The insides

You can see the buttercream filling is a little bit cracked.

After I finished frosting the cake I put it in the refrigerator to set up again.
When I took it out
I didn’t wait until it had warmed up all the way through to slice it
so it cracked a little.

My problem with having too much cake was taken care of when I tweeted that I had a lot of cake and no one to eat it.

Summons were issued
and the cake went a’traveling to a little ol’ Houston bar.

I still came home with a few slices
but it was better than having the behemoth sit in my fridge for a week or two.

This cake was not the only cake to come into my life this month.

I made an angel food cake too.

Good ol’ Woody liked a lot of egg yolks in his cake
so I had about fifteen whites in a big bowl in my fridge.

You can see theres a few spots where the flour didn’t incorporate well.
It was still pretty fluffy and light
and since it was my first angel food cake
I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

I didn’t do all the cake making this month.

Dorothy Young put on a Cheesecake making class.

The master showing us how it is done

Some students listening and reading their notes

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

Dorothy Young’s tasty pumpkin cheesecake with candied pecans

This guy was also there
making coffee

and of course
for those who couldn’t attend the class
there were plenty of people live-tweeting it

This isnt even a full round up of all the cakes I’ve seen this month.
October is also not over
and of course
I have a few more cakes planned.

I will practice again with a cake with a buttercream frosting
trying to attain perfect smoothness with a non-crusting frosting
and probably get frustrated with it
then stalk off to do something where I am not involved with preparation
like eat tacos.

Thankfully that respite won’t be too far out of reach this weekend.
I have giant plans involving taco trucks this Sunday.

To maximize the taco-rest opportunity
I should start the cake on Saturday
go to bed pissed off at the cake that night
wake up to eat tacos
then come back blissed out and issue a beat down on the buttercream.

Yeah
you better watch your back buttercream.
When I’m done with you
you won’t even dare to wrinkle.

I’ll get your friend, Crust, in November.
In the kitchen
with a pumpkin.

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My Pita Poofed!

I’ve been sick for the past week.

That means not much cooking went on in my house
even though I tried to guilt trip Husband into cooking for me.

Instead, he picked up Lipton noodle soup at the beginning of the week
and got Chinese takeout at the end of the week.

Hot Pockets also made an appearance in there.

It was not a proud week
but it did remind me a lot of summertime as a teenager.

Back then I made what I could find in the pantry and freezer
and I guess that was a lot of Lipton, Hot Pockets, and eggrolls.

Saturday and Sunday still found me dragging myself from one flat surface to another
but I was going a little bit crazy from not cooking.

Since Husband was neither going to use up the tomatoes eking past their prime
nor the cucumber languishing in the refrigerator beside the bell pepper
I decided it was time to return to the kitchen.

Wasting food almost causes me to lose sleep at night
and since I was already coughing most of my nights away
I decided it was time to make some gazpacho.

Modified from Jose Andres’ Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds ripe red tomatoes (about 10 plum tomatoes)
8 ounces cucumber (about 1 cucumber)
3 ounces green pepper (about 1/2 bell pepper)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 garlic clove, peeled
3/4 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil

Note: I recommend a lighter olive oil. Lucini is great and doesn’t PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE with olive oil flavor. Depending on what olive oil you use, the flavor be overpowering, so stick with one that is on the buttery side.

Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. Chop up all ingredients (peel cucumbers, remove seeds and top of bell pepper, tomatoes can be cored, but leave the skins).

2. Throw everything but the salt and oil into a blender.

3. Turn on the blender and blend until smooth. Take a taste and see if you need more vinegar. The sweetness of the tomatoes will vary from batch to batch. Add some more vinegar to balance out everything if necessary.

4. Add the olive oil and salt and reblend.

5. Strain mixture through fine mesh strainer. Your mixture should be smooth with a lot of body.

6. Chill. I like mine very cold.

I like to serve the soup with grilled toast brushed with olive oil.

Andres has an elaborate garnish component in the book
but I rarely prepare it.

Husband and I nibbled (sipped?)
on the gazpacho all Saturday
and by Sunday I was still self-quarantined
but could not hold myself back from cooking a full meal for any longer.

First I made pita bread

Post-roll, pre-oven.

I couldnt be arsed to break out the real camera
so just used my phone.

I make no excuses.

My fourth attempt at this recipe
finally succeeded
and my pitas poofed.

Like the elusive Big Foot, this puffy pita was hard to photograph.

Is that enough alliteration for you?

I slid pair after pair of dough rounds in the oven
and after a while my reward was this:

I would be inclined to say they we’re pillowy, puffy, pitas
but that might be pushing the ‘p’ theme a bit
so I’ll just say that they were soft and had the appropriate pocket in each.

I also made “New Bride” Chicken Curry with a red onion raita.

Both recipes are from Ruta Kahate’s 5 Spices, 50 dishes
a short cookbook with which I’ve had great success.

I improvised some saffron jasmine rice as well
which consisted of steaming some jasmine rice in chicken broth with saffron.

The chicken curry was pretty simple.

Brown some onions

add the spice paste and garlic, stir around for a while
then add the tomatoes

cook the tomatoes down a little bit

add water and the chicken
(I’ll use broth or stock next time)
and simmer until chicken is cooked through.

The book says to cook the chicken uncovered
but I covered it for the last bit of stove time
since I wanted a looser sauce.

I discarded the skin after cooking
because anything less than shatteringly crisp chicken skin is not for me.

The recipe calls a bit of apple cider and sugar to be added at the end
which I loved.

When I tasted the saffron rice straight out of the pot I didn’t care for it too much
but found was great with the curry.

Sunday lunch
in Technicolor!

I halved the recipe
because I only thawed a pound and a half of chicken.

I love rice with any type of soupy gravy or broth
so next time
even if I halve the recipe
I would double the base.

The onion raita didn’t go perfectly with the chicken
but I liked the flavor of it.

Next time I think I’ll serve it with something other than chicken.

I think it needs to accompany a stronger protein so it doesn’t overwhelm it.

Husband proclaimed the meal
a ‘make again’ meal
although he politely picked around his onion raita.

I have liver and onions with grilled polenta up next on the list
and I’m hoping that it turns out well.

My experience with liver has not been a good one
but this is from our meat CSA
so I’m hoping that it turns out better than other liver I’ve had.

We’ve heard nothing on our vegetable CSA.
The owner deleted my comment from her blog
never contacted me about helping them
and hasn’t updated anyone in three days about what is going to happen.

For all that arm flapping and doom and gloom
it doesn’t seem like she’s very serious about making this work
but who knows
maybe she’ll come back with a plan.

I don’t know what she’s doing up there
but I’m not sure she does either.

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Eating Alone

I was browsing over at SeriousEats during my lunch
as is my usual Monday-Friday routine
when I started reading a thread on what people eat when they eat alone.

At first I thought it was silly
‘of course I would just eat leftovers’
and then I got to thinking
and in reality
I usually don’t eat leftovers when I eat alone.

My favorite meal for one is chicken and rice.
Not chicken and rice with garlic, spices, and a salad
but a chicken breast roasted with seasoned salt and freshly cracked pepper
with some chicken broth added in during the last half of roasting
then when it’s ready
the chicken gets shredded and unceremoniously dumped over steaming white rice with the broth.

That’s my meal for just me.

I find myself eating cereal a lot too
or just Triscuits and cheese.

This week I’ve had cereal two days in a row.
The first time it was because Hub was on call and I didn’t feel like cooking
and the second time was because I just used up all my energy trying to work out an argument.

I felt that if I cooked anything it might end up with only the hottest spices in the house
topped off with a splash of HATRED and ANGER.

So cornflakes and whole milk it was.
It seemed safer that way.

Last night I did start making watermelon sorbet though
and will finish it tonight.

I can’t promise there won’t be cayenne in it
but it actually might be better that way.

I’ve done some heavy duty cooking this week
and this weekend will be much of the same.

I made macarons for the first time last week
thanks to a recipe from this guy.

They turned out beautifully
and they are slated to be made this weekend again
because Hub and I ate every last one of them the same day they were made.

Playing around with fillings will be the project this time around
I have a few Rose Levy Beranbaum recipes lined up
Nutella in the pantry
and home-made jam in the fridge.

The jam was a gift from a coworker
because, sadly, I have not yet marched into preserving territory.
I do have a book on it
but the fear of inadvertently poisoning myself and Hub has not yet dissipated
so fun and games with with berries, cucumbers, tomatoes, chiles…
(you get the picture)
will have to wait.

Also on the list for this weekend is finding what to do with the rest of the watermelon I have.

Our CSA delivered it to us right before July 4th
and half of it went into the sorbet.

The other half is sitting in my fridge
laughing at me.

It’s been quite meloney at our house lately.

We got cantaloupe in our CSA delivery this week
and I think that is going to go with some cured ham of some sort
since I’ve actually never paired it with that.

My favorite way to eat it is with super cold cottage cheese
(why yes, that has been an alone meal)
but I’m trying to branch out here.

I might as well get through the tried and true combos
that way when I want to get WILD AND CRAZY
I’ll have some sort of foundation on which to build.

That has been my mission lately:
to try out the classics.

I feel like I read about them so much
and see how people play with them
but when I get to thinking about it
I realize how much I haven’t tried
and that’s simply unacceptable.

Lately my weekends have turned into project-cooking-time
and the projects recently have been classic recipes and pairings.

Seeing as that has resulted in things like macarons, stuffed squash blossoms, and progressively better stock
I think I shall continue the trend.

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Meal Plans and Easter Dinner Musings

Well, our CSA has decided to start delivering to us TWICE a week
but I don’t think they are aware of the fact yet.

As much as I love strawberries and green beans
I can’t go through that much in a week
and uh
I’ve only paid for half of what theyre sending me.

So I guess I need to be a good person and call them to let them know theyre delivering to use twice in a week.

I now have more lettuce than I know what to do with
(four heads!)
and even though I made a dent in the green beans last night
I’m back up to my orginal bumper crop in the refrigerator.

Siiiiiiigh.

I did use some strawberries last night though.
I diced them up and ate them with some panna cotta.

I’ve been playing around with recipes for panna cotta
and like the one I’m working with now.

It’s from Cook’s Illustrated
just a simple vanilla one
but I’d like to take it up another notch and make it a strawberry panna cotta
served with some candied fruit
and a berry coulis.

Goodness knows I have enough strawberries now.

With all of this food in my fridge
I need to stay on top and FOLLOW my meal plans.

I’m usually pretty good about sticking to them
but need to really use up food this week.

Here’s the list so far:

Thursday: Shredded Rasperry-Chipotle Chicken over green leaf salad with walnut oil and parmesan vinaigrette
Friday: Red Potato Soup and Mustard Greans
Saturday: Hot Paprika Chicken Breasts with Collard Greens and Golden Raisins

Sunday: Prime New York Strip Steak with Creamed Spinach and Potato Gratin
Monday: Braised Oxtails over Polenta
Tuesday: Roast Chicken with Mashed Carrots, Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Garden Salads (sometimes I like to do a big meal in the middle of the week for no reason)
Wednesday: Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches with pickles and potato chips (easy peasy)
Thursday: Friend’s birthday dinner!
Friday: Veg. leftovers
Saturday: Lentil Soup with Cornbread

Still no idea what the Easter meal is looking like.

Husband will be on call at the hospital all night on Saturday
so he will be a useless lump sleeping in bed on Easter Sunday.

Boo.
Maybe I will make ham just to spite him.

I love a spiral sliced ham with super tender lima beans and my grandmother’s recipe for ‘Pineapple’ (pineapple chunks in thickend syrup).
It brings back sweet memories.

Husband
on the other hand
does not like spiral sliced ham
so we usually do a leg of lamb
(HA i typed lamp. I love lamp)
prime rib
or a red meat that we both can agree on.

I should just say NYAH to him this year and do it
or just hop on over to my aunt’s house and eat dinner there
while husband sleeps the day away.

She’ll probably be making ham anyways. heh.

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Of Cabbages and… Cabbages.

Between two jobs, two blogs, two dogs, and one husband, I just don’t get around here enough.

I’ve started Twittering
along with the rest of the world
and have been trying to document what I make for dinner ever day.

I would do lunch too
but taking a picture of a Lean Cuisine every day would be a little depressing.

So instead
I take bad iPhone pictures of my dinner
none of which want to post to my entry
so I’m going to stop trying.

Last night dinner involved white rice
something I try to eat in moderation
but I’m ashamed to admit that dinner tonight also involved white rice.

BUT
there are no photographs, not even on Twitter
so we can all pretend like it never happened.

It was red beans and rice with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar if you’re wondering.
Complete white trash cooking
but delicious.

Brown up some 80/20 ground chuck
season with garlic and good ol’ Lawry’s seasoned salt
dump in a can of red beans with a little bit of water
let reduce for a few minutes
and spoon over white rice.

Top with sliced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and then go sit out on your front lawn with a wife beater on.

Tasty as it is
I think it could be better.

I was thinking about the tomatoes today
and how they are my favorite part of the dish.
Right now
tomatoes obviously are not at their peak
but perhaps I could elevate this dish to a slightly higher socioeconomic status by making a tomato confit and a reducing the balsamic vinegar down to a glaze.

Then
maybe replace the ground beef with braised beef
(oxtails, perhaps? I like this dish a little bit on the fattier side since it tastes like sawdust if a low fat cut of meat is used)
and use long simmered red beans instead of my salted friends out of a can.

Ideas, ideas.
I probably will just stick to my regular recipe until I finally get so ashamed of it I’m forced into making something better.
This probably won’t happen for a while.

In other news
on Friday at Restaurant Job
Chef said that we would be taking part in Outstanding In the Field.

My face nearly cracked in two because I smiled so big
and Sous Chef was ecstatic as well.

Chef said he would need our help
and we both told him we would be there in full force.

Its not until September
but I’m still so stupidly excited.

It will be fun to work at such an amazing event.
I’m trying to do my part to eat more local food
although I’ve been taking baby steps.

We did join a CSA for our fruits and vegetables though
and its been an adventure.

Our first delivery in January looked like this:

and our weekly deliveries have been some variation on that theme so far.

We’re getting greenbeans and lettuces now though
which make me happy.

I’ve meant to photograph our deliveries every week
but that hasn’t happened.

Those personal failures aside
joining the CSA was a wonderful decision.
The farm is a little bit spotty on regular delivery
but its nothing that messes with meal planning too much.

Food is fresh and unblemished/unbruised for the most part
and it averages out to about 20$ a week
a great price for the load of food that arrives at our front door every Wednesday(ish).

However
I might PAY someone to take all the cabbage we’ve been getting.

I’ve forced unwanted heads on people at Job 1, Job 2, and the next person in line is going to be the guy panhandling on the street.

Guy: “Homeless, hungry, anything will help
Me: “HERE! Take a head of cabbage!”
Guy: “What am I supposed to do with this?
Me: “I DONT KNOW. I’ve been asking myself the SAME DAMNED THING.”

Husband started looking at me with a pained expression
when week after week
he would open up our box and find one
or even TWO
heads of cabbage in it.

I finally called the farm and asked them just to leave it out of our box
not replace it with anything else
just leave the blasted cabbage in someone ELSE’S delivery.

I think I’ve done everything legal in Texas to a head of cabbage now.
Next, I think I am just going to candy it or stick it in my ice cream maker and see what happens.

I can’t imagine that would be anything good
but you never know.

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Daring Baker’s Challenges – September and October

This is my second month doing the Daring Baker’s Challenge.

The first month was muddled up by Ike, but hey, I DID manage to get two dips for the crackers done:

A spicy olive and caper tapenade
and a dried fruit compote
both vegan.
I never did get to the crackers
so we’ve eaten the dips with Triscuits.

I have a feeling they would have been better with September’s challenge
which was lavash crackers.

Still, Triscuits performed admirably.

They dips are are both out of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.

October’s challenge was “Pizza Napoletana” from Peter Reinhart’s “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.”

I already have a go-to pizza recipe
so I was not too thrilled about this
especially since I was hoping for a sweet challenge
but I gave it a go.

Maybe my go wasn’t good enough
because while everyone else who made this recipe raved about it
I was not impressed.

I’m pretty sure I have only myself to blame
and I’m sure I will try this recipe again
because I do like thin crust pizza.

Mine was just TOO thin
and didn’t crisp up in the middle.

I got busy baking before I started taking pictures
so no mise en place for you.

Also it was dark outside
and the lighting in my tiny kitchen is pretty bad
so the pictures are what they are.
SIGH.

On with the show.

Dough in the mixer:

Properly pulled away from the sides
and still attached to the bottom
per the instructions:

Blob ready for splitting:

Asexual reproduction, RIGHT ON MY COUNTERTOP:

I put them in the fridge for an overnight rise
and the next day Husband took them out and flattened two for me for dinner that night
(maybe I can blame the less than impressive pizza’s on his hand in the whole thing…)

The rested there for two hours
and then it was time to stretch them out.
We were supposed to toss them
but that was not happening with this dough.

Instead I carefully stretched it
and no matter how hard I tried
it still had holes

I pinched them shut
and no one was the wiser
except for all you people on the internet now.

We’re old fashioned here in our household
so it was just reg’lar pepperoni pizzas

I shredded ball mozzarella on top of the sauce
for which I used a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated.

(Note to self: try to find pepperoni without so much dye in it. Probably not good for the health to eat this much red dye.)

I previously cranked up my oven to 550F
(or so I THOUGHT!)
and my pizza stone had been in there for at least half an hour too.

After about 8 minutes in the oven
THIS emerged

The outer crust was great
it was just too thin in the middle
with no crunch.

I think next time I will just have to make them thicker in the middle.

Pizza No. 2 came out the same way as the first
so for kicks I threw my oven thermometer in the oven to see if it was really reaching 550F.

The answer was HELL NO.
It was only about 450F
so this probably did not help my uncripsy pizza.

The moisture content from the ball mozzarella probably didn’t help either.

Again
I think the unsuccess of these pizzas rests entirely on my shoulders
and not on the recipe itself.

I’ll be revisiting it again
with a lower moisture content cheese
thicker crusts
and aiming for a much hotter oven temperature.

Goodness knows the recipe made four other balls of pizza
so I’ve got enough practice dough to last me a while.

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