Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pizza, Cookies, and a Cat

Today is sunday... which means later tonight I'll be working on lesson plans for the upcoming week. For now however I'm putting them off. Here's a little backlog of some of the food I've made. The pizza was about a week ago and the cookies were last night. First up home made pizza

On Saturday mornings Heather and I get up and watch food network's new Pioneer Woman tv show, we had followed her blog before she got a show and now it is even more awesome. So on the episode last week she made pizza. Now the actual pizza itself was not exactly something Heather and I would like be we trust her enough to use her dough recipe, so I decided to give it a shot.

  • 1 teaspoon Active Dry Or Instant Yeast
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 That's the dough recipe, and it's nice because you can really taste the olive oil in it, and it gives it a really great taste. Her instruction: "Throw some flour and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. (You can also do this by hand; it’ll be just fine.) Pour some warm (not hot, but definitely not lukewarm) water into a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Now, with the mixer on, drizzle in olive oil. Note that while I have the dough hook attachment on my mixer, I usually use the paddle attachment for my pizza dough. It just mixes it better. Next, pour in the yeast/water mixture. Then just mix it together until it’s combined. Kneading isn’t necessary; however, if you mix it by hand you can certainly do some light kneading to thoroughly combine the ingredients."

This dough was much stickier than my usual bread dough but it could be floured the same way to reduce the grabbiness of it.  From here you just let it sit for a few hours to rise and then smoosh it out flat, drizzle on some more olive oil and throw on whatever ingredients you want. Then throw it into a 500 degree oven and just pull it out when it looks done.

I will have to say, this was really delicious. plus with the ingredients it uses it is wicked cheap too. I would warn you that you should have some corn meal for the pizza stone/cookie sheet and for whatever you roll the dough out on. She just did it on her cookie sheet and left it so there were no problems, we did it on a pizza peel and transferred it to a stone, and with how heavy and sticky it is after being loaded up with stuff you need that extra bit of slide the cornmeal gives you.

That recipe gives you maybe 4 pizzas of the size above which was just about perfect for one person. so you can easily make individualized pizzas.

Next up... chocolate chip cookies!

Yes this apparently is a food megapost but I'm proud of how well these things turned out. So last night we had our food and what not and then an hour or so later I was munchy for something chocolatey, despite not actually being hungry. After looking at what can be delivered (about all we have out here is a Ben and Jerry's for dessert, nothing so awesome as the Cookie Jar in BG... we've been spoiled) that was going to be almost $25 though after delivery charges and such. Luckily I scrounged up enough chocolate chips and got to work.

1 Cup + a tablespoon of flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
6 tablespoons of butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
half egg +half egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips, or more.

preheat the oven to 325 degrees

First you should whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and set it aside. In a stand mixer with paddle (or by hand) mix together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. To be honest I'm not sure if it ever looked light and fluffy to me, but it was mixed up really well so I called it good.

Next beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until it is all combined.

Add the dry ingredients on low speed until it is just combined. (Before this point it actually looked a lot like caramel to me, but the second the flour hits it immediately "doughed" up and started to look like cookie dough.)

Stir in the chocolate chips.

The recipe calls for you to roll out 1/4 of a cup of dough for cookies, I just eyeballed it, the batch I made was 6 cookies that filled the cookie sheet, and I'd gauge that there is about enough dough left to do another just like that.
For cookies that size I would say to put them in for around 14 minutes. That's what I did and they were perfect.

Just browned enough and a little crispy, with warm chewy and gooey centers, and not a hint of being over done. They were quite possibly the best cookies I've had and Heather claims they rival the Cookie Jar's so I'd say this one is a keeper.

Also just so everyone else can see how lazy he is, I'd like to point out there is a cat in this picture. 10 points for those who can find him.

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