grilling pizzas


A week of pizza. I made some pizza dough over the weekend, let it rise, punched it down and put it into the fridge to rise again slowly. Monday I took it out, broke into 4 sticky pieces stretched them out on the grill and cooked them.  Then I had 4 pre-made personal size flat bread pizza crusts. score!

Day 1 – I top with slices of manchego and pears and some chopped walnuts per the Bon Appetit recipe and cook in the grill.

Day 2 – repeat of day 1 but in the oven

Day 3 – I forget… stuff I found in my fridge

Day 4 – sauteed beet greens, feta and sun-dried tomatoes

It was awesome! These were all vegetarian but the possibilities are endless and I can use stuff I already have. No shopping required. Grilled pizza is great to have in my cooking toolbox especially in the summer when I don’t want to turn on the oven or when I have leftover beet greens I need to use. You would think I would be sick of it but I’m totally not! Maybe next time I will make a double batch of dough.

shrimp in hell or brother devil shrimp

scampi fra diavolo  - I should stop Google translating but it is fun. I know that scampi fra diavolo in Italian cooking means  “brother devil” scampi which is supposed to mean that it is spicy. I will say that in this case I think “shrimp in hell” better conveys the message.  This recipe isn’t really spicy but it is very flavorful and garlic-tastic and really easy.

I think the extensive ingestion of garlic and crushed red pepper can lead to odd dreams. This meal triggered a reoccurring dream of mine where I am apparently pregnant and I keep forgetting, and someone has to remind me or point it out, usually because I am drinking. It is especially weird because I’m a lucid dreamer so I’m dreaming that I am pregnant but I know this is a dream and that I am not, and that I am dreaming about forgetting something that I didn’t know because it isn’t actually true, but in the dream it is, and I still feel guilty all the while knowing that I have nothing to feel guilty about. (sigh-shrug combo)  It is all a little traumatizing. Maybe I just shouldn’t eat scampi fra diavolo so close to bedtime.

According to a Huffington Post article, pregnancy dreams, especially for women, are about craving a creative project. How creative does it have to be to get rid of this dream? Does blogging and/or cooking count or does it have to be painting, creative writing, or crafts made of beads and macaroni?

last chance to eat al fresco

cauliflower soup with arm and truffle oil

In an attempt to grasp the final slanting rays of evening sunlight, I imagined rushing home, warming up a bowl of this soup, and curling up on the porch under a cozy afghan to eat it quickly before it got too dark. Of course by the time I got home from work it was always dark already.

Cauliflower soup with pecorino romano and truffle oil…and bacon, yes, it has bacon so not vegetarian cauliflower soup but delicious cauliflower soup! I did not have a cube of pecorino romano but I did have a frozen Parmigiano rind so I used that. And of course homemade stock, really if you are going to make soup it is worth it to simmer some chicken parts every few months and have a supply of stock in your freezer. Salty bacon, the earthy Parm and truffle oil… perfect autumn soup.

more Cognac and Cream

Dessert!  I made one substitution here. The recipe called for soft sponge cake style lady fingers. I don’t really like sponge cake and besides I already had some crunchy biscuit style ones. I just made extra of the coffee/tea/cognac mixture for them to soak up.

Tiramisu is really a pretty easy dessert to make. This recipe does require a number of steps including making sabayon but there are easier recipes out there….including some which use Twinkies, instant pudding and/or Kahlua.

The translation of the name Italian tiramisù (tirami sù) means “pick-me-up” (metaphorically, “make me happy”) – Wikipedia

It was good. I think it could have been better if my pineapple had been riper and tastier and also I didn’t get it as caramelized as I would like. I did grate some chocolate over it for an attractive garnish but it is really my type of recipe i.e. fruit and dairy! oh and caffeine! ya-ya!

caramelized fresh pineapple tiramisu

new ice cream maker

umm… it was not very healthy but decadently delicious, see recipe

I bought the kitchen aid attachment ice cream maker online. I had it shipped to work and had to carry it home in the rain. It was a little hard to hold both the box and my umbrella. Luckily it was totally worth it and I have lots of room in my freezer for the big freezer bowl so I can leave it there to make ice cream at will.

This was my first attempt at homemade ice cream and how could I go wrong with booze and marscapone cheese.  Does this count as another frozen dessert made with fruit? There is lemon zest and juice, and of course the limoncello is booze but it is lemon flavored. What flavor should I make next?

chickpeas and lamb chops (deja vu)

lamb, chickpeas, potatoesThis is a dinner from last week. I was out of town all week and I didn’t get around to posting.

The grilled smashed potatoes are delicious! It is a multi-step process: boil, smash, brush with olive oil and chopped fresh rosemary, and grill.  Mine were falling apart so I was glad to have the ceramic grill grates with lots of surface area. I don’t cook a lot of potatoes so this was a nice change for me. recipe

But more grilled lamp chops! These really are kind of a go.  Just a nice bite of meat to go with the rest of my dinner; marinade was a lemon vinaigrette. recipe

…and More Chickpeas! Warm Chickpea and Swiss Chard Beet Green Salad with Sumac; this is a middle eastern recipe and it is SWEET…I can’t say I like it. darn. I found, not exactly the same recipe but really close online.

fava beans and fresh pasta


This seems like it should be an easy meal, just pasta and sausage and beans.  –> recipe on bon appetit

 Two of these ingredients are multi-step processes though, the fresh pasta and fresh fava beans

I do like that it doesn’t require me to cut the pasta into any specific shape but making pasta takes just a little more time even if I have dough ready in the freezer.

This was the first time I have made fava beans and again multiple steps. 1) I took them out of the pods, 2) blanched them for a few minutes and then left them to cool, 3) peeled the beans themselves of the now white and wrinkly thick outer layer, 4) So by the end my big bag of fava bean pods from the grocery store turned into a very small pile of edible little green legumes.

Once those two things are done it is super fast and basic. I guess I could have used dried pasta (or purchase fresh pasta) and frozen favas, but what’s the fun in that?