Friday, March 28, 2008

homemade pizza! om nom nom

i'm finalllyyyy updating this blog again. for the past week i've been hooked on making pizza from scratch. i think i'm also catching on to this food blogging thing. as i snapped a picture of the finished product i realized i should've shown the dough after i punched it down, the chopped vegetables in their bowls, etc. oh well. live and learn. next time though!

i found this recipe on allrecipes and i think it's pretty good. i don't have anything to compare it to though, since this has been my first attempt at making crust

jay's signature pizza crust.
from allrecipes


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour.
  3. Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out. Use for your favorite pizza recipe.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). If you are baking the dough on a pizza stone, you may place your toppings on the dough, and bake immediately. If you are baking your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise for 15 or 20 minutes before topping and baking it.
  5. Bake pizza in preheated oven, until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes
i've made this crust recipe twice (and it makes enough for two pizzas) so far and would definitely recommend adding some herbs or garlic powder to the dough, or else it may be a bit bland. the first time i made it, i brushed some melted butter and herbs onto the exposed crust after putting the toppings on!

I don't have a pizza stone so i baked it in the pan (oiled and sprinkled with cornmeal) for about 7 minutes by itself. be sure to spread some oil and poke some holes in it so it doesn't get bubbles.

then for sauce i used some homemade stuff i threw together. cook onion and garlic in some oil, add spices. then add a can of diced (or crushed) tomatoes, a few heaping tablespoons of tomato
paste, and a spoonful of sugar. stir over medium heat and then let simmer for, i dunno, 10 or 15 minutes. this will make enough for 2 pizzas.

today i threw on all of the veggies i had left from previous recipes. sliced mushrooms, minced onion, and black olives. i would've liked to have some other things on it, but it was still super yum because i used a mix of mozzarella, asiago, parmesan, and monterey jack cheese tossed with garlic powder and more basil and oregano.

oops, i got a bit distracted this evening and let it hang out in the oven for a bit too long. cheese got a little too brown, but it was still the best pizza i've made to date.

the pizza pan i own is 12 or 13 inches i think. i can eat half a pizza in one sitting easily, haha.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

amazing chocolate chip cookies

in a fit of boredom i volunteered myself to bake cookies for a touring band that's stopping by minneapolis. at first i wanted to do cupcakes, but i realized they might have problems storing them especially since all of the recipes i wanted to use suggested refrigerating them. so i decided on cookies. although cookies confuse me somewhat (how do you know when they're done? you can't just stick a toothpick in!) i went for it.

after searching for different ideas i finally selected alton brown's "the chewy" chocolate chip cookie recipe. omg. so good! although my scoop is probably 2x too large (i only got about 16 cookies and the recipe is supposed to yield 2.5 dozen) they turned out beautifully.

and yes, i'm back to unappetizing cell phone camera pictures. i'm broke as hell so i can't get more batteries for my regular camera. and i seem to have misplaced my memory card AND usb cord so it's not like i could transfer photos anyway.

here is the recipe:

the chewy
from food network's alton brown

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)
Parchment paper
Baking sheets

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

yum! i can't wait to make these again. and this time, actually be able to eat more than one! (it's a reggae band so they have lots of members. i'm giving them all of the cookies, save the one i ate for "quality inspection".)