Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pizza and Beer

The Munchkin has not gone to bed nicely (yet again), despite being exhausted, and has basically taken up my entire evening of winding-down time. I can still hear him stirring now and then over the monitor. Perhaps it's the nasty windstorm that's keeping him awake. Or the fact that he went down for a nap late because I spent too much time at Target. Or both. BUT, at least he ate some good meals today, and hasn't been drooling as much or gnawing on everything in site. He hasn't been super cranky either, so I'm hoping (please don't let this jinx it) that he's starting to get over his weird crazed-toddler phase.

Speaking of good meals, Jon and I made pizza from scratch today. Actually, I started the dough yesterday afternoon, let it rise once, punched it down and stuck it in the fridge overnight per recipe instructions. I pulled it out around 2:30 this afternoon, divided it in half, and let it rise a second time. Then, we made pizza! Here's a tip: don't wear black while tossing pizza dough.

Not my best look. I love how the flour eccentuates every tummy bulge, surrounding a little dark area where my belly button is supposed to be. Gorgeous. Unfortunately, that is the only picture of the dough being tossed in the air, so it will have to do. I used the dough recipe from the "California Pizza Kitchen Cookbook", by Larry Flax and Rick Rosenfield. It has really nice step-by-step instructions with photos for pizza dough virgins like me. It even has instructions on tossing a pizza. Not the fancy trick-tossing like you see at some pizza parlors, but just your basic stretching and tossing. I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. I had to pinch a couple of small holes closed when I was done though. The instructions also said to liberally flour the dough before working it. I think that may have been a practical joke of the authors'. I'm sure it didn't really need as much flour as that. By the way, flour does not feel very nice when it lands on your eyeball.

Besides the dust storm, I quite enjoyed it. We laid the two pizzas next to each other on a baking sheet (we have a pizza stone, which would have been better, but it's still buried in a box in the garage somewhere) and piled on the toppings. Very yummy from-scratch tomato sauce that Jon made (from the same cookbook), green peppers, mild Italian sausage, and lots of Mozzarella. We decided not to try any of the fancy toppings from the book on our first go 'round.

Then we baked the pizzas in a 500 degree (F) oven for about 8 minutes, until the cheese had yummy brown spots all over it.

Just look at those cheese strings:

Then we happily sat down and ate it with our current favorite ale, Smithwicks (pronounced "Smiddicks." I know this because I have been corrected at the local Irish Pub). Jon was pleasantly surprised to find it in the beer case at QFC on a recent shopping trip. It purports to be Ireland's oldest ale (that is still around, anyway). It is tasty in the bottle, but much better on tap, as with most ales.

Anyway, our pizzas turned out to be very tasty. Pizza (singular) actually. Half each was plenty filling, so the second one is anxiously awaiting us in the fridge for tomorrow night. The crust came out great - nice and crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. But it didn't taste quite as good as it does when you get it at CPK. After much discussion, we decided that was because they are baking it in a well-seasoned and much hotter stone oven, so the crust gets some more carmelization and therefore tastes a little sweeter. Either that, or the authors left a little something out of the recipe so that people would not, when finding out how easy and fun it is to make their own CPK pizza, stop coming to the restaurant. I would like to think it is the first reason, wouldn't you?

On the knitting front, I did not get to Ben Franklin today to buy bigger needles because I spent too much time running other "more important" (whatever) errands. It looks like my sweater will just have to wait. That's fine, because I have other unfinished projects to keep me occupied until I can get the supplies that I need.


  1. Do those other projects involve washcloths woven of Easter-shaded yarn?!

  2. That's for me to know, and you to find out.....