Friday, February 10, 2012


I am dying to try out our "new" Kitchenaid stand mixer that we found at Savers for only $50.  I have been inspired by the awesome pizzas at Spankys Una Pizza in Evansville, Indiana.  Though I can never make the excellent crust served by Spankys, and because I am in Utah at the moment, I have to make my own crust.  That is where the mixer comes into play.  To make the crust, I stole a recipe from the interwebs (thank you, Al Gore):
  • 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

We have made pizza in the past, but this is an attempt to make good dough from scratch.  Before I started, I did a little research and found some helpful videos. The Lets make some pizza dough video is somewhat informative, but the guy tells you the date, and does not give any information of the measured amount of ingredients used. Susan knows how to do it, though!
I started with warm water and a yeast packet.  I forgot to add the sugar, so I added about 15 minutes after adding the yeast to the water.  Then, I forgot that I was readying the yeast for about 30 minutes.  After "preparing the yeast," I used a combination techniques (hand and mixer kneading) to mix in the dry ingredients. Unfortunately for you, I failed to record the mixing process.  

Tired dough.
I mixed the dough in the stand mixer for about 5 minutes, adding flour until the dough lost most of its stickyness.  I then hand kneaded flour into the dough for another couple of minutes.   I then let the dough rest for 15 minutes, because it was tired after all of that kneading.
While waiting for the dough to grow, I readied my oven.  This is extremely premature, because I still have a lot to do to my pizza before it goes in the oven.  I made sure I put the pizza stone in the oven to get it nice and hot.
Pizza stone.
We cut the risen dough in half and put half in the freezer and Brooke tossed the other half.  For those unfamiliar with the tossing process, here are some videos:
Toss of the dough

A wiki how-to
One day, you may be able to toss the dough like so
One B tossed the dough, we whipped the pizza stone out of the oven, put some flour on the stone, and then arranged the tossed dough onto the stone.  
We then chopped the veggies, caramelized the onions, toasted and seasoned the tomatoes, and spread on the sauce (canned stuff).  We should have done all of the preparation beforehand, but again I forgot - mainly because I was soooo excited about the dough.  We also added some garlic and artichoke hearts from the Whole Foods olive bar.  It was a huge pile of vegetables, so lets hope it cooks......

While we wait for our pizza to cook, lets get inspired:
Some Olsen Twins Pizza!
Epic mealtime pizza!!! -Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips
My drunk pizza kitchen

Saturday, September 10, 2011

So, I just signed up for volunteer work with the Wasatch Community Gardens.  I am very excited to make new friends and be a more active part of my community.  I attended their yearly "Tomato Sandwich" party today.  They were serving pesto (made from their gardens) spread over locally produced bread with a fresh garden tomato on top.  They had several varieties of tomatoes to choose from.

A view of one of the organic gardens maintained by Wasatch Community Gardens.

Some snacks served by Whole Foods at the garden.  Bread, goat cheese, and a fresh basil leaf in the foreground and a crisp, honey and goat cheese in the background.

Musicians at the tomato party.

Another view of the garden.

Wasatch Community Gardens supports several organic community garden plots throughout Salt Lake City.  They donate their harvest to homeless shelters, educate young urban youths about gardening, and create a common place for community members to come together to grow organic produce.  This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the gardening end of cooking.  I think it will help motivate me to expand my blog.  

I want to eventually have my own garden.  I have applied for a plot with the community garden, but the waiting list is long.  Until then, I will just kill the plants in my window.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cool Food for Hot Days

Global Sun oven

I don't know about everywhere else, but here in SLC, it is scorchin' hot.  In terms of the food cooking on sidewalk rating system, it is definitely hot enough to cook some eggs on the sidewalk and bake some cookies in the car.

For those of you who don't want your car to smell of chocolate chip cookies or a roasted turkey, there are other ways to cook using the sun's energy, such as solar ovens.  Unfortunately, you may missed Wasatch Community Gardens' workshop on solar cooking. However, you can still read about City Weekly's insights on the process of solar cookery.  There are many designs for solar cookers, and they work reasonably well.  There are recipes to try once you finish slaving in the hot sun over (you shouldn't stand over it, because you'll block the sun) you r oven.

However, I digress from the title of the blog.  Who would want hot sun oven food on a hot day?  How about something cold?  NPR had some good suggestions:

The story, if you don't have the 2:21 minutes to spare, says frozen grapes are very popular.

Another good suggestion is food processed frozen bananas with nutella! Yum!

Yogurt, cucumbers, lemon juice, barley makes a good summer salad.

Another great suggestion from NPR is summer desserts.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


check out our recipe for black bean chili on the main page


A recipe of manly chili (thanks to Elissa for the link):

I like their pictures.  Good presentation.  The chili recipe doesn't seem "hard-core" enough, though.

I remember the machete chili from my undergrad geology club website:

Unfortunately, the pictures appear to be missing.

Here is a meaty (kinda gross) looking chili:

Meatless chilis!!  Sound gross? Its not.  At Caffe Ibis, Krista always made awesome vegan chili with tofu.

White Bean CHILI!!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Food Circle?

The feds (USDA to be specific) have released a new way to think about what kind and how much food they want you to eat:

This is the icon for MyPlate which replaced MyPyramid in June 2011. The new MyPlate icon is composed of a plate divided into 4 sections: fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. A dairy section is off the plate to the side. The MyPlate graphic is positioned on a placemat with the website written underneath. The 5 sections of MyPlate are clickable and go to food group subpages.
I think I prefer the plate layout over the older versions (see below), and like how vegetables are taking a major role.
This plate layout is definitely easier to visualize than the food pyramid, which is what we were taught meant good nutrition back in the day.

File:USDA Food Pyramid.gif

According to wikipedia, the classic pyramid was updated in 2005, before being replaced by plate more recently.

I find it interesting that dairy continues to play an important role in government-certified nutrition (see milk glass in first picture).  I love some cheese and have respect for dairy products, but I question dairy as a necessary component of a balanced diet.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Obama Administration Replaces Food Pyramid
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

New Blog

Lost passwords, stolen emails, and a reformatted hard drive has required us to start fresh with our blog.  We decided to put our recipes in a website format, but an accompanying blog seem like a good supplement for updates and news.