Monday, January 10, 2011

Combining two good ideas into one.

As you can probably tell, tonight's post is about pizza. Delicious, cheesy, smokey, awesome pizza. I came across this post over at Macheesmo today at work while trying to come up with some ideas for dinner that would resolve the massive cheese craving that I was having. As soon as I saw the Fire/Smoke pizza I knew I was going to make it for dinner. Smoked Gouda? One of my favorite cheeses? On pizza? Um, yes plz!

So after fighting with the Monday night crowd at Kroger in desperate search for chipotles in adobo sauce (god why do I always go to Kroger on Mondays? I HATE Kroger on Mondays!) I came home and immediately went to work. I decided to try the pizza dough recipe from the Bread Lovers Bread Machine cookbook (recipe 2 down!) because I had this funny idea I might actually go to the gym while the dough was working. Yeah, right. The only place I hate more on Monday nights than Kroger is the gym.

Things I liked about this recipe.

1.) The basic marinara. His base recipe for sauce is just fantastic. It's flavorful, light and so damn easy to make. I'll never cook pizza sauce again as this will be my go to standard. Fortunately his recipe makes quite a bit so I've got some saved back for future pizzas!

2.) The cheese. The smoked gouda (and smoked provolone, it was on sale so I grabbed it too) just really added a lot to this pizza.  It's not a cheap pizza thanks to the special cheese, but it is damn tasty.

3.) The simplicity. Roasted red peppers and caramelized onions (I didn't have red onion and I prefer my pizza onions cooked). I'm usually a die hard pepperoni fan, but the spiciness from the chipotles made me not miss them at all. It was just perfect with the peppers and onions.

4.) The dough. I didn't use his dough, but the dough I did make was pretty good. It was light and chewy on the edges but the bottom crust had a nice bite to it. I'll definitely make it again next time I feel like waiting 2 hours for pizza. That was the biggest draw back. I didn't realize the dough setting on my bread machine too so damn long until it was too late.

All in all, this recipe is awesome and I recommend you make it if you're into spiciness and smoked cheeses.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Slacking off and new inspiration

So I've been slacking off on this poor food blog for far too long. It's not that I haven't been cooking. I have been and I've found loads of new recipes and most of them were pretty tasty. I just got lazy about taking photos and updating with reviews. I've got a few meals saved up that I can go back to update and I'll get around to that eventually. Maybe now that it's cold out and we're not doing as much I'll have more free time to do so.

But the subject of today's post is bread. Fluffy, yummy, bready goodness.


I received a bread machine for Christmas. I'm excited about this for a number of reasons. 1.) I LOVE bread. 2.) I really, really LOVE bread. 3.) I don't care much for making bread. I don't have the patience for it. This machine makes things so much simpler.

To go along with my fancy new bread machine (and by fancy, I mean it's a fairly basic model) I got The Bread Loves Bread Machine Cookbook. My ultimate goal is to make one loaf a week, mostly referencing this cookbook for recipes.

I did my first loaf last night. I started simple with the Country White Loaf. Just your basic white bread. I had to go to the specialty granola health food store to buy one ingredient (vital wheat gluten) but had everything else on hand. Non fat dry milk, honey, water, bread flour, salt and yeast. Nice and basic. The recipe is very clear and explains each step in very thorough detail. I was kind of a dumbass and forgot to put the kneading blade in before adding my ingredients (duh!) and I only made a 1.5lb loaf and forgot to change the loaf size setting on the machine right away but despite those hiccups this loaf came out great.

I sliced off a couple of pieces while it was nice and warm and ate it with butter. The crust was nice and chewy, the middle soft and fluffy and the taste was much better than what you get with your grocery store white bread. The size of the loaf will take some getting used to. It's a tall loaf so your slices come out fairly large but that just means more yummy bread to eat. The slices also won't fit into my toaster. Kind of annoying but we do have a toaster oven so it's not the end of the world.

So far so good and I'm looking forward to the next loaf. I can't wait to make some really crusty french bread or maybe something with cheese and garlic or herbs in it. The possibilities are endless! This is going to throw a serious monkey wrench into my weight watchers program...