Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pizza Obsession...

Okay, I can't help it. I think pizza is one of my favorite food groups. I am always looking for ways, though, to make it a little bit better for me (ie...maybe "fake" healthy?). The best way for me to do that is to just make it myself instead of ordering out. This recipe is one that I've borrowed and adapted from one of my favorite food bloggers, "Kickpleat" or Jeannette (whichever name you want to call her), from Everybody Likes Sandwiches.
Follow this link to her recipe, or use my version.

FYI- I don't always use the rosemary in the dough, especially when I am adding other toppings. It's all up to you!

Pizza Blanco
1 packet of yeast
1 c warm water
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tsp olive oil, and a bit for the baking stone
grated cheese (last time I made it with torn fresh mozzarella, grated fontina, and grated parmesan)
Salt and Pepper, to taste (sometimes the cheese will be salty enough!)

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, add in the yeast and warm water and stir until the yeast dissolves. Add the flour, salt, honey, rosemary, and olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

I use a baking stone, so wipe the stone with a bit of oil, then form the dough in the shape you want it on the stone. Spread olive oil over top, sprinkle with grated cheese, salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until pizza crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.

Enjoy it!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Recipe: Pizza Crust topped with Lemony Grilled Asparagus and Ricotta

This delicious recipe was adapted from the July/August issue of Everyday Food. They grilled the pizza, but I've just been too lazy. So, this is what I've come up with instead of using the grill:

Pizza Dough

1 tsp. Sugar
1 packet of Active Dry Yeast
2 tsps. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for the bowl
1 tsp Salt
2 ¼ c. All-Purpose Flour (I use unbleached), plus more for work surface

1. Mix 1 cup warm water and sugar in a bowl. Sprinkle top with yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy.
2. Whisk oil and salt into the yeast mixture. Put flour in a large bowl, then slowly pour in the yeast mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until incorporated (dough will look dry).
3. Turn dough mixture onto a floured work surface and knead (fold ends in toward the middle) until it comes together in an elastic ball (about 2 minutes).
4. Transfer to an oiled medium bowl and brush top of dough lightly with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, set it in a warm, draft free place, and let it sit for 45 minutes, until dough has doubled in size.
5. Punch the dough down and re-cover. Let it rise another 30 minutes.
6. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 4 equal pieces for individual pizzas, or use whole round to make a huge pizza. Any leftover dough can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the fridge up to 2 days or frozen for up to a month.
7. Let rest 15 minutes before using.

To Cook…
I use a pizza stone and have not used a metal pan, so I don’t know how the results will be otherwise. Try it and let me know!
1. Heat oven to 500 degrees.
2. Lightly brush pizza stone with olive oil.
3. Form dough into the size and thickness you want it to be, trying not to leave tears in dough.
4. If you are using heavy toppings or a thick sauce that may keep the dough from cooking all the way (or making a thicker crust pizza), bake crust for 8 minutes, pull out and top, then return to the oven for another 8 minutes. Otherwise, top before baking, and then cook for 12 minutes.
5. Let cool for 8 minutes before eating, or the roof of your mouth will regret it!

For the Grilled Asparagus and Ricotta…

Depending on how many you are making:
8 Asparagus stocks for each pizza
½ Lemon, for juice and zest
1 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp Ricotta per pizza

1. While dough is rising, trim ends off of Asparagus, place in a container, and squeeze lemon juice and olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. Set aside for 10 minutes to marinate.
2. Use either an outdoor grill or stovetop grill pan, and grill until Asparagus is flexible (pick it up with tongs and lightly shake it. If the asparagus moves, then it is ready!). About 6-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus.
3. You will want to bake dough for about 8 minutes before adding topping.
4. Remove crust from oven, spread ricotta over the crust, arrange the asparagus, and then sprinkle the lemon zest across the top. Salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Bake for another 9 minutes. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes.

I’ve made this crust several times over the past few weeks with different toppings, but this was the first time with the asparagus and ricotta. The only thing I would do differently would be to cut up the asparagus into smaller pieces before I put it on the pizza. It’s pretty to have them whole, but not easy to eat!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June is too hot!

It has been way too hot for my garden to look good. There has just not been any rain to help me out, either. So, in the meantime, here are pictures of my flowers and herbs from April and May!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Until I post pictures of my garden...

Listed under...the things you can learn from listening to Sam Champion on Good Morning America:

Here is an interesting organization to assist you in getting rid of all that unwanted hair you have just laying around the house...really.


Basically, they take loose hair, clippings, and even fur, and stuff it into pantyhose to create oil booms, which will apparently soak up oil like nobody's business.

Go ahead...sign up for it. I did and will be sending donations not only from me, but Mom, Henry, and Ruby!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Better late than never!

Dear Blog,
I am sorry I have not posted since January. I've been busy. I've been cleaning house, gardening, and recycling, just like I should...I just haven't been writing about it. I'll post pictures soon, dearest Blog, so you will not feel as if I am neglecting you!
The Green Texan

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Craziest Thing That I've Ever Seen...

While out enjoying my government holiday, I saw the following walking down Main Street in good ol' Downtown Fort Worth...
I couldn't quite tell if that was a mouse on top of the cat, but you just don't see a cat on the back of a dog being lead down the sidewalk everyday. Especially in Fort Worth! I am so glad to live in the technology age so it could be captured on the Blackberry!

Made me laugh!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Do Not Attempt To Become Healthy IF You Are Sick!

Just a little FYI for any of you out there who thought this may be a good idea: NEVER go out riding your bike in 45 degree weather when you've had a head cold for several days. It will always be a bad idea.

I thought I'd ride my bike yesterday to my cousin's house so that I could feed his dogs. Well, about half way there, I realized that there was way too much cold air going into my chest for it to be healthy for me. I made it there, but had to put my tail between my legs and call my mother to bring my car to pick me up.

One Word: Miserable.

Never Again... It was a slight setback for me and I'm still feeling the chill in my chest today from it.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year, A New Green Texan!

This picture says it all: I'm BACK!

After two years, I've earned my Masters, which means that I will actually be able to return to the blogging world! I am so happy about it, too!
In honor of the New Year and the return of The Green Texan, here are my resolutions for 2010:
1. Write more, professionally and on the blog!
2. Return to a healthy lifestyle (sitting around on the couch for days working on papers can really widen the backside).
3. Continue to garden, but do it well instead of half...way (trying not to curse so much, too!).
4. Read for pleasure.
5. Start planning improvements to the house. I can afford it now, so go for it.
6. Get a life. I started on this a bit for the Fall, but it would be nice to, you know, actually go out on dates...or something like it!
7. Travel for fun. See #6 for reference.
8. Re-green my life. You'd think The Green Texan would be a little more green than most. I forgot how to compost, though, when I went through the craziness that was "selling the house," which, of course, did not happen!
9. Cook more at home. Not only will I be able to ensure that I know where my food comes from, I can control how much I spend (see #5, #6, and #7 for reference!).
10. Be happy. Not always the easiest thing to do, but definitely a goal to work towards (um...see #6 and #7 for reference...).
I'm pretty sure that I will be able to keep these resolutions this year. I have no reason not to!
So, just remember, this is the year I take my life BACK!