The Best Pizza Ever (says I)

Homemade Pizza

I used to think I was an incurable sweet tooth, but lately I’ve been finding that the thing I most crave on cheat days is pizza. Not that greasy, two-dimensional slab of New York-style pizza, or the seemingly perfectly uniform discs that one orders from any chain pizza restaurant, but the thick, imperfectly made, bready pizza. The bread to cheese to topping ratio has to be just so, y’know? After trying many a local restaurant’s pizza, and even more desperately, picking up something frozen from the corner store, I finally decided that if I wanted it done right, I’d just have to do it myself.

Reader, let me tell you, I think I’ve discovered heaven. In a possibly constipation-inducing form.

Me being me, I had to go off the deep end and buy myself not any old pizza stone, but a heavy slab of baking steel. Pricy, and takes a bit of muscle to heft it in and out of the oven, but seriously worth every penny, I have come to learn. Because of this:

Homemade Pizza

A perfectly cooked crust to make the gods weep.

So.

Make this pizza crust. You’ll have enough dough to save for later pizzas. Glorious.

Instead of your typical tomato sauce, mince 4-6 garlic cloves (or as much or as little as you can possibly stand) and let them sit in a bowl of maybe 4 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil. I adopted an olive tree from Nudo Italia and get olive oil deliveries quarterly. It’s totally worth it if you love good olive oil. Brush on to the surface of your pie-formed pizza dough. Sprinkle your dough with a pinch of salt.

Add some thin slices of smoked mozzarella, caramelized yellow onion, cherry tomatoes, and baby spinach. This is a genius combination, and worth the time and effort it takes to caramelize those onions. Trust me.

Remember to be sparing in your use of toppings. Less is more, a little goes a long way, etcetera.

Follow the recommended usage for your pizza stone/baking sheet/baking steel. Times and temperatures and rack placement differ, but can I make one last plea to get some baking steel? Your mouth will thank you.

I’ve never actually been sent into a nirvana-like bliss by pizza before, but all of this did the trick.

Posh

Arturo, looking very Godfather-esque here, agrees, because he’s just a cat and I can project human emotions onto him whenever I want.

One day I’ll stop being lazy and get back to using my SLR again. Today is not that day.

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Sunday Afternoons

They’re my favorite. I don’t know why. Maybe because I know the regular grind of the work week–where your time and self are not your own, bought and paid for, for 9+ hours of the day–is imminent. Now is precious. I get most of my inspiration and motivation on Sunday afternoons.

Sunday Afternoons

When I adopted a mostly paleo diet, I had to give up a lot of treasured foods. Rosemary Breakfast Potatoes. Man, I made some mean breakfast potatoes. Now, I try to not eat potatoes at all. Though I admit that if I find a stray potato among any vegetable side dish I pick up from a cafe for lunch, that potato gets eaten with relish.

Fortunately, my saving grace has been the reluctantly paleo-friendly sweet potato. I have a new found appreciation for them, having only previously encountered them as sugary treats during holiday meals. Savory sweet potatoes are a wonder. These are what I make for breakfast on lazy Sunday afternoons now.

(Yes, I eat my breakfasts in the afternoon on Sundays.)

Breakfast Sweet Potatoes

Savory Breakfast Sweet Potatoes for Two: 2 sweet potatoes, washed, cubed, but please leave the skins on. Texture and taste are important here. In a non-stick frying pan, slowly saute sweet potatoes over medium heat with ghee (or your fat of choice). Season with salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. I don’t stir these too often in order to let them cook and caramelize a bit on each side. Toss in one chopped yellow onion when the sweet potatoes are about three quarters of the way to how you like them done. Cook it all until your onions are tender and semi-translucent or until done.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

Sunday Afternoons 2

This is definitely how it is

Roasting Brussel Sprouts

After many, many permutations, I think I’ve perfected roasted brussel sprouts. For me, at least.

In a mixing bowl, combine halved brussel sprouts with generous amounts of extra virgin olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Spread the brussel sprouts over a baking sheet. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper for a kick. Roast at 400 F for 15-18 minutes.

Remove from oven. If you’re lucky, there will be all sorts of browned, crispy bits.

Add even more grated cheese.

Throw on a poached egg or two.

This is a simple, utterly wonderful, summer dinner.

Arturo Portrait

This is a cat. My cat, to be precise. He may look innocent, but don’t let that fool you. He understands deeply what it means to hunger.