Breakfast pizza, baking steel style

This guy:

Afternoons and Arturo

Thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to wake up his minions at 4:30 in the morning in order to amuse him. That power cords are ideal for chewing. That carpets are excellent claw sharpeners. I’m starting to suspect all cat owners suffer some feline version of Stockholm Syndrome.

My second pizza-making adventure took a decidedly breakfast angle as breakfast foods, are my most favorite foods, and the preferred foods at every meal when made available. So, let us turn on some beautiful, melancholy music and eat. I am totally digging this band right now.

Somehow, I managed to dig the ingredients out of my rapidly emptying refrigerator for this.

Breakfast Pizza - before, after

Leftover pizza dough that is lightly brushed with extra virgin olive oil mixed with minced garlic and salt, layered with a bed of kale that has been massaged to tenderness, garnished with one leaf of fresh sage shredded merely by my fingers and layered into the kale. Crack two eggs on top, douse in freshly grated sheep’s milk Romero Parmesan.

I like to place my Baking Steel at the top rack of my oven and turn my broiler on high for an hour before putting my pizza into the oven. It cooks in less than five minutes and is glorious.

Crust of breakfast pizza

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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

Banana Bread, Paleo Style

Paleo Banana Bread

It’s been awhile hasn’t it? I think I’m finding that my baking and cooking runs in anti-bear fashion: hibernate in the summer, out in full force in winter. Well, the days are finally cooling off, the sky is slowly being drained of its color, and the leaves are blooming and littering the narrow sidewalks of my wee little Boston neighborhood, Jamaica Plain. It’s the perfect kind of day to stay indoors and warm your apartment by running the oven and baking something.

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Apricots

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I have very fond memories of my grandfather’s apricot tree and how, every summer, he would gather as many ripe apricots (and some not so ripe) as he could carry in the folds of his flannel shirt and bring his haul inside. How he would hold one up proudly and consume it within seconds, leaving only a pulpy stone behind.

I am very fond of apricots.

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Lemon Date Scones

Lemon Date Scones

So, I’m in a bit of a quandary with some friends.

Well, okay, the issue is not between the friends and I, but rather, it’s my issues with my friends. You know the type (or rather, you will when I finish describing the type): you dread picking up the phone when they call because you know that for the next hour, they only thing they are going to do is talk about themselves and how great their life is and how many amazing things they have done. I know those are things that would annoying anybody, but it’s not that I even have issues with that.

No, my issues lie with my own failure to be impressed by all the wonderful things happening in my friends’ lives (I’m speaking in plural here, but it’s, uh, actually just one friend, but go with my on the intrigue of this, okay?). I find myself listening to the laundry list of accomplishments my friends boast about and thinking, “These things aren’t really that spectacular, but I am trying to be happy that they are happy about them, even if I don’t think selling your novel to an e-book publisher whose web site looks like it was created by a fourth-grader armed with free stock photos and MS Paint is something to be proud of.”

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Vegetable Quiche (with Yeasted Whole Wheat Crust)

Vegetable Quiche

Well, okay, I am generally unafraid to tackle just about any recipe, no matter how complex, how insane the ingredients, and how difficult the technique. I like to go to great lengths to bake and cook for others. Part of it is just to see if I can and part of it is, I admit, vanity.

But let me tell you about the other 99% of the time when, in the necessity of having to feed myself…continuously…until I die…my cooking techniques, discerning tastes, and effort extends only as far as whatever in my refrigerator that is about to expire.

It’s embarrassing. I will never share with you what I eat on a day-to-day basis when the only person I need to impress is myself.

(Except lots and lots of eggs, that is).

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Black Tea Grapefruit Muffins

Black Tea Grapefruit Muffins

Grapefruit is not for everyone, sure. But, it really, really does it for me.

This recipe started as me wanting to get more use out of grapefruit, a fruit which I adore. Since I am pretty much convinced that grapefruits can only be eaten in the morning (I don’t know why I think this), I thought, why not muffins? Muffins, too, make a delightful breakfast item. Coincidentally, I can only eat muffins in the morning as well. It was clearly meant to be.

I was thinking of adding a nutmeg milk infusion when I happened to have an amazing drink of black iced tea infused with grapefruit. Suddenly, it was really, really important just then to add black tea to my working muffin recipe, because then it would be like all the best things of breakfast in one muffin. Woah.

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