Archive for the ‘Pizza’ Category

Best Pizza Yet

Monday, October 26th, 2015

I rode just shy of 100 miles this weekend: 64 miles on Saturday and 30 something today. The original plan for today was to do another 60 or more miles, but my cycling partner had one flat and 3 blowouts. So that cut today’s ride a bit short, but made it a more intense ride.

Stopping to fix a flat ...

Yesterday I made pizza dough and today pizza. Everything was entirely from scratch: the crust, spicy turkey sausage, and the tomato fennel sauce.

Homemade From Scratch!

Blogging from the phone is fun, but it is also kind of a pain. So hard to see on this tiny screen!

Thyme Fennel Pizza Dough

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Thyme Fennel Pizza Dough

It’s an almost rainy Sunday and that’s got me in the mood to make some bread. Pizza has been requested, so …

To make this dough, use your favorite pizza dough recipe. Simply add about a teaspoon of fresh thyme and a teaspoon or two of fennel seeds towards the end of the kneading. You’ll want to crush the fennel seeds a bit in a mortar and pestle first. Remember that the seeds will soak up some water, so make your dough a little extra wet to compensate for that.

Here are a couple of my pizza dough recipes from previous posts:

These are some of my variations of Michael Chiarello’s  Piadine Dough, from from The Tra Vigne Cookbook.

Now it’s time to get out on the bike and grab a quick ride. I have waaay too much stuff I need to get done.

True Food Kitchen, San Diego

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

True Food Kitchen, Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego

The culinary highlight of my recent trip to San Diego was an exciting restaurant discovery: True Food Kitchen. It was without a doubt the best lunch out I have had in a very, very long time.

I was feeling a little disappointed because some plans had fallen through, so I needed a little retail and culinary therapy. My retail therapy resulted in a very cool pair of shiny black skinny jeans (found on clearance at Macy’s!), so I needed to keep these in mind when choosing my culinary therapy. I wanted a treat, but a reasonably light and healthy one.

Beverages

Cool and refreshing Green Arnie

As I enjoyed my Green Arnie, I relaxed and enjoyed a nice cool breeze on the patio. The setting was lovely and I was quite pleased with the cleanliness and overall atmosphere.

Table centerpiece

Patio seating

Cozy fire pit seating

Fresh herb gardens

There were so many choices on the menu that sounded like exactly what I wanted, but since it was cool outside, a little soup sounded perfect.

Starters ...

Miso Soup

The soup was rich with flavor, but also seemed fairly light. It was so good that I am right now trying to duplicate it at home. Close, but not quite. This will require further experimentation!

When I’m in a new restaurant that serves pizza, one of my tests is to try the most basic pie on the menu. This is the foundation of pizza – if their plain cheese or Pizza Margherita is not good, then it doesn’t matter what toppings you try. Their pizza will not be good. You absolutely have to have the right foundation – the basics: crust, sauce, cheese, fresh herbs.

I am a self-proclaimed pizza snob, but I think for good reason. I started working in pizza restaurants when I was just out of high school. My first was a family-owned restaurant and it was rare for a girl to be allowed to “man” the pizza oven. We girls could do all the prep work, make the subs, and for those of us who so aspired, one day we could run the grill and make the cheese steaks. The pizza men might even let us make the dough. I had mastered the subs. Mastered the grill. I had even mastered the dough. Come on! Let me spin the pies!

One day the “pizza man” called in sick and it was an all-girl crew. I enthusiastically jumped in to take over the oven and proved that a girl can make pizza. The “pizza man” took me under his wing and on occasion invited me to work side-by-side with him so he could teach me his tips and tricks. That’s when my love affair with making pizza really started.

Pizza ...

Pizza Margherita

My Pizza Margherita arrived. The crust was crisp and light. The sauce was rich with fresh tomato flavor. There was just enough cheese and the fresh basil was divine. I had about half of the pizza and saved the rest for later.

My server inquired about dessert. I was not going to have anything, but I love to look at dessert menus. I perused the menu, and politely declined, telling her about my new jeans and how I really should be good. She suggested the Chia Seed Pudding, saying it really wasn’t that bad. Hmm … chia seeds are loaded with all kinds of healthy things like fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. Hmm … this is a foodie adventure, so I suppose in the spirit of adventure I really should try it.

Chia Seed Pudding with Banana & Coconut

Oh. My. Goodness!

The Chia Seed Pudding was rich and creamy, not too sweet, and the toasted coconut gave it a nice crunch. The creaminess came from coconut milk, so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t as “light” fat and calorie-wise as I wanted to believe, but it was worth it.

I looked up a few chia seed pudding recipes today and have an experimental batch in my refrigerator right now. It will be ready tomorrow. I made it with unsweetened almond milk, low fat lemon yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla, and chia seeds. It thickens overnight in the refrigerator, so we’ll see tomorrow how well it sets up, but an initial taste was quite good!

My server told me that True Food Kitchen will be opening a restaurant in Walnut Creek, California later this year. It will be worth the hour-plus drive to dine there. I am looking forward to dining here again!

The service was awesome – friendly and attentive. The food was fantastic. I look forward to returning.