Showing posts with label pizza. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pizza. Show all posts

Friday, May 1, 2015

Thai Chicken Pizza

It's Friday, so I think that means we need some pizza.  Though let me give you some insight on my usual Friday night. It has been the same for almost three years...

Every Friday night, the boyfriend and I go to the same restaurant. Only occasionally do we stray from this restaurant, mostly because we aren't in the mood for burgers. The restaurant is a ten minute was from our place and we only drive in cases of extreme cold or rain.

Each week we order almost the same thing. It's gotten to a point that the wait staff knows us, not by name, but by order. We sit down with our food and play trivia. Specifically, Sporcle trivia on the iPad. It's so much fun. I know so many random facts now, I would probably be really useful in a trivial pursuit game.

Do you and your favorite person have any weekly or monthly traditions? The boyfriend and I have been trying to branch out and eat at different restaurants, but how many places will let you just sit there for an hour playing trivia and taking up a table?

One Year Ago: Peanut Butter Macaroon Brownies
Two Years Ago: White Chocolate - Raspberry Cheesecake
Three Years Ago: Peanut Butter Cup Blondies
Four Years Ago: Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Friday, October 25, 2013

Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Pizza

Happy Friday everyone! Is it just me, or has this week just flown by?  It was just Tuesday yesterday, right?

Since it is Friday, I thought we all deserved some pizza.  The Boyfriend says that he can eat pizza every day of the week, because pizza has so many options!  And he's completely right.  One day it could be a classic pepperoni and the next day this amazing butternut squash pizza.

But don't tell him he's right, I'm good with pizza once a week! Though I am totally having this for lunch all weekend. It was ah-mazing. It's that time of year that I want to put squash on and in everything and this pizza was a result of one of those thoughts.  That, and the idea that goat cheese belongs on everything.

Do you know who wanted nothing to do with this pizza?  The boyfriend.  He made some sort of bleghing noise and asked what I made for him. What's your favorite type of pizza?  Are you a classic lover? Or do you prefer something a little crazy?

One Year AgoCheesey Polenta with Sausage
Two Years AgoPovitica
Three Years AgoYeast Donuts

Fall Pizza
A Wilde Original

I made this pizza in the easiest way possible, with store bought pizza dough and the pre-cut butternut squash.  For dinner I just don't have the time to make my own dough and peel and cut a whole squash.  You could even go super lazy and buy one of those pre-baked pizza crusts!  No judging here, I do it All. The. Time.

2 cups cubed butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper
1 recipe pizza crust (or store bought)
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 cups baby spinach
Balsamic vinegar

If you are using a pizza stone, pop it in the oven now. Preheat oven to 400 ºF.  Toss butternut squash in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast squash for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a bowl.  Increase oven to 450 ºF.

Roll out pizza dough to a 16-inch circle and place it on a thin layer of cornmeal.  Drizzle top with olive oil and spread over the entire pizza.  Slide pizza onto pizza stone, or bake on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove crust from the oven and top with butternut squash and goat cheese.  Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and top with baby spinach and sprinkle with a dash of balsamic vinegar.  Cut it up and chow it down!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Apple & Goat Cheese Pizza

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but here in the tri-state area it's been like a second summer!  I've been spending this entire week in sleeveless shirts and skirts as the temperatures have been pushing 80 degrees each day.  I'm hoping the warm spell will last through the weekend so that the BF can enjoy a few more beautiful days as well.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Strawberry-Bacon Pizza

Say hello to delicious.

During my days of unemployment, I usually wander around Montclair, read books at Starbucks and bake cookies for Boyfriend.  Lunch often falls by the wayside and I wind up having a yogurt around 3:00.  Yesterday I was inspired to actually make lunch after flipping through Fitness magazine.  This strawberry and goat cheese pizza screamed my name.  Top it all off with a hefty load of crumbled bacon and I was tearing this recipe from the magazine and heading to Whole Foods. 

This pizza comes together quickly, which is perfect for someone craving bacon and goat cheese.  Using naan for the pizza crust, this lunch went from ingredients to delicious in only fifteen minutes. 

And it was amazing.  I should make lunch more often.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Taking a Breather

Taking a vacation right after being laid off is doing me good.  We have been too busy doing crazy Moroccan things to even have time to think about the real world!  By the time we return to the hotel each night, we fall into bed exhausted from the day.  There's no time to think What? I don't have anywhere to go when I get back to the US? Nope, it's - head meets pillow - wake up tomorrow.

I'll post more about Morocco when I return, lord knows I'll have plenty of time!  To keep your appetites at bay, here's a tasty dinner I made just before we went on vacation.  Chicken Tikka Pizzas!  After making these, I want to make all my pizzas on pitas.  I also got to use my pizza stone for the first time since I got it for Christmas.  It's just been taking up space in the oven.  The pizza stone really crisped up the pitas before I added the toppings.  Something you can do by just toasting them in the oven for a few minutes.

I've been obsessed with non-traditional pizzas, something my New York friends have called blasphemy.  Apparently pizza is Italian and I should stop putting things like BBQ sauce, garam masala and salad on top of my pizza crusts.  No way.  Pizza is just an open faced sandwich, I'm going to trash it up with all kinds of international toppings!  Maybe I'll come back and make a Moroccan pizza for you all!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Restaurant Wars 2013 - California Pizza Kitchen

First off today, I have to say Happy Anniversary!!! to Boyfriend.  It's been ten years since our first date.  Ten years, seven cities, nine different apartments, over twenty different countries, we're like our own little Amazing Race.  That's right, BF and I have been a couple for a whole decade.  You might ask why we aren't yet engaged or married.  My answers generally vary from 'We've only been living together for 2 years' to 'We're really busy' to 'If I get engaged, then I have to plan a wedding.'  We'll get around to it before all this food blogging catches up to us and I can't fit into a size 4 wedding dress!

Now, back to the reason for todays post - Restaurant Wars 2013!  It's been almost a month since my last RW post because I've been out of town so much recently!  March and April found be travelling to my hometown for a long weekend and to Washington, DC for a work conference.  I also spent my weekend mornings training for my half marathon.  I reorganized my RW schedule based on restaurants that are close to our apartment and therefore easy weeknight meals!

This week brought us to California Pizza Kitchen, on a surprisingly busy night.  Our CPK is located inside of a mall, like most locations these days, and tends to be a popular place for dinner.  It would be forty-five minutes if we wanted a table.  How long for the bar?  You can sit down right now!  I highly reccommend sitting at the bar at CPK.  The bartenders are fun and lead to quick drink service.  You can also watch all the pizzas being made and get good views of the TVs.

Personally, I love all of the unusual pizzas at CPK.  I always wind up with their pear & gorgonzola, spicy Korean BBQ or Jamaican Jerk pizza.  BF is more of a classic pizza fan.  Meat and cheese is his go to pizza.  This trip to CPK was no different - I went with the Thai chicken pizza and BF got the Meat cravers.  Apparently vegetables have no place on a pizza in BFs world. 

When it came to reproducing CPK at home, I had a little leg up.  While browsing the local bookstore in Montclair, I stumbled upon this book.  Published in 1996, previously owned, this cookbook cost me $8.  Deal.  The best thing about this version of the cookbook (they have updated it twice since the original was published), this book contains several pizzas that are no longer offered on the CPK menu.  Like BF's favorite - The Rosemary Chicken and Potato Pizza.

 I remember heading to CPK in the early years of our relationship and ordering this pizza.  He's been upset ever since it was pulled from the menu.  When I discovered the recipe in my new cookbook, I knew this would be the recipe to make for RW - CPK.  The only problem, this recipe is so involved.

It took me almost two hours from chopping the first clove of garlic to when I pulled the pizza out of the oven.  You can prepare some things in advance (which I should have done, but I neglected to read the recipe ahead of time, bad blogger) and shave some time off of the prep.  I have also reorganized the directions, to allow you to multitask during the cooking process.

Make this pizza, it is delicious.  And according to Boyfriend, very close to the original.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why Bother? 2012 - Mozzarella Cheese

After my success with ricotta cheese, I was very excited try my hand at a little more involved cheese - mozzarella.  However, there was one problem.  New Jersey was conspiring against me in this particular challenge. 

After much reading, leafing through multiple cookbooks and cruising the blogosphere, it was the general consensus that you should use raw milk to make your mozzarella cheese.  Unpasteurized, non-homogenized, raw milk.  There was just one problem to my obtaining said raw milk, it is illegal in New Jersey to commercially sell raw milk. 

I couldn't find it in my supermarket, at any of the small co-ops or sitting in a cooler at the farmers market.  Raw milk is a precious, and apparently illegal, commodity.  Over the past few years, groups have brought bills to the state senate to legalize the sale of raw milk.  As of right now there is a bill with the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee that would allow the sale of raw milk under certain conditions, whatever that means.

Due to the current laws of the Garden state, the only way for me to get raw milk would be to cross a border into either Upstate New York or Pennsylvania.  I know there are lots of dairy farms upstate, but I thought it would be a little excessive to drive over seventy miles just to buy milk.  That would be one expensive gallon of milk.  Instead, I went to Whole Foods and bought a gallon of organic, pasteurized milk.  If you can get your hands on raw milk, I'm a little jealous of you!  If you can't, just be sure to buy milk that isn't homogenized.  That won't work at all.

With the raw milk drama behind me, I was able to get down to cheese business.  Along with my organic milk, I got out a big (non-reactive) pot, my jar of citric acid (not from the lab!) and my rennet tablets.  Sounds a bit like a science experiment, right?  Here's a breakdown of what everything is doing.

You need a non-reactive pot, which is any pot made of clay, enamel or stainless steel.  Do not use your fancy copper or aluminum pans.  Copper and aluminum will react with the acid you will be adding to the milk and impart a metallic taste on your cheese.  I used a stainless steel Dutch oven.

Citric acid is one of the most common acids found in your house.  Those oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits are sour because of their high concentration of citric acid.  You need to use it to sour the milk.  What you are actually doing is changing the pH of your milk.  As you lower the pH of the milk from nearly neutral (around 6.8) to slightly acidic (roughly 4.6), the proteins in the milk precipitate, separating from the liquid whey.  I got my citric acid from the King Arthur Flour online store.

Hi, I'm citric acid!
Rennet is a bunch of enzymes that we use to coagulate the milk and completely separate the curds from the whey.  Chemically, rennet is a protease.  This means that it breaks down the proteins, breaking bonds of the amino acids and making the proteins smaller.

All these sciency things come together to make delicious cheese.  And it was a very fun and non-sciency process.  I'd recommend making mozzarella cheese to everyone.  Does it taste much different from store bought fresh mozzarella?  There isn't a huge difference, especially if you get yours at a farmers market or Italian deli, but yours will definitely be fresher!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Newman's Pizza

I arrived home to a package recently.  It was filled with delicious goodies.  I was particularly struck by this pair of items.  Mostly because of the label on the pasta sauce...

Do you see it?  No, it's not those mysterious lady hands, growing out of the bottom of the bottle.  No, Newman's is spelled correctly.  It's up there, on the top left...  See it?  Yep, it says "Industrial Strength."  Why?  I have no idea, it didn't taste like it was extra strength or full of special chemicals (I'm a chemist, trust me on this).  It actually just smelled like tomato, and basil.  Have you ever opened a bottle of "Pasta sauce with basil" and you couldn't taste/smell the basil?  Well, you won't have that problem with this jar.  Mmmm, basily. 

It made one delicious pizza...  Look at all that deliciousness!

That basil flavor persisted, even after being layered over with sausage, peppers, onions and cheese.  Lots and lots of cheese...  Mmmmmm...

Oh, and I made a salad too.  Because vegetable are good for you.  Eat your vegetables.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chicken and Herb White Pizza

First, I want to thank everyone for their birthday wishes!  Well, my blog would like to thank you for your birthday wishes.  And really, writing without having all of you out there to read and chat with would just be no fun at all!  I can't believe it's been a whole year since I started Wilde in the Kitchen. 

I remember the first time that I got a comment from someone that I didn't know and how excited I was.  I thought "I've made it!"  Then there was the first time I broke ten pageviews, fifty, one hundred, one thousand!  I look back at some of the crazy recipes that I've posted, the oddball stories that I've told and the unusual pictures that I've taken.  Everyday is exciting when writing a blog and I've got to thank you all for following!  You've made it all totally worth it.

On other news, I'm going on vacation!  It's my first, official as a member of the workforce, vacation, taken with earned time off!  As of October 4th I had been at my job for a full 90 days and gained access to the use of my days off.  Sure, I took vacations when I was a graduate student and as a Postdoc, but this is different.

As a member of the academic working class, taking vacations is nerve-wracking.  You realize that the longer you stay away from the lab, the longer you'll be there.  For every week you take off, you add a week to your tenure as a student.  So, you try to minimize vacations (especially if you have a crazy boss) (which I didn't!  Hi former bosses!) and feel bad when you are away.  Toward the end of your vacation you are edgy and want to get back into the lab.  Gotta run that reaction!  Let me at my chemicals!

Now that I've made it into the real world, I've worked hard and earned my vacation days and I'm really going to enjoy them!  This Thursday morning at 1:00 am, boyfriend and I are boarding a plane and flying halfway around the world.  We're heading to Thailand!  We'll be spending half of our time in Bangkok, then heading south to Phuket for some fun in the sun.  Well, hopefully sun, it's the tail end of the rainy season and it's been raining and flooding in Thailand.

Worry not, I've got you all set up for some delicious meals while I'm gone.  I'll try to pop in and update you on our trip through Thailand, although I'm not promising anything...  I tend to fall asleep early when I go on vacation...  All that sun!  Here's hoping for lots of sun, not only for boyfriend and I, but also for the people of Thailand, stuggling to clean up the flood waters.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pizza Foccacia

Among all of the big changes that have been happening in the Wilde household, the change in living situations is probably one of the biggest.  For the past eight years, boyfriend and I have been a long distance couple.  It did help that we've known each other for the past fifteen years and also that we were both so very busy while we were apart.  Boyfriend was busy building his career and getting a great job, while I spent my time holed up in labs finishing my education.

Now that we are living in one household it's totally different.  Good different!  Not only are the living expenses cut in half (a great bonus), but sometimes I arrive home to discover the laundry I put in the dryer that morning has folded itself up and put itself away!  The dishwasher empties itself and even dinner arrives without me having to lift a finger!

Now, I realize that boyfriend might have a bit to do with the amazing feats of housework and food prep (ordering) because these things never happened when I was living alone!  Food covered dishes would just sit in the sink until I faced the music and put them in the dishwasher.  Laundry would remain in the dryer until I tried to run another load, so that's where those pants were all week...  Dinner would often be a bowl of lettuce that I would call a salad. 

Living with boyfriend definitely has is benefits, most of all being, I get to see him every day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Indian Pizza

On our most recent trip to Europe, Boyfriend and I had some pretty amazing food. I would say it was some of the best food of my life. We started with authentic Indian food in London, a perfectly roasted chicken in Paris and amazing pizza in Italy. We ate schnitzel in the Alps, wieners at a castle and finished up our trip at a dimly lit restaurant, smiling over plates of curry. It was a crazy twelve days.

Yes, I said twelve days. We travelled through seven countries in seven days. We would have made it eight, but just couldn’t see how to get to Belgium and make our flight home. In honor of this crazy week and a half in Europe I decided to combine two great culinary palettes. Indian plus Italian equals delicious.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Sunday night is Amazing Race night. In the ten years that it has been on the air, I have watched just about every season. In the early years I was obsessed. I watched religiously and planned my Wednesday nights around primetime. Boyfriend and I were still in college and he didn’t even have the title ‘boyfriend’ yet. We would watch the show while chatting on AIM and argue about who was the better team. After watching 17 seasons we’ve gotten pretty good about picking the winners. (I’ve actually picked the winning team for the past five seasons.)

Boyfriend and I have this grand idea that we would kick butt at the Amazing Race, as long as boyfriend doesn’t give directions. As I’ve discussed before, when presented with two options, boyfriend will inevitably choose the wrong direct 100% of the time. He does however have real world experience, or as he says “he knows the harsh realities of the world.” I apparently “have lived in a safety bubble.” (This is true) There are some things that would prevent us from doing well on the race. To give you a complete picture, let me walk you through our adventure of trying out for the Amazing Race.

Way back in 2006, boyfriend came to Madison for a visit. It just so happened that he came to town the same weekend there was an Amazing Race tryout. Tryouts were happening in Indiana at some beachside casino, three hours away from Madison, from 10-4. We figured if we left by nine am that we could be there by noon, perfect. Driving on the I-90, somewhere around Chicago, we hit massive traffic. Who knew that Chicago would be so busy on a beautiful Saturday afternoon?

Phew, made it through traffic, just thirty minutes behind schedule. But wait, is Indiana in the central time zone or the eastern time zone? Ummm, does it make a difference if it’s during daylight savings time? Oh boy, we might have one less hour! Speed boyfriend, speed!

When we finally made it to the casino we were confronted with a massive line of people. There were easily five hundred people waiting to have their turn in front of the camera. We got our number and stood in line, filling out our application as we waited. Hmmm, they need a photocopy of our passports? Uh oh, mine is in Wisconsin and boyfriends is in New York. Talk about being unprepared.

After thirty minutes of waiting in line and slowly inching forward, the head of the tryouts called numbers 450-500. Oh, we were number 498! The four hundred people in front of us had numbers in the thousands. Boyfriend and I considered our options. A. Wait in line for several more hours, abiding by proper line protocol. Or B. Do it Amazing Race style and cut everyone. We went with option B, what? We had the right number, they called us!

Needless to say we didn’t end up getting on the Amazing Race, I don’t know why, we’re pretty awesome. Boyfriend yells at people and I cry. We’d be good television.

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