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Posts tagged ‘pizza’

Finding Inspiration

Hello everyone, today is a holiday, remembering the life and legacy of  Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. we should honor and remember this great man in our thoughts, actions and life everyday. He was a man of purpose and peace, his philosophy and life is celebrated and remembered by all on this day every January 15th. He changed the world not with violence but with words of peace delivered with absolute conviction and great faith. The world will forever be a better place because of him.

It has been almost a month since I last posted anything, thats terrible, but I simply have not been inspired to cook, create and blog. Has that happened to any of you before? My apologies for not keeping up with your blogs. I won’t go into details but a lot has been happening and it has taken it’s toll on me emotionally. I try, I really do but unless I actually want to cook or bake they just don’t come out well and frankly are not blog worthy. Hoping to do a Valentines post or posts and get baking again. I’ve ordered a couple of new cookbooks, searching for inspiration and ideas and they will be arriving soon. I feel like I have a blockage and just can’t seem to break out, maybe soon.  The weather has been extreme, cold, snow and ice which doesn’t help. I love to go to the farmers market for inspiration, in the winter months it’s not exactly inspirational but I can usually find something there that gets my creative juices flowing, it’s been too darn cold to even venture outside and walk to the market.

I have made a few things that turned out well no real recipes mostly using up leftovers, simple fare.  Will post a few photo’s of some things I have made recently, the first was homemade pasta using this really cool pasta maker I got from the Food52 shop. Sometimes I just don’t feel like getting my pasta machine out and this is the answer to that making quick and easy perfect noodles. Love it!!

Calling all bloggers!! Would anyone like to do a guest post while I am in this funk? Would be so happy and honored to post some of your delicious recipes on the blog. Let me know, email me or comment below.

no bigger than a small rolling pin

Homemade pasta with shaved Brussels sprouts, mascarpone,parmigiana and lemon

I mentioned before I much I detest wasting food, in an effort to use some vegetables in my refrigerator and half of a recipe for pie dough (don’t like leaving in freezer too long) I made vegetable pot pie using cauliflower, asparagus, carrots, peas. Roasted the vegetables drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper and turmeric (except the peas) in the oven on 400 degrees until tender. Made a simple béchamel and added some gruyere. Tossed in the veggies and spooned into bowls, covered with the pie dough and grated a little more gruyere. They were delicious and simple and perfect comfort food on a very cold day.

vegetable pot pie

More food that must be used is some fresh mozzarella, some baby tomatoes and fresh basil. Pizza is on the menu today and my simple no knead pizza dough makes a perfect Grandma’s pizza.


Pizza With Cauliflower Crust


In my quest to eat less carbs and still hoping to have some of the same flavors that I love I discovered that you can make pizza with a cauliflower crust. I knew about cauliflower mash (instead of potatoes), and cous cous and rice. This did not start out to be pizza crust, at first I planned on a cauliflower and cheese bake, then thought I would do a roasted cauliflower soup (still too hot out) it then morphed into this pizza crust. Since it was not originally meant to be used for pizza I didn’t follow the directions for making it. They have you grate raw cauliflower and depending what recipe you use steam or dry roast in a skillet. My method may not be entirely orthodox and because of this I had to add a little bit of flour, I used only 1/4 cup of spelt flour along with egg and cheese to bind. The cauliflower was steam roasted first in the oven then covered in grated parm/asiago/romano, drizzled with a little olive oil and roasted again uncovered this time until lightly browned and the cauliflower is soft. Now Cauliflower has a high water content and depending which method you use they have you squeeze out the water with a towel. Because I dry roasted the water pretty much evaporated except for a few drops. I then blitzed it in the food processor mixed in the flour, egg and some taleggio cheese (grated) laid it on a cast iron pizza pan on some parchment (sprayed with cooking spray) and baked at 425 degree’s for about 25 minutes. Before baking I grated a little taleggio on top. When making a cauliflower crust you have to pre bake otherwise you will have a soupy mess.

The pizza turned out great and I love that I have the flavor of pizza without feeling bad about eating it.

Preparing the Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower cut into florets (my cauliflower was medium size)

grated cheese

olive oil

salt and pepper

Heat oven to 375 degree’s.  Place the cauliflower on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with foil, or you can steam it if you like. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Remove the foil and drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and grated cheese of your choice. I make a blend of parmigiana, romano and asiago. Place back in the oven and roast until it is very tender and lightly browned.  Let it cool and place in a sieve or colander over a bowl or plate, cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight. Cauliflower has quite a bit of water and you want to make sure it is pretty dry when you make the pizza dough.

pulsed in processor

pulsed in processor

Making the dough

makes one 12 inch pizza

2 1/2 cups of cauliflower crumbs (there will probably be leftover cauliflower, I put in a ziplock and froze)

1 egg lightly beaten

1/4 cup spelt flour

1/4 cup grated cheese

1/2 cup grated melting cheese like mozzarella or I used taleggio (Highly recommend taleggio)

Note: If you use all of the cauliflower (more than 2 1/2 cups) you should add an additional egg and a little more spelt flour and when grating either taleggio or fresh mozzarella it should be cold, the cheese is soft and even softer at room tempurature.


Place the cauliflower crumbs in a mixing bowl add the egg, flour and cheeses and form into a cohesive ball. Heat the oven to 425 degree’s and line a baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment, spray lightly with cooking spray. Press the dough onto the parchment into whatever shape you like, square, rectangular or round. Grate some more taleggio or mozzarella on top and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool, after 10 minutes transfer the parchment sheet to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before putting the pizza together.


Top your pizza with whatever you like I topped with roasted tomatoes and zucchini, mozzarella, dollops of pesto and grated cheese. It’s really so good and I didn’t miss the regular pizza crust at all.


Pizza In A Snap!!



I felt like pizza today, was really busy and didn’t have time to run to the store for ingredients so decided to use what I had on hand. I made my go to quick pizza dough early this morning, let it rise in the refrigerator, I had some beautiful fresh spinach, a little ricotta that needed to be used, parmigiano and pecorino romano cheese and thats all I needed. The pizza dough is so simple to make, it literally takes 5 minutes, its no knead dough. I sauteed the spinach in garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes, sprinkled on a little sea salt and black pepper, topped the dough with the spinach, some ricotta and grated parm and romano cheese. To gild the lilly I poached an egg and put it on top. Voila, dinner in a snap!!

Quick Pizza Dough

2 1/2 cups flour

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 tsp salt

1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)

2 tbs olive oil

Mix all ingredients, place in oiled zip lock bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or longer. If you don’t want to use the refrigerator method just place in oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

Before making your pizza remove dough from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Pre heat your oven to 500 degrees, oil your pizza pan or heat your stone. Take the dough out of the bag or bowl, dust with a little flour and work the dough for a minute or two until its smooth. Stretch onto your  pizza pan or peel. Brush with olive oil, add your toppings, in my case it was sauteed spinach, ricotta and the grated cheese. Bake until browned and bubbly.

Pizza Margherita

I felt like I had to include probably the most beloved of all Italian foods in this week long foray into my Italian roots, pizza. I can probably count on one hand the number of times my Mother made pizza growing up, that few really. I learned to love and appreciate pizza when I lived in Italy and this is very close to what I had there.  I used The Solitary Cooks recipe for pizza dough, slathered on some of my tomato balsamic jam, some fresh mozzarella and grated pecorino romano and here you have it. Pizza Margherita. The pizza dough rested all night in the refrigerator and was ready for me this morning. You must try this recipe for pizza dough, not only is it simple and quick to make it’s so tender and well, sheer perfection. Here is the link to the recipe,

It’s so easy to go to the pizzeria or restaurant and get a pizza to go, but if you have the urge for pizza try this. It really is foolproof and quick. Go to the links above for the recipe’s for the pizza dough and tomato balsamic jam. You can make a more traditional pizza sauce or buy a good one in the market whatever works for you. Add whatever toppings you like, let your imagination go wild, pizza is one of those foods that can become whatever you want it to be.

A thing of beauty