Monthly Archives: September 2017

Fresh Bing Cherry Tart

Looking for a quick and easy dessert? It really doesn’t get much simplier than this one, especially with the wonderful fruits that are in season. A fresh fruit tart with a cookie crumb crust and a custard filling is just the thing to whip up when you need a dessert with only a couple hours notice. Continue reading Fresh Bing Cherry Tart

Home-Made Pizza Made Easy (While Not Sacrificing Taste or Texture)

One of my all-time favorite foods is pizza. And I’m not taking about Pizza Hut or Little Caesar’s, or the like. I’m talkin’ wood-oven New York style pizza.

It starts with the crust, which is admittedly, no easy feat. I finally came upon a recipe that was buried in my pile of cut-out recipes, so unfortunately, I have no source to cite. It’s also not your typical pizza dough in that it starts out with a sponge. Absolutely divine, never fail, recipe…

Sponge:
2-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast ( or 1 package)
1 cup lukewarm water (about 98 degrees Fahrenheit)
1 teaspoon unrefined cane sugar
1 tablespoon flour (I use double zero)
Dough:
1 sponge
4-1/2 cups flour (again, use the double zero)
1 cup lukewarm water (about 98 degrees Fahrenheit)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt

In a large bowl, combine all the sponge ingredients. Whisk well to combine. Let it sit for 15 minutes. It should be foamy and active. If not, it could be that the water was too cool and needs more time, water was too hot so yeast is dead, or the yeast is old. You’ll need to start over.

I use a food processor for this next step, and it comes out perfectly every time. You could use an electric mixer with a dough hook. Or, you could go old-school and mix by hand and then knead, but the modern day appliances are a marvel in terms of cutting down on time and laborious effort. Into the food processor, add the flour and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the water, olive oil, and sponge. Process using the ‘dough’ setting. It will quickly come together in a sticky ball.

Turn out on a lightly floured board. Flour your hands. Knead dough for 5-6 minutes, adding more flour if kneaded (needed). I find that a bench scraper is helpful if your dough is sticking to the counter; but it rarely does with this recipe. It typically comes together quickly and needs only a nominal amount of flour added during the kneading. I actually think the end product is far better with less rather than more flour added (but that also depends on the moisture level in your flour, in the air in your kitchen, and the grain of flour used).

You can either divide the dough into 2 pieces for two regular-size pizzas or into 4 pieces for individual pies. Either way, roll the balls by shaping them and rounding them, pinching at the bottom to seal seams. Place on lightly floured cookie sheet, cover with a towel (not terry fabric as it will stick), and allow to rise for 2 hours.

If you not going to use the dough immediately, you can then store the ball(s) in lightly oiled plastic bags, releasing the air before sealing, then either refrigerate or freeze. Allow to rest and completely come to room temperature before using if you use this method.

If you are going to use the dough immediately, you can move on to creating your pizza, calzone, pizza bead, etc.


I opted for two large pies, storing one ball in the refrigerator for use within the next day or so; and moved on to creating dinner. The dough was easy to form on the pizza pan, which I lightly dusted with flour. I am not adept at tossing in the air, so I use my fingers and the stretching-and-pulling method to shape my dough. Next, on to the toppings.

Earlier in the day and with the garden bounty, I made fresh tomato sauce using tomatoes, onions, parsley, thyme, oregano, marjoram, and basil, all freshly picked and taken straight to the kitchen. To them, I added some garlic and red wine. This tomato sauce became the base for all the other ingredients.


Front and center, and again fresh-picked from garden, were zucchini sliced thin, onions, oregano, basil, and jalapeno. Additional accoutrements included roasted garlic, vegan bacon, Kalamata olives, green olives, and Mikoyo’s Kitchen mozzarella.

Ready for the oven
close up of top of pizza

Into a preheated 525 degree Fahrenheit oven it went for 13 minutes. Perfection! We didn’t leave a morsel.

P.S.: Stay tuned. I was gifted with a wonderful sourdough starter and have been having a blast with it. I’m thinking that a sourdough pizza dough might be forthcoming.

*An important aspect of sharing original recipes is to give proper credit to the author(s) of the recipe(s). I hope that you enjoy using these recipes and making them your own; but please do so with that integrity in mind. With much gratitude. Linda

Zucchini, Zucchini Everywhere! What To do!

Summer’s garden bounty — zucchini, zucchini, zucchini everywhere.

Ciambotta (Italian vegetable stew, pronounced JumBaut), air-fried breaded zucchini frites, zucchini frittata. I could go on and on… But, it wouldn’t be garden zucchini if I didn’t include a zucchini bread, now would it :-)!

My version is a bit atypical, but I think you’ll really like it.

Continue reading Zucchini, Zucchini Everywhere! What To do!