Tag Archives: Home

Pizza Night!

KitchenSinkPizza

A savory tomato sauce based pizza

There’s a certain sense of accomplishment that comes with pulling a freshly baked homemade pizza out of the oven. Even though it may have taken much longer to put together and bake than it would to simply order a pizza from down the street, the satisfaction of creating yourself what you might pay twenty dollars (or more) for a pizza place to make for you is worth it. It’s just as much about the experience as it is about the pizza. And what better way to capture the homemade pizza feeling than with good friends. This is what’s known by some as the “pizza night”.

PestoPizza

Pesto – it’s green and awesome

To pull off a pizza night well, you need to have four foundational key ingredients: Good friends, an accommodating oven, beer, and – of course – pizza. If you feel like you’re up for the task of the advanced pizza night, you can add a playlist of your favorite music to augment the environment in whatever direction you choose – we chose to bring in a little bit of the 80’s. something about hair bands and pizza just feels right. If you want to go all the way and dial up your pizza night to eleven, you can do all the above while sporting an apron and toque.

BuffaloChickenPizza

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Pizza

But, as the point of a pizza night is ultimately the pie, let’s talk za. A good pizza starts with a good pizza dough. We made enough dough to create five pizzas (and by we, I mean my friend the baker). You can find all kinds of simple recipes online – like this one – but I’ve been told that the best pizza crust is made with a sourdough base, which is a bit more involved, from what I understand. After the crust, the rest is really open for interpretation. You could use all kinds of different sauces, such as pesto, Alfredo, garlic, sweet tomato, savory marinara, anything you can spread really. You could even use ketchup & mustard if you wanted, though I would urge you in the name foodies everywhere – please don’t. From this point forward, anything is fair game.  If you can eat it, you can put it on a pizza!

I’ll include ingredient lists for the five pizzas we created.  As always, if you’d like to join me and recreate the wonderment for yourself, you can find a recipe in the recipes section of the blog.

“Wise man say forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza.”

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gooey Cheesy Community

cheesygooeyenchiladas Yesterday I emerged, relatively unscathed, from the fruit and vegetable desert! The trek was long, the terrain difficult, but the journey has at long last come to an end. To celebrate this momentous occasion, my good friend who was in the desert with me, threw a grand party, featuring her culinary acuity in the form of delicious gooey cheesy chicken enchiladas! And oh my word they were quite possibly the best gooey cheesy chicken enchiladas I’ve ever had in my 30 years of existence! They were exquisite! GoodPeople1But in the process of celebrating the departure of my dietary restrictions, I also found myself celebrating and greatly appreciating the community that I’ve come to be a part of. Because, as you may know, the quality of our lives is not determined by the possessions we acquire, the delicacies we consume, or the wealth we accumulate, but by the friends we pick up along the way and the life we experience by their side. Without people to share all the treasures and pleasures of life with, it all can quickly become empty or hallow. GoodPeople2

As I looked around the room and saw friends gathered, if for no other reason than to share a meal together and help three of their friends mark the end of a season of self-imposed difficulty, it hit me afresh: my friendships, the people I love, admire and respect are so incredibly important to me! There have been many times in my past, some more recent than others, where I’ve felt like I was on the outside of community looking in. It’s those times that help me to appreciate what I have here and now.  I’m part of a community that cares for one another, encourages one another.  We celebrate together, laugh together, and even cry together.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Life is meant to be shared. There’s no getting around that. We were all, all of us, created to be in community. When we’re not doing that, we’re leaving behind and neglecting a vital part of who we are, letting an important piece of what it means to be human atrophy. The best part of being alive is being alive with other people, and the best part of eating great food, is sharing it with the people you love.

GoodPeople3So I’d like to drop a few names. Keisha, Ben, Kenee, Catherine, Katie, Vickie, Livie, even though I don’t see some of you as much as I might like, you are all excellent people and I am filled with gratitude that you number me among your friends. Even though the enchiladas were of the highest calibre I’ve tasted, it was the company that made the evening such a great gathering.

So you, whoever you are reading this right now, I sincerely hope that you know the blessings of community and friendship. Because without it, even something as enjoyable as great food can lose it’s worth. Food without the life around it is merely sustenance. In order to truly enjoy great food, you need great people to enjoy it with. It’s Life. Plus food!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Monday Night Quinoa

Every Monday night, my friend and I host a weekly dinner and discussion group. We meet at her house, and most of the time I cook dinner for everyone. It’s a fun time. We all gather around the kitchen and talk about life while I cook dinner, and then we get to enjoy a lovely meal together. There are a few of us that are there fairly consistently, and when you share a meal like that every week, you begin to know each other like family. I love it!

It’s one thing to walk through this veggie desert by myself, but when I’m cooking for other people as well, I feel a particular pressure to make something that everyone will enjoy, even if they’re not eating a vegatarian diet. So I did what I always do when I need to cook something that needs to be tasty and fun. I cooked something I’ve never cooked before. Not only that, I cooked with ingredients that I’ve never used before. It’s a risk, I suppose, but over the years I’ve become confident in my culinary gifting.

QuinoaLettuceWrapTonight, I cooked up some lettuce wraps, using quinoa as a base. Quinoa is a grain, similar to rice. But when it’s cooked, it has a texture similar to couscous. I’ve never cooked quinoa until tonight, and I’ve only eaten it a couple times. I don’t have a whole lot of experience with it. Fortunately, like rice, it’s pretty easy to work with. To be fair though, I didn’t actually prepare the quinoa. My friend, at whose house we host this dinner discussion group, prepared it in her steamer. So I can’t take all the credit.

Anyway, this is what I ended up with. It turned out very nicely.

It’s a quinoa lettuce wrap with tomatoes, carrots, fresh green chillies, red bell pepper, sweet red onions, black beans, peaches, lime and cilantro with fresh avocado. It was quite a cacophony of flavors. Oh, and it was topped with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The vinegar mingling with the peaches, oh what flavor! Top it with some avocado and a slice of lime… Delicious! Plus, if you try you can make it look very pretty. Pretty is always a plus when it comes to food.

If this is something you’d like to try for yourself – I recommend it – you can find the recipe over on the recipe’s section of the blog. It was pretty simple to prepare.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements