Monday Pizza Night

Blythe with a bowl of shredded cheese (none of which made it on the pizza).

Blythe with a bowl of shredded cheese (none of which made it on the pizza).

There is the cutest bakery in Highlands Square (less than a mile from our house) called The Denver Bread Company.  It smells of flour and freshly baked bread as you walk past, and if you walk in, you'll be treated to samples of whatever they have freshly baked that today.  This afternoon I stopped by and sampled a whole wheat sourdough bread and they also offered a morning bun, jalapeño cheddar, and a potato bread.  If you live in the neighborhood (or in Denver), you should absolutely stop by.

Sauce spreader.  Don't worry - I won't let B "help" when we are having guests and she did wash her hands.

Sauce spreader.  Don't worry - I won't let B "help" when we are having guests and she did wash her hands.

On Sunday and Monday, they also sell fresh pizza dough for $5.  I know how easy it is to make pizza dough at home, but without advance planning I cannot pull that off on a Monday night.  Blythe gets hungry around 5:30 PM (which is when I walk in the door from work), so if the dough isn't made we resort to feeding her whatever is in the fridge.  Not to mention, she really enjoys "helping" to make pizza.  Blythe prefers her dough uncooked, her sauce on her finger, and her tomato unsliced.  While the pizza baked, we read Secret Pizza Party, a hilarious book starring a pizza-obsessed raccoon by the authors of Dragons Loves Tacos (I have Ali to thank for introducing me and B to Dragons Love Tacos, her favorite book). 

Tomato straight from the garden.  Blythe approves.

Tomato straight from the garden.  Blythe approves.

We topped our pizza with sauce, spinach, mozzarella cheese, fresh corn, slices of tomato from the garden, and homemade ricotta.  If you've never made ricotta, please give it a try.  It is so delicious.  You can make it entirely with whole milk and skip the cream (I sub the cream for milk). Then use it to top your pizza, grilled fruit, or a slice of bread with olives or sundried tomatoes.  You won't regret it.

   

Salsa di Parmigiano

Blythe has a wonderful nanny who cares for her during the day while we are at work.  In addition being amazing with our little one and taking her on all sorts of adventures, she cooks delicious-sounding meals and brings leftovers for lunch that make me wish we could swap lunches.  I doubt she'd trade hers for what I usually pack... 

Recently she made us these Cauliflower Rice Stuffed Zucchini with Shrimp that I never would have made on my own, which were flavorful and unusual, and she introduced me to my newest obsession: vegetable noodles.  

I am now the proud owner of a spiralizer.  I try to avoid purchasing kitchen gadgets that are single use, but I've made an exception for the spiralizer because it makes these long, curly noodles that are fun to eat and cook and healthy.  An added bonus is that Blythe loves them and they are the perfect shape for her to grasp in her little hands.  These noodles actually make me think I like zucchini and I now regret not planting some in our garden. 

Yellow squash or zucchini noodles alone have very little flavor, which makes them the ideal vehicle for whatever kind of sauce you favor.  Usually my go-to sauce in the summer is pesto (made with pine nuts or walnuts), but lately I've been making Salsa di Parmigiano and adding a generous dollop of the Salsa di Parmigiano on the noodles.  It is deliciously cheesy with a kick from the red pepper flakes and I love to double this recipe and keep a Mason jar of the salsa in the refrigerator to put on vegetables (spiralized or not), pasta, or bread.  With the bountiful late-summer produce, this is the perfect sauce to have on-hand.

Salsa di Parmigiano
Recipe from Michael Chiarello via Alexandra Cooks

Ingredients
1/2 pound Parmesan
1/2 pound Asiago cheese
2 to 3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I used 2, but start with 1)
1 to 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation
1. Remove any rind from the cheeses and chop the cheeses into rough 1-inch chunks. Pulse the cheeses and garlic in a food processor until reduced to a fine, pea-sized gravel. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and stir in the scallions.

2. Add the oregano, rubbing it between your fingers over the bowl, red pepper flakes, 1 cup of the olive oil and black pepper. Stir. If mixture seems dry, add more olive oil by the 1/4 cup. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours before using.

Random aside - I've been getting emails from The Kitchn Cure, which just started last week.  For 20 days, they send a daily tip for cleaning and organizing your kitchen.  Today's task is cleaning the oven and last week was cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer (all of which are tasks I needed to tackle).

Print Friendly and PDF

Pasta Salad with Melon, Pancetta, Arugula and Ricotta Salata

Pasta Salad with Melon, Pancetta, Arugula and Ricotta Salata

I'm optimistic that the turn of the seasons and less time on my bike will mean a return to normalcy... and more cooking.  After we unpacked on Sunday, I went to the grocery store and whipped up a dish that K recommended from the August 2012 issue of Bon Appétit.  It still feels like summer here, so a light pasta salad seemed like the perfect "welcome home" meal.  And is it possible that this is the first thing I have made from Bon Appétit in three months?  Eek.

Read More

Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza Dough

Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza Dough

I've never given much thought to pizza dough.  Where pizza is concerned, I tend to like it all.  Certainly I've had pizza that I've especially enjoyed - every slice I had in Rome, mashed potato pizza from BAR in New Haven, and the pies I ate at Beau Jo's with my parents after they dragged me up mountains growing up - but I've often felt that the place where you eat said pizza matters more than the pizza itself.

Read More

Farro, Beets, Brown Butter & Poppy Seeds

Farro, Beets, Brown Butter & Poppy Seeds

At a Cape Cod wedding earlier this summer, our table was diving into lobsters, steamers, clam chowder and corn on the cob when a dear friend posed the question "What is your favorite food?" I have answers to this question once you add qualifiers... favorite dessert, favorite vegetable, favorite drink, etc. But favorite food? Impossible!

Read More