Thursday, January 19, 2017

Rosie Makes A Breakfast Pizza.

The Hawthornes love a good breakfast and weekends are the perfect time to make a leisurely morning repast. I combined bacon, eggs, cheeses, and bread all in one for a breakfast pizza.  I made a quick dough for the pizza base, baked the dough, then added the rest of the breakfast fixin's.  I added two eggs for eyeballs and baked all the goodness together until the eggs were still jiggly.  For directions, please follow along and keep up.

Rosie's Breakfast Pizza Fixin's
1 pizza dough, spread out to about 9"-diameter

Heat oven to 500°.
I keep a pizza stone in the oven and let that heat up.

Pizza Dough: 

1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
Mix the above together and let proof.  That means the dough "proves" it's alive.  It eats and produces carbon dioxide bubbles and gets all poofy and foamy.

1/4 tsp kosher salt
about 1 cup flour

Fork in the salt and flour until dough comes together.
Knead a bit, form into a ball, let rest a few minutes, then place dough on oiled baking sheet and start forming the circle.
Push outwards from the center. Let rest.  Push.  Rest.  Until you have about a 9-10 inch diameter.
Lightly drizzle olive oil over top.
Let rise a bit in a warm place.

Fork or press down the center of the dough a bit so it doesn't over-rise and get concave on you.  Hard to crack an egg on an incline.  Bake about 5-7 minutes until crust is just starting to brown.  Remove from oven.

Evenly spread cottage cheese mixture over top.
Sprinkle on bacon bits.
Sprinkle cheese over top.
Make depressions and carefully crack in an egg.

Slide pizza onto pizza stone and bake another 6-8 minutes.  I like my yolks runny.

Let cool a bit and top with sliced green onions.

Assorted toppings:

3 TB cottage cheese
pinch kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Mix all together.

some cooked and crumbled bacon, more than enough for two people
I scissored the bacon into bits, covered them with water in a skillet, and simmered until water evaporated and the bacon was evenly cooked.

1 egg per person

1/3 - 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1/4 - 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
One can never have too much cheese.

sliced scallions

Brush olive oil over dough.

Rosie's mistake:
She didn't press down the center of the dough.
I ended up with a domed dough.
Next time, fork/press it down in the center.

Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture almost to the edges.

Give it some bacon lovin'.
Again, one cannot have too much bacon.

Top with the cheeses.

Make a little well and gently drop an egg into it.

And bake.


This was quite enjoyable.
Do yourself a favor and make a breakfast pizza this weekend and start the day on good, solid footage.

Friday, January 13, 2017

It's Blueberry Muffin Time.


 Mr. Hawthorne came home with some lovely blueberries the other day and the first thing that came to mind was ...  Blueberry Muffins.  

These are some of the best I've had.  They have a lovely cake-like texture, they have a moist crumb, they're packed full of blueberry flavor from fresh juicy blueberries and fresh blueberry jam, they're tart and rich from buttermilk, and they're citrusy and sugary and crunchy on top.  It's a perfect combination.

This would be a welcome addition to your Sunday brunch menu.  Plus, they're just nice to have around anytime for a quick snack/pick-me-up/sugar-fix.  Now I'm thinking - slice a muffin, butter and toast it, then serve it with vanilla ice cream, maybe some sourwood honey drizzled over top. Maybe sprinkle toasted almonds on top. Oh my! 

Blueberry Muffins

Lemon and Sugar Topping
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsps grated lemon zest
Mix together sugar and zest.  Set aside

Muffin Batter
2 cups fresh blueberries, separated
1 tsp sugar
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose King Arthur flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 eggs
4 TB melted unsalted butter
4 TB vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 425°.
Oil muffin pan.

For the jam:
Simmer 1 cup blueberries and 1 tsp sugar over medium low heat, squishing berries with a wooden spoon and stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes, until the berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to about 1/4 cup.  Set aside.

For the batter:
In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, then whisk in remaining sugar.  Slowly whisk in butter and oil until well-combined, then whisk in buttermilk and vanilla.

Toss remaining blueberries with a tablespoon of the flour mixture.
Lightly fold egg mixture into flour mixture, then fold in blueberries until just moistened.  Do not overmix.

Divide batter equally among 12 muffin cups.

Spoon in about a teaspoon or so of the blueberry jam mixture in center of each muffin cup.  Gently swirl the berry jam into the batter with a skewer.

Sprinkle lemon-sugar mixture over tops.

Bake about 18 minutes, or until tops are golden and firm, turning halfway through baking time.  Cool in pan about 7 minutes, then remove to wire racks.

Sugar and lemon.
Mix together.

  Cook down the berries until ...

... they look like this.

  Spoon berry jam onto each muffin top.

Swirl jam into muffins.

Sprinkle sugar and lemon zest over top.

Bake until they look perfect.
Like this.

Cool a bit in muffin pan.

Then cool on rack.

 This is soooo Mr. Hawthorne. 
 He's picked out his muffin for tomorrow and set it aside, hidden.
And it took him quite some time
to pick out THE muffin.

Oozing juicy goodness.

Too bad you can't smell the house right now.

Found in a blueberry muffin.

Please enjoy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

It's Pizza Time.

Rosie is making pizza and she's procrastina planning ahead.

I allowed myself two days for the dough process.  Because I can.  I made the dough the first afternoon, then found myself doing something else later on, so decided to ball it up, refrigerate, and chill.  Both the dough and myself.
I don't need to tell you how to make a pizza dough, do I?
I've done it so many times, I can do it in my sleep.
You make dough until it feels right.

And I know.  It looks downright shaggy at first.  Don't worry.

Rosie's Dough:
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 package yeast
sprinkle of sugar over yeast
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Mix 1/2 cup water, yeast, and sugar and let the yeast proof.  That means it's gotten all puffy and foamy and has "proved" it's alive by producing all those bubbles.
Add in remaining 1 cup warm water, forking it in.  Add in 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, then  3 cups of flour, one cup at a time, incorporating.

Turn out onto lightly floured board.  Start kneading, adding more flour as needed (a sprinkle at a time) to keep it from sticking.  Don't rush dough.  Let it rest.  Then come back and give it some more luvin'.  You'll be able to feel it.

Now, would you look at 'at!
Smooth and elastic.
Put it in an oiled bowl, roll it around, cover with plastic, and set in a warm to place rise.

When it's doubled, turn out onto lightly floured board.
Notice that pretty little bubble at the bottom!

I love watching the "blob" belly-roll out.
That's the gluten network.  Networking.

After turning out, I gave it a few kneads...
...  and then rolled into 6 little balls.  I don't want one big pizza.  I want OPTIONS!
Roll up each ball loosely in plastic, then place in storage bags and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, I started on my pizza.  I pulled out one ball of dough from my stash.

And then I started a-thinkin'.  And drinkin' coffee. And that can be a dangerous combination.  Gotten me into trouble numerous times.  But I put all that behind me and forged on ahead.

Let me cogitate on this pizza for a minute or two.
What do I want on this pizza?

I'm still thinking....

Got it!

I took some of that, some of this, some of what was in the garden, some of what was in the fridge, and came up with Rosie's Pizza #651.

Remember I made 6 balls of pizza dough.  I can individually freeze these for later, or I can come up with a different pizza each day for the next 5 days.  That sounds like fun to me.  And I already have the first one materializing right now in my mind!  (It involves shrimp and fennel...)

But I digest...

Let's get back to what Mr. Hawthorne has now called my "Mediterranean Pizza," for reasons unknown.
I've never been to the Mediterranean.

Rosie's Mediterranean Pizza
1 8-10inch diameter fresh pizza dough, lightly risen
enough baby spinach leaves to cover the bottom of the pizza with a few torn kale leaves from the garden
a few small red peppers that come in the pack with the yellow and orange (I'm trying to help you here. We're going to roast the red peppers.  The smaller ones in the assortment are much cheaper than the big sweet red bell peppers.)
Home-marinated artichoke hearts and sliced mushrooms
feta cheese
Chèvre cheese

pomegranate arils
your favorite extra virgin olive oil, which now happens to be Porto Campo which I get from an "underground source" which shall remain unnamed.
reduced balsamic vinegar sauce

Start with the pizza dough and layer all items up to the olive oil.
Bake on a heated (for 30 minutes at 500°) pizza stone in a 500° oven for 9 minutes.
Plate and drizzle the balsamic sauce artistically around the pizza.

Now, there are only two things that you need to do ahead of time and I did both the night before::
1)  marinate the artichoke hearts and sliced mushrooms
2)  reduce the balsamic vinegar into a nice syrupy sauce.

 Marinated Mushrooms
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
 1 tsp kosher salt
1 TB fresh oregano
1 TB fresh thyme
2 TB fresh parsley
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 dried bay leaves
1 TB peppercorns
2 large garlic cloves, smashed and slice
1/4 Bertolli Extra Light Olive Oil
can of artichokes hearts
1 lemon, juice and zest

Mix all and bring to boil.
Add in the hearts, cook at a simmer for 10 minutes.
Let cool.
Add in lemon juice and zest.
Pour into a quart jar and refrigerate.

The next morning, I sliced a bunch of mushrooms and topped the jar off.  Swirl around!

Reduced Balsamic Vinegar Sauce
 I poured about a cup of balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan and added about a 1/4 cup brown sugar.  Stir to dissolve and heat over very low heat until reduced by half or more.  Use a skewer to mark the level.  I ALWAYS set the sauce pan in an iron pan over lowlowlow heat to dissipate the heat.  Reduced can go to burnt just real quick, you know?

Roasted pepper and sautéed pancetta bits.

Start working on the dough.
Press it out.
Let it rest and breathe.
Press out some more.
Don't rush the dough.

Kalamata olives
spinach and kale
pomegranate arils
marinated mushrooms and artichoke hearts
roasted red peppers
sautéed pancetta
reduced balsamic vinegar

Dough is ready.

Spinach and kale and roasted red pepper strips.

Marinated mushrooms and artichoke hearts.
Kalamata olives.

Pancetta and arils.


450° oven for about 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Serve pizza on an insanely busy plate
which you found at the recycling center
and messily drizzle the reduced balsamic vinegar around.

Enjoy my "Mediterranean" Delight Pizza!