Sunday, July 8, 2012

Thin-crusted Pizza

Today's recipe is from the book Bake! by Nick Malgieri



It's a yeast-dough that you can mix up quickly with basic ingredients. I messed up the first time (I added the yeast to the flour) and I still ended up with delicious dough. I made it correctly the second time and it was just as good.



This makes a lot of dough! The book says it's enough for 4 twelve inch round pizzas. I made two 12*18 rectangle pizzas.

Ingredients:

      • 5 c bread flour (I used King Arthur White Wheat flour)
      • 2 t salt
      • 2 t active dry yeast
      • 2 C warm water
      • 5 T olive oil, divided
Directions:

    1. Combine flour and salt
    2. Whisk together yeast, warm water and 2 T olive oil
    3. Combine using a rubber spatula (I was suspicious but it worked to start! I kneaded it a bit at this point)
    4. Cover the dough and let it rest until doubled
    5. Preheat oven to 550 degrees F (my oven only goes to 500 so that's what I did)
    6. Knead lightly on a floured surface, divide dough
    7. Pull sides of dough to the center to form a smooth, round ball.
This is where my method began to differ from the book.

I rolled the dough out on the counter, dusted the pan with some corn meal and transferred the dough to the pan. 
I topped the dough with garlic scapes chopped up and crushed into olive oil.
Topped that with halved cherry tomatoes and small marinated halved balls of mozzarella from the deli.
I added a few handfuls of chopped spinach  and tossed it in the oven.

My cousin was over and we went out to the barn so I'm not really sure how long it was in the oven. When we got back the pizza was perfect and the timer had run out. 

Perfect timing will depend on your oven temp, toppings and probably some other things. 


What I loved:

The crust was thin and crisp but it still held up to the toppings. It had a nice flavor and crunch. This isn't the kind of dough you add a million toppings to. Keep it simple and you'll be rewarded! This my my new go-to pizza dough.


Not so much:

You do have to work quickly, too much time passes and the dough gets puffier. I didn't have this problem but I don't think it would affect the taste only the thickness. If you get easily distracted this dough might not be for you!




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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Simply in Season Cookbook Review

For my first cookbook review I thought I’s start out with one of my absolute favorites, Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert.


It’s a seasonal cookbook with a focus on healthy whole foods. The recipes are heavy on the vegetables and many call for whole wheat flour, it’s nice to know a recipe will work with denser flour without a million attempts. These are simple recipes; most of them use few ingredients and basic techniques. Some of the recipes include variations for substituting ingredients. 

There are not pictures of prepared food at all, there are some lovely up close shots of seasonal produce. Even without pictures the book strikes me as pretty. Each section is defined by a colored stripe on the outside of the page. There is a list of seasonal ingredients in the side bar on each page, the ingredients used the recipe are bold and darker than the ones not used. There are short stories, poems or bible verses listed below some of the recipes. 

I love the way this book is organized. It’s separated into 5 sections, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and All Seasons. Each season includes several sections of recipes: Breads and Breakfast, Soups, Salads, Sides, Main Dishes, Desserts and Extras (the Summer section also includes 7 canning recipes). There is a separate list of recipes by title and a key ingredient index. As someone who usually ends up with the ingredients first and the recipe second (that’s life with a garden) I find the secondary index really useful. 

My copy is spiral bound so it lays flat, great when you’re actually cooking from the book and not just reading it like the latest best seller. There is a table in the beginning listing vegetables with basic descriptions, selection tips, storage and handling advice, preparation tips, serving suggestions and major nutrients. 

Breakdown:

          • 352 pages 
          • Recipe Count: 
            • Spring (48) 
            • Summer (96) 
            • Autumn (54) 
            • Winter (48) 
            • All Seasons (60)

Recipes Titles to Entice You:
Sweet and Sour Swiss Chard 
Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls 
Gingered Kale and Tofu
Golden Carrot Bake
Scandinavian Sweet Soup
Pork Apricot Skillet

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Grand Launch Potholder Giveaway


Hey everybody!
I've been busy in the sewing room and I whipped up a little something for you!


I'd like to celebrate 200+ followers and the launch of my new blog by giving a lucky someone a handmade set of potholders. Both feature black embroidery and are self bound with red and white polka dot fabric. They are made with heat safe batting.


Christmas (ugh!) is only 6 months away! These would make a perfect gift for a special baker in the family!
(US only, please)


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Creamy Corn and Shallots

When I walked into the farm market and saw the fresh sweetcorn I couldn't help myself and ended up leaving with 12 ears, despite only living with one other person.



This recipe is from the book Local Flavors


Creamy Corn and Shallots:

Ingredients:



            • 6 ears of sweet corn
            • 2 T unsalted butter
            • 2 shallots, finely chopped
            • 1/2 t salt
            • 1/4 cream
            • fresh pepper
            • Fresh herbs (parsley, basil or dill)

Directions:
      1. Cut corn from ears, try to cut 2/3 of the kernel off
      2. After removing kernels scrape the cobs to remove the juices and the remainder of the kernels. Keep separate from the rest of the corn
      3. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes
      4. Add corn kernels and salt, raise heat and cook for 2 more minutes
      5. Add scrapings and cream, stir and cook for an additional minute. 
      6. Remove from heat and season with pepper. Stir in herbs

Reactions:


Make this NOW.
It doesn't have the canned cream corn texture at all. It doesn't even look all that special.
But it's SO good. 
The corn flavor is strong, it's stays a little crunchy so it's not like eating mush. The butter and half and half add a richness while the shallot adds a sweet slightly onion-y flavor, it's subtle but delicious.
I'll be making this again and again.

My Variations:

I made a 1/2 batch. I used 1/2 of each ingredient and everything worked out. I also substituted half and half for the cream, that's what I had and it's a bit healthier. 
As an Amazon Affiliate I will receive a small compensation for items purchased through my links.

Welcome to Cookbooks and a Camera!

Hello! My name is Alecia. I live with my fiance on a small semifarm in Upstate New York.
This blog is a spin-off from my main blog ChickenScratchNY.com
I wanted a place devoted to two of my loves, books and food.


I probably have over 75 cookbooks, I stopped counting when I reached 50.
The purpose of this blog is to feature recipes and reviews of books. As awesome as pinterest is, nothing can really compare to an actual cookbook. I read them like novels, marking recipes with post-it flags until they look like they were trapped in a confetti hurricane.


I grow a large garden every year and I frequent farmers stands and markets. I'm a big fan of seasonal eating, a lot of my cookbooks are based on seasonal whole foods. I also like simple recipes that don't require a lot of specialty ingredients or tools.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you find something delicious!
As an Amazon Affiliate I will receive a small compensation for items purchased through my links.