White Wine Pizza Dough Recipe, for Cracker Thin Crust

Anyone who knows me well, knows I love pizza! Not everyone is lucky enough to have a pizza oven in their backyard and I have an awesome one by Fontana. The ovens are made in Italy and my model is on wheels so I have the ability to move it! The oven is wood fueled and gets up to 700 degrees, so baking a pizza takes only minutes.

The recipe that follows is my version of a Neopolitan Style pizza crust, super thin and deliciously crisp!

White Wine Pizza Dough

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Wine in the crust and a little to drink with it!

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Super crispy.

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Cracker Crust Pizza Dough

3 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Bench flour for rolling out dough

In a microwaveable bowl combine the wine and the water, microwave for 30 seconds just enough to warm it. If it’s too hot it will kill the yeast when you add it.

Stir in the yeast and the sugar, let set for 5 minutes or so, and allow the yeast and sugar to mingle. Then stir in you olive oil.

Next add flour and salt, knead mixture into a smooth dough. Divide into four pieces coat in olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Each piece rolled out will make one 12″ thin cracker crust.

If you don’t need all the crusts at the same time. Roll them each out, layer onto parchment paper and wrap in cling wrap and freeze flat. These will keep frozen well for a couple of weeks.

When you’re ready for a pizza simply remove for the freezer. Cover a pizza peel with corn meal and lay the frozen crust on it. Allow the crust to defrost for about 5 minutes. Top and bake as you normally would.

Fresh Strawberries

Fresh Missouri strawberries are at the farmers market right! These little guys are no bigger than a penny and absolutely delightful! Whether you make them into jam, or put them into a pie or even just eat them standing over the sink, they are truly something that should not be missed!

Currently we are working on finishing our 5th pint, we simply have them in a bowl of cold water and eat a handful whenever we go by the bowl!

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Peanut Butter “Softies”

During the last 90’s my family got the wonderful opportunity to live in Auckland, New Zealand. The food and wine there were fantastic! And it’s there that I really started to look at food differently. The food was really fresh, and there were small restaurants that had only three to four tables to them. Chefs were just doing little start ups where anything was possible. It really opened my eyes to something other that all the chain restaurants that I had had access to before.

But even though the food was wonderful, I still got a little homesick for the some food I was used too. When we lived in New Zealand the one thing that I had trouble finding in the grocery store at that time, was peanut butter. Why is it when know you can’t have something it’s all you want! I could find it sometimes , but it just tasted different than what we had here in the states. Not as salty and not quite as thick, or sometimes more grainy.

But made into cookies my peanut butter was awesome no matter what brand I used, and it tasted like home.

Yes, I’m just an old softie, and these little guys hit the spot!


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Peanut Butter Softies

Peanut Butter “Softies”

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Cream together butter, sugars, and peanut butter. Stir in the egg and vanilla paste. Sift into the mixture the flour, soda and salt. Give it one last stir and pop into the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, scoop the dough into small balls, and space on a baking sheet lined with a Silat. Dip a fork into a glass of water and flatten the dough balls with a little cross hack.
Bake for 10-11 minutes. Remove, cool and eat, it’s as simple as that!

Cookies and Milk

Cookies and Milk

Sour Cream Muffins

Don’t ask me why but for some reason I was into movie references today.  Maybe because its rainy and cloudy this afternoon and all these colors are just light and sunny or a bit like a circus?  Whatever the reason they make me smile!  And with these muffins, it was really fun being able to have them for breakfast.  I found this recipe on line, A Family Feast, and it was just too good to pass up.  I hope you like them as much as I do!


 

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I’m ready for my closeup Mr. De Mille!

Sour Cream Muffins

For streusel topping:
1/2 cup of purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter

For muffin batter:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

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Little Miss Sunshine, for Breakfast.

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This is really my good side!

In a small bowl, using a fork, cut together flour, sugar, cinnamon into still cool butter, set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Using a whisk stir these together.

In a second medium sized bowl cream together sugar, and butter.  Then add oil, eggs, vanilla and sour cream.  Fold the dry ingredients into the mixture, combining well but do not over mix.

Using a medium sized scoop portion out the batter into the muffin tin and top with the streusel mixture.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove from tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.

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A good supporting cast is always necessary!

Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

Paging through my many cookbooks is something I can do for exstended periods of time… With a good cup of coffee and a little time on my hands it is a most pleasurable experience.  The weather at the lake the last week has lent itself to this endeavor.  Cold, rainy, with periodic trips to the grocery store and potty training a new puppy it was a quiet week.  This little recipe just hits the spot.  Simple, not too sweet shortbread, the jam filling makes it sweet, with a nice buttery finish. This is a small recipe it only makes about a dozen sandwiches, but it just the right amount, not too many and not too little. It’s just right!

This recipe is from Tessa Kiros book, “The Recipe Collection.”  Tessa is one of my favorite cookbook authors, she just writes from the heart. When you’re looking for recipes that are simple and down to earth her recipes are definitely worth the look.  Inspired by family and friends cooking she puts forth a good story and a wonderful recipe to accompany it.


 

Sweets for the sweet!

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Dusting of Sugar

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Snow storms over!

Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

100 grams unsalted butter

100 grams granulated sugar

200 grams all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

200 grams (7oz.) jam, I used apricot and strawberry

powdered sugar for dusting

Cream together butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla extract.  Sift together the flour and baking powder and incorporate the dry with the wet ingredients.  Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness and cut into shapes.  I just use a small drinking glass. Something in the 2″ diameter range. Bake cookies for around 15 minutes until golden.  Cool and spread with your favorite jam or preserves.


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Well maybe a little more.

 

 

Green Eggs and Ham, Braised Beet Greens with Eggs

 

Some times you just need to take inspiration where you can get it. Otherwise known as leftovers from making roasted beets.  Just like Sam I Am, of Dr. Seuss lore. Some people have a hard time getting their head around eating their greens.  But by adding something as simple as, ham and bacon fat, surprise greens are delicious!


Green Eggs and Ham

Beet greens from 2 bunches of beets, chopped

3 tablespoons bacon fat, or butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 oz. honey cured ham

salt and pepper

4 eggs

Red pepper flake to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

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Beautiful color, who could just throw these out!

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Sauté chopped beet greens and garlic in bacon fat for about 15 to 20 minutes, then add the sliced ham.  Allow the greens to become thoroughly wilted.

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Turn the greens mixture into to two greased ramekins. Create a small well and crack two eggs into each dish and top with red pepper flake.

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Lunch is ready!

Bake for 15-20 minutes until eggs are set and serve warm from the oven with a nice slice of sour dough toast for dipping.

 

Lemon and Vanilla Biscotti

Coffeeeeeee. Yes I am a coffee lover! Espresso and I are very good friends! A good old black cup of coffee is also never turned down.  My husband recently introduced me to a coffee by the name of ,”Death Wish,” one of the most caffeinated coffees on the market.  It is, in a word, lovely.  Made regular strength it made my ears ring, boy howdy!

But whats a cup of coffee or espresso without a cookie.  This is one of my favorite biscotti recipes, originally from a recipe by Gabriele Corcos. I have used it as a base recipe for many different biscotti variations.


 

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Espresso, Biscotti and a good book! Life is good!

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Lemon, vanilla, almonds and pine nuts

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Some of my many espresso cups, these are from Seina, Italy

Crunch!

Crunch!

Lemon and Vanilla Biscotti

1 1/2 cups Almonds
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 packet Lievito Pane Degu Angeli, vanilla leavening agent available on line
pinch of salt
zest of 1 lemon
2 whole eggs, plus 1 if the mixture is too dry
2 egg yolks

In a 325 degree oven toast the nuts on a baking sheet for 10 to 12 minutes, remove from oven and cool. Raise the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees now.

Sift together flour and the leavening agent into a medium sized bowl.

With a stand mixer, combine butter, sugar, salt and eggs. Zest the lemon into the mixture and then adding a spoonful at a time, incorporate the flour mixture into the mixer.

The dough will be crumbly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With your hand squeeze a handful of dough together. If the dough holds together you don’t need to add the additional egg. If it don’t hold together add the extra egg and check again. The dough should be slightly dry but hold a shape. Go ahead and add your nuts now.

Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 4 x 8 inch roll. Position the rolls about 4 inches apart from one another on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden.

Pull out the sheet and allow the “loaves” to cool for an hour. Slide the loaves onto a cutting board and with a serrated knife slice the biscotti into 1/2” pieces. Allow the biscotti to dry 10-12 hours or overnight and then do your second bake. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and toast the biscotti for 10 minutes on each side.  Warm out of the oven these are heavenly.

 

Three Pepper Soup, Thinking about Peppers!

Working on the Garden…

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Playing with water color pencils!

Yes, it’s only February but I have gotten the garden bug, as usual. So.. John and I are on the road this week and I don’t have a kitchen. But, I do have pencils, paper and a camera! So I’m getting creative. New house and a new garden!

While the new house doesn’t have much of a backyard. There is a great community garden that is just a few blocks away. I signed up with the city for a great little plot that is 15′ x 20′. I can put in raised beds and grow year round, I just have to be a good (garden) neighbor, so they will let me stay again next year.
So here are my ideas for a neat little garden.

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Each square is 4′ x 4′.

Can’t post without at least one recipe idea! Planning on at least five different peppers for the garden! Green peppers, jalapeño peppers, purple jalapeño peppers, Tia peppers, and ghost peppers.


 

Three Pepper Soup

4 cups homemade chicken stock

3 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 eggs, whisked

Bring to a simmer chicken stock, and all three peppers. My stock has a little salt in it already but add a bit for balance if yours doesn’t.  Once the stock is simmering drizzle in your eggs. This is great if you have a cold, it clears everything out!

 

 

 

French Baguette

I have a new kitchen.  I have a new oven that is very nice. But….the new oven vents directly into the kitchen. So need less to say it doesn’t allow any steam to accumulate for baking baguettes, baguettes have to have steam to get their beautiful crisp crust.  This unfortunately isn’t possible with my new oven.  Enter Emile Henry’s new baguette baker it’s awesome!

Emile Henry manufactures some of the most beautiful bakeware from France.  They have three new pieces a cloche, a loaf baker and a baguette baker.  If you have a chance please try these out!


 

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French Baguettes

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Baguette

Makes 3 baguettes, adapted from Emile Henry

3 cups bread flour
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Combine water (110 degrees), yeast, flour, and salt.  Cover and allow to rise for 45-60 minutes.

Knead well and divide dough into thirds, create the baguettes by rolling into lengths.  Grease and flour the mold and place the dough into the molds.  Cover with the lid and allow to raise a second time, 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Brush baguettes with water, and cut slashes across the tops.  Bake for 25 minutes covered, remove lid and bake an additional 25 minutes until golden brown.

Minestrone Soup

Soup is just one of those dishes that speaks volumes to cold weather! It says back off cold, you don’t stand a chance if I’m around.  Minestrone is full of wonderful vegetables and spices that not only taste fantastic, it’s really good for you too!  So pull that big pot out of the cupboard and prepare to curl up with a big bowl of, “warm up.”


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Warm up!

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Minestrone and Baguette

Minestrone Soup

1 onion, diced

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3 carrots, diced

3 sticks of celery, diced

1 Bay leaf

1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cups sun dried tomatoes

6 cups chicken stock

4 teaspoons garlic powder

3 teaspoons dried oregano

2 cans dice tomatoes

2 oz parmesan

1 can pinto beans

1 can kidney beans

2 zucchini, diced

1 1/2 cups cooked pasta

Sauté onions in olive oil and then add carrots, celery and sun dried tomatoes.  Continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Incorporate stock and remaining ingredients, retain zucchini and pasta to be added the last 20 minutes.  Slow simmer the soup for 3 hours. Top with grated parmesan and place in a beautiful bowl and life is good. The flavors will develop over time.  Eaten the day after it is made, this soup is a wonderful warming meal.


January 28, 2016