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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Valentine Pizza

Carter and I were at Disneyland a couple of weeks ago and we had this amazing BLT flatbread pizza off the new Village Haus menu.  I decided it would be awesome to recreate it for Valentine’s Day for him because he liked it so much. The Disney website describes it as “Thin flat bread crust, cherrywood-smoked bacon, provolone and mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions, marinated tomatoes and arugula-fennel salad.”

I started by using the mandolin to slice up the fennel. That was pretty easy and made it exactly the right thickness. Once I finished this, I seeded some grape tomatoes and diced them up. I mixed the tomatoes with a little white balsamic vinegar and Australian olive oil plus a little salt and pepper. I covered them and the fennel and put them back into the refrigerator.

Next, I worked on my caramelized onions. I know that at the restaurant there didn’t seem to be much bacon on the bread but the onions had a bacony flavor to them. I decided to brown up some british back bacon that I diced up. I added it and a little olive oil to my cast iron skillet. Once the bacon was brown, I added the Texas Sweet Onion I sliced thinly. I then added some water to the onions so they would cook a bit slower. I had read something earlier in the week that said that onions caramelize better if you keep adding liquid to them and letting it cook off. After doing it one time, it looked like I should just let them cook on their own so that is how i did it. They cooked for a good 20 minutes with a little garlic powder, a tiny shake of oregano, a tiny bit of basil, some salt and pepper added to it. I also put a couple of pinches of regular white sugar into it to help make it sweeter. Once the onions looked caramelized, I added a bit of regular balsamic vinegar to it. I think next time, I will use white balsamic. The dark balsamic made them entirely too dark and the vinegar taste was just a touch too strong.

Once the onions were done, I mixed the arugula with the fennel and added a little white balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper to that and mixed it up. Carter stretched the pizza dough while I did that (I buy my pizza dough at Fresh and Easy because it is awesome and works really well for home made pizzas).

I tried to heat the pizza stone at 500F in the oven but I guess the stone wasn’t meant for that kind of temperature because the whole oven started to smoke. I decided to scrap that idea and just use the grill. That turned out to be a fantastic move. I oiled the grill once it heated up using a rolled up towel and a set of tongs. I think I had too much oil on the towel though because there were flare ups. After a few minutes the flames had gone down so I figured it was safe to throw the dough onto the grill. We put it on and left it for 2 minutes. I went back out and the dough was a huge puffy ball! I knocked it down and turned it over and noticed that some parts of the bottom had burned. Right where the flare ups were earlier! I took the dough off the grill and picked off the burned layer and spread my caramelized onions all over that side of the dough. Then I added the mozzarella cheese and put it back onto the grill to melt the cheese. I did not walk away from it at all because I didn’t want it to burn again. It looked good after 2-3 minutes so I took it back into the house and sprinkled the marinated tomatoes over the top and then the fennel-arugula salad.

Completed pizza! 😀

The consensus was that it was a great pizza but the one at Disneyland was sweeter. Their onions were lighter in color and larger than mine as well so I have to look into trying different types of onions for sure. I am excited to do it again and it was definitely a fun project to do 😀 Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in General Food, Meals!

 

Valentine Cookies

I decided to make some Valentine cookies that I found the design for on the Disney Family website because I wanted to do something special for Carter and our friends. Minnie’s Polka Dot Cookies were one of the many things I found interesting on the website the other day.  I also got the idea to crochet a stuffed Perry the Platypus for Carter as well!  There were a few recipe ideas I saved from them that I will totally be trying in the future! 🙂

I didn’t use their recipe for frosting but I did use their cookies as an example. I used two different sugar cookie recipes for this. They look the same but they don’t taste the same. The first one I tried was called “The Best Rolled Sugar Cookie recipe” on allrecipes.com. I didn’t like the consistency of the dough when I tried to roll it out. Also, when I tried to roll it to 1/4″ like the recipe called for, it was entirely too thick. The cookies puffed and spread in the oven despite being cold. I rolled them to about 1/8″ and those worked much better. Unfortunately, I didn’t lower the oven temperature from 400F and some of them ended up burning because of their thinness. My experience with these was not so great but I know others that highly recommend them so I figured I would include them in this post in case anyone is looking for another sugar cookie recipe.

I changed the plan today to include making some of Alton Brown’s Sugar Cookies because it is a tried and true recipe for me and I wanted to see which were better. I am liking these better than the first ones but the real test will be when Carter gets home to taste them.

I used a really great recipe for Sugar Cookie Icing I found on allrecipes.com at Christmas. I changed it up a little because it was just not the consistency I needed. I started out with 3tsp of Corn Syrup and 3tsp of Milk. When I started out this way, I only had to add a small bit of corn syrup to it to make it perfect. I used gel food coloring to color the frosting.

The tip the Disney article gives about putting the white dots on while the red/pink is still wet is a great idea. It allows the white dots to even out with the red ones so it looks really awesome. These were really simple cookies and so much fun to make!

Pics!!
These are the Alton Brown sugar cookie recipe:

These are the first batch of cookies from the allrecipes.com recipe:

I highly recommend these. They are adorable and fairly simple if you have the time to make them! 😀

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2011 in The Bakery!

 

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