It’s official, I have full-blown travel fever. Ben and I have been looking into planning a trip to Germany for a while now, and it has gotten to me. I have been glued to my computer for two days researching and checking prices on all the places we are planning to go. All we need is approval from our bosses to book our tickets for next August/September!
It is back-to-school time again. For me, that comes as a relief. It means that all the vacationers will be traveling back to their home states and Summit County will get a much needed breath of fresh air. I love shoulder seasons in Summit; it allows you to truly experience what a small county it really is. It also gives me some time to focus on creating fun new recipes, like this one!
Morimoto was back in town this past week and was intimidating as ever. On Friday night I was asking a co-worker to sneak me a piece of steak to eat. While I was asking, his eyes widened and he turned on his feet and went back to grilling. I turned around to see Morimoto in my station just standing there looking around and scoping it out; horrifying. On Saturday night, he made this amazing sushi cake type thing with ten pieces of every sushi filling you could imagine; if I can find a picture of it online I will share it with you.
Do any of you have that one (or two or three) food that you crave CONSTANTLY?! I have two, pizza and cheese. I could eat pizza anytime, anywhere. Lately all I have been thinking about it pizza, but for some odd reason I went a really long time without having any. As you could imagine, I was stoked when I walked into Morimoto a few days ago for work to find out that staff meal that day was focaccia pizza! Even after eating more than my fair share of staff meal, I still am craving pizza, so naturally I want to share one of my newest pizza creations with you to feed my craving.
Once the sun begins to set and the cool air begins to blow in, I just can’t resist going outside. Grilling may seem miserable on a hot summer day sometimes, but it is perfect for cool summer evenings. I have definitely been noticing the temperature drop little by little in the last week. I think the heat of summer might finally be wearing down (I don’t want to jinx it though!). This week I was also lucky enough to receive a reserve kit of Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes to try out- see below for your chance to win one too! Muir Glen caught my eye when I heard that, unlike other canned tomatoes, their tomatoes are all taken from their vines to their cans within EIGHT hours! That is pretty impressive.
Now that I have my easy flatbread recipe, I have been experimenting with its multiple uses. I am a big fan of breads for breakfast, so I decided to make a breakfast pizza with the flatbread. Beware, these pizzas are very filling, I only ate half and saved the other half for breakfast the next day!
The main reason for my trip to Cape Town was to volunteer in a surf/swim outreach program with underprivileged kids from the local townships. In the mornings, we taught computer classes at a local school. Then, in the afternoons, we taught the kids how to swim so that they can eventually go to the beach and learn to surf with future volunteers. On our days off we got surf lessons and had time to site-see.
After cooking many meals for friends, I realized that nothing excites people more than a delicious pizza. This week I threw a pizza party with friends. We only had one oven and two pizza trays, so we could only cook two pizzas at a time. In the end, I made six 14″ pizzas. We cut each pizza into ten slices, one for each person, and sampled one slice of each pizza. We would decide which pizzas were coming next while the previous two were baking. By the sixth pizza, we could barely take another bite!
We made all sorts of pizzas- from BBQ Chicken to Chicken Alfredo to Meat Lovers all the way to Hawaiian. Each time a new pizza was taken out, everybody was riled up- “This one is my favorite!” “Wait, no, THIS one is my favorite!” “Ah, no, THIS one is definitely the best!” I have never seen my friends so excited about something I cooked. This made me being to think about the wondrous pizza pie. A fresh pizza crust is like a blank canvas for a chef. You can combine any flavors you want to create your own unique masterpiece. I suggest to all of you that you make homemade pizzas at some point. My advice? Be adventurous, take risks, mix unlikely combinations- you’ll be impressed with the outcome!
Recently, I have been thinking about how great it would be to do catering. I have also been cooking for friends quite a bit, which I love. Both things involve cooking for a crowd, which can be hard to do. The more I do it, the more fun it gets. It is hard to think up original recipes for large groups sometimes, so I am really excited to share this one. This week I needed a meal to feed 14 friends. I didn’t want to do chili again, so I began to brainstorm and search the web. Casserole recipes are great for large groups and pizza is great for parties, which makes this pizza casserole the ultimate party dish. The original recipe that I found, form Country Kitchen Cooking, used pasta instead of breadsticks. Since I work at Noodles & Company, I decided against using the pasta. I think the breadsticks give it much more flavor. I made my green bean casserole to go with the meal and help my ski bum friends get some nutrients into their dinner. This spin off pizza is easier to make and won’t keep you in the kitchen for the entire party!