Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bacon Pizza

How about making some pizza next Friday?

Of course any day of the week is fair game. But something about Friday night screams "pizza!" to me. 95% of the time we make pizza, it's a Friday. It's a little special for the last day of the work week, but easy and comforting at the same time. How about this one- with bacon.

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I do not like meat on my pizzas, veggies are much better suited. Maybe it's the flavors that meld together with the cheese in the oven, or the infinite options and combinations. Besides preferring vegetables anyway, meats can produce an unpleasant amount of grease that I can't abide.
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But then, there's bacon.


Boys love bacon, and mine is no exception. The key is to fry up the bacon before adding to the pizza. Add it raw and it'll still be raw, just swimming in a pool of fat. GROSS. Just add to a pan on medium-low and cook the bacon slowly so it doesn't burn, stirring occasionally until most of the fat has rendered. Drain on several paper towels.
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I usually pour out the fat into the trash but this time I saved it. I'm not sure what I'll do with it, but it seems like a special thing worth using if I can come up with something. It looks like this the next day.

Add some sliced tomatoes, mushrooms, fresh basil, and lots of cheese (I used part-skim mozzarella, parmesan, and gouda), and you have quite the lovely Friday night pizza. I couldn't help leaving two pieces meat-free so I could have some vegetarian pieces. It's good, but a little bacon goes a long way.


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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Enough with the Drama

I've been watching Top Chef since the very first season (yay San Francisco!), so when they announced a Top Chef with all sweets, I was first in line. But it's making me sick to my stomach fast.


My interest in this food show is dwindling real fast because of the ridiculous excess of drama. All reality shows thrive on a little drama and I'm certainly not averse to that; it makes the watching interesting and I do love my reality show TV. But this first season of Just Desserts takes the drama out of the corner where it belongs and into the forefront of the show, so much so that I'm inclined to watch my recorded show on fast-forward, save the actual food parts. Which is sad, because the action leading up to the finished product is part of what makes these food competition shows good.
The group of pastry chefs on the show seem to have a lot more emotional problems than the chefs on regular TC. Are pastry chefs like this or does this particular group have unusual mental problems? The cliqueness of "team diva" is nauseating and childish. Any talent Heather H. has is overshadowed by her vindictive comments and need to have a scapegoat to direct animosity towards. First it was Seth, then Heather C., and now Morgan. She's such an unpleasant character; why don't you expend more energy on your actual work and less on finding a reason someone else screwed you up?? Per usual the most talented people in my opinion (Morgan, Erica) are the quieter ones without all the drama.
Maybe I'm too harsh; maybe the editing of footage has something to do with it. If so, shame on you Bravo. You've made it likely that I will not be tuning in for next season. Which is sad.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Little Green in Your Muffin

I have a list of foods to make right now and I need to hop to it. There's some stuff in my freezer that needs to get eaten to make room for new things. Lists are good, I've made a whole bunch of those. I started acting on this list yesterday when this guy showed up:


One enormous zucchini from my mother-in-law's garden. Seriously, he's huge!
Lord have mercy what shall I do with him?

I don't want to freeze too many things because, (1) I only have so much space in the freezer, (2) I don't regularly eat many freezer friendly foods (a la lasagna), and (3) we have access to many easy and delicious food options that don't need advance creation.
On my short list to make is Peas and Thank You's Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna (made it a few weeks ago, loved it- ate it all without photographing a thing. le sigh) I'll do that later this week and won't need to buy the squash. But here today I wanted to use part of this giant. Presto chango- the pumpkin muffins I planned to bake for the nurses in the hospital have become zucchini muffins. With some mini chocolate chips added for fun.

Per usual I looked at a dozen recipes before settling on an amalgamation of several. I made 20 muffins, two of them baked in ramekins for Ray to enjoy for breakfast.
I popped the rest in the ice box, ready to pull out before we head to labor & delivery. Hurray for crossing things off the to-do list!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
makes 20 muffins (or thereabouts)

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups freshly grated zucchini
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs well with a wire whisk. Add the oil, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla and mix well to incorporate.

In a separate small bowl, sift the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Add the mini chocolate chips and toss to coat.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Try not to overmix!
Bake for 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Cool in muffins pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight container for 3-4 days, or transfer to freezer bags for several weeks to a few months. I'm not planning on more than a month here!
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010