when it comes to pizza, I’m kind of a snob

clam and kale pizza
clam and kale pizza

If I say “pizza” what pops in your head? Visions of a pie topped with red sauce and tons of pepperoni that’s drowning in cheese? Yeah, for a lot of you and you know who you are, that’s exactly the picture you conjure up.

I wouldn’t quite say that I’m a pizza snob, but, I kind of am.

After a trip to Italy where the “real” stuff is made, my whole outlook on the subject changed. Now, this is not meant to be an assault on New York-style, or Chicago-style or any other “style” of pizza. This is merely a commentary on my penchant.

First, the crust needs to be thin and crisp. I even like the little burnt bits that come from an uber hot oven, a famously scorching pizza oven or the grill. I’ve tested several dough recipes, and please feel free to choose your own, or in a pinch, purchase dough from your go-to market. Currently, I turn to Giada’s pizza dough. It is easy to work with, can be rolled as thin or thick as you like and it always has a crisp exterior that yields as soft, chewy interior. Continue reading

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lemon and blueberry icebox cake

lemon blueberry icebox cake
lemon blueberry icebox cake

“Grandma, this is the best dessert ever!” says my 11 year old grandson, as he grabs piece number three. I take that as high acclaim; right up there with a Michelin-star or two. The item of his gastronomic dreams was nothing other than an updated version of an old-fashioned back-of-the-box favorite: icebox cake.

I had seen the recipe, and been lured in by the photos. So I saved it on Pinterest.  Isn’t that what we all do these days? For me, it’s much tidier than all of the torn or cut-out pages that I have in files and folders, which I do go back to. There is still something enticing about thumbing through cookbooks and clippings of recipes from newspapers, or how about the cards that I have written in loved ones handwriting? Continue reading

happy birthday, America…and me

 

how does your garden grow?
how does your garden grow?

I’m a happy girl.  Summer has arrived, both officially and on the weather man’s forecast. Saturday hubby and I took the short walk to our neighborhood farmer’s market. It’s somewhat ironic since I’d been to my fave farm-stand only the day before, but hey! I picked up different things in both places. My “what we will be eating” list was long which equated to a heavy tote bag to lug home.  There could be worse problems, right?

Early summer sees the advent of two special events. Yeah, there’s that “minor” observance known as Fourth of July, where we have a bang-up time of barbecuing, playing baseball and eating apple pie with homemade ice cream, all while celebrating our great nation’s independence. Then … there is my birthday. I’ve always held onto the notion that the fireworks exploding in brilliant colors in the dark, inky sky are for me!  Come on, I bet all you other July birthday people think the same thing.  Continue reading