Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pizza and an Interview

I had noticed recently that Fresh & Easy market had little packages of pizza dough already made up and ready to go. They have regular, whole wheat, and an herbed one for focaccia. I purchased everything I needed to make a pizza (dough, sauce, pepperoni, and cheese) for less than $8. Pretty cool, huh? It would cost more if we ate anything besides pepperoni on our pizza, but we don't. Just pepperoni.
Here is a before shot:
Looks pretty professional, eh? I'm just fortunate enough to have a former pizza dude living at my house. Although I'm thinking where he used to work they must have used their heads to work the dough.
The finished product.

The pizza dude's happy pizza tips:

* Press down like a mofo (down, under, and out) around the rim leaving a 1"-ish edge -- this will leave a well-formed crust. But only knead lightly in the center before stretching, just enough to pop the bubbles. Schwarzenegger-like center-kneading will yield a flimsy-ass center or a cracker crust.

* Sauce it right up to the rim you have created and make sure to get good cheese and ingredients coverage right up to the rim. During the bake, the cheese and ingredients will gravitate toward the center of the pie. So not getting proper edge coverage will leave your last few bites of each piece tasting like sauce-soaked bread.

* You need to work the dough on a flour-covered surface, and you need the flour to prevent sticking. However, allowing flour to clump up on the dough will leave the crust tasting bitter and unpleasant. Shake off any excess when stretching to shape, or, preferably, gather up any excess and apply liberally to your face and hair. Brushing on melted butter or olive oil around the crust is a nice touch.

* Assuming you don't have a baking stone or industrial-strength deck oven, you're going to have a hard time getting an even bake. The top will be black while the bottom is still semi-raw dough. Cook on the bottom rack and remove the pie from the screen or sheet as soon as it's firm enough not to decorate the bottom of your oven with itself.

* Raw tomato sauce is kind of bland. Spice it to taste with basil, oregano, garlic, salt, sugar, or whatever it takes to trip your culinary trigger.

* Time and temperature gets the yeastie-beasties a workin'. Under or over-activated yeast will ruin the pie. You want to work with it when it is pliant but not squishy.

* Good pizza ingredients: pepperoni, onions, olives, sausage, ground beef, pineapples, ham. Canadian bacon, jalapenos, bell peppers, sliced chicken breast, tomato slices, banana peppers.

* Bad pizza ingredients: tuna fish, cottage cheese, Captain Crunch, liverwurst, chocolate, grapes, beans, yogurt, creamed corn, pureed beets, prunes, anything Andrew Zimmern would approve of. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have been seeing this thing going around where you ask your kid/s 20 questions about yourself and see what kind of answers they come up with. I thought it sounded like fun so I cornered had a relaxing chat with my children and this is what transpired. The endeavor was made a bit more challenging due to the fact that the boy child has autism, and one of his quirks is that having a bunch of questions fired at him displeases him a great deal.

1. What is something mom always says to you? Mara: no answer/ Simon: clean your room

2. What makes Mom happy? m: when I clean my room (not that that can be proven)/ s: let me think about that

3. What makes Mom sad? m: when we say bad things to her / s: Let me think about that

4. How does your mom make you laugh? m: tickling/ s: i'll think about that

5. What was your mom like as a child? m: she liked to climb trees but her mom didn't let her/ s: *just looks at me*

6. How old is your mom? m: 41 (darned honest kids)/ s: no answer

7. How tall is your mom? M: 2 garden yards (WTF??) / S: *shakes little plastic car more violently*

8. What is her favorite thing to do? M: watching the cooking channel / s: no more questions!

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? M: sleep (ALL THE TIME)/ S: *makes huffing noise*

10. What is your Mom very good at? M: cooking / S: more huffing

11. If Mom became famous what would it be for? M: being in a tv show (the most boring TV show ever!) / S: He's gone now

12. What is your mom not very good at? M: jumping rope

13. What does your mom do for her job? M: she's a nurse

14. What is your mom's favorite food? M: chili

15. What makes you proud of your mom? M: How good she can twirl the baton (I AM awesome)

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? M: Sandy from spongebob (It's the teeth, I think. Or maybe the drawl)

17. What do you and your mom do together? M: go to Starbucks

18. How are you and your mom the same? M: we have the same hair (I wish!)

19. How are you and your mom different? M: she has blue eyes and I have brown eyes

20. How do you know your mom loves you? M: She tells me (Aww)

April is autism awareness month. To learn more about autism you can visit Autism Society of America or SARRC.

This may have been my longest post ever. Bless your heart if you made it to the end!


Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

Thank the pizza dude for the pizza tips!

And thanks for stopping by and entering my first giveaway. I'm enjoying reading what everyone loves about their life.

I saw lots of familiar faces on your followers.... so I added myself to the group!

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

That pizza made my mouth water. I love the question and answer idea but since my daughter is 18 months I am pretty sure something like Elmo or purple would be the answer to every question.

Julie said...

Those are good answers.

Lunch Bucket's Mom said...

I always read you to the very end--just so ya know:)

Julie said...

Lunch Bucket's mom...you must be a saint :)

Pam said...

Love the interview!

The pizza looks great and I think you are right - tuna on pizza would be disgusting.

Donna-FFW said...

Love the answers, Id choose pepperoni on pizza over tuna always!!

James said...

2 garden yards high? Wow - that's quite tall!

Thanks for the kneading tips.

Joie de vivre said...

Your pizza helper is so funny. Pepperoni pizza is my weakness. I'm kind of glad our store doesn't sell dough like this, I'd be all over it.

Kelly Deneen said...

That looks so good! Yum!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier today!

Brindi said...

Loved the Pizza Dude's suggestions for the pizza. Ask the Pizza Dude how he feels about grilling pizza. I would like to try that.

Tiffany said...

Great job on the baton twirling! I enjoyed the interview with your kids. I may have to try that myself.

The pizza tips were helpful too!

Mya said...

Pizza dude pics made me laugh but not nearly as much as this:

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? M: Sandy from spongebob (It's the teeth, I think. Or maybe the drawl)

I think I sat here and just laughed for a good 2 minutes nonstop.

Mya said...

Oh yes I'm totally swiping your questions for my blog tomorrow. ;) If that's okay of course.

The Blonde Duck said...

Oh yum. We should have pizza and a interview every day!

Reeni♥ said...

That was sweet! I had a good laugh at the bad pizza ingredients and the pizza chef with flour all over him. Home-made pizza is so much better than buying it, at least in my neck of the woods. A little trick I use to get the bottom cooked before the top burns is to slice my mozzarella instead of shredded. It seems to give me a little more time to get the bottom cooked. Looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

Pizza dude is funny! He should totally open a cooking school!

Phoo-D said...

LOL. I love the photo of pizza dude! That is why I rarely toss my dough =). Great pizza tips. Thanks for sharing.

piecemeal people said...

Cute idea! I might have to try that, though I'm (more than a little) afraid of the answers I might get...

Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog yesterday, by the way!


I love pizza!!! Oh, yummy!! How the heck did he get that flour on his head?? lol....

Ingrid said...

Your pizza does look good.

LOVED the interview! I can't wait to corner (ha-ha) my three and hear what they have to say. Thanks for sharing!

Monica H said...

That's so funny! And the pizza looks great! So cheesy and gooey- my fave.