Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Best Homemade Pizza in the World!

I have been on a quest for years to make pizza at home as good as at a restaurant. It has been a long road. I finally gave up 6 months ago on trying to make my own crust and just started using Rhoades bread dough. That made a big difference. Then this weekend I told Chris I would be making pizza this week. He asked if I'd put fresh garlic on it. He loves it. So, I agreed. The result was "The best pizza ever" (in my book anyway!) The garlic added so much flavor. I think it's what's been missing the whole time. Here it is:

1 loaf frozen dough, thawed (let it rise just a little and it's easier to shape)
I use a 16" pizza round (I like thinner crust), I have also used a big rectangle cookie sheet
Pizza sauce (I use traditional Prego spaghetti sauce, we like a sweeter sauce)
Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese (sometimes I add a little cheddar, too)

mushrooms (I live with uncultured swine, who only like these 3 toppings)

Last night, I added the following to my half and Chris and I loved it:
zucchini, onions, red bell pepper, sliced thin and roasted in oven with olive oil and salt & pepper
fresh garlic, pressed and sprinkled on after the initial cheese (I used 2 med cloves)
fresh tomatoes, sliced

The order is: dough, sauce, mozz cheese, garlic, pepperoni and other toppings, more mozz and parmesan.

Bake at 425 for about 17-25 min. (give or take depending on amount of toppings) The crust needs to be nice and brown. You have to be patient or the middle will be doughy.
1 pizza feeds my family of 5, usually without leftovers.
Reheating tip: Pizza is always gross reheated...until now! Heat it up in a skillet on the stove. I put a lid on it, so the top gets hot faster. Watch it carefully, so you don't burn the bottom. It gets nice and crispy again. Closest thing to fresh pizza.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Zucchini Brownies

Here's one more thing to do with your extra zucchini this year. This doesn't look like your typical brownie, but it is still delicious. As I was baking it, I thought I'd be disappointed, but the moistness and flavor are awesome!! I found this on Cooks.com.

3 c flour
4 T cocoa
1/2 t salt
1 t soda
1 t cinnamon (I used a little less)
1 c oil
1 3/4 c sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 t vanilla
1/2 c buttermilk (I was out, so I used some vinegar in whole milk)
2 c grated zucchini, squeeze out moisture
1 c chocolate chips
3/4 c walnuts

Combine first 5 dry ingredients, and set aside. Beat sugar and eggs til fluffy. Add oil and vanilla. Beat til fluffy. Mix in zucchini. Then add flour mixture and buttermilk alternating. Add chips and walnuts. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes in a 10x15 (I think that is jelly roll size) pan.

I omitted walnuts and used bittersweet chocolate chunks. MMMMMM!
I also misread the pan size and used a 9x13. (I looked at about 20 recipes before deciding on this one, and they all had different pan sizes!!) Don't do that. The middle didn't get done, and I had to chuck that part. Whoops!