What to do when you need to make time till your boyfriend’s plane lands? Cooking! So I made pizza dough, a nice tested and retested recipe. It’s very basic, but it turns out great!
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (or one 5.5 grams package)
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- Pour 1/2 cup warm water in a cup or small bowl. Stir in yeast, and let stand until yeast dissolves and turns creamy, 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a well, and fill it with yeast mixture, olive oil and a cup of warm water. Stir with a fork, incorporating liquid little by little, until a ball of dough forms. Turn dough onto floured work surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If dough seems dry and hard, add a few drops of water; if wet and sticky, add a little flour.
- Shape dough into a smooth ball, dust it with flour, place in a large bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm, dark place until doubled in bulk, about 90 minutes. Divide into 4 balls before using. Can freeze up to 3 months.
Yield: 4 10-inch pizza crusts
- I like this pizza dough best once it’s been frozen and defrozen.
- For freezing, I rather not let the dough rise. Once you’ve finished kneading, divide dough in four, grease each portion with a bit more of olive oil, and wrap in plastic, then freeze.
- For thawing, put the dough at ambient temperature for a while, until you can unwrap it carefully, then place it in a deep dish slightly oiled and cover the dough with the same plastic it was frozen in. Put the dish over a bowl full of very hot water and let rest undisturbed, until dough has risen and at least doubled.
- Roll out the dough on a slightly floured surface, and cook over parafined paper. It’s easier rolling it out directly on the paper, still using flour.
Use your favourite ingredients for making the pizza: tomato sauce, veggies, different cheeses, meats… My favourites include mozzarella, olives, onion and a bit of tuna! Bake at about 180ÂºC. You can also make calzone: just put the ingredients mixed together on the rolled out dough covered with tomato sauce, fold in half, and close carefully. Brush the surface with some oil, and into the oven! Enjoy!
These two recipes were acomplished during the past week while Jan was here. They were fun to cook, and Jan was very helpful in the kitchen :)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup butter or margarine
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 500gr clean pumpkin
- 1/2 cup candied fruit mix
- Chop the pumpkin into small pieces and cook until very tender, about 30 minutes or more, depending on pumpkin and size of pieces. Drain well (even pressing out excess water) and puree the pumpkin flesh.
- Beat both sugars, margarine and eggs with an electric mixer on medium for two minutes, scrapping bowl occasionally. Stir together flour, baking powder, nutmeg, vanilla and salt. Add flour mixture and pumpkin puree alternately to margarine mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Stir in candied fruit.
- Turn batter into a greased an floured 25cm fluted tube pan. Bake on 175C oven for about one hour, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
Yield: 14-16 servings.
- This cake can be mixed by hand with a simple fork, beating enough to mix well all the ingredients.
- For decorating, brush with 2-3 tablespoons of orange juice, sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons of coarse sugar, and garnish with 6-8 small marraschino cherries.
- Refrigerate cake, covered, up to three days, or freeze wrapped in foil for up to two months.
- 2 very ripe avocados
- 1 small red ripe tomato
- half onion
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder (or cumin seeds, grounded)
- juice of one lime
- olive oil
- Mince onion very thinly. Peel the tomato and chop into very small cubes as well. Cut the avocados in half, pit, and spoon flesh out. Mash the avocado flesh to puree.
- Mix the avocado puree with the tomato and onion. Season with cumin, lime juice, salt and olive oil to taste. Chill for at least one hour before serving. Serve with popotos (fried corn tortillas).
Yield: a bowl.
Tip: If the avocados aren’t ripe enough, wrap them in newspapers, put them in a pot covered with lid, and let them rest in a warm place, until they’re tender enough. This will take from a day to a week, depending on the ripeness of the avocado.
Halloween‘s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Samhain marks the end of Summer and the beginning of Winter, the end of the light and the beginning of darkness. It’s historical origin is the Celtic Feast of the Dead and the beginning of the new year. It is the day when the gates between the worlds open, and souls are allowed to walk amongst the living and visit their relatives.
For this day, I’ll share a couple of recipes.
- green tea leaves
- dry mint leaves
- dry orange peeling
- Bring water to boil (a bit more than a cup per cup of tea). Once it’s boiling let cool a bit so the temperature gets down to about 85-95Â°C.
- Prepare a mix of green tea and dry mint leaves. Warm the teapot with hot water and discard this water. Add one teaspoon of leaves and a (1 x 1.5 cm.) piece of orange peel per cup of tea to the teapor, and cover with the hot water.
- Let the tea brew for 3 to 5 minutes for a nice relaxing tea.
- Serve hot, with honey for sweetening to taste.
Note: You can dry the orange peel yourself. Peel an orange trying to avoid the white skin as much as possible. Place the orange skin in a bowl, and the bowl in a cupboard, so it doesn’t have direct sunlight, the temperature is cool, and there is a certain air circulation (any kitchen cabinet is fine). Let the peel dry for at least a couple of weeks, or until it’s totally dry. And it’s ready to use!
Edited to add, as Lia says on her comment, that the orange peel can aslo be dried inside a jar with sugar. This way also, the sugar won’t form lumps because of humidity, and it’ll get a slight orange smell and taste.
And a tea isn’t a tea with something to eat. Be brit and serve cool cucumber bite-size sandwiches. Or go along with the Halloween pumpkin crazyness and bake these cookies:
- 150gr sugar
- 150gr flour
- baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 1/2kg pumpkin
- Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds and boil for 20 minutes. Drain very well, and mash the pulp. Mix well together with eggs, sugar, flour and baking powder.
- Meanwhile, soak the raisins with the liquor. Drain them and mix with the dough. Butter a cookie sheet, and put scoops of the dough. Bake until golden at 180C.
Have all a happy day. And all hallow’s eve. Don’t forget to put a candle on the windowsill so your ancestors don’t get lost!