Tag Archives: roomie

Camping: It’s for the dogs

[Editor’s note: Gertie wanted to blog about her first camping trip. Who was I to stop her?]

I knew something was up when the stuff started piling at the bottom of the stairs. Some of the stuff smelled like my friend, Penny, so I was pretty excited. Anything that involves Penny is pretty fun.

Then my mom got my leash out, and I’ll admit, I went a little nuts. It wasn’t the running leash. It was the other leash. The leash that means…


Daddy rolled down the windows so I could stick my head out. Sometimes it was scary, so I came back in.

We drove for a while. Daddy and Mommy kept looking at these papers. I wondered what they were up to.

We got out of the car and I saw a lot of stuff in the air. It smelled funny. Kind of like sausages. But then I saw there were some people I knew there. Auntie Erika [Roomie] and Christi [DD Girl] were there. I love those girls.

Daddy and Mommy got out chairs and joined them.

They were all talking and drinking the stuff that makes them laugh a lot.

There were so many smells.

I decided to check out the joint. You know, inspect it to make sure it was ok. First I had to poop. I like to poop when I get somewhere new.

Then I discovered there was some tall grass.

I had never played in grass like this before.

I loved it. It seemed like the perfect place to chill out and keep an eye on the people.

Daddy even got a new toy out. It was kind of like a ball, but flat. It was kind of hard to figure out how to pick it up and bring it back, but I got the hang of it quickly.

Then, Mommy and Auntie Erika took me on a walk. There was lots of goose poop on this trail. I was very interested in it.

When we got back, Christi got out this weird thing. At first I thought it was scary, but then I realized what it was. It was a crate for people. They even put small beds in the crates.

I was down with that.

I remember when I had to stay in my crate a lot. It made me feel better about being in a new place. That must be why the people had them there.

I wondered when they would get in their crates. Usually the people told me when to get in my crate. Who would tell them to get in their crates? Maybe that was my job?

I decided to worry about that after dinner.

There was a lot of food to check out.

The food made all the people happy.

I got a few bites here and there.

It was kind of like when my mommy and daddy have people at the house.

Only we were all outside.

And then even my food got put in a bowl. I was kind of surprised to see it there. And I wasn’t all together sure about eating it.

Don’t tell anyone, but after I had fun playing, I started to get a little nervous.

The people were getting louder and loud people scare me.

To make matters worse, mommy put me on a long leash attached to the ground.

She said it was because it was going to get dark and she didn’t want me wandering off.

I thought it was mean.

But she was right. It did get dark.

I really didn’t like the dark part.

The people seemed to have a good time and the warm smelly thing they sat around got big and red.

I stayed away from most of it.

Some of the people looked like they needed to be put in their crates, if you ask me.

Finally, my mommy decided to get in her crate, and guess what?! She invited me in too. I got to sleep right up by her head. She never lets me sleep there. She said I was keeping her warm.

Then daddy got in the crate too. But he made the tent get really stinky and then tried to blame it on me. Mommy didn’t let him. She knew it was him and not me. I love my mommy.

In the morning, I decided I really wanted to stay in the crate, even after mommy and daddy got out.

But then I discovered that Auntie Erika was still in her crate.

If I haven’t told you,  Auntie Erika is one of my favorite people.

She used to live with mommy, and sometimes when mommy wasn’t home, Auntie Erika gave me food and cuddled with me.

It was time to see about getting in Auntie Erika’s crate.

Mission accomplished.

You know, camping was fun and all, but mostly I was just glad to get home.

Until I heard mommy and daddy saying I stink like campfire and I might get a bath.

Maybe next time, I’ll leave the camping to the people.


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The Bachelor and Fire & Wine Night Combo Post: Jake, just say gno!

Sometimes you just have to say gno.

And, last night, as we devoured our delicious gnocchi (recipe courtesy of the brilliant Elise of Simply Recipes) topped with a brown butter with spinach and pinenuts sauce (recipe courtesy of Cooking Light), we were screaming “GNO!” at our bachelor friend, Jake.

I decided to compile our list of “gnos” in lieu of our usual Cheese Whiz Ratings. Because last night was gno ordinary Fire & Wine night.

Image courtesy of EW.com

Things Jake should have said Gno* to in last night’s episode – with quotes and input from DD Girl and Roomie:

1. Girls in RV’s. – Didn’t Jake watch Road Rules? He should know that nothing good ever comes out of a bunch of girls sharing an RV.

2. Carrying his date (Gia) around the vineyard like a toddler. “She probably weighs as much as a toddler – DD Girl.” Jake, that’s weird and icky.

3. Girls who wear stilletos on a camping trip. Even Roomie who always looks cute and fashionable balked at these girls.

4. Taking your dates to a whore house-looking hotel, with each room you visit getting progressively tackier than the rest. If that is even possible.

5. The “I get lost in your eyes” line as said to Kathryn. Both times. Really?

6. A tie that looks like a tablecloth during the rose elimination ceremony. What was that thing?

7. Seeking wisdom on picking your future wife from Chris – the-network-is-going-to-love-this Harrison. Of course they are going to let you not give out all your roses, silly Jakey.

8. Girls obsessed with Vienna. Ugh. Enough already. All of it.

9. Ashleigh’s post-rose ceremony departure was less than graceful, as Roomie told DD Girl who was out of the room. So this gno is to Ashleigh – say gno to snotty, tearful departure speeches.

10. Girls who freak out over a cute little family of raccoons. (Gia!) Possibly the best part of the entire episode.

*Cheese Whiz Awards will return next week.

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Date night!

I asked Roomie out on a date to go see the very sappy girly movie Dear John with me.

I asked her on Facebook, adding that DD Girl would be welcome to join us, as long as she could hold her barf.

After watching the trailer Roomie admitted that this movie might be over-the-top for even her romantic movie loving self. 

I think it will be fun. Like indulging in too many Sweet Tarts and giving yourself a simultaneous headache and tummy-ache.

Because I think a sappy, girly movie is just what the doctor ordered for this dreary winter we seem to be having.

What sort of sweet treats do you enjoy to cure the winter blues?


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F&W: Classic lasagna & classic us for a fine holiday celebration

The last Fire & Wine night of the year. And I wanted to make it special.

I thought about doing a ham or turkey breast, but to me, Christmas is Italian.

I grew up (and still do) eating spaghetti with my family on Christmas. This isn’t your ordinary spaghetti. This is cook-all-day slow-roasted-goodness spaghetti. My Italian grandfather passed the recipe down to my mother who will (I hope) eventually pass it onto me.

In the meantime, I decided to try my hand at lasagna. No, I had never made it before. Odd, I know.  I don’t like ground beef. But it dawned on me that I could substitute ground turkey for beef and then it dawned on me that I could add some Italian sausage to that.

So, I adapted this classic lasagna recipe from Southern Living by using 1/2 lb of ground turkey and 1/2 lb of sweet Italian sausage instead of the ground beef.

  • 2  medium onions, chopped
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil, divided
  • 4  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2  lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb  sweet Italian sausage removed from casing
  • 1  (14.5-oz.) can basil, garlic, and oregano diced tomatoes
  • 2  (6-oz.) cans tomato paste
  • 1  (8-oz.) can basil, garlic, and oregano tomato sauce
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 1  teaspoon  Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/4  teaspoons  salt, divided
  • 3/4  teaspoon  pepper, divided
  • 12  lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 8  cups  boiling water
  • 1  (16-oz.) container ricotta cheese
  • 2  large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4  cup  grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2  (6-oz.) packages part-skim mozzarella cheese slices
  • Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

1. Sauté onion in 1 Tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add turkey and sausage, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.  Stir in diced tomatoes, next 4 ingredients, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf; set meat sauce aside.

2. Place lasagna noodles in a 13- x- 9-inch pan. Carefully pour 8 cups boiling water and remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil over noodles. Let stand 15 minutes.

3. Stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper until blended.

4. Spoon half of the meat sauce mixture in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Shake excess water from noodles, and arrange 6 noodles over meat sauce; top with half of ricotta mixture and 1 package mozzarella cheese slices. Repeat layers once.

5. Bake, covered, at 350° for 55 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until bubbly. Let lasagna stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired.

Perfection is what that is.

The sauce is fantastic. (I ended up adding about 2 tablespoons of sugar to it because I like my sauce a little sweeter)

We enjoyed our meal while we watched Oprah interview the President and First Lady in the White House.

I wondered aloud where you would have Fire & Wine night at the White House. Like how would you eat on stools and wipe your fingers with paper towels?

We decided that Fire & Wine night is one of life’s pleasures that President and Mrs. Obama do not get to experience.

And then we decided (accidentally on purpose, please may I have another glass?)  it was Wire & Fine night.

And that was the funniest thing anyone had ever said.

Meanwhile Gertie entertained by tossing her pheasant around the room.

And the Fiance was up in his man cave rolling around on the office chair and cheering loudly at a University of Kansas basketball game.

DD Girl and I didn’t have to work the next day so we may have continued the celebration out on the Plaza with more friends, and I may have had a little much fun….

But whatever it was, it was just fine with me. Merry Christmas!


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F&W Night Shrimp Coconut Curry and Show & Tell

I loved show & tell as a child.

It was probably my favorite day of the week.

Any opportunity to have all eyes on me and my object, no matter how menial…

I’m an attention whore. What can I say?

Do you know that I still do show & tell? Usually when I have a new guest in my house. I just love pulling out an old photo album or object from my past to show my visitor. I know it’s a horribly annoying trait. I try to stop myself.

“Stephanie…do not go get that photo album. No one wants to see your pictures of Germany circa 1999.”

It never works. Because once I have just a little thought that I could run up and grab that item, it’s all over.

It’s a good thing my friends like me so much put up with me. I’m really quite the train wreck sometimes. Like, if I were in a reality television show, I’d be watching me and covering my eyes, saying “it’s embarrasing to watch her.”

Last night was particularly painful for my guests.

I have no idea how this came up, but I started talking about a play I was in during 9th grade. And then…

I ran up and grabbed the playbook (Yes, I still have it.) And proceeded to dramatically read some of the lines from it.

We were missing DD Girl, who had some holiday errands to run. So, it was Roomie and one of my co-workers who endured this performance.

Thank goodness the Coconut Curry from Jaden Hair’s new Steamy Kitchen cookbook was so delicious.

I just subbed shrimp for the chicken because I felt like shrimp and added some red peppers because I had them on hand.  I added the shrimp at the very end, instead of mid-way through the cooking process so that it wouldn’t over-cook.

You could really do so much with this dish and still have it taste yummy. For example, I couldn’t find Thai Kaffir Lime leaves, so I squeezed a tad bit of lime juice into the curry and added cilantro. That’s what I love about Jaden’s recipes – they are so flexible and easy.

I just really hope that the curry was the star performer last night and not me.

(I may or may not have dug up some pictures from the play and brought them to work to show my co-worker, as if she didn’t get enough of my antics last night…)

*Image courtesy of www.steamykitchen.com. Book was a gift, courtesy of Jaden Hair, as a guest favor for the Blogher Food 09 after-party.

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F&W Bag Ladies

Fire & Wine night was replaced with Wine & Packing & Pizza night tonight.

For Roomie. Who is moving into her very own little 1 bedroom this weekend.

It’s the same layout as the 1 bedroom I lived in after my divorce. Walking into her new place brought back so many memories.

So did enjoying our last glasses of wine in the old apartment where Roomie and I lived for almost a year.

After we cleaned out her kitchen and loaded it into an old grocery cart to roll down to her new place.

Bag ladies.

With our grocery cart. And our wine. Klassy.

At one point, DD Girl picked up Roomie’s rolling pin and shoved it in the air with the exclamation, “MEN!” We don’t have issues, really, we don’t.

After we unloaded, Roomie’s kitchen,  we unloaded our baggage. Because all of us – myself, DD Girl and Roomie have some.

It felt so good to talk. Just talk. Candidly. As women, on the same page, with the same struggles. Different packaging.

I love those girls. And their baggage. And mine.

Isn’t it great to have girlfriends? How do you and your friends find time/ways to connect?


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F&W: Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff and hellooo officer


Fire & Wine night is back to “no boys allowed.” Or, rather Dungeons & Dragons has been moved to Thursday night so the fiancé won’t be around.

Oh well. Girls are cooler than boys. We knew that.

What a perfect week to cook up another meatless dinner. And trust me – you won’t be asking “where’s the beef” in this Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff recipe. In fact DD Girl ranked it her favorite F&W night so far.

I knew it was going to be a great girly night when “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” started playing on my I-pod when I was on the treadmill.

And it was. We learned that Roomie recently joined Match.com. In part because she has been reading my Have lasso. Will love again series. We had a blast giving her dating advice and hearing about all her new suitors (Already! Seriously, the girl has only been a member for 24 hours. Way to go!)

And then DD Girl and I filled Roomie in on how she missed the hot police officer who came by before Roomie arrived to let us know about a crime in our neighborhood. Crime shrime, he was so smoking hot, he could made the fire in fire & wine night.

Back to the food. I modified this Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff from All Recipes. 

Queen of Quirky’s Smoking Hot Police Officer & Wine Night Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff:


  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 large onion chopped length-wise
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 12 oz of Portobello mushrooms chopped and then halfed
  • 4 oz of mixed mushrooms (cremini, oyster and baby bellas)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh diced thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup of port wine*
  • 2 teaspoons of  Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 12 oz package of egg noodles boiled and drained
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


Heat butter in a large skillet until melted. Add onions and cook on medium low heat for about 20 minutes. The onions will caramelize and lightly brown. They will be delicious. Do not skimp on the onions. After about 20 minutes, add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Then add all the mushrooms, mixing them into the onions and garlic well. Add the thyme and salt & pepper to your liking. Cook on medium-high for about 7 minutes until the mushrooms are browned. Remove all of the mushrooms and most of the onions from the pan and set aside. In the skillet, pour in the broth, wine and Worcestershire sauce.  Bring to a boil and reduce half the liquid. Stir in the flour to thicken the sauce. Return the mushrooms and onions to the skillet and mix them into the sauce. Add the cup of sour cream and mix well. Serve over egg noodles. And do lick the spoon.

Invite hot officer to join you. Or, just imagine that he did.

  * Hey babe, thanks for sharing your birthday port wine with me for this recipe. I only used 1/4 cup. I love you!


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F & W: The roasted garlic & Bitch edition. (Read it, you’ll see.)

Have you ever roasted garlic? I highly recommend it. It’s so delicious, and it gives oldie but goodie recipe from Cooking Light – Roasted Garlic Potato Soup a rich flavor. It’s so good that you do not in fact, miss the fat that is left out of this recipe, and traditionally found in most potato soups.

Well, the fat that is left out unless you end up topping your soup with sharp cheddar cheese and bacon, like we did….but um…it really didn’t need that, we just really like any excuse to add cheese and bacon to something.

And, I have a huge announcement: the fiance who doesn’t  like potatoes, unless they are fried and dipped in ketchup even ate some of the soup and said it was good! Honestly, the garlic changes everything.

I’m not going to lie. I was scared.

FIVE heads of garlic? That seemed a bit over the top, even for a garlic lover. I read some of the reviews and it seemed that most people said it didn’t need five. I decided to cut it down to three.  I was really just looking after DD Girl, Roomie and the fiance, but then they were all, “oh, you could have totally used five and it would have been great.”

Le sigh. You can’t please these folks, you just can’t. (Geez, I’m such a bitch! — that’s foreshadowing, folks.)

The recipe seems like it might take all night  what with the hour of roasting time for the garlic and all, but don’t let that scare you. Here’s how it all timed out:

[Roasted Garlic-Potato Soup Recipe from Cooking Light, May 1995]

You’ll need

  • 5  whole garlic heads – like I said, I used three, but don’t be chicken. Use five. Do it. Do it. You know you want to.
  • 2  bacon slices, diced – um, ok, so here’s my confession- I cut up five slices so that we could have bacon bits to crumble over the top of the soup.
  • 1  cup  diced onion
  • 1  cup  diced carrot
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced – I know what you are saying – what? MORE garlic? But the thing is that roasted garlic and minced garlic have different flavors. So just go with it. This recipe has been around longer than my 1996 Maxima, which is like totally ancient. Trust it. It’s probably more reliable than my car.
  • 6  cups  diced baking potato (about 2 pounds)
  • 4  cups  low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  pepper
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 1  cup  2% low-fat milk
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh parsley – I used Italian b/c it’s what I had on hand.

Here are my modified instructions with timing. Because really, isn’t timing like the hardest part of cooking? I think so. Thank you for agreeing with me.

Preheat the oven to 350. Then, while it’s heating, take your knife and cut the point off the top of the garlic heads and peel the papery outsides off as much as you can. Wrap each one in foil and place on a cookie sheet and stick in the oven. Set a timer for 60 minutes, or else you’ll totally loose track of how long they have been roasting.

Dice the onion, carrots, parsley and garlic. Then, peel and chop the potatoes. If you are as slow as me, this has burned at least 20 minutes of the hour. Then, chop the bacon up.

You are about 25 minutes into the hour now, so go ahead and put your large saucepan on medium heat and add your bacon. If you make this the QoQ Fire & Wine night way, remove about 70% of the bacon once it’s cooked and set aside in a bowl with a paper towel to soak up grease. Then remove most of the bacon grease from the pan and add your onion, carrots and minced garlic and saute for five minutes.

Ok, now it’s been at least 35 minutes. Add the potatoes, broth, salt, pepper and bay leaf and bring everything to a boil. This took about 8 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. At some point while this is simmering, you’ll pull the garlic out and set it aside to cool. [I think I simmered for a little longer than 20 minutes, because we were outside on the porch talking for a while and I jumped up at one point and said, gotta go blend!]

Take the roasted garlic out of the foil and start squeezing it into your blender (which thanks to DD Girl, who brought hers, I actually had one for this!)

Fair warning: this might really gross you out because it looks like popping a giant zit. And the warm garlic goo comes out looking a bit grody. Just remember, it’s still garlic and you still love it even if it’s having a bad-looking day.

Take two cups of the potato mixture out of the pot and add it to the garlic goo in the blender. Then blend it and add it back into the soup.

Mmmmm creamy. Pour in the milk, add parsley and stir it up.

I served this with sourdough bread. I meant to have butter on hand for the bread but I guess I didn’t need it because we all just started dipping our bread into the soup. Fire & Wine night really isn’t a classy affair.

Now, I usually don’t talk about the wine we have at Fire & Wine night because it’s usually nothing special. We’re all on a budget these days and rarely do we splurge on good wine for Fire & Wine night. We know that whatever it is, it’s going to be consumed in mass quantities, anyhow.

But on Monday when I was out browsing, I found this bottle of wine that just seemed to say Fire & Wine night:

[Image from K&L Wine Merchants.]


Bitch wine. Awesome.

Cute gimicky name, right?

But it’s actually a really nice Grenache from South Africa made by R Wines. It had an almost blackberry finish  and went surprisingly well with the creamy garlic soup.

I expect both the wine and the soup will become regular fixtures in my kitchen. (Which still kind of smells like garlic.)

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I used to think cooking cost more than some out-to-dinner meals.  And when I first started cooking regularly, it did.

And that sucked.

But as my cooking became more habitual, my ongoing supply of staples began to pay off.  Soon, recipes became less and less costly as I already had flour, chicken broth, onions, garlic, parmesan, pasta, brown rice, black beans, crushed tomatoes …. on hand.

I’m still not really good at finding that balance of having fresh veggies stocked up. Although, you’ll rarely find me with out a few mushrooms lying around. (This being one of those times, as I recently had to toss a sad baggyof them…)

I’m really curious to hear from foodies what items of food they absolutely must have at all times. What foods do you feel naked without in your pantry?

Last night, DD Girl came by for an impromptu girls’ night. She recently dropped out of the fiance’s D&D group to free up some of her weeknight time. I found it slightly comical that despite her decision, she landed right back at our house, where the boys were about to start their weekly game.

Before the boys arrived, I was rummaging through my pantry to find something to whip up. I had kind of planned on re-heating the amazing Smoky Chiopotle Chicken Tortilla soup I made on Monday night, but DD Girl does not do spicy so I just threw that baby in the freezer for a later day.

“Well, I got starch, starch and more starch.” I told DD Girl.

Lots of pastas, sauces and breads, but very little protein or veggies. Secretly I was angsting over my lack of black beans. I never let my black bean supply dwindle!

Black beans are my super secret single food. You know, that food item you like to make and devour in mass quantities when no one is looking…I simmer them with onions, cumin and crushed red pepper and then douse them with cheese and sour cream. Sometimes I skip a spoon and use tortilla chips to scoop them into my mouth.

Wow, I just shared that. Moving on.

I opened up my freezer and found a bag of frozen spinach.


Onion, garlic, olive oil, white wine,  risotto,  chicken broth spinach and parm…sounded like the makings of a delicious dinner to me.

A Queen of Quirky staple special.

I’m so glad I have conquered my risotto-phobia. Because it’s really easy. And so tasty. It’s amazing how creamy risotto gets even before you add any cheese. Should I ever develop a dairy allergy, I’m going to drown in risotto.

After we gobbled our spinach risotto down, we moved upstairs so the boys could play downstairs. It was so silly to be sitting on my bed, watching TV with a friend. It felt like high school or an elementary school slumber party. (Sans wine.)

It didn’t seem right to leave Gertie on the floor. So up she went.

And she made herself quite at home.

And I might have had a mini twit pic frenzy. 

Just a little over the top.

I stopped there because the doorbell rang (and Gertie had to go check it out.) We were  joined by Roomie who just stopped by to fill us in on her sister’s wedding (Ok, she also brought me her share of the rent check, but I like to think she would have come by anyway to see me.)

 So there we were, all four of us on the bed, (Gertie eventually jumped ship. It got a little crowded.) wine and great conversation.

Later, after everyone left, I thought to myself, it’s really nice to have staples in my life.

But I really need to get some more black beans.

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F &W: Goat Cheese & Spinach Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust

IMG_1033Sometimes a mistake turns out to be a really, really good thing.

In this case: goat cheese.

When I was considering what to fix for Fire & Wine night (because. ahem. I still haven’t had any suggestions from you people yet.) I was trying to stay on the lighter side of things.

After all, some of us have Halloween costumes to squeeze into in a few weeks.

So, I found this recipe for Spinach & Ricotta pizza on Cooking Light’ssite. Later that night, I sent a text to DD Girl and Roomie, but I SWEAR I thought the recipe was for Spinach & Goat Cheese pizza. So that’s what I wrote in my text, only to realize my mistake the next day.

It was too late.

Once you put goat cheese out there, you can’t take it back.

You have to deliver the goods.

So after reading the recipe, I decided goat cheese might add more fat and calories, but it would make it very tasty. Besides, I had more pressing issues at hand….

A bit of a  rising problem.

Pizza crust.

Remember the whole baking ban?

It seems I have unleashed a wild side because now we are two for two on doughy baked creations.

I began perusing the Web for pizza crust recipes.

Easy. No fail recipes.

With the help of my twitter friends I decided that pizza crust could in fact be made without the help of a mixer. No heavy machinery, folks.

So I took a recipe for quick and easy pizza crust and switched out half of the all purpose flour for whole wheat flour ala Two Peas and their Pod’s Whole Wheat Veggie Pizza. I also used the quick yeast.

In case you are confused with all this mixing and meshing, the recipe was:

1 packet of quick rising yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup warm water

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

I added the yeast to the warm water with the sugar and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then I added the rest of the ingredients and stirred really hard until it made dough. I mixed it a little more to make sure it was all smooth. Then, I let it sit for 10 minutes.

I pulled the dough out of the bowl and added a little flour to it and on the parchment paper. I rolled it out into a sort-of -round -and -even 12-inch pie. I slapped it on my cheap Wal-Mart pizza pan and fixed a few holes, trying to make it as even as possible. (DD Girl held the pan steady. Gotta give credit where it’s due.)

IMG_1023Then I brushed it with olive oil and smothered it with  1/4 cup (maybe a tad bit more than that) of this New York-Style Pizza Sauce (which I only changed to add a teaspoon more sugar after I tasted it and thought it needed it. Perfection.)

I sprinkled fresh spinach on top of the sauce, topped the spinach with some light mozzarella cheese and parm.

Now it was time for the good stuff.

I sliced little slivers of the goat cheese and strategically placed them on the pizza. (there are no pictures of this step  because we were very busy making it perfect and um. eating little bits of the cheese in the process.)

Then, I topped it with some fresh sliced tomatoes and a little more parm.

I baked the entire thing (actually, I should confess that there were two pizzas going on at once. I mean, who are we kidding? Four of us sharing one 12-inch pizza with goat cheese? No way. Reality check, folks.) at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

It’s hard to say exactly how long because I reset the timer for “two more minutes” a few times. I kept whimpering that the crust might be too doughy until DD Girl threw an intervention on me and said, it’s going to be fine. Take them out now.

IMG_1034She was right.

See, here is DD Girl and the fiance chowing down on the pizza with Gertie hoping to catch a few nibbles.

You can’t see Roomie, but she was there too.

I served the pizza with tomato and mozzarella salad with that fresh basil I had for the pizza sauce. You know the drill – drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar with fresh cracked salt and pepper.

So easy.IMG_1029

Not at all like pizza crust.

Which takes measuring and waiting and all the things I’m so bad at.

But hey, that’s the point of Fire & Wine night. Try something new.

Push my limits.

And hold my breath and hope it turns out.

With a little encouragement from my friends.


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