Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's about time I give 'pizza dough' it's own post

I realized the other night as I was making my standard pizza dough that I have blogged a lot about pizza but never gave credit to the dough itself. How foolish of me, right? 

I used this recipe all the time. I love keeping pizza dough in the freezer as I often find myself using it if I'm in need for a quick dinner or when I have nothing planned (yes, sometimes that happens).

There are many recipes out there but I'm running on this motto "if it ain't broke, why fix it?" So I'll be sticking with this pizza dough unless you can convince me otherwise.

Of course this great recipe comes from Martha! Did I mention it's whole wheat? Must mean it's better for you, right?

1 1/2 cups warm (115 degrees) water
2 packets ( ounce each) active dry yeast
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for kneading
2 cups whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)

1.Place water in a large bowl; sprinkle with yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Brush another large bowl with oil.

2.In bowl with yeast, whisk sugar, oil, and salt. Stir in flours with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. Transfer to oiled bowl; brush top of dough with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3.Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. With floured hands, knead until smooth, about 15 seconds; divide into two balls.

4.Set balls on a plate (they should not touch); freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Then freeze in a freezer bag up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator.

5.Divide each ball of dough into 4 pieces. Using your hands, stretch each piece into a 5-inch disk (if dough becomes too elastic to work with, let it rest a few minutes). Freeze shells on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Stack frozen shells between layers of parchment paper. Freeze in a freezer bag up to 3 months. Bake from frozen.

Summer Tea Series: Part 1 Classic black iced tea

Here it is...the first installment of the Summer Tea Series. I know, I know it's super exciting. I decided to start off with classic black tea for the first edition (after all, it's classic). Unsweetened iced tea is really easy to make and great to have on hand. It's a lot healthier than any soda and a lot tastier than water.Keep in mind, this recipe can work with any flavor tea bag. The lovely pitcher I have (courtesy of Mame) holds 10 cups so you may have to adjust the amount of tea based on the size of your pitcher.

5 tea bags (decaffeinated black tea)
10 cups water
lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup of sugar ( you can add more or less depending on your liking)

Bring 10 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Once there's a steady boil, remove from heat and place tea bags in hot water. Let the water (tea) get to room temperature. Remove tea bags once tea is at room temperature. Add lemon juice and sugar. Transfer to pitcher and you're ready to serve.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Chicken Tostada Salad

This recipe comes from the May 2010 issue of Everyday Food.  I made this meal around Cinco de Mayo ( I know, I know! I'm sorry I'm just posting it now). Tostada is exactly what it sounds like, a toasted tortilla. The tostada serves as the crunchy shell to this very simple salad. This was a very tasty and simple meal to prepare. Next time I'll make a lime vinaigrette to go with the salad. I didn't think there was enough flavor from the lime juice alone. It was a bit too dry.
4 corn tortillas
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced
breast meat from 1 rotisserie chicken, torn into bite-sized pieces
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced
fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 400. Brush each side of the tortillas with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes. Divide cheese among tortillas and return to oven until cheese is bubbling, about 3 minutes. 

2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high. Add half the red onion and cook until softened. Add chili powder and garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add chicken and 1/4 cup of water and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2  minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon lime juice and remove from heat. 

3. In a large bowl combine lettuce and 1 tablespoon lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat and divide among tortillas. Top each with chicken mixture, tomato, avocado, remaining onion, and cilantro.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer Tea Series

Is there a more perfect drink for the summer? OK maybe a beer or a margarita... I'm talking non-alcoholic beverage here! Iced tea is a staple in my refrigerator for the summer! I happen to love iced tea. No, not the kind that you 'just add water'. Real unsweetened iced tea made from tea leaves. Since my love for iced tea is so strong, I'm going to bless my readers (yes, all 3 of you) with a Summer Tea Series (at least that's what I'm calling it)!

So you're probably saying "what the heck is Lynn talking about?" or you just don't care. However, I'll pretend like you care. I plan on expanding my iced tea making skills and experimenting with new flavors this summer to spice things up! Below is a list of flavors that I'm planning on making throughout the summer. Let me know if you'd like to see any additional flavors.

Summer Tea Series: The Plan!

Classic Iced Tea
Arnold Palmer
Raspberry Iced Tea
Strawberry Iced Tea
Sun Tea
    Stay tuned!