Pizza Weekend

Who says pizza can’t be healthy??  This weekend is all about relaxation.  I have sipped wine by the fire reading a book, enjoyed a walk in the sunshine, and had some fun in the kitchen.  Homemade pizza – it’s the way to go!

I don’t know where the dough recipe first came from – I have been using it for years.  The only modification – I sub in about a 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour – I have yet to have much luck with adding more and keeping a perfect crust.

Pizza Dough

  • 3 cups flour (I usually do 1/2 cup whole wheat, 2 1/2 cups all purpose)
  • 1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Mix all dry ingredients together, then add
  • 1 cup warm water with 2 tbsp vegetable oil.

Knead together until you have a nice consistency in your dough.  Makes enough for 2 pizzas.  I usually wrap half the dough in saran and throw in the fridge for the next day.

When ready, spread the dough on a large pizza pan, top as desired and bake at 375 F for 20 – 25 minutes.

The beauty of pizza – dress as you like.  Today, I ran out of red peppers (they all went on yesterdays pizza!!!), so I added broccoli to the mix.  Some thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, sweet vidalia onions, sliced honey ham and crumbled goats cheese to round out the toppings and voila – a delish pizza on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Secret ingredients 

#1  Balsamic Vinegar – reduce to make a thicker sauce and drizzle – adds a little extra zing and loads of flavour

#2  Rocket/Arugula – so good for you in so many ways, also adding a fresh flavour and nutritious goodness!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend.  It’s pizza time!

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Valentine’s Pavlova

For the foodie romantic….Lucy Waverman’s cookbook “A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen” has a delightful Valentine’s menu.

Do you prefer to stay at home, share a romantic candlelit dinner for two without the crowded restaurant scene?  There are so many options – a personal chef experience, take out by candle light or surprising your someone special with a romantic dinner at home!

Lucy’s Menu for Valentine’s is spectacular.  She starts with Spanish Shrimp, gently sauteed in garlic, wine, tomatoes and cheese (what’s not to love), followed by a melt in your mouth roasted ribeye, spinach gratin, mashed potatoes and finishes it off with the romantic, heart shaped pavlova.  Words do not describe how decadent the combination of tart lemon curd, shaved white chocolate and colour exploding red pomegranate seeds can dance on your lips – the perfect finish to a romantic Valentine’s dinner.

Sadly, I don’t have a picture of my own just yet – this photo has been borrowed from the Globe and Mail until I make my own for tomorrow!

Pavlova with Lemon Curd, White Chocolate Shavings and Pomegranate Seeds

3 egg whites

3/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp cornstarch

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 cup lemon curd (buy from a gourmet shop, or try yourself – recipe link here)

1 cup shaved white chocolate

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (dried cranberries or fresh raspberries will do in a pinch)

1.  Preheat oven to 275 F.  Draw a heart template, approx 7 inches in diameter, on a piece of parchment paper.  Place ink side down on a baking sheet.

2.  Beat egg whites in a large bowl using an electric mixer on high speed for 4 – 5 minutes, adding sugar gradually until very thick and glossy.  The meringue should look like thick shaving cream.

3.  Beat in vinegar and cornstarch until just incorporated.

4.  Spread meringue on parchment paper inside the heart outline.  Bake for 1 hour, or until pale gold and crisp on the outside.

5.  Turn off oven and leave meringue for 30 minutes.

6.  Whip cream in bowl, fold in lemon curd.  Spread evenly over meringue.  (Meringue top will most likely shatter – that is ok!)

7.  Top with shaved chocolate and pomegranate seeds.

Happy Valentine’s Day.