It's weird that this is my first food related post given the amount of time I spend cooking, or dreaming and talking about food, or reading cookbooks, or for that matter eating! Mind you I am certainly not as passionate or prolific as this amazing lady but I do fancy myself as a pretty good cook and I do get quite a great deal of pleasure out of those thankful, "mmmmm's" and "yummm's" I get from my appreciative audience - i.e. the family! Very wise of them really!
I should point out here that I am not very adventurous when it comes to making up my own recipes. I am addicted to cookbooks and figure the authors are my teachers and I am their very willing pupil! I guess I get a little creative with substituting ingredients from time to time but that's about where my creativity ends!
Except for pizza where I figure it's open slather on what constitutes 'topping'. Once I have strictly followed the recipe for the base I am happy to get slightly creative with the topping (*sigh* I am such a rules girl).
So after trying many different base recipes, in my opinion the one that seems both the simplest and the most effective (not to mention the most important bit: TASTY!), is this one of Jamie Oliver's.
And the other thing that has made the world of difference to our home pizza making success has been our pizza stone. I'm sure everyone knows what these are but I had no idea how inexpensive they were and what a HUGE difference they make to the texture of the crust.
Anyway on to the actual cooking. I generally always have a keen helper (or two) when I cook, though for now Luca's 'helping' involves standing on a chair near the cutlery drawer and happily rearranging it all. Sienna, like most kids her age I guess, loves the pouring, measuring and mixing part of cooking and I suppose the arranging of the topping ingredients on a pizza appeals to that almost-four-year-old decorating and embellishing desire!
I should point out here that this recipe yields A LOT of dough and after six pizzas and many "please not another one" groans I ended up freezing the remainder of the dough (which seems to work fine). I won't go into detail about all the toppings from this particular night except to say that the one in the photo below consisted of Italian sausages squeezed out of their casing to make little mini meatballs, red capsicum, black olives and some rocket tossed over the top once out of the oven.
And can I leave you with the image (and taste) of a dessert pizza I made on the same night? It was this one and it was UNBELIEVABLY good! Weird ingredients I know but far out, a taste sensation!
Happy weekend everyone!