Let it be released from the mind

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

If you care about homemade pizza, read below

We've searched through countless pizza dough recipes, all claiming to be the best. It was pizza dough and chocolate chip cookies that really made me crazy. I just couldn't perfect either of them, and in fact came far from perfection. Well I've finely broken down pizza dough and claimed victory over it.

So often they are flavorless and whitely bland. Or they're tough and rubbery. Finally, the gods have spoken and given us the Best Pizza Dough Recipe Ever--kinda like a Richard Scarry book. This dough is rated by many people as being thin. I wouldn't necessarily say that, as my hubby likes it and he doesn't like thin pizza. It's no deep-dish pizza, but it has plenty of substance to it. Most recently we ate a variation on our favorite tomato tart. First D made the pizza dough and brushed it with olive oil and rosemary. Then he used heirloom tomato slices, provolone and Monterey Jack cheeses and fresh basil to make a beautiful apizza apie. It was wonderful to eat this after coming home from an afternoon of drinking in downtown SS and catching up with Vani and Pallghan (Meghan and Pall). We had a few drafts at McGinty's before relocating to the Piratz Tavern---aaaarrrrr! The appetizers weren't worth much in gold, but the grog shivered me timbers.

Bon Appétit March 2007 Giada DeLaurentiis

This dough is easy to handle and will give you a crispy crust that's also tender.
3/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 cups (or more) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

Pour 3/4 cup warm water into small bowl; stir in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes. Brush large bowl lightly with olive oil. Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons oil; process until dough forms a sticky ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface. KNEAD dough until smooth, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is very sticky, about 1 minute. Transfer to prepared bowl; turn dough in bowl to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. PUNCH down dough. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. ROLL out dough according to recipe instructions. (Start in center of dough, working outward toward edges but not rolling over them.)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Kenilworth Gardens

I just realized looking through my pics that I never posted on our trip to Kenilworth Gardens. In my lifetime of living in DC I had never visited this southeast landmark, a gem amongst the city. The lotus were in full and spectacular bloom when we arrived that morning. Because of the intense heat, you must arrive before mid-day or the lotus blooms will be closed. The gardens are set up so that you can get very close to the ponds, and there are paths amongst them so you really feel very close to the flowers. There were many amateur photographers there looking for the perfect shot and being a bit annoying as they set up their massive tripods and blocked off areas to stand. I like to take pictures, but I'm not going to be that annoying. If you want to take pictures like that, get there before 9 AM when the massive throngs of people arrive.

Laika enjoyed herself as you can see, and was a bit frantic as usual with having her leash pulled tight in close quarters. Her tongue gets really really long when she's hot.

I was surprised at how large the flowers were. Of course the lily pads were over a foot across, and these lotus blooms measured 9 inches or more across when fully opened. They were much larger than a Chipotle burrito, with guacamole.

Kenilworth Aquatic is much larger than I anticipated. Not only are there the extensive network of ponds, but past that is a wetland lookout area where we spotted a few herons and a bald eagle. The wetland is connected to the Anacostia River, and I hope to get to the Park some day by kayak. I will pray that day to not fall into the Anacostia, for obvious reasons. In the fall we will have a birdwalk here, perhaps along the river path trail.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Seriously? Really?

30-3? Really? Kinda unbelievable, O's. And against the Rangers? Yowza. You beat the red Sox and the Yankees and you get obliterated by the Rangers. And to think just yesterday I was searching for a game to go to to take advantage of the all-you-can-eat specials sans beer.

I was done cooking my veggie stir-fry just in time last night to watch the latest episode of Big Love. I am totally into that show, and look forward to reading a book that several have recommended. Then I had to make another recipe for a coworker's going away party. I of course organized and coordinated the food. We're getting the main courses from Lebanese Taverna and then coworkers are supplementing with drinks and sides/desserts. Continuing my cooking club path of working on desserts and baked goods, I offered to make this Bon Appetit recipe that I had saved a long time ago from my magazine. Regretfully, since i cut them in 1/4 pieces since it's for a large party, they now look like the doogie treat we buy Laika--snausages. I will clearly have to mark them as "no meat" for all of my vegetarian friends. But they tasted superb slightly warm and gooey last night, and Laika enjoyed finding a small surprise of phyllo roll when she made it up to the bed!

After jamming to Drop Kick Murphy's, an excellent birthday present, I finished just in time once again with the phyllo rolls (let me point out that this was my first time working with phyllo) to watch the first two quarters of the USA/Venezuela game and our boy Greivus. Since D told me there were rumors mucking up the system that GV might had to greener pastures next year I was nearly happy to see him get toyed with by Kobe, Carmelo and LeBron. Stay put Greivus--we need you here at home.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Did you know that RSVP means "répondez s'il vous plaît " as in please reply? I didn't. I know what you're supposed to do when someone says RSVP, but I didn't know we were asking them in French every time. No wonder only half the people do it--they can't speak French :))

Friday, August 03, 2007

How do we look?

We've been Simpsonized!