Fig Pizza and Big Victories

A few years ago the leash that we used to walk Guinness wore out and my husband made a big mistake in tasking me to go online and see what hours the humane society was open.  Suddenly he hears me call out to him to come and look at the photo of the cutest dog.  We had been thinking about getting another dog but we were having a hard time pairing one with Guinness.  Guinness had been termed an inappropriate punk.  He is a lovely dog but is insecure around other dogs and tries to dominate them.  So we kept failing.

But this day we trooped down to the humane society to meet this goofy dog.  They did warn us that he was on prozac and that was my big oops.  We don’t know Murphy’s history but we do know he spent 6 months in 3 different humane societies.  But I thought we should take him off the meds.  Try training, that sort of thing.  It’s been a tough few years.  It took him a long time to trust us, understandably, and while he was a sweetheart in the home, he was a nut job on the walks.  His anxiety overran any attempts for him to listen.  He isn’t malicious just a big nut job.  We were despairing with my back being thrown out and my husband starting to feel it as well.

There is now light at the end of the tunnel!  We found a new harness that fits him better and a low dose med that takes the edge off of him without making him a drooling fool.  We still wanted Murphy to be Murphy.  I was able to take him back to training this past week and it’s been amazing.  He’s listening and we aren’t being jerked around.  I can’t tell you how big a victory this is for us!  I’m not dreading the walks, woot!

In the midst of all this the kids were getting ready to head to Florida to see their grandparents so for their last night here I made a light meal for us.  Given that figs are in season I thought it would be fun to do a pizza with naan using the figs.

I grilled the naan on a cast iron grill until it was almost cooked.

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While the naan is cooking chop up a shallot and a couple of cloves of garlic. Saute in olive oil until softened.

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I am late to the whole fig thing.  But now I love it when fig season swings round.  It works so well with many different recipes.  And I love it with the saltiness of prosciutto.

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Preheat the oven to 350F/175C.  Layer the naan with the shallots and garlic, figs, prosciutto, and goat cheese.  Fontina also works for this.

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Bake until the cheese is warmed and melty.

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This is perfect with a small side salad.  The tomatoes in the picture are the last we’ll buy in awhile as our tomatoes are starting to ripen.  Can’t wait to start eating them!

And oh get this!  I finally have a preview button.  🙂  They never responded to my note to support but at least I’m seeing positive changes.


A Hawaiian Twist For A Fun Dinner

We woke up to snow this morning.  Typical.  I was so hoping that the warmer days would have continued this week so I could get out in the garden and start getting veg in.  I’m getting a bit antsy to be outside!

Even though it was the last bit of tax season and all the craziness that goes along with it I was able to get some cooking done this past weekend.   I found a pin for a fun sandwich to make though unfortunately no recipe was attached so I just used it as an inspiration.   Our son calls this a pizzarito.  It’s a hawaiian themed pizza burrito.  So easy to make and the kids love it.

This is also great for when you don’t have a ton of time for dinner.  The longest bit is getting the chicken grilled.  Marinate thin bits of chicken breast in the BBQ sauce of your choice.

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Slice up some red onion and pineapple.  For those that love jalepenos slice up a few as well.  It adds a nice bite.

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Lay out a wrap and spoon the BBQ sauce and spread it out.   We used a somewhat sweet sauce but I’d recommend something on the spicy side to balance the sweetness of the pineapple.   Layer the sliced grilled chicken with the onion, pineapple, and cheese.  Then layer ham over the top.

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Wrap tightly then heat up using a panini press or on the stove top like a grilled cheese.

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Cut in half and serve immediately.

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It was delicious and perfect for a fun dinner with the kids.

And now that tax season is over I get to finally start catching up with all the posts!  I’ve missed reading them all.  🙂

Bring me back to Italy with homemade pizza!

Like a lot of people out there we really enjoy pizza.  If we have the time we make our homemade pizza dough.  The recipe we use is from our go to book “Local Breads” by Daniel Leader.  It comes from Antico Forno in the Campo de’ Fiori in Rome.  Let me tell you, this is the real deal, over the top amazing.  If we ever get back to Rome we are heading to that place.  This is a bubbly light dough that just makes you want to eat all of it yourself.

The level of difficulty is low but it is time consuming.  Completely worth the effort.

In a mixing bowl pour 1 3/4 cups of tepid water (70-78F/21-25C), 1 tsp yeast, 3 1/4 cups flour (unbleached and high gluten if possible), and 1 1/2 tsp sea salt.

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Using the dough hook blend the ingredients until it comes together.  This is a wet dough and will be clumpy and sticky at first.

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At this point grab your tablet or a book, you’ll be standing here for awhile.  Turn your mixer up to at least medium-high speed which is 8 on the Kitchen Aid.  You will need to hold the mixer with one hand as it might “walk” while you surf the web or read.  This needs to be done for about 15-17 minutes, sometimes longer.  It will start to smooth out.

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The test is to make an opaque window with the dough without it tearing.

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Once you are done kneading then it needs to rise for 3 1/2-4 hours (told you it is time consuming!).  Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film that has been sprayed for this.  It will triple in volume.

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At this point preheat the oven to 500F/260C with a large pizza stone in the oven.  Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into about 8 sections.  Cover with the cling film.  Let this rest for at least 10 minutes.  This is about the time we go walk the dogs.  🙂

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Get all your toppings in order.  We usually like to have fresh mozzarella, veg, garlic, prosciutto, etc.  Dust a baker’s peel with flour then hand stretch the dough out.

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Stretch it out onto the baker’s peel and lightly coat with olive oil and some sea salt.

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We usually bake a couple just with olive oil and sea salt so we can snack on this while we do the pizza with our toppings.  Bake until golden and bubbly.

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It is so good right out of the oven!  I like to make white pizzas but as these are individual pizzas go wild and have fun with your toppings.

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So much better than takeaway!  🙂