thursday things

I love homemade pizza, like, love it.  We usually make it using a pizza stone and our grill, which turns this

into this

and eventually into this beautiful piece of art

instagram pizza pep

You can totally do that at home by the way (you can see my tutorial here), but now… this exists, which is going to change the game of homemade pizzas forever.

I’ve been following this baking steel since its kickstarter campaign.  I was even more convinced that I needed it when The Pizza Lab tested it out.  Now that it’s available for purchase, my feelings are a little hurt by the steep price tag, but maybe I can ask Santa for it this December…

In other food news, since the BF and I were both off on Memorial Day, I tried to be nice and make him his favorite breakfast – waffles.  Those of you who follow the Wee Eats Facebook page already saw the results…

waffle fail

Apparently our neglected waffle maker was having feelings of resentment and didn’t want me to succeed at this seemingly simple task… By round four (and our last bit of batter) I was finally able to make him something that resembled a normal waffle…  I spent at least 5 times as much time scraping waffle out of the iron than we did eating the waffles… Of course, this could always be my excuse to get a new waffle iron… right?  I think that’s how it works… Yes, let’s blame the iron…

The BF texted me today at work to let me know that this exists.

dairy queen smore

He gets me.

Some of you may be too classy for blizzards, and it’s ok, I get it.  Sometimes we all need a bit of artisan ice cream or hand-scooped gelato.

Nothing wrong with that.  But do you know the difference between ice cream and gelato?  Would you like to?  Not me, I can still get down and dirty with some DQ.

It will be like I am this cat.  And the beanbag is a s’more blizzard…

Just like that.

Speaking of cats….

This jerk(below)’s new favorite activity is preventing me from getting any sleep.  Apparently staring at me all night and attacking me every time I fall asleep is an exhausting job, because she then needs to sleep all day long.

Which is basically just a slap in the face like “look at me, I can sleep all day no matter how much light and sound there is in the house!” … What a jerk.  Anyone want a free kitty?  (Just ignore all that stuff about her not letting you sleep).

Oh, and the best part?  She leaves the BF completely alone.  She walks all over my pillow, steps on my throat, paws at my face and bites my arm – she even learned how to pull the blanket off of my arm so that she can bite my bare skin to wake me up!  But the BF?  Nope.  Won’t touch him.  Gets to sleep like a baby while I’m being assaulted.

Jerks.

Sorry, I’m probably just cranky because I’m sleep-deprived.

Time for an honorary Thursday Things half-recipe?  How about some stromboli?

It’s so easy.  You can use store-bought or home-made pizza dough or even white bread dough.  I followed this tutorial for the pretty braids, and just filled them with leftover antipasti fixins – some pesto, provolone, salami and ham.  Brush with some egg wash and sprinkle some crunchy sea salt on top.  Bake it at 375 or 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (or until it’s golden on top)

Sidenote: medium obsessed with this site at the moment.  Check it out.  Seriously.

scarpetta’s stromboli

scarpetta stromboli
As you know, I’M ON VACATION! Well, technically I’m on my way BACK from vacation now… You’ll all know soon enough about what I have been eating while I was on vacation, but many of you may be wondering what the BF eats while I’m on vacation. What does the BF eat when I’m not home to cook for him? Well, honestly, probably a lot of fast food. But I do leave him some home-cooked goodness in the freezer to eat just in case he is motivated enough to heat it up.

For this trip, one of the items I left behind for him was a loaf of tasty homemade stromboli from the Scarpetta’s stromboli recipe.We ate this stromboli for dinner, but Scarpetta’s serves it as part of their bread basket.

Stromboli (essentially a rolled up pizza) is fresh bread filled with meat and cheese and served with a dipping sauce. My favorite types of stromboli growing up came from my momma’s oven, filled with ham and cheese or meatballs and sauce… so don’t feel like you have to be stuck with the fillings in the recipe.

Whether you want an appetizer to feed a crowd or a simple dinner, this recipe is perfect for you. Plus, it’s a great candidate for freezing. You can just slice the stromboli and freeze it, wrapped in foil, then in a plastic bag. To reheat, warm the foil-wrapped stromboli in the oven for about 20 – 30 minutes at 375 degrees. The time it takes to warm may vary depending on how much you are warming at once and the thickness of your slices.

Scarpetta’s Stromboli Recipe

[ Printable Recipe ]

Dough:

  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Filling:

  • 2 cups grated smoked mozzarella
  • Salt
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil, leaves chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces salami, sliced thin
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Toppings:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, such as Maldon
  • 1/4 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

For the dough: Whisk together 2 cups cold water, the yeast and 1 1/2 tablespoons oil.  Put in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Mix on low speed for 5 minutes.  Add the flour and continue mixing for an additional 5 minutes. Then mix on medium speed for an additional 5 minutes. Add the salt until incorporated. Add 1 tablespoon oil at the end of the 5 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a a large bowl and drizzle about 2 tablespoons oil on top. Wrap all the way around with plastic wrap and put in a warm spot to rise for about 1 1/2 hours until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F when you are getting ready to fill the strombolis.

To make the stromboli: When ready, transfer the dough to an oiled table or flat surface and form into a log; cut into two equal pieces. Cover with plastic so it doesn’t dry out. Let rest for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Lightly brush a baking tray with oil or cover with parchment.  Spread out the dough on the oiled countertop with the palms of your hands, don’t use your fingertips. It should be even all the way around, with no fat edges.

Place half the fillings on one piece of dough in the order listed: mozzarella, salt, basil, garlic, pepper and salami, leaving a 2-inch border along the bottom. Roll the dough over twice, seal the sides with your palm, fold over the bottom and then the sides. Transfer to the tray and rub a little oil on top. Repeat with the second portion of dough. Put the rosemary, sea salt and tomatoes on top. Cover the tray with plastic and let sit for 15 minutes to rest.

When ready to bake, put a pan of ice in the oven for 5 minutes. REMOVE THE PAN and place the Stromboli tray in the oven and bake for a total of 45 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn 180 degrees. Bake another 20 minutes, then turn again and bake the remaining 5 minutes. (If it looks like it’s browning evenly, you can probably skip all the turning, I just turned it once towards the end).

Transfer to a new baking sheet lined with parchment. Allow the loaves to cool. Slice and serve with desired dipping sauce.

[ Recipe adapted from Scarpetta’s Restaurant c/o Food Network ]