Two birds with one (pizza) stone.

Maybe I need more coffee in my life.

Since compiling my Life List about a week ago, it’s been interesting to see how motivated I feel about some of the things… and how disappointed in myself I can quickly get about others. I’m not talking about running 10 miles or learning to speak Italian. I’m talking about things like ‘wake up earlier’ or ‘drink more water.’ What is it about the easy things that seem difficult?

Instead of getting discouraged, I kindly reminded myself that I’m a mere WEEK into the 1001 days allotted to meet my goals.

Baby steps, Amber. Baby steps. 

For a little confidence boost, I thought I’d knock off two things today. Double up on accomplishment! Let’s tackle Item #2 and Item #8 together, shall we?

Life List #2: Make pizza dough from scratch.

Live yeast freaks me out. There’s no reason for this- it’s just unfamiliar. I picked up multiple packets of it today, though, knowing I’ll also need it to make bread sometime (another item on the list).

I looked online for recipes and found that making pizza dough seems to be a pretty easy process. I was lucky enough to have a kitchen assistant who wants to perfect this recipe as much as I do. As I gathered ingredients, I thought, ‘Really, this is all it takes? This, and a little elbow grease?’

We followed the directions, took turns kneading the dough, let it rest, watched it double in size, let it rest some more. The punching was my favorite part.

And there you have it, homemade pizza dough (and two balls of it in the freezer for other feasts)! Cross it off the list!

Life List #8: Try one new recipe each week.

This is a continual item on the list, and one that was sort of a freebie to myself. I love to be in the kitchen, and I show my love to others with food I make for them. I’d seen this recipe by the lovely Giada on her show and then again in a magazine this week, so I gave it a shot.

I always make a tweak or two to any written recipe to make it my own, and this time, I used regular mozzarella (not smoked) and more garlic than called for, and added crushed red pepper and fresh shredded parmesan cheese before baking. My philosophy in the kitchen: good ingredients = good food.

I mean, I think I nailed it. It looks like the photo in the magazine, don’t you think?

There is always something really satisfying about enjoying a meal that you put your heart into. This one was new to me from start to finish, and guess what? It was scrumptious.

This week’s new recipe: CHECK. Happy husband-to-be and full belly: CHECK, CHECK.

P.S. Remind me to wear an apron next time.

12 replies »

    • And a hello to you from the Wasatch Mountains in Utah! The pizza WAS divine- unfortunately, the tomatoes were not home-grown! Still figuring out the high altitude grow season! Thanks for reading!

  1. Hi Amber. I LOVE your blog. Feels like I’m right there in your adventures with you. We make pizza a lot and thought I’d give you the easy dough recipe I use if you’re interested. It’s from a pizza recipe book I have, written by a guy called John Lanzafame who apparently is the World Pizza Champion!

    Plain Pizza Dough

    Yield: 6 oz (enough for one 12 inch pizza) – I double/triple/quadruple etc, as needed

    1 tsp dry active yeast
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp sugar
    100 mL (3.5 fl oz) warm water
    2 tsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
    160 g (5.5 oz, or just over 1 cup) plain all-purpose flour, sifted, plus extra if required while kneading

    1) Whisk together yeast, salt, sugar and warm water in a large bowl until just combined.

    2) Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Leave in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until the mixture starts to bubble.

    3) Add the flour (I use wholemeal!) and knead for 15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

    4) Rub the inside of a large bowl with a small amount of olive oil. Roll the dough around in the bowl to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave in draft-free spot for 1-1.5 hours, or until doubled in size.

    5) Punch down the dough to expel trapped air. (Note: the dough can now be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight, or frozen. Bring back to room temperature before moving to step 6)

    6) Place the dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover and leave in a draft-free spot for 15 minutes, or until risen by half again. (Note: I usually skip this stage if dinner can’t wait!)

    Variations

    Parmesan Dough: Omit 50g (1.75 oz) flour. Add 50g (0.5 cup) grated parmesan at step 3 before kneading.

    Fresh Herb Dough: Add 0.25 tsp finely chopped herb(s) of choice after punching down dough in step 5.

    Sweet Dough: Add 1 tsp brown sugar to the dough after punching down in step 5.

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