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How to Craft the Most Perfect Pizza According to My Boyfriend

I recently was making homemade pizza with my family in Maine. No big deal, right? Well, my boyfriend Facetimed me as we were finishing our little creations, and started getting really serious, asking relentlessly about the crust, consistency of sauce, and even the type of toppings we chose.

He divulged that he worked at a pizza shop in high school for 3 years, where he honed his pizza making skills and more importantly, his love for concocting the perfect pizza. I could tell as his voice was quivering with joy and some drool began to form, that he was more than just a connoisseur. He was a full blown pizza extremist*, and today he’s sharing his secrets with us to craft the most delectable Italian-inspired dish topped with cheesy, tomatoey goodness. Read on…

Tip #1: If you’re not using self rising flour, you’re not in the game

Tip #2: The dough is the most important part, then the sauce.

Tip #3: The sauce has to have a strong consistency.

*”The best pizza in the world is Naples, Italy. I only had two days in Italy and I took a train all the way to Naples and walked through several back alleys to go to a pizza shop. I was first in line to get seated.” – Michael



Anyways, Mike’s invasive questions about our pizza party made me laugh, and I hope you were able to find some humor in it too. Although his tips aren’t too profound, I’m just going off of a few texts from him before his phone died. So as soon as his battery is back up, I’ll ask more strategic questions to get to the bottom of what it really takes to make a pizza truly special.

Here’s my brother’s recipe…I hope you enjoy. It was amazing!!

Garlic Butter Recipe:

Fresh Garlic, at least 2 entire Bulbs (3 for stronger flavor)
1 stick (8 T) softened salted butter (e.g. Kerrygold)
1T olive oil
(Seasoning amounts are estimated. I add them to taste, feel free to do the same.)
-1 1/2t Paprika
-1 1/2t Italian herb mix
-1/2t Oregano (optional)
-1/2t Parsley (optional)
-Pepper to taste
-1t Lemon juice (optional)

Prepare in small electric food processor / chopper.

Soften butter at room temperature before mixing for best results.
Peel garlic cloves then chop in food processor.
Add oil, seasonings, and half of the butter to processor and mix thoroughly.
Add remaining butter and keep mixing until you have a smooth, uniform spread.
Store in refrigerator or freezer.

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Pizza Dough Recipe:

Yields 4 12″ pizza crusts (~250g each)
625g bread flour (e.g. King Arthur brand)
356g water
3-4g salt
12g sugar and/or honey (e.g. 8g honey, 4g sugar)
31g olive oil
1 small pinch Active Dry Yeast (e.g. Fleischmanns brand)

At least 1 day before cooking, prepare in large covered bowl or pot with lid (e.g. stainless steel). Rising dough triples in size!
These instructions are for mixing by hand.

Start with a poolish, which is a wet fermentation of flour, water, and yeast. It adds flavor and texture to the dough.
Poolish:
Add 300g water, 300g flour, and yeast* to bowl.
*Very little yeast is required, and too much can result in over-rising dough.
Mix thoroughly with spoon, 1-2 minutes. Scrape remainder stuck to spoon back into bowl.
Cover bowl and let sit at room temperature at least 8 hours.
Dough:
Add to bowl: remaining water (56g), 100g flour, and all other ingredients (salt, sugar, oil).
Mix with spoon until poolish loosens and mixes with everything else, about 1-2 minutes.
Add remainder of flour (225g) in batches of 75-100g at a time, mixing with spoon between batches.
When dough is too thick to mix with spoon, add all remaining flour and thoroughly mix by hand, about 15-20 minutes.
Keep stretching and folding the dough on top of itself (but do not tear) when mixing.
Dough may be sticky, but try to mix as much as possible, adding 1-3T extra flour only as necessary.
Form into ball, place in covered bowl, and let sit at room temperature overnight (or 1-3 days in fridge) before cooking.
Pizza crust:
Spread thin layer of flour (1-2T) on aluminum foil or countertop.
Tear dough into 4 250g dough balls (for 12″ pizza crusts) and place them on floured surface.
Cover dough balls with flour, and with dry hands, gently flatten and spread them into round crusts. Add more flour if dough becomes tacky.
Cook on lightly greased aluminum foil (12″ square sheets) in 460 degree oven, preferably on a preheated cast iron pan or pizza stone.

❤ Bethany

 

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He Whispers to Me

He whispers to me, “you’re not alone”

I’m here with you, in me you have a home

A dwelling that’s safe and always secure

A protection from weathering, that’ll always endure

You’ve always had the keys, just walk inside

Come back to me girl, my door is open wide

I’ve been waiting for you, I’ll never leave

I’m here for you, you can cry on my sleeve

There there my girl, your tears are safe with me

We’re together now, all that’s left is for you to just be

No need for words or explanation

I know you fully, I’ve always been your strong foundation

I gave you freedom to reach the edge

You’ve been walking so far out on the ledge

Is it worth it my child? What’s on the other side?

Do you like the world that awaits, or do you want to hide?

Your choice, it’s all yours you see

Do you want more and more, or do you just want me?

 

 

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I’ve Been Watching Us Fray Away

We were entangled by our thoughts and cares

Together, united – you showed up without question, constantly there

You swept up my mess of pain and tears

That manifested from the darkness of the past two years

You allowed me to cry and heal every day

By just being you, like an angel sent my way

How do I repay this beautiful soul, this treasure of a friend?

Lately I’ve been aloof, each day from start to end

I’ve been watching us ravel away, slowly, thread by the thread

I feel helpless, and honestly, absolute dread

How can this be? Me? The one unthreading our strands?

Carelessly unwinding the tiny pieces woven together, with my own hands

Watching the clock tick away, I wish somehow you’ll stay

I feel so faded, tangled, alone, astray

I pray, I pray, some day the grace you’ve offered me

Will be sent back to you, more vast than any sea

Truly a sister, my friend, I miss you

The Tapatio and lime to my Mexican stew


This poem is dedicated to my best friend. Pretty sure she knows who she is. I love you.

~ Bethany

 

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But First, Coffee

Hi world. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken a moment to sit down and write a little something on my own blog. I’ve been busy writing for my adorable clients such as Splash of Teal and and Laura Fine Art

So today, I thought I’d start the morning off with a little post about nothing other than the cool, caffeinated beverage that makes the world go round: COFFEE.

As you can see, I’m already almost done with my first cup. 😉

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One of my fave at-home drinks to make is a simple espresso. {I found this adorable espresso maker at a local salvation army for $5.}

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When I visited The Simple Farm in Arizona, I learned the art of slowing down, savoring a cup of morning coffee, and just taking a moment to pause and thank God for a new day.

Things have been crazy lately. I wake up at 6am, rush off to my new office space in Fullerton, and sit down to work. I get stuck in these ruts of “work, work work” ~ and although working is wonderful, it’s important to find balance and infuse each day with a bit of rest too.

So this morning, I’m doing just that! I like to call it a little “beauty break.”

I hope you join me now {even if it’s for five minutes} to meditate on the things you’re thankful for today while sippin’ on a cup of joe. Even though life is messy, there’s still bits of beauty we can take time to focus on. ❤

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Day 5 Devotional: What is a Pinion?

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~ Psalms‬ ‭91:4‬ ‭ESV‬ 

Well tonight I learned that a pinion is the outer part of a bird’s wing, including the flight feathers. Pretty neat huh?

Jesus is all about  making sure we are fully covered, and also entrusts us with the same task – to protect and completely cover  what we’ve been given.

I forget what verse, but in the Bible we are given the commission to be disciples and go out amongst all nations, covering the ends of the earth to share the story of Jesus – Likewise Jesus himself spreads his wings and spills his blood to cover us, until the end of himself.

I may be drawing parallels that were never intended, but nonetheless,  it feels good to ponder about pinions and the protection of God tonight. Much better than scrolling through my Twitter feed.