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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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Delicious Potato Side Dish Recipe

fingerling potato dish

I know that in southern California (where I reside) it doesn’t feel like Fall yet. This heat wave has got to STOP! But the hot weather won’t stop me from cooking this delicious potato side dish. Even though it would be most enjoyed on a chilly evening next to my fireplace, I improvised and ate it for lunch with some seasoned chicken. And it was still quite fantastic.

Check out the ingredients you will need:

tiki masala sauce Trader Joes

  • Tiki Masala sauce (my fave is from Trader Joe’s)
  • Fingerling potatoes (also from Trader Joe’s)
  • Olive oil (or as Rachel Ray would say, EVOO)
  • Cumin
  • Tumeric
  • Chili Powder
  • Italian Spices
  • Yellow Onion
  • Minced Garlic (they sell in a little jar at Trader Joe’s)

Directions:

Throw it all into a sauce pan and cook it, duh!

Ok, I wish it was that easy…but honestly it’s pretty close to being that easy.

For the full recipe, click here: delish potato dish.

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Delish Potato Dish Recipe

fingerling potato dish

So, I always joke that I hate baking because I’m ADD and don’t have a long enough attention span to measure things. All joking aside, I don’t enjoy baking half as much as I do cooking, because cooking allows more creative control over my dishes. I love experimenting with spices and flavors that may not traditionally be paired together. Which brings me to the potato dish I’m sharing today!

Follow along with me to learn how to whip up this delish potato dish using mainly Trader Joe’s ingredients (and some magic.)

  1. First, gather your fingerling potatoes and cut them about 1/4″ thick. You don’t want them too thick because it takes longer to cook, but you don’t want them too thin, as they may dry out.
  2. Next, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and onions into your pot and saute for a couple minutes. Then add minced garlic. After that, my secret trick is to add chicken stock instead of more oil. I do this mainly to cut the calories and fat. After that has been simmering for a bit and soaking up some flavor, add your potatoes and cover. Continue cooking and feel free to lift the lid to check on it and stir every couple minutes.
  3. Once potatoes are almost done cooking, add Tiki Masala sauce to taste and all those yummy spices. I don’t measure them, I just toss them in and go with my heart. Your kitchen should be filled with an absolute divine aroma by now!

If you continue to cook and notice that the potatoes start sticking to the pot, transfer all items to a skillet and add a little more chicken stock. They will cook more evenly this way.

Your potatoes should develop a bit of a crispy edge but still be moist and soft when you bite into them. I suggest getting a fork and trying a potato to see if it’s the right texture for you. (Some people like them soggy, some people like them a little more crisp.) Once it’s just right, remove from the heat and enjoy!

This potato dish would be perfect paired with some tasty chicken or next to a yummy breakfast omelette.

Enjoy and please let me know if you make this dish and how it turns out! 🙂

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Huntington Beach Hot Spot: Bruxie

Bruxie Huntington Beach

Me and my friend April were meandering on Main Street Huntington Beach when this cute spot called Bruxie caught our eye – and thank god it did! The food is absolutely delicious. We upgraded $1 for their all natural maple syrup. My girl April was smart enough to order their signature chicken and waffles dish, while I played it on the safe side (or one could argue, boring side) and got their chopped salad. It was all very, very delicious.

If you’re in Huntington Beach and are looking for some sweet and savory snacks, check out Bruxie. You won’t be disappointed.

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5 of My Favorite Food (and Drink) Photos

Good morning friends! Today I thought I’d share some delicious food and drink photos, because, why not? Also, scroll down to find a relatively healthy recipe for sweet potato chips. Yum!

#1) Sipping coffee in the morning with God

amazing coffee

#2) Making food into colorful art

colorful food

#3) Morning meditations

#4) Fresh produce for juicing

#5) Baked food that’s good better for you

sweet potato recipe

Discover this delicious baked sweet potato chips recipe.

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Baked Sweet Potato Recipe

sweet potato chips

Share on Pinterest

I was craving chips one night but didn’t want the high saturated fat that comes with them, so I decided to make a healthier (and just as delicious) version. This recipe is simple and quick with a spicy kick.

Bethany’s Yummy (& Healthy!) Sweet Potato Chips

Recipe:

  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato
  • 1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • A couple pinches of paprika, curry, chili pepper, salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • Cut an entire medium-sized sweet potato into uniform, thin slices.
  • Place cut potato slices into a bowl and drizzle with 1-1/2 tbsp olive oil to evenly coat each slice (you can use more oil if desired, but I like to cut back on calories this way.)
  • Add seasoning. I used paprika, curry, chili pepper, salt, and pepper.
  • Spread out onto a baking sheet and bake until golden brown.

*Optional: Add slices of avocado and lime to taste.

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6 Satisfying Things I’ve Learned This Year

1) Going Off Course is Not Always Bad

Orange county hike
My friend and I went on a hike. What we thought was going to be a few miles, turned into a 7 mile hike, with the latter half all uphill. Already directionally challenged, we took a wrong turn and didn’t have any gut instinct to tell us to turn around. Even though we didn’t plan on those extra miles uphill in the heat, it was all worth it. We burned more calories, we had more laughs, and discovered new parts of the trail we had never seen before. Which can be paralleled to life. Sometimes those beaten paths that we don’t plan for are actually the best thing for us.

2) Playing with Your Food Can be Good

banana and peanut butter

Eating a banana vs. eating a banana that’s smiling at me. You can guess which one I choose. Call me silly, but food is one of my favorite pastimes and I appreciate when it incorporates art…and a smile.

3) Growing Sideways is Still Growing

Yorba Linda Park
I’m guilty of thinking that I have to make huge leaps and bounds in my growth with God, relationships, and personal life. That I have to magically sprout up like a generously watered tree over night. This weekend, I learned that it’s okay to grow sideways. By that, I mean, it’s okay to have days where I’m just existing. Where I’m just breathing. Where I’m just enjoying my day with a nap. It’s okay to relax, breathe, stretch, and grow sideways sometimes.

4) It’s Easy to Find Beauty in the Every Day

flowers

I went on a short stroll and noticed these lovely little petals resting on the earth. I couldn’t help but capture the duo of pink and purple with my camera. Such simple beauty can be found when you seek it.

5) The Beach Never Gets Old

Laguna Beach
Beach walks and God talks are the best – driving along the coast is a close second. I’ve lived in Southern California for two years, and I would be happy if every day was a beach day. But in this season, I will be thankful for the sparse times I’m able to see the waves hugging the sand.

6) Morning Meditations Rock My World

psalm 16:5

“Lord you alone are my portion and my cup.” Psalm 16:5

I’ve been aiming to start each morning talking with God. The days that I do, I notice there’s more peace in my spirit, more patience in my heart, and a natural outpouring of love that comes from His eternal goodness.

(A cup of delicious coffee never hurt anyone either.)

What are some things you’ve learned this year? Share with a comment to inspire others!

xO,

Bethany Michaels