Sunday, May 25, 2014

Herby Cheesy Pizza

I've been experi-menting a lot with pizza doughs lately. The mush-rooms at the Troy Farmer's Market have really been the inspiration. Sunday nights have become pizza night in our house, and each one has been a little different. This dough is a keeper, although the original recipe didn't have salt or pepper, which made it a bit blander than I would have liked.

Rosemary Parmesan Pizza Dough

1 tsp dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 tsp honey
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
optional: diced garlic, crushed red pepper

Stir together warm water and honey, add 1 tsp of yeast and let sit until frothy. In a mixer with a dough hook (or you can do this with your hands) mix together flour, olive oil, water/yeast mixture. add tosemary, cheese and seasonings. When all of the ingredients have come together to form a ball, knead for about 5 minutes. Place the dough ball in a greased bowl and cover with a clean dish towel until doubled. Form your crust, and freeze the leftover dough for the next time.

Top your pizza with whatever you like. We topped ours with some red sauce, mozzarella cheese, sliced mushrooms, garlic, leftover sausage, black olives, and some spinach from our garden. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Boozy Banana Muffins

I'm on a muffin tear. Maybe it's because I recently acquired a beautiful muffin tin from a foray to the Bennington Pottery Outlet, just 20 minutes from our house. Two recent happenings led to these muffins: leftover chopped ginger-pecan from our Easter ham, and a surplus of bananas from our 4th anniversary gifts. (Traditional gifts for a 4th wedding anniversary are fruits and vegetables, and my husband and I each bought each other a bunch of bananas! What a bunch of monkeys.) I hope you enjoy them.

 Ginger Pecan Whiskey Banana Muffins

2 mashed rip bananas
2 tbsp vegetable oil or light olive oil
1 egg
1/2 cup whiskey
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup crystallized ginger
1/4 cup toasted pecans
cooking spray

Mix together in a small bowl the bananas, oil, egg, whiskey, and vanilla. You can use this right away, but I recommend setting it aside for up to 10 hours before mixing it in with the dry ingredients to allow the banana to steep in the whiskey.

While that's happening, chop together in a mini-chopper crystallized (or candied) ginger with toasted pecans and set aside for the topping.

Sift together the dry ingredients. When you're ready to make your muffins, pour the melted butter into the dry ingredients and mix to wet. Then add the marinated banana mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until well mixed. Spray nine muffin cups and fill each 3/4 of the way to the top; top with your ginger-pecan mixture and bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.