Here’s Suz, cooking chili today, she invited me over for lunch. Woo hoo! It was delicious and so cozy. With biscuits, and lots of coffee (of course). A little chat for dessert. I had – what else? – polenta (!) to contribute, so we had that too, and it was nice with the chili, even day-old polenta. Susie and I have a few items in common that we love that no one else in our families can/will eat – beans, squash, beets, bread pudding. This chili was full of beans and it and they were perfect on a cloudy, blustery day (recipe in comments, below). Sullivan came home from preschool and had a biscuit – and chat – too. He’s sooo cute! Cory came home for a bite to eat too (no chili, he doesn’t do the beans…), but I forgot to take his picture! How ironic, I forgot to take the photographer’s picture. Next time, in a few weeks, when he and I collaborate on a few food photos (I’ll cook, he’ll take the pics, I’ll post them here; and, they’ll be WAY better than the food pics I’ve been posting, which will be fun). I flew out of their house – I can’t stop talking, of course, and time just flies by – to pick up Nathan at school. We stopped at Carter’s on the way home to let out puppy McCoy, Nathan’s other dog, 8 months old, adorable, and full of LOTS of energy (below).
And now I’m home, preparing a few recipes to send to Chef Andrew Zimmern, host of Chowhounds on FM107. Why? Because I’m going to be ON his radio show this coming Saturday, January 28, around 1:45 p.m. I’m so excited! I’ll be talking about starting a food blog. I hope you’ll listen, either on the radio here in the Twin Cities, or at Chowhounds FM107 (to listen online, click the “listen online” button at the upper left; there’s a quick form to fill out).
Tonight, Nathan has requested pizza for dinner. Since he doesn’t have a basketball game, I think I’ll take the time to make the real deal. A good, homemade, chewy crust. He can have pepperoni, his fav, I’ll try to come up with something a little veggier for John and me. I’ll check back in when I figure out what the hell I’m doing.
Well, pizza turned out nicely. We ate a bit late (!), but it was worth it. I’ll post the recipe for a basic crust (in comments), not a big mystery, it produces a thin, crispy crust (which is my favorite). Trick is to line the baking sheet with parchment, bake for half the time on the sheet, then slide the pizza-on-parchment directly onto the rack. Works like a charm without fussing with a pizza stone. For a topping I caramelized some onion slices, stirred in a few sliced mushrooms, some chopped orange bell pepper, a few minced Kalamata olives, some chopped fresh tomato, and off heat, chopped scallions. Because that’s what I had around – like pasta, I tend to make pizza up as I go, using what’s available. I did top with some mozzarella, but not much. I just don’t need tons of cheese on pizza. Oh, I’ll happily eat pizza with tons of cheese. Bring it on! But on a regular basis, I want to enjoy pizza without feeling SO incredibly guilty when I’m done – a super-thin crust, lots of veggies, and just a bit of cheese do the trick. Bit of good olive oil, sprinkle of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, sooooo good! And moderate-yet-decadent-seeming, way to go! I also made a simple salad, just chopped romaine and sweet onion tossed with good olive oil, little vinegar, salt, and pepper. I like easy little salads like that, tasty, and don’t require loads of chopping. As long as the greens are good and fresh, a simple salad can really hit the spot. (The best? Fresh-from-the-garden greens, but whatever, that’s a long time off, not worth thinking about right now…)
Now, time to wash some dishes. That’s the only part of cooking I do NOT enjoy. Can’t have it all…damn!