Posts Tagged 'sunset'

Pipe Dream #133: To Give A Last Hurrah – Grilled Pizza Crust

Sometimes when I meet new people, I tell them I love pizza. I like to be as real as possible lest anyone should assume that I was someone who didn’t like pizza, and therefore, would never invite me to eat pizza with them, and therefore, my life would be awful forever.

Not quite sure about the punctuation in that run-on sentence, but whatever. I really like pizza. However, I have never attempted to make it myself until today. Or shall I say, until yesterday, because apparently, the secret to a really complex crust flavor is to let the dough rest from 10-48 hours before baking it. Who knew?

I consider this near-authentic pizza to be a sort of last hurrah for summer. It’s fresh and grilled and uses up all those tomatoes that are overrunning your garden right now. I didn’t even bother making a real sauce for this. Just chucked some tomatoes, garlic, spices and olive oil in the food processor and slopped it on raw. Excellent choice.

We topped the pizzas with everything from chicken andouille sausage to avocado, but you can really use anything you have on hand. There are some fab ideas for unusual pizza toppings over here, with step-by-step instructions on grilling up the pizzas. If you don’t feel like reading the instructions, I will give you a summary:

Oil the grill. Cook crusts for two minutes until bubbly and beginning to brown. Loosen the crusts with a metal spatula and cook for an additional minute.

Flip crusts and cook for two more minutes. Pile on your toppings of choice. This time, return to the grill with the pizzas on a metal cookie sheet or pizza stone. Close the grill and heat until cheese is melted and toppings are warm.

And then gaze at your colorfully delightful creation. And then devour. And then wonder why you don’t just move to Italy. Wouldn’t life be happy?

Second best thing,

L

Best-Ever Pizza Dough

Adapted from Rachael Ray

makes enough dough for four 9-inch pizzas or sixteen 3-to-4 inch pizzas

1 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp. honey
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
3 cups (or more) all-purpose or bread flour
1 3/4 tsp. coarse salt
2 tbsp. olive oil

Mix 1 cup warm water and 1 tsp. honey in a liquid measuring cup until the honey dissolves. Sprinkle with 2 1/4 tsp. of active dry yeast and let the mixture stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (This is proofing. Remember proofing?) Meanwhile, using a food processor, pulse 3 cups flour and 1 3/4 tsp. salt to mix.

Pour the yeast mixture and 2 tbsp. olive oil over the flour mixture. Process until the dough comes together in a sticky ball, about 20 to 30 seconds.

Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead, using the heel of your hand, until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Lightly oil a large bowl; add the dough, turning to coat. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough stand in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down, then turn out onto a cutting board. Using a knife, quarter the dough.

Shape 1 dough wedge roughly into a ball. Place the dough ball on the work surface and cup your hand lightly over it. Rotate your hand counterclockwise, letting the dough roll on the work surface. Continue until the surface of the dough is smooth. Repeat with the remaining dough wedges.

Place each dough ball in a large resealable plastic bag or plastic container with a lid. Refrigerate for 10 to 48 hours (the dough will continue to rise). Let the dough sit at room temperature for 1 hour before shaping, or freeze for up to 2 weeks. Let the frozen dough sit at room temperature for 2 hours before shaping.

Turn out 1 ball of dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Press it out on the work surface into a 9-inch round, a long rectangle or an oval. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. To make 3- to 4-inch mini pizzas, cut each dough ball into 4 pieces, then press or stretch into shape.

 

Favorite Shots: Ocean Emotion

How does this picture make you feel? The shots that are really my favorite always evoke emotions. Perfect composition, or a neat edit mean nothing unless the shot makes you feel something. That’s what I think.

Feeling peaceful and grateful,

L

Pipe Dream #85: To Make Everday A Sun Day

Here are the shots from Brita’s shoot. She has a classic Scandinavian feel about her face. I particularly loved the light during her session. It was one of those rare sunny days that make everything in the world feel right. Even on days when it is not sunny here though, Brita is a sure day-brightener. Take a gander and let me know what you think.

L

Favorite Shots: Happy Sheep

I think y’all should prepare for all the sheep pictures that will eventually grace this blog. I am fascinated by them. Their cud-chewing countenances never cease to amaze me. And because I am surrounded by them, I take a few shots of them every time I’m out with a camera.

Here are the first shots of many.

I’m sorry,

Lauren

Pipe Dream #37: To Be A Storm Chaser


I have only seen clouds like this one other time in my life. They’re mesmerizingly ethereal. I’m not sure what conditions create these kinds of clouds. Maybe tornadoes. I think there was one that night. P.S. I have problems keeping up with current events. The tsunami in Japan this year? I didn’t know about that until a couple days after it happened. And I’m a PR major.

These clouds are kind of like James. He’s all like, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” I mean, they’re sort of like that. Storms in life, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, all that. In the case of these clouds, the tornado storm is producing something super beautiful.

To me, it would be worth chasing tornadoes to catch a glimpse of these clouds. They’re worth it. So unique and captivating. I wish I was more willing to chase figurative storms, knowing that experiencing them would produce faith and perseverance in my life.

I’ll work on it. Or at least, if I don’t chase them yet, I’ll complain less about current life-storms. For example, the toilets I find plugged on a weekly basis. Oh camp. Thank you for producing a wealth of perseverance in a great multitude of people over the years.

I like clouds,

Lauren


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