I think I’ve found the way to Big Guy’s heart: homemade bread. Every since we started making homemade pasta, it seems that new kitchen adventures don’t seem quite as intimidating. So this past Sunday we decided to give homemade ciabatta bread a try. You do have to start the recipe the day before but that part of the process is super easy. You make a “sponge” by combining some yeast, flour and water in a bowl and wrapping it tight and just letting it hang out until the next day. The recipe I used does an incredible job of explaining each step. The dough is incredibly sticky and I can’t stress the importance of following the timing of each step (especially the amount of time the dough is mixed in the mixer).
When we finally got to the final step – cooking! – we could not wait to see our final result. The house smelled absolutely amazing. When we took the bread out of the oven, we were a little worried – it was rock hard. BUT as the recipe instructed, let it rest for an hour. And miraculously the bread softened up and was perfection. And while we had plans to turn the bread into pizza we couldn’t resist cutting an end off and enjoying the homemade bread in it’s purest form.
Once the bread had completely cooled, it was time to turn one of the loafs into pizza. Imagine a french bead pizza but with ciabatta bread.
We picked up a local marinara sauce from The Raleigh Wine Shop and then loaded on the cheeeeeese. We used fontina, provolone, mozzarella and after cooking a nice sprinkle of parmesan. We also added some pepperoni and fresh herbs.
Happy Valentines Day!
On Friday I said that the week had flown by. And here I am on Monday telling you that the weekend flew by even faster. Why does that happen? On Saturday I taught before we headed to get pedicures. That’s right, Big Guy requested we get pedicures and they were awesome. We had plans in Raleigh on Saturday evening and we headed that way early afternoon. Before heading to dinner, we had a little happy hour at Vivace complete with wine and a delicious cheese plate. We had the best time hanging out.
We didn’t want to leave but we needed to head back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We had reservations at Second Empire, an amazing restaurant that we love but haven’t been in years. I didn’t snap in pictures at dinner because I really just wanted to enjoy my time with the husband. It was an incredible dinner and I am so thankful for our date nights.
Sunday ended up being incredibly fun after a last minute decision to invite some friends over for pizza. The recipe for the dough requires a little time but it ended up being a great crust. One of the pizza was topped with mortadella, an Italian sausage that is studded with pistachios, as well as mozzarella, parmesan and a pistachio-oil drizzle. The other pizza was full of flavor with juicy pear slices, sweet dates, creamy burrata and crispy fried sage.
The pizzas were so different but super yummy. I will never get tired of pizza Sunday.
And now it’s back to the grind. This week is a busy one but I’m looking forward to a few dinners at home and a fun weekend that lies ahead.
Good morning, friends! I hope you all had a great weekend. Friday night was super low-key and we were definitely in bed before 9pm. I was up early on Saturday to teach a “Saturday Sweat” circuit and then I quickly beautified myself and headed out to a baby shower. Our group of friends is about half pregnant, half not at this moment. A few years ago it felt like we went to a wedding month, now it’s a baby shower a month. Saturday night we were absolutely spoiled and got treated to an amazing dinner with some fantastic wine.
Yesterday we enjoyed some fun in the sun before heading home for pizza night. Pizza Sunday is the best and I was super excited to bring it back after a few weeks of not “celebrating.” We went with a White Pizza that was loaded with cheese and fresh herbs and a garlic sauce that was soooooo good.
Unfortunately I had to leave off the burrata because it’s just not a cheese I can get my hands on around here and I left off the provolone but used a little more parmesan. You could use any herb you have in your garden and I ended up chopping some basil, parsley and thyme to sprinkle on top of our pizza pie.
And now I’m fueling with coffee and about to tackle the to-do list including menu planning, grocery shopping, preparing the workouts for the week and squeezing in a workout of my own.
Have a great week!
Don’t we all wish we were on a tropical island with palm trees, sunshine and drinks in coconuts?
Thankfully the fun weekend we just had will get me through today. My brother and sister-in-law were in town and we had an absolute blast. I still can’t believe how much we squeezed into the 36 hours there were here.
After they left yesterday, we headed out for a long walk because it was GORGEOUS here. Post-walk, we simple relaxed and enjoyed the day. Perhaps I even had a glass of wine.
We went back to our pizza tradition and put together a burrata breakfast pizza. But according to Big Guy we’re referring to it as the sausage, bacon and burrata pizza since we most definitely ate it for dinner and not breakfast. Though it would be a pretty amazing pizza to have with mimosas at about 11:30am on a Saturday or Sunday. Just saying.
I was able to find burrata at Trader Joes. Like I’ve mentioned before it’s a little more difficult to find but totally worth the search. It is the only cheese on the pizza and it’s truly cheesy and dreamy.
On top, eggs that are slightly runny. You can totally leave them off but we used quail eggs because we’re different and weird. But I love being different and weird – especially with pizza.
Make this week a good one!
Good morning, friends! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. The weather was beyond gorgeous here and we took advantage by spending lots of time outside. Friday night we had an easy, low-key night in (super delicious chicken dish coming your way this week) and on Saturday we went to Greenville for the spring football game (Pirates won! – hah) and lunch with Big Guy’s sister. Saturday night was full of so much delicious food and wine. Sunday morning involved a long walk and a social event at a local brewery. Obviously the day ended with pizza. And it was a good one.
We used our favorite crust recipe from Seriously Delish – I highly recommend this cookbook if not just for this recipe. But you can also find lots of deliciousness on her blog. The unbaked crust is topped with whipped ricotta which is simply ricotta that’s been whirled in the food processor until smooth. On top of the ricotta, lots and lots of mozzarella cheese. Then comes the sweetness. Dried cherries are soaked in red wine for the most glorious sweet and tart bite. Those sweet nuggets go on top of the mozzarella followed by cooked and crumbled Italian sausage and a final sprinkle of pistachios.
The flavor and ingredient combo is so unexpected but it’s so unbelievable perfect.
Sundays are so much better when there’s pizza.