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Entries in Bread (34)


Something Simple - Honey, Cinnamon and Clove Pizza

Today I wanted to present to you a combo – something that is both simple AND pizza. I also wanted to depart a bit from the dinner time pizza and give to you - Lo and BEHOLD! - a dessert pizza!

WHaaaaaat? Pizza for dessert? What madness is this? It's not madness, it's good sense people. Even though it's coming from me.

This is a great pizza to make for a simple dessert or even as a little appetizer for a brunch.

What You Need:

Pizza dough (made or bought)

Honey (you can use a flavored honey if you want - go nuts!)

Ground cinnamon (a healthy sprinkle)

Ground cloves (a smaller sprinkle)

What To Do:

Preheat your oven with pizza stone to 500 degrees for at least a half an hour.

While your oven is heating up, roll out your dough and place it on your pizza peel (that has been sprinkled with semolina flour or cornmeal for easy in-and-out-of-oven transfers). Drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Sprinkle with cloves.

Put it in the oven.

NOTE: This is going to smell incredible. Like cinnamon heaven. Resist the urge to open the oven door and put the piping hot pizza in your mouth. Whole. Because you will want to.

Remove pizza after about 10 minutes, or when the crusts are golden-brown and the topping is bubbling. Let it rest for a minute or two before you dive in: hot honey is HOTTTTT. Like really hot. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Prepare for amazingness.

But WAIT! To make it even more wonderful, drink this wine with it (thanks to our friends at Astor Wines for the recommendation):

It's Sparkling Blanc "Ze Bulle", Zéro Pointé – 2009, and if this appeals to you (I don't see why it wouldn't) you can find it here.

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Pizza

Remember on Monday when we made caramelized onions? Your apartment/kitchen/house might be starting to lose the onion smell by now. DON'T PANIC!! You saved those onions, right? Ok, good. Now, we are going to put them on a pizza. With some gruyere cheese.

A few words about this pizza before we begin.

I LOVE it. Ridiculously. I look for excuses to make it. And I force it on others too. It's very endearing, I'm told. I was first inspired to make this pizza when I had the caramelized onion and gruyere grilled cheese sandwich at the West Village watering hole, Wilfie & Nell. They are quite well known for this particular grilled cheese, and I think they do a bang-up job on it. I loved it. And it seems to me that anything that is good in grilled cheese form is also good in pizza form.

One of the wonderful things about this pizza is that the onions (already caramelized - you held back on the stirring them like a maniac, right?) get nice and crispy as they are baking in the oven on the pizza. Very much like thin cut onion rings. So when the whole thing is done, you get this amazing combination of gooey and salty (cheese) and sweet and crispy (onions). Pile that onto a nicely toasted pizza dough and I don't know what else you could ask for. Maybe some wine (see the end of the post for Astor Wine's recommendations).

John had this to say about it: I absolutely love this pizza. The sweet, nutty Gruyere, which is also a great melting cheese, maintains its flavor well even when scorched. It really kicks some tag team ass with the sliced, stringy and cooked onions.  It's a powerful, yet not overwhelming combo. It also just looks and sounds like a million bucks, which has to add some value if you're looking to impress somebody.

What you will need (to impress people):

Pizza dough (made or bought)

Gruyere cheese (I like a nice aged one, like THIS ONE from Murray's Cheese - thanks for the rec, Murray's!)

Caramelized onions (already made - recipe here)

Olive oil

Sea salt (or if you are feeling adventurous black truffle salt)

What to do:

Heat up your oven (with pizza stone or cookie sheet) to 500 degrees for about a half hour before you drop the hotness in there. While things are heatin' up, roll out your pizza dough on a peel (utilizing a little cornmeal or semolina flour underneath so your dough doesn't stick to the peel). Drizzle some olive oil on top of your rolled out dough. Throw on some Gruyere cheese (not too much!) and then top with your caramelized onions. Sprinkle with salt.

Pop it in the oven for about 10 minutes. This is a loose time estimate, though, so keep an eye on it. It will be done with the cheese is bubbling, the onions get really toasty and the edges of your pizza crust are toasting a nice amber color.

Take it out and let it chill for a minute or two (if you can) before you slice and eat!

What to Drink:

On a whim, I tweeted Astor Wines and asked them what you should all drink with this fabulous pizza. They have helpfully offered us three fantastic recommendations, and here they are:

1. Côtes du Jura Blanc, Jean Bourdy - 2005

2. Gewürztraminer, Elena Walch - 2008

3. P'tit Rouquin " Les Vins Contés" VdT, O. Lemasson - 2009

I went with the Geurztraminer, both because it's named after me, and it's from Italy. Which means pizza, right?. Perfect recommendations!

Something Simple from a Goat Shepherd Extraodinaire!

On one of my walks through the Union Square Green Market, I encountered a certain goat cheese vendor. It's a dairy, actually, called Patches of Star Dairy. They specialize in goat cheese. Elly mans the booth in the market, and is very knowledgeable. In fact, the position listed on Elly's business card is "Goat Shepherd Extraodinaire." That's fancy.

I would like to be something "Extraordinaire". I'm open to suggestions if you have any.

Anyway, I think Elly's title is fitting. She must be doing something right, as the goat cheese she sells is excellent. I have tried two varieties: lightly salted and cranberry almond with honey (pictured below).

This is the flavor I used to create the above dish: Mini Pizzas with Cranberry Almond Goat Cheese, Grilled Zucchini and Pecans. And it's very easy. Here's how:


1 Pizza dough (make it or buy it)

1 green zucchini

1 yellow zucchini

goat cheese from Elly

handful of pecans

What to do:

Heat up your oven (and pizza stone if you're using one. I used a cookie sheet this time, but either will do) to 500 degrees F. Roll out the pizza dough. Then with a cookie cutter, cut the dough into little rounds as if you were making cookies.

Place the little guys on the cookie sheet.

Slice up your zucchini into thin rounds. Heat some olive oil in a grill pan (if you have one, if not a frying pan will do, but you won't get those pretty "grill lines"). Throw in your zucchini rounds and grill for a few minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.

Spread some of the extraordinary goat cheese on your cookie-style pizza doughs, layer with zucchini (just two or three rounds per mini pizza) and top with a couple of pecans. Drizzle some olive oil over them, and pop 'em in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Take 'em out and eat 'em.

Recipe – Maple Bacon Scones

I'm assuming you're all swimming in sweet bacon, having made it over the weekend on our suggestion. If you're not, I'm hoping you've eaten it all.

What to do with alllllll that extra sweet bacon (if I had a nickel for every time I've said this....)?

When life gives you extra sweet bacon, you say "thank you!" and then you make maple bacon scones!

Here is the recipe:


*Note: this recipe is modified from Epicurious. I added the bacon.

3 cups all purpose flour
4 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup (or more) plus 6 tablespoons whipping cream
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
your fabulous 12 strips of sweet bacon (already cooked) that you've cut into little pieces.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk flour, 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl to blend.

Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Stir 1/2 cup whipping cream and 1/2 cup maple syrup in small bowl to blend.

Gradually add cream mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until dough comes together and adding more cream by tablespoonfuls if dough is dry.

Add in the bacon pieces and mix until incorporated.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead dough gently until smooth, about 5 turns. Using floured hands, pat out dough to 8-inch round; cut dough into 8 wedges. Transfer wedges to baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.

Bake scones until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool.

I brought these babies to work to feed the animals there, and they were promptly gobbled up. I did get one suggestion for adding more bacon, and I really couldn't argue with it. I generally think more bacon is a good idea, but I will leave it up to your judgment as to how much bacon you would like to add.

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