Saturday, October 22, 2011

Birthdays, Baking & Other Things

It has been a while since my last post! First of all, on October 7th I turned 10 years old & it was a totally fab day! It started with me opening my parcel sent by my love, Wiggle the Dog, all the way from England:
 I got this official Squirrel Patrol tag from Wiggle, which I now proudly wear & has kept those pesky squirrels at bay.
 He also gave me this (as he described it) "roundish, fluffly thing" which turned out to be a silly smiling toy which I take great pleasure in whapping:
 Thank you, Wiggle! xx
 Then at lunchtime, mom put me in the car & drove me to the most fabulous place in the universe, Dick's Drive In on Holman Road! Mom stood in line to order while I waited impatiently in the car.
 I was so excited I was all a blur!
 Mom also took a little video of me being sung Happy Birthday to & eating my birthday fries, which Dick's Drive posted on their facebook page! Lots of people saw me enjoying my birthday treats.

Yesterday we celebrated Shadow & Slinky's 13th birthday. Since mom is not sure when their exact birthday is she just estimated, as they were 7 weeks old when they were adopted from the Seattle Animal Shelter in December, 1998. They got lots of these nommy little treats (that also freshen their breath, that sneaky mom, BOL!) and then they had a catnip bash which is mom dumping a bunch of catnip around & letting them roll around in it in a very silly manner. Shadow actually fell asleep on some catnip & was snoring loudly & happily. This is Shadow, who is very lazy, even for a cat:
 And this is his brother Slinky, who is still in remission from his cancer (yay!)
 Today is very warm, rainy & windy so mom decided it was a good day to make her favorite pizza, a pear, gorgonzola cheese, walnut & red onion one. Here it is!
Making pizza from scratch is very easy & takes about as long as it would if you ordered delivery! Most can be made in about 30 minutes or so & it's fun to do! A pizza stone is very helpful, but if you don't have one you can use a terra cotta planter base turned upside down, which is what mom does. Here is the recipe:

Pizza Dough
2/3 C warm water
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 package or 2 & 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1 & 1/2 C. flour (mom uses half whole wheat & half white)
1/4 C cornmeal

Put stone in oven & preheat to 500F or 260C

Put sugar & yeast in the warm water & let sit for about 7 minutes, until you see the yeast foaming. In a bowl mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, & garlic powder. Add the yeast mixture & mix until it forms a ball. Put on a floured surface & knead for about 10 minutes, kneading in more flour if it seems too sticky, until it's smooth & elastic feeling.  Let rest for a few minutes, then roll out to a 12 to 14 inch circle.

Grease a cookie sheet with olive oil & dust heavily with cornmeal. Put dough circle on cookie sheet, place on stone & bake for five minutes, & then take out of oven. You are now ready to add toppings!

For the Toppings:
Brush pre-baked crust with olive oil, then sprinkle on sea salt.
Add grated mozzarella cheese (about 1 & 1/2 C)
Sprinkle with gorgonzola cheese or bleu cheese (if using gorgonzola, go light - a little goes a long way!)
Then add thinly sliced red onion (about 1/3 of an onion)
Add 1/2 to 3/4 of a very ripe, thinly sliced pear
Top with chopped walnuts, then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil & sprinkle a little more salt.

To Bake:
Gently slide off cookie sheet directly onto the pizza stone (since you've alreay pre-baked it a little this is easy to do) & cook for about 7 minutes or until the edges are browning. Slide the cookie sheet under the pizza to remove from the oven. Let cool for several minutes on the cookie sheet, then cut & enjoy!


Lucy the Lab said...

Hmmm comments not working?

Wiggle said...

I love your little update! And I especially love the first photo with your tail all blurry and waggy!
Love always, your best boy, your Wiggle xxXXxx

Shuggs said...

That looks like a delicious pizza!