Weekend Things

Wow, these May weekends have been so good to us so far!  This one was maybe extra good because it included warm weather and after Thursday’s snow (HOW??), it felt positively thrilling to be out and about in short sleeves.  We even ate dinner outside last night!!!  Plus I got to soak up lots of mom time and honestly, moms are just the best ♥

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We might be back in our Friday night Rockies game groove finally!  We ate dinner at home beforehand and this little pup MUST be ours because he loves pizza too.  He stared at me longingly the entire time I ate and then I maybe gave him a teensy bite.  He gave me a teensy bite later, but not of pizza…  ANYWAY, the game was basically a blowout and we left mega-early after Joey ate Dippin’ Dots and decided he was both cold and confident the Rox would win.

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Saturday started with the Cystic Fibrosis Walk and wow, this was easily the best weather we’ve ever had for it!  Joey even got a nice sunburn.  We went to Katie and Andrew’s for a BBQ afterward and I maybe ate a dip with Fritos mixed in.  Who am I? 😛  We were back home by 2ish and I ran to the grocery while Joey rested from his 10 mile run that morning!  We briefly considered putting those groceries to use, but going out sounded way more fun, so off to the brand newly-opened Pistol Whip we went.  The good news is, the restaurant is beautiful, the menu has lots to offer and the staff is friendly.  The bad news is all the food fell flat for us.  Nothing was properly seasoned, cocktails tasted watered down and the burger was overcooked.  Might be worth trying again, but we’ll see.  We started Burning when we got home and only made it halfway — it’s BEAUTIFUL but slow so far.

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Mother’s Day!  I thought I had it all under control because I made a brunch reservation weeks ago and then two days before, I found out it was actually a brunch BUFFET for $58/person.  So we re-worked out plan and went to Great Scott’s instead and you know what?  It all worked out!  All of us (less Wayne and Adam) went putt-putting after and even though no one took Joey down — he always wins and is truly insufferable when he does — it was still the most fun!  I came in second, so I feel pretty good about it all.

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Back at home, we made salads for the week — LOVE a Cobb — and Joey did some work in our garage while I “read,” and by that I mean I did my nails with my Kindle next to me but turned off 😛  We made what’s becoming one of our favorite meals — one-pan baked salmon with green beans and smashed potatoes — for dinner and, like I said, ate it outside.  Joey had this little GOT set up going and it was my FAVORITE!!!

IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED GOT, STOP READING NOW.

As for that episode… THANK YOU FOR A DAYTIME BATTLE!!!  I thought it looked incredible and I actually loved much of it — the Varys scene, the Hound/Arya scene, Cleganebowl, even the Jamie/Cersai stuff — but that Dany stuff made NO SENSE.  Yes, the show has hinted at a “Mad Queen” turn for the entire series, but her ruthlessness and intensity has always been balanced out (if not fully canceled out) by her genuine empathy and kindness.  I’m NOT about this.  Still managed to highly enjoy myself during this episode, though maybe not quite as much as Joey, who laughed SO HARD over that Qyburn scene.  What did everyone else think??

Cast-Iron Skillet Pizza, aka The Very Best Pizza-Making Method

On March 2, 2016, we made our very first cast-iron skillet pizza and life has never been the same.  Okay, maybe that’s dramatic, but then again, maybe it’s not!  This is by far, my favorite pizza we’ve ever made and I am delighted EVERY SINGLE TIME we do so.  The crust is thick but perfectly crispy on the bottom, the cheese is melt-y and golden-brown in places and brushing the hot crust with a little spicy honey is maybe the best pizza-making discovery I’ve ever made.

All this being said, the whole process moves sort of fast and until literally yesterday, I’d never not had pizza-making anxiety the entire time.  I’ve got it down now, so I feel qualified to coach you through it.  Here’s how!

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First, take out your dough and set it on a floured surface (it’s easier to work with when it’s room temp), make sure you have an oven rack in the center of your oven and preheat to the hottest temperature it will go (really!).  Now, grate your cheese, mix some honey, chili flakes and just enough water to thin it out and make it brush-able and tear a good handful of basil leaves.

While your oven is heating, start working your pizza dough.  I personally like to give it a stretch, then let it rest, then give it another stretch, then another rest, and repeat that until it’s big enough to fully fill your cast-iron skillet.  Dough, I find, does not like to be rushed.  Same, dough, same.

Once your dough is stretched and your oven is fully heated, put your flour, cornmeal, olive oil, salt & pepper and pizza sauce next to the stove and preheat your cast-iron over medium-high.  Let it get nice and hot (if it’s smoking, it’s too hot!) then quickly sprinkle with a pinch of flour and like the tiniest amount of cornmeal (I understand the strategy with cornmeal but I do not like tasting those little raw beads of cornmeal so I truly keep it to a minimum).  Drape your dough in the pan, then brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Let your dough cook until bubbles start to form on top.  Once you see those bubbles, spread the pizza sauce over the ENTIRE surface of the dough.  It’ll caramelize into the crust and taste amazing!  Top generously with shredded cheese (mozzarella is our favorite but anything shredded works) and slid the whole pan into the oven.

Cook for 10ish minutes, but keep on eye on it.  The cheese will really bubble, which is FINE, but it will start to turn golden fast and once that happens, it’s time to take the pizza out.  Slide the pizza onto a cutting board and brush the hot honey all over the crust.  Let it sit for 5ish minutes (harder than it sounds!), then top with the basil and admire your work.  Maybe take a picture because IT LOOKS MAGNIFICENT, then slice it up and devour.

YOU GOT THIS!