Feb 25, 2010

This No-Name Delicious Pizza.

Wait -- I realize that these two first paragraphs dont have anything to do with pizza. Okay, you can keep on reading now :) 
I have TWO more books left (12 & 13) before i finish... [edit: daniel said i never mentioned what book i was reading. siiiiilllly me. its 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' by Lemony Snicket. unedit.] i can't yet say if reading that series has been a total waste of time. I will tell you once I know how it ends. And THEN I will also need a new series to start. [any suggestions?] I always love to be reading something.

In addition to those two books, I need to finish 'Till We Have Faces' & 'Wuthering Heights' before March 11th. Which is when my library is wanting them back. And I have $9.85 currently in fines. I can't go 15 more cents over or they take away my book reading privileges. OR i have to rummage through my purse for a quarter. I guess there are worse things.

This weeks soooo yummy eggplant & mozzarella pizza is brought to you by The Pioneer Woman. Really...I love her. I have tried probably a dozen of her recipes so far, and they have all been awesomely delicious. AND...this is the best part...Daniel said it was the very best pizza he's ever had and is convinced we need to make it once a week for the rest of forever. Maybe not that often. But Daniel loved a pizza -- with no meat in it. The end.

Here is what you need:
  • 1 Trader Joe's Pizza Crust or you can get a recipe for one here along with the rest of this recipe. And see her picture. All I have to say is that she actually has natural light in her kitchen. *jealous*
  • 1 whole Large Eggplant (I used half, but would probably use a little more next time)
  • Kosher Salt, For Sprinkling
  • 1 pint Grape Tomatoes
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced (p.s. a clove is one tiny piece of garlic. not the whole thing. umm, but no. i've never done that)
  • 8 ounces of Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced Thin
  • ½ cups Parmesan Cheese
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil For Drizzling
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
no. 1 Preheat your oven broiler & place your pan or pizza stone in oven.
no. 2 Slice the eggplant thinly. Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and place into a strainer in the sink. Allow to sit for 20 to 30 minutes. I can't tell you if this realy does anything or not. I'll probably research it later. Because I do things like that in my free time. All I know is that it turned out yummy. So did it hurt anything? Nooooooo. 
no. 3 (Whilst you wait) Pull out your pizza pan, roll out dough and place on hot pan. Drizzle with olive oil.
no.4  Slice grape tomatoes in half lengthwise and toss into a bowl with the minced garlic & thinly slice mozzarella. 
no. 5 Rinse your eggplant slices lightly in cold water, pat dry between layers of paper towels.
no. 6 Cut eggplant slices into fourths, and toss with olive oil. Arrange on a baking sheet and place 8 inches under the broiler. Broil for 3 minutes, then toss around and broil another 3 minutes. 
no. 7 Remove pan from oven and add tomato/garlic mixture. (whoops. I added everything in at once. Because IIII'M not good with reading directions. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove and set aside. (she says you can also do this about an hour or so in advance if you'd like)
no. 8 Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
no. 9 Lay mozzarella slices over the surface of the dough. Spread vegetables all over the surface of the cheese. Top with Parmesan cheese.
no. 10 Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

Feb 21, 2010

there is a difference...

between dishwashing soap and liquid. Or...wait. Maybe I'm still a little confused. All I know is that i have made a terrible, horrible mistake between the two somehow.

tip no. 1 - never add more of a supposed detergent just because you like the lavender smell of the soap. ummmmm no. bad idea.

tip. no. 2 - if you are going to bubble up your dishwasher, be sure you sweet parent-in laws are right around the corner to help you escape the mass of suds you've created.

because, i mean...this was only the beginning...

Feb 18, 2010

french press thursday.

We bought our first baby french press today.

He is beautiful.

And is basically like, our child, now. Since we don't even have a pet. just a bamboo stalk. And now our red Bodum french press :)

I also realize i said that i would be posting yummy recipes every thursday and i have a VERY good reason for posting nothing these past two weeks. Basically, they have been two weeks of lets-clear-all-of-the-food-out-of-the-fridge kind of weeks. And we've been very busy. And I've been not cooking QUITE so fabulous things. Well...thats a lie. We had amazing fondue Sunday night. But I can't talk about that right noooow because I smell delicious coffee in the other room!


Feb 13, 2010

our valentines story.

okay, so now that we're married, and this will be our third valentines day together, i think you all deserve to know how daniel and i really met. its unconventional. and its our love story :)

daniel and i met for the VERY first time at UNCC. i was not working as a college intern yet, but was 'head of advertising' which basically meant that i got volunteers to go out on campus with me with massive pales of chalk and we drew pretty pictures to advertise for different M28 events and such. Two of the people i was with in August of '07 both happened to know Daniel and introduced us. I thought he was soooo cute. and he was a drummer. I always had liked drummers. So we met and he told me about his band and how they had just gotten back from their tour that summer and we said goodbye and didn't talk for another 6 months.

THATS when i think some pictures from a girls trip we took to asheville showed up in his facebook newsfeed and he commented on the following pictures:

As well as a few others i couldn't find, but it was enough that you kind of start feeling obliged to respond to a person, you know? And he had asked questions about where we'd taken them and such, i didn't think there could be any harm in that. So we talked a little back and forth for about a week, and i woke up february 14th, and was like 'you know what, i think if i posted on my facebook status that someone should meet me at starbucks on my lunchbreak today - daniel would come.' which is SO unlike me, by the way. i've never done anything like that before. AND i also wasn't thinking that it was Valentines Day. No one believes me when I say that. So, i did it. And long story short, Daniel came :)

We obviously don't have any pictures from that first coffee date. We actually didn't have any pictures for several months afterwards either. And the starbucks we'd initially gone to has since closed. But the following Valentine's Day, we went back to the empty building where it had been and took a 'first date' picture. Kind of a 'he said she said' sort of thing.

She said (according to Daniel):

He said (haha. also according to Daniel):

ALSO on that Valentine's Day (the second one. the clarify), he told me he loved me and he's loved me ever so long and i told him i loved him to and then he texted his mom and my dad this:

And now on our THIRD Valentines Day, we will have been married 5 1/2 months. We've opted out of going out tomorrow evening. We're having a dress up night at home and will make fondue together. yum yum yum. But not before we visit a Starbucks first. And we've traditionally worn the same outfits the past two years. I think we'll shoot for a third? That may sound strange. Don't mind us. We're saps.

What are everyone elses plans for VDay? Family, out with the boy/husband etc?

Feb 10, 2010

letters from far away.

i love letters. pretty much anything other than bills in our little mailbox any more are wonderful, but letters from dear friends completely brighten my day. and this past week i received two!

a christmas note from my sweet friend seon ha.

and this fun origami note from sydney. the person. from phoenix. it was soooo hard to read! (there were little notes on every fold) but that made it even more exciting :)

These were not in the mail. But I also made little self portraits of us that don't really look like us a lot at all. I think i'm going to color them...what do you think?

Feb 4, 2010

Blueberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast.

what a mouth-full!

okay, and admit it. you thought i would forget to do this today, didn't you?

i'm still before midnight. so this definitely counts.

So anyways, this blueberry cream cheese stuffed french toast! (i'm working on a better name for it)  Regardless of the name, this is THE yummiest french toast EVER. Yes. Ever. Thank you pioneer woman or in this case, her community of food-makers at the tasty kitchen. I'm a huge fan.

Stuffed French Toast Goodness

your eggy mix
*4 eggs
*1/3 cup of heavy cream or 1/2 n 1/2
* 1 tsp. of orange zest (we were out of fruit this particular morning. except for lemons. so thats what i used)
*1/4 cup of orange juice
* 1/2 tsp of vanilla
*1/4 tsp of nutmeg
* 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
* 2 tbs of sugar
* 1/4 tbs of salt

frech toast stuffing
* 4 ounces of cream cheese
* 1/4 cup (or more!) of blueberries (those AREN'T blueberries in my picture. even though i'm calling them blueberry stuffed french toast. i told you i was out of fruit. we had frozen strawberries. improvisation is key with this recipe ;)
* 8 slices of bread
*2 tbs of butter

no. 1
lightly whisk eggs, cream, your choice of zest, juice, vanilla, nutmeg...okay, basically - your entire egg mixture together in a shallow baking dish (for dipping your toast)

no. 2
in a seperate bowl, mix together cream cheese and berry of your choice

no. 3
make four sandwiches with your yummy mix

no. 4
dip each of the sandwiches in the egg mixture. be sure to flip them. and cover all sides completely. let them set on a plate and soak in their yummy goodness while you prepare a skillet.

no. 5
heat your skillet over medium-low. this is where you're going to use your butter - or pam. i'd say use about 1/2 a tbs of butter per sandwich, if you decide to go that direction ;)

no. 6
cook 3-5 minutes on each side. you do NOT want cold cream cheese in the middle. eeeewwwwww.

and shaaaazam! you have delicious stuffed french toast that is better than any waiter at ihop could ever do for you. and you don't have to tip, either. well, your husband might want to in kisses. thats okay.

alrighty. off to bed. or...to read the ninth installment of 'a series of unfortunate events' tehehe.


Feb 3, 2010


this is one of many things daniel can do when he is waiting for me to come home from work :)