Thing have been a little busy recently around the Mo’Pies kitchen. Or, more accurately, I have been busy, and the kitchen hasn’t really been used for much baking. I really do feel like it’s been ages, but somehow my time has been sucked up by social activities, and work, and running. I signed up for the Houston Marathon, so I have been spending a lot more time putting miles behind me recently. I also finally bought that DSLR I’ve been meaning to get for ages, and I love it. The pictures of the pizza party were taken with that camera.
I’ve also been apartment-hunting. The currently Mo’Pies kitchen is actually my parent’s kitchen, which is nice because it is big and fully stocked and I don’t pay rent for it, but is lame because it is my parent’s kitchen. But the Mo’Pies kitchen is moving! My fashionable friend Emma (you may remember her for wearing scarves in the middle of summer) and I have a lovely new apartment with a lovely kitchen that I plan to take advantage of.
Things have certainly been baked/cooked in the Mo’Pies kitchen recently- things like Jaques Torres chocolate chip cookies (I took pictures and may blog about this sometime soon), Chocolate Pound Cake from ACC (coming soon in a different blog post), watermelon arugula salad with serrano vinaigrette (there were slices of pickled watermelon rind on that one) and coffee and chipotle rubbed pork tenderloin with a chipotle dill sauce, garnished with chocolate covered pomegranate arils (I didn’t make the last two- those were made for me in my kitchen and were fantastic). I also threw a pizza party.
Pizza is one of the greatest foods in the entire world. Since the current Mo’Pies kitchen has two ovens, I decided to take advantage and throw a pizza party before I no longer have access. So I told my friends to bring their favorite toppings- I’d take care of the pizza dough and sauce.
I made two different types of pizza dough. One was my go-to pizza dough recipe from allrecipes.com: Valentino’s Pizza Crust. I’ve made this a number of times and been very satisfied. The other is a recipe that my coworker Bill gave me, and I think it’s my new go-to. It was really good (thanks, Bill). I ended up making another batch of this one.
Bill also gave me a pizza sauce recipe. It was also good, but not my favorite sauce (sorry, Bill). That said, I didn’t pay much attention to the sauce, because the toppings were great.
We ended up making six pizzas:
Pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, peppers, etc:
“Israeli Pizza” olives and Hal’s home-grown carrot peppers.
Tim’s Pizza- Tim had a pizza like this somewhere once and recreated it for our party. There was a thin layer of olive oil over the dough, then prosciutto, artichoke hearts and basil, topped with mozzarella.
The everything-left-over pizza: we had enough dough for one more pizza, and a lot of leftover toppings. Everyone was stuffed from all the pizza we had eaten, but we decided to make this one and I sent it home with friends. I don’t even know what was on this pizza- we just threw everything onto it and hoped for the best. It looked pretty great in the end.
I know pizza and beer is standard, but Jeff brought a great bottle of red wine that was fantastic. Apparently Marco’s boss suggested this winery, Pali, when the guys went up to the Santa Barbara area for wine tasting. They found it in the “Wine Ghetto” of Lompoc and the guys brought back a case. It was great wine- I was sad to see the end of that bottle.
For dessert I made two different kinds of ice cream. Having made Nutella Peanut Butter Chip ice cream, I decided to try some new flavors: Cinnamon Bun and Vanilla Mocha Fudge Swirl. The Vanilla Mocha Fudge Swirl gave me quite a headache- the recipe (which is actually Hazelnut, not Vanilla) calls for making coffee-infused whipped cream. This sounds really awesome, but despite my attempts to whip the cream, it wouldn’t work.
I’ve never infused whipped cream with coffee before. The recipe has you boil the whipping cream and add coffee grinds. Cool it down, strain it to remove the grinds, and let it chill in the fridge. Then you whip it.
That stuff does not whip. I’m not sure what exactly went wrong here- maybe the heating process ruined the whip-ability. Maybe I didn’t let it chill in the fridge long enough. I’m not terribly versed on these things, unfortunately. But the points is, it didn’t work! I ended up just whipping the cream and adding coffee to the chocolate-and-sweetened-condensed-milk mixture, which made it thinner than I would have liked (despite my attempts to boil off a lot of the water). It turned out ok, but I would like to try it again to fix the issues. Like the chocolate pieces sinking to the bottom, or the whipped cream- I really want to make coffee-infused whipped cream! While researching my problems, I found someone who was trying to make lavender-infused whipped cream- how awesome would that be?
We couldn’t finish all the ice cream because we were too full from the pizza. All and all, this was a fantastic night. Good times, with good friends, good food, and good wine. I couldn’t ask for anything better.