Tuesday, February 2, 2016

PIZZA!! PIZZA!! Truffled Patate Pizza Recipe

I LOVE Pizza! Yes, it is one of my favorite foods. It also reminds me of Italy which is one of my favorite places to travel. I first went to Italy when my husband lived there while stationed in the Air Force and then later had the opportunity to tour there a few times with the Ririe Woodbury Dance Company. It's a beautiful country and the food, the food, is just so amazing.

In my opinion, the next best thing to traveling to Italy, is eating pizza! I'm not the only pizza lover out there of course. Did you know there is an International Pizza Expo held in Las Vegas? Sadly however, even though I would love to go, it's not open to the public because it is a professional trade show. I found out about the show from Vegas.com as they are the official host city. So if a trip to Italy isn't in the cards for you this year (with a young toddler it will be a while before I get back to Europe!), maybe a trip to Vegas could be on your list with a stay at one of the Italian themed hotels. Vegas.com asked if I would come up with a pizza idea inspired by one of their hotels. So of course I chose the Italian themed hotel The Palazzo! If you want to check out more of the Italian themed hotels in Las Vegas head on over to Vegas.com and their fantastic hotel section. To check out The Palazzo and more Las Vegas Hotels head on over to their website: www.vegas.com/resorts

This pizza recipe is similar to one I've made in the past, except I've revised the recipe to make it even easier and less expensive to make! In my other recipe, I used Yukon gold potatoes sliced thinly on a mandolin, real truffle oil, rosemary-garlic infused olive oil, and goat cheese. You can use all the above in this recipe and follow the same instructions! I'll make that pizza again sometime and blog it with those ingredients. In this revised version, I'm using organic Yukon gold hash browns, truffle oil spray, and dried oregano.

There is something magical in my opinion about the pairing of Yukon gold potatoes, Fontina, and truffle oil. Yes, this is a dish with a lot of carbs, but if you are going to have the calories, do it with high quality ingredients an enjoy. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 Truffled Patate Pizza

For the dough:
-Store bought or homemade 
(I used this recipe from America's Test Kitchen for my dough)
For the pizza topping:
  1. 1 16oz bag frozen organic Yukon gold hashed browns (cook following directions on package)
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3.  1 tsp. dried oregano
  4. 2 cloves minced garlic
  5. 2-3 sprays of Truffle flavored liquid spice (or 1-2 TBSP Truffle oil), to taste
  6. 2 cups Fontina cheese, shredded 
  7. 2 cups arugula
  8. 2 TBSP shredded Parmesan
  9. Freshly ground pepper, to taste

To make the dough, follow the instructions on the package or your individual recipe. 
To make the pizza, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat to 450-500 F, or according to the dough you are using. (If you don't have a pizza stone you can use a sheet pan).
Measure the olive oil into a small bowl. Add in the oregano, garlic and 1-2 sprays of the truffle oil liquid spice (or 1 tablespoon real truffle oil). Set olive oil mixture aside.
Roll the pizza dough to a 12-inch round. Brush the olive oil mixture all around the dough. Arrange 1 cup of the fontina cheese, followed by the cooked hashed browns, and the remaining cup of cheese. Transfer pizza to stone and bake until dough is crisp and potatoes are golden, about 8-10 minutes (this may vary depending on the crust you used, etc so just be sure to watch the oven!). Remove from oven and top pizza with arugula and about 2 TBSP shredded Parmesan. Return to oven for about 2-3 min. just to melt the Parmesan cheese and slightly wilt the arugula. Once removed from the oven, spray or drizzle the pizza with more truffle oil to taste. Slice into triangles and serve! 

You can check out my truffled pasta recipe based on this pizza here:
Truffled Pasta with Potatoes and Arugula

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Happy New Year 2016 + White Chocolate Apricot-Pistachio-Espresso cookies you NEED to make!!

Happy New Year 2016! Another year has gone by and I cannot believe it! I have been pretty absent from this blog again and that is because I have been enjoying every minute I can with my toddler. She finally has been sleeping better at night and taking somewhat longer naps during the day. I feel less like a walking zombie in the daytime, since we both are getting more sleep. Yay! While becoming a parent has certainly been the hardest job I've ever had, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Watching a tiny human everyday learn and grow is incredibly fascinating to me.

I'm hoping to add a feature on the blog for 2016 that includes a few posts about my favorite baby finds over the last year. There is SO much "stuff" out there marketed towards babies and parents. Some things are great and are really helpful and then there is just "stuff" that you don't really need. I found myself turning to blogs for some help when I was pregnant so I hope to do the same for new moms and parents. We'll see if it happens, it is on my to-do list!

I don't make new years resolutions, it's just not my style. Instead I make cookies! I made these cookies earlier this year and they are AMAZING! They were so good I had to make them to leave out for Santa Claus this year (lucky guy!). This recipe is adapted from the famous Seattle Macrina Bakery (I've never been but it is on my visit list). The hardest thing about this recipe is that you have to let the dough sit for an hour or overnight before baking. Do it though! Don't skip this step because it gives the cookies a fantastic buttery taste. So just make sure you plan ahead and know that you may not get to taste these cookies until the next day!

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground espresso or coffee
  • 10 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup unsulfured dried apricots, diced
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso in a medium bowl. Mix with a whisk until evenly distributed. Add white chocolate chips, apricot bits, pistachios and mix well. Set aside.
  • Combine the butter and sugars in a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and pale in color. Add 1 egg at a time, mixing until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then add the vanilla. Continue mixing until butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla are all incorporated (about 1 minute). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions. Mix on low speed for no more than 1 minute. Remove bowl from mixture and do a final mix with a rubber spatula.
  • Remove from bowl and chill for at least one hour or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  • Scoop dough with a medium-sized ice cream scoop to form 1-inch balls. Leave at least an inch and a half around each cookie to allow for some spreading.
  • Bake cookies for 15-18 minutes, turning about halfway to ensure even baking. Cookies should be golden at the edges but soft in the middle.
  • These cookies will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container. 
    Cookies for Santa along with a shot of Nespresso and Reindeer Food :)  
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