hawaiian pizza +

Last week, I emailed my good friend FG-S (married to the lovely Decently Domestic), in the hopes of recreating a meal we enjoyed during the Stanley Cup playoffs of 2012. We drank homemade beer, ate delicious pizza, and made fun of Bob Cole.

I wanted the dough recipe. Here is his response, cut-and-paste for your enjoyment:

Well… it’s never a defined thing but…
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons active yeast
a good blog of honey or a tablespoon of sugar
Slowly add in 1-2 cups of flour and mix thoroughly till consistent.
Add some salt, don’t go crazy but you’ll need some
Even more slowly, add in another 2-3 cups of flour.
If you want to, add in some “Mixins”, as they call they at Marble Slab… Garlic, chopped up sun-dried tomato, oregano, parmesan, whatever you want.
Either kneed by hand or with a mixer for about 10 minutes, the dough shouldn’t be sticky but should have elasticity…play it by ear
Grease up a large bowl with some sort of oil, plop in the dough and cover it all in saran wrap and leave it for about an hour


See why I love him so much?

too big for its britches — pick a bigger bowl than I did

I made the recipe last night. It makes two medium-large pizzas with a fairly thick crust. You could halve the recipe if you only want one pizza, or you want smaller pizza with thinner crust.

I added garlic powder and oregano, and used about 1/4 whole wheat flour.

When I took the saran wrap off after the rise, I needed to add more flour so that it wasn’t too sticky to work with. I tore it into two pieces and smushed it out into pizza shapes. It will rise significantly when you bake it, so you can spread it fairly thin.

I sauced ‘er up, then put on sliced ham, leaves of fresh basil, red onion, and green  pepper. I added a bit of freshly-grated mozzarella for glue, then added pineapple, pancetta, and green olives. Then I mounded half a pound of mozzarella on each pizza (minus the cheese I ate while I waited for the dough to rise) and sprinkled some garlic powder and oregano on top.

Bake for about 20 minutes in a 415 degree oven — check regularly.

Then devour in bed with red wine and disc one of Sex and the City season four (damn, Aidan).

oh mama

petits gamins

I was going to post about pulled pork tonight.

But. I am bad at timing. It won’t be coming out of the oven until 1:45 am.

So instead I am listening to country music and eating fruit. See?

this particular variety of fruit is rich in “sirop de glucose,” “sucre,” and “gelatine amidon modifié de mais” — all of which I am assuming are French vitamins.

In French, apparently, these are called petits gamins… or “little street urchins.” Really, French?

please, help yourself to some more orphans. (is this just a Quebec thing?)

Oh hey, also, cool thing I came across when uploading those photos: I caught a bass. Like, a fish.

AND THEN I ATE HIM. (but actually.)

So, sorry. That’s all I have for you. (Please don’t unsubscribe.)

meanwhile in europe

One of my best friends is bumming around Europe for the summer. Just because. Check out her blog and join me in my envy. It’s ok to hate her, just a little bit.

yeah just hanging out at a French castle built into a cliff.

And of course, when I say “bumming around Europe” I clearly mean “eating her way across the continent”:

uh, yum.

greek-ish salad, sort of

This isn’t exactly a Greek salad, so let’s call it… based on a Greek salad. Inspired by a Greek salad? Whatever you want to call it, it is summery, healthy, and delicious.

  • 4 medium tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 cucumber, cubed
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • italian herb mix
  • agave syrup (or if you don’t want to be a pretentious brat, maple syrup or honey or another sweetener)
  • salt and pepper

Combine everything in a bowl. For the olive oil, balsamic, herbs, sweetener, and s+p, you kind of just have to eyeball it… add a bit of everything, taste, adjust, taste again, repeat.

Stir it up and, if you have time, put it in the fridge for an hour or two to let the flavours come out. Then devour with something BBQ’d. (My favourite thing about this salad is how the avocado breaks down a little and coats everything, so it is a creamy dressing but still totally good for you.)

it is really hard to get fat eating this, but you can try.

parmesan-stuffed piglets

Sweet and salty. Cheese and bacon. What is not to love? These parmesan-stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates are super easy, super tasty, and will impress your dinner guests.

You need:

  • 15 pitted dates (Medjool are good, but whatever you have)
  • 5 strips of bacon, cut crosswise into thirds
  • 15 “matchsticks” of parmesan or romano cheese, about the size and shape of a date pit (see what I’m doing here?)

Fill that sad empty cavity where the date pit used to be with cheese morsel, the wrap the date with a third of a piece of bacon. Place on a baking sheet with the seam down.

get your piggies in a row.

Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes, turning periodically so they get evenly crispy. I do it in a toaster oven and it works brilliantly, but you’ll need to use your oven if you make a bigger batch. If I make a bigger batch I will eat a bigger batch, so.

Serve warm and humbly accept praise.

for some reason this picture won’t rotate (thanks, WordPress) so not only do these look delicious, but they look like they defy gravity. double plus good.


It was glorious.

The testosterone. The food. MIA flipping the bird.

Plus I was right and the Giants won.

We had a great Super Bowl party, complete with pounds of meat from a variety of animals, dripping in BBQ sauce. Also: hummus, baba ghanouj (however you spell it), caramelized onion dip, curry dip, chips of all kinds, veggies, apples with caramel-skor dip, Katie’s mystery dip, deadly mini-marshmallow squares, and… beer nuts. Which, I learned, have no beer in them.

Combine in a 12-inch skillet:

  • 2 cups roasted, salted peanuts
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water

peanut soup.

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. When the sugar syrup starts to go granular, this is your chance to add seasonings. I did one batch plain, and to the second batch, I added:

  • cinnamon and cayenne pepper to taste

Crank the heat to medium-high and stir constantly, as the sugar starts to caramelize. If the sugar starts to smoke or burn, you were too enthusiastic. Turn down the heat.


Once about 1/2 to 3/4 of the sugar is caramelized (so some of it still looks granular), remove from heat and spread on a greased or parchment paper-ed cookie sheet. Allow to cool for 30 minutes in your kitchen, or two minutes on your balcony in the midst of a Canadian winter.

go sit outside and think about what you did.

Once they’re hardened, you can bash the big clumps apart with a wooden spoon (it’s therapeutic). Store in an airtight container. Give them to your amigos and secure your rightful spot as favourite friend ever.

clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose

The Patriots' Rob Gronkowski brings back the old-school touchdown spike. Al Bello/Getty Images

I am “doing” the Superbowl this year. As in, I am actually paying attention for the first time ever. Giants! Patriots! Linebackers and tight-ends! Eli Manning? Tom Brady!

Okay, it mostly means I plan to cook stupid amounts of food based around blocks of cheese and pounds of meat and the glorious sound of a bubbling deep-fryer. (For inspiration, I am turning to one of my besties and her detailed list of game day recipes. You should too, here.)

Right now, everything I know about football I learned from Friday Night Lights, so my actual participation in the watching of the game will probably be limited to making snide comments about the players’ tattoos and facial hair. If I do get roped into a conversation about the actual game, I’ll have to refer to field positions by the names of the characters on the show.

Well hi there Tim Riggins.

To avoid having to refer to the fullback as “that position that the really cute drunk guy plays,” I’ve been doing scattered football research. I have found some amazing things. Here is your one-stop shop for random conversation starters for non-fans, if you get roped into watching the game on Sunday:

  • Tebowing, obviously.
  • Rob Gronkowski’s reinvention of the spike.
  • If you’re not into the game itself, check out this primer on the reasons for the outrageous costs of advertising during the game. (In a nutshell: “…nonfootball mass entertainment has been in a decades-long spiral of decline that was only temporarily halted by an ice-world knee-clubbing.” Brilliant. Except I don’t think the author takes into account the aura that surrounds a buying a spot during the big game. People google “Super Bowl ads” and then settle in for a long evening on YouTube.)
  • And then there’s this fun fact — Americans will devour 1.25 billion wings on Sunday… that’s about 312 million chickens for one day of feasting.

Now, when I say I’m doing the Superbowl for the first time, it’s a bit of a lie because there is one tradition that I have squarely participated in for years: the commercials. One of the few bad things about being Canadian is the fact that we don’t get the Amurrrrricahn commercials… so thank god for YouTube. My favourite from last year:

So anyway. Go…. Giants, I guess? I do love me an underdog. I call it for the Giants by 10, solely because I’m copying the DJ on Montreal’s 94.7 Hits FM.

come for the strip clubs, stay for the bagels

This episode of Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover makes me miss Montreal something terrible. Schwartz’s pickles, LARPers, and raw milk cheese. He clearly has good researchers.

He’s only wrong about one thing, which is why New Yorkers visit La Belle Province: “Because they want to get drunk, and they want to eat good <expletive deleted> food like this, out of a truck.” You forgot the rippers, Tony.

(Thanks to Goulet for the link. A brilliant way to spend 40 minutes on a Monday morning. Except now nothing in the fridge appeals to me, because I want a foie gras double-down from Joe Beef.)

the prodigal child returns

It’s freezing cold, but the snow finally arrived with two days to spare, so I will stop complaining about wanting a refund.

please hang on for two more days. iiiiiii'mmmmm dreaaaamming of a whiiiiiiite chriiiiistmas...

There have been a multitude of high points, and I still have more than a week at home. All the regular sappiness: family and friends, warm homes and hearts. But also:

the final minutes of the 28-hour journey takes me directly over the hills where I grew up. yes, you can see my house.

MONTREAL. enough said.

latte art at Cafe Neve.. yes that is a Ninja Turtle in my coffee. it's a Michelange-latte.


And of course, the joys of fast Internet connections, to bring us gems like this:

“PONIES?!?!” (via Goulet.)

Yesterday was winter solstice — time to celebrate the return of the light. Happy holidays to you and yours.