Sourdough Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

A tasty-looking homemade pizza courtesy of Food Recipes (follow the link for an alternate pizza crust recipe!)

A tasty-looking homemade pizza courtesy of Food Recipes (follow the link for an alternate pizza crust recipe!)

I know, I know: pizza gets a terrible rap in America. It’s a big ol’ disk of greasy cheese and possibly a meat-like substance that your parents got when they didn’t want to cook dinner that night. Or what your high school or college got in order to lure unsuspecting students to an event. You can get good pizza, but it involves going to a restaurant somewhere and spending a bit more than you probably want because it’s a pizza for crying out loud  (this is not to say that pizza from fancy restaurants is not delicious–we just have a stigma). And don’t even get me started on the whole “artisanal” pizza thing.  

But I have seen the light.  Today, I am here today as a pizza-missionary, seeking to cure our starved pizza-culture. Believe it or not, you can make good pizza at home. I am by no means a pizza-expert–nay, merely an amateur–but I have learned this: it all starts with the crust. 

Delicious Ramen From Scratch

misoRamen

Having successfully and single-handedly dispelled the myth that college students live off of ramen, I have a confession to make: I straight up love ramen. I haven’t had any store-bought noodles for a long while because they’re really not healthy, but they’re so warm and salty it’s hard to resist.

So, naturally, I have been looking for homemade ramen recipes to replace the prepackaged stuff while still getting my noodle fix. After months of searching and many failed attempts, I have finally found it. 

Dear Sunday morning pancakes,

Pancakes and Sunday morning go hand-in-hand.

Pancakes and Sunday morning go hand-in-hand.

You combine two things I love most: Sunday morning, and pancakes. What’s especially good is that I didn’t have to do any cooking. So really, you combine three things I love most: Sunday morning, pancakes and having someone else do all the work.

You’re fluffy and delicious. You make waking up early on the weekend worth it (maybe I woke up late, but who cares?). All anyone needs is a slab of butter, some really good maple syrup and a short stack. My personal favorite is Kodiak Cakes. On these days, carbs don’t matter, overeating doesn’t matter, oversweetening doesn’t matter, hell the world doesn’t matter. All there is, is pancakes and joy.

Until next Sunday.

Love,
A

Sometimes, you need to take a backseat and let someone else make you pancakes.

Sometimes, you need to take a backseat and let someone else make you pancakes.

Dear chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting,

I have to say that making these cupcakes meant more than a treat. This adventure ended with a true appreciation of the ease of baking.

Much of my life, I avoided baking things because it ┬áseemed so difficult. Maybe you’ve been there: You’re on your own for the first time and your only objective is to save all the dollars you can. So whatever is considered ‘excessive’ is immediately off the list (granted, the concept of excessive is wildly subjective). For me, anything beyond basic nutrition was not in the realm of possibility. That meant any baking adventure came with a high bill: Buying pans, aluminum foil, parchment paper, flour, eggs, milk and so on really adds up if you buy it all at once.

That translated to baking = expensive, so I won’t do it often. It’s just not my thing. After spending a few more years on the planet (and slowly accumulating baking tools), the habit of ‘every day items’ finally manifested. And as I pulled out ingredients from my pantry this weekend, I began to muse on this: I smiled at the idea that I decided to make cupcakes on a whim. I was excited that I didn’t need to go to the store for anything (even the frosting!). I thought about each baking tool I used and when I bought it, why I bought it, who I bought it with.

So really, the chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting represented more than just a desire to devour delicious, chocolatey goodness: It’s a milestone in my budding baking life. The foundation has been laid, now it’s time to build the house.

Thanks cupcakes, you’re the best.

Love,
A

Chocolate cupcakes!

Chocolate cupcakes!

Peanut butter frosting makes everything better.

Peanut butter frosting makes everything better.

Dear kale chips,

I’ll be frank: You’re not my favorite. The kale fad is overdone.

But nothing beats a good bowl of homemade kale chips. It’s idiot-proof so I know I can do it. Chop them up, toss in some olive oil, add some salt and pop them in the oven. If you’re like me, you put enough salt and oil so that the kale taste is barely there. OK kale, we can still be friends.

Love,
A

Home made kale chips!

Home made kale chips!

Dear chocolate chip Oreo cookies,

Chocolate chip cookies with Oreo crumbles

Chocolate chip cookies with Oreo crumbles

I started on this sugary path to you when I found a coupon for a free package of Oreos at the grocery store. And for some reason, my brain thought, ‘What can I make with these?’

Forget that Oreos are good enough, sweet enough, delicious enough, diet-busting enough on their own, but I had the urge to use them on a grander palate of cookiedom. What resulted was cookie Inception.

Since I’m still kind of a newbie, my cookies looked a little different and came out crunchier, but they were still a hit at the office. I’ll take that.

Love,
A

Dear stuffed French toast,

Maple syrup French toast stuffed with bacon.

Maple syrup French toast stuffed with bacon.

In culinary jungle known as breakfast, French toast is one of the kings. And the only way to make something delicious like that better is to stuff it with more delicious things. On New Year’s Day, I grabbed a couple slices of bread, this recipe and made incredible French toast drenched in maple syrup, filled with apples and covered in bacon.

Pair it with a cozy cup of coffee and you have yourself a wintery morning breakfast.

Love,
A