Pizza and Little Swimmy Things

We might have established a new Sunday night dinner tradition: homemade, individual pizzas with toppings to our liking!

I used Alton Brown's recipe for pizza dough. I always turn to Alton for no-nonsense recipes for the basic stuff. At the bottom of the recipe there is a note about the salt. He said that some people have complained about too much salt and provides instructions for proper reduction it. I read that after adding the whole tablespoon, but I have no complaints. I have an affinity for salt - heck, I the lick salt off of pretzels and chips before eating them. Weird, I know, but I have a condition where I need more salt than the average person so that I'm capable of standing for more than fifteen minutes without passing out. Fun, huh?


Vaughn chose red pepper, jalapenos, and ham for his toppings. I chose red pepper (it was huge), garlic, and sardines. Now, before you say "ew!", "gross!", "ick!", I must defend the little brinies from the deep!

Sardines are good for you - and they taste good too! They are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, B12 and protein. These little guys are low on the fishy food chain which means they're also low in mercury. In addition, they are sustainable because they are proficient reproducers and the demand for them has decreased significantly since the early/mid 20th century. Just to clarify, they're not the same as anchovies which have a strong flavor from the curing process. Sardines are just canned, not cured. They come fully prepped, lightly smoked, and packed in little tins with water, oil, or sauces. I like the ones packed in olive oil...mmm!

Moral of this story - put down pizza delivery menu and try making your own pizza sometime...and give sardines a chance!

For more information on sustainable seafood, check out the Monteray Bay Seafood Watch website.


Success and Lunch Plans

Concentrating on the job search has finally paid off! I had an interview yesterday morning at the Sendik's grocery store in Elm Grove. After 15 minutes of questions and such, the manager something to the effect of, "I don't normally do this, but you seem like a pleasant person...I'm going to offer you the job." After months and months of applications, waiting, and hoping, I finally found someone who wanted me to work for them.

I start next week as a bakery associate. The job is only part time, but it gives me a chance to work on my photo business and take the photo management class at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). Oh, and it will take care of my bills - which is always a good thing - leaving me with a little left over for fun things.


In other news, I have a guest coming over for lunch tomorrow. Elliott is a very nice, older gentleman and my mentor. I was given a scholarship in his name at Ohio University, and, after graduation, I just happened to wind up living a mile from him. What luck to already know someone before moving to a new city! So I spent the morning figuring out what to make for lunch. Fortunately, Ina Garten has a list of lunch menus on her website. Here's the plan:

Mache with Warm Brie and Apples
French Onion Soup
Croque Monsieur

I most likely won't be able to find Mache at my local co-op, but they usually have something I can sub it with. Tatsoi, baby spinach, or mixed baby greens would be tasty and the co-op always has those stocked. Since this is easy to throw together, I can whip it up at the last minute so that it's ready to eat when Elliott arrives at noon.

French onion soup will be souper easy. Haha - get it? Just onions, broth, a little booze, and seasoning. Ina's recipe keeps it simple and doesn't fuss with the whole French bread and gob of cheese topping in individual bowls and stuck under the broiler. The recipe calls for Sherry and Brandy or Cognac, since I don't have those I'll just use broth and white wine to deglaze the pan. I'll probably start it at 11 and have it ready and keeping warm at noon.

The Croque Monsieur is a little more labor intensive, but since the other two dishes are easy, I can concentrate on prepping the sandwiches. I'll start the Gruyere cheese sauce at about 11:30. Assemble the sandwiches at 11:45. Toss them into the toaster oven to broil when Elliott arrives.

I can't wait! I love entertaining - especially with all the new wedding gifts.


Here are the links to the recipes: