Monday, October 17, 2011

Birthday Dinner

This past weekend was my birthday weekend.  On Friday, I went to lunch with my mom, sisters (wishing Stephanie was here and not in Hawaii, I've been missing her like crazy), my sister-in-law and Grandma.  We went to one of my favorite places, Pizzeria 712; I know it was shocking to everyone that I picked that place.  Then on Saturday I got to spend most of the day with Todd.  We started the afternoon off with a movie, then headed to Tony Caputo's for some vinegar, hand pulled mozzarella, prosciutto, and chocolate.  To finish the night off we enjoyed a very delicious meal at Pago.  The entire time Todd and I were eating, I had this tight, excited feeling that I get when I eat really good food; I couldn't stop smiling.  On my actual birthday, for breakfast, my little family and I ate Burg's French toast (with a Traci Magleby spin) topped with peaches and whipped cream.  For dinner we ate a really great salad, pizzas and a very rich chocolate cake with homemade vanilla ice cream.  It was a really great weekend filled with two things that I really love, family and food!

Arugula Salad with Pistachios and Chocolate


1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
3 tablespoons Banyuls vinegar (you can substitute sherry vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste

In a small bowl, combine the mustard, vinegar, and salt and whisk to blend.  Add the olive oil and whisk vigorously to emulsify.  Taste, and adjust as needed.


About 8 ounces arugula
2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios, for serving
2 tablespoons finely chopped bittersweet chocolate, for serving

Place the arugula in a large bowl and add a spoonful or two of dressing.  It's best to err on the side of underdressing at first.  Using two forks or, preferably, your hands, carefully toss the arugula, taking care to handle it as lightly as you can, since it bruises easily.  Taste, and add dressing as needed.

Divide the dressed arugula among 4 plates.  Serve with small bowls of chopped pistachios and chocolate on the side, allowing each eater to sprinkle his or her salad with a bit of each.

Recipe from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

Roasted Asparagus, Egg & Prosciutto Pizza

Pizza dough
Olive oil
Roasted Asparagus (drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 10 minutes at 400)
2-3 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into nickel size pieces
2-3 eggs, cracked and waiting in a bowl
2 ounces San Danielle or other high quality prosciutto
High quality sea salt or fleur de sel and fresh cracked pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano

Preheat your oven for 45 minutes with pizza stone inside, to 500-550 degrees.

With you dough create 12" round.  Place on flour dusted pizza peel (I use the back of a sheet pan).  Brush with olive oil and dust with sea salt.  Break up fresh mozzarella on top of pizza, add roasted asparagus.  Slide onto pizza stone and bake for 3 minute.  Open oven and as quickly as possible pour the eggs onto two or three different places around the pizza.  Bake for another 7 minutes or until golden and eggs are cooked to your liking.  We shoot for a semi-soft yolk.  Remove from oven and grate Parmigiano over top.  Drape 4-5 slices of prosciutto on top of pizza.

*When I poured the eggs on to the pizza, I had a hard time getting both of my eggs to stay on the pizza.  One of those darn eggs wanted to slide off onto my pizza stone.  In an attempt to keep the egg on the pizza, I created a dam with a piece of asparagus and it seemed to do the trick.

Recipe from Not Without Salt

Pizza with Bacon, Caramelized Onions & Ricotta

Pizza dough
1/4 pound thickly sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
2 medium onions, thinly sliced

Place pizza stone on bottom rack of the oven (if you have one).  Preheat oven to 500 (or the ovens highest temperature).

In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Add onion to skillet and cook until onions are golden and caramelized.  Set aside.

Shape pizza dough into desired shape and place on a floured and cornmeal dusted cookie sheet that has been flipped upside down.  Layer the toppings as follows, caramelized onions, bacon, and spoonful’s of ricotta to dot the pizza.

If you don't have a pizza stone, place cookie sheet (with pizza on it) on the bottom rack of the oven and bake until crust is golden.  If you have a pizza stone, very quickly slide the pizza from the cookie sheet to the pizza stone (this is always a little bit scary for me).  Bake until crust is golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 comment:

  1. Seriously? Chocolate and pistachios? Caramelized onions and bacon? Egg and roasted asparagus....girl, you know how to celebrate a birthday! Can't wait to try all this! Happy Birthday!