A crust that makes all the difference

Gwyneth Paltrow’s food blog, Goop.com and quickly growing collection of cook books are a great way to take baby steps toward being a top chef.

I first came across the Goop pizza crust last winter… on an especially cold night. We had all the ingredients stocked and some nice red wine, so off we went!

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We also followed Gwyneth’s instructions on the tomato sauce which was a hit … but our hearts have a soft spot for a good pesto. However, the tomatoes and thinly sliced zucchini along with some garlic and fresh basil brought it all together for a home run.

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Parsley pesto

Parsley pesto

Parsley pesto Golden Bear Ham Sartori Stravecchio Parmesan Sun dried tomatoes s&p

PIZZA FIX!!

I must admit one of my favorite things to eat is a piece of damn good pizza. This post therefore is about two pizzas I created in… the last week, whoopsy, I guess it is fair to say I was on a PIZZA FIX!

The first pizza is from Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog, GOOP! I’d like to think we are best friends that spend their time cooking and laughing but we all know that isn’t true, at least she has great taste in food and culture so it’s like we are blog friends. This recipe is adopted from another chef in the blogosphere. My mom and I also did our part by adding our own pinches and touches of honeybee loving! The recipe is for the pizza crust and is easypeasy to follow but does take a big chunk of your time. If you have that time it is well worth all the effort and leaves you with pizza crust for maybe ten more meals!!

Once our pizza dough had risen we were ready to get creative and scavenged the fridge and ended up with our version of a good old margarita pizza. The tomato sauce was from GOOP and really made a difference as it asks for carrots and is supposed to simmer for about 40 minutes allowing all the flavors to cook together. Gwyneth instructs you to purée the sauce but we left it nice and chunky for a heartier pizza. We topped the pizza with chunks of crushed garlic, thinly sliced zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls and aged parmesan cheese! It only cooks in the oven for about two minutes and it is best served piping hot with a refreshing salad and fine glass of organic wine. Ooohlalayumyum this pizza was almost 11” x 9” and we finished every last bite!! We decided to make our crust extra thin which produced a final product that was like a cracker bread crust, however I have heard the thicker crust is just as delicious.

  

  

After sampling the amazing ingredients we put on our GOOP pizza I was craving more but now back in Madison taking classes and cooking with Slow Food. Part of my internship with Slow Food is to promote the amazing idea of supporting local grocers and farmers while eating divine dishes. Williamson Street, or more popularly known as Willy Street, in Madison is about a mile of locavores who know how to cook and live life. I spent the afternoon drawing up my own Slow Food flyers and headed to Willy Street Co-op in order to start promoting our Slow Food chapter. By the time I was done I had gone full circle and ended back up at Willy Street Co-op starving!! While aimlessly walking the aisles looking for something that caught my interests I came across Vicolo Pizza crusts!! The Vicolo pizza crusts come pre-made and packaged in the freezer section of only a few grocery stores. This did not fall in line with the Slow Food idea I spent the afternoon promoting so I decided to fill the pizza with ONLY local ingredients. My mom and I used to get these pizzas pre-made in Mill Valley but having the cornbread crust as your blank canvas made it much more fun!

  

The Willy Street employees helped me find an amazing Sweet Basil Pesto from Renaissance Farm of Spring Green, Wisconsin along with their own Mozzarella cheese, heirloom tomatoes, and garlic!! Once I was home and all the ingredients were ready to go I had my own personal pizza ready in fifteen minutes.

  

I spent the rest of the night reading for my summer class and blogging about my new best friend, pizza!

Bon appetit to All Hail Honeybess’ 50th post!!

Hello San Francisco Dining.

This post is one near and dear to my heart because it’s in my stomping grounds!! I am a die-hard Giants fan and love frequenting the tasty Californian cuisine in the entire Bay Area when I visit my Dad and stepmom who have resided on the edge of the Marina and Cow Hollow.

The first ooh la la dining hot spot is La Boulange Bakery. My father and stepmother live on Franklin so our most visited La Boulange is located on Polk Street. This french bistro is filled with fresh-baked almond croissants, orange and cinnamon morning buns, various breads and many more treats. They also have a full menu for breakfast or lunch but it is always a crowded place, so give yourself some time. My favorite option is to go early and grab a fresh squeezed orange juice with the homemade granola or the fantastic french toast. The special part about La Boulange is it brings France into many of the San Francisco neighborhoods. You can follow them on twitter, @laboulange, or check out their blog, Ze Boulange Blog, to see what’s new and exciting! (photo retrieved from http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60713-d1074228-Reviews-La_Boulange_Cafe_Bakery-San_Francisco_California.html).

Next is Blue Barn on San Francisco’s quaint Chestnut Street. This place is one of my favorites because of their “U-Pick Salad”. Here they have dozens of fresh vegetables and a variety of lettuces, you can also add your choice of proteins and dressings. The limit is six but I can’t limit myself to the fresh goodness combined in these salads. If you aren’t obsessed with salads like me then try one of their gourmet grilled cheeses. There are seven outstanding sandwiches with extraordinary cheeses from local dairy farms. If you still aren’t enticed with these options then try sampling one of their chef inspired salads or sandwiches. They have vegetarian and vegan options and everything consumed is wholesome, organic and all locally grown.

The restaurant, Lo Coco’s, has been a favorite of mine ever since I was 5 years old when my dad and I used to venture there every Friday for Pesto Pizza, a House Salad with a side of Garlic Bread and two Root Beers. By the time I was ten they knew us by name and didn’t even need to ask what we wanted to order. This Pizzeria started with two brother’s and the original is in Terra Linda, California, but we choose to drive out to San Anselmo for the atmosphere. All the Pizza’s I assume would be amazing because of the thinness of the actual pizza which leads up to the bubbly and chewy crust, however, we always stuck with classic Pesto or Cheese. After dinner in the summer you can walk to the park behind the restaurant and stay for a fun night of Film Night in the Park. (Photo retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/19934744@N00/2526383455/).

For breakfast when we were on our way to the Russian River or hoping over to Napa to visit some family we always chose to make a morning stop at Fred’s Cafe in Sausalito. This cozy breakfast joint is my dad’s favorite place because the chefs cook the eggs to perfection while the coffee is hot and the orange juice is frothy and fresh, but it also might help that he thinks it’s named after him! When you eat here you have to order some scrambled eggs, even if it’s a small side. I am not one who is big on breakfasts but Fred’s knows how to make my mouth water. My family also considers ourselves orange juice snobs and Fred’s exceeds our expectations. Finally, the close atmosphere where you sit with other joyous customers creates a delightful experience.

There are millions more I could rave about ranging from, Mamasitas for a twist on Mexican, The Grove for Sunday brunch or a weekday lunch, and  Amici’s for East Coast Pizza but this is all for now.

Bon Appetit in the California Republic.

 

Photo retrieved from http://www.platesusa.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=LPART15&Category_Code=LPART