Monday, June 17, 2013

Pizza, Popsicles, & Peaceful Mornings

I like Friday mornings in the summer.  The library is only open Monday through Thursday, so we work four 10-hour days and have every Friday off.  I've been waking up somewhat early (for me, for a day off anyway) on Fridays and enjoying the peace of a quiet morning before it gets too hot.  Lately it's been pretty hot by 9, though this weekend was a bit overcast and a little cooler than it was during the week when we had some 100 + days.

     Iced coffee on a hot day is a pleasure.  I brew up a bunch of coffee over the weekend and keep it in an iced tea bottle in the fridge; it usually lasts most of the week.  Anyway, Friday morning I was pouring my glass of coffee and remembered this very cool picture my sister posted on facebook of her coffee with the cream just added.  It was black with these swirls of white and very cool looking.  I was inspired to try getting a similar shot.  Let me tell you, it isn't easy to photograph cream diffusing through coffee. You really only get a few shots before it's too late.  That's my cool Eeyore glass mug my Big Sis brought me from Disneyland.  It's even got my name engraved on it.  I love it.

     After the photos were taken, I sat down and enjoyed my coffee and read a few chapters of my book.  I'm reading The Sherlockian by Graham Moore.  It's a mystery involving the death of a member of The Baker Street Irregulars during the society's annual festivities in New York, a missing diary of Arthur Conan-Doyle, and the killing off of Sherlock Holmes and his subsequent return.  It's good so far, but I was jarred at one point by the use of the word "fractal" in a description of 1900 London from the p.o.v. of Conan-Doyle.  The term was coined around 1975.  I suppressed my irritation and continued reading because the book is interesting and the writing good otherwise.

     Friday evening I tried a new pizza dough recipe, and I think it's probably the best pizza dough I've ever made.  I used the recipe from King Arthur Flour.  The recipe calls for 7/8 to 1 1/8 cup water.  I used 1 cup, but the dough was really sticky.  Next time I'll probably use 7/8 of a cup instead.  I turned out fine though.  I just kneaded in a little more flour once I removed the dough from the bread machine before dividing the dough and then letting it rest before making the pizza. The dough was the perfect combination of chewy and crispy.

      I had some leftover pesto sauce, so I used that instead of a standard red sauce.  For toppings I used chopped leftover chicken breast and zucchini along with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.  The pizza turned out very yummy.  The pesto was very tasty and went well with the other toppings.  This picture is from Saturday lunch.  The leftover pizza was still very good the next day.

     Aren't popsicles so refreshing on a hot day?  Sunday, I made orange and raspberry cream-sicles based on a recipe I found on Pinterest.  I didn't have orange extract, so I left that out, and I used simple syrup in place of the honey as my honey is completely crystallized and was never going to blend into the other ingredients.  The flavor was good but too subtle.  I think using orange juice concentrate instead of orange juice would have produced a more "orangy" flavor. However, the reason I decided to try this recipe was because I had some fresh squeezed orange juice in the freezer.  It came from the last bag of Willcox oranges I bought before the season ended.  They were the best oranges, sweet and full of flavor, but they were starting to mold, so I cut off the moldy bits and juiced the rest of the oranges so they wouldn't go to waste.

     The recipe is supposed to make 6-8 popsicles, but my popsicle molds must be larger than the ones used by the person who created the recipe because I ran out after filling only 4 of my molds.  I had some very ripe raspberries, so I took some of those, added some simple syrup, mashed them up, and then mixed in a little half & half and filled the last 2 popsicles molds.  The raspberry ones weren't quite sweet enough, and they were very seedy.  I think it might be better to put some or all of the mashed raspberries through a strainer to remove some of the seeds.  The other aspect that wasn't ideal was the texture.  It was pretty icy instead of creamy.  I really should have expected that, since the mixture was simply frozen instead of processed in an ice cream machine first then poured into the molds.  Freezing the mixture in an ice cream machine, even partially, would reduce the iciness in the final product.  I'll have to try that next time and let you know how they turn out.  Darn, now I'll have to buy an ice cream maker.  The things I do for this blog.


  1. Oh, you just rock! You come to my house and make pizza and popsicles for me. Hear me now! Oh, I do wish I could say something fine and interesting about your food. Your photos are excellent, you could be a food photographer for Epicurious and Gourmet. Actually you could be the chef de maison as well. In my opinion. XXOO

    1. You know I'll cook for you any time, Mom. Thanks for the compliments, but I don't think I'm ready for professional food photography.

  2. Whoa I totally agree with that person. Can you come to my house too?

    1. Thanks for commenting. Unfortunately, I only make cooking house-calls for my Mom. :)