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Pizza night revisited September 27, 2013

Posted by Peeps in Cooking, Home, Homemade, random stuff.
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About two months ago, Toys and I had to go to pick up a few things at Niblack Foods (formerly known as Tadco).  We love shopping there, they have all kinds of neat stuff that we either can’t find easily or just want to play around with.

While we were browsing, we got into a conversation with a lady who works there.  She found it very amusing that we make so many things ourselves.  We had a very nice chat.

A few minutes later, after we had continued our shopping, she came up to us and asked if we make our own pasta.  We told her that we didn’t, dried pasta is just fine for most of our needs.  She then asked if we ever make pizza.  I have to admit that I did a bit of bragging about my pizza dough.

The reason she asked these questions, was that she had a bag of flour that had gotten torn while she was stocking shelves and she wanted to know if we would like to buy it.  At a discount.  We love stuff at a discount.  And it was something that neither of us had ever played with before.  Italian 00 flour.

Now, I had never heard of 00 flour until a couple years ago when my boss at the Ravioli Shop mentioned it once in passing.  It’s a much finer grind than basic all purpose flour.  I can’t seem to find out for sure if it has a higher protein content or not, it depends on who you ask.  It’s supposed to be the bomb for breads and pasta.  And pizza dough.

So, we bought the damaged bag of flour.  It was a 2.2 pound bag (one kilogram).  A few days later, I tried it in pizza dough.

I substituted half of the all purpose flour needed with the 00 flour.  I didn’t want to use up most of the bag at one go.  I still wanted to try some in bread, too.

The dough felt entirely different.  Much lighter and tighter grained.  It was nicer to work with.  Huh.  So, I finished the dough, and got it in the fridge and promptly forgot about it until pizza night.

Friday night rolled around and it I noticed that the dough stretched beautifully.    I had to be much more careful about putting holes in it.

Once I was done, and the pizzas had a chance to rest, it was time to taste.  And it was INCREDIBLE!  The taste was everything pizza should be.  Light and crisp with a nice soft chew.

The next morning, my wife and I looked online for what kind of deal we could get for 00 flour.  And were not terribly happy.  We could get big bags of the stuff without a problem, and for a price that didn’t hurt too much.  Until you factored in shipping.  Shipping a fifty pound bag of flour hurts.  A lot.

Plus, there’s also the problem of what to do with an open fifty pound bag of flour.

So, about a week later, I went back to Niblack to see if I could get a deal there.  They had ten packs of the one kilo bags that they would give me ten percent off.  That brought the price down to something reasonable.  And I’d still be spending money locally, which is something we try to do whenever we can.  Plus, they’re not far if we need more.

So, we now have ten different kind of flour in the house.  Ten.  Yikes.  But I’m very glad we found out about 00 flour.  We now have a license to bake.

Monday Musings: 11.15.2010 November 15, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in random stuff, Shopping With Peeps, Stupor Kitty.
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Can you believe it’s officially the Middle of November?  Holy cow!

But even the kitty is enjoying the prematurely-blooming Christmas cactus.  I swear, every day there are more and more blossoms on that thing – it’s like a reminder that not only haven’t I started shopping, I haven’t even thought about Christmas shopping yet.

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PhotobucketSo last week, I tried something a little different with my pizza – I had a bit of Tuscan kale left from a soup (which I’ll tell you about later on), Peeps caramelized a chopped onion, and I cooked some bacon.  Add that to just enough cheese to keep it on the pizza, and, I’ve got to be honest, it was amazing.

Who knew you could do so much with pizza crust?

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Oh, hey, Shopping With Peeps!

Hold on to your hat for . . .Soup Socks!

It appears to be a cheesecloth-type bag, intended to line a soup pot – fine.  I guess, though I kind of like my “stuff” in my soup.

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While it might be just the thing for stock – what I really object to is the fact that they’re four bucks.

I mean, really, I think, for $4, I can strain my soup, don’t you?

I mean, um, just how lame is the average consumer, anyway?

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Don’t forget this week is the Third Thursday of the month!  Please feel free to join us for this month’s Third Thursday event – just “borrow” a recipe (or any other technique) from someone else’s blog and tell us about it!

Complete details are here, and remember, the more the merrier!

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And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.  Autumn is just flying by, isn’t it?  We had an evening to fire up the grill last week, and it looks like we may get so lucky again this week, too – it’s November, for crying out loud!

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We’re still working on cleaning out the freezer – I’m starting to suspect that someone’s sneaking in here and putting excess stuff in the freezer!

Monday – Last summer, we found a special on “porterhouse tails” – it turns out that this is, basically, the beef trimmed from the bottom (“tail”) of the porterhouse steak.  It’s a thin slice of what’s essentially NY Strip steak, rolled up into a pinwheel shape.  These are great skewered and grilled, and if we can’t grill, we can always pan-fry or even broil them.  We’ve also got some beautiful carrots that we’ll roast, using Cook’s Illustrated‘s recipe for “Great Roasted Carrots” – hey, I expect nothing less from CI, you know?  And really, what goes better with a Cook’s Illustrated than some smiley fries?

Tuesday – And still with the magazine project  the current Cooking Light magazine includes a recipe for pan-fried chicken fingers with spicy dipping sauce – I don’t know what we’ll do with the chicken, though.  Maybe salad, maybe sweet potatoes, maybe kale. . .

Wednesday – Wednesday is swim class – and soup night.  We had some BBQ turkey in the freezer (smoked turkey smothered in homemade barbecue sauce) that I thought would make a decent soup with some pinto beans, fresh kale and chicken stock.  And, of course, plenty of bread.  It’ll be good, really.

Thursday – We’ve got a boneless leg of lamb that has been hanging around in the freezer for long enough.  Peeps will be in charge of that dinner, so I can’t say quite what he’ll be doing.   I’m not sure he’s quite decided, actually.

Friday –  Friday is usually pizza night, but this week, it’s being pre-empted for date night – we’ve got tickets for the Straight No Chaser concert that night.  They’re great, and I’ve been looking forward to this for ages!

Be sure to click on over to The Organizing Junkie’s Monday Menu Plan post for loads and loads of other ideas.

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