Food, Recipe

Yeast-less Pizza Dough You Can Count On

Hello, everyone. I’m here to talk to you today because I believe in something. I believe in freedom, I believe in choice, I believe in crazy fonts, and I believe in pizza. Homemade pizza, to be exact. I believe that YOU, yes you, can make pizza in your very own home, free from the shackles of overpriced delivery and mounds of store-bought crust. Give me your kitchen ingredients, yearning to be free. Give me your huddled masses of flour, oil, and salt. I know that in this economy, we’ve all got to learn to live with a little less — yeast, that is. Don’t worry. I’m here to tell you today – there’s a yeast-less pizza dough that you can count on.

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Food, Recipe

Butternut Squash Hash

Does the pumpkin frenzy happen like this every year? Is it just me? Maybe it’s because this is the first fall I’ve been reading upwards of 10 food blogs a day. Maybe it’s always like this and I haven’t tuned in. Then again, Starbucks is running out of it’s pumpkin drinks all over the US! Customers are getting all kinds of emotional:

“My world almost ended this morning when the local Starbucks told me they were out of Pumpkin Spice Latte,” tweeted Jason Sizemore, 38 years old, of Lexington, Ky. 

The desperation is such that some have turned to a new instant version of the latte. But stores are running out of the powdered stuff too, and prices are shooting up on the secondary market.

Pumpkin latte black market, anyone?! Those who are incensed at the lack of Starbucks pumpkin might want to visit Trader Joe’s as I went there yesterday and found an entire pumpkin shrine – pumpkin coffee, tea, bars, Greek yogurt, waffle mix, muffins, bread, etc.

This isn’t a pumpkin recipe. Sorry? But butternut squash isn’t exactly a let-down. This hash – first off, it’s simple, and second, it’s good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When even your sweet tooth starts hurting from all the pumpkin syrups and pumpkin cream cheese bars and pumpkin cakes, or maybe when you just can’t find any pumpkin drinks and are super! angry! about it, give this spicy butternut squash hash a try.

Pro tip: When shopping for butternut squash, remember to look for ones with long necks. Squash with giant bulbs at the end might be tempting, but that part is filled with seeds, and does not yield much meat. It’s alllll about the neck, people.

Spicy Butternut Squash Hash

Edited: this recipe serves 3-4 (with a grain) and is easily doubled

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1 1/2 butternut squash

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 can chickpeas or butter beans

1 can black beans

CHEESE – I’d recommend parmesan flakes. 

—-

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with Pam or another oil spray.

Cut the butternut squash into bite-size chunks, making sure to remove the skin. Small chunks are essential for shorter baking times and a creamy hash feel.

Toss the butternut squash with spices and olive oil, plus pepper and sea salt to taste. Spread evenly onto the baking pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven, pour the chickpeas over the squash. Return to oven and cook for 10 more minutes, or until the squash is falling apart. Pieces should be browned.

Remove squash and chickpeas from oven and transfer to a large bowl. Immediately add the black beans and stir with a wooden spoon. The squash should fall apart, but there should still be chunks – it should not look like mashed potatoes. Top with cheese and serve with a crunchy grain – brown rice works well. Or, for breakfast, top the hash with a fried egg. Mmmm.

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Musing

Internet wabi-sabi

The other day Gluten Free Girl wrote this post:

When I have looked at too many blogs, or lingered in the pretty world of Pinterest for a few moments, or spent too much time on Twitter, I start to doubt. I start talking to Danny about the photo studio space we should make under the one window in our garage, the props we should buy, the ways we should change. I wonder if I should buy those sturdy striped straws that show up in every third photo. I start thinking about hiring someone to teach me what the heck SEO is so we can increase the number of hits we get each month. I start worrying. I stop writing or dancing or looking for light. I start worrying.

If I were good at this blog thing, I would have written something entirely different. It would have been less than 500 words. It would have trumpeted easy! delicious! good for your family! I probably would have called it The Best Eggplant Parmesan, gluten-free, for the most hits. I used to do that because so many people told me that was the best way for hungry people to find my website on Google.

It reminded me of the day Joy the Baker mused about a similar phenomenon when she posted,

Should I write about how sometimes I think my blog would be more popular if I were engaged or pregnant?  Should I write about how that thought makes me want to run full throttle into a wall?  Probably not.  That’s a little hot-button for these parts.  Those are just my weirdo backbrain thoughts anyhow… I know you’re mostly stoked to be here regardless of my… status (is that the right word?).

It’s fun to look at pretty things on the Internet! But I hope that that is not all that we take away. Lest it turn into the idea that by leading a carefully styled life and surrounding yourself with beautiful things, you are somehow living better.

There is a Japanese phrase, wabi-sabi, that I remember an old art counselor telling me about. Of course, the phrase represents more than a direct interpretation – it’s an entire concept. A simple go at it would be the beauty of imperfection. The ability to find life and beauty in what is natural and simple. That in the process of creation, things weather the quirks and imperfections that got them to that place. Especially concerning pottery, the slightly uneven, flawed pots were prized in some ceremonies. I’ve heard that artists would intentionally make sure that pottery pieces had at least one flaw.

Good writers share what they know – the full spectrum of experience included. To show me only the perfect gatherings you hold, the perfect food you create, and the perfect flowers on your dresser is to show me a small part of your life. But to tell me of your self-doubt, your thoughts, and your mistakes is to welcome me into a small part of your life.

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Food, Musing

thoughts on cookbooks

(Fall really is the best time of year in Minnesota, hands down.)

Just gonna put it out there: If you do not know how to cook, I assume that in a situation where neither your friend, sibling, parent, nor friendly local food worker were around, you would be unable to feed yourself. Think about that for a second. So when someone says they don’t feel the need to learn how to cook, the only thing I hear is “I am incapable of being self-reliant in times of absolute biological need.” Generally, we (as I type from Minneapolis) don’t live in a culture where most people eat street food, so you’re not off the hook. Sorry.

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