Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Love My Lizzo & Birthday Pizza!!

Yesterday was my birthday and for my birthday dinner, a group of friends took me out for some birthday pizza. We went to this AMAZING pizzeria called 2 Amys and I had their specialty pizza of the day which was sausage & artichoke, made in their famous Neapolitan style.

It was truly delicious, truly authentic, Italian fare.

And then I began to miss my best friend, Lizzo. And Chicago deep dish pizza. And Home.

Because, frankly, even with delicious delicious Italian pizza, my taste buds knew the pizza that was being consumed was great on the one hand. However, on the other hand, the hand of "best pizza to ever be eaten/made/enjoyed on the entire face of the ENTIRE earth", we have Deep Dish Chicago Pizza.


Look at that glorious glorious pizza pie!

These shots/recipes were found by my previously mentioned BF- Lizzo. One afternoon this summer (when I was being a slacker and didn't post anything), we made our own Chicago deep dish pizza, taking the time to make the dough and sauce from scratch.

It went by extremely quickly due to the fun and friendly chatter between us. And no injuries or accidents were caused by me! Shocking considering my usual clutzy cooking mantra. But with Liz, she always makes me feel proud and actually able to cook. We both did well at pretending we were able to do so with ease- no burns, cuts, or "oops" moments to speak of!

I know, guys. Very proud. We'll make an award later.

ANYWAY! So, if you have never had Chicago Pizza, you are missing out. As you can see, contrary to what one normally expects from a pizza, the sauce is on top, the cheese is melded to the crust, and wow! That crust is gynormous!

Yep. Gynormous. We make up words here in the clutzy kitchen.

While Chicago deep dish doesn't necessarily fit the image one has for a pizza, it is a triumphant change on the norm. In my opinion, it is the crust that makes a deep dish go from okay to "ooooooooooooooooooooh, wow. kay, what a first bite!". If you have a legitimate deep dish pizza, it will have cornmeal in the crust. This creates crunch, and almost a buttery/flaky quality to the crust. This crust has to be as huge and sturdy as it is in order to support whatever bad-ass toppings you're going to add. This pizza is a beast, it doesn't mess around, you want to load it UP with toppings! If you are just going to do cheese, make it a proper
layer of cheese. This pizza isn't topped with cheese, you need to layer it, in large LARGE quantities to the crust. It'll melt and adhere to the crust and then, when you top it with sauce, it'll seem as though your dish was stuffed with cheese and toppings.

Doesn't that just sound amazing? I promise, it's amazing. I hope you all have been to the Chicago area and have had top notch pizza such as
Giordano's or Lou's at least once in your life. It's quite an experience. If you check out the web pages- you can see for yourself: drool worthy pizza.

Okay! That is quite enough rambling. I am merely sincerely missing home and, when missing home, you miss the comfort foods of home. This is all of Chicago's comfort food. I hope you too will find a feast within this recipe. Make and enjoy :)

Homemade Pizza Sauce
-2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
-5 minced garlic cloves
-1 (28oz) can San Marzano Tomatoes
-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-1/2 tsp dried oregano
Heat oil in medium size sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, crush tomatoes then add all ingredients to pan. bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes.


Deep Dish Crust
-1 c. water
-1/4 c. shortening
-1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
-1 tsp. salt
-1 1/2 pkg. active dry yeast
-1/2 c. lukewarm water
-3/4 c. yellow cornmeal
-3 or 3 1/2 c. flour
-yellow cornmeal

Heat 1 cup water, shortening, sugar and salt until shortening melts. Cool to lukewarm. Soften yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Combine yeast and shortening mixtures in large bowl. Add cornmeal and flour to shortening mix and knead until smooth and workable. Oil pizza pans with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Cornmeal makes it nice and crunchy, don't be afraid to add more to the bottom/sides. Press dough into pans (deep dish pans required, press crust up sides) and pierce with a fork several times. Bake in 425 degree preheated oven for 7 minutes. Remove and add your favorite pizza toppings and bake for additional 20 to 25 minutes.

Don't forget the layering order:
Crust
Cheese
Toppings
Sauce

ENJOY! :)





Tuesday, October 12, 2010

About Refaced (My Store)


Refaced is the New Years Resolution of 2014 that actually happened. A collaboratively crafty on-line store; Refaced is the brain child of two life long best friends who decided to take some ordinary objects and make them extraordinary. From upscaled shower curtains to improved upon paintings; from revamped outlet covers to re-purposed wedding china... every product is unique because it is us taking something original and making it ours. Or perhaps yours. Check out our shop at storenvy.com and see if we have anything that suits your home and tastes.

About My Scribbled Notebook

About My Scribbled Notebook

My blog used to be a standard, run of the mill, simple scroll, single page, cooking blog. It was fun, don't get me wrong, but I found myself wanting to post and to write more. A lot more. I love to write and dream to get something published someday but, in the meantime, I found myself telling a lot of little stories.  So, I made this other blog for stories about my life. And decided to set up a web persona. And with the decision of a web me came the idea of illustrating her myself. And then I got so excited about all the options, I could barely focus on getting pen to paper. 

I could do a web comic! Or illustrated short stories! Or an illustrated blog! The seed was planted and I quickly began flipping through some of my favorite comics to see what clicked, imagining myself as the protagonist, flitting around between fictional, non, and in between:


While  I had always dreamed of having Hobbes as my BFFE, (best friend for ever and ever), the strip comics like Snoopy's and those found on xkcd all weren't quite working for me. I drafted a few (truly tragic) attempts at strip comics but there was never enough writing involved to click with the craving. The layout of Hyperbole and a Half though, inspired. There are several blogs out there that have illustrated posts besides H&H, and as I began delving into all those type of sites I could find, the inspiration began to take root. My own protagonist, a doodled cartoon self, began to take shape in my spiral notebook, along with stories from my life, outlined and scribbled out on the page.


Eventually, my spiral was rather full and I was feeling pretty proud of my little cartoon me and the way my adventures and thoughts were all taking shape. I liked the way it looked on the blue lined pages, the crooked lines, and playing with crayons and colored pencils. Nothing complex, but fun to doodle. I couldn't help thinking it would be a shame to re-create all the images in my clean cut computer world of animation.

So I decided against it. Therefore, I present to you all: The unedited, uneven, and unorganized creations of my scribbled notebook! All done freehand, in a basic spiral notebook, with black pens and colored pencils. Scanned and old school. Posted here among recipes, crafts, photos, travel posts, and general geeky facts of my life! And yeah, my simple 1 page scroll blog is now ultra tab filled and involved. Once I expanded to comics, my creative needs blew up into all kinds of territories outside of the kitchen, ha. Hopefully you guys find some of them  as amusing as I did while creating.

You are now entering a straight-edge free zone.



And yes, my ruler only goes to 8. Fun fact, 8 and 12 are my two favorite numbers. Bonus fun fact, I misjudged the length of that ruler when I was numbering it.

About Clutzy Cooking

I love to cook. And to eat. I love food and cooking and baking. I however am extremely, pitifully, clumsy in the kitchen. And clumsy in general. But I grew up around the kitchen. My family is big into bonding over food, large family dinners happening frequently.  Baking specifically was something I always loved. I wasn't very good... at all. However, I loved doing it. And I loved the results. Cookies? Oh man. Pie? Pure joy in a tin. Brownies? Yep. Sign me up with a glass of milk. Cupcakes? I love cupcakes. Seriously. They are pretty perfect. I can't wax on about cupcakes enough but, needless to say... I am a fan. In fact, here is a picture of me dressed as a cupcake. Eating a cupcake.



And as such a sugar fanatic, I got better. And continued to bake, whisk, and stir out new things with minor catastrophes along the way. I've branched out from mixes to making from scratch- although I will say that mixes are not banned from my kitchen/this blog by any means just because I have learned how to use cake flour. Baking short cuts don't always (in my humble opinion) cut out on flavor. Some of my all time favorite recipes and tricks include mixes, doughs, cans, and crusts of convenience!  

I am however learning. And as I am learning, hopefully more advanced recipes and techniques will continue to appear on the page. This blog has been around since I lived in a college apartment and has evolved from jello shot recipes and strictly tried and true family recipes using cans of soup... to lemon curd from scratch and making my own bread. We go off book and then back on book here. My pantry continues to be stocked with everything from pectin to spaghetti o's, and well, my first aid kit has burn ointment and bandaids at the ready, so I have every intention to keep the treats coming and the burns minor. We'll be finding out together what eclectic recipes (and hospital bills) result. 

Even MORE About the Author: Meaghan Luby

Even MORE About the Author: Meaghan Luby

Once upon a time, I had a rather perfect childhood in a small Pleasantville-like suburb outside of Chicago. I had a great high school experience with great friends followed by a great college experience with some equally great friends and have continually had an amazing family throughout the whole ordeal. I count myself extremely lucky that way. Then in 2010, like so many other 20 somethings, I graduated college and didn't have a clue what I was doing with myself. After the graduation confetti fell, I moved back in with my parents and was promptly dumped by the long distance boyfriend who had been talking rings last I knew. Cue the quarter life crisis. To my name, I had a 6 month old cooking blog (this guy!), a super useful creative writing degree, a grouchy 11 year old yorkie, Mack, a 5 year old fish (RIP, Bellini, seen in all my headers), about $1,000 in my student checking account, and no solid prospects. I began to rapid fire apply for everything. And I mean, everything. From copy editing to bank telling to teaching English in China. If an english degree was something even somewhat applicable, I applied. 

And with fall came the miracle. A job. A corporate job that seemed, sure, less than creative but none the less, super fantastic. This really fantastic job brought me to Washington, DC- a city I had never been to before and was suddenly moving to before labor day, ha. I borrowed money from my parents to AFFORD the move across the country and began the beautiful adventure now known as my early 20's. 


I met a lot of law students who became a my DC family. I went from living in my first grown up apartment with my long time BFF (who moved with me across the states for essentially the same job with the same company) to living in a chaotic, drama filled, colorful Virginia mansion (seriously, a multi million dollar mansion we found for rent on craigslist for way too cheap) with 3 law girls, my bestie, and a crazy but not serial killer crazy math geek who we also found on craigslist (and we came to consider charming, not crazy). That's 6 people. Plus a few more who we rented to during summers. It was a blur of humans and fun. There were fire pits, movies, marathons, and a heck of a lot of wine. I mean, A LOT of wine. There were cocktail filled blurry nights and greasy hang over cure mornings. There were videogame all nighters, paper chain crafts, and out of control Halloween parties. There were board games, drinking games, and crazy games of hide and seek through our monster of a house. There was an inordinate amount of antics and cupcakes. And cupcake antics. There was chaos and lazy nights, pinched budgets and crazy splurging, and in general, being a young professional living in a ridiculously fancy house with 5 of your best friends. There was essentially living the teenage dream you come up with when you're 13 but so much better because this was real and had chocolate chip pancakes and gossip.

At some point within our alcohol and drama infused years at the mansion, I met Esquire. Another law student who came to mean a lot to me.


He ended up moving into the mansion (AKA, my personal "Real World DC" backdrop) and proposing January 2013. In short order after that night, life threw us a lot of curve balls. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I got a new job in Chicago, a job that not only fit my career dreams more but would bring me home to my family and mom. Esquire and the rest of the brood I had come to care about so much in DC all graduated law school. The timing clicked. We made the leap and decided to move, packing up everything we had each collected through the years and the still grouchy Mack and making the 14 hour drive to Chicago. We bought a house. We saw my mom become a survivor (WOOHOO!). Esquire took the bar exam. We planned a wedding. On September 21, 2013 (date picked due to this song) we threw a big party and tied the knot. 


And that's about up to speed! I now get to live what feels like the happily ever after, figuring out what that means a day at a time. Esquire passed the bar (my husband is a BOSS!), wedding planning ceased to be a part of my routine, and now I get to enjoy being married to my best friend, figuring out being a homeowner, loving what I do, and as always, waiting on the very particular Mack (14 and going strong). I will continue to count these and many more blessings as I cook, bake, craft, and chronicle here and can only hope that as my life continues to ever throw adventures my way that it brings most of you some semblance of entertainment because, usually? It entertains the hell out of me ;)


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Best $2 I Ever Spent: Disney Cookbook

Okay. So, just moved to the greater DC area, went to the library book sale, and, found the most awesome cookbook EVER.

E.V.E.R.


So, usually, cookbooks like this are just quality food with silly names like "Mickey's Magnificent Mashed Potatoes!"... But they're really just mashed potatoes shaped like Mickey. Nothing special about them... They are just Mashed potatoes. I HATE WHEN BOOKS WITH THEMES DO THAT, SUCH A LET DOWN! You buy it for food fitting a certain image and, it's all just a facade.

Such. A. Bummer.

NOT THIS BOOK! This book is "inspired by the animation". So, essentially, if it was on screen in a Disney movie, it made it into the cookbook. Sure, there are some things that are reaches. BUT- most everything in the book is a reference to food that was once animation. There are over 300 recipes in this book and most all of them are exceptionally fun and Disney like :)

For example!


This is from the movie Mulan! She eats this breakfast dish before going to the first day of training in the army... REMEMBER? Remember remember remember! I am super enthusiastic about this right now. Wonder if that is clear...

Okay- so there isn't berry butter in the movie "Sleeping Beauty". But there is an entire scene/song in which Aurora is picking berries and then later when they are making bread. I thought this was so cute, the way they set up this page, so I put it in anyway.


There is a recipe for Mango Wuzzle jam!! Bed Knobs & Broomsticks may be one of the best, albeit little know, Disney movies to have ever been made. And their dinner scenes were great. I am not sure I will be making Mango Wuzzle jam anytime soon but, I now have the option! If I do, I will totally be watching the movie whilst I work.

The commercial/obsession in the "101 Dalmatians" for Kanine Krunchies should be easily recalled by any Disney fan. I am not sure if this recipe is for the K9 members of your family or the humans... perhaps both depending on flavor preferences?


And this is by far my favorite recipe in the book! Herculade! One of the newer movies, "Hercules" still gets me every time and when the muses sang about his new beverage line, like all the other Herc-groupies, Pain, and Panic- I wanted to get myself a glass!

This is likely to be the first thing I make from the book. Perhaps a spiked adult version for my friends. It's so fun and fruity looking and, of course, makes the childhood movie come off the screen and into my kitchen.

I'll keep you posted on how well making these Disney recipes turns out :)






Inappropriately Delicious Apple Dumplings

Yep. That's right. That is indeed the most delicious thing one can bake with apples.

Take a good long look, my friend. It's small little thing, each individual dumpling. You see it and you may feel jipped out of a properly sized serving. Perhaps you'll think that one small fritter couldn't be enough apple-deliciosity for you, no way, no how.

As the old (and more then pseudo inappropriate) saying goes: size doesn't matter if you know what to do with it. And this lil pastry knows how to make your mouth happy.

Okay. That sentence was definitely more then pseudo inappropriate. But that's how good these apple dumplings are. They are inappropriately good. Flakey, sugar crusted dough wrapped over apples. A rich, apple & cinnamon sauce that you can spoon over the dessert and inevitable scoop of ice cream. It's sinful I tell you! And in the best way possible...

It is probably because they have inappropriate amounts of sugar/butter/soda. Soda alone makes a dessert all kinds of fizzy, naughty, and inappropriate but when it's paired with MORE sugar and then the age-old seductress Butter... that's just pure sin.

And that, my friends- (speaking of which, ANYONE READ THIS? feel free to comment so I know you're reading, it won't bite)- is why Pioneer Woman rocks my world... your world... the world. She makes food that isn't afraid to say "screw you" to caloric intake. Look at this recipe, look at these dumplings!

You need to make them. Yes, need, as in necessary to fill your carnal apple craving with this butter lusty recipe. Fall needs apples (see my previous post) and therefore you need apples. And this is the best way to get them.

Here's a picture as well (albeit a poor quality one) of the way all the dumplings look in the pan together, not just in an individual serving. Now, make me proud and bake them ASAP. And don't you dare call this dessert in and forget the ice cream. Go all out or get out of the kitchen.


Ingredients

-2 whole Granny Smith Apples
-2 cans (8 Oz. Cans) Crescent Rolls
-2 sticks Butter
-1 ½ cup Sugar
-1 teaspoon Vanilla
-Cinnamon, To Taste (I poured A LOT in, there is so much sugar, trust me when I say this can take it!)
-1 can (12 Oz.) Mountain Dew Soda

Peel and core apples. Cut each apple into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.

Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.