Sunday, January 24, 2010

Crisp Pizza Party, guest chef, Mike Watson 1-22-10

Well, it has been a few months since my last event....during the holidays we invited  a few friends over and my husband made pizza, I made chicken wings, and my son made a flourless chocolate cake. It was a party.

Everyone raved about the food, so I thought, why not do a crisp event featuring pizza.

Trying to serve eight guests hot pizza, while only using a conventional oven with two pizza stones was a bit of a challenge.....but I think that in the end everyone loved the pizza. My pizza-making husband, Mike, sure makes a delicious pizza and the only way he can do it is by making a huge mess.  Thanks to my trusty helper Natasha, she was able to help in keeping Mike on track and helping him along.

We started out with the chicken wing course. I started to prepare these wings at about 2:00 pm that day.  They take a long time to cook, and the longer you cook them, the tastier and tender they get.  I also needed to get them out of the oven in time to heat up the oven for pizza.  I did use my trusty gas outside grill to keep them warm.

Next, the salad--which was a traditional Italian-style salad with mixed greens, cucumbers, carrots, roasted red peppers, and cured black olives. The dressing, a simple oil and vinegar, that included salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried basil.

On to the main course. Three different pizzas: cheese, sausage and mushroom, and feta and spinach. I was told from one of the guests, that she didn't like spinach, but loved the pizza. In my opinion, spinach is a tuff veggie, done correctly I believe many folks who say they don't like spinach could change their minds.

Lastly, homemade ice-cream sundays....all homemade--the ice cream, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. Topped with a fresh cherry and walnuts.

My guests graciously let me take their was  a really great evening, see for yourself .

Thanks Jess A. for your support in my endeavor, and being a supporter by attending many of my dinners....much luck for you in Boston!

Friday, January 1, 2010


Since I am on a roll I have one last post to start the new year.....the holiday season. This year I took a break from hosting the holiday feast at my house and enjoyed being with friends and families. I did decide to host my own birthday part, with the help of my husband Mike, and son Dylan, who was visiting from Chicago. It was a last minute idea, but I had 10 friends come. We ate chicken wings, pizza (homemade of course) made by my incredibly talented pizza-maker husband, salad and a flour less chocolate birthday cake that Dylan made for me. It was a really nice time and it was fun to celebrate my birthday, since my birthday is on December 25. Another really fun thing that I did for my birthday was to go to NYC with my friend Laura and mosh the the most awesome tunes of Gogol Bordello.

We spent bringing in the New Year with a few close friends.....we hoola hooped, we danced, we of course ate, and manifested all of our dreams for 2010 with friends on skype, we took a walk, and we lit sparklers at midnight. The last thing we did was we picked our words for both English and Italian. Louver won according to the American Heritage, definition: a framed opening, as in a wall, door or window, fitted with fixed or movable horizontal slats used in such an opening; and Innesto from the Italian dictionary, which means connection. Based on these words, I am confident that 2010 is going to be most excellent.

Bringing in the New Year I decided to make Cinnamon rolls--something I have never made, but saw a recipe that included cottage cheese and buttermilk. I had to make them since I had the two ingredients, two items I would not typically have on hand, especially at the same time.

Speaking of 2010 I am starting Crisp events beginning on January 22, with upcoming dates of February 26 and March 26. With menus featuring Mike's homemade pizza, braised beef ribs, and a tribute to my Spanish friend, with a Paella main course. I hope to see you soon

Holiday Gifts 2009-Marinara Sauce

What to make for a holiday gift? It took me a while to decide what it would be. I wanted something simple, and something that wouldn't cost me a ton of money. I also wanted it to be something that I could give to many of my friends that have special diets. What would be more appropriate than to make marinara sauce. I grew up on this stuff....homemade canned tomatoes from our huge garden waiting for Sunday to be opened and eaten. You could smell the sauce stepping outside your door. It was a tradition on Sunday, in my family, and in many families around, to eat pasta with homemade sauce on Sunday at, no later than 2:00 pm.

The recipe is simple, unfortunately, I don't measure when I cook, but I will give you approximates based on 2-14.5 ounce cans of tomatoes.

2 cans San Marzano tomatoes
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 teaspoons oregano
splash of olive oil
salt & pepper to your liking

Simmer for no less than 2 hours and viola....homemade marinara sauce that can be used for pasta, pizza, eggplant parmigiana, chicken parmigiana, or as my one friend who received a bottle told me she did with the sauce--put it on a brown rice tortilla, topped with cheese and into her toaster oven.