Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Make Your Own Pizza Night!

The weekend before last was a long one for us thanks to MLK Day and an even longer one thanks to a snow day on Tuesday. On Sunday I thought it would be fun to have a make your pizza night. I've always noticed that Trader Joe's sells their own pizza dough and I've always wanted to give it a try so this was our perfect opportunity. We have had a hard time finding a good pizza delivery place near us. We've tried every pizza place you can think of and none of them are that great. No one does pizza better than Mellow Mushroom and until recently we didn't even have one in our area. They opened one in DC but it isn't convenient to our house- bummer! So we settle every few weeks and order so-so pizza and move on with our lives.

For my pizza I decided to use pesto as my base and loaded it up with roasted red peppers, Kalamata olives, sauteed mushrooms, artichoke hearts and mozzarella cheese. Trader Joe's also sells pizza sauce so Chris used it for his base and mixed in a little pesto for extra flavor. He topped his with sauteed mushrooms, Kalamata olives, pepperoni and mozzarella cheese.

To get started remove the dough from the package and let is rest on a floured work surface for about 10-15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place your pizza stone into the oven to heat, or spray a large baking sheet pan with cooking spray. Add more flour to your work surface, then roll the dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough onto the pizza stone or a well-floured peel and then place your toppings. If you top your pizza beforehand the pizza will get heavy and has a tendency to stick when transferring it.

We baked them in the oven, one at a time, on our pizza stone for about 10-12 minutes and they turned out great! We drizzled each one of them with some high quality olive oil once they came out of the oven and they tasted better than any pizza we've ever had delivered. We also decided that my pizza was the tastiest of the two! The process was a little messy but all in all, well worth it.
Chris's pizza

Erin's pizza

Our little helper for the evening. This is what you get when you let a 19 month old play with a container of feta cheese!
In the summer I love to make dessert pizzas and grill them. Talk about a tasty dessert! If you want to take the easy route buy a pre-made pizza crust, like Boboli, slather it with mascarpone cheese and top it with mixed berries. Place it on a hot grill and let it grill until the crust toasts nicely and the cheese begins to melt. Once you remove it from the grill drizzle it with melted chocolate. You could also use Nutella as your base, top it with berries and drizzle with white chocolate. Yum!!
Berry Dessert Pizza

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Carter's First Hair Cut

We decided over the holidays that it was officially time to get Carter's hair cut. Around the time of Carter's first birthday Chris wanted to get his hair cut. I wasn't 100% on board but agreed to make the appointment. I was shocked when Chris changed his mind after several friends told him to wait. Carter has the rest of his life to worry with getting his hair cut. Why the rush? But over the holidays the hair around Carter's ears and at the base of his neck was a little out of control! When he would wake up in the mornings with knots in his hair I decided it was probably time.

I hadn't given much thought to when I'd make his appointment until I was getting my haircut one Friday evening. I was telling Katie, my hair dresser, how we decided it was time to bring Carter in to see her and she told me that she just so happened to have an opening the following morning. So the morning of Saturday, January 11th we took Carter in to see Katie for his first hair cut.

Carter was all smiles until we were seated and Katie placed the cape over the two of us. That completely freaked Carter out and the tears started to flow! Chris didn't understand why I was making such a big deal of this event and originally he wasn't going to join us. I decided to make him tag along so he could snap some pictures since I would have to hold Carter in my lap. I'm thankful he joined us because Chris had to hold Carter's head still, while I held his arms down just so Katie could trim his hair. You would have thought someone was torturing the poor child. Fortunately there wasn't a lot to cut so it took all of 5 minutes to complete his new do!
Katie was kind enough to gather some of the clippings and place it in an envelope for me. Call me crazy but I'll certainly file them away in Carter's baby book. Now that his hair is cut he really looks like a little boy! He's so handsome but it makes me a little sad because I have to come to terms with the fact that he's no longer a baby.