Thursday, February 21, 2008

BeaverCreek Mini Surprise (and pizza recipe)

My brother and his wife had their first child on New Year's Eve and over this last weekend my Mom and I drove out so that Aunt Stacy could meet her new nephew. And he is a gem!

"Conveniently", our visit just happened to be the same weekend as the BeaverCreek Mini Meet in the Dayton area. So while the baby napped, and Grammy got her fix, I snuck off and surprised Hale s Angel at the meet.
I had actually signed up for the event under the alias profile of MumstheWord, so the RSVP would be accurate. How fun it was to introduce myself! Diana and I have been doing postals together for about a year and a half and it was wonderful to get to meet her in person! There were plenty of other people there that I got to exchange with and about a million other stamps to ink. I think I could have stamped until midnight and still missed some of the boxes.
I have a special LTC, called Incognitro, that I created just for the event. I have some extras, so if you want to see my sig "in disguise", email for a trade.

I'm spoiled though. I live near Chicago, and we have some of the nation's best pizza here. My brother warned me that I wouldn't like Marion's. It wasn't that bad, though. And who has time to eat at an event anyway? But for all you Ohio people, here is my recipe:

Nitrocat's Homemade Pizza
Crust (bread machine)
1 c. warm water
1 t. sugar
1 t. salt
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. Italian seasoning
2 1/2 c. flour (I use whole wheat)
2 1/4 t. dry yeast

Sauce
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 c. chopped onion
28 oz. can tomatoes, drained
8 oz tomato sauce
1/2 t. oregano
1/4 t. fresh cracked pepper
1/2 t. sea salt
1 /2 t. sugar
1 bay leaf

Saute onion in oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 45-1 hour, or until desired thickness, stirring more frequently as sauce thickens to prevent sticking. If you want a smooth sauce, puree in blender. This recipe is enough for two 16" pizzas. *see note at bottom

Assembly
Roll out crust on a floured surface and transfer to a greased and floured pan (I use olive oil spray and corn meal). Spread with half of tomato sauce. Top with favorite toppings. A big key is getting a good fresh Italian sausage. For the cheese, I use a mixture of 2 parts mozzarella to one part other cheeses. I combine colby, monterey jack, and munster. Sprinkle a few fennel seeds, some Italian seasoning and fresh Asiago or Parm on top. A light sprinkle of salt is optional.

Bake at 400-425 until golden.

*note
This tomato sauce is a beautiful thing. After you blend it and remove half for the pizza, add some milk to the carafe and blend it again for a wonderful tomato soup. Or add a bit of garlic and basil as it's cooking and cut the simmer time down to about 15 minutes and it makes a great spaghetti sauce. I could go on.

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