Archive | September, 2010

Korean Classics: Bee-Bim Bop, Bulgogi and Cucumber Kim Chee

26 Sep

My little Rosie competed in her very first gymnastics meet yesterday and she did so well!  We were so proud.   And to reward her, we decided to make the food that she has been talking about all week—Bee -Bim Bop!

Why has a five year old  girl been obsessing over a staple Korean dish, you may ask?

Her teacher has been reading the class, Linda Sue Park’s picture book–Bee-Bim Bop–which is a catchy rhyme about a young girl begging her mom to make the popular dish.  We borrowed the book from the teacher with the promise that I would bring some for her to sample.

Since the Project Food Blog challenge #2 is to make a Classic dish from another culture—I thought that Bee-Bim Bop would be the perfect dish.  It is relatively simple, so tasty, and can be easily modified to suit individual tastes. And it would make my gymnast happy……

Bee-Bim Bop, according to Park’s book, means “Rice Mix Mix” and is a popular and easy dish in Korea that consists of rice, vegetables, maybe some meat, and an egg.

For our Bee-Bim Bop, I decided to be adventurous and make Chicken Bulgogi, another Korean dish–to add to the Bee Bim Bop.  Bulgogi is traditionally made with beef, like rib-eye—but ,  I didn’t want to make a special trip to the store and the kids had steak the night before.  I also made sauteed spinach and green beans, quick cucumber kim chee, and, of course, fried eggs.

Yum!  To top it all off, I made “Butter Mochi”, a special treat that we love from Hawaii–and you will too.

Follow along for the recipes and the steps for our delicious Korean Saturday night.  (Apologies for such a long post—but it was a long night of cooking!)

Chicken Bulgogi

1) For the chicken bulgogi marinade, I used:

Marinade:

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 apple, grated with juices (the recipe called for Asian pear–but I didn’t have one.)

2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

1/2 small white onion, grated or sliced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (This is an essential kitchen staple in our household and should be in yours too–it adds so much flavor.)

1 tablespoon Sriracha Asian hot sauce ( You can find it almost any store–but definitely an Asian market.  This is good to always have on hand.)

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1 (20-ounce) bottle lemon-lime soda

1/2 cup orange juice

1) Mix all of the marinade ingredients in a shallow, plastic container with a lid.  I used a great one that I “borrowed” from my sister-in -law about 5 years ago.  I really should return that one of these days……

2) Add your chicken (or beef, if you so desire).  I used 4 chicken breasts that I split down the middle.

3) Let marinade for at least an hour–but overnight would be ideal.

4)  After it has sat in the marinade, grill them outside (or inside, if you have to).  I enlisted Aaron to help as outdoor cooking is his specialty, not mine.

Quick Cucumber Kim Chee

While the bulgogi was resting, I worked on the Quick Cucumber Kim Chee.  If I had store-bought Kim Chee at home, I would have skipped this step-but I didn’t.  I felt that we needed a crunchy, spicy addition to our Bee-Bim Bop and I had just bought some great looking cucumbers.  The ginger in this was a great combination with the other flavors in the Bee-Bim Bop.  Definately worth the extra steps.

I followed a recipe by David Chang I had found on the Food&Wine website and modified it slightly.

If you wanna make it, you will need:

2 cucumbers

2 1/4 T of sugar

1 T salt

1 T of Ginger (cut into small toothpick-like pieces)

1 T of Soy Sauce

1 T of Fish Sauce

1 small onion, sliced very thinly

3 cloves of garlic (which I almost forgot!  That would have been awful–you can’t have Kim Chee without garlic.)

1 green onion

1 tsp Sriracha sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1) Cut cucumbers into thin slices.

2) Toss cucumbers in  a colander with 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of sugar.  Let sit for ten minutes.

3) Mix the rest of the salt, sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, Sriracha sauce into a paste.  Add the onion and garlic.

4) Add the cucumbers and toss well.  Set aside in the refrigerator.  You will love this later!

Rice

You will need some nice white rice to enjoy this meal in its traditional form.   I am addicted to Japanese rice ( Kokuho Rose) and we buy it in 20 pound bags.  I am sure you could use brown rice for a less traditional take on Bee-Bim Bop but I don’t think it would taste as good.

Follow the directions in your rice cooker and make up a nice big pot of hot and steamy rice.

What?  You don’t have a rice cooker?  You need to get one.  They make your life so easy.  And, you can get your kids to make the rice–one less job for you!

Sauteed Spinach and Green Beans


This was the easiest part of the meal and I had  never thought to do this before.

1) Add 1 tsp of sesame oil  to a cast iron pan on medium heat.

2) Once it has warmed up a bit, add a bunch of spinach and toss it around to absorb the oil.

3)  Cover.  Let sit until wilted.

4) That’s it!  Do the same thing with the green beans–but add a little bit of water before you cover them.

Fried Eggs

Each dish of Bee Bim Bop will need one fried egg.  I made four over hard eggs as I am a little weird about over easy eggs–but if that is what you like–that is what you should make.

Assembling your Bee Bim Bop


Once you have prepared all of your ingredients, it is time to begin assembly.  Each person can serve themselves so the get exactly what they want.

1) Assemble your Bee-Bim Bop in this order:

Rice on the bottom

Veggies (sauteed spinach, green beans and cucumber kim chee)

Chicken Bulgogi

Fried Egg

To eat:

Mix, mix, mix. Mix everything together and add extra soy sauce or Sriracha sauce or Kim Chee to taste.

Enjoy!

BONUS!!!!  If you have read all the way to this point, I will reveal the recipe for a delcious but so not nutritious Hawaiian treat—-Butter Mochi


If you are feeling up to it, make this delicious treat you can find in Hawaii.  It is the perfect compliment to the Bee Bim Bop  and very easy to make.

You will need:

1/2 cup butter (softened)

3 cups of sugar

2 cups milk (whole or 2%—you need the fat)

1 can of coconut milk

1 box of Mochiko flour (In most big cities, you can find this in the Asian section of most grocery stores.  In Sarasota, we had to make a special trip to the Asian market.)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1) Mix together the butter and the sugar.

2) Add the eggs, milk, vanilla, coconut milk, baking powder and Mochiko flour.

3) Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

4) When you take it out of the oven, it will be crispy on top and so good.  Aaron loves it the most right out of the oven.  I prefer it cold–the next day.  Yummy!

Project Food Blog Challenge #2:  This blog post is my submission to the FoodBuzz Project Food Blog Challenge #2.  Please go here and vote for me.  It would so great to move on to the next challenge.  This is a lot of fun!

How did this happen?

24 Sep

Before.  Really, I need an explanation on how this table could get so cluttered.  Anything you could possibly need can be found on this table.  Postcard from 1946? Check.  Christmas Wrapping paper? Check. Cookbooks?  Of course.

It is enough to drive me crazy.

After.

Phew!  I feel better.  Time to bake something……..

Restaurant Review: Owens Fish Camp, Sarasota FL

23 Sep

I don’t know if I have ever posted about my lack of enthusiasm for restaurants in Sarasota.  I am not a food snob—but you have to understand, we have just moved recently moved here from Honolulu–one of the most diverse and eclectic places to eat.  If you want food–you have so many choices–Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Hawaiian, American and various combinations of all of these.  And not one of each type of restaurant but many many different choices.  Some of these places are fancy, (think:  Nobu) but many are casual and places that you could just pop into for a quick dinner.  And we did—we would regularly eat out at Genki Sushi, Yummy Korean BBQ, Balle Vietnamese.  All great and all reasonably priced.  Places we could retreat to when I just don’t feel like cooking.

I haven’t found that in Sarasota.  There is only so many times that I can go to Chipotle.    And besides that, I have struggled to find anything else that is worth my time or money.

The other night I did not want to cook dinner.

I had remembered walking by “Owen’s Fish Camp” near the Burns Court movie theater awhile back so I suggested that we try it out.  I like fish and I like the location–tucked away downtown in an area that makes you feel like you live in a big city. So, we quickly dressed and dashed down to the restaurant.

Even though we had called ahead, we were still met with a 35 minute wait time.  No worries though— they have a nice outdoor garden and allow guests to buy drinks at the bar and take them outside.  And to our surprise, they had Red Hook IPA on tap.  The first sip was a  bit skunky (Aaron’s word) but we got used to it.  (Note:  We have not found many restaurants that serve good beer in Florida.  So, although Red Hook IPA is not my favorite–it sure beats Yuengling)

We were seated outside surrounded by fishing nets and buoys—it was cool.  The kids were occupied.  We were ready to order.  Aaron was adventurous (and expensive!) and ordered the scallops , I ordered a fried green tomato salad with goat cheese and a side of clam chowder.  The kids got their usual—cheeseburgers.

Aaron and I both liked the clam chowder.  Although, it wasn’t particularly memorable.   And, we ended up giving most of it to little Rosie–who has developed a strong liking of the stuff.   Maybe that will be a fall recipe to test out….

I loved my salad!  Fried green tomato, goat cheese, buttermilk dressing on mixed greens.  The combination was perfect and I was very pleased with my decision. Oh, and the little pieces of bacon on top–I ate them too!


Aaron enjoyed his as well.  Nice sized scallops served with braised pork and some of “Owen’s Succotash”.  He thought it was great and still raves about it.  Although for $21.00 for his entree alone—it seemed a bit pricey to me.

We were very disappointed with the kids burgers.They looked good and they were good sized for a kid’s burger—but they refused to eat them.  They said they were ‘gross’–that from kids that will usually scarf down a burger and then ask for more –was surprising.  Aaron tested the burger and found them to be rather dry. Bummer!  Over twelve dollars down the drain and food wasted to boot.

Of course, the kids perked up when dessert was mentioned and were so excited to see Root Beer Floats on the menu.  Our friend, Anastasia had recently introduced them to the root beer float phenomenon and they were eager to try one at a restaurant…..The waitress was nice and let the kids split one root beer float—and plopped down a big mug of ice cream and a full bottle of specialty root beer–the good stuff.  The Bean and Rosie loved that they could pour their own….and drink the root beer right out of the bottle.

Aaron and I split the “Fried Blackberry Pies with Vanilla Ice Cream” and I was pretty disappointed.  $7.50 for a couple little pies and they were nothing special. (So, sorry for the poor picture quality…I have got to work on that.  Maybe someone will be getting a new camera for Christmas?)  I love the idea of fried blackberry pies—so it is definitely something that I will be working on.

So,  would we go back?  Very likely.  Although with the tourist season (or snowbird season) starting soon–it is likely to get more and more crowded.  But, the weather will soon (I hope) be so pleasant that it will be perfect to sit outside, have a beer or a glass of wine and wait for a table.

We were impressed with most of the dishes we chose and we love the atmosphere and the beer selection.  However, next time we will go without the kids and enjoy a little grown-up time.  Our bill, including beer, was about $85.00–not exactly a weeknight type of place–more of a date night kind of place.(Although there is no children’s menu–our server was very accommodating to the kids and we never felt as if they shouldn’t be there.  The place is casual and loud–perfect for our little ones.)

Check out their website for directions and their menu. If you decide to go, I’d love to hear your opinion.

And, it still leaves me with the question of where to go for an easy, reasonably priced dinner in Sarasota? Any suggestions?

Project Food Blog—Vote for me!

20 Sep

Hi everyone,

As you know from my previous post, I have entered the Foodbuzz Project Food Blog competition.  The way it works is this:

Each week the blogger contestants are given a challenge and they need to post the results of their challenge by Sunday with voting beginning the next day.  Voting is done by both a panel of selected judges and by the readers.  The results of the vote count will determine who gets to move on to the next round.  I would really, really like to be able to move on to at least the next round (Twist on the Classics) as I have a super great recipe to share.

So, please check out my FoodBuzz profile and vote for me on the Project Food Blog page (Just look for forty cakes!)

I don’t want to pester you all vote reminders but I may be gently requesting you to check out the newest post and submit your vote.  And, if you are not already a member of the FoodBuzz community–I highly recommend it.  There are some very talented food bloggers out there and they have some amazing ideas and recipes.

Voting for this particular challenge will end on September 28th, so please if you have a minute……vote for me and maybe I’ll make you some cupcakes!   (I feel like I am running for high school vice president or something.)

Ready or Not, Here I Come!—The FoodBuzz Project Food Blog Challenge

19 Sep

FoodBuzz is hosting this challenge, “Project Food Blog” to crown a Project Food Blog Champion and I have decided to enter.  One of the first challenges  is writing a post identifying why I think I should be the Project Food Blog Champion or even just continue on to the next round in this competition.

This is kind of tricky for me.

You see, I don’t see myself as a Food Blog star—I see myself as someone who loves writing about food, travel, kids and other random things……who just happened to stumble into this food blog world.  I love writing, cooking for, thinking about and talking about food and my little  blog —but know I have lots to learn. ( Those of you who read the post about Aaron’s birthday cake will know exactly what I mean.)

I read some other blogs by FoodBuzz Featured Publishers and know that they are in a whole other league.  Their photos are professional and polished, their posts are relevant and consistent, and they seemingly spend hours a day on their blogs (or else it just comes easier to them).

Their beautiful blogs have inspired me to take mine to another level.  More than just a place for me to send recipes to my mom.  More than an online diary of my cooking frustrations.
I am taking baby steps.

I have been working towards  shifting from a WordPress site to a full blown website, brushing up on my photography skills and figuring out how to reach out to more readers.  I hope to get to one of the FoodBuzz gatherings next year (this year it conflicts with the NYC marathon which I will be running).  I have started to become more organized and consistent.

This challenge coincides with the first birthday of Forty Cakes (can you believe it?  I have (almost) been doing this thing for a year?!?) and my desire to make Forty Cakes more beautiful, self sufficient and even more awesome.    Competing in the upcoming Project Food Blog Challenges will help me to get Forty Cakes to where I want it to be by challenging me to step out of my comfort zone and do things I might not normally try on my own.  That is both exciting and frightening at the same time (Especially the video post! Yikes!)

So, join me as I start this competition with this first post and hopefully get to continue with a few more.  Stay tuned because Forty Cakes is  going to get better.

Happy Birthday Aaron!

13 Sep

I think we watch too many cake baking challenges on the Food Network.  Does anyone else out there have young children who would chose a food challenge over iCarly?  What about young kids who draw pictures of their cake creation ideas?  Any kids who desperately want to be on one of the Food Network shows so that they can chose the winning cake?

If you don’t watch these shows, you may not understand what I am talking about.  Basically, there are four cake designers and they are given the job of  creating the cake that the client likes the best.  Sometimes the client is a young child planning their own birthday party, sometimes it is the director of a large corporation (Norwegian Cruise Lines).  Of course their cakes are over the top and nothing anyone would ever want to eat—but they are fun to watch them create.  Basically sculptures created with cake.

Cake created for the Cirque de Soleil Food Network Cake Challenge

We always have a friendly little bet going to make the show more exciting–whoever guesses the winning cake wins a dollar!  Last night, I won and the kids burst into tears.  A few nights ago, they both selected the winning cake and danced around the house like they had made a winning touchdown.  I wish I had a video of that.

So, Aaron’s birthday is today was last week and the kids drew pictures of the cakes they intended to make for him.  The Bean’s cake drawing consists of a layer of smoke, rockets that shoot out fossilized shark teeth, and a rice crispy treat layer topped with fondant dolphins.  Oh, and all layers need to have some type of long, candle—constantly spewing out fire and sparks.  In my 7 year old’s mind, this is the perfect cake for his dad.   And one that he really, really wants made and believes we can do.

Rosie’s cake was a bit more simple–only three layers (instead of 4), no smoke or fire (except for candles) and a fondant figurine of Mommy standing on the top holding, of course, a fossilized shark tooth.

I had planned a peanut butter cheesecake–but that will have to wait.

So, yesterday last Thursday, I was home (due to the Bean’s ant collection getting out of its jar and into my bed, resulting in a hugely swollen disgusting looking eye, but we don’t need to talk about that right now) —and started to think about this cake thing.  We bought some fondant, whipped up some buttercream and rice crispy treats and started to piece it together.  In the end, it didn’t come out at all like either of their drawings and I think it looks terrible.  The kids, however, COULD NOT WAIT to show Aaron and are so proud of their creation.   The Bean wanted me to send photos of it to his teacher and Rosie wants to take fondant to school so she can play with it at her desk. Both of them made me promise to post it on my blog. It was like they had just won $10,000 in the Food Network Challenge.

So, here it is:

Bottom tier:  Rectangluar yellow cake with a bittersweet chocolate buttercream, covered in minature fish figurines.

Middle Tier: Dark chocolate cake with a white buttercream (a really good one at that!) covered in orange fondant with purple and blue random fondant shapes.

Third tier:  Peanut butter rice crispy treats molded into a tall shape and sprayed with green food spray—lined with fondant stripes and topped with a fondant dolphin.

What did Aaron think?  He loved it of course!

Product Review: Palm Plates

7 Sep

Perfect Petite Palm Plates Picnic

When I was given the opportunity to review a product for this here little blog–I was excited….my first ever product review!  I had all kinds of ideas (luau)  of how I would review these plates and what I could do to test them.  But, when it finally came around to it–I realized that I wasn’t going to be making a luau feast anytime soon and had the usual time and over-commitment constraints to blame.

Not to mention, since we have moved from Hawaii to Sarasota, I have not been able to find any of the key ingredients needed for a proper Hawaiian feast.  (This is a real bummer–especially because Aaron’s birthday is coming up and he would love to eat poke and lau lau’s this weekend. Anyone have any suggestions of where I can get taro leaf in Florida?)

So, I decided to go a different route with this review.

Hiking near Zolfo Springs, FL

Did I tell you I am teaching a class about biodiversity?

There is a local art college that requires the students to take liberal arts classes including science, English and history.  So, as a second job, I teach a class once a week.  Science to artists.

I have been aware and concerned with environmental issues for a long time but it hasn’t been until I was getting my class organized, that I started to really get the importance of encouraging everyone to do every little thing we can to stop the decline of biodiversity.  Species are going extinct at a rate never thought to have been experienced.  Many species go extinct before we even know that they exist.  While many of these species are the tiniest of tiny bacteria–not all of them are–and even the tiniest bacteria have important roles to play in our ecosystem.

Giant Mushroom

One of the main reasons for this loss of biodiversity is habitat loss.  As populations increase and the world continues to develop, the need for raw materials increases.  To obtain these raw materials, plants and animals are destroyed.  All of the habitat destruction doesn’t just impact the animal world—our communities face the impacts of severe flooding, drought, starvation and landslides as a direct result of habitat degradation.    This doesn’t even include all of the cultural and social loss that occurs when communities lose their homes and natural resources.

You might be asking yourself, “What in the world does this have to do with Palm Plates?”

Perfect for a Little Lunch by the Pool

One of the coolest things about the Palm Plates is not that they are disposable/biodegradable/compostable—it is the fact that they are created by palm leaves that are naturally shed by the trees.  NO TREES OR PLANTS ARE CUT DOWN TO MAKE THEM.   It is a win-win.  We get pretty disposable plates that we can feel good about.  The communities that are involved get economic development without destruction of their valuable habitats.

And, they are impossibly sturdy!  This plate below is holding an entire cut up pineapple and shows no signs of bending under the weight.

Palm Plates with Pineapple

Look at them!  They are beautiful……and they each have a unique look to them—and though I only used mine for a quick little picnic alone–they would be perfect for a beach or a mountain wedding reception!

Palm plates are a product of the Marx Food Company, which I had never heard of until they sent me these plates.  However, looking at their website, they seem like a company I can support.  They sell a wide assortment of goodies like wild huckleberries, wild boar sausage, and ice cream molded like strawberries (I don’t understand how this is shipped out to people.). If you are interested in the Palm Plates or the other stuff that they sell, check out their website:  http://www.marxfoods.com

DISCLAIMER: Marx Foods did send me a few Palm Plates to review but this review in no way was influenced by the company.  It is an honest and open review.  I just so happened to like their product.

Monkey Cake

3 Sep

As this blog is entitled, Forty Cakes and I am on a mission to make 40 Cakes (in about 400 days)–I decided to take creative license in renaming this particular dessert.  You see, most people would call this “Monkey Bread” which really makes no sense at all.  There is nothing particularly bread-y about it.  And nothing remotely monkey related–except that I made the bread for and with my little monkeys.  They  squealed with delight whenever the subject came up (and that alone made up for the guilt I was feeling the other day).

I got inspiration, the recipe and the guidance from  Brown Eyed Baker and pretty much followed her directions exactly.  And, as suspected, she didn’t let me down.  This cake was great-especially warm, right out of the oven.  A cinnamon roll shaped as a cake.  How can it get any better?

Monkey Cake

Adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker

Dough:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, 2 tablespoons softened and 2 tablespoons melted
1 cup milk, warm (about 110 degrees F)
1/3 cup water, warm (about 110 degrees F)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 package instant yeast
3¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

Brown Sugar Mixture:
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 T unsalted butter, melted

Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk

1) Using the softened butter, grease up a bundt cake pan very well.  Set aside  (you can do this at first or after the first rising–it doesn’t really matter.)

2) Put the flour and salt in the stand mixer bowl.

3) In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, water, melted butter, sugar and yeast.

4) Turn the mixer on low–with the dough hook attachment and stir the flour and salt for a bit.  Slowly add the milk/yeast/butter mixture.  Continue on low until the dough comes together.  At this point, up the speed on the mixer a bit (medium) and let it do its job for about 6-7 minutes.

5)  Put your dough ball in a well greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow it to rise for about 1 hour.

6) After an hour, marvel at your new dough baby.  She is so soft and cuddly.  You will love her.  7) After marveling, roll out the dough baby into a rough square.  (Our square was very very rough….more like a rectangle/circle–but it worked.)

8) You are going to want to cut the dough into roughly equal pieces and roll those pieces into little dough balls.  (Your baby dough ball is going to have babies!)  64 little dough balls.

9) As you can see, our balls are not the same size or the same shape.  I promise you it won’t really matter (except to the unlucky person who gets a small piece).

10)  Melt your six T of butter and mix up your sugar cinnamon mixture (or have your monkeys do it–make them work for their cake!) 11) We started an assembly line.  I was responsible for the grabbing each baby dough ball and adding it to the butter.  Bean rolled them around in butter and then dropped it in the sugar.  Rosie covered the balls in sugar and dropped them in the cake pan.  It was amazing teamwork and there was no fighting!

12) You will want to fill up your buttered bundt pan with the dough baby balls.  Rotating the pan so that you have an even layer of dough balls.

13) You are going to let this rise…..for at least an hour–but longer seemed to work just fine. I let mine sit covered with plastic wrap for about three hours.  I came home to the dough baby balls bursting at the seams. (I wish I would have taken a picture–they looked so good.)

14) Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

15) Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes.  After that, flip the cake out onto a beautiful serving plate.  Mmmmm…look how ooey and gooey it looks!

16) While it is sitting, mix up your glaze.  Whisk together 2 T milk and 1 cup of powdered sugar.

17) Pour thin strands of the glaze over the cake, criss-crossing and looping over the entire thing.  Allow the glaze to slide down the sides and into the middle.

18) Serve slightly warm and allow each person to pull of the dough balls for themselves.  Pulling it apart is part of the fun!

Back to School Pizza Bread

2 Sep

NOTE:  I am getting a little bit disorganized over here and my posts are all out of order.  I was supposed to post this a couple of weeks ago and post the Monkey Bread today…but I got all confused and discombobulated.  Please forgive me.  Monkey bread is coming right up!

This week, I had Monday-Wednesday off of my day job.  I thought that I would be so productive–baking, cleaning, blogging,running–but I wasn’t.  I don’t know what happened.  I think because I didn’t have anything I had to do–I didn’t have the motivation to do anything  either.  Which isn’t entirely true, I did get to drop off and pick up the kids from school each day, and I did a lot of baking and cleaning.

And hanging–I did a lot of just hanging out with my kids.  Begging them over and over again to please tell me something about their day.

Not a lot of running.  Not a lot of blogging.  A lot of begging.

However, this blog post will make up for a dry spell as it contains the recipe and process for fabulous pizza bread that will make your whole family sing your praises.  It’s true!  (My husband who likes to pretend this little blog doesn’t exist, took one bite and said, “You really should put this on your blog.  It is soooo good.” )

The kids scarfed it down quickly!  And, they didn’t even complain about the red peppers and olives that I snuck into the dough.

Wanna make some?

I followed the recipe that I found on LaFujiMama and was created by The Ivory Hut**.

Some things you should know:

There is a lot of rising time.  There is an hour for the first rising and I left it overnight in the fridge for the second rising.  After that, the bread comes together and bakes rather quickly.  So, if you plan to eat it on any particular evening, start in the morning or the night before.

One batch isn’t enough.  I doubled the recipe and made two loafs–one really, really long loaf and one slightly rounded loaf.  It didn’t really matter once I sliced into them–but I was experimenting, you know?

Here is what you need to do:

1) Decide on your fillings.  I used 1/2 cup diced smoked sausage, 3/4 cup diced red peppers and 3/4 cup sliced olives.  The Ivory Hut suggested using pineapple or whatever you normally like on pizza and I wish I had experimented a bit.  Pineapple and olive is my favorite pizza combination and it would be good in the bread as well.

2) Mix up your dough. Sprinkle 1 tsp of yeast over 3/4 cup of warm water.  Let sit until the yeast does its thing and becomes foamy.  Add 1 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 tsp of kosher salt.  Using the stand mixer, mix until it comes together.  Add in your toppings. At this point, you may be having second thoughts about the looks of your bread.  You may even consider giving up and starting over again.  But, fear not!  Even though it looks bad, I promise you are on the right track.

3) Let it rise for about 1 hour.  Fold laundry, doodle or check out this blog.

4) After 1 hour put it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  I left mine the fridge overnight because I was distracted with zucchini bread.

5)  Once you are ready, flour up a work surface and get ready to put this together.

6) Roll the dough into a 11×17 rectangle —and sprinkle about 1 cup of cheese in the middle. (My rectangle ended up being quite a bit longer than 17 inches and I think I added a bit more cheese.  I didn’t really measure–I just went by feel.)

7)  Fold the ends in over the cheese and pinch closed at the top.

8)  Bake at 450 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.  I used a baking sheet—but a pizza stone would work too.

9) Let cool for a few minutes and use a good knife to slice it up.  Serve it to hungry people–but act fast and make sure to save a slice for yourself!

* Ivory Hut recently posted about a horrible house fire in which she lost everything.  If you have time, pop over there and send some love her way.  I can’t even imagine how devastating it must be…….