sheet pan pita pizza with broccolini and lemon

All of my teacher friends have gone back to work, the apples on our trees have appeared, and Eggboy comes in every night covered in a light layer of wheat dust because he is about halfway through wheat harvest. This can only mean a few things!

Fall is near

Risotto season is near

All of the mosquitos will soon die

I have to start collecting things for my Halloween costume and learning the choreography to that Haim video

Bojack season 4 and Broad City season 4 will be out soon

And before we know it Candace Cameron Bure will be all up in our TV with this year’s new Hallmark Christmas movies and I’ll be baking my second annual cookie tins, flipping latkes, and humming Sufjan Christmas.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

I know we’re supposed to be ~hanging on to the last days of summer~ but cover me with pumpkin bread and let me be cozy.

Of course I don’t want to minimize all of the wild and crazy awesome summery things that this last month since Eggsister wedding has brought, so I am going to show & tell some highlights right here:

-I fell in lurrrv with Maine, nearly died of happiness in the shadow of a lighthouse as butter dripped down my face while I ate my first real lobster with old friends and new! I taught classes at the magical Stonewall kitchen, experienced the insanely awesome Tandem Coffee Roasters and Briandre3000, freaked over oysters and kimchi ice at Eventide, and got to see Luke play gong at Bowdoin!! And then thanks to new friend Emily I got to see the Punch Brothers/I’m With Her/Julian Lage tour (and tell Chris Thile that I’ll be making him a hotdish soon)!

-Partied my tuchus off at Jaclyn’s wedding (complete with late night Ted Drewes!!) and Stefani and Kelly’s Bridal shower the day after!

-Judged the first annual town hotdish competition! There were six entries, including something called a funeral hotdish, which you and I are going to sit down and chat about on another day, and one with Thanksgiving stuffing all over the top, which I’m totally going to do this Thanksgiving. Sadly there were no tater tot hotdish entries, so please start planning your entries for next year, ok?  

-Celebrated my fourth anniversary of moving here! And this lil blog's ninth birthday! 

-Road bikes all around Mackinac island with the fam and then ate all of the fudge and snow cones and talked the entire time about how we felt like we were in a poop-scented Disney World. It was so great. 

-And then Eggboy and I saw Bruno Mars live in Fargo!! We bought tickets like a year ago because we loved his performance at the 2014 Super Bowl so much. It happened to be on a Friday and because it was all the way in Fargo, I made this here pizza so that we could have pizza night on the road. It’s kind of a hybrid between a grandma pie and the farmers market focaccia that I love getting at Huckleberry, and it’s covered in a flavor combo that I can’t get enough of these days: broccolini, lemon, garlic, and parmesan. Those four things are the perfect combination of bright/salty/sour/green, the kind of amazingness that can only really be made better on a bed of doughy crust and under a blanket of melty mozzarella. And because we’re eating a bunch of broccolini we’re going to continue to ride the healthy train by making this crust part whole wheat. It’s good! The crust uses the same dough that I use for my pita, it’s super easy to make, and it only rises for a couple of hours (or, maybe only one hour in this heat), versus the overnight pizza dough that I typically urge you to make. It’s also the type of thing that’s just as tasty at room temperature, in case you want to bring this to a potluck or, yeah, enjoy in the car on the way to the Bruno Mars concert!

One thing that will send this over the top:

Let loose with on the flaky salt on the crust. Do not hold back. Zoom in on the very top left picture in my grid up above, the one of the box of pastries, do you see how much salt there is on that chocolate chip cookie? It was an *inspiration*, h/t Briandre. It redefined my comfort level with flaky salt and this pizza crust is my prize and it can be yours too if you set your mind to it. 


sheet pan pita pizza with broccolini and lemon

makes one 9" x 13" pizza

ingredients

for the pita:

1 1/2 c (356g) warm water

2 1/4 tsp (1 envelope) active dry yeast

1 1/2 tb sugar

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

3 tb olive oil

2 c (256g) bread flour

1 3/4 c (224g) whole wheat flour

 

for the pizza:

olive oil

8 oz fresh mozzarella, torn

1 lemon, cut as thin as possible with a sharp knife or mandoline, seeds removed

1/2 purple onion, cut as thin as possible with a sharp knife or mandoline

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

6 oz broccolini, chopped

kosher salt

black pepper

2 oz parmesan cheese, shredded, plus more for serving

crushed red pepper

flaky salt

clues

for the pita:

in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together the water, yeast, and sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy. with the mixer running on low speed, add the salt and oil, then gradually add the flour. increase the speed to medium-high and mix until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky, 7 to 10 minutes, adding just enough additional flour so that the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. (alternatively, mix by hand and knead on a lightly floured surface.) place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn it once or twice to coat it in oil. cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, 1-2 hours.

for the pizza:

preheat the oven to 450ºf. 

brush a sheet pan with 1/4 cup olive oil and pat out the pita dough to the edge, this might seem like a lot of olive oil but it'll make it good. set this aside to rise (uncovered) for another 20 minutes or so. Now is a good time to chop your toppings.

brush the dough with another little drizzle of olive oil, top with fresh mozzarella, lemon, onion, garlic, and broccolini. add another drizzle of olive oil on top. sprinkle the toppings with a couple pinches of kosher salt, a tonnn of black pepper, and shredded parmesan. Sprinkle the edges of the crust with flaky salt and don't be shy with it.

bake for 25 minutes or so, or until the cheese is browned and splotchy and the crust is golden.

top with crushed red pepper and additional parmesan, if desired. 

enjoy!


-yeh!

farro with dukkah, things from the garden, and grilled lemon

sup, homies! how is your school supplies shopping season going? get any good gelly roll pen colors? smell any pumpkin spice? hear any sufjan? i’ve had a week of major ups and giant downs, downs to the point where this emoji 😩  crept into my frequently used pile. lame! there was our broken oven, a hair coloring emergency, and two stubbed toes. which don't seem like a lot but my heavens i had no idea how boring it'd be to go for 2 1/2 days without an oven. but then! there was a fixed oven and new brunette hairs and lots of progress made on my yogurt book! holler. and eggboy’s beet fields are looking really extra good because he’s been working overtime since we’re going out of town to jaclyn’s wedding in a few days (!!). so when you pair all of those things with the fact that in my broken oven boredom i discovered some great riverdale superfan instagram accounts, we defo ended up with a net positive week. oh and i’m forgetting one of the best things that happened which was that the new wet hot american summer came out. i’ve watched the whole thing three times already. not word for word, i just have had it on continuously in the background while testing yogurt soup and yogurt cookies and it is the best soundtrack for cooking while the end of summer sun pours in. 

speaking of camp, every so often when i’m watching w.h.a.s. or perusing my old summer camp’s instagram stories or getting really into my collection of podcasts about camp (1/2/3), i get the pharaoh song in my head, the one that goes,

“pharaoh pharaoh!

ooooh babay, 

let my people go—*weird thrusting motion that has no lyric but a grunt assigned to it*

yeah yeah yeah yeah”

you know the one, right? we sang it every friday night at camp!

and so because our internet exists in a sea of grain bowls, my mind these days has been going straight to farro when i think about that song and then i get a craving for it. it's so chewy and hearty (and underrated?). (is it underrated? i have a hard time gauging these things living in a small town since i don’t think it’s on any menus here but i have this hunch that it’s maybe on every single menu in california? or maybe it was back in 2015? idk.) the thing is, it's good. i like that it's on the bigger bulkier end of the grain spectrum and that it chameleons itself onto whatever flavors you slap it with. it’s also great cold so you can make a bunch of it in advance and either send it out to the fields for a harvest lunch or keep a bunch in the fridge for when you spend the whole morning testing cake recipes and forget to eat anything of substance until it's too late to spend time making anything.

oh and i was talking about pharaoh! 

the pharaoh song inspired me to want to add egyptian flavors to farro. so i toasted up some dukkah, sautéed a bunch of garlic and onions, and then headed outside to rip some mint and vegetables from the garden. our garden is in the calm before a very tomato-y storm right now since it is filled with zillions of green tomatoes that i just know are going to ripen all at the same time. luckily there have been a few early ripe ones. i also grabbed some basil and radishes, which are giant and probably overgrown, and then tossed everything together with tons of grilled lemon juice for a smokey caramelized acidic situation. the result: a bright flavor-filled summery salad that packs some textural excitement, thanks to the dukkah, which functions as a savory crunchy sprinkle of sorts. this salad doesn't have a formal dressing but between the olive oil that cooks the onions and garlic, the grilled lemon, the herbs, and the dukkah, you have all of the great makings of one, and you also have the protein from the farro and nuts which makes this thing a nice filling meal. can i call it pharaoh farro?

every time i’ve made this now i think i’m going to have enough to keep in the fridge for at least a few days but then eggboy hides it all in his belly before i even have my seventh cup of coffee 🙄  so i guess that’s a good sign but as soon as more tomatoes ripen i should really make a double batch.

ok bye. 

how is your garden growing?

i used bob's red mill farro for this! other than it tasting super good, i like it because the package has directions for boiling it. as simple as it is, i never remember cooking times for grains, so this package makes me one step closer to eliminating the need for getting that grain cooking time tattoo.


farro with dukkah, things from the garden, and grilled lemon

makes 4 servings

ingredients

1 c (208 g) bob’s red mill farro, rinsed

Kosher salt

1/4 c olive oil

1/2 onion, coarsely chopped

1 bunch scallions, chopped, whites and greens separated

4 cloves garlic

1 lemon, halved

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 c (75g) toasted almonds, coarsely chopped

1 tb toasted sesame seeds

10 oz (283g) cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 persian cucumbers, thinly sliced

a few handfuls of fresh herbs (basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, or a mix), coarsely chopped

crushed red pepper

black pepper

a handful of feta, optional

clues

in a large pot, combine the farro and 3 cups water. bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. drain excess water, season with salt, and set aside.

while the farro is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet and add the onion, scallion whites, and a pinch of salt. cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes, and then add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. pour the mixture into a heat safe bowl and set aside. 

wipe out the skillet and heat it over medium high heat. grill the lemon, flesh side down, until browned, and set it aside.

make the dukkah: toast the cumin seeds and coriander seeds until fragrant and then crush in a mortal and pestle. mix with the chopped almonds, sesame seeds, and a pinch of salt.

in a large bowl fold together the farro, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs (reserving some for serving), scallion greens, onion olive oil mixture, the juice from the grilled lemon, a few pinches of crushed red pepper, a bunch of turns of black pepper, the feta, if using, and half of the dukkah. taste and add more salt if needed. 

to serve, top with additional dukkah and herbs as desired. this can be eaten immediately or stored in the fridge and served cold or at room temp. enjoy!


-yeh!

Thanks to bob's red mill for sponsoring this post!

how to make flower cake for an intimate wedding of 320 people!

three months out: practice buttercream flowers. watch how-to videos. embrace the bedtime instagram session and search #buttercreamrose often. order all of the tips from wilton and all of the color gels from americolor. try swiss buttercream, screw up italian buttercream, settle on american. test the almond cake, the hazelnut cake, and the coconut rose cake six or eight times. make a folder with all of the recipes. order a pan rack! call him jim. make a schedule. acquire a large white board to make some lists. get cake boards, cake boxes, piping bags, parchment circles, and gold pearls. make a sam’s club list and a grocery store list. separate them into perishables and non-perishables. buy all of the non-perishables. think about cake stands, come close to buying this blue one, but decide against it since it doesn’t fit with the overall aesthetic (and since you bought all of the wilton tips when you really only needed some of these and some of these) and this cake situation is about eggsibs, not your personal cake stand desires.

consult with eggsis, consult again, just don't stop talking or thinking about cake.

rent dress, make sure it fits with enough room to allow for taste testing.


three weeks out: clean out one of your freezers. fill it with cookie dough, pop-tarts, and muffins for the before-the-wedding festivities and the after-wedding breakfast. begin baking cake layers at a leisurely pace. once they are cool, wrap them in plastic wrap, label with masking tape, and freeze. do not stack more than two layers on top of one another before they are completely frozen.

five days out: clean out fridge. replace the baking soda box. buy all of the heavy cream and butter in grand forks. take a deep breath, or a nap, or a b-12 shot.

four days out and three days out: realize your vanilla cupcake recipe still sucks. work on it, save all the good ones, bake 16 batches. put them on sheet pans, wrap them in plastic wrap, and freeze. keep some out to practice frosting swoops. bake all remaining cake layers and freeze. 

two days out: welcome mum to town!! assign her to frosting duty and emergency butter runs. frost all cakes with a white layer of buttercream. don’t be lazy, do a proper crumb coat, firm up in the fridge, and then do another coat. store uncovered in the fridge.

one day out: welcome celeste to town!! color all of the frosting for the flowers, fill piping bags. cut out small parchment squares. pipe flowers ad infinitum. refrigerate on sheet pans until firm. top cakes with a mound of frosting to give dimension to the flowers, top the mounds with flowers. fill in empty spaces between the flowers with leaves and artful blobs. tweezer on gold pearls. store in the fridge.

eat pizza because it’s friday and because pizza appeared on the farm while everyone was outside setting up for the rehearsal dinner and because eggboy came in with a slice hanging out of his mouth and it looked good.

say hi to eggsis and any other visitors that swing by! 

go to the rehearsal, sneak out of the rehearsal dinner early to finish the remaining flowers. brainstorm the finishing touches and a way to differentiate the center cake from the other cakes. brainstorm brainstorm brainstorm. taco bout it with celeste and mum. go to sleep, confident that quality brainstorming really does happen in the middle of the night. wake mid-slumber with the correct idea! cha-ching! set an alarm to go off the next morning so that you don’t forget it. (“marzipan cut-out heart” 9am.)

wedding day: take cupcakes out of the freezer, frost them all, put em in boxes and keep at room temp. make marzipan heart. assign mum to pop-tart glaze and sprinkle duty!

pack everything up (cakes, cake stands, spatulas, gloves, piping bags with any leftover frosting, tweezers, and sprinkles), fill eggmom’s mini van, ride slowly slowly all the way there. set everything up at the venue, add a last-minute border around the center cake. 

yeah go team!!! hi fives all around. cakes stay out at room temp. 

get hairs did! eat a bagel. put on dress. acquire a brother-in-law!!!!!!!! party. cheer on eggsis and eggbro as they cut the cake! steal two slices, go outside with celeste, style those suckers, and get those shots before the sun goes down! eat nachos, lose voice, guard cake leftovers, bring them home, stick them in the deep freeze, and go to bed!!

yayyyy!!!! congratulations, eggsis and eggbro!!!!!!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

photos by celeste noche!

hot dogs with moroccan carrot slaw on jerusalem bagel buns + a summery backyard feast!

limb by limb i am peeling myself off of the couch and ending the post-eggsiswedding recovery and rehydration process. it took a solid few days but that’s ok because i had game of thrones to catch up on (which was broken up by the pilot of santa clarita diet, um… do we need to talk about this?) as of this weekend i officially have the following things: a very tall eggbro, experience making 320 wedding cake servings, and a beginner level proficiency for turning small talk into medium talk. i learned about zady and what it’s like studying feminism in texas, and then at the pizza place we invented a new revolutionary diet that is going to blow all of your minds (either for its brilliance or stupidity… celeste, would you like to take the lead on this one?). i am extremely excited to see all of celeste’s photos that she took over the weekend and to tell you about how the cake building went, but for now here is a sneak peek and here is another one.

today we are talking about summer grill parties! 

i was raised in a mayo-free household. i always thought that this was because i was raised in the 90s, and in the 90s, fat was evil. but then this weekend my mom told me that it was actually because “jews don’t eat mayonnaise unless it’s in whitefish salad or egg salad,” (two things that i absolutely did not eat when i was little). that lead to a quick trip down an internet rabbit hole that more or less confirmed this (i’ll let you get into it here on google). and while as an adult i now love mayo enough to qualify to be the captain of #teammayo, i still have a small amount of guilt whenever i eat macaroni salad or potato salad or coleslaw, the kind of mayonnaise-y things that i most often encountered when i was little since in those days the only times i’d see mayo were at other people’s houses, for barbecues and grill parties. it was an unwritten rule that stoopie and i were not to eat the salads at these parties. so similarly to how i inherited a portion of my mom’s aversion to creamy soups, i also inherited this macaroni salad guilt. which doesn’t stop me from eating it (eggbro’s aunt made a great one for the rehearsal dinner, and in january i learned the magic of the rainbow drive-in plate lunch) but it does encourage some sort of moderation and is also most certainly the reason for my relief re: all of these new pasta salads and potato salads i keep seeing around the internet that have swapped out mayo for olive oil. 

i love this trend, not just because of my reduced guilt, but also because i feel like there’s more creativity to be had with it. mayo-y salads showcase mayo and modesty and comfort, olive oil-y salads showcase brightness and flavor. they encourage fresh herbs and vegetables and are accommodating to loud spices. i like that their colors get shinier when they’re dressed. and it’s bathing suit season. olive oil just seems more appropriate for that.

so we had a dinner about it! my friends at california olive ranch sent over some of their olive oil and a few weeks ago when i had family in town, we picked radishes and herbs from the garden and then had a lovely feast in our backyard. cats and dogs were invited. bugs were not. here was our menu:

rainbow radishes // we can’t get them anywhere in town so we grew our own and they’re finally up! we served them with butter, olive oil, and flaky salt.

maureen’s lebanese potato salad with lemon and mint // i love this potato salad, i’ve made it multiple times. it is so bright and fresh.

ottolenghi’s pasta salad with spring vegetables and tomatoes // we used farro instead of pasta and it was fantastic!

hot dogs with moroccan carrot slaw and jerusalem bagel buns // see below!

chocolate frosted olive oil blondies // duhhhhh

ok, about these hot dogs: i love a crunchy fresh slaw on my dog. and herbs and cucumbers and onions and yes, this is essentially a salad on a hot dog so eat 12 because they’re basically healthy. this slaw is inspired by moroccan carrot salad which is the best part of any salatim spread. typically moroccan carrot salad uses cooked carrots that are chopped into coins, but to preserve some crunch, this slaw uses raw shredded carrots. they’re tossed with smoky harissa, nutty arbosana olive oil, a couple of chopped dates for sweetness, and lots of garlic. it’s wonderful on its own but its sweet smokiness goes so well with the sweet smokiness of a hot dog that it is something you’ll definitely want to do. you can totes use a veggie dog. you cannot use a carrot dog. that’s too meta. and if you don’t have a good hot dog bun source, go ahead and make some fluffy ones from scratch out of jerusalem bagel dough


hot dogs with moroccan carrot slaw on jerusalem bagel buns

makes about 4 cups of slaw, enough to top about 12 hot dogs

ingredients

for the slaw:

2 tb fresh lemon juice

2 tb california olive ranch arbosana extra virgin olive oil

2 tb harissa

2 large cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 tsp ground cumin

3/4 tsp kosher salt

black pepper

4 large carrots, shredded

1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped

4 medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped

for serving:

jerusalem bagel buns (use this recipe but instead of shaping 6 large bagels, shape 12 long buns)

hot dogs, veggie or meaty

thinly sliced cucumbers and onions

fresh mint leaves

mayo, optional

clues

to make the slaw, in a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, harissa, garlic, cumin, salt, and a few turns of pepper. add the carrots, parsley (reserving a small handful), and dates and toss to combine. cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (this can be made a day ahead). top with remaining parsley before serving.

to serve, top a hot dog with the carrot slaw, a few slices of cucumber and onion, a handful of fresh mint, and a drizzle of mayo, if desired. enjoy! 


-yeh!

thank you, california olive ranch, for sponsoring this post! 

all photos by chantell and brett quernemoen!