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Archive for the ‘Kitchen Accessories/Appliances’ Category

Hi everyone!
How cute is my new apron?! I am so excited that I just had to share it with everyone and all of the other cute aprons that Anthropologie has. I love to cook and bake in an apron. First of all, it makes me feel super cute and second of all, it saves your clothes from getting cheese, flour sugar, tomato sauce, etc. all over them. I love slipping an apron on over what I am wearing and getting to work in the kitchen! I got my apron at the Anthropologie at Cherry Creek Mall and it was super inexpensive at only $32. They all range from $24-$38 and are all different styles and patterns. They are a perfect gift for someone special or for yourself (mine was a gift to me from me!)

Check out all of the aprons that Anthropologie has to offer here!

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The red pepper and pancetta concotion....this photo really doesn't do it justice - clearly I was too distracted by the food, wine & friends to take any more photos...

This past weekend I had the pleasure of going over to Tori & Justin’s for a little dinner party consisting of wonderful company, superb wines, and the most delicious food….it was all so good we were there until 2 a.m. 🙂  Tori agreed to make her homemade pizza for me which I have literally been craving for, oh, a month now since I last had it.

A self-professed perfect-pizza-dough connoisseur, Tori’s is light, healthy, and just the right thickness.  For sauce she keeps it simple and throws a few ripe tomatoes in the food processor, spooning as much as she wants onto the dough before adding the delectable toppings.  This time the combos included red pepper and pancetta (angel bacon indeed), lamb with garlic sauteed mushrooms, and of course, a traditional Margherita.  They were all amazing, as usual.

Not the quickest recipe in the world (the dough takes two hours to rise, although Tori speeds it up a bit by letting it rise in the warmth of her car trunk sometimes) it is well worth the wait.  Now I just need to get myself a pizza stone and peel!
Ingredients

1 1/4 tsp active yeast
2 c. all purpose flour
2 c. semolina flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

With pizza stone in oven, preheat to 500.

1. In a small bowl stir yeast into 2 Tbsp lukewarm water.  Let stand until creamy – about 3 min.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours and salt then mound them in the center of the bowl.  Create a well in the center of the mound and pour in the yeast mixture, olive oil, and 1/4  cup of lukewarm water.  Using your fingers or a fork, swirl the liquid in a circular motion, slowly incorporating flour from the sides.  As the dough begins to form slowly add 1 cup of lukewarm water to the well until the ingredients are well combined and a rough dough has formed.  Knead vigorously stretching and pressing the dough against the work surface until the dough comes away cleanly from your hands and is smooth and soft (about 10 minutes).  To check if dough is sufficiently kneaded, cut away a small section – surface should be pocked with small holes.

3.  Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 5 min.

4.  Wash the bowl thoroughly and wipe down with olive oil.  Put the dough back in the bowl, cover again and let rise at room temperature (placing it near a warm stove top or dishwasher expedites the process a bit) until doubled in volume (about 2 hours).

5.  When ready to roll out the dough, divide into 4 even sections, punch down and flatten each into a disk – lightly flouring along the way.  Flip the disk over and sprinkle with additional flour, rolling out onto a pizza peel with a rolling pin.  Continue to flip, stretch, flour, and roll until desired thin-ness is obtained.  Sprinkle the top of the disk with a sturdy amount of semolina and give it one last flip onto the pizza peel before adding toppings to prevent sticking.

Quickly top pizza and place it on the pizza stone – bake each pizza for 9 – 11 minutes.  Upon removing the pizza from the oven Tori follows up every single one with a few twists of fresh ground sea salt and a drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil.

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Anthropologie has long been a favorite store of mine (online mostly since we don’t have one in Hawaii); full of creative and unique items I could spend a fortune collecting if allowed.  And as the holidays roll around and I am frantically searching for something different to give, I invariably turn to their site for help.  This year is no exception.  I spent lunch today perusing the Kitchen portion of their website and found more than a few things that made me swoon.  From measuring cups shaped like flowers (L.O.V.E), some of the top cookbooks out there right now, to whimsical aprons and so much more, you are sure to find the perfect something for your favorite cook.

And of course, how could I forget?  Half the fun of cooking is having fun dishes to serve all of your yummy creations on!

Here are a few of my favorites:

 

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Last week I went to a screening of FRESH, a film that stresses the importance of sustainable farming.  Other than making me never want to eat anything that isn’t organic or free-range, I left with a few exciting prospects.  First being that I am going to take part in a lesson on how to make my own compostable worm farm and also how to grow food in various different environments (in my case an enclosed lanai in a gigantic condominium building).  And second, the promise from my fellow Kanu member and friend Olin, to bring me a starter kit with which I would be able to grow my own sprouts in my kitchen.  So yes, it is now my mission to start a farm, or something that slightly resembles that, in my apartment.  Here is the first instillation of what is sure to be an interesting/exciting experiment.


Growin’ My Own Sprouts – Day 1

Today at a meeting Olin brought me my starter kit which included a sprout tray, a packet of mixed sprout seeds and instructions.  He briefly 11.01 127showed me what the deal was, and then presented me with a challenge – that once I had gotten a hang of this whole sprout growing thing that I attempt to make wheat bread entirely out of fresh sprouts (he provided me with a recipe of course).  Never one to turn down a cooking experiment, I agreed and headed home to begin the process.

Step one is soaking the seeds (I started with 1 Tbsp) for 8-12 hours, so I threw those puppies in a jar of water, covered them with a towel (who knows if you are actually supposed to do that, but I was so worried about them being in the light I took the extra precaution) and will check on them in the a.m.  Olin tells me that in 4 days or so I should have quite the amazing sprout collection – something that I am very much looking forward to.  More tomorrow.  Nighty night!

 

A little sneak peak of what is to come: Here is a link to a video Olin made of him making sprouts….

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When I was at William’s Sonoma a few weeks ago I found this table full of “green” cleaning products.  I decided to get the sponges which were $3 for two.  They are totally die free, are made from natural cellulose, and are completely biodegradable.  I opened them just today, and they are so much thicker and nicer than the normal sponges you are used to using.  I promise you will love them, and who doesn’t like one more way to be a bit more environmentally conscious?  Go HEREto buy them online (as well as other great “Green” kitchen supplies!) at Williams Sonoma, or get them in the store.

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emulstir

Emulstir – my new favorite kitchen gadget.  This baby is quite possibly one of the coolest things I have seen in a while.  So I should start by telling you that one of the things I hate most is bottled salad dressing.  I am hard pressed to find one that I cannot live without, and I am constantly confused as to why restaurants who have AMAZING salad dressings cannot just bottle and sell them to me already.  As a result, like my mom, I make Ranch from scratch using the Hidden Valley powder mixes, and often make my own vinaigrette from stone ground mustard, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and shallots (my french host mom taught me this one) and that’s basically it.  BUT this is all about to change thanks to my Auntie Lindsay who gave my mom one of these Emulstirs for her birthday recently. 

The Emulstir is a bottle that you put all of your dressing ingredients into (there are even recipes on the side of the bottle), and then there is this nifty handle thing that when squeezed, spins around a plastic piece in the bottle, emulsifying the ingredients for you!  There is a spout on the top so promptly after stirring all you have to do is pour!  Genius I tell you!  Because we all know that the problem with so many dressings, especially when they contain oil, is that its impossibly hard to keep them mixed as you use them.  Never again will this be an issue if you’ve got one of these!  Best part is it was only about $15 at Williams Sonoma http://bit.ly/TSUOY.  Auntie Lindsay told my mom when she gave it to her that she had made her own dressing for weeks now and is loving it!  I haven’t used mine yet, but I am positive I am going to be addicted to it as well 🙂

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The other day, I heard the doorbell ring. Looking out the window and seeing a FedEx truck, and I wondered what my boyfriend had ordered now. We just moved into a new townhouse and it seems like there is a delivery every day for one thing or another. Which could be fun, but it is never anything for me. This time it was! I signed for the package and since it was addressed to me and from Williams-Sonoma, I could not wait to tear into it! It was heavy too. I had no idea what it could be…

I opened the card and it was from the CEO of my company- for a holiday gift, he had sent every employee a Cuisinart Coffeemaker! I unwrapped the wrapping paper and opened the box to find a beautiful 12 cup Programmable Coffeemaker. Since caffeine is probably my #1 addiction, this was the perfect gift for me. I can’t wait to have friends and family over to share this special new gift!

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If anyone has any yummy winter or holiday coffee ideas, send them my way! You can post a comment below or email it to zoeanderin@gmail.com

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