Happy Monday!!! I say this as I am downing my 20th cup of coffee, after hitting the snooze button 7 times, and a shower that was rushed and left me wondering if I actually used soap. Yep, it is one of those Mondays. So, still Happy Monday!! even though it might be a bit forced at the moment…at some point in time today it will ring true. Until then..let’s drink another cup of coffee and chat about our weekend.
Mine started late Friday night after working until 9pm. I drove 2 + 1/2 hours to my parent’s house and by midnight I was scavenging through their fridge. This is my ritual…I walk in the house, drop my bags in the middle of the floor, and while I am acknowledging the existence of my parents ,who have stayed up waiting on my arrival, I dive into their fridge and cupboards. Digging for something, anything…generally stuff I don’t allow in my house. Oreos and Diet Coke. Townhouse crackers. Little Debbies. Oh and leftovers. I love to eat leftovers, cold, straight from the fridge. Nothing is safe after my arrival. It’s gross. I can’t help myself.
Saturday morning started with my dad actually making me a cup of coffee. ( he knows how to get me moving). They bought a Keurig not long ago and I am in love. That cup of coffee was just one of many on Saturday. A weekend at my parent’s house…you need fuel to survive. Saturday included ham salad making and eating. Testing out the new seat on the Harley. A community egg hunt. Visiting with grandma. 657 games of checkers ( ipad and old school style). Coloring. Letter writing – the six-year-old is writing sentences. What!?! I found silly putty in my hair. Painting. A few cups of spilled milk. A quick chat with my aunt…she reads the blog, love it! March madness. OSU, really?!? Watching a three-year old dance to my ipod. Oh and after everyone left…I caught up on New Girl. It was 1am.
Sunday…Sunday started out slow and lazy and with a slobbery face licking from Duke. Duke is a boundry-less bassett hound. What a way to wake up! The sun was shining and mom had agreed to join me on my long run. She rode her bike and kept me company for 17 miles. 17 miles that turned out to be about only 16…eh, Nike Sensor I will fix you tomorrow and I am not going to worry over 1 mile. At least I will do my best not to. The day finished with another 2 + 1/2 hour drive back home, listening to this podcast, eating a half eaten bag of popcorn, and feeling the warmth from the first touch of sun on my face since last summer.
I wish weekends lasted longer…two days just isn’t enough sometimes (or ever), but we have to work with what we have and be happy with two days. And I am. On most weekends, my family, always goes the pizza route for Saturday night dinner. Quick, feeds a crowd, and we all love pizza. While, I didn’t share this with my family – I ate it mid-week when a mad pizza craving hit me – it would be perfect for a family pizza night.
Oh and this week…this week is Opening Day. Baseball season is upon us…Go Indians!
Asparagus and Bacon Pizza
Makes 14 inch Pizza
- 3/4 Cup Warm Water (about 110°F)
- 1 Package Active Dry Yeast
- 1 Tablespoon Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 + 3/4 Cup Flour, divided
- 1 +1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 2 teaspoon Olive Oil
Roasted Garlic Sauce
- 1 Head Roasted Garlic, peeled (about 10 individual cloves)
- 2 Tablespoon Butter
- 2 Tablespoon Flour
- 1 Cup Whole Milk, warmed (about 1 minute in microwave)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
- Salt to taste
- Pinch Cayenne Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 4-6 Slices Cooked Bacon, roughly chopped
- 15 Asparagus Stalks (bottom of stalks trimmed off), sliced into coins
- 1+1/2 to 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
In a small bowl, whisk together warm water, yeast, 1 tablespoon flour, and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes. It should form a foamy like layer – if it doesn’t, your yeast is dead – start over with new yeast and make sure your water isn’t too warm.
In a mixing bowl, with dough hook attached, combine 1 + 1/4 Cup flour and salt. Mix to combine. With mixer on low, slowly add yeasty mixture and olive oil. Continue to mix until flour is all incorporated and then slowly add remaining flour (tablespoon by tablespoon) until the dough forms a soft ball of dough that is no longer sticky. This mixing should take about 8-10 minutes. Turn dough out into a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for about 1 to 1 + 1/2 hours until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Once melted, whisk in flour and cook for about 1 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk in warm milk and cook until thickened – about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, and Parmesan cheese.
Place roasted garlic cloves and cream sauce into a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover (plastic wrap directly on sauce so a skin doesn’t form) and refrigerate sauce until ready to top pizza.
Back to the pizza dough.
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Once the dough is doubled in size, punch down dough and let rest for an additional 5 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll or stretch dough into a 14 inch circle and place dough onto a pizza pan. (if you use a pizza stone, then use the directions for a pizza stone).
Bake pizza crust for about 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and build your pizza. Ladle and evenly spread creamy roasted garlic sauce onto baked crust. Evenly spread asparagus coins and crumbled bacon onto sauce. Top with about 1 + 1/2 to 2 Cups mozzarella cheese. Return pizza to oven and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese is beginning to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and enjoying.
Stores well in fridge if covered with tinfoil for 2-3 days. Enjoy the next day cold or warmed up in a 350°F oven for a few minutes.