Daily Archives: May 25, 2012

One month garden check

Chip and I planted a garden about a month ago on the side of our backyard. We had been really excited about this project but weren’t sure how successful we would be since neither of us had any garden experience. We were worried that not all of the plants would take root or that the San Antonio weather would slowly kill them off. Fortunately, this garden has completely surpassed our expectations! Everything has really grown and we’re already seeing the signs of some vegetables. We have lots of fun checking out the garden everyday and seeing if anything new has started to sprout (I might do this a little obsessively… haha). We still need to work on the path and lighting down the middle of the garden area, but that will hopefully get done in the next month or so. Here are some pictures of how our garden has come along in the past month!

Our garden one month ago

Our garden today!

Our front squash plant has grown particularly well. We have been so surprised at how it has completely taken over its space and is spilling into our future garden path area! One thing I enjoy about this plant is the shape of its leaves… totally reminds me of the tree stars Little Foot and his friends search for in The Land Before Time, a movie I watched who knows how many times growing up thanks to my brother… haha

Squash plant really growing

Little baby squash!

Can you spot the six tomatoes?

Close up on some of the tomatoes

I can’t forget about the flowers we planted in the garden, too! We planted these a few weeks ago and they are slowly starting to grow. One of my favorites are the pink gerber daisies. Found one of them starting to bloom today!

Gerber daisy

Pizzeria di Nance

It’s no secret that Chip and I became big pizza fans on our honeymoon. We probably ate pizza at least every other day while we were in Italy and I think it changed our lives for the better (we really like food…). Inspired by the awesome pizza we had on our honeymoon, we’ve tried making homemade pizzas a few times. It’s always turned out pretty good, but last Friday evening was particularly delicious.

Provider of the best pizza dough recipe

We used a dough recipe from a cook book we got for our wedding called the Bride and Groom Cookbook. We haven’t used a whole lot of recipes from this book just yet, but we have utilized the pizza dough recipe more than once (for those that are interested, the recipe is at the bottom of this post!). Anyway, we got to work preparing the dough when we got home Friday evening and like good pseudo Italians, we had some red wine while we cooked and ate.

Wine from our anniversary trip to Fredericksburg

Once the dough had risen, we separated it into different sections and let that sit for a while. While we waited for the dough to finish its preparation process, we started making our pizza sauce. We couldn’t find the recipe we’ve used before, but found a different one online that got the job done (was a lot better once we added a small can of tomato paste to make the sauce thicker).

Pizza dough!

Homemade pizza sauce

We made two different types of pizza: margherita and a meat lovers version. Both pizzas called for fresh basil… luckily we have some very fresh basil growing in our garden! I may have been overly excited about this… :)

Putting our basil plant to good use

Fresh basil? We’ve got it covered.

Margherita pizza

Pepperoni and pancetta pizza

Needless to say, dinner was delicious. I’m sure there will be many more homemade pizza nights to come! Who knows, maybe we’ll open up our own pizzeria… Pizzeria di Nance. Sounds pretty good :)

Pizza Dough Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 2 envelopes (2 1/2 tsp each) active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus oil for greasing
  • 4 cups flour, plus flour for dusting
  • 2tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

Directions:

  • Combine the water, yeast, vinegar and 3 tbsp olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed until just blended, about 30 seconds. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining 3 cups of flour, sugar and salt until well blended. add the flour mixture to the wet dough mixture in 3 batches, beating on low speed after each addition until thoroughly combined. When all the flour has been added, raise the mixer speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes more. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl, come together in a ball and feel soft tot he touch.
  • Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it several times to coat the surface lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and roll each piece into a smooth ball. Place the balls on a baking sheet and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
  • If you’ve chilled the dough, take it out o the refrigerator about 30 minutes before using it to bring it to room temperature. Using your hands and a rolling pin, roll and stretch each ball into an 8-inch round (doesn’t have to be perfectly round).
  • To cook pizzas, heat oven to 500 and bake for 10-13 minutes.