Mushroom, Corn & Pancetta Pizza

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This pizza is the result of a Sunday night fridge clean-out. I had a few items that only had a few good days left and I didn’t want to let them go bad only to throw them away while shaking my head and wishing I could get my life together.

I had assorted mushrooms, an ear of corn and a little package of diced pancetta sitting in my fridge. I also had milk and gruyere cheese.

I threw them all on the counter and waited for something to hit me.


Who doesn’t like pizza?

People that shouldn’t be trusted, that’s who.

So I decided to make a “white pizza” (i.e. no red sauce) and use Mornay sauce instead. Mornay sauce is a basically a béchamel sauce with gruyere cheese. It’s insanely good.

To make a béchamel you make roux (50/50 fat/flour mix), add milk and cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and hold a line made with your finger.

Add some salt and nutmeg and you have a standard béchamel sauce.

Add gruyere cheese and you have Mornay sauce.

This should be the consistency of your sauce:

So. Fucking. Good.

Now set the sauce aside and make the dough (full instructions at end of post) and let it rise for about 30mins.

(Side note: I used a Williams-Sonoma pizza dough crust mix that had sundried tomato and basil in the crust (very delicious, if you are wondering), which is why those specks are in the dough. I have included a recipe for a plain pizza dough at the end of this post.)

Boil the ear of corn until the color changes and they look swollen then allow the corn to cool before cutting off the kernels.

Then cook off the pancetta and reserve the rendered pancetta fat to cook the shrooms in.

Now gather all the ingredients, roll the dough out, form into pizza pan, add toppings and bake.

Mamma mia.



For Mornay Sauce:
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
about a cup of milk
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
pinch of nutmeg
S+P, to taste

For Pizza Dough:
1 packet dry active yeast
3 cups flour + more for dusting (all-purpose flour for chewier crust, bread flour for crisper crust)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water (105F-115F)
1 Tbsp oil

For Pizza:
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 pint mushrooms, sliced if particularly large
1 ear of corn, boil and cut off kernels when cool
1 green onion/scallion, cut into little rings


For Mornay Sauce:

  1. Melt the butter in a pot and then add the flour and whisk together until a paste forms (a.k.a roux).
  2. Once paste has formed cook for about a minute to remove the raw flour taste but not too long that you brown the roux.
  3. At this point add the milk while whisking until you have the consistency of a stew.
  4. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce it to simmer and whisk to prevent any lumps from forming.
  5. Continue to cook the sauce until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and hold a line made with your finger.
  6. Now add a pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible) and S+P, to taste.
  7. You have a béchamel sauce! You can use this to make lasagna or an insanely good mac + cheese, etc. etc.
  8. To make this a mornay sauce, add the grated gruyere, turn off the heat and stir until melted. Ta dah! That easy.
  9. Now set the sauce aside and move on to the next phase, the pizza dough.

For Pizza Dough:

  1. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl with the dough hook attachment,
  2. While it is on medium/low speed, pour in the warm water and oil and knead until a ball forms. It should be slightly tacky and elastic.
  3. Cover the mixing bowl and place it somewhere warm for about 20mins to rise.
  4. Once risen, divide dough in half for two regular 12inch pizzas, in thirds for 3 thin crust 12inch pizzas or use it all for a deep dish 12inch pizza (which is what I did, carbs are life).
  5. Roll dough out on a floured surface and then transfer to pizza pan and add toppings as desired and bake in a 500F oven that has preheated for 30minutes for about 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

For Pizza:

  1. Cook the pancetta until crisp but not too crisp as it will cook further in the oven.
  2. Transfer the cooked pancetta onto a paper towel to drain, while still reserving the rendered pancetta fat in the pan. Cook the mushrooms in the same pan with the rendered pancetta fat until golden brown.
  3. Gather all the pizza toppings: mornay sauce, mushrooms, corn, pancetta and green onions.
  4. Form the dough into a pizza pan and top with a spoonful of mornay sauce at a time, you have the desired amount. Make sure to leave the edge of the pizza unsauced.
  5. Top the sauced portion of the pizza with the mushrooms, pancetta, corn and scallions. Add more sauce/grated gruyere on top, if desired.
  6. Bake in a 500F oven that has preheated for 30minutes for about 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Grape & Goat Cheese Focaccia

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Hey, guys … big news!

I’m getting my blog redesigned!

It’s gonna be a hotter, cuter version of itself but it’ll still be the blog you know and love on the inside.

I was gonna hold off on posting till the new design went live (around the end of October) but I just couldn’t do it!

I’ve been cooking a lot and I’ve been really happy with some of the recipes so I just decided to share them here cuz ain’t nobody got time to wait for a new design.

This recipe is a twist on the classic grape focaccia from the Italian region of Abruzzo.

I remember the first grape focaccia I had, it was in culinary school and I tried to hide my bitch face as a student from the pastry section (there’s a great divide between the pastry and culinary students) offered me her freshly baked, steaming grape focaccia. “It has grapes in it,” she said. “Grapes,” I murmured as I shoved a piece into my mouth. The crunchy sea salt and olive oil were familiar and comforting flavors, but the pop of sweetness from the grapes were an unexpected delight. “Damn,” I say, my eyes lighting up. “Let me get another piece,” I grab it before she says, “Sure!” I walked away with focaccia crumbs around my mouth and on my chef’s coat, feeling inspired.

Fast forward to a week ago at Whole Foods when I decided I wanted to make bread from scratch at around the same time I saw the prettiest grapes and I remembered that girl from culinary school and her grape focaccia.

grape goat cheese focaccia 1

I remembered the salty sweet flavors and the pillowy focaccia and decided I was gonna make my version of grape focaccia.

What goes with bread and fruit?, I thought to myself.


What kind of cheese?, I wondered.

Goat kind!

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And so it began.

I hurried home full of excitement and this is what happened.

I needed flaky salt and an herb, and so I decided to use thyme and some Pinot Noir salt because wine and grapes go together, right?

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Try this salt.

Just try it.

Google it.

Then buy it.

Ok, so the first thing you need to do is activate the dry yeast.

You do this by mixing the yeast with a liquid between 105-115F and some sugar to feed the yeast and activate the beast.

I used water with some milk for richness.

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Once the mixture is at the right temperature, let it it proof in a warm place for about 15 minutes then put it in a mixing bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment. (If you don’t have a stand mixer use a bowl and spoon to combine and I will show you the manual kneading process a bit later.)

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With the mixer going on low speed, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and add that to the yeast mixture.

Make sure your husband and husky are slow dancing in the background.

Do not skip this step.

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Once the flour is incorporated the dough will be dry and crumbly, olive oil to the rescue!

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Knead this dough on medium speed for about 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Like this:

grape goat cheese focaccia 18

Here is the manual way to knead the dough:

First, place the dough on a floured surface and using the heel of your palm, push the dough forward, fold it over on itself, turn it a little clockwise and repeat.

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Do this for about 7-10 minutes or until your arms fall off.

Once you’re done, your dough should look like this:

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Smooth, shiny and elastic.

Like my butt.

Except it’s not really that smooth.

Shout out to all the cellulite.

Now place the dough in a bowl, coat with olive oil and cover. Allow it to proof and rise for about 45 minutes, it should almost double in size.

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Once proofed, punch it down and place the dough in a liberally oiled baking sheet.

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Now you want to play the piano on your dough to create holes and grooves and crevices and stuff.

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(Disclaimer: The image above is from my first trial of this recipe, that’s why you see little flecks of black pepper in there, I forgot to have pictures taken of this part the second time around but it’s the same exact process.)

Once your dough has been thoroughly poked and prodded, add your toppings and allow it to proof again for about 15 minutes (optional). Then bake it to golden brown perfection.

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Don’t be stingy with the toppings. I did that the first time I tested this recipe and it was a really sad time.

Load it up, like this:

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It looks like too much but when you bake it the bread’s volume increases and the ratio of bread to topping is altered.


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It looks like less toppings when it’s baked.

Also, don’t cut into the bread right away, let it cool a bit.

I know it’s hard but trust me here.

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Look at the fluffy focaccia.

Eat the fluffy focaccia.

Focaccia is life.


1 cup water
3/4 cup milk
1 T sugar
1 T salt
1 package dry active yeast
5 cups of flour
1/2 cup evoo, plus more as needed
1 bunch of grapes
1 log of goat cheese
a few sprigs of thyme
pinot noir salt (optional, use any flake/sea salt instead)

Combine milk, water and yeast and heat until 105F -115F.
Add the sugar and set aside in a warm area for about 10 – 15 minutes.
Once the yeast has had time to activate, combine the salt, flour, yeast and olive oil in a mixing bowl with the dough hook attachment and beat on medium speed for 6 minutes to knead it until smooth and elastic.
Dust with flour on a board and knead a few times more until the dough is coated with enough flour not to feel sticky anymore.
Coat with oil, place in a bowl and cover to proof in a warm place for about an hour.
Once proofed, punch down and place in a evoo lined baking dish/sheet and make holes/indents in the dough as if you are playing the piano (see photos). Be liberal with the oil here, this is important.
Now add whatever toppings you like, in this case, goat cheese, grapes, thyme and pinot noir salt (yum!).
Proof in the pan again for about 15 mins and preheat the oven to 425F.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
Try to wait a bit before tearing into the dough (it’s not easy, I know).
Enjoy with a glass of Pinot Noir!

Raw Summer Squash Salad

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Raw Summer Squash Salad 76

 This salad is a celebration of one of summer’s most abundant veggies.

It’s inspired by the farmer’s market and I hope it gives you ideas for some of the more unusual things you find.

You know how sometimes you see something cool (or strange) at the farmer’s market (or even at the grocery store) and you’re like, “What the hell can I do with this?” 

The answer is nothing.

Just give up. 

Jk. Jk.

Just hit me up in the comments section and I’ll try to come up with something for you.

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Grilled Corn on the Cob (4 ways)

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With Memorial Day around the corner, I had to break out the grill.

I have a grill.


I have a grill pan.

If you don’t have one, don’t let it stop you, you can use a skillet or even a griddle.

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Spring Garden Risotto

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This risotto is a celebration of the best of spring’s bounty, hence the name: Spring Garden Risotto.

I was inspired by a spring garden and the contrast between all the vibrant colors of the blooming flowers and the rich greens beneath them.

This risotto has my two favorite spring ingredients: ramps and morels.

Ramps are a wild leek that have a mild oniony/garlicky flavor and an aroma that is intoxicating.

Morels are my second favorite mushroom after porcini and you can find them fresh during the spring (although I use dried morels in this recipe).

This recipe is perfect for entertaining because you can make a big batch in one pot and it is a very impressive show-stopper. You can also cook it partially in advance cool it on a baking sheet and finish it to order so you’re not slaving over it when guests are over.

Also, the flowers are edible and oh-so-pretty.

This is how my spring garden risotto feels:86193821 Continue reading »

How to Cook Fish with Crispy Skin

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How to Cook Crispy Skin Fish 30

I’m sure we’ve all heard how good fish is for you.

Instead of just throwing some seasoning on the fish and tossing it in the oven, get your fish with the skin on.

Make it crispy!

Nothing more satisfying than cracking into a crispy fish skin to reveal the succulent tender fish inside, squeeze some lemon juice on it to wake it up and omg, it actually feels decadent. 

This method is a fool-proof way that teaches you how to cook fish with crispy skin.

Every time.

Without fail.

Especially now, during this season of light and bright fresh foods, fish seems to be perfectly satisfying without being too heavy.

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Fat Burning Salad Dressing

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Fat Burning Salad Dressing 30

 Summer is looming ever closer…

More pressure to burn fat than ever…

I’m trying my hardest, so I came up with a fat burning salad dressing that I could tolerate.

I’ve also included a list of fat burning ingredients to add to your salad to really up your fat burning game.

How many times have I said fat burning?

Too many?

Not enough?

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Grain Free Stuffed Acorn Squash

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Ahhh… Fall.

Or Autumn. Whatever you call it, it’s the best season.

The weather is cooling off, the holidays are around the corner and basic bitches are sipping their first pumpkin spice lattes of the season.

This grain free stuffed acorn squash recipe celebrates the dawn of fall and all the basics who love it. It’s also a great way to use up leftovers!

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Game of Thrones Bowl of Brown (Paleo)

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 Flea Bottom’s finest!

A bowl of brown in honor of Game of Thrones, the greatest show that ever was or will be. 

If you’re not familiar with the infamous bowl of brown, it’s a years-old stew filled with mystery meat that is served in the poor areas of King’s Landing. That’s the clean version. It’s truly much more gruesome, but this is not the setting for such talk. 


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