Pizza Night

While I am certainly not one to turn down a night on the town, sometimes you just want to stay in and have some delicious warm crisp homemade pizza. Who has the energy, you might ask. The truth of the matter is it isn’t hard or very time-consuming. Let me show you what I mean.

First mix one package of active yeast, a tablespoon of honey, and one cup of warm water. What is warm? Put a finger in the water it should be almost too hot to hold it there. Leave it for about 14 minutes and watch it rise. It should look something like this.

while you’re waiting mix 2 1/2 cups of flour with 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt. You might as well get your olive oil ready as well, all 3 tablespoons of it.Now comes the fun part, makes the olive oil into the yeast and then makes your liquid ingredients with your dry ingredients.

at this point for the mixture out onto well floured surface and knead it by hand until smooth.

after three or four minutes it should look something like rub some olive oil on the base of a large mixing bowl cover with a towel and put in a warm place. 

Make sure your bowl is large enough because the dough should rise to twice its original size.

At this point your door was ready to be made into whatever you want to make it. You can do pizza, Stromboli, call zone, flatbread or even pick it up and turned it into regular bread. Me? Definitely going to be pizza. So next step is to put the pizza stone into the ovenand crank up the heat as high as your pizza stone can handle. In my case it’s only 415°

Don’t have a pizza stone? Don’t worry about it. While the pizza stone does add to the texture of the pizza you’ll still have a great pizza on your hands without it.

This mound of dirt will make two large pizzas or four medium ones. I’m going to make medium ones because they’re easier to handle. However this is the point where I freeze the dough I’m not using today, so take half of it though and stick it in the freezer!

The next big question is how do you roll it out into this perfect little circles? The answer is I don’t. We like weird shapes and make pizza fun and we don’t sweat it too much.

So let the Stonerise another 10 minutes or so and then put it into the oven to prebake. This makes it a lot easier to handle.

Pick your favorite toppings and and put it back in the oven to melt the cheese!

After about seven minutes in the oven this is what you get crispy gooey perfection. 

Searching for Seasonal

One of the great advantages of living in a place so full of great produce is that you can get some amazing fruits and vegetables. The problem is that you need to be able to pick what will be best.

Now, figuring that out has never been one of my strengths. I mostly had to make that decision based on price and quality. Now, thanks to Stauffers, I found this amazing little chart. SeasonalMany of the grocery stores have been pushing hard to let everyone know that their providers are all local. In this case, they built a page describing what grows where and when things are best.

Enjoy the chart!

A Bite to Eat

To start off on a sweet note, a co-worker who very often brings us snacks, today brought back some chocolate from Chicago. That was some really good chocolate, I grabbed the Peanut Butter.

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And on that same day, my wife decided to try something a little experimental. This potato skillet with chorizo was very close to being great! Certainly something worth tinkering with.

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Along with that she made me an absolutely delicious chicken topped with an egg, sunny side up.

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We ate on a gorgeous plate that our neighbor gave us. Another approach we’ve taken is to use smaller plates and these are perfect for that! I have to say that it felt good, we had a pretty full plate without having a ton of food and I left feeling like I had plenty to eat.

Checking out Chipotle

A few weeks ago Chipotle showed up in Lancaster. It took us a little while but today we finally made our way there. It was fairly crowded, not overly so, but because they hardly have any tables, the whole place was full. So we decided to opt for takeout. The smell of the grill going was great on the way in.


As we were walking up the line, we were checking out the options. I decided to go for a bowl and my wife decided to go for a burrito. The menu isn’t that vast but there’s enough combinations to satisfy most tastes. Here is the view as you reach the front of the line.

lineThere’s different kinds of rices, sauces, beans and meats. I went for the carnitas with white rice, black beans, medium sauce and extra avocado. The portions are very generous and all the ingredients were quite well prepared. Only problem is, by the time we got home the moisture had weakened the paper bag and as Susan got out of the car, the bag tore open through the bottom.


At the top you can see the torn out bottom of the bag. A couple lessons learned, take a plastic bag for takeout or eat in. We also got a side of chips and salsa. The chips started out crisp and salty but they get stale very quickly. My suggestions? Pass unless that’s all you’re eating and you’ll eat them soon.


The salsa, on the other hand, was quite good. Great, actually. We got the medium spicy but it was too spicy for a dip. It was great in my bowl but I think the Mild would have been a better choice for the dip.


So here’s the spread, ready for a TV Dinner!Photo Jul 22, 8 19 59 PM


The bowl was quite good, the layers were spread out adequately enough that just about every forkful had a good amount of everything. I think I could have used some bread or tortillas to go with it but I’m making an effort to eat a little better and breaking the habit of bread is one thing I’m trying to do. Of course, that would sound better without the mountain of tortilla chips.

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Sorry for the grainy picture but we were already watching the movie and it was pretty dark. As you can see, the layers line up very nicely. There was actually so much avocado on there that I used it as a dip as well!

Photo Jul 22, 8 22 13 PMThis is the burrito. There’s a bit of lack of proportion in the picture but it is actually a little thicker than my fist. A very impressive meal I must say.

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This gives a bit better perspective, you can see she’s holding it with both hands. She only was able to get about two thirds of the way through it so I would say it’s a hearty meal if ever there was one.

Barnstormers, Panera and 4th of July

As 4th of July rolled around, we wanted to experience as much as we could. We were fortunate enough to get some tickets to the Barnstormers game.BarnstormersNot one to keep fun times to myself, Susan and I went with my parents. Here we are enjoying the goodies during the game.FamilyBut what 4th of July is complete without a BBQ at the park. On Saturday, we went to Lancaster County Central Park. In preparation of that, we made Chirmol, a roasted tomato sauce that can be placed on meat.


Here are the wonderfully roasted plumb tomatoes we got. I’ll show you a picture of that in a bit but first, we have some steaks!


We had country style ribs, steaks and lamb chops and for dessert….well, what would you do?


Nothing wraps up a BBQ quite like s’mores! After that we made our way over to Long’s Park. We got there early enough we were still able to choose a pretty good spot.

Long's Park

While I wasn’t hungry, I found there were plenty of options to indulge. I did, however go for some french fries and my wife was inclined to get some ice cream (which was ridiculously overpriced though it was quite good).

Blog07Now, having gone through the trouble to make the Chirmol, we had to put it to good use. So for brunch, I had some steak and eggs. Blog08A pretty straightforward ordeal. A wonderfully Medium Rare steak with a nice sunny side up egg, crispy on the edges just how I like it! In that vein, I took a stab at making sliders. With a little butter and oil in a cast iron pan. That’s the best way to get results like these.


Shortly after that, in a whirlwind couple of weeks, we moved to our new apartment! We are just loving the new place what with the swimming pool, tennis court, plush carpet and being so close to work. Just to give you an idea, here is my new kitchen!


My wife made sure it didn’t stay this barren for very long, it’s a fully functional kitchen now but this is a glimpse at the raw material we had to work with. As the apartment was completely empty, we had to go to my parents house to cook supper. We decided to have Ramen noodles.


I personally like mine with some poached chicken and, pardon the redundancy, poached egg. My wife, however, prefers hers with sliced radish and a fried egg.


Now that we’re moved in, we don’t see my parents quite as often any more but on Sunday we had lunch together at Panera Bread. My dad has been enjoying salads lately and he got what has now become one of his favorites, Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad.


My mom had the Tuna Sandwich with the corn chowder and Susan had a flatbread BBQ Chicken sandwich with the Cheddar Broccoli soup. Not a huge fan myself, but we had a great time and that is something that you should never underestimate.


I had a fairly plain Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT with a black bean soup. The soup was actually not too bad, not as good as mine, but pretty good nonetheless.


At Aldi’s we got this delicious bread which I decided to grill up and top with some tomato and avocado. Absolutely delicious!


It’s quite straightforward, really. Just grill up some really good bread. Cut some avocado and tomato, mix up with olive oil, salt and pepper. I cut up the toast to make it easier to eat, and voila!


So, we’ve had some great food and some great experiences. Have questions? Leave me a comment!





Big News!

So you may have noticed that we’ve been a little bit lacking in posts lately and some random mentions of some great news coming. Well, I’m so happy to announce that I have just started a new job! It’s local, so we’ll be here in Lancaster for the foreseeable future.

I’ll be working with an incredible group of people and I’m very much looking forward to helping everyone meet their goals. This also means that we will be able to start going out a little more often and doing just a little bit more! That’s good news for you because that also means more delicious food and more tasty experiments.

So for now I leave you to your own devices and expect more to come soon!

La Voz Hispana

So it’s been pretty exciting times as the articles I wrote for the hispanic publication here in Lancaster has finally gone to print! Here ya go:

Cover of La Voz Hispana Continue reading

Leftovers from Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving rolled past we are almost always left with a mountain of turkey. That almost always leads to having turkey non stop for days afterward. I prefer to have some variety and turkey at noon and at night just doesn’t do it for me. I like a nice light supper and poached eggs are so easy and delicious that it makes it a great choice.IMG_0881

Continue reading

Our Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving just passed us by and I’m sure there was a lot of tradition and innovation in all of your kitchens. Our kitchen was more of a collaboration than usual. The reason I say that is because when I was little it was basically my mom cooking. Then when I learned how to cook and learned that I enjoyed cooking, I took over. My mom would step in from time to time to answer a question or two but she very gladly handed it over to me. One of the dishes I did own, however, was the cranberry sauce.IMG_1123 Continue reading