I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for……Pizza!?

No, it’s not ice cream.  It’s Pizza – Pizza. Pizza. Pizza.  There is a universal taste appreciation for that crisp, flat dough topped with veggies, meats, cheeses and baked till golden brown and bubbly.  My mouth waters just thinking about it, and I “scream” for it.

And when it comes to pizza, everyone has their preferences – thin and crispy, thick, deep, meats, veggies, fruits, sauces, and so on.

Pizza is one of my favorite things to make.  It is seriously an art because one can be so creative with its toppings, and when you need to “use up” things from the produce drawer or the back of the fridge? Throw it on a pizza.

When it comes to pizza, my preferences are thin and crispy, and unconventional (no thank you to plain pepperoni and sausage).

Pizza has been around for a long, long time. According to Wikipedia (the most accurate and truthful site ever) pizza had appeared in Medieval Latin by 997 AD, and in 16th century Naples, a galette flatbread was referred to as a pizza.

And here’s a little fun fact about the oh-so-classic Pizza Margherita:

In June 1889, to honor the Queen consort of  Italy Margherita of Savoy, the Neapolitan chef Raffaele Esposito created the “Pizza Margherita,” a pizza garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, to represent the colors of the Italian flag. He was the first to add cheese.  Throughout the years to come, pizza had undergone many changes and even today across the world, pizza exists in many different forms (Chicago style, New York style, etc).

Like I said earlier, I personally prefer thin crust.  I roll my dough out nice and thin with a rolling pin creating a very crispy crust.  In the past I have put such things on pizza (not necessarily together though) as leeks, potatoes, shrimp, walnuts, mangos, eggs, mixed greens, and the list goes on and on.  I must say, one of my favorites was a roasted red pepper, basil and mango pizza with fresh mozzarella cheese.  Try it.  You won’t be disappointed.  Oh and for one of my favorite pizza dough recipes that’s been used time and time again (it’s simple, classic, basic) go HERE.  Add some fresh herbs to the dough for an added treat!!

So, I’m curious, what’s your favorite kind of pizza and pizza topping?


Lunch on the Farm

“Look at the view from my office!” Abelle exclaimed as he pointed out towards the lush rolling mountains high in central Costa Rica.

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Abelle lives on a farm at the end of a high road in central Costa Rica with his wife, Ellie, three grown children, two dogs, one cat, a handful of trout, and plenty of cows.  

The farm is his office.  

There, in this magical wonderland, where the sun casts warmth and nourisment upon it’s land, alchemy is created.  

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Ellie and Abelle have been making a living off their farm since before time.  Their land is chock full of blackberry bushes, apple tress, passion fruit vines, lettuce, herbs, kale, chard, tomatoes, and the list goes on.  Also smack in the center of their hill facing the sun, a solar dehydrator, to ensure none of their prolific fresh produce goes to waste. 

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But what roams the land, is the most important part – cows, “plenty of cows,” says Abelle.  The cows are milked twice a day and Ellie and Abelle make four rounds of fresh cheese daily, to age for months in their cheese cellar, and eventually to be sold to gourmet restaurants in the capital city of San José.  Small slices of artisan cheese and whole grain crackers was our appetizer for lunch that day.

Aside from how they make their living, I was so lucky enough to be invited to their farm for a lovely, home-cooked, homegrown meal.  We started out the day by catching the trout – rainbow trout, which is prolific in these parts of Costa Rica.  Then we ventured over to the garden to grab some lettuce, kale, cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs, stopping to crack open a passion fruit and grab a blackberry or two.

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Upon arriving inside their modest home, hands chock full of garden edibles, we prepared a simple, nutritious meal with olive oil, fresh lemons, sea salt, fresh herbs, salad fixings, trout, and couscous.  We sat down to enjoy it, valuing the hands that grew it, prepared it, and now those that were eating it. 

It was a slow afternoon, we didn’t do much.  It was one so rich in community, simplicity, food and friends.  But in my mind, there’s nothing quite like it.

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