White Pizza for a white weekend.

It's white on white here in the T.  We woke this morning to a surprise dumping of snow - must have been a good 10 cm or so.  It's beautiful, and that's sayin' something for someone who would really rather be biking.  I like that it's one of those few times a year when:

a.  Cars drive slowly and actually smile at you when they see you shovelling.
b.  I don't have to worry about kid #1 or #2 falling down for any reason because they are so padded with crap and the snow is so deep that there's no risk of injury.
c.  A lot of the neighbours come outside all at once.  We all shovel and the kids all play and we all chat and it's... nice.
Like I said before, that's sayin' something for me.

So my Winter Wonderland inspired my White cooking day - Marshmallows first and now this:

I don't where this came from - could have been anywhere I suppose.  All I know is that this recipe has been in my recipe box... then folder... then binder... for years... and years.... AND I have made it... once.

It doesn't suck so I don't know why I haven't done more with this idea.  At my most favouritest pizza joint in the entire world - Amelio's (yes, all my Montrealers, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout) - they do this totally sick five cheese pizza that's mind blowing.  This isn't even close to that but I'm in Toronto, not Montreal ;-( and we're just gonna have to make do.  This is a variation as well because I've added in some cooked spinach

and some mushrooms and believe me, they do provide a much needed ccontrast to the cheese.  You could take this in another direction entirely by adding chicken or shrimp or something but I really wanted to keep this meat free.

Also, I think that this pizza is pretty.  I know that pizza is not something that would immediately strike anyone as 'pretty' but I guess that compared with the normal pizza 'look' this one is pretty to me.  Weird.
However, I would make this kind of thing and cut them down for mini's if I had guests - which I don't these days because the main floor of my house has basically turned into a lego receptacle.
Lastly, FYI:  For my taste, when it comes to re-heating pizza leftovers I have to do it in the oven.  The microwave just makes my crust gross and gooey and not pizza'ee' at all.  Blech.   Enjoy the pizza ;-)

Feta Ricotta Pizza... with spinach ;-)
serves 4 (or maybe 2)

pizza dough - you can find my post on that here or you can buy some at the store in dough form or prebaked (although that crap tastes like....) - for on large pizza (sometimes use a cookie sheet for this recipe.

1 bunch of spinach - cooked and sieved (push out as much of the water as you can)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup (maybe 1 1/4 or so) ricotta
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled (I didn't have any so I substituted parmesan)
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp oregano and basil
dash or two of nutmeg
1 tsp honey
1 1/2 - 2 cups mozzarella (depending on how drenched you like your pizza), shredded or sliced if you are using fresh mozzarella.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F
Get the dough ready on a cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.
Roll out the dough.  Roll it out a little larger than the pan you want to bake it on, it will shrink when you lift it onto the pan (my achilles heal!).  Place dough on pan over top of the cornmeal.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta, the feta (or parmesan), salt, oregano, basil, nutmeg and honey.  Mix well.
Spread onto the pizza dough.  Sprinkle the cooked spinach on top of the ricotta mixture.  Sprinkle the mushrooms out over that.  Lastly, sprinkle the mozzarella on top.
Bake for about 12 minutes or until the pizza is bubbly in the middle and golden brown at the edges.
Remove from oven and let it rest for about 7 minutes.
Dig in... maybe throw some crushed hot peppers on the top.


Thank God it's Saturday.
I stayed in bed for a long time.
Kid #2 went voluntarily naked around the house for the entire morning.
I didn't even think about doing a run today.
I contemplated lots.  Whatever... I'm in a strange mood today and I won't lie to 'ya, it's kinda fun.
We woke up today to a hefty snowfall - thank God it's saturday and we can stay in - and all the kids toys are covered in the backyard.  I can still see the beaded gold string that somehow made it's way 18 feet up the tree.  It's just hanging there.  It's like a stupid play toy for squirrels and raccoons or something.  It looks weird but I know it's there b/c kid #1 left it outside and then wrapped it around the tree and then the wind or an animal or both gradually pulled it higher and higher.  It kind of feels like our little signature on the world out there.

During my contemplations I decided to make marshmallow's.  I've been wanting to make them ever since D bought me this for Xmas.   To be more precise, I've been wanting to make them for a long time.  however, without the help of something powered by an engine the whole endeavour sounded exhausting.  But now, with a reasonably powerful engine in my hand I thought 'let's give it a go'.

Let me say this up front.  This is cussing messy!  I was expecting it to be somewhat messy (recall, if you will, numerous experiences with melted marshmallow's during the rice crispy square making process) but this stuff was off the chain!  The most exciting part was when, near the end of the whisking adventure, the marshmallow mixture started crawling up the sides of the spinning bowl.  It just started to come out over the lip of the bowl when I stopped it.  Now I've got this sticky stuff all over my mixing engine - ugh!  I'm sure that a good 1/10th of the recipe stayed back on the sides of the bowl because I just couldn't get the damn stuff off.  What the cuss, it tasted good and the kids got a nice bowl treat to fight over - happy saturdays.  Other than that it was relatively easy.  Waiting for the sugar/syrup crap to get to 240 degrees F took longer than I expected but at least I didn't have to do anything.  You WILL need a candy thermometer and some kind of mixing machine

Homemade Marshmallow's (adapted from Ina Garten)

3 packets of unflavoured gelatine
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp kosher salt (regular will work too)
1 tbsp vanilla (good quality)
icing sugar for dusting, etc.

In mixer bowl combine the gelatine and cold water.  Set aside.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt.  Place over high heat and cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F.

Slowly pour the mixture into the dissolved gelatine and whisk using some kind of mixer machinery for about 10 minutes, start at low speed and gradually increase to high speed.  (watch the sides of the bowl, MmmK?!)
Once this stuff looks really thick and is stickier than anything you'd ever want to touch under normal circumstances it's ready to pour into a pan.  Add in the vanilla and mix the stuff.  Get ready to pour.  I used a large pan but regretted it.  I would use an 8x8 square pan.  You could line it with parchment or just grease it with butter and heavily dust it all with icing sugar.  Either way, put icing sugar in the bottom.  Pour the mixture into the pan and dust on top with icing sugar as well.

Wait for many hours until the stuff is solid enough to cut.
Turn the marshmallow's out onto a large cutting board and carefully remove the parchment paper.

Oil or butter a long knife and try using that to slice the marshmallows, someone else has suggested using an oiled pizza cutter... whatever works people, this is tricky.  Keep in mind though that even if these things get stretched they tend to bounce right back.
Slice them into squares and toss them in more icing sugar so that they stay separated from each other.

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St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

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Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
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