naan pizzas

It wouldn’t be summer if I wasn’t wiping noses and playing Bop It alone in a dark room.  (click on the link for a description of Bop It a.k.a the greatest game in the universe).

Wait, what?! You all probably expected me to say something more glamorous like “putting on tanning oil and playing volleyball in Aruba.” Nope, not me.

I’ve been working at the same summer camp for the past six summers.  Every year by week three, I ask myself why in the world I come back every year to clean up “accidents” and listen to “Down By the Bay” for the millionth time.  But nevertheless,   I find myself back at camp every June — with a box of Clorox wipes and an open mind.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If there’s one thing that playing with kids as a job has taught me, it is the importance of being able to roll with the punches.  I never know when a game of duck duck goose will turn into a WWA showdown.  I’ve learned that it can be an emotional experience when the lunch ladies switch from strawberry to grape jelly.  I’ve learned never to let my kids play Doodle Jump on my phone — it always ends in a dead battery and a lot of goo on my screen.  I’ve learned the importance of censoring spooky stories before telling them (recapping the Paranormal Activity 2 = not the move).  I’ve learned that when I tumble down a concrete staircase while daydreaming and sipping my Venti triple-shot latte, I need to take a break (I have the knee bruises to prove it).

I play patty-cake on the reg.  I can climb up a plastic slide faster than you ever will.  I smell like Clorox, play dough, and sunscreen.  Unstoppable? Kind of.

Working with the little munchkins is a ton of fun, but it can get noisy, messy, and sticky really fast.  I have no time to color-categorize pony beads, disinfect Legos, or bedazzle our class sign.  I just dump multicolored glitter on everything and call it a day. #yolo

Just like a class sign that is not made with a ruler, there’s something to be said about a recipe with no measurements.  That leads me to the recipe of the day: naan pizza.  Super easy, super savory.  It gives me time to scrub the tie-dye off my hands, and it’s always a hit. You’re a bacon guy?  Throw that hickory-smoked goodness all up in this pizza.  You’re vegan?  Slather this with tofu.  Go nuts with it (meaning you could even add some pine nuts to this).   Or just let it be, and make an easy-peasy Margarita with pesto like I did.  Just toss things on, add a little extra cheese, and add some fresh herbs to be classy.

Dinner = done.
Now I have time to buy more puffy paint at Micheal’s. 

With love,
Erica

Ingredients
Naan
Cheese
Basil
Toppings of Choice (pesto, tomatoes, Parmesan, bacon, whatever your heart desires)
Olive Oil

Preheat your broiler.
Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan.
Assemble all of your toppings (cheese + everything else) onto the naan.
Grill the pizza in the frying pan over medium-high heat for 5 min
Transfer pizza to the oven and broil until cheese is melty.
Enjoy!

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pesto portobello pizza

Nothing says TGIF like fuzzy socks, some cheerful music, and homemade pizza. If you’ve never made homemade pizza before, I dare you to give it a go. Homemade pizza dough is so easy to make ahead of time and leave in the fridge to rise– and it’s ready to go when you are! I love being able to customize the pizza to my family’s tastes. My mom doesn’t eat very much dairy, so I usually make one pie with cheese, and one without. Not only are my homemade pies much healthier (hello whole wheat deliciousness and fresh veggie toppings!), but nothing beats the smell of fresh pizza baking in my oven. It’s Sunday night, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the next weekend. Don’t you agree?

stretchy, gooey, bubbly mozzarella cheese

 This is a great vegetarian dish to try out — all of you meat lovers will forget all about the pepperoni when you taste this medley hearty mushrooms, sweet onions, and peppery pesto. Top this off with some bubbling mozzarella cheese for one of the most elegant and sumptuous pizzas combinations ever — slightly smoky, a touch salty, with a balance between rich and light taste.
What’s your favorite pizza topping?
With love,
Erica

glorious, homemade goodness
 Whole Wheat New York Style Pizza Dough

 Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup AP flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt (about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons EVOO
1 cup water
  1. Combine flours, sugar, salt, and
    yeast in bowl of an electric mixer with dough hook attatchment. Mix until incorperated.
    Add olive oil and water. Run mixer until mixture forms ball
    that rides around the bowl.
  2. Transfer dough ball to lightly
    floured surface and knead once or twice by hand until smooth ball is
    formed. It should pass the windowpane test. Place dough in a covered quart-sized deli container or in a
    zipper-lock freezer bag. Place in refrigerator and allow to rise at
    least 1 day, and up to 5. Remove from refrigerator, shape into balls,
    and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours before
    baking.
    Adapted from Serious Eats

    Pesto Portobello Pizza

    Ingredients

    1 batch pizza dough
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

    1 lb. cremini mushrooms
    1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
    1 cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)
    8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    fresh basil to garnish
    1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F
    2. While the oven is preheating, prepare the toppings. In a
      skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add the sliced mushrooms
      and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the mushrooms and
      onions are soft and browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
    3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the
      dough into two pieces. Flatten the dough ball into a disk using the palms of your hands. Roll out the dough until it is about ½-inch thick. Transfer dough to a
      parchment-lined baking sheet or pizza pan (whichever you are using).
    4. Spread the pesto over the pizza dough, just as you would pizza
      sauce, leaving a ½-inch border uncovered. Spread the mushroom and onion
      mixture evenly over the pesto, arrange mozzarella slices on pizza and sprinkle with Paremsan cheeses. Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Place your
      baking sheet or pizza pan into the oven.
    5.  Bake until the crust edges brown and the cheese is golden brown in
      spots, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice and serve.

    Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker