Tag Archives: tacos

Pizza Night: Bitchin’

Pizza is my new taco. While living in Austin, TX, I ate tacos at least once a week, sometimes two or three times. Tacos are divine, but only when you’re living close to the Rio Grande. Up in Richmond, tacos are more like anglicized pitas. Ew.

Thankfully, there’s pizza to temper the sting of taco withdrawal. I can enjoy authentic, warm and cheesy pizza pie from pretty much any shop in the city. When my hubby and I order out, we prefer Mary Angela’s on Cary Street or Frank’s Ristorante (their white pizza with ricotta, mozzarella, garlic, and clams is ahhhh-mazing). For dinner-and-a-movie nights, we usually grab a pre-made pizza dough from our local grocer and commence the topping-mania. Here’s our latest creation…

Pizza Pie with Ricotta, Artichokes, Sun-dried Tomatoes & Spinach

Ingredients:
1 store-bought pizza dough (fresh or frozen)
1 c. whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 c. artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, julienned
1 c. fresh baby spinach
8 anchovy fillets packed in oil
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 /2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method:
Preheat ceramic pizza stone in 450 degree oven (if you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a cookie sheet while you shop online for a pizza stone). Heat olive oil and garlic in a small sauce pan over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes (do not let garlic burn). Remove from heat. On a floured surface, roll out pizza dough until it’s about 10-12 inches wide. Place dough on parchment paper. Brush dough generously with garlic olive oil. Dollop with ricotta cheese. Top with artichokes, spinach, tomatoes, anchovies, and shallots. Season with black pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Top with 1/4 c. of the Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with a few more tablespoons of olive oil. Lift dough with the parchment paper and place paper on the pizza stone. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Serve with the rest of the fresh Parmesan cheese. Amen!

Too bad our dog (ehem, Orson!) ate the last two slices ;-(

WANTED: Pizza thief!

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¡Hola from Zihua!

Christian and I took our (second) honeymoon to Zihuatanejo last week. This trip wouldn’t have been possible without the overwhelming generosity of Bart Cousins and Missy and David Boone. Thank you!!!

We stayed at The Tides resort. Upon arriving and taking note of the flowers tucked neatly into the toilet paper rolls, we realized that this would be the nicest hotel we’d ever stay in.

Soft and scented!

They also had palapas lining the beach front where you could lounge and raise a little orange flag if you needed something, such as a deliciously fresh michelada.

Lounging under a palapa

In Mexico, a michelada is made with fresh lime juice, beer, and salt.

We swam in the ocean…

That's not our boat.

And met the local residents…

Sarah greets Juan

And of course, ate a lot of food.

Scallop ceviche

Parrillada de mariscos, a.k.a. "Los misterios del mar"

Huevos motuleños (eggs with ham, plantains, black beans, tortilla, and ranchera sauce)

Frutas tropicales y jugo de mango

Tacos de queso oaxaca y huitlacoche

Tiritas de atún (tuna ceviche)

Early on in our stay, Hurricane Beatrice paid us a visit. We got heavy rains, but not much else. Luckily, there were marble backgammon boards built into the bar. So we kept busy!

A friendly game of backgammon to pass the time

Hurricane Beatrice left some beautiful skylines in her wake…

¡Adiós Beatriz!

But that’s not all…Sarah tried to go for a swim the morning after and was terrified to be warned to “get out of the water, ahora” by Eduardo, the head of hotel security. Apparently, the local crocodile population particularly enjoys a swim across the bay after heavy rains. Sarah’s worst fears about swimming in open water were confirmed, and she steered clear of the ocean for several days. Thankfully, The Tides had some really nice pools.

Crocodiles? WTF?!

Our Spanish skills helped us to quickly befriend the hotel staff, and we reaped the benefits. Israel, the gardener, brought us some fresh coconut water on the beach.

Agua fresca de coco

We ended our stay with a spectacular sunset and a gorgeous wedding between our two best friends, Sandra Sotelo-Miller and Tom Simmons.

I should be a postcard photographer.

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