Adventures in Cooking: Prosciutto Margherita Pizza

27th October 2014

Margherita Pizza with Prosciutto | The Rambling Fangirl

This is a cheat, because I barely had anything to do with this pizza. At least I don’t think I did. It’s possible that I cleaned the basil. I did make the salad, so maybe that counts?

Here’s the thing: I think people who can cook are awesome. I think people who can develop recipes are dope as hell. I can produce an edible creation with some random crap from the fridge, but I will never make it the same way twice unless I have a proper recipe. Steven, on the other hand, is magical. He knows the ways flavors work together and puts in a little of this and a little of that and creates some truly kick ass food.

This summer, after a visit from our friends, Steven was inspired (forced) to create a blog about two of his favorite things–coffee and pizza. I think he could consume these things every day and be totally happy. We spent a lot of time talking about pizza. Making pizza. Photographing pizza. It was awesome. Then work started up and now he’s incredibly busy, so the blog is sort of on hold.

But my blog isn’t on hold and I have all of these lovely photographs of food to share.

And gosh darn it, I’m going to share them.

Margherita Pizza with Prosciutto | The Rambling Fangirl

One of the keys to this pizza business is the dough. It’s not hard to make, but it seems like every time we decide we’re going to make pizza, it’s already 4 p.m. and we’re starving, so we do the store bought thing. We’re lucky enough to have a great bakery a few minutes away. 1 lb of dough is a little over a dollar and more than enough for two pizzas. For the sauce, it’s a can peeled or crushed tomatoes (I can’t remember which), without any salt added. Then there’s plenty of fresh basil. It’s only after this year, after planting so many basil plants, that I realized how useful of an herb it is. It enhances the flavor in pretty much any dish it goes into. Our six basil plants did us well this year and I plan on buying a little one that we can keep on the windowsill throughout the next few months. Basil has become essential to our cooking. Then there’s the cheese. Fresh mozzarella is best. It just is. Even if it’s a little pricier, you can absolutely tell the difference in color and flavor. Packaged cheese will do in a pinch, but if you’re gonna do it, do it right and splurge on the mozzarella in water. Your taste buds will thank you. The prosciutto came about because Steven wanted to jazz up a simple Margherita and it was absolutely the right choice. Like the basil, it boosts flavor and also gives you an additional bit of protein to keep you full.

Margherita Pizza with Prosciutto | The Rambling Fangirl

It also helped inspire the salad. Simple mixed greens with plenty of baby spinach and strawberries. Fruit and salad are always a great combination. Also, nuts. More protein! I made a maple balsamic dressing to go along with it and roasted some of the walnuts in some pure maple syrup before adding them to the salad. I love dipping bacon in syrup when I have it for breakfast, so I thought a fresh maple balsamic would go well with the prosciutto in the pizza. It’s also super easy to make: equal parts maple syrup, balsamic vinaigrette, and olive oil. I think I did 1/3 cup of each for this particular salad.

Simple Strawberry Salad

And now I’m hungry.

What have you been cooking lately?

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“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”

26th October 2014

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Fitzgerald. Last week I went on a walk with Steven in Harriman State Park. I’d driven through some of it a few weeks back and knew that I wanted to visit again to take some photos. It was absolutely frigid and the sun was in and out while we were there, but the views sure were lovely. Despite the cold, it was so nice to just explore and snap photos with each other (and sometimes of each other). New York, you gorgeous state you.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

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So here’s the view, the breeze, the pulse in your throat…

14th October 2014

Lake Huron. View. Breeze. Pulse.

I’m back from a long weekend in Michigan. The trip there was chaotic and nearly led to me stabbing someone. The stay itself was gorgeous, happy, and everything good. The trip home was perfect. I have a few photos to share, but I thought I would post this one tonight. It’s one of my favorite pictures that anyone has ever taken of me.

Maybe it’s a cop out since you can’t really see my face, but Steven managed to capture a moment that I’m not sure he was aware I was having. Or maybe he was. He’s sharp like that.

Sailing on Lake Huron. Allowing myself a moment to take it all in. To think of the view, breeze, pulse of it all. To think of my grandmothers. To think of how much more I want to experience.

Have a happy week, friends. ♥
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I went apple picking and all I got was this lousy pumpkin.

30th September 2014

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Yesterday Steven and I continued our three-year long tradition of going apple picking. We headed up to Kingston to meet up with his family and then over to Red Hook (not Brooklyn) to get our picking on. There’s only one problem: there weren’t any apples left! None. The dude who gave us our bags warned that there may not be many left, but we assumed we’d find something. Every tree was picked clean and we were super disappointed. Still, we had fun exploring the grounds and ended up snagging some pumpkins from their pumpkin patch. I’ve never actually picked pumpkins before…not quite as satisfying as munching on apples while pulling more fruit off trees, but at least I can say I’ve done it. Steven bought two adorable white pumpkins that he’ll use for cooking soon. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

Next Saturday we’re going to try apple picking again with a few friends of ours. Let’s hope we get a good haul! I’m in the mood to try out some new recipes, along with a kickass apple pie.

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Have you been apple picking yet? How do you celebrate fall where you live?
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Currently.

22nd September 2014

Currently. You Are Awesome.

My summer ended in the middle of August and since then it’s been absolute madness. Work has pretty much taken up all of my time. My weekends have felt…fleeting. Now that things are starting to settle (thank goodness), it’s time to head back to this space. September is the start of something new for so many and it’s the same for me. That energy. It’s in the air. The leaves are changing and we’re finally nearing the one year mark of our wedding countdown. Suddenly things are starting to get real. I haven’t spoken about the planning too much on social media, partly because there hasn’t been a lot of it, but also because I don’t want to start posting like mad when I know that we have to keep the guest list on the small side and a lot of people will be “left out.” I’m freaking out about it actually. But the plan is still to share some of the process on the blog. Maybe it’ll help some of you who are going through the process. If not, it’ll be a record of all of the hard work we put into our day.

For now, it’s time to play catch up. Here are some things that I’m currently into…

Watching: In my teens and early 20s, September always marked the return of my favorite television shows. Nowadays, my excitement has waned, but that’s probably because I’m too tired to ever stay up to watch anything. My television schedule is as follows: local news in the morning, local news in the evening and/or some HGTV/Food Network/Cooking Channel (maybe). I have three episodes of Doctor Who to watch. It’s pathetic. One thing I have seen and am super duper excited about is The Mindy Project. I’m happy to have all of those crazies back on my screen. Though the plot sometimes goes in questionable directions, I still find Mindy Lahiri to be as charming as ever. I love how flawed she is. I love her style. I love how she reminds me of myself in a lot of ways. Also, if you caught the premiere, please watch this lovely reminder of the final scene. *fans self*

Listening to: My boys, Empires. They’re my boys even if they don’t know it, because I staked a claim on them way back when they posted their first ever demos. I fell in love with them that night and even though I don’t get to see them live very often (stop playing in Brooklyn on weeknights, you assholes), I’m so excited for the music they make and the future they are creating for themselves. Their new album, Orphan, comes out on Tuesday. Yayness!

Reading: When Anthony Bourdain talks, I listen. When he writes, I read. I can’t pinpoint when my love affair with him began, but it’s been a very satisfying relationship so far. I’ve caught up on many of his “Parts Unknown” episodes on Netflix and now I’m slowly making my way through his book, Medium Raw. It’s basically a series of essays about life, travel, and food. I’ve been purposely taking my time with it, because I don’t want it to end. If you’re in a book store and can pick it up, I’d recommend checking out the chapter called “Lust.” He makes food sound so sexy.

Thinking about: Steven (the hubs to be) and sending him good vibes as he starts his new job as the director of the theatre program at our former high school. I know the choices for the fall drama and the spring musical and I am so excited to see what he and the kids come up with throughout the rehearsal process. There was an amazing piece from This American Life about our district, East Ramapo, and the struggles it has had in recent years. The report is thorough, complex, and more than a little heartbreaking. Please give it a listen if you can.

Excited for: Boots! Apple picking! Apple cider donuts! Frizz-free weather! A weekend in Michigan! Weddings! The smell of leaves everywhere! S’mores! Sweaters! Red cups! Basically all of the things. I just realized that my Twitter profile and background have been fall-related all year. Proof that it’s my absolute favorite season.
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(As always, credit goes to Dani Hampton for her “Currently” inspiration.)

I hope you all have a fabulous week! I missed you. ♥
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