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BEEF + SAUERKRAUT PIZZA

In an effort to prove to a certain someone that sauerkraut as a pizza topping is a winning idea, I made a beef and sauerkraut pizza a few days ago.  It might not look like much, but it was one of the better pizzas I’ve ever made.  Said skeptic was blown away.  Mission: accomplished.

BEEF + SAUERKRAUT PIZZA

What you’ll need:

  • Pizza dough
  • Tomato sauce
  • Ground beef or pork (or brats!)
  • Oregano
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Sauerkraut
  • Mozzarella and/or provolone

How to:

1. Make/buy pizza dough.  Preheat the oven to 450 or higher.

2. Saute half an onion in a little oil until soft.  Add about 1/2 lb. ground beef or pork.  Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes, and cook until the meat is browned.

3. Oil a baking sheet (I used a 9X13 brownie pan for a slightly thicker crust) and spread the dough to the edges.

4. Spread the sauce over the dough.  Top with the beef and big spoonfuls of sauerkraut.  Add a little more sauerkraut – you will be happy that you did this.  Cover it all with a bunch of cheese.

5. Bake until the cheese is melted and browned to your liking.…

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BASIC PIZZA DOUGH

I finally made pizza dough! After spending months buying the pre-made stuff from Trader Joe’s I bit the bullet and made my own. Well, technically it wasn’t my own. I used the recipe from the Joy of Cooking, but I made it! It was pretty fun, too. Watching the dough rise was really exciting, and now I’m inspired to make bread.

BASIC PIZZA DOUGH

Start out with 1-1/3 cup warm water and one package of yeast.Empty the packet of yeast into the bowl of your mixer.

Pour in the water. I gave it a little stir, but I’m not sure whether you’re supposed to do that or not. Does anyone know whether the yeast will dissolve without a little stir to get it going? Anyone?
Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved.

To the yeast mixture add 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp salt, and 1 tbsp sugar.

Mix with the paddle attachment on low speed for about a minute. Or you can do it by hand if that’s your thing. It will look something like this.

Switch out the paddle for the dough hook, and beat on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. My previously unused dough hook had a little sticker on it telling me not to use on a speed higher than two, I believe, so I kept it at one or two until it looked like this.

While the dough hook is doing its job, rub a little oil in a large bowl.

Remove the dough from the hook, and form it into a ball.

Roll it around a little to coat it with oil.

Cover it with plastic or a cloth, and set it in a warm place to rise for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. I don’t really have a warm place in my apartment, so I ended up turning the oven on to the warm setting and setting the bowl on the stove. Sorry, environment. Next time I’ll bake something in the oven so I’m not just wasting a bunch of gas. I promise. And please forgive me for my filthy stove. I’m working on it.

Just for fun, here’s what it looked like before rising.

And here’s what it looked like after 1.5 hours. Wowsa! This is what has convinced me to give the bread a shot. It’s just so cool to watch it grow.

And then there’s this step! You get to punch the dough! I wish I would have discovered this when I was a little girl getting picked on by my two older brothers. Instead of crying and telling them to “shut up” I could have taken out my aggression on some dough.

After the big punch, divide the dough in half.

Loosely cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

Then it’s ready to go!

I was pretty excited about my first batch of homemade pizza dough, but I have to say that I wasn’t blown away by the results. I’m not sure if it’s the recipe if I beat it too long, or what it was. I prefer a chewier crust, and this was just a little too crispy for me. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!…

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Beetza

Welcome to the wonderful world of beetza.  Or bizza.  Or beetzah.  Beet pizza.  Well, more like beet focaccia.  Beetaccia just doesn’t roll off the tongue in the same way.  It sounds more like a martial arts exclamation.  Beeeeee-taccia!

Hello there, beets.

Beetza

Lovely jubbly, innit?  I have no idea what that means, but I have an Irish friend who says it a lot, and it seemed appropriate for this lovely beet.

Behold, the root vegetable contingent in my apartment.

You’ll only need one beet and about half of a potato for the beetza.  And some pizza dough, olive oil, rosemary, sea salt, and goat cheese.

Thinly slice the raw potato.  I used my new mandolin, and it did a fine job.

The slices were so thin you could see through them.  I really liked them like this, but it won’t ruin the ‘za if they’re a little thicker.

We have a clinger!

I sliced the whole tater, and I ended up with a plateful.

Drizzle a little olive oil on a baking sheet, throw the potatoes on, and bake at 350 for about 5-8 minutes.  You don’t want to cook the potatoes completely because they’ll cook more once they’re on the pizza.  Just soften them up a little.

This was after about 8 minutes.  Some of the thinner ones stuck to the pan and some of the thicker ones were still pretty undercooked.  I’m going to used the thick ones to make a little batch of potato chips.

Zoomed in a little.  You can tell that they’re not totally raw.

Now it’s time for droppin’ beets.  Some may say “thinly slicing” beets.  Potayto, potato.

Is that a tiny, super thinly sliced beet or do I just have a big, fat thumb?  It’s all relative here.

You’ll only need a single beet for the beetza.  Thinly slice it just like the potato.  Save the others for roasting or making beet chips.

I love taking pictures of beets.  They’re such an awesome color and them kind of look like a tree trunk on the inside.

Bake the beets just like the potatoes, only extend the cooking time to 10-12 minutes.  Once you take the beets out of the oven, throw in your pizza stone and crank up the temperature.

Can you beat a plate of beets?  I love beet puns.  Now beat it.

Roll out some pizza dough, and drizzle with a little olive oil.  I just used my hands to kind of rub the oil around the crust, but you could just brush it on, too.  I prefer to get as few utensils dirty as possible.  I guess I shouldn’t care this week since I bet on UNC to win the championship game, resulting in Matt having to wash the dishes for a week.  Beat that!

Sprinkle the crust with rosemary and sea salt.

Spread the potatoes over the crust.  They’re really thin, so I didn’t really skimp.

Top with some beets.

Crumble some goat cheese on top of it all.

Bake for 20 minutes or so – until the crust is done.

Beetza is pretty hard to beat if you ask me.

We dipped it in olive oil with cracked pepper, and it was lovely.

If you want more healthy recipes like that, you can ask for your recipes here.…

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Kitchen

I know cleaning is the most boring part of maintaining a house but if you don’t want to fall ill and want your place to look amazing, you have to clean it all up.

While cleaning rooms are still fine, cleaning your kitchen is another story. A lot of us don’t know where to even start but no worries guys because this article will tell you just that. With these simple steps, you can clean your kitchen in no time at all and actually enjoy doing it too. The checklist was submitted to us courtesy of HomeGuyd.

So, what are you waiting for? Go and clean your kitchen now!

1. Remove the clutter

You need to first sort through the pile of rubbish in your kitchen including the newspapers, toys, etc. which don’t belong in the kitchen and keep them in a separate basket. Throw any food item which has gone bad and makes sure there is not a single item left on the floor or the countertops.

2. Put the dishes in the sink

Then, gather all your dirty dishes and put them in the sink with a soap solution so that while you clean the kitchen, the soap solution can loosen the dirt from your dishes.

3. Spray the countertops

Next is to spray your countertops and stovetops with a cleaning solution so that it does its job while you clean the remaining part of the kitchen.

4. Clean your fridge

Now you need to empty your fridge of any unnecessary food items or anything that has gone bad. Make sure that you have only good or required food items in the fridge and throw everything else into the trash can.

Messy Fridge

5. Clean the top of the kitchen

Now, start cleaning from the top of the kitchen. Clean the ceilings and the top of the doors. You can use long-handled dusters of vacuums to do this job. Don’t worry about the floor getting dirty as you will clean it in the end.

6. Clean your microwave and cabinets

Then, clean your microwave from the inside and the outside and wipe down the upper cabinets with a damp cloth.

7. Wipe down the countertops

Now, you need to wipe down your countertop and stovetop which was earlier sprayed with a cleaning solution and make sure that there are no stains left behind.

8. Clean the vertical surfaces

Once you have cleaned all of those surfaces, it is time to clean the kitchen tools and equipment which have a vertical surface, like the refrigerator’s surface, microwave’s surface, oven, and so on. Make sure you clean the handles and the outside properly.

Cleaning Microwave

9. Clean the lower cabinets

Then, you need to wipe clean the lower cabinets and drawers with the help of a warm soapy solution.

10. Wash the dishes

Once every surface is cleaned, it is time to wash your dishes and clean your sink. Rinse your sink with water and let it dry.

11. Empty your trash bin

Throw all the trash outside in the trash container and clean your trash basket once before putting a new trash bag inside.

12. Clean the kitchen floor

Finally, it is time to dust the floor and then mop it with a damp mop. Once you have done this, you will notice that your kitchen looks very clean and tidy today.

Neat and Clean Kitchen

Stay tuned on Itacho Restaurant for more helpful updates.…

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