Tag Archives: Golden Boy Pizza

Everyday Life: Weeks 18, 19, 20 and 21

I keep saying I’ll come back to this space and share tea number of recipes…yet the days seem to escape me, and here I am, 4 weeks since the last post…

A look at the last few weeks:

The garden is a-growing!

The downside to an approaching summer is knowing that I’ll be less inclined to heat our oven to 550 degrees in order to make homemade pizza.

Tricks.

Best photo of Percy. Haha

Homemade vegan BBQ!

From around the garden :)

When you provide food for your husband’s band rehearsal, after an afternoon of Little League… dips! Baguettes! Likened accessory foods!

When our german shepherds were getting older and sicker, these washable dog diapers helped us prolong having them with us. Who knew they’d come in handy when Miss Percy wasn’t feeling well and decided it was easier to wet the bed than go outside to use the bathroom…

My favorite…blueberry pie.

Even better, blueberry pie for dinner the next night.

This has been my favorite bread to make recently – garlic rosemary!

My dad came into town for a short 3-day visit.

Playing a game with Silas that my grandma taught me 20+ years ago.

Biscuits!

We made a slightly impromptu trip to the Bay Area last weekend… Percy’s preferred car riding position (yes, please).

Both kids also came along.

Silas and I had chicken and waffles for dinner (bourbon ginger for me, strawberry lemonade for him) the first night.

Craig and I got up early the next morning to indulge in some straight-out-of-the-oven egg custard tarts in Chinatown.

This little snugglebutt is an indulgent fan of hotel room living.

Just as Silas was scanning the horizon, a handful of seals came out to play in San Francisco Bay.

Saturday morning finds in the city.

This boy is clocking in at nearly 5’7″ and 134 pounds. He’ll be 12 in just a couple weeks!

Golden Boy Pizza and a drive through the city for lunch.

Percy got to have her first beach experience. She wasn’t so sure about the water, but loved the sand-digging and running.

Vincent, Silas and Percy. The Golden Gate in the distance.

On the road home.

We brought home some Boudin Bakery sourdough…french toast was totally necessary for dinner ASAP.

While we were gone, the first of our poppies popped!

Little baby.

Homemade falafel night. With homemade hummus and tzatziki.

Sassy cat. “PET ME.”

Our gardens are coming along slowly…

How to prepare for hosting middle schoolers’ sleepovers. Ha.

Lazy bones.

My husband’s band played a fun show here in town!

That’s a wrap for now… hope you’re all well!

No-Knead Pizza Dough + Tomato Basil Pizza Recipes

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Last week, we started off the week with homemade pizza, made with my sourdough crust. We had leftover pizza the night after. The next day, there was this risotto. Thursday night, we had a spinach lasagna somewhat reminiscent of this one. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday? We ate the pizza I am going to share with you now. Not because there were leftovers… there weren’t leftovers. I made this pizza three days in a row because we are OBSESSED.

Seeing as we had pizza for five out of seven nights last week, I probably don’t need to tell you we like these sauced-up, cheese-topped, pies around here. I had seen Tracy Shutterbean‘s no-knead dough recipe over a year ago, but always told myself that in order to be a pizza enthusiast (is that a thing?), I had to make a damn good rolled, stretched, kneaded dough. So that’s what I did. Over and over again. But let’s be real. As often as I crave pizza, I don’t always have the extra time it takes to make a kneaded dough. Let’s be really real – it’s not even an issue of “extra time” – sometimes I just don’t want to mess with kneading, or yeast-proofing, or rolling dough.

The beauty of this dough is two fold. One, it’s RIDICULOUSLY easy. Throw things in a bowl, stir, cover, wait. Ta-da! DOUGH! And two, it’s DELICIOUS. One of our favorite pizza places in San Francisco is Golden Boy in North Beach. Their pizza is a foccacia type of crust, topped with minimal sauce and cheese (or pepperoni, garlic + clam, pesto veggie, or meat + veggie combo). It’s excellent for lunch, dinner, an alcohol-soaking-up-device when you’ve drank too much, or for any occasion.

This crust turns out thin, crispy, and absorbs just the right amount of sauce while it’s baking in the oven. I’m including an easy (and DAMN TASTY) cheese pizza recipe along with the dough. It’s the one I made all three nights. We found that while pizza is really good just out of the oven, this one is even better when its cooled to just slightly above room temperature… Enjoy and I hope you have more pizza restraint than we do! (But I fully encourage you not to!)

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No-Knead Pizza Dough

Yields enough dough for two pizzas baked in 13×18-inch rimmed baking sheets.

Recipe modified slightly from Tracy Shutterbean

Ingredients:
3 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/3 cups warm water
olive oil for pan

Directions:
Stir together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in bowl. Add the water, then use a spoon or your hands to mix everything together until blended into a ball of dough (this should take no more than a few minutes).

Cover the dough and let it rise at room temperature for about 2 hours. It may be slightly less than doubled in size.

Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut it in half. Oil a 13×18 inch rimmed baking sheet liberally with a good quality olive oil. Gently place a ball of dough on the pan, stretching and pressing it out toward the edges. If it springs back wait five minutes and then continue. The dough is very thin. If it tears, simply pinch it back together.

Moving on to pizza-making…

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Tomato Basil Pizza

Yields two 13×18 inch pizzas.

Recipe also slightly modified from Tracy Shutterbean

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups of your preferred tomato sauce (this is my go-to)
a few pinches of red pepper flakes
12-18 large leaves of fresh basil, chopped
24 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese for topping
optional 1 teaspoon dried oregano

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Directions:
Preheat your oven to 500° F.

Spread half of the tomato sauce evenly over each baking sheet of dough, going all the way to the edges. Be sure the sauce is spread evenly, so no sauce piles up in the center of the pie. Sprinkle with a few pinches of red pepper flakes, top each pie with the chopped basil, then tear pieces of the fresh mozzarella and scatter it over each pizza.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until the edges are slightly charred. Sprinkle with the oregano, extra basil and fresh parmesan cheese and serve hot or at room temperature.

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Day to Day Life: Week Fifty

How is this the 50th week of the year? And the start of winter break around here, coming up this Friday? Christmas next week? 2013, time has come and gone… Seems quicker every single year. We won’t approach my neurotic near-middle age thoughts until 2014. (You’re welcome.) In the meantime, here’s a peek at the last week:

9The Pacific Northwest is simply chock full of pretty this time of year.

1Buttermilk Belgian waffles one morning.

5Things around here have been super snowy, then super icy, then super snowy… Needless to say, I should’ve put these shoes on once I got into the gym rather than before. Baby-steps all the way across the parking lot…

2Snow beasts!

4A tuna melt-on-a-bagel type of post workout late lunch/early dinner.

18Impromptu “Hey, take my picture!” moment.

3I made my first vegetarian chicken pot pie this week. It was delicious. I’ve learned to appreciate leftovers more and more – these leftovers were particularly delicious. Plus salad. And beer.

16Snowy fur babies.

8A delicious pasta mess (my favorite, after pizza… carb whore).

7Ashland puffy sky.

6Late night food cravings… At least Koyo Ramen offers a less guilty option than Top Ramen.

20My husband recently had a story published in Fourteen Hills, San Francisco State University’s literary journal. He was invited to participate in a reading during the book release, so we spent a few days in the city.

12The name of this store next to the gallery my husband’s reading was in cracked me up… Yeah Yeah! Pony Prince.

10Late night pizza at the amazing Golden Boy Pizza in North Beach. I will figure out how to make this pizza… Or at least something passable. We shared a slice of cheese and a slice of their notorious garlic-clam pizza. Then went back the next day for a slice of cheese and a slice of pesto veggie.

24San Francisco offers some gorgeous views, too…

23Holiday evidence in Cafe Trieste.

22Carousel Consignment was a new stop in the Mission… So many excellent goodies…

19When we’re in the city, my husband and I often like to share meals so we can try a larger array of foods without getting overly full. We shared a burrito from Taqueria Cancun then walked around the Mission. Despite the vast number of times we’ve been in the area, we came across the Mission Market Food Mall, which we (stupidly) passed by hundreds of times without scoping out. This time we wandered into the open-air “mall” and came across Antojitos Salvadorenos Aminta – a Salvadorian restaurant. We quickly noticed pupusas on the menu and ordered two jalapeno-cheese pupusas to share. While our order took a bit of time, they were the best pupusas I’ve ever had. The wait was absolutely worth it.

11A quick first breakfast (treat) for two. The pain aux raisins was delicious, but the caramel apple croissant was even better…

14One can never eat enough veggie burritos while traveling in California… (Seriously.)

15Skies and waters. My fascination forever.

13We had to make a quick stop in Fairfax. I loved all the random art around town… including this.

21Heading home.

Day to Day Life: Week Forty-Four

The last week looked a little bit like this:

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On a walk home from the grocery store. Soon all these trees will be bald, so I like to enjoy the vibrancy while I can…

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A dinner I’d gladly eat weekly. Homemade cranberry apple grape sauce (I LOVE cranberry season!), mashed ‘taters with crimini mushroom gravy, buttermilk fried tofu, garlic herb focaccia, and raw spinach because something green sounded good.

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That garlic herb focaccia I just mentioned, pre-baking. Holy yum. I adapted this recipe from Tracy Benjamin (Shutterbean). While I don’t have a recipe to share with you, you can absolutely go and make her raisin focaccia, which I guarantee will be deee-licious.

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This is how we enjoy meals around here when there aren’t any kids around. She pretends she’s not looking at every single bite I eat, checking to make sure nothing falls on the floor needing to be cleaned up.

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As I have said many times, homemade pizza night is still my favorite. I experimented with a focaccia crust, as it’s reminiscent of one of our favorite places for pizza in San Francisco – Golden Boy Pizza in North Beach.

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The wonderful women who own Sammich here in Ashland wrote me an email asking if I wanted to come in and try some of their menu after I wrote this post. Of course when one half of these ladies is a chef you absolutely admire, you say hell yes I’ll come in and taste some things off your menu! I even got to drag my husband along. We had the day’s two soup offerings, a greens and beet salad, a poached albacore sammich, roasted eggplant sammich, house cured pastrami sammich AND cotija cheese flan to top things off… More about this visit this coming week…

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We drove up to Portland for the Ashland High School Water Polo district tournament games, where both Vincent and Silas’s sister were playing. Vincent kicked some serious butt as the team’s goalie and as his coach said, he “had another breakout game and saved his team’s ass!”

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Kenya was also a great asset to her team. Both the boys and girls teams won their games and move on to the state tournament this coming weekend.

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I should mention the district tournament overlapped with Halloween. My husband and I went for the Dia de los Muertos sugar skull look.

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This is what happens when you’re a short lady and try to take a selfie photo with your tall husband. Haha

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We found a supposedly haunted bar / pizza place in downtown Portland, where we ventured to scope out the craziness in the city. My date, pictured here, and I wound up with free pizza and happened up on the one bar that didn’t require a cover charge to come in and drink some bourbon.

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No trip of ours would be complete without finding good Mexican food. Duh. We discovered Taqueria La Fuente by my handy dandy Yelp iPhone app. We were incredibly happy with our meal. I ordered a veggie burrito and asked if I could have it smothered in their verde and roja sauces, like the enchilada burrito they had listed. No problem! My husband ordered the chavideca, which we had never heard of. This was two large corn tortillas stuffed with beans and cheese, then topped with avocado, jalapenos, tomatoes, cotija cheese, sour cream, and shredded cabbage. I will be making a version of this! It was SO GOOD!

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We found La Provence Boulangerie and Patisserie also using Yelp. There was a lot of sharing of buttery deliciousness.

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It started dumping rain as we headed back home. I like to watch the raindrops race on the windows as the car’s moving.

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What it looks like from the passenger seat, returning to Ashland from Portland.

Summer Traveling

We recently went on a family trip to the Bay Area. Long before I met Craig, he and Vincent spent a lot of time around San Francisco. Part of what’s included in those experiences is a vast number of favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants and food memories. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been exposed to a number of those places through these two Wrights and it’s those places that are often a pertinent part of our travel.

Generally, food is a huge aspect of our travel plans anyway, with or without the kids. We seek out reviews of local family-run places, or well known tiny spots that can’t be beat. I’d rather eat at a restaurant of that nature than somewhere over-priced, overly-fancy, or hoighty-toighty any day.

We didn’t research too much ahead of time for this trip, leaving things flexible and open to the kids’ cravings. However, as it turns out, when you’re traveling with two boys, these two in particular, their dietary cravings go something like this throughout the day: sugary pastry things, pizza, burritos, sugary sweet things, pizza, burritos, pizza… So, save for a few places throughout the four and a half days we were on vacation, that’s what we ate. And by the end of our trip, all I was craving included light greens, dark greens, and a lot of water.

There were a number of places we thoroughly enjoyed. Originally I thought I’d review them, broken down by the days we ate there. However, since there’s a very noticeable running theme in what we consumed, I thought I’d just tell you about them based on food-type.

As is often the case with our family, there is Mexican food. It’s quite the substantial meal for us as well as the style of food we’ll have at least a couple times each week. Once upon a time my husband wrote an article for the local paper, reviewing and rating a number of local taquerias and veggie burritos. His sons are enchilada and veggie burrito connoisseurs. We tried a couple new places, but made sure to include our top favorite, Taqueria Cancun in the Mission District of San Francisco. Neither my husband or myself (nor the kids for that matter) have tried anything there except their veggie burrito. Keep in mind, “vegetarian” is used loosely here, as I’m sure lard is probably used in their beans and tortillas, perhaps the rice as well. But the blend in this burrito is perfectly creamy, tasty, and magical. They’re voted “Best Veggie Burrito” in San Francisco consistently for good reasons.

The last time we were in the Bay Area, we attempted to try Cholita Linda at the Oakland Friday Farmer’s Market, but they weren’t set up soon enough for the time we had available. We visited the Sunday Jack London Square Farmer’s Market in Oakland during this visit, stumbling upon Cholita Linda’s food booth, which miraculously didn’t have a large line. Although we’d heard the fish tacos were dynamite, we opted for tofu tacos. They were incredible! The tofu was cooked similar to fried fish, then topped with a tasty spicy salsa roja, crisp green cabbage, crema, and cilantro. I immediately knew this was going to be a try-at-home recipe ASAP.

Our last day in Berkeley, we opted for eating in town rather than driving out of our way into San Francisco for a Mission burrito. Taqueria La Familia had good reviews on Yelp and was barely a mile away, so we decided to try it. Craig, Silas, and I each got a veggie burrito with black beans. Vincent opted for cheese enchiladas, pinto beans, and rice since we were eating there, rather than in the car. The burritos were tasty, though not really comparable to those we crave in the city. Vincent said his enchiladas were delicious, the sauce perfectly spicy.

The other child-daily-craving: pizza. Being a college town, we knew that there’d be good pizza around us. Bobby G.’s in Berkeley offered a large selection of specialties and signature pizzas, though we opted for a simple New York style pie topped with artichoke hearts and feta cheese. The crust was perfect: chewy, crispy, light, nicely flavored. The sauce was equally flavorful. And on top of that, while I waited for our pie, I had a nice selection of beer to pick from for a pint.

Another night, we opted for Rotten City Pizza in Emeryville. I liked the seemingly no B.S. attitude of this place. All the pies are 18-inches, New York style (or Sicilian when they feel like venturing that way). The ingredients are fresh, locally and sustainably or organically sourced when possible. And although the prices were a little high for our preference, tax is included and the pizza’s well worth it. We quickly decided on their Blanco Verde pie – fresh mozzarella, ricotta, parmigiano, red chili flakes, and arugula pesto. I could’ve eaten the entire 18-inch pizza myself.

In San Francisco, Golden Boy Pizza in North Beach is legendary with good reason. The pizza is Sicilian style, meaning the crust is about an inch thick and the slices are rectangular. At Golden Boy, the menu isn’t extensive: cheese, pepperoni or sausage, clam and garlic, pesto vegetarian, or combination. Can a wrong decision be made? Hell no. Although it was only about 11:30 in the morning, Golden Boy was packed with people, a line of about 10 out the door. We decided to get our slices to go. Craig and Silas got a slice of cheese, Vincent opted for the pesto veggie, and I ventured to the clam and garlic. The crust is thick, but divinely crisp and holds up well to the toppings. The garlic clam pizza was coated in chopped clams, loads of garlic, and lots of chopped parsley. To give you an idea of how good this pizza was: Vincent hasn’t touched a bit of seafood in over a decade. He ate a bite of my pizza. On top of that, he’s not one to share food with others, especially something that has previously been chewed… Silas didn’t finish his slice of cheese pizza. In the car, Vincent worked from the side that wasn’t eaten, right up to the parts Silas nibbled. That’s good pizza!

Most of our mornings were filled with sharing various treats from bakeries nearby: blueberry muffins and sticky buns from The Bread Workshop in Berkeley, a cinnamon roll bigger than my husband’s head and an apple fritter nearly of equal size from Dream Fluff Donuts, a pecan roll and frosted cinnamon-raisin danish from The Bread Garden Bakery. One of our favorite bakeries in San Francisco is Golden Gate Bakery  in Chinatown. It’s widely known for their egg tarts; tiny custard-filled goodies that people line up down the block to consume. Personally, I’m a bigger fan of their custard buns – soft, sweet bread that encases a lightly vanilla-flavored egg custard. While I wandered around with the kids before heading to our car, Craig got in line at the bakery for custard tarts. When he got back to the car, he informed us that the custard tarts weren’t available once he got to the front of the line. The woman behind the counter offered him coconut buns that had just come out of the oven instead. Truth be told, I loved these much more than the custard tarts we initially came for. The bread was soft, melt-in-your-mouth delicious, the custard inside was perfectly sweet and coconut flavored. The only disappointment was that we’d only gotten one each!

One of our weekend adventures was a baseball game in AT&T Park, watching the San Francisco Giants play the Cincinnati Reds. We’d decided to pick up lunch from the Whole Foods Market close to our hotel. While the kids and Craig picked out Tofurky sandwiches laden with lettuce, tomato, and cheese, I scoped out the sushi counter. My family later made fun of me for bringing sushi into a baseball game, but the truth is, I’m glad I did! The sushi was provided by Genji Sushi, and I picked out the Vegetable Salad Dressing Roll. It was an inside-out roll made of multi-grain rice (a blend of black rice, millet, corn, brown rice, white sorghum, red beans, buckwheat rice, foxtail millet, black soybean, glutinous rice, job’s tears, white sesame, amaranth, barley, and black sesame), carrots, cucumbers, avocado, and green leaf lettuce, served with ginger miso dressing for dipping. I was very pleasantly surprised! The roll was a great blend of texture and flavor.

Photo By N Cecala in Chicago

Being in Berkeley, especially so close to UC Berkeley and the infamous Telegraph Avenue, home to many ethnic restaurants and food choices, we decided to try something completely different. Much to the surprise of Craig and I, both kids were into the idea of trying Ethiopian food we’d seen close by. We went to Ethiopian Restaurant on Telegraph. (The above photo isn’t from the restaurant; it’s pulled from the inter-webs to give you a better idea of what I’m about to describe.) One of the central elements to Ethiopian cuisine is a spongy sourdough-tasting bread called injera. Ethiopian food is often made up of bread, stews, spices, and grains. The different stews come served on a plate, lined with a large (15-20 inch) round of injera, in different piles. We opted for the 14-combination vegetarian dinner. Not long after ordering, we were brought a huge platter of one unrolled injera, topped with piles of red lentil, split peas, collard greens, cabbage and potato, mushroom stew (AMAZING!), cabbage and potato, bulgur, zucchini and carrots, fava beans, and a cold green salad (some of these were doubled up, thus the “14-combo” not 10), and a basket of rolled up injera. The bread is your utensil through the meal: you rip off pieces of injera and use it to “pinch” up the different stews. This meal was so filling, delicious, satisfying, and fun for all of us.

Overall, this was a fun trip filled with many adventures, food-adventures, and motivation to come back to the Bay soon… If you ever find yourself near any of the above mentioned eats, do yourself a favor and stop in for a delicious treat.