Gluten Free Deep Dish Pizza Recipe

I have an ego the size of a small planet right now, so you’ll have to excuse any perceived narcissism in this post*.

So, if you have to go gluten free, you KNOW how hard decent pizza is to come by. The premade store bought ones are more like a weird chewy cracker (that squeaks against the teeth!), than anything that should ever be called “pizza”. Restaurant ones aren’t much better, and cost a fortune.

What I’ve been craving lately has been Jet’s Pizza. I loved their pillowy, crispy-on-the-outside, deep dish crust. Forget the weird gluten free cracker crusts, I wanted something bready and yeasty and awesome.

I finally made the final crossover to the dark side. I was flirting with it for a bit there, playing with some pre mixed “all purpose” gluten free flours… now, I’m .. Darth Vader. YES! (Or just really high on the fact that I Just. Ate. Pizza.)

If you hadn’t guessed, I developed a proper gluten free pizza crust today. (Well, yesterday by the time I post this!). I abandoned the premixed all purpose flour in favor of looking at the individual properties/ flavors of various gluten free flours, and …daaamn. It looks AND tastes like the real deal. I mean, to the point where hubby pointed out that it’s better than most normal frozen pizzas, and a lot of lower-end, full gluten restaurant pizzas. It’s doughy and yeasty, not a cracker. Soft on the inside, golden and crispy on the outside… it browned well, didn’t squeak against the teeth, and you could pick up a slice and eat it. It held up well, and had no weird mouthfeel OR aftertaste.

If you’ve ever had to suffer through gluten free pizza dough before.. then you know why I am REALLY excited right now!

Not sure what else to say, partially because I’m super giddy. The use of oat flour was a bit of brilliance, if I do say so myself… it really gives it a hearty, bready taste. The crust has a “rustic” sort of taste to it – more earthy (nutty?) than a plain white crust, but not quite to the point of a whole wheat crust flavor. Might just be my greatest accomplishment to date…

Oh, it was good. I hope you enjoy this as much as I am!

* To be fair, I DID just create a gluten free pizza crust that looks, tastes, and feels like the real thing, so… really, there should be a Nobel with my name on it, right?

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Booze Bouquet Tutorial

As you may know, my husband and I are not really Valentine’s Day people. We don’t really have any need for the traditional V Day gifts (and I am SO not a jewelry person!), it ends up feeling pretty contrived, so we usually just hang out and chill. Of course, external pressures usually have us checking in with each other every year, with “do you WANT to do anything…?

It always feels like we *should*. This year, we decided that we’ll be brewing a small batch of a red, “Valentine’s Day” wine or mead. I think we’re leaning towards a sweet raspberry mead. Anyway, I digress…

Last night we were eating dinner and discussing the various funny stuff we’d seen on the net, when I mentioned a booze bouquet I’d seen on Pinterest. The person had affixed mini booze bottles onto sticks, and made a little bouquet of it.

As we’d recently been reminiscing on how much fun we’d had doing V-day ceramic mugs for each other a few years back, the idea of making booze bouquets for each other came up. Like many of our crazy ideas, it went from “wouldn’t it be fun…” to DONE in no time flat!

We headed to a craft supply store to pick up all kind of crazy Valentine’s Day craft stuff on clearance. Neither one of us really knew what we were planning to do as we poured over ever manner of red, pink, and sparkly V Day nonsense, discussing ideas, and ultimately purchasing our respective supplies. After that, we went to our favorite liquor store, and each bought a dozen mini bottles for each other, each not letting the other see the surprise selections.

The whole time – and on the way home – we excitedly talked about our ideas and plans, actually looking *forward* to our little V Day celebration. Neither of us could WAIT to get home and dig into the craft supplies, and seeing what we could come up with.

We had a blast. Weird crafty projects with my husband are always a ton of fun (Pi Day Pi-natas, Chocolate Zombie Easter Bunnies, and epic Pysanky using Crayons, for instance!).

Also? Men + Booze + Craft supplies are a pretty epic combination. Just WAIT til you see what he came up with!
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How to Custom Design and Install a Nerdy Granite Tile Backsplash

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My tornado memoir – “Twisted” was released on 05/22/12! click here for more details, or to purchase!
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So, I know it’s not EXACTLY food related… but tiling an awesome back splash is KITCHEN related, and tutorials are *almost* recipes, right? I swear this is actually a food blog…!

Remember back when I debuted the photos of our finished bathroom renovation, with Fibonacci sequence tiled into the main wall, and a few digits of pi tiled behind the toilet? It was a last minute design idea, and it was to be a subtle, small nod to our nerdiness.

Well, one thing led to another… and now we have 159 digits of pi tiled into our kitchen backsplash. If you follow me on Twitter, you’re probably sick of hearing about it by now… but I not only have the final photos, I have a tutorial on how to do it yourself!

Now, I know we went sort of nuts with the pi day celebrations last year… but this really takes it to a whole new level. We’re happy to have this in place in time for this year’s party, but… damn. No idea how we’ll top this for Pi day 2013. Or, you know, 2015, when we should really go all out! (3/14/15!)

I guess the one good thing about getting your house destroyed by a tornado is that it forces you to get off your butt, make a bunch of design decisions and actually DO renovations on the house, rather than just talk about “someday, it would be cool if…”.

We still have quite a ways to go, but the house really is looking great. We won’t have cabinet faces and doors for a WHILE – still waiting for the lumber we had milled to be properly dried, so we can build all that. Oh well. I think the fact that the black walnut that destroyed our kitchen is being used to rebuild it is badass enough to be worth the wait! Anyway…

Now, I realize that the odds of anyone else tiling pi into their kitchen is fairly slim… but this tutorial is also good for anyone who wants to put in a new backsplash, but with a personal twist. The photos and specifics here are for pi, but the principles can apply to any design you can think up, with 2″ x 2″ tiles.

For instance..

– Using two favorite colors to create a custom checkerboard design, should you not be happy with the small amount of pre-fab options out there.

– If you look at the tiles as “pixels”, you can do pretty much anything you can come up with that is 9-10 squares tall, by however long you want.

– Tetris!

– Music fans or musicians could make an amazing “equalizer” type design!

I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to look at a finished, completely custom backsplash, and know that it is YOURS… and it wasn’t the difficult! On to the tutorial….

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Secret Caker Voodoo for Fabulous Holiday Entertaining

Remember back in October, when my husband made a Cake Wreck ?
Well, it wasn’t just his ADD that had him “like a kid in a candy store” at the cake decorating supply shop.

You see, lay people tend to have NO idea just how many cool things available to cake decorators, to really finish off a cake. Aside from all of the wrecky goodness we could find (Naked plastic babies, creepy Barbie torsos, etc), cake supply shops are also well stocked with what I like to refer to as “secret caker voodoo”.

From super concentrated food coloring in every shade you can think of, to various tools, molds, trimmings, and … well, everything… yeah. The sky’s the limit. It was always fun to work with clients who’d really let me play. You know the feeling you had when you were young, and someone gave you a BIG art kit filled with all sorts of pastels, markers, crayons, and paint – all new, pristine, and in a variety of colors? THAT… only grown up, and slightly more refined.

Anyway, more to the point… some of this “secret caker voodoo” can be used in non-cake ways, with spectacular results. Your secret arsenal to make everything just a little more fabulous when entertaining. Let me tell you about my favorite stuff …. (more…)

Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake Recipe

I don’t know about you guys, but *I* could certainly use a break from thinking/blogging about our tornado ordeal! Roofers start tomorrow, so how about a little normalcy on the blog?

Today, I have a treat for you – Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake! If you are looking for an easy, summery cake to bring to a BBQ or event, look no further. This one is SURE to impress.

This recipe may look daunting at first glance, but it really is easier than it appears. It’s also my absolute favorite recipe in my cookbooks Evil Cake Overlord and The Spirited Baker, and possibly the best cake ever created. Not kidding. It is too fabulous to have NOT included it in both books!

This is the cake that got us on the Wolfgang Puck’s Minneapolis catering preferred vendors list for wedding cakes… when we were still making them!

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Grandma’s Potato Salad

This recipe was originally posted last summer.. but with recent weather, BBQs, and a wicked craving for it.. figured it’s about time to drag it back to the spotlight!

Lately, I’ve been on a mission to translate my family favorite “recipes” (no, that’s not a misuse of quotation marks!) into actual recipes.

It’s a bigger endevor than it sounds to be – my family writes down recipes like we cook. By that, I mean that “a handful of” or “some” are used as actual units of measurements, or any indication of actual quantity is left out completely. We add an ingredient till things look or taste right, which is fine when you’re comfortable with what you’re doing.. but not so hot for conveying a recipe to my blog readers!

Take, for instance, my grandmother’s potato salad recipe. She makes the most amazing potato salad I’ve ever had, but this is her recipe, in its entirety:

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boil red potatoes, cut in 4
Don’t overcook them
Cool them
Put in fridge, cover with italian dressing, let sit overnight
Take them out, add chopped green onion, celery, radishes, eggs (hardboiled and sliced)
Use Hellman’s full fat mayo, don’t use too much

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See what I’m dealing with? LOL.

The recipe is far too great to NOT share with the world, so here it is:

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