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Homemade Pizza

 

Homemade Pizza. It’s by far my #1 favorite food. Anything with cheese. Anything with bread.

When you combine the two, you have my undivided attention.

I grew up on my Sicilian grandmother’s homemade pizza. With homemade sauce.

She would make pizza on the days she was making her homemade bread. The whole family would gather in the evening just to get slices of the pizza (she had begun early in the morning to make the bread and pizza dough and fried bread dough, too. Oh, how the list goes on).

Her pizza was long and a bit thick, made on very large baking sheets. Although I never saw her actually making them as a kid, I always noticed that there was little sauce, little cheese and the dough was always perfectly chewy. She judiciously cut every piece herself with large black and silver kitchen shears– my first memories of the utilization of scissors used to cut food. Judiciously because the pizza was precious- it was laborious to make and I know she wanted to ensure that everyone in our large family had a filling taste of the way she showed us love.

Nothing in the world has ever replaced the smell of her bread and pizza dough. As I lifted the square slice (cut in squares by those famous scissors), the smell completely encompassed my soul and began my love of food. Real food. Real pizza.

That’s a very hard act to follow.

Not many people or restaurants have ever fully satisfied my craving for Nonna’s pizza. She doesn’t make them anymore, nor did I ever really learn her recipe. Over phone calls to her during college, I caught a glimpse of what she did to make it, but so much was lost in translation.

Ever since then I’ve been on a quest of my own to replicate (though that can never truly happen) a pizza dough tradition of my own that honors my grandmother’s love of bread, of pizza and of feeding her family with lots of both.

Here’s my experience of mixing the old (fashioning homemade dough) with the new (a lovely new pizza pan I’m going to tell you all about).

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Superbowl Foods

I’m not the biggest football fan in the world. Actually, I really don’t understand the rules of the game. I know what a touchdown and a field goal is, but that’s about it. All the other things the players do to bring each other down is just one big question mark in my head.  I’m … Read more

Easy Appetizer: Egg Salad and Baby Shrimp on Toast

If you’ve already got egg salad on hand, this is a super quick appetizer to prepare. If not, here’s my recipe for a healthy and quick egg salad to get you started. This appetizer came about on a day when I was busy working, unprepared to cook and not feeling well enough to put out a spread … Read more

Egg Salad

Once you’ve got a great recipe for egg salad, there’s so much you can do with it: serve it up in a sandwich or parcel it out for appetizers. Either way, I really love the versatility of this dish and the fact that it’s nutritious and always a crowd pleaser. Start out with the freshest, … Read more

Butternut Squash Soup

It’s amazing to think that a vegetable such as the butternut squash, so hard on the outside, can actually be broken into and puréed down to something as fine as a soup. subhanallah. Choose those with firm exteriors and no sign of bruising. They are a bit tough to chop, but that’s a good sign. … Read more

Multigrain French Toast

Weekend mornings may be the default, albeit traditional time to make griddled things like pancakes and waffles, but this recipe is so quick and easy you can really make them any day of the week. I like to use multi-grain bread to make French toast (my favorite comes from Trader Joe’s). The honey in this recipe is optional, but I think … Read more

Chocolate Velvet Cake

This week I’ve been testing recipes for good old-fashioned (halal) southern food. It’s a fun and tasty job, but not always so easy. This cake, for example, was almost eaten up entirely before a single photo was taken! I devoured the cookbook, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, by Martha Hall Foose. She writes a loving memoir of southern … Read more

Chicken Pot Pie in Phyllo Dough

Many American kids like myself grew up eating chicken pot pies at some point during their childhood, whether homemade or store-bought and frozen. I used to love them because they smelled delicious, were very filling and simply reminiscent of simple comfort food.

I haven’t made chicken pot pies in years and recently have been craving this type of food, but I didn’t have pie crusts, the typical dough used,  at the time of my craving–but I did have phyllo dough. I thought, Why not give it a try? Phyllo is pretty durable and I just love how it tastes in my Spinach Borek.

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Asparagus Burgers Recipe | My Halal Kitchen

A Recipe for Spring: Asparagus Burgers

Sunday we took a trip out to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, just to capture the budding spring flowers on trees and, of course, the beautiful, colorful tulips. We also saw asparagus, which reminded me of my mom’s recipe for asparagus burgers, which is one of my favorite dishes.  Here’s the beautiful purple asparagus plant I spotted … Read more

Oven-Roasted Acorn Squash Seeds

Acorn Squash and Spaghetti Squash have smaller seeds than the larger butternut squash and the more popular orange pumkins associated with this time of year. I love acorn squash seeds because the tiny and soft inner green seed is very tasty, however, they do require a bit of patience to prepare and eat these smaller-than-bite-size … Read more

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