Scallion & Cheese Buns

When the folks from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board contacted me about doing a guest post on their Wisconsin Cheese Talk blog, I was totally psyched (and surprised!). Despite the fact that I’ve been doing this for over a year (PK turned 1 on the 9th!), it still amazes me that there are people besides my mom and a few loyal friends who actually read and follow what I do here. A zillion thanks and lots of Xs and Os to you all! I had some reservations about joining the blog world, but you’ve all shown me that it’s a great place to be. :)

And what better way to celebrate one year of existence than with some bread and cheese? This dinner roll recipe on its own is amazing. Fill it with scallions, parm, and smokey cheddar, and you’ve got a real show-stealer on your hands. So head on over to Wisconsin Cheese Talk and check ‘em out. Ogle, drool, then make!

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Roasted Tomato & Pesto Pizza, for one!

Q: What’s better than a big ol’ yummy pizza?
A: A small yummy pizza, just for you!

Despite how often I make them, this is the first one to actually make it on PK. Sadly, my preference for natural light in my photos directly conflicts with the fact that I make most of my pizzas in the evening, and the few leftover slices don’t exactly make for good pictures. I’ve considered dragging out the lighting equipment, but the kitchen chaos that occurs while making pizza isn’t exactly a welcome environment for large, in-the-way things, and the whole thing would likely end in me poking an eye out on an umbrella tip. And while I do think I could seriously rock an eye patch, my already-poor depth perception could not handle such a major blow. And thus, the majority of my creations have gone undocumented.

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Pizza Dough

A few years ago, my friend Adam and I decided it was time we learned how to make pizza. Every Wednesday we would convene at my apartment, eager to wreak saucy, cheesy, cornmealy havoc on my poor kitchen. Within only a couple weeks, it became apparent that there are five items necessary for an easy, enjoyable, and successful pizza-making experience:

  1. A pizza stone. (I had appropriated one left behind by a housemate in a previous apartment. Score.)
  2. A pizza peel. (I bought one almost immediately after we attempted to use a cookie sheet as a substitute.)
  3. Beer. (Duh.)
  4. Cornmeal, to keep the pizza from sticking to the peel. (Or parchment paper! A trick I didn’t discover until recently.)
  5. Plastic bags and rubber bands. (To cover the smoke alarms.)

And, at the risk of sounding like a braggart, we got good. Mega-delish things started happening, like spicy eggplant parm pizza (a lot of work, but worth it). Garlicky swiss chard and goat cheese pizza (my favorite). Bacon cheeseburger pizza (everyone else’s favorite). And as proud as I was of all our creations, I harbored a secret shame that kept me from declaring myself Queen of the Stone: I did not make the pizza dough from scratch.

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Roasted Tomatoes

When I was young, tomatoes were up towards the top of my Most Hated Foods list. My mother once paid me $20 to eat a slice of one (a slice).  I did it, but I definitely did not enjoy it. But then I grew up, and I developed those “mature taste buds” that everyone was telling me I’d have eventually. And I realized that tomatoes are quite delicious.

OK, confession: I still have a bit of a neurosis when it comes to tomatoes. See, I’m not sure I believe that any of our taste buds “mature” (in the strictly biological sense), as much as I think we all give in to trying things we’d shunned in our younger years, to avoid being that person. And so, I had to deconstruct my childhood enemy The Tomato and figure out what exactly it is that I don’t like about it. The answer: those gross, slimy, seed-ridden guts. Ick. And I’m glad I figured it out, because now I can enjoy things like these roasted tomatoes!

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Sweet Potato, Roasted Chili, & Chevre Ravioli

Ah Fall, my favorite season—it’s almost here! Can you feel it too? The days are still warm, but there’s already a few leaves crunching beneath my feet and a chill in the air at night. I’m dusting off my boots, unearthing sweaters, and craving wonderful fall things: roasted brussel sprouts, pumpkin cake, cider donuts . . . mmm mmm mmmmmm. And these ravioli!

The combination of sweet potato and goat cheese is almost dessert-like. When I first made these last year, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. Before I’d gotten my first sheet of pasta dough rolled out, I’d already eaten a ridiculous amount of the filling (and was no longer hungry at all). This time, to offset the sweetness (and the urge to consume spoonful after spoonful of filling), I decided to throw in a couple of roasted chili peppers. A good idea! The occasional spicy kick is a great complement to the sweet potato. I love them. I’m house sitting alone until next Wednesday, and these things are begging me to eat them all before I return to Vermont. Willpower . . . fading . . .

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