Monday, June 25, 2012

Organic Homemade Whole Wheat Cheese Pizza (Video Tutorial)

Homemade Organic Pizza
So let's make something really interesting from the scratch, albeit today we are not going to explain the process of creating a pizza sauce (as we are going to left that to another tutorial) but rather in the creation of the dough using our bread machine and every day utensils we have in our house. On the bottom part there is a tutorial on how to make a pizza as well the dough but before that I am going to give you the instructions on how to do easy and organic.

Recipe for an Easy Dough:

Not long ago, I was having a small chit chat with my friend Elisa from Colombia, for the first I actually gave the reason to someone else;  as she is probably right, one of the most cathartic process in the creation of the pizza comes from mixing the dough by yourself to create perfection, I guess she was right; on another similar conversation that same day, talking with another friend from Colombia who is a chef (Jairo) he said something similar and also gave me some really good advice as well some tips in the creation of the pizza as for the sauce (which we are going to do in another entry). I gave them both the answer of the lazy, I am happy that I found a bread machine really cheap that can batter and make the dough but that I am going to try make the dough without the aid of the machine eventually.

  1. 1 1/2 cups of water.
  2. 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil.
  3. 3 1/2 cups of organic whole wheat flour.
  4. 1 tablespoon sugar
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 1/2 teaspoon bread machine yeast
  • Place all the ingredients in the container according to the order that is specified in the manufacturer instructions. Program it on the right cycle, in the case of Oster machine the liquid ingredients come first, then the dry ones and last the yeast.
  • When the machine ends the cycle just pull quickly the dough, don't let it dry inside the machine or it will be ruined; take out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into the desired number of portions or in a lesser case flat the dough into a disk and you can have a large size pizza, or manipulate the portion into creation a Deep Dish pizza. The dough will need to rise so it's a good option to let it rest for about half an hour (30 minutes) until the dough has increased his size.
  • The remains of the dough can be stored for about 24 hours in the fridge, beyond that point it's better to discarded as it won't be fresh anymore.
Deep Dish Organic Whole Wheat Cheese Pizza

  1. 1 Pizza dough of your choice.
  2. 1 Cup of Tomato Sauce.
  3. 8 Ounces of Mozzarella cheese ( or add it to your own discretion).
  • Before baking, set the oven around 450F to 500F.
  • Spray flour around the pizza work surface and then place the dough in the work surface and start creating a circle with your hands until it reach the desire proportion.
  • Put evenly the sauce of your selection starting from the center and going outside the dough without touching the borders.
  • Add cheese.
  • Wait around 30 minutes to 45 minutes before pulling the pizza out and let it rest for 15 minutes before consuming it. Then cut it on the way you want and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Make Organic Sparkling Cherry Soda with a Hint of Peppermint

OK people, it has been 60 days since I made a cooking tutorial on my Youtube account and this is also the first one I've ever write on this site on how to make homemade beverage as sparkling water and sodas. Today we are going to do something simple and enjoyable sodas' but eventually will also cover sparkling waters, creamy drinks and energy boost drinks (all homemade). It's not difficult to make them at home if you have Seltzer as Club Soda; but if you have a siphon which you can buy at Target and carbonate the water, then you have a treasure gem in your kitchen which you can exploit.

The carbonating tanks are quite cheap and they are durable, but you have to be extremely careful at the moment of operating them as they are fragile if they fall on the floor because they can cause harm. So lets start our first tutorial in the world of homemade, non-alcoholic beverages.

So our first recipe as we said before it's cherry soda with a hint of peppermint. One thing you need to know, freshness it's always the key for the flavor and much of the naturist flavor based sodas and beverages are made with fruits who aren't inside cans which they fruits as natural as they can be they can add an extra flavor. Remember, if you want an optimum flavor get your items from the produce section from your supermarket but if you want to create something easy, fast and yet with a nice flavor, the canned options are always a nice alternative.

The three main ingredients for this recipe are cherries, peppermint and molasses. I rather recommend using unprocessed  cane sugar because it accent the sweetness, albeit molasses even if they are a product processed of sugar cane give a different taste to the drinks you make.

To start we will need to cool in the fridge two cups of water, each cup measures the quantity of consumption. I use bottled water as it serves perfectly two cups. You will leave the water cooling down until the end before you take out the syrup of the pan. In my opinion a wide pan as the one shown in the graphic it's the best surface to work with as it offers all the space we need to avoid big messes around the kitchen.

So the first step we need is to open the canned cherries and wash  the can as well the cherries before using them; we don't need the the liquid that is in the container as the cherries or the fruit you use it's going to exhume their syrup which are the keys to the soda flavor. We are going to heat the cherries on a low fire for about 15 minutes, we don't need to over cook them.

When we finish heating, we are going to break the syrup and discard the cherries, so the trick it's simple because we are going to use a filter and below the filter we will place another pan or bowl to contain the syrup that was extracted from the cherries.

The syrup will look like this it will have a reddish pinkish consistency and it won't be gooey. The "sticky" syrup will be a product of the addition of the sugar and milk. Talking about the sugar, with the production of the home made sodas it's that you can use different kind of sweeteners. In theory homemade sodas' should be healthier but because of the addition of Carbon and breaking all the elements of the compound, it becomes a drink of leisure that doesn't give any healthy nutrition to the body. I love trying different kinds of sweeteners to the sodas' because I get variations with the flavors, and talking about sweeteners' we are going to dedicate a section of the blog to talk about them.

This is a tricky part because you can't add in excess the ingrident that will give the after flavor, in the case of our soda it will be peppermint; peppermint it's such an amazing plant and the extracts add some amazing hints to many recipes but also if you add more than you are instructed it can overwhelm other flavors. For this cherry soda we are only going to add half a tea spoon, no more, no less; if you add more beyond the half of a tea spoon you will have a soda who looks as a cherry soda but taste minty and spicy. Remember we are going to be heating the mix while we add the elements.

Next step it's actually a simple one, we are going to add 2 2/3rds' of milk into the boiling mix. Yes, much of the sodas' are composed by milk; and yes, that was the reason that previously we spoke that sodas should be healthy but they aren't, even if they have on their syrup a lot of stuff that are essentially nutritious.

 The next step it's probably the most fun of them all, creating the carbonated water to add the syrup inside; but we need to talk about a few steps in order so you would know what to do. First: there are two ways to create the flavor, some people say that it's better to carbonate the water first (a is shown in the graphic) and the one applied on this tutorial but I like to mix the cherry syrup into the water and carbonate all together to create the amazing homemade soda.

Second, to store the syrup you can use any container and it will be OK in the fridge for about three days, and, so the soda.

Third, when using the siphon in my opinion to have a really good drink who won't be extremely gassy, you only need to push the button once.

One of the last steps in the production of our homemade soda it's to add the concentrate into the water (at least in this case), I rather use the entire concentrate and carbonate it along the water so it will create an amazing flavor and flavored bubbles. Yes, if you carbonate the concentrate you can have flavor bubbles and in the presentation of the drink, the drink itself will loo more appetizing.

And this is it, our homemade soda it's ready to be enjoyed. Thank you for reading me.