Homemade Pizza!

My son is back at college with homemade pizza memories floating around his head! In November I treated myself to a new Cuisinart food processor, and the pizza dough recipe that came with it is wonderful. On Saturday I made a homemade tomato sauce, we shredded several cheeses (mozzarella, goat and feta), and I set out the fixings for make-your-own pizza. This included spicy sausage, smoked chicken, spinach, arugula, mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, and kalamata olives. The pizza was enjoyed with a nice Malbec picked out by my husband…all in all, not a bad send off.

I am still working this week’s menu…I have a recipe for a Guinness Beef Stew that I’d like to sample, and tomorrow looks as if it will be the perfect day to try it out. Wednesday – St. Patrick’s Day – will be a repeat of the meal I did last week (corned beef with Guinness mustard, horseradish cream, potatoes and glazed carrots). I will also bake my Cheddar Cheese-Stout Cheesecake I make every year for the festivities, and I am sure we will enjoy a black and tan (or two) that evening! I tried a Chocolate Stout Custard this weekend, but I wasn’t totally ‘wowed’ by it. I can’t decide if it needs tweaking, or if I need to drop it altogether. The verdict is still out on that one…

I am so excited – my new dishwasher is due to be installed tomorrow!! I have been researching and asking around for several months, and finally decided on the Asko 5893 model. I currently have 2 dishwashers, one of which needs to be replaced. The other one will need replacing soon as well, but I will try out this Asko model first. The next model down from this is the 5253 and doesn’t have quite as many bells and whistles. I want to see if I will actually use the extra features (and how well they work) before paying the extra money for them when I replace my second dishwasher. The outside of both models is identical; the difference is in the configuration of the baskets, number of programming options and drying cycle options.

I have a suspicion my wall ovens will need replacing within the next year. The cleaning cycle on my top oven gives me an error code whenever I use it, and the light doesn’t work (yes, I have replaced the bulb). In addition to that I have had it serviced twice over the course of its life, both times were electrical issues and expensive fixes. I would love to replace it with a Wolf double wall oven, but the price is steep…I have to wait a bit on that upgrade. To put it in perspective, it would take about seven month’s worth of savings on my Jewelry Diet to pay for it…so unless my oven actually goes kaput it is off limits for now. But a girl can dream!