When Irish girls do Italian

I don’t pretend that I’m a master Italian cook – it’s just not my specialty. I know I CAN do it – but it’s typically just not my style.

Or, so I thought.

We had some friends over tonight and because I so love my bread machine, I decided to do homemade pizzas. I was inspired by my lack of enthusiasm about our local pizza places and figured…hell, I could do it better.

So, I scoured the internet for some good dough and pizza sauce recipes and I was off and running.

I could pretend that it was hard. But, thanks to modern technology and the invention of a crazy thing called the bread machine…I saved my hands lots of kneading and muscle cramps.

I used a basic dough recipe – some garlic powder, onion powder and Italian seasoning was involved. But, other than that. Basic. (I would share but I haven’t tweaked it yet)

Here is my dough…

Oh, doughy perfection!

It turned out perfectly! Soft, yet pliable and the smell of fresh dough is enough to make a girl weak in the knees.

I spread the dough into TWO medium (14 in) pizzas…

Look, no holes!

Closer…

Closer shot

And, I did it all again so I had enough dough for 4 pizzas. (Only made 3 pizzas).

I made the pizza sauce last night – the recipe called for a lot of cayenne and red pepper flakes. I backed down since we were having some kiddies over. After tasting the sauce, I’d probably take out the honey addition and add in some more of the spicy goodness.

Here are my final products – I am ridiculously proud of my Irish self!

MY cheese pizza

MY meat pizza

MY veggie pizza

Yes – look at them and think YUM. Cause they were. I do tell people to be honest when I’m trying new recipes. Everyone said that they were tasty and that the crust was awesome. The veggie pizza was probably best only because it cooked by itself. (I told my husband that I need a double oven – maybe some day I’ll convince him?) The dough was nice and crisp on the outside, yet chewy on the inside. VERY good. I’m more than happy with the way it turned out.

ALSO – made garlic knots (dough kneaded courtesy of the bread machine again). Homemade dough, salted and cooked. Then, tossed in buttery garlic goodness and sprinkled with parmesan and parsley. They were definitely a make again item. Better than any garlic knots that I’ve made before. Homemade dough makes all the difference. (And, let’s face it, a crapton of garlic doesn’t hurt either)

I had a great Italian cooking night and I’m so excited about how EASY it was to make my own dough! I’ll never buy pre-made crust again.

With that said – I had a Chocolate Chip Pie catastrophe. I followed the recipe and it stayed runny. Oh well, I’m a cook, not a baker. (Plus, since I can’t ever be wrong, I’m convinced that the recipe was written incorrectly!)

Guess this Irish girl CAN do Italian…but no pie baking for me.

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