and so we begin again.

I’m starting over. I started this blog under another name, under another website, but here is where I will stay. I love the concept of a blog and it is fueling my creative side! After stretching my technologically-challenged mind to understand wordpress, I am oh so happy with the design and am excited to start adding some content (and hopefully it will only get better!).

I was a bit disappointed when I accidentally deleted my other blog entries and information, but then I realized I have a whole new format to make them again (and better)! And I have a chance to really focus on my point. What is that? I want to make simple (but sometimes complicated), delicious foods. With ingredients that people can find in a small-town grocery store that won’t stretch them beyond their budget! Don’t get me wrong- I am enchanted by food. I love how there are so many varieties and how they can be combined to draw out different flavors and aromas. But I also believe that delicious food is for everyone and that is what I will be bringing to the table. Literally.

And I want to talk about the life journey that I am on – newly married, embarking on mountain living, figuring out how to make the most out of life. And what better way than to bring all of these new aspects together than to talk about food?

Throughout this new blog creation process, I’ve learned it’s refreshing but can be oh so frustrating to start over- to approach life from a new perspective and not be held back by the past. If only life were that easy, I’d be hitting the refresh button daily. Life gets a little stickier when we must live with the consequences of our decisions, but the real refresh button is how we choose to deal with these circumstances. I choose to be an optimist. Some days I’m not very good at it and want to throw in the towel. But, luckily, every morning the sun will rise again and I get to make a choice as to how I will approach the life I live.

So, on that happy and optimistic note, I will share with you the component of one of my favorite foods, pizza. As you will soon find out from this blog, eating out isn’t really an option when living in the mountains and knowing what real food should taste like. Namely, pizza. Having grown up in New Jersey, I consider myself well-versed in the pizza arena and this recipe works extremely well (now if only I could get my hands on a wood-fired oven…). The dough can be made into thin crust or thick crust – I usually aim for thin crust so I can eat more slices and not feel so guilty and the topping combinations are endless. For some reason, I’ve really been digging white pies this season and always, always to be enjoyed with a glass of wine. There’s just no other way!

Pizza Dough

adapted from Smitten Kitchen for high-altitude considerations (lower altitudes may need more yeast)

Makes 2 medium-large pizzas (depending on crust thickness)

Ingredients:

3 cups all purpose flour

1 teas salt

1 teas yeast

1 cup lukewarm water

2 T. olive oil

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix until a ball-like semblance forms. Dump all contents of bowl on a clean, floured counter and knead until it becomes a smooth, consistent mass. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap or a towel, and let rise for up to 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

Split dough into 2 and form into desired size and shape. Let rest for 15 mins while oven pre-heats to 475°F with baking stone inside oven. Once oven has preheated, remove baking stone and sprinkle with cornmeal to prevent the dough from sticking. Place dough on stone and add sauce, cheese, or other toppings. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust/cheese has reached desired browning.

Let sit for 10 minutes (the most agonizing 10 minutes I experience) before slicing and enjoying!

with love from Jess’s kitchen

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