A bunch of misc. pics

Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

Not only do I love making pizza at home but I love going out to get it, too.

We took a quick impromptu trip to Denver recently and stopped at Kaos Pizza on South Pearl Street,  my favorite Denver neighborhood.

It’s located in a cute little old Victorian house with a big neat outdoor space.

Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

There are tons of plants and some of the tables are tucked away behind trees and vines. It’s very cozy and romantic. The owner says he even opens the patio on nice days during the winter. Most places completely close their patios during winter, so that’s nice.

Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

They have a bunch of local beers and even some local wines. Like really local- made just a few miles away in Denver! They have a lot of other local foods, eggs and greens from just a few blocks away, even.

Local Denver wine at Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

Local Denver wine at Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

And then there’s the pizza. OMG, it was good. Really good. The crust was perfect, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. There are a million toppings you can choose from. I had pesto, caramelized onions,  and wild mushroom on mine. Usually I say I can make better pizza than any restaurant but not this time. If I lived nearby I’d go here all the time. It is really great. Mike had some baked pasta that was also really good.

Pesto carmelized onion, and wild mushroom pizza from Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

Pesto caramelized onion, and wild mushroom pizza from Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

Home Cookin’- salads, bruschetta, pastas, and of course, pizzas

Last time I was in L.A. I had this great salad at Amici Trattoria at The Americana At Brand. Mom asked me to recreate it at her house, so I did. It’s just arugula, shredded hearts of palm, sliced artichoke hearts, and thinly sliced parmesan. I also added garbanzo beans for my own little twist. It’s topped off with a lemon vinaigrette. Mom had some lemon olive oil so I used that with some white balsamic vinegar. At my house, I don’t have the lemon olive oil so I just make the dressing with regular olive oil, some lemon, and the white balsamic. It’s tasty!
Amici Salad

Amici Salad

I made some sauteed chicken, some really good pan-roasted potatoes, and a green salad for Mike to take to work the other day. He likes to keep all his food separate but I like mine all mixed up. So I turned it all into a salad and added some avocado and a mustardy vinaigrette.

The chicken was just sauteed in a cast-iron pan with some butter.

The potatoes were adapted (what else is new!?) from a great book that I highly recommend called Cucina Fresca. I’ve had it for years and it’s all sloppy from being used so much! I think the link above leads to a new version, the one I have is out of print.

Anyhow, the potatoes (the way I made them):

Ingredients

  • 4 medium yellow potatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 3 sage leaves, minced
  • sea salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Cut the potatoes into 1 inch pieces. Saute the garlic in the olive oil for a couple minutes. Add the potatoes to the pan and stir them to coat them in the oil. Add the sage, salt and pepper then cover the pan. Turn the heat to low and let them cook, tossing them from time to time until they’re tender. The book said 15 minutes but it took mine more like 20-25. You should start checking them after about 15 minutes. Once they’re tender, take the lid off the pan, increase the heat to high and cook them till they get a little crusty and crispy.

The salad dressing was just olive oil, white wine vinegar and mustard. Everyone likes the proportions of salad dressing different so just do it however you like it.

Toss it all together (don’t forget the avocado if you have it) and yummy!

Chicken and potato salad, no mayo

Chicken and potato salad, no mayo

I’m still getting lots of tomatoes and basil from my little garden. Check out that weird-shaped tomato down in the lower left corner!

Bruschetta ingredients

Bruschetta ingredients

To make bruschetta you just chop up tomatoes, basil, and garlic. You can add a little olive oil if you want to. Then you take some nice bread, put a little olive oil on it and put the bruschetta mixture on top. Then cook it all in the oven or broiler till it’s nice and hot and the bread is toasty. I usually use the oven instead of the broiler because the broiler scares me a little.

Bruschetta ingredients ready to put on the toasts

Bruschetta ingredients ready to put on the toasts

Bruschetta

Bruschetta

I also made a nice checca to put over pasta with my tomatoes and basil.

It’s similar to the bruschetta topping except that you cook it a little . I’ve always cooked it, but I come to find out that real checca is not cooked. Oh well, I always cook it. Basically heat some olive oil in a skillet, add some tomatoes and some garlic and cook it till it’s the consistency you want, then add some basil.

Checca

Checca

I served it on top of extra-long spaghetti and topped with parmesan!

Pasta checca

Pasta checca

I make pizza so often now I can’t even remember what this was. Looks like just olive oil, mozzarella and parmesan. One of these days I’ll make a post just about how I make pizzas.

Pizza!

Pizza!

We’ve had a couple of Italian cream sodas lately so I thought I’d try to make them at home. It’s easy. Just a little bit of flavored syrup (We use Torani), some sparkling water, then topped with half and half. It’s really good!

Cherry Italian Soda

PJ isn't sure he approves of Cherry Italian Soda.

When Mike came home from having his spine surgery, his throat was really sore from the breathing tube and all the jostling around of the vocal cords, etc., so I made him some easy-to-swallow stuff, including chocolate peanut butter milkshakes. Mmmmmm.

Chocolate peanut butter milkshake

Chocolate peanut butter milkshake. Easy to swallow (Yeah, that's why it's good)

Ok, I didn’t make this ice cream but I thought it was pretty so I took a picture of it.

Ice cream!

Ice cream!

Lots of Colorado Springs Pictures

Click the thumbnail for the larger image and to leave a comment.

greek salad, pizza, white beans, and soup

A few things I’ve made lately:

This was easy and good.  One small onion, chopped.  A couple of cloves of garlic, minced.  A cup of dried white beans, rinsed but not soaked. 14 oz of canned tomatoes.  A handful of chopped fresh basil. One bay leaf. Cover by an inch and cook overnight. I cooked it on high but you might need to just do it on low. I pretty much discovered that I don’t like doing it overnight, tho because I don’t like smelling food cooking when I’m trying to sleep. Next time I’ll do it during the day.

slow cooker white beans

slow cooker white beans

Minestrone soup and greek salad

Minestrone soup and greek salad

Greek salad in Greece doesn’t have any lettuce. It’s just chunked feta and tomatoes. Sometimes they also add cucumbers and/or olives. Top it with some dried herbs and olive oil. This one was made with some junky grocery store feta. Later in the week I made it again with some fancy feta from Whole Foods and it was much better.
greek salad

greek salad

I found this minestrone recipe a million years ago and make it with whatever I have on hand. For example, this time I didn’t have any barley so I used pasta wheels instead.
Magic Minestrone

Magic Minestrone

Also, I usually put a sort of pesto-esque topping on it. It’s just chopped up basil, garlic, parmesean, and olive oil. It adds a nice touch.

pesto soup topping

pesto soup topping

The next day I put the rest of the topping onto a homemade cheese pizza.

simple pizza

simple pizza

Then topped that with some arugula and tomatoes. Delish.

salad pizza

salad pizza

We bought this yummy beer at the local wine shop. it is actually made just a couple miles down the street from here at Bristol Brewing . It’s my new favorite.

Bristol Brewing Yellow Kite from Colorado Springs
Bristol Brewing Yellow Kite from Colorado Springs

That’s about all I made last week. I’ve been lazy cuz it’s been so hot here.