Thursday, 7 June 2007

Pizza & Pampering

Hubby's day off. The boys and I went to playgroup as usual this morning, then came home to find that Karl had vacuumed and mopped the downstairs floors. Bless him! We had a bit of a tidy up and did some dusting and polishing elsewhere in the house, then - disaster! - the rotary airer collapsed, with all the clean washing on it! So that's another expense, grrr.

On a brighter note, I went to get my hair done this afternoon, in time for James' christening on the 17th. Anyone with small children will know how things like haircuts plummet down the priority list after their arrival, so it was a real treat to go out and be a little pampered, with no nagging little voices urging me on! With that in mind, I made a batch of pizza dough in the bread machine earlier today, so that when I got home I could just roll it out, top it and whack it in the oven. I always make more pizza than we can eat, as cold pizza is one of my secret snacking passions.

Pizza Dough (in the bread machine)

Obviously, add the ingredients in the order that suits your machine - mine is a Panasonic Bread Bakery, so the ingredients go in yeast first, liquid last. If you want to make it by hand, or in a mixer, go ahead, but I would use 30ml olive oil in that case, for ease of mixing the dough more than anything.

1 tsp easy-blend dried yeast
600g strong white (bread) flour
1 tbsp sugar
15g butter + 15ml olive oil
2 tsp salt
400ml warm water
30ml milk

Put all the ingredients in the machine and set it for a pizza dough cycle. It takes 45 minutes in my machine, then I usually bung it in a floured freezer bag until I want to use it. Rolled out thinly and topped with tomato purée and mozzarella, plus whatever else you fancy, it will take about 12-15 minutes to cook at 220°c. Cook it on a very lightly oiled baking sheet

Karl and Christopher had pepperoni on their pizzas (Chris had some sliced yellow pepper as well, but he was already eating when I took this pic). I had anchovies on mine, again with some sliced yellow pepper.

James is a bit small for pizza, really (and there's salt in the dough, in any case), so I made him some hummus, which he had for his supper, along with some organic mini rice cakes from the baby range at Boots. It's not terribly authentic hummus, as it hasn't got any garlic, nor any tahini paste, in it, but it's close enough. James likes it, it's good for him and very easy to make. I use Biona tinned organic chickpeas, which have no sugar or salt added. One can of chickpeas will make at least two meals, probably three, though you might want some yourself. I like it in a granary roll or wholemeal pitta, with grated carrot and some raw spinach.

Hummus for the baby (and you too, if you like)

1/3 of a 400g can chickpeas, drained (see above)
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch ground cumin
squeeze lemon juice

Whizz all the ingredients in a blender or mini processor, adding enough cool boiled water to acheive the consistency you need. Serve with toast fingers, rice cakes and/or vegetables (either lightly cooked or raw, depending on the eater's age).

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