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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Pizza with Carmelized Onions, Gorgonzola, Pears, and Walnuts

Traditional Turkish Tea Time!

My mom and me enjoying a traditional Turkish tea!

Last week was a tough week for me. It was hard to return to work after the excitement of our trip to Turkey, visiting with my Mom, and celebrating Valentine’s Day/my birthday.To ease the back-to-work-blues, I made lots of comfort food. This pizza might not be traditional, but it is warm and cheesy and the perfect balance of sweet/salty.

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I have yet to come across the perfect pizza dough recipe. I have tried several, but none seem to be worth the fuss (really, 24 hour rising time!?). Plus, my local pizza shop sells balls of dough for about $3. I top this pizza with arugula tossed in olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Not only is it delicious, but then it truly is a one dish dinner.

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I didn’t measure anything out, but went by sight instead. You can use shredded mozzarella for this, but the buffalo mozzarella melts so much better and is less oily, so if you can find it I definitely recommend spending a couple extra bucks on it.

You’ll need:

-Pizza dough

-Fresh mozzerella, thinly sliced

-Walnuts, crushed

-1 large onion, thinly sliced

-1 pear, thinly sliced

-Gorgonzola

-Arugula

-Olive oil, salt and pepper

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To make:

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large skillet, heat a generous glug of olive oil and a tbsp of butter over medium heat.

2. Thinly slice the onion and drop into the heated oil/butter. Sprinkle with salt and then let hang out to caramelize over medium-low heat, stirring only occasionally.

3.Lightly oil a tin foil covered baking sheet or pizza stone and roll out dough to desired thinness. Lightly oil and salt the dough.

4. Plop gorgonzola evenly over the pizza dough.

5. Spread onions evenly over dough.

6. Top with sliced mozzarella, pears, and walnuts.

7. Bake for 12 minutes.

8. Toss arugula in bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place right on top of pizza.

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Here’s a tip: To easily cut your pizza, use SCISSORS! It is much simpler and safer than struggling with a knife or even a pizza cutter. Plus, you don’t have to transfer your pizza to a cutting board, meaning one less dirty dish. Win!

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What’s your favorite pizza topping? And if you have a great recipe for pizza dough, please share!

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Weird Zit Zappers That Work

Everyone has her thing: some women fuss over their hair, others fixate on their body, but the object of my obsession has always been my skin.

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Thanks largely to genetics, but also to a diligent routine, my face has mostly been smooth and clear my whole life. So naturally, I’m especially wary of break outs. caitskin

Confession: I am guilty of crying, bargaining with God, and canceling plans all due to a zit. But here’s the thing: when I do get a zit, it is usually of the deep, painful, cystic variety. Over the past 15 years,  I have tried literally EVERY zit zapper on the market: cortisone shots (by a licensed esthetician), various birth control pills, a prescription of spironolactone from my dermatologist, Mario Badescu drying lotion, red clay, green clay, Proactiv, Clinique, Erno Laszlo sea mud soap, tea tree oil, and every drugstore product on the shelves. I shudder at the hundreds (thousands?) of dollars I’ve spent on the search for a magic cure, but feel confident that I’ve found the best blemish fighters on the planet. These three products below are my holy grail zit zappers:

1. Zeno

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This tiny battery powered device runs through a 2 min 30 sec heat pulsing cycle that kills bacteria. When applied to a sore spot even before a zit erupts, and then twice to three times a day after it does push its way into the world, this tiny technology either stops a blemish before it truly even blooms, or shortens its life span to just two days flat. This can be used on cystic acne or even more superficial whiteheads. Honestly, this is the best acne fighting tool EVER. Seriously, go buy this. Right now.

2. Cortisone + aspirin (optional) + band-aid

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Cortisone shots can range from $10-$50, and have been a celebrity staple for decades. This home-remedy is nearly as strong, and a helluva lot more convenient. Simply apply a thick dollop of extra strength cortisone cream, cover with a tiny band aid, and voila! Your blemish will be significantly reduced within 6 hours, and completely gone after two nights. As an added blemish fighter, crush up an aspirin and mix it in with the cortisone to form the ultimate spot treatment. I typically use this on painful “under-grounders” on my chin and jawline.

3. Honey

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Really. Honey is a natural anti-microbial, stays put all night, and keeps skin ultra soft (so it’s easier to conceal the next day). As I’ve mentioned a dozen or so times, I have uber-sensitive skin…as in I pop a Benadryl to fight redness, irritation, or hives at least once per month. Honey is one of the few spot treatments that is effective at treating blemishes while also moisturizing my skin. I find this to be especially good on spots on the center of my face (nose and cheeks). Added bonus? The boyfriend compliments how sweet I smell when I come to bed!

Would you try any of these nontraditional spot treatments?

xo

Cheap & Chic Valentine’s Treats

Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be about grand gestures, but simple pleasures. I think there is nothing cuter than a clever pun when artfully paired with a small treat. Last year for Valentine’s Day, I gave my co-workers old-fashioned cokes and bags of spicy chex mix, and then tagged them with home-made “love notes”:

DSC00586“I am SODAlighted you are my coworker”

DSC00587“You spic up my life”

In my current job, I actually do something like this for my 13 employees every three to four weeks to show my appreciation and keep their spirits up. Even though the treats are small, I take the time to pair them with a homemade sign, and as cheesy as it sounds, it really is the thought that counts. So this Valentine’s Day, let your friends, colleagues, and loved ones know you’re thinking about them with one of the ideas below (I never thought to take pictures of them, d’oh! But leave your email in the comments if you would like me to send you the tag templates I’ve created.):

-a bowl of grapes–Thanks a bunch for all you do!

-lemon and orange flavored Pellegrino–You sparkle brighter than any star.

-After Eight chocolate mints (similar to York peppermint patties)–We were mint to be. [For work, I wrote, “Our team was mint to be.”]

-roasted almonds–I’m nuts about you!

-mini quiches–You are eggcelent.

-chocolate chip cookies–You are so sweet!

-pink lemonade–You tickle me pink!

If I wasn’t “the boss,” I would give out scratch-off lottery tickets with a love note that said, “I hope you get lucky!” this Valentine’s Day, but, alas, I don’t feel like getting sued for sexual harassment…

Do you give out Valentine’s Day treats?