design_scout   10

Scouting: Pizza Night & Amazing Pizza Dough Recipe
This weekend we went to Minneapolis to celebrate Febgiving (the celebration of Thanksgiving in February, natch). We ate like royalty all weekend between Friday night pizza with Kate (amazing photographer and food blogger) and her husband Kyle and the feast itself on Saturday afternoon (photos of last year’s event here).   Friday night the wine was flowing and the pizzas were amazing:

1. San marzano, fresh mozzarella, sautéed mushroom and truffle oil
2.Cambazola, prosciutto and pear
3. Roasted butternut squash, asparagus, goat cheese and garlic oil

Kate and Kyle have a pizza night every Friday night so they make a sourdough pizza dough from scratch every week, using a recipe from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in 5 Minutes a Day. (Wordy, but, delicious recipe after the jump!)

Mixing and Storing the Dough 1. Warm the water slightly: It should feel just a little warmer than body temperature, about 100 ° F. Using warm water will allow the dough to rise to the right point for storage in about 2 hours. 2. Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5-quart bowl or, preferably, in a lidded (not airtight) plastic food container or food-grade bucket (see here). Don’t worry about getting them to dissolve completely. 3.Then mix in the flour— kneading is unnecessary: Add all of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon, Danish dough whisk, 14-cup food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). You might need to use wet hands toget the last bit of flour to incorporate if you’re not using a machine. Don’t knead; it isn’t necessary. You’re finished when everything is uniformly moistened, without dry patches. This step is done in a matter of minutes, and yields dough that is loose enough to conform to the shape of its container. 4. Allow to rise: Cover with a non-airtight lid lid (see Equipment). Allow the dough to rise at room temperature until it begins to flatten on the top, approximately 2 hours, depending on the room’s temperature and the initial water temperature. Do not punch down the dough! With our method, you’re trying to retain as much gas in the dough as possible, and punching it down knocks out gas and will make your pizzas and flatbreads dense.  5. After rising, refrigerate and use over the next 14 days; the dough will develop sourdough characteristics over that time. Fully refrigerated wet dough is less sticky and is easier to work with than dough at room temperature. So, the first time you try our method, it’s best to refrigerate the dough overnight (or at least 3 hours) before use. Once it’s refrigerated, the dough will collapse, and it will never rise again in the bucket— that’s normal for our dough.
On Pizza Day 6. Prepare and measure toppings in advance: This will help you top the pizza quickly so you can get it into the oven before it sticks to the pizza peel. 7. Thirty minutes before you’re ready to bake, preheat a baking stone at your oven’s highest temperature, placed in the bottom third of the oven (consider a longer preheat if you’re finding the crust results are too soft;). 8. Shape a ball in 20 to 30 seconds. First, prepare a pizza peel with flour, cornmeal, or parchment paper to prevent your pizza from sticking to it when you slide it into the oven. Sprinkle the surface of your refrigerated dough with flour. Pull up and cut off a 1/ 2-pound (orange-size) piece of dough, using a serrated knife or kitchen shears. Hold the piece of dough in your hands and add a little more flour as needed so it won’t stick to your hands. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the dough a quarter-turn as you go to form a ball. Most of the dusting flour will fall off; it’s not intended to be incorporated into the dough. The bottom of the ball may appear to be a collection of bunched ends, but it will flatten out and adhere when you roll it into a pizza or flatbread. The entire process should take no longer than 20 to 30 seconds. 9. Roll out and stretch the pizza crust: Flatten the dough with your hands and a rolling pin on a work surface or directly onto the pizza peel (or shape the disk by hand, see here) to produce a 1/ 8-inch-thick round, dusting with flour to keep the dough from adhering to your work surface. A little sticking to the surface can be helpful in overcoming the dough’s resistance to stretch. Use a dough scraper to unstick the dough as needed, and transfer it to the prepared pizza peel if you haven’t already stretched the dough directly on one. (See Tips and Techniques, if you’d rather bake on a sheet pan). When you’re finished, the dough round will be about 12 inches across, and should have enough flour under it to move easily when you shake the peel. As you add toppings, continue to test for sticking by gently shaking the peel. The pizza should move freely. If it doesn’t, use the dough scraper and some flour to free it.
Design_Scout  GR-starred  from google
february 2013 by lacurieuse
Jerry Grant
I kept staring at my friend Judy’s ring throughout the wedding. So delicate and pretty. Turns out the ring was made by Jerry Grant — Judy bought her’s in San Francisco, but you can buy a similar one at Steven Alan.
Design_Scout  GR-starred  from google
june 2012 by lacurieuse
Around The House: Our Entry
Our entry way is my favorite part of the house.  Every time I walk in or out the door I feel happy.  So the view from our front door is directly into our bedroom (you can just see a snippet in the first photo), then the diagonal view is to the living room and to your right is Alex’s room. To your left is our kitchen (you can just see part of Alex’s play kitchen in the hallway).

The biggest change from when we first moved in are the amazing FLOR tiles Jenny suggested.  I also love the row of wooden hooks I put up (along with an ikea photo ledge).  Other details include: Nate Berkus sette in grey velvet, a selection of paint chips I threw together for Alex’s nursury in a fit of nesting and a mid-centruy modern bench that was our coffee table in our old apartment.
Design_Scout  from google
august 2011 by lacurieuse
Daily Dose of Green
I read this great editorial last night and it got me thinking about those moments of “absolute and perfect happiness — the ten to twelve that comprise a whole life.”  What resonated with me is the truth that it is only a few moments of happiness that define our lives — the moments no one can take away from us.

Some of mine are what you’d expect: my first conversation with the man who become my husband; nursing my son in the early hours of the morning this summer in Vermont and watching the lacy top of the treeline emerge from the darkness; the day I was promoted to Vice President in my old job. Others are smaller, maybe more unexpected: closing up the video department at the Putney General Store (my first job as teenager) and then driving home with all the windows rolled down on a warm summer night; learning to pan fry steak.  Certainly some of them are prosaic and not so unusual.  But they are my moments. What are your yours?

I’ve also been thinking about this quote I found on Diana’s beautiful blog:

“life is not easy for any of us. but what of that? we must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. we must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” – Marie Curie

PS I took this photograph in Paris in 2006, when all there was to think about was my next meal.
Design_Scout  from google
january 2010 by lacurieuse
What’s On Your Bookshelf?
I’ve been lusting after a Kindle recently since a couple of good friends (who also happen to be new moms) are Kindle fanatics.  My father is a writer and I grew up in a house filled to the brim with books.  My reservations about the Kindle are two-fold a) I don’t want another device to charge and (b) I like to see the physical books I’ve read lined up on my bookshelf. I suppose I could always buy cheap used copies of the books I read on my Kindle that I LOVED, but that seems a little nuts. It’s a pickle, this technology thing.

All of this is preamble to explain why I was delighted to see the work of Jane Mount.  She paints bookshelves and will do a custom portrait of your favorite shelf at home.  I love this idea and think it makes a perfect gift for the reader or writer in your life!
Design_Scout  from google
september 2009 by lacurieuse
Managing Contact Info?
I have a many frustrations with our modern era (I’m still struggling with organizing my digital photos) and top of the list is keeping track of contact information.  Home addresses, work addresses, personal emails, work emails, cell phones, iphones, home phones, work direct lines vs work blackberries, blogs, tumblrs, flickrs, the address of that friend’s baby photos on smugmug.   How to handle this ever changing and important data?

My blackberry address book used to corral cellphones and work phones plus some email addresses but I was always too lazy to save that info to the actual SIM card and so I’ve lost all contact info three times in the last year (don’t do dishes and talk on your blackberry at the same time is all I can offer you).  I’ve never been one to have a “hard” address book, as I have terrible handwriting that never conforms to the tiny space allotted, and I never can keep the actual address book caught up with all the changes to various contacts.

I had a decent contact list in Outlook in my last job (mostly thanks to a great assistant) but, when I left, I stopped using Outlook and never took the time to dig the file out and convert it and, really, what would I have converted it to?  I had a decent Excel spreadsheet of mailing addresses from our wedding, which most recently was used/updated when sending out our baby announcements, but it too is woefully static and doesn’t have any indication of email addresses. Don’t talk to me about those awful services that ping people you know every six months to see it they’ve moved, I hate them. And, I don’t really use bookmarks in Firefox because it is so much work to organize them.  (I’m pretty time starved these days).

As a partial solution, or a stop-gap measure, in the last couple of months I’ve been slowly adding people to my Google contacts whenever an email yields something relevant: new emails, new phones, new addresses, new babies, new girlfriends (I’m bad with names).  There is a great “notes” section in Google Contacts for those little things like a friend’s favorite color, favorite flower, or your father-in-laws shirt size.  This information always seem to show up in emails and then you have no place to store those relevant details (in addition to bad handwriting, I’ve got a shitty memory too).  Recently I’ve been yearning for contacts in a form that can’t crash or be erased and would be more portable (I can’t access my Google Contacts from my blackberry). But how to merge all this great electronic information with a more material form?

Today, I cracked the code. My ah-ha moment? Realizing I could download my Google contacts, print them out on mailing labels and paste them into this sweetly chic address book.  Handwriting problem solved, updating problem solved (I can always just print out a new labels once a year and paste it in) and my electronic crashing problem solved (gmail accounts can get hacked, you know).  How do you keep track of this stuff?  Do you even try? Is it a losing battle?
Design_Scout  from google
august 2009 by lacurieuse
Lovely Leather Flowers
How lovely is this necklace designed by a friend and now available at Anthroplogie?  (I’m giddy for her!).
Design_Scout  from google
august 2009 by lacurieuse
Fish Plates
If you dug this image of fish plates (I’m obsessed with those green tiles, myself!), check out these sweet brass plates from High Street Vintage ($24).
Design_Scout  from google
july 2009 by lacurieuse
Illustrated Spam
We all wonder who comes up with those dirty spam emails. And now genius Art Director Elliot Burford has illustrated all that raunchy spam for our delight.
Design_Scout  from google
july 2009 by lacurieuse
Hello, blog love
Joanna truly found the best wedding video ever. Makes me want to get married all over again.

I hate checking my voicemail… turns out so do the folks at Google.

Wary Meyers has a blog! Their thrifting makes me look like Donald Trump, comparatively.

An awesome new book I just preordered on Amazon.

Pret a Voyager turns us on to the contents of our refrigerators as art.

I never knew just how lovely a color “seafoam” could be…

Sweet hedge image from You Look Marvelous.
Design_Scout  from google
may 2009 by lacurieuse

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