…to say the least! This weekend kicked off in high gear. Friday was about shopping, cleaning, hair cut appointments and staying up late to decorate a birthday cake for our little guy’s party on Saturday.
Before I go on, let me say hello…it’s Liz here today. I know…it’s been a while since I’ve tapped out a story at the keyboard. Thought I’d tell you about our weekend while Nelson cleans up the kitchen. Sweet trade!
Did I say party on Saturday? Sorry… I lied. I meant two parties on Saturday. We’re courageous… or crazy… the jury’s still out on that.
For me, Saturday morning started with streamer hanging, balloon blowing (sprinkled with some accidental balloon popping), and table setting, while Nelson was busy in the kitchen making burger patties and getting his stew on. That almost sounded cool… that’s the wrong image… he was literally starting up a very large pot of beef stew for the second party of the day.
By 12:30 our house was filled with 9 very excited and energetic little party people. Our little guy was having a video game birthday party. I had elaborate plans for an organized and structured afternoon of game-play. Our little guy was not interested in such plans…and he was so right. It seems that at their age, they’re quite happy to just ‘play’. They had a blast ‘attacking’ each other with balloons in the basement hallway (man…there were a lot of balloons), taking turns playing video games (without having to be told to share), building with lego, and just having plain old fun. Thank goodness I didn’t butt in with all that structure-schmucture stuff and ruin their fun. They proved that they’re capable of managing party fun on their own terms. It was really nice to watch them having that kind of pure childhood fun.
As loud as things got (kids really can get loud), it was refreshing and heart-warming to see the smiles on their faces, to hear joy in their laughter, and witness their delight in being free to be kids. There ought to be a way to bottle that up for adulthood. The only thing we don’t need to bottle up was their volume. How the heck can 8 kids singing happy birthday actually make an adult’s ears ring and pop. I’m not kidding… they are all really nice kids and it was an honest pleasure to host them, but they sure can pump out some crazy volume from such little diaphragms. Respect to all the teachers and childcare workers out there… respect!
Well, just as one party was ending, the next was beginning. Luckily this one was not as boisterous. Don’t get me wrong, the first party was fun, but 3 hours was sufficient (that’s a normal feeling, right?). My family came by for dinner in honour of the birthday boy. While the enormous pot of stew was cooking up, I played a serious game of Monopoly Lemonade Stand with our niece. Things were looking up for me at first, but before long I lost–fair and square…again. I can’t seem to win that game. (…she says with a tear streaming down her cheek)
After a jam-packed Friday and Saturday, we were ready for some down-time. Sunday was all about sleeping in, our traditional weekend pancake breakfast, and hanging out. Oh, there was laundry and more meal prep of course. We’re ‘normal’ people…that stuff still needs to get done. But it was still a pace we could call ‘relaxed’.
Also, Nelson had promised Michael he could make pizza on Sunday, so after our late breakfast, Nelson started up a couple of batches of pizza dough for Michael to use. We love that he enjoys creating in the kitchen, too. The dough inspired Nelson to make a flatbread.
Pizza…flatbread…what’s the difference? After doing some research, Nelson still isn’t sure. According to a few sites, flatbread is typically thinner, lighter on the ingredients, and long instead of round. Um…I see a grey line there. What’s your opinion? Comment below.
Call it a flatbread or call it thin crust pizza… it’s all good…delicious actually. Whatever you call it…enjoy it…and it well, friends!
Arugula, Roasted Red Pepper and Buffalo Mozzarella Flatbread (Pizza)
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour + a couple table spoons for dusting (all purpose can also work)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp traditional active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (not too hot or cold)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp olive oil (for greasing the bowl)
Flat Bread Assembly
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes (or coarse salt)
- 1/2 cup quality tomato sauce (we use our Nonna-approved tomato sauce)
- 2 buffalo mozzarella balls (9oz or 250g), sliced in thin wheels
- 4 oz (113g) roasted red pepper cut in strips
- 2 cup arugula lightly packed
Making the dough
- In a large stand mixer (equipped with a dough hook) bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, dry yeast and salt.
- Place the bowl on the stand mixer and turn to low (two on the Kitchenaid).
- Slowly pour in the warm water and then the oil.
- The mixture will soon form a dough ball. Let the stand mixer continue to knead for 12 minutes.
- Grease a large bowl with 1 tsp of olive oil (just use a clean hand or a paper towel).
- Once the kneading is done, remove the dough from the stand mixer bowl, form a ball and place it in the greased bowl.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, poke a few holes with a fork and then cover with a blanket to keep it warm.
- Let the dough rise for 2 hours.
- Dust a counter surface with flour and place the dough on the flour.
- Cut the dough in two equal portions and start your assembling delicious flatbreads!
- Preheat the oven to 450 ºF.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper
- Dust a large cutting board or a clean countertop with flour.
- Place the first dough on the dusted surface and use a rolling pin to roll it into a flat rounded rectangle.
- Transfer the flattened dough onto the lined baking sheet.
- Sprinkle 1 tbsp of olive oil evenly over the dough and brush it out.
- Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt flakes evenly over the dough.
- Spread 1/2 the tomato sauce over the dough.
- Place 1/2 the cheese slices over the tomato sauce.
- Place 1/2 the red pepper evenly over the tomato sauce.
- Assemble the second flatbread on the second baking sheet with the other half of the ingredients.
- Place the baking sheets in the oven on the second and fourth racks and bake for 24 minutes (the bottoms should start to look light golden. If not, leave it in a couple more minutes).
- After about 12 minutes, carefully open the oven and switch the two baking sheets, top to bottom and bottom to top.
- Take out the baking sheets and spread the arugula over the flatbreads.
- Slice and serve hot. Enjoy!