Pick a Pizza, Win a Prize!

You can never have too much pizza. At least, I can’t.

I know it’s cliché, but pizza really has been one of my favorite foods since I was like, born. Maybe because it’s just so versatile, that you really could never exhaust all of your potential pizza options in one lifetime. Maybe because it’s also as much fun to make as it is to eat. On the heels of our recent pizza-making team effort, my boyfriend and I decided to try our hands at another pizza variety. We used the same crust recipe and the same sauce recipe, but this time let the sauce cook for a few hours in the crock pot.  We also switched up the toppings, like you do, and for this one, went with pepperoni and mushrooms, and used a mix of Havarti and mild cheddar cheese.

waiting to bake.
waiting to bake.

Oh yeah – and this time we also rolled out the dough much thinner, and made two thin-crust pizzas, instead of one giant extra thick and puffy one. Having not one, but two crusts made it into a little friendly pizza-making competition. We each rolled a dough, and topped it individually, and baked them, one at a time.

Pizza #1:

Pizza 1.

which is which?

Pizza #2:
and whose is whose?

and whose is whose?

So….can you guess which one is mine? Pizza #1 or Pizza #2? First person to comment on the post with the right answer gets a free Small Indulgences cookbook!  And no guessing if you already know – that means you, Steve. 😉

Eat, Write, Retreat – Renew.


Over this past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Eat, Write, Retreat! conference, which just so happened to take place this year in my home city of Philadelphia. In addition to the conference being amazing and totally inspiring, I had the opportunity to see the city I grew up in through the eyes of a tourist. Many of the people I met at the conference were not from around here – some of them had never even been to Philly before. There’s something to be said for looking at a place you know better than any other through new eyes – its like John Lennon said, “All these memories lose their meaning, when I think of love as something new.”


The conference started on Friday afternoon, and even as I made my way down the oh-so-familiar street known around these parts affectionately as “Broad Street” (heck, I even ran 10 miles down this street on foot – twice!) it for some reason, seemed entirely new. So, I began snapping photos, as any good tourist would do.

all these places i remember...

all these places i remember…

I can’t really quite explain how all of a sudden, old familiar scenes were being graced with such newness and seemed to come alive – but I’ll take it.

The conference itself was a truly wonderful experience as well. I was beginning to lose faith in my dream of writing/baking/traveling/photographing; I was questioning my “purpose” and if I was still on the right path. Eat, Write, Retreat and all the fabulous folks I had the luck of crossing paths with put those fears to rest. I believe again. Maybe it had something to do with all the watermelon we ate. I do love me some watermelon.

a spiritual experience?

a spiritual experience?

Seriously, although the watermelon was delicious, it was the people that I met that gave me confidence again – through their various presentations, to off-the-cuff sharing of tips and knowledge, to nothing-to-do-with-blogging-at-all friendly walking and talking around the city.

Philly's very own Magic Garden.

Philly’s very own Magic Garden.

Meeting new people has always been one of my favorite things to do – I dare say I even thrive on it. Halfway through the conference, I had already had so many great conversations and connections, I wasn’t sure if it could get any better — but it did. And not only because there was cheese (although it certainly didn’t hurt).

everything's better with cheese.

everything’s better with cheese.

The very last thing we did was called “Pitch to the Pros,” in which we had a chance to sit with more established bloggers and ask them anything we wanted. I was rather nervous – I had nothing planned and didn’t even begin to know what to ask…I considered bailing out of fear and lack of preparedness; but I knew that would be the worst thing I could do. So onward I trudged, deciding to do my best just winging it.

It was those conversations that wound up restoring my faith the most – reminding me why I’m doing this to begin with. I love writing. I love baking. I love taking pictures. And as much as I love traveling, I can find all of these in my very own hometown, if I just look around once in a while.

who knew mushrooms could look this cool?

who knew mushrooms could look this cool?

I have to say, that in addition to the conference, there have been some wonderful and amazing things going on in my personal life recently that I believe I owe a large portion of this new perspective to, as well. May you all find someone who awakens that light within – who makes everything exciting and new again – even good old Broad Street.

in my life, i love you more.

in my life, i love you more.

for the love of pizza!

I have found a brand new obsession: pizza. I don’t  mean eating it – as cliché as it sounds, if asked what food I couldn’t live without, I would answer pizza (with ice cream being a close second). So in a sense, I’ve always been obsessed with pizza in itself. But this is a whole new obsession; I’m embarking on a quest to make the best pizza I’ve ever had.

the future home of my pizza.

This is most likely going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve had some amazing pizza over the years: Tacconelli’s (so far still number 1), Mack & Manco’s, Lorenzo’s, heck even Pete’s Pizza down the street from my house is pretty freakin’ awesome.  And now I want to be among the ranks of the greats. It’s going to take time, a whole lot of precious time. It’s gonna take patience and time. But, I’ve got my eye on the prize, and there’s no turning back now. The first time my hand touched that pizza dough, I knew. It was like magic – sparks flew, my hands tingled, my eyes widened… it was fate. The universe had brought us together. I assembled that first pizza with love and care, and, although I was nervous as to how our first date would end, I felt confident and comfortable every step of the way. With some fresh mozzarella, parmesan, roasted garlic, and olive oil, into the oven it went. And, to my own surprise, the results were, well, impressive (even my instructor said so).

I really AM Italian!

With our first date going so well, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Mr. Pizza again. So 2 days later, I invited him to dinner, but this time, in my own kitchen.

hello, lover.


For this round, I added tomatoes, roasted garlic, peppers, mushrooms, goat cheese, and a drizzling of olive oil and basil. This was a really good pizza. (Note the size – I keep them mini, of course!)

It’s gonna be a long journey to the top, though. But what a ride. Care to join me?  😉