Have you ever tried the pizza fired in a 900 degree oven for 60 seconds? Well.. this isn't quite that, but along the same lines. The crust is thin and crispy and the toppings are flavorful yet relatively sparse. So, pretty much opposite of any carry-out pizza you might order. Not that anything is wrong with those pizzas- I'll be the first to admit they are still delicious! Just in a different way. My housemate and I have decided that carry-out and gourmet pizzas belong in two separate food categories, and, of course, you can have a favorite in each category. My favorites in the gourmet category are those with white sauce (basically... olive oil and not red sauce) and any sort of roasted vegetable with garlic. Yep, the vegetable doesn't matter, but the garlic matters:) Here's a great variation to try!

eggplant and goat cheese pizza

1 medium-sized eggplant
Olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
2 ounces goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
pizza dough

Cut the eggplant into 1/2" cubes, toss with olive oil, and roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping halfway. Roll out one ball of pizza dough (recipe to follow) to 1/8" and coat with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and place the sliced garlic on top. Scatter the eggplant over the dough and sprinkle with goat cheese and rosemary. Bake at 500 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until the edges of the crust begin to brown.

quick pizza dough

1/2 cup warm water
1 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Add the yeast to the warm water and let sit for five minutes until it begins to bubble. Meanwhile, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Pour the yeast mixture over the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. The dough will be a little sticky, but begin to knead on a lightly floured surface, adding flour when it begins to stick to the surface. I like to begin with sticky dough and add flour as I knead so that I don't add too much flour. If you add too much flour, your dough will become tough and not rise as nicely. So, to avoid that, you should just add enough flour so that the dough doesn't stick! After kneading for about five minutes and the dough has a smooth, elastic consistency, transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl and let rise in a warm area for 30 minutes. You can also use a standing mixer with the dough hook attachment and mix on low for five minutes. Divide in half to have dough for two pizzas.

special dessert pizza: nutella!

pizza dough

Alright- this might sound crazy, but it is most definitely not. Nutella pizza is amazing. I made the mistake of putting the nutella on while I baked the pizza the first time. Don't do that! It gets dry and toasted and kind of tastes like a burnt marshmallow. But then again, people love burnt marshmallows... Anyways, follow the basic directions above, just let your dough rise a bit after you roll it out into a pizza shape to make it more fluffy and dessert like. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges begin to brown, then smear nutella over the baked dough. Sprinkle with powdered sugar for garnish and serve right away while the nutella is melty!


I've been searching for the perfect scone: I want it to have a moist, cakey center with a biscuit-like crust. And of course, it has to be sweet, but not too sweet. I guess, maybe the better way to describe it is rich. Yes. A rich, moist, and biscuity scone. Fresh out of the oven, of course! I've tried many many scones at a variety of bakeries, but I just haven't been able to find a scone that meets those three characteristics all at once. Some have great flavor, but lack texture. Others are the perfect texture, but I don't want to eat it if it doesn't taste like anything! I decided to start experimenting myself... and I think I might have found it! These scones are great because most of their flavor comes from a natural sweetener- honey! Adding ricotta to the recipe enhances the already-rich flavor of honey, but doesn't overload our senses by making the scones too sweet. I'm sure the cakey center is due to the butter and cream, and the butter most definitely gives the crust the wonderful biscuit texture I was looking for. Plus, they are made with whole wheat flour so there are some added health benefits! Just wait until you try them! The other great thing is that you don't have to bake all of the scones at once! You can cut them into single servings and freeze them, that way you can pop them in the oven with little effort later and still have freshly baked scones! I will admit, no matter which recipe yo use, scones are best straight out of the oven. So this solves the problem of having leftover scones that don't taste as good as when you first made them- don't bake them until you're ready to eat!

honey-ricotta scones

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup ricotta
1/8 cup honey

You can make these by hand or in a food processor! If you are using a food processor, probably the easier/faster method, combine the two flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt in the food processor. Pulse to combine, then add the 6 tablespoons of cold butter and process until the mixture is of fine, homogenous consistency. If you are doing this by hand, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and cut the cold butter in using a fork, or your hands if you find that to be easier! Again, you want to work the butter in until the mixture has an even consistency. There will be small pieces of butter still- and that's better than okay, that's good! That will give your scones some lift and make the center nice and cakey. You just don't want any large chunks left.

Next, add the heavy cream, ricotta, and honey, and mix to combine (using your processor or a wooden spoon!). Once combined, shape the dough into a circle, about 1-inch tall (I like to use a rolling pin to make the top relatively even so that certain areas don't brown too much faster than others), on a lightly floured surface. Using a butchers knife, cut the circle into eighths. At this point, you can either bake the scones, or you can freeze them and bake them later. Or, you can do both! For those you'd like to bake right away, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. For those that you'd like to bake later, prepare the baking sheet with parchment paper like you would to bake the scones, but instead, after transferring the scones to the baking sheet, cover the scones with plastic wrap and place the entire sheet in the freezer. Let freeze for about 2 hours, and then peel off the paper and store in a gallon freezer bag. When you're ready for a fresh scone, just follow the original baking instructions, and potentially add on another 1-2 minutes of baking time. But go by looks rather than timing- the scones are done when the edges begin to brown, not once the middle begins to brown! This will keep the inside nice and moist!


I know, I juuuuust posted a farro recipe. I told you I love it! This one is great- really nice for spring because it's warm, but light and doesn't leave you overly satiated! I made it once and then made it again just a couple of days later because it was so delicious. The pita recipe is extremely easy- not to be scared of for those who don't usually make bread- and is great because you can store the dough in the refrigerator for up to about a week and make the pita fresh each time you'd like to eat it rather than making it all at once and having it loose the nice crunch there is when it's fried fresh. And by fried, I mean something more like toasted. I tried to keep it really healthy and just used enough oil to coat the pan. I found that it actually makes the pita brown a bit more that way so not only does it taste better and make us feel better, it also looks better! You can also use this pita recipe as naan with Indian!

homemade pita

1 cup warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
2 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons plain yogurt

mediterranean farro

3/4 cup farro
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt



To make the pita, combine all ingredients in the order listed in a bread machine and turn on the dough cycle. If you don't have a bread machine, you can add the yeast to the warm water and let sit for five minutes until it starts to thicken. Meanwhile, combine the flour, rosemary, and salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture and yogurt and stir to combine. Knead on a lightly floured surface for ~5 minutes. Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl, cover, and then let rise for two hours (or until doubled in sized) in a warm area. After the dough has doubled in size, make 1 1/2" balls of dough for each pita you would like to fry. The rest of the dough can be covered and placed in the refrigerator for up to a week. Roll out the dough into a thin circle, about 1/8" thick. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and coat with a fine coating of olive oil. Fry each pita for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. It should puff up a bit too! I haven't been able to get it to split in the middle yet, but maybe with a little extra heat and careful attention to make sure it doesn't burn? Either way, it tastes delicious!

To make the farro, cook the farro according to package directions, adding the seasonings listed and using vegetable broth, if you so desire. Once the farro has cooked, pile on top of a pita coated with hummus, add some sliced avocado, feta, cilantro, and/or sriracha, and you have yourself an amazing meal!


My husband and I just got back from an impromptu getaway, celebrating the day we met 3 years ago. The mini vacay got me reminiscing about our wedding last January and how exciting the event was for us. It was especially exciting for me creatively, as I designed our invitation system, programs, wedding decor and floral arrangements. And Alyssa baked almost every item on our sweets table. It was a huge task, but worth every minute of prep and detail. Here are some snaps from our wedding... these stems and savories have me lost in another daydream about the next wedding we'll get to create for!


There are two doughs/batters I cannot stop eating once I've started: peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chip cookie dough and banana bread batter. They are both just so delicious and so addicting and I can't help it! Well.. what would happen if I added nutella to the peanut butter-oatmeal-chocolate chip mix?! Heaven. That's what happened! I know you're not supposed to eat dough.. but if you're going to eat any dough, let this be it! Of course this recipe is amazing as a cookie, too! Fresh out of the oven? Can't beat them! Next morning dipped in milk for breakfast? Definitely. And yes, I did say breakfast.

peanut butter, nutella, oatmeal, and chocolate chip cookies

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup nutella
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Beat butter, peanut butter, and nutella with an electric mixer on medium-high until combined. Add 1/2 cup of flour. Add the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Stir in the remaining flour (3/4 cup). Then stir in the oatmeal, then the chocolate chips. Drop dough from a rounded teaspoon 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake cookies in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on wire rack or paper bag.


I LOVE farro. It has a wonderfully rich flavor and such a nice bite! My housemates and I have a "family" dinner every Sunday night and rotate cooking so that two people cook each week. We always eat great meals, but my housemate/chefmate last Sunday and I decided that we've been eating a lot of the same recipes lately and that we should try to make something we've never had before. Literally- I've never eaten jambalaya, much less vegetarian farro jambalaya. But it sounded fun and fresh (yet still warm to the tummy- MN still hasn't decided it's time for spring apparently even though all of its residents know it's long past due...) so we decided to give it a try. I have to admit that it isn't the most flavorful dish that I've ever tasted, but I think that's what made it so nice. There is so much going on in one pot- lots of veggies, spices, tomatoes- but there was no overwhelming flavor of any one component of the dish, and that's why I liked it! Each bite was different, but definitely fit the whole. And what's great is that we literally threw in every vegetable that sounded good (that's why the list is so long!), so feel free to modify to meet your tastes (and use up whatever's already in your refrigerator)!

spring vegetable farro jambalaya

1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, sliced
4-5 carrots, each sliced at an angle into 1/4"-thin strips
1 1/2 cups brussels sprouts, sliced into fourths
2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups farro, rinsed
6 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons salt
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
Sriracha for added spice upon serving!

Heat the vegetable stock in a medium saucepan. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes until they begin to release their juices. Add the red pepper and sauté another 3-4 minutes.

Add the garlic and farro and stir until the farrow is toasted and coated with oil, about another 3-4 minutes (must be something special about 3-4 minutes since we've already used it three times!). Add the carrots, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and tomatoes.

Add the spices and seasonings and stir to combine.

Then add two cups of the vegetable stock, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let simmer, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed. Add the remaining broth two cups at a time, letting the previous addition absorb before adding more. The farro will be plump and tender, while maintaining a bite, when it is done. Discard the bay leaves and serve immediately, garnishing with Sriracha, if desired!


We love smart women who run smart businesses and couldn't wait to post on this recent gem we found while stumbling through pinterest. The Petaler SF is a floral design business... on the go! Run and owned by Rebekah Northway (Check out her instagram feed here), this mobile shop caters to restaurants all over the San Francisco area as well as some personal events like weddings and showers.

Below are some images to inspire you today.... to play with some stems, take some time to enjoy beauty or even to start your own business.

Additional images from SfGirlByBay