Every couple should be forced to spend at least one summer in a studio with no TV. Hubby and I have been more active than we ever could have imagined. Gone are the lazy Saturdays of San Diego, spent lounging in bed all morning, then rolling out of bed to lay a little bit longer on the beach. We've been out and about and DC's great (free) museums have something to do with that. First off, can anyone tell me what's the name of this tree? They're everywhere and absolutely gorgeous.
This Saturday, we visited the US Botanic Gardens to mourn my lovely garden that has surely died of neglect in my absence. We were a little weary of the Botanic Gardens as D.C.'s heat makes for a little bit of a bloodbath and the last thing we needed was to be subjected to any junglesque greenhouse temperatures. I was delighted to see that one of the first exhibits was not only air conditioned, but featured "The Aroma of Food and Drink," showcasing exotic and native spices and plants that go into many of the foods we enjoy. Best of all (well, second to the air conditioning), you could get up close and take a whiff of the spices. Of course, vanilla smelled so good and the thought of French Vanilla Ice Cream was more than I could handle at the time.
Could this place get any better? The orchid exhibit was next, displaying my all time favorite flowers and the main flower of our wedding. See those beauts up top in the banner? That's our wedding cake!
After too much fun for one day, we hiked to the Metro & came home to pass out after all this excitement.
Once I awoke from my nap, I got working on our dinner. A wife's work is never done, huh? :)This treat was inspired by none other than Elle from Elle's New England Kitchen. There are a lot of great blogs out there, so I'd be hard pressed to choose a favorite, but if some crazy man demanded that I choose one or else, I'd say Elle's is definitely up there.
From the moment I saw Elle's post about Turkish Pizzas, I knew that the recipe would hijack all the others on my burgeoning 'to-make' recipe list, and take top spot. Boy, am I glad that these pizzas made it to the top. This was easily one of my favorite recipes to date and I can't wait to have these again.
I followed Elle's recipe for the dough, though I added a 1/2 tsp of garlic powder to the flour. Garlic makes everything better, don't ya think? The crust came out perfectly soft on the inside with a slight crisp on the outside. Fluffy bread like this is the stuff of dreams for carb-a-holics like us.
For the filling, I went ahead and used ground turkey since I purchased a package on sale, and cooked it directly with the spices and other ingredients instead of cooking them seperately. I also added diced red pepper, cilantro, cinnamon, red pepper flakes and a dash of lemon juice to the mixture because I'm crazy like that. Elle mentions in her post that the original recipe suggests feta as an optional add-on, but I would say do not skip the feta as it definitely makes the filling!
This smelled so good while cooking that we couldn't wait to take pictures. The pics were snapped in a little bit of a starvation-half tired from a nap-too much activity for one day-frenzy so pardon if they're a teensy bit of out of focus. I served the pizzas with a side of coucous and we were in heaven...once I put the camera away.
Elle's dough recipe (I added 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
1/2 large sweet onion, finely diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped & seeded tomato
2 tsp tomato paste
2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and pepper
4-5 oz crumbled feta
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
half of a lemon
1. Heat oven to 450°.
2. Heat a large wok over medium high heat. Heat the oil and saute the onions until they begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add red pepper and garlic and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until red pepper begins to soften. Add diced tomatoes and saute 1-2 minutes. Push the veggies to the side of the wok.
3. Add a bit of oil to the skillet if needed, then saute the meat until barely pink. Mix veggies into turkey and add tomato paste and spices. Mix until incorporated. Remove from heat and add feta. Taste and adjust seasonings.
4. Divide dough into 8 portions and roll out to thin circles. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment, and place 4 dough circles on each one. Spread some of the topping on the first 4, then put the baking sheet in the oven. Have 1/2 cup of cold water ready, and toss it in the bottom of the oven quickly, then shut the door.Bake for 8-10 minutes. Repeat with last 4 pieces of dough. Remove from pan to a cooling rack. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro & lemon juice.