Sometimes you get to do what you want, be selfish and act on whims. Sometimes you have to go along with anothers plans to make them happy or because you owe them one. And then there is compromise.
For two people that are so similar (love a charity shop bargain, hated Hot Tub Time Machine) Bo and I can be very different too. The night we met I asked him the question on which I base everything, what would you have as your last meal on earth? This question has be debated within our family for years, mine changes with my mood and consists of pre-dinner snacks, starter, main and desserts with drinks to match each course. Bo's answer; well done steak with Colman's pepper sauce and chips. If he wasn't so handsome...
Our meals at home are usually separate (odd working hours don't help) although we try to eat together as much as possible. With two people with such contrasting views on what constitutes and decent meal this can be tricky. We have about five combo meals that can be split into our personal tastes; curry where he can have the meat and sauce and I can have the sauce and veggies etc. But I get bored. Cooking the same thing week in, week out is the foodies equivalent of Chinese torture.
While flipping through cookbooks trying to find spring roll recipes to bring in the Year of the Rabbit I stumbled upon a Donna Hay spring magazine that Hen bought me during our last trip down under. Donna Hay is the Aussie Jamie Oliver but a girl. I really like her books and although her whole vibe is a bit Martha, the recipes are simple and delicious. Two things that I wholeheartedly support. This week I asked my sister to stockpile me the magazines so I can take an empty suitcase next time I visit, her reaction 'Oh god, not Donna Hay - she's everywhere Em.' Donna Hay = not cool enough for Bondi.
Anyway within the (very glossy) pages there it was, a new Emma and Bo meal. Pizza! It's fun to make, he can have ham, I can have courgettes, its yummy - score!
A note on cups, do not shun their crazy American ways - embrace them. Go forth to the nearest pound shop and make your life a little bit easier. Also another note on tomatoes, in December we went to the Foodies festival where we watched the wonderful Mary Contini from Valvona and Crolla who made the most delicious tomato sauce with the barest of ingredients. The key, according to Mary, was the quality of the tinned tomatoes so no more skimping in this house. Mary was mad by the way, but nice mad.
Makes about 4 pizzas
Basic pizza dough
1 tbsp dry yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
1 cup (250ml) lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups (525g) 00 flour - plus extra for dusting
1 tsp sea salt flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tin of good quality tinned plum tomatoes
2 large cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
oregano - fresh if you have it but dried is fine
a good pinch of chilli flakes
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
a selection of toppings
Firstly crank up the oven as high as it will go, the higher the heat the crispier the pizza. Place a large baking tray (or even better a pizza stone) in the oven so the heat will transfer to the base of your pizza.
rosemary, garlic, potato and pecorino
prosciutto, rocket and mozzarella
field mushrooms, thyme and mascarpone
chargrilled aubergine, roast peppers, courgettes and mozzarella