Food: Pizano’s, Chicago, IL

Pizanos 1

When you’re in Chicago you simply have to eat pizza and not just any pizza, deep dish pizza! The city is famous for it and who am I to say no to pizza? This expat thing is all about exploring and trying local delicacies and this definitely has to be a good one. So, literally hours after landing in the windy city, we could be found in a pizza place, waiting for our deep dish!

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Food: Making our own pizzas

Making Pizzas
As you all know, the German celebrated his birthday the other week and we spent the weekend in Savannah. Lucky that we did because his birthday present was a little heavy to take on a plane.

The German’s favourite food in the whole, entire world is pizza. He could eat it every single day and not get bored. In fact, before he met me I think he really did eat it every single day and, if I go back to the UK and leave him home alone without any pre-cooked dinners in the freezer he definitely would eat pizza every single day. So, with this in mind, I bought him his very own pizza recipe book, a pizza stone and a pizza peel so that he could make his own pizzas from scratch. Turns out it was a blummin good present and he was a happy birthday boy so, last weekend, we decided to try it out.

The adventure started with the dough. Turns out this baby needs 18 hours to prove – 18 hours? I knew it would take a while but I wasn’t thinking 18 hours! Anyway, we made it the night before and waited for the yeast to do its stuff and make the little ball of dough double in size…and it did!

It was pizza time. The German had chosen a sausage and fennel pizza (fennel seems to be a favourite of his lately) so we started with a basic tomato sauce by literally squishing some tomatoes and made the ground pork into sausage meat by adding some ginger, fennel seeds, garlic and chilli flakes. This thing was looking good.

We chopped up the rest of our ingredients (well I did, chopping isn’t really the German’s forte) and we were ready to go:

Making Pizzas 2
First we needed to shape our bases. The German wanted to do the Italian thing and shape them in the air on his hands – he tried, but he needs a little more practice, so after a little bit of air shaping he continued on the counter top and managed to make some good circles! We put the toppings on and these things were ready to go…the only thing we were about to struggle with was getting them from the counter top to the oven…disasters.

Making Pizzas 3
We have a pizza peel but, once half of the pizza was on the peel the other half didn’t want to move. We ended up having to squish the pizza a little to get it on the peel and then onto the pizza stone that had been heating up in the oven but we made it and 12 minutes later our first pizza was ready – success! This thing looked good!

Making Pizzas 4
We then had another struggle to get the second pizza off the counter top and into the oven – does anybody have any tips on how to do this? It seems we really need them. We did use a lot of flour – probably too much if I’m honest – but it still didn’t work! Help is greatly appreciated. Eventually we did it but sadly, whilst the pizza was in the oven the pizza stone broke! It literally cracked into 2 pieces. We managed to patch it together and use it for the pizza but, it’s safe to say, it will be heading back to the store this week.

Next came the taste test, after one bite we realised we did bloody well! They were amazing! Very tasty indeed. The German was pleased with his efforts – I think pizza making will be happening a lot more often in the Richter house. He’s already eyed up another couple of pizzas in his book he wants to try.

Have you ever made your own pizza? What’s your favourite topping?

Today’s Ramblings #1

So sometimes I’m pottering around the house and something catches my attention that makes me think ‘I really should do a blog post about that’ but unless I do it at that exact minute the moment passes and it’s no longer an issue in my head meaning you, my little blog readers, are often missing out on some juicy stuff! Well maybe not that juicy but still!

So I’ve decided to write a post about the things that are on my mind right and other random things that have made today what it is! Maybe this will last and there’ll be future rambling posts, maybe they will be once every month…who knows! We’ll see how it pans out!

Today the US Government Shutdown finally affected me. It’s now into its 10th Day and so far the only thing I’ve noticed is signs on the local national park saying it’s closed. Everything else for us has been the same as every other day, that is until I decided to go and get my Social Security number. (For the Brits back home it’s like a National Insurance Number!) I couldn’t get this until I received that all important work permit and since I don’t have a job yet I kind of didn’t see it as a priority. However yesterday I decided I really should get my ass in gear and be ready for when I do get that all important job but after checking the US Government website I found out one of the services that isn’t in operation because of the Government Shutdown is the issuing of new Social Security cards. Great. So until the Government decides what it’s going to do I can’t get my all important number. Come on guys…work something out please!

Today’s also included one of the major bonus’ of living in America (yes I did just break out into song with some James Brown and ‘Living in America!’ you know you’re all doing it now and it will get stuck in your head! Later you’ll all be blaming me for the earworm!!) I digress – leftovers!! Oh yes, the portions are sooooo big in America that if you eat out you often leave with a doggybag of goodies for later! Today I had the pleasure of this:

Yum!

Yum!

Yep the leftover pizza from my trip to Mellow Mushroom with the German last night!! And yes it was heaven! Can you see the excitement on my face? You can’t beat pizza leftovers!! Although the leftover diet does not help my mission to get into my wedding dress…

Then there’s the job search – remember I told you about that on Monday when I had Monday Morning Coffee? Well it’s still on-going! Obviously I’ve taken a break to write this (the German might not be too happy about that one!) but I’m doing well! Today I’ve already applied for 2 and that attack on news editors, marketing agencies and magazines will commence as soon as this has been posted! Editors of Atlanta you have been warned!!

Oh and there was the little piece of home that popped up on TV this morning that got me a little bit excited! Basically there was a story in my old news patch the other day about a man who safely landed a plane at Humberside Airport after the pilot fell ill, even though he’d never flown a plane in his life! Instructors on the ground told him what to do over the radio! Amazing story! So imagine my delight when this popped up on the TV whilst I was chowing down on my breakfast:

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I loved the fact that a story about a small plane landing in a little English airport that I used to cover as a journalist had made the news more than 4 thousand miles away in Atlanta! Especially when world news is hardly ever on the agenda here in the US – you’re lucky to hear about things in America outside of Atlanta never mind 4 thousand miles away!

Right, daily rambling over! I better get back to that job search…