Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pizza Caballo

When my dad came back from South America a couple weeks ago, he told me we just haaaaaaaad to make pizza with faina. Pizza who? After looking it up and doing my 'research', I've learned that this pizza is also dubbed 'Caballo', meaning "on horseback" and its the topping of choice in Argentina and Uruguay. 

Well, I just haaaaaad to try it out. 

Faina is ground-up chickpeas (ie, chick pea flour) and the mere mention of it had me a tad curious -- especially since its healthy! I got out my blender and ground some dried chickpeas we had into a fine powder. Word of caution, its SUPER LOUD! I seriously had to cover my ears so I wouldn't lose my hearing. 

I decided to make a few batches of pizza since we were having our family over. Here's what you'll need. 

Recipe for pizza dough (I like Bobby Flay's): 


3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling (Chef's Note: Using bread flour will give you a much crisper crust. If you can't find bread flour, you can substitute it with all-purpose flour which will give you a chewier crust.)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 envelope instant dry yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons


Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.

Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.

*Faina recipe below

(As for the sauce, I sauteed a can of diced tomatoes -- discarded the juice -- and chopped an onion and some garlic). 

Started the dough

Allowed it to sit and rise

Stretched it out on the pan

Rolled another using my Anthropologie roller (thanks to my awesome sister!)

....and rolled, and rolled, and rolled, and you get the point

Faina recipe:


    • 2 1/2 cups garbanzo bean flour

    • 1 teaspoon salt

    • 7 tablespoons olive oil

    • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (optional)

    • Freshly ground black pepper

    • 2-2 1/2 cups water


    1. In a medium bowl, whisk the garbanzo bean flour together with the salt, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the Parmesan cheese, and a generous amount of ground black pepper. 

    1. Whisk in 1 3/4 cups of water until the mixture is well blanded. Set batter aside for about a half hour, to let the garbanzo flour absorb some of the water. 

    1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. When it is hot, place the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12 inch pizza pan. Heat the pan in the oven until very hot. 

    1. Gradually stir remaining water into the batter mixture until it is thin enough to pour. Remove the hot pizza pan from oven, and immediately pour the batter into the pan. The batter should make a thin (about 1/4 inch) layer. Place the pan back in the oven and bake until fainá is golden and crispy (about 8-10 minutes). 

    1. Cut the faina into pieces and serve.

Here's the Faina!
Faina, which I cut with a pizza roller

The (almost) finished product

Added it onto the pizza

A mini sandwich

We ate our caballo and rode off into the sunset.
At the end of the day, my sister and brother in law LOVED the finished product! We all loved the little 'sandwich' that was created with the faina on top. It was a treat in every bite and will have your guests talking about what an awesome slice they've just had! Not only is it unique, but also adds some protein and fills you up pretty quickly. Instead of topping a pizza with pepperoni, I encourage you to try some faina. 

I'd love to know what y'all think! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Kitchen Makeover

The first key to ANY makeover is choosing color. It took me nearly two years to pick a paint color for our kitchen cabinets, and I'm totally underestimating. I kid you not, I spent many sleepless nights thinking about that. I know, I seriously need a life.

Clockwise (the large painted areas only): Gray Owl, Silver Spoon, Nimbus
Gray Owl, Silver Spoon, Nimbus -- all the way left is Moonshine
Here is Gray Owl at top, yet again, Gray Beard on bottom

You see, when I was preggers in the fall nothing seemed more cozy to me than having a kitchen the color of pie crust. Having went to Lowe's and picked out a random color, blindly, I ended up really not liking it the moment it debuted on our walls. Poor husband spent so much time painting it! The good thing is that he didn't like it either, so it bodes well for my agenda wanting a change this time around.

Left: Gray Owl
Middle: Nimbus
Right & Bottom: Moonshine

Not only were our walls an icky color, but they were super shiny -- no thanks to my choice on finish; I blame the hormones.

Left: Gray Owl
Right: Moonshine

Another Gray Owl

Now, with hormones and "nesting" having subsided, my intention is to give our space a light and airy feel. I'm loving the color of gray and think it will play nicely against white cabinets and our soon-to-come bead board wallpaper.

Gray Owl, top left
Trying to get every light to gauge these grays

Gray is tricky. There are undertones that come to life given certain light or come out simply because of other colors in the room. I never make anything easy, and our kitchen is no exception. Having obsessed mulled over colors, I've narrowed down my starting line-up.

Sample of Gray Owl
My brain was on overload with all these colors!

Here are the major players:

Gray Owl -- Benjamin Moore
Moonshine -- BM
Nimbus -- BM
Gray Beard -- Olympic
Silver Spoon -- Olympic

The verdict?

Gray Owl -- Looking nice, but I see an undertone of blue
Moonshine -- Another nice one, but reads too light with green undertones
Nimbus -- Way too 'rainy day' gray and depressing for the space
Gray Beard -- Too light with purple undertones
Silver Spoon -- Just too purple!

So, there you have it folks... I could go on and on, but I limited myself to only these colors. The winner is in here somewhere. I know it!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Closet Organize

 It stared out so innocently. I wanted to put away our fresh, clean sheets into the linen closet and it all started from there.

The kiddies were napping and I thought: 'what better way to spend my downtime than to immerse myself in a bigger cleaning project than I have time for?' I tend to bite off more than I can chew... but in this instance, its a good thing I took a bite! 

Only in my house can a cleaning project turn into something that involves stamps and labels! My inspiration? A guest closet how-to courtesy of Country Living. I mean, seriously... forget "guest" closet, I want a closet like this! 

With ideas like this tucked in the back of my brain, I set out to work. I wish I snapped before pictures of our closet, but lets just say everything was all over the place. I didn't even know what was in there; it was a total disorganized mess that beckoned some love. 

Country Living Magazine

Country Living Magazine

Hair products have their own basket
At the end of the madness, our closet looks something like this. There's something about neatly folded towels and sheets that make me happy. I delved into the vanity and started labeling and organizing there as well. It could be addicting. Keep in mind, I don't have a camera crew at my house to take the best angles and provide optimum lighting, but here is the final project. 

Future Project: bathroom makeover, specifically painting the vanity from the ugly (fake) wood color to a beautiful and vibrant white. That will have to be another day when I begin biting again.. 

'Bagno' sign from Anthropologie, its temporary home

First aid is in the 'Boo-Boo Helpers' basket and shaving supplies reside in 'Everything Else'

Speaks for itself

Toothbrushes and face washes are in the wooden caddy which I scored from an antique store!

Freshly washed sheets.... ahhhh...

Now I'm not afraid to open our closet anymore!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Book Covers

You can't go wrong with Steinbeck
When I was younger, we used cover our school books with paper bags to protect them. Now, I do it just to make them look pretty! I simply haaaad to do something crafty with these books since my husband brings them home (FREE) from the library. Did I mention they're free? Now, if he could score a free bookcase to put them in, I'd be as happy as a hippo in water.

These books all tell a story, and I don't just mean the ones on the pages. Seriously, old books reek of history and the people who have given them away, received them as gifts, curled up on couches reading them and ultimately, passed them along. I even opened a book that had a written inscription on the front.

Now, these guys sit on whatever table we can manage to fit them on. Notice how neat these stacks are? I failed to take a picture of our overflowing and cluttered dining room table simply because I don't want to appear like a hoarder. 

A well-read plant is a happy one

These have yet to get 'dressed'

If you'd like to fashion up your books, here's what you'll need:

  • Craft paper (you'll find this in the scrap booking section of Michael's)
  • Paper bags (this will cover entire book)
  • Labels
  • Alphabet stamps

So here's what I did:

I wrapped the books using paper bags and tape, 'old school' style.
Then, take your pretty craft paper and cover the binding and half of the front and back covers. After doing this, stick it on with double-stick tape and voila! 
To finish them off, I whipped out my huge bundle of labels (which I got from Amazon at an AMAZING price, seriously way cheaper than any store). 
I then stamped on the title, and double-stick taped it to the front of each book. 
As a minor detail, I cut the side of the labels with those scissors that give a zig-zag design and I was done. 

Sound easy? It was! However, more time consuming than I'd like to admit, especially with two bundles of joy tearing apart my house!