Tag: Food

Maui Memory Pizza

I love Round Table’s Maui Zaui pizza. I haven’t had it in months and we’ve already blown our “fun” budget for September, so I decided to try to make my own. After some unsuccessful attempts to find a copycat recipe online, I made my own version from memory. One of these days I’ll compare it with the real thing, but for now, you may enjoy my “Maui Memory” pizza recipe, which features a sweet-and-sour pizza sauce with pineapple, chopped ham, red onions, mozzarella, bacon, and green onions on top.

All amounts are approximated… I didn’t do much measuring when I was making this!

Makes 1 rectangular pizza, approximately 9″x13″. Serves 2, 3 if you have salad or other side dishes.


Crust (adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)

  • 2 c bread flour
  • 1/2 envelope of active dry yeast (1 1/8 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 7/8 cup warm water


  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce


  • 4-6 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 4 slices canadian bacon or similar-sized ham, chopped
  • 2-3 slices pineapple, chopped
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 green onion, chopped

Combine dry ingredients in a standing mixer with a dough hook, then slowly add the olive oil and water as the machine is running. Mix until the dough comes together and all flour is incorporated, let it rest for 2 minutes, then run the machine again for 5-8 minutes, adding up to 1/4 c of flour until the dough forms a smooth ball. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (takes about an hour for me).

Turn the dough out and shape into a rough rectangular shape. Cover with the plastic wrap and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. Turn on the oven to 400 degrees and heat a baking stone. (If you don’t have a baking stone, you can preheat a rimless baking sheet, but not for as long.)

While the dough is resting, cook the bacon in a frying pan until crisp, stirring occasionally to allow the bacon to cook evenly. Drain.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until simmering, then turn the heat down and simmer until reduced – about 15-20 minutes.

While the bacon is cooking and the sauce is simmering, you can prep the rest of the ingredients, if you haven’t already.

Stretch the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper (approximately 9″x13″) to form a rectangular shape. Smear the pizza sauce over the dough, then sprinkle the chopped ham, pineapple, and red onions over the sauce. Top with shredded mozzarella, then sprinkle bacon on top.

Slide the parchment paper and pizza onto the baking stone (using another rimless baking sheet makes this easier). Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and starting to brown and the edges of the dough are starting to brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with green onions.

Let the pizza cool for a few minutes to let the cheese set before slicing and serving

Lists and lists of food stuff

Doodah requested some sort of reference to the food-related books I’ve been reading. You can now find a section on the Goodies & Forms page dedicated to food-issue-related stuff. I’ll try to expand the “Resources” section a little more beyond my blog to some of the other sites that I’ve found helpful.

I also made a new page to hold a Recipe Index where you can find the various recipes that I’ve posted at this blog.

(Side note: Must think of better way to organize other posts. Not using tags OR categories very efficiently!)

Asian-style Chicken Soup

I love soup (I think I’ve said this before!). Here’s a recipe that is pretty flexible for asian-style chicken soup. The broth is a little clearer with less herby flavor and different sorts of veggies are used. My picture doesn’t really do it justice but it gives you an idea!

Chicken soup with asian veggies


  • Chicken legs and thighs (about 2-3 lbs.) – Breast meat isn’t as flavorful and gets dried out if you use it exclusively in this recipe; however, you can have some chicken breast to add later if you’d like.
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water (about 2 qts., although you can adjust for as much liquid as you want!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt for every 2 qts of water you use
  • Vegetables: Some possibilities are daikon radish (for a “real” asian flavor!), cabbage (green or napa), carrots, mushrooms (white, cremini, oyster, straw… any kind you want!). You can vary the amount.
  • Green onions for garnishing (optional)
  • Cooked rice (optional)


  1. If you want, cut the chicken legs and thighs into two parts using a big cleaver. (This makes it seem like there’s more meat in the soup.)
  2. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large soup/stock pot over medium heat.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and brown on all sides. This will take about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes. This helps release some yummy chicken juices so that the broth is very flavorful.
  5. Meanwhile, heat up two quarts of water. This can be boiling or just “hot;” it basically helps speed up the cooking process so that you don’t have to wait for the water to warm up in the soup pot.
  6. Add the water to the pot and turn the heat back up to medium.
  7. Add salt.
  8. Bring the soup to a boil, then turn the heat down again to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
  9. Meanwhile, prep your veggies. If using diakon radish, wash well and then slice into thin 1/4″ rounds. If using cabbage, cut into chunks. If using carrots, peel and cut into two-inch pieces, then cut each piece into thin 1/4″ slices (they’ll look like rectangles). If using mushrooms, wash or wipe and cut the bigger mushrooms into slices or halves. The overall goal is to get the veggies into sizes that will allow them to cook through at about the same time. Note: If using green onions, chop but add them as garnish at the end.
  10. Add the veggies to the soup and simmer until they’re tender but not mushy.
  11. Taste the soup without burning yourself and adjust the salt as necessary.
  12. Serve over cooked rice, garnishing with green onions if you like that sort of thing.

If you really like chicken breast, you can add it during step 8 to cook it through, remove it, and shred it. Add the chicken meat after the veggies are cooked (step 10) before adjusting the flavor.

Reading: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Finished Reading:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver – I wasn’t really “into” Kingsolver’s books that I’ve read before (The Poisonwood Bible, The Bean Trees) but I saw this in the bookstore and was very intrigued. I’m a sucker for books that have to do with food. Luckily the book was available through my library system so I got to read it for free.

This book covers a year with Barbara, her husband, and two daughters, after a move from Tuscon, Arizona into the steep Appalachian hills of Virginia, as they attempt to go to a self-produced and locally-produced diet. Their journey includes planting tons (literally) of vegetables on 3,500 square feet of soil, developing relationships with local farmers and local food producers, learning to make their own cheese, discovering the mating secrets of turkeys, and thinking a lot about where food comes from and why that matters. One of the neat things about this book is that it’s a family-produced book; Barbara’s oldest daughter ends most chapters with a short essay from her perspective and some yummy-looking recipes, Barbara’s husband has sidebars scattered throughout with interesting stats, resources, and tips.

Some of the things that stood out to me:

  • With a non-farming background, I was surprised to learn that asparagus grow to become 3-4 foot plants. We eat the small shoots that come up in early spring.
  • Mass-produced veggies have drastically decreased the variety of foods that we could be eating. Some plant varieties — even whole species — are being lost. “According to Indian crop ecologist Vandana Shiva, humans have eaten some 80,000 plant species in our history. After recent precipitous changes, three-quarters of all human food now comes from just eight species, with the field quickly narrowing down to genetically modified corn, soy, and canola” (p. 49, in the chapter “Springing Forward”).
  • Organic foods have 50% more antioxidants than conventionally grown foods, because they have to work harder at surviving (without pesticides).
  • The chapter “The Birds and the Bees” has an awesome story about Barbara’s youngest daughter, Lily, and her egg venture, that made me laugh out loud.
  • Chapter 8, “Growing Trust,” has an interesting rant about our perception of grocery money. Why do we insist on “cheap food prices” and settle for sub-par quality produce, meat, and fast or convenient food, but spend billions on bottled drinking water? The sidebar in this chapter is especially interesting, addressing the complaint about how organic foods are more expensive. Truth be told, we pay billions in tax dollars, Farm Bill subsidies, and health and environmental costs for the production of “conventional” foods that don’t show up in the grocery aisle sticker prices. While there is something to be said for larger corporate organic producers who might be manipulating the growing popularity of “organic foods” (and who might be less than ethical in their commitments to providing truly organic foods), small organic farmers generally have to charge more because they put more labor into their work and also have a harder time distributing and marketing their goods.
  • Did you know that with some mail-order cultures and store-bought milk, you can make your own fresh mozzarella in 30 minutes? Let me add that on my “things to try to do someday” list!! It sounds like yogurt, cream cheese, and ricotta cheese are relatively easy to make at home as well; hard cheeses are a little harder. (Pardon the pun.) Barbara describes a cheese-making workshop she attended, which makes me very interested to see if anything similar is offered in my area as well.
  • Sounds like canning tomatoes in a water bath is the easiest way to start canning; the acidity keeps you from having to process the vegetable in a pressure canner. Another thing I’d want to try someday as well. (Note to self: Need garden with tomatoes first.)
  • Barbara’s adventures into raising — and breeding — turkeys is priceless.
  • The final results of their year-long experiment: Based on current organic food prices, Barbara’s family raised and harvested $4,410 worth of veggies and poultry. Supplemented with locally milled flour, locally produced pasta, organic grain for animal feed, etc., they spent a total of about $0.50 per person per meal.

Barbara pulls out all the stops unapologetically, using statistics, personal sketches of farmers, and humor, to make a compelling and sometimes convicting case for buying local produce and food, supporting local farmers, and overall becoming more aware of where your food comes from and your own role in the food production chain. Some may find her preachy; I found her passion inspiring without being judgmental. It helped that I was fascinated by the details she provided about things like canning and cheese-making (remember, I’m the one who reads the food bits of the Little House books for pleasure) and that I love food books in general (How to Read a French Fry, Salt, and Garlic and Sapphires immediately come to mind as recent foodie reads).

Personal impact of this book:

  • Recommitting to buying more of our groceries from the local food co-op (I got a bit lazy in the past few weeks)
  • Giving the farmer’s market another try (I get overwhelmed and lost when I go); actually try talking to the farmers if I’m brave
  • Future desires:
    • Learn how to make mozzarella
    • Learn to can stuff
    • Grow a garden

With a bookmark:

(Books I just started reading, or books I’ve been “reading” for ages. Most recent first.)

  • Confessions of a Tax Collector by Richard Yancey
  • Buying Your First Home by Ilona Bray, Alayna Schroeder, and Marcia Stewart
  • Body, Soul, and Baby by Tracy Gaudet
  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, and Sandee Hathaway
  • The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
  • A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson

In the library book box:

  • Dragonhaven by Patricia McKinley
  • A Good Dog by Jon Katz
  • Dog Days by Jon Katz
  • Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
  • The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

We’ve had three rainy days (interspersed by warm sunny days) over the past month, so I’m taking that to mean that it’s officially fall and okay to make soup once or three times a week. I could eat soup every day, but that probably wouldn’t be fair to Steve.

So far I’ve made butternut squash soup (twice), miso soup, broccoli soup, and tortilla soup with chicken. On the menu later this week is quick beef soup — a tomato-y soup with ground beef and small bits of pasta.

I had butternut squash soup for the first time last year and it’s become one of my favorite soups. Once you get past the prep, it’s relatively easy to make, although you do have to clean up a blender afterwards. Here’s the recipe I use. I adjust the amounts a little bit depending on what size squash I end up with from the store.

Peel a 3-lb. butternut squash and trim off the ends. Start cutting 3/4″ slices off the narrower end until you hit the hollow where the seeds are. Then cut the squash in half to more easily de-seed the squash. Continue slicing the squash, then cut the slices into cubes.

Peel a medium onion and chop.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it’s softened (5 minutes or so) . Add the squash, 4-5 cups of chicken broth, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, and a small pinch of nutmeg. Heat the soup until it’s simmering, then cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until the squash is soft.

Get a blender out. Remove the thyme stems. Scoop squash and broth into the blender until about halfway full, then puree the soup. From past experience, you might want to just pulse the soup and hold the top down with a towel so you don’t have a squashed kitchen. Pour the blended soup into a large bowl while you puree the rest of the soup.

Pour the soup back into the pot. Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream and stir in. Heat the soup until it just starts to simmer, then turn off the heat. You can add more chicken broth if the soup seems too thick for you (I like it thick, personally).

Serve the soup. Try sprinkling some ground nutmeg, cinnamon, or cloves over the soup and stirring it in. Some people also like it with sour cream, cheese, or even peanut butter! My personal favorite is ground cloves; Steve likes cinnamon.

I think I have some leftover in the fridge that I can have for my morning snack… Yum!

Quick and Easy Meals

These are the faithful Haffly-household menu stand-bys. That is, when there aren’t leftovers for lunch or I’ve worked a long hard day and don’t feel like cooking “real” food (i.e., a main dish and two side dishes), this is what we often end up eating, with fresh vegetables or fruit on the side.

Continue reading “Quick and Easy Meals”