Vacations are so hard. Well, not really. What’s hard is coming back to the “real world” after being away on vacation. That was my story yesterday. Getting back to work after a week on Keuka Lake. Literally, on the lake. We could hear the waves splashing against the deck as boats passed by. The sun, shining off the water, was my alarm clock for five days. Our favorite answer to the “real world” question, “What time is it?” was always “it’s lake time.” Yep, I could live like this for a long time. It’s too bad I’m way too young to retire.
I actually had great intentions of writing some posts while on vacation, and sharing with you all of the great food and beverages we consumed during the week. Mr. Big Flavors and I emptied our fridge, picked up our CSA share, and brought all of it with us on our road trip to the lake. We did all of the cooking for our five other companions during the week. (The best part was that we didn’t even have to do our own dishes!) We made dips for snacking, cooked hot dogs and burgers on the charcoal grill, even prepared a huge shrimp boil… and these were just some of the highlights. So, while I was excited to take some pictures and put these recipes together, I suddenly felt the need to detach from the laptop, the internet, and even my cell phone… I couldn’t pass up some time away from being connected. The break was really quite refreshing.
Now, here I am, back in action. It’s my second day getting into the swing of things, and I’m ready to share some new recipes and big flavors. I’m digging into the archives, with a recipe we concocted when this blog was only a dream and a website header. It’s pizza – and an extremely flavorful one at that. For some reason, even though it’s a million degrees this week, I am craving pizza in all of its delicious forms. Buffalo chicken pizza, steak and peppers, a white version with blue cheese… and this one topped with sausage, ricotta and spinach. I’ve actually eaten a slice of all of these in the past two days. I told you I had a craving this week!
This pizza is one of my favorites because the crust is infused with tons of flavor even before the toppings go on. The garlic and dried herbs are baked into the dough, then the sausage, cheeses and spinach are added. And, I love that the toppings are completely customizable. If you want to go vegetarian, just omit the meat. This pizza is flavorful enough without it. If you have a different type of sausage on hand, go ahead and use it. If you are afraid of vegetables, hit this pizza up with just the cheese and sausage. But please, make sure the crust is crispy. Don’t take the pizza out of the oven too soon, and submit your family to a crust that’s too soggy… no one likes a soggy pizza crust. Also, while a dusting of cornmeal is optional here, it gives the crust an additional texture and flavor, which you won’t want to pass up. It makes this pizza crust taste like you ordered take-out. Except you didn’t.
So, even though returning from vacation is difficult, it doesn’t mean dinner has to be. Turn on the air conditioning, pre-heat the oven, and round-up the fam for pizza night. Then, pour yourself a glass of wine. Because its way more fun to deal with the getting back to “real life”, when you have a glass of wine and slice of -za to ease the pain.