the ‘za of the week (mar 16 – mar 22)

This ‘Za of the Week came around quick. Time flies. This pie was very similar to last week’s, but we used sliced black olives instead of pineapple.

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We also used bulk mozzarella that was shredded a little thicker than the usual mozzarella we used. The cheese melted more evenly with less spots and smoother than the finely shredded mozzarella.

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I have an attachment to pepperoni pizzas. They seem to have the flavor I really look for in a tasty pizza. This must be why pepperoni is America’s favorite pizza topping.

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Oh… what’s that?! Yes, to the right of the photo is a bubble. This happens from time to time, but this one wasn’t too crazy. It didn’t affect the pie much at all. I remember my days in the pizza shop when we’d get some of the biggest bubbles that would ruin a pie if it wasn’t taken care of during the baking process.

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Yummy. Check out how those toppings relax in a sea of cheese. Since we used a bulk package of mozzarella, I think I used more cheese than usual. I did measure two cups of cheese, but yes, the cup was packed well so it could have been more than what we get in the two-cup packages we purchase. The savings are well worth it, since this has become a weekly ritual that we enjoy sharing with you here at the modern soapbox. =)

the ‘za of the week (mar 9 – mar 15)

The ‘Za of the Week post has been delayed but not forgotten lately. Mare and I made this pie last Thursday. I worked late the previous Monday and Tuesday and was able to leave an hour early. On top of the unusual, I had worked from 9 to 4 that day so I returned to the apartment much earlier than usual.

This ‘za was pretty traditional. The toppings included: sliced pepperoni, half of a sliced red onion, and pineapple tidbits.

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The pepperoni slices were lined up right next to each other, so this pizza was topped with more pepperoni than we usual put and made it that much tastier.

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The pineapple was drained with a strainer really well. The onion was sliced to make quarter-inch wide pieces.

My attack at slicing an onion goes a little like this:

  • Cut the onion in half through the ends that have that dried roots on one end and where the plant shoots out on the other end. You can lay the onion flat on the cutting board from here, and slicing will be much easier.
  • Slice the ends off and discard them.
  • Remove the first layer of the onion that should include the dry skin.
  • Slice the onion into quarter-inch thick pieces. Guide the knife with the middle joints of your fingers on the non-cutting hand. You won’t cut yourself if you keep the blade near the onion and the side of the knife as close to your bent fingers as possible.
  • Don’t throw away the middle part of the onion. Think of it as the heart, the most flavorful part of the onion. When the heart cooks up, it will provide the sweetness than red onions are known for.

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The sauce was the usual marinara we use, and we used part-skim low-moisture mozzarella. The baking sheet was greased with garlic-infused olive oil. The pie was baked at 450°F for ten minutes. It was cooled in the baking sheet for a minute then put on the cooling rack for a few more minutes. While it’s on the cooling rack, I snapped the after photos that you see here.

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Our homemade pizzas turn out better than calling up the corporates and having them bring it to your door, heating up something frozen, or even “take and bake.” Everything from the crust to the fresh ingredients to the love put into assembling these creations makes every bite worth savoring.

the 9 to 4

I had to get up wicked early this morning, and I mean this by own standards. I normally work the dream shift of 12pm-8pm, but I had a meeting scheduled at 9am. I was five minutes early to work, and not to my surprise, the meeting didn’t occur. I’m sure it will happen next Thursday. I think my GM was under the weather.

Today is hott. Spring has returned, and the heat returns with it.

I mentioned the food consumption shift of weeks following payday. I have this mapped out so far:

  • Friday night, Trudy’s
  • Saturday afternoon, China Star
  • Tuesday, Pluckers

With the rest of my hard-earned dollars, I will pay rent and bills, afford groceries, pour overpriced petrol into my tank, and blow the rest on entertainment that includes but is not limited to comic books.

Speaking of comics, aside from my usual monthly subscriptions and awesome scores on eBay, I scoped out a local Half-Price Books to see if they had any gems. Yes, they did.

I scored both issues of the 2-issue Cable mini-series from the nineties as well as the first issue of the second volume of Cable. I also scored the Gen-13 graphic novel for half-price of course. I also landed three of the four issues of Cloak and Dagger.

Back in the ’80s, comics were relatively inexpensive. The cover price on the Cloak and Dagger issues were 60¢ each. Yes, I got them for half-price meaning that I paid less than a dollar for all three of them which would have been less than if I had bought them in the ’80s.

Granted that these books could only pass for good to fine condition, I only paid half-price for them. The comics shop up the street would have at least charged cover price if not a little more to recoup inventory costs plus they have a decent back issue selection but it’s definitely been picked over.

The Half-Price Books nearby is relatively new. I’d say it’s not even a couple years old. Imagine the gems I can find at the other Half-Price Books in this town. My ongoing mission is going to spend time in each one seeing what I can get. Condition doesn’t matter to me unless the book is ripped, stained, or has evidence of water damage. No more back issue buying for this guy at comic shops. It’s all Half-Price Books ’til my mission’s complete.

With the vast selection of comics at my fingertips itching for me to pull the $$ from my wallet in exchange, I can always find something worth reading some day. Oooh… pictures! Then again, comics aren’t a simple medium these days. Notice how they’ve invaded cinema and television, have been converted into books and novels as well as the reverse of cinema and television being converted into comics. Amazing, yes.

So this is my rant for today. Technically, I’d be getting out of work about two and a half hours from now but I pulled a 9 to 4 shift. Tomorrow, I’m doing a 12 to 6 which is going to be extra awesome ’cause the weekend really is around the corner and this cog will have been paid. TGTF. Peace out.

the buffiends vs. the mother pluckers

This title of this post is irrelevant to what you’re about to read. I had it saved as a draft but never got around to writing it. We’re probably gonna hit up the Chinese buffet this weekend, and we will be attending Pluckers this upcoming Tuesday, so maybe I can feel inspired to write the relevant post.

Work has been miserable since last week until today. I’ve been flooded with so much work, but I finally had a peaceful day today where I was being hounded by someone needing some sort of assistance. I was able to live in my personal bubble and do my tasks to get things done. I’d like to thank my bro again for writing up some volatile batch files to get the work done much much quicker.

Unfortunately, I will have to be in bed decently early tonight. I have to be at work at 9am for a meeting tomorrow. I am not looking forward to this, because I normally do not function at that hour. I also worked an hour over on Monday and two hours over on Tuesday. I felt so overworked that I wanted to minimalize the amount of time I spent in front of the computer hence the lack of posts lately.

Tomorrow is Thursday, TGTF Day. I hope to leave as early as possible tomorrow. If I have to be at work at nine, then I should be able to leave at five. I will probably leave at four, because I don’t want the overtime. I will probably leave at six on Friday, since I will still have accrued two hours overtime. I would rather not be at work knowing that I’ve done my tasks and done my time than be on the clock longer than I should.

Friday is payday. w00t! The few days after pay day usually signal eating out rather than the eating in routine which I plan on doing some Chinese buffet this weekend and Pluckers on Tuesday. I know I already wrote that, but I’m excited. I may not have too much meat on my bones, but I looove food. Hell, who doesn’t?

My car hasn’t been well lately. It leaks oil, and I am going to try to repair it DIY-style for minimal cost (JB Weld, baby!). The car is over eleven years old, and by default, cars that age seem to fall apart slowly but surely.

Mare & I are supposed to make our Za of the Week tonite, but I am not sure since I have to be awake so early tomorrow. She isn’t off work yet, and it’s already half past ten. Maybe we’ll do it on Thursday and if not, then Saturday. We’ll see. Peace out.

the ‘za of the week (mar 2 – mar 8 )

The ‘Za of the Week from last Wednesday featured: artichoke hearts, ricotta, and portobello mushrooms over a sun dried tomato pesto. I was solely responsible for designing the pizza.

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We also used an Italian cheese blend with romano, mozzarella, provolone, and asiago instead of the standard 100% pure mozzarella.

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I had to make sure to drain the artichoke hearts well as all the layers in the flesh part had adsorbed great amounts of liquid. The blend of the ricotta and artichoke hearts tasted absolutely delectable.

the leap day

Happy Leap Day!

Yes! I have successfully written 29 posts this month to celebrate the 29 days of February that only come around every four years.

I will be watching NOFX rock out a sold out show tonite at Stubb’s.

An attack on the Chinese buffet has been scheduled for this Sunday. At least half a dozen of us will take part in this battle. w00t!

Tuesday, I will be revisiting Pluckers, but this time, no Fire in the Hole.

Alkaline Trio is currently in the studio working on their new record.

Thrice will be visiting Austin in April. I’m there.

I am so glad it’s Friday.

I am off to a bad start for today ’cause it’s half past five, and I am still awake.

I love my new bed.

Thank you and goodnite.

the ‘za of the week (feb 24 – mar 1)

Mare and I like to try out interesting combinations when we make the ‘Za of the Week. The pie this week was topped with: breakfast sausage, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and red onions. Most of the toppings on this pizza hold a good amount of liquid, so I made sure to drain them well and use plenty of Parmesan to soak up the extra moisture. The mozzarella on this pie was freshly shredded by Mare.

before baking

We went with canned mushrooms. They have their own uniqueness versus fresh mushrooms. If you want to use canned mushrooms, then make sure to drain them well. We also used prepared roasted red peppers. You also have to make sure to drain those wells.

after baking

The pie was very colorful. Even after draining the toppings well and using a generous amount of Parmesan, the crust was a little soggy in the middle. The large amount of toppings attributed to this, plus they were mostly wet toppings as opposed to greasy toppings like pepperoni.

the close-up

In this close-up, those little green specks is the dried Italian seasoning I sprinkled over the pizza before baking to give it a little extra something. This ‘Za of the Week, despite the slightly soggy crust, was deee-lish.

‘Til next time. Thanks for tuning into ‘Za of the Week. =)