Bacon, Gorgonzola, and Caramelized Onion Pizza

The Kiwi and I have been doing our fair share of traveling recently. After our two weeks in Marrakech and Paris we had about a week at home before we headed to Hong Kong where we are now for the Kiwi’s work conference {and a little sightseeing}.  When we get back, there are some big, big things a happening around the Kiwi and Peach house. But if I’m being honest y’all, I’ve been thinking more about the things to come rather than the stuff that is happening right now.I’m a planner, an organizer. When life gets hectic, taking a few minutes to make lists, think through things that are coming up and their possible outcomes is how I make sense of it so that I can focus on what is going on now. Most of the time, I consider this is a strength. Most of the time {okay, some of the time} it works, but when it doesn’t work, when it stops being a strength, is when it leads to worrying. Needless, needless worry of which I’ve been doing my fair share.

A couple of weeks ago, Sheena talked about her place. The place that made things make sense. The place that made your heart smile.

“Where is my place?” she asked. “That’s easy,” I answered—the mountains.

On our only free weekend in the whole of October, the Kiwi and I headed down to the Alps. This was the only chance we would have to see leaves in all their fall glory. This was the only chance we would have to breathe in the crisp mountain air and just wonder at the gorgeous mountains we were surrounded by. I was truly present for the first time in what felt like months, appreciating the beauty of this country, and so grateful for the chance to live here.

We came home, made our favorite pizza, alpine style, with lots of stinky cheese and thick slices of bacon, and talked about all of our travels this year. What a year it has been?!

What about you? Do you struggle with this as well? What are your tips?

Bacon, Gorgonzola, and Caramelized Onion Pizza from Kiwi and Peach

Bacon, Gorgonzola, and Caramelized Onion Pizza

{Makes one 12 inch pizza. It’s usually enough for both of us for dinner and my lunch the next day.}

1 batch of pizza dough {My go-to recipe uses honey, yeast, flour–spelt and all purpose, and butter or olive oil and takes less than an hour.}
2 ounces thick cut bacon, sliced
1/2 of a large red onion {sweet onions, pictured, work great too}
1 tbsp butter
about 4 ounces {2 cups} of gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
extra melted butter for brushing on the crust

Preheat the oven on low {120°F/60°C for me} and start heating a pan on medium heat.

First thing I do is to proof the yeast for the pizza dough.

While it’s proofing, slice your bacon and onion. Once the pan is hot, pop your bacon in there and cook for a couple minutes, just long enough to render the fat. Transfer to a bowl and sit it to the side. Return the pan to the heat.

Drop a bit of butter in there and then toss in the onions. Stir well, then cover, and reduce the heat to medium low. Give them a stir every 10 minutes or so until you’re ready to put the toppings on the pizza. This usually ends up being about 30 minutes for me.

Once the onions are on, I make my pizza dough and pop it in the warmed oven to rise for 20 minutes. Turn the oven off after you put it in to rise.

{Really, this pizza dough is so simple, y’all. Promise me you’ll give it a try? You’ll never go back to the store bought, pre-baked stuff I swear! I’ve even been known to get it out after just 10 minutes because I was in a hurry, and you know what, it was still delicious.}

Once the dough is finished rising, flour your hands and push it out to the size you want your pizza to be. Now let’s, layer this baby up with the goods!

I do a layer of gorgonzola, the bacon, the onions {which can come off the stove now, by the way}, then another layer of gorgonzola. The cheese is the key here folks. Lots and lots of cheese.  Brush the exposed crust with a little melted butter then pop it back in the oven on as high as your oven will go {for me that’s 475°F/240°C} and bake for 20 minutes.

Enjoy it y’all.

Bacon, Gorgonzola, and Caramelized Onion Pizza from Kiwi and Peach

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Quinoa Fall Skillet

I’m trying really hard to think of a way to start this post without the phrase “One of my favorite things about fall is…” I think it is a well established fact that, as a people, we tend to love fall.

So I’ll try this…

What really gets me jazzed about fall…

is all the produce that starts turning up at the market. There is suddenly an abundance of whole stalks of cute little brussels sprouts, gourds, squashes, and pumpkins. So. Many. Pumpkins. Now, I love pumpkin as much as the next girl {really, I do!}, but it isn’t the end all be all of amazing fall veg.

What about all of those other delicious, beta-carotene packed, orange veggies?

Sure there are carrots, but I don’t want to talk about that. {Unless they’re in cake, then I fully support their existence.}

I want to talk about sweet potatoes. These babies are easily my all-time favorite veggie in the history of ever. You can boil them, mash them, stick ’em in a stew. You can roast them and put them in a salad. You can cook them with with bacon and some other fall favorites like apples and brussels sprouts and get this skillet that will make you want to go jump in a pile of leaves and watch Hocus Pocus on repeat until your boyfriend demands that you turn the drivel off.

It’s fall, in your mouth, minus the pumpkin.

Quinoa Fall Skillet from Kiwi and Peach

Quinoa Fall Skillet from Kiwi and Peach

Quinoa Fall Skillet

{Serves two. Adapted, barely, from a heart healthy recipe Prevention magazine. I reduced the recipe for two, and completely eliminating the heart-healthy aspect of the recipe, I used my normal chicken stock, and subbed thick cut bacon for the low-fat and let’s face it, low-flavor, bacon. If we’re going to eat bacon, let’s eat the real stuff from a nice non-factory pig, why don’t we? My method is also a bit different too because of the quinoa.}

The Quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
dash of salt
1 Tbsp olive oil for crisping

The Chicken
1 chicken breast, cut into cubes
salt and pepper
dash of olive oil for cooking

The Skillet
2 ounces thick cut bacon, sliced
1/2 of a medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed
about 10 brussels sprouts, quartered
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cubed
1 tsp fresh thyme
big pinch of cinnamon
little pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup chicken stock

First things first, let’s get the quinoa on. Boil your jug and start heating a medium pot and a large pan, both on medium high heat.

Once the jug has boiled, add your water to the pot and salt it. Bring it to a boil and add the quinoa. Remember to rinse your quinoa with hot water before you cook it to get rid of that bitter powder that coats it! Set your timer for 20 minutes and let it do its thing.

Cube your chicken and season it withe salt and pepper. {I usually go ahead and slice the bacon now as well since I already have the meat cutting board out. Just sit it to the side until we’re ready for it.} Once the pan is really hot, add a dash of olive oil and pop the chicken in there. I usually sear it on one side, then flip and let it cook for 4–5 minutes or so. You want to cook it until it’s a nice golden color. When the chicken is finished transfer to a bowl and set it to the side. Return the pan to the heat.

While I’m waiting for the quinoa to finish up, I go ahead and start prepping the veggies. They all go in at about the same time, so it’s good to have them ready before you start on the skillet. Dice your onion. Peel and press your garlic. Peel and cube your sweet potato and apple. {1/2 – 3/4 inch cubes should do it.} After rinsing your brussels sprouts, cut the bottom off like you would a head of cabbage and quarter them. I discard the leaves that fall off when quartering them since they can be a bit bitter anyway.

By now the quinoa should be finished. Now, this step is completely optional. I, personally, like my quinoa crispy, so it’s worth the extra step to me. It’s completely up to you. Before getting started on the skillet, I add some olive oil to the now very hot pan and transfer the quinoa from the pot to the pan. Stir a bit, let it sit, then repeat a couple times. Basically what we’re doing is getting rid of the extra water and frying it up a tad bit. The quinoa will get a little darker and some bits might blacken. That’s when you know you’re done. Transfer it back to the pot and set it off the heat.

Now. The skillet.

Add your bacon, onion, and garlic to the hot pan and let them cook for a couple of minutes. Add the brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the sweet potatoes are starting to get tender go ahead and stir in the apple, thyme, cinnamon, and salt and let those flavors cook for a couple minutes. Add half of the chicken stock and let it cook until it is mostly evaporated. {This will soften up those potatoes!} Add the chicken to the skillet along with the rest of the stock and cook for a couple minutes longer until the it is all nice and hot.

Stir the quinoa in and serve it up. Enjoy!

Quinoa Fall Skillet from Kiwi and Peach

Beer and Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a soup person.

Chili? Always.

Soup? Eh.

To be fair, soup in my house growing up meant Campbell’s. The tomato soup was always made with water. {Yuck.} The brothy soups were bland, not filling, and frankly the meat in them just creeped me out.

I’m not a soup person.

Except that, maybe I am.

Something seems to have changed this year.

Maybe it’s because Sheena keeps posting some of the most delicious look soup ever?

Maybe it’s because I’m incredibly stubborn and am seeing how long we can go before we have to turn the heat on, so a nice warm bowl of soup sounds like perfection?

Maybe it’s because soup made from scratch, while still ridiculously easy, is exactly one and a half million times better than soup from a can?

Either way, I’ve been making soup.

This soup is the gateway soup. Between the bacon, aged cheddar cheese, and the dark wheat beer, there really is nowhere this sucker can go but on the keepers list.

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

Beer and Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup

{I had been dreaming about a broccoli cheddar soup with bacon and a dark wheat beer. After looking at tons of recipes, I liked From Away’s method best and used it as my base and inspiration. I altered the amounts to serve two, added the broccoli, and omitted some of the other ingredients.}

4 ounces {120 grams} thick cut bacon, chopped into bits
1/2 of a medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups of broccoli {I used about 3/4 of a head and chopped it up pretty small}
1 Tbsp thyme
salt and pepper
1 cup of beer {I used a dark wheat beer. My recommendation: Schneider Weiss Aventinus or Franziskaner Royal}
1 cup of chicken stock
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cream {I used soy.}
5 ounces {150 grams} of cheddar cheese

This is one of those recipes where its best to have everything prepped before you get started. So chop that bacon, onion, and broccoli. Peel the garlic and put it in the press.

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

Now let’s get started.

Heat a large pot in medium high heat.

Once hot, toss the bacon in there and cook it for a couple of minutes. You just want the fat to render and for it to cook up a bit. When it’s finished, transfer it to a bowl and set it to the side.

Back in the pot, throw your onion, broccoli, and minced garlic in and give it a stir. Cook for about 5 minutes or until it all starts to get tender. Stir regularly so all of that nice bacon grease on the bottom of the pan gets incorporated. Season the veggies with some thyme, salt and pepper.

Add about half of the beer {1/2 cup} to the pot and let it simmer away for 3 or 4 minutes until it has reduced by half. Then add the chicken stock.

While the beer and stock are reducing, we’ll make the roux to thicken this baby up. In a separate little pot, melt the butter and then whisk in the flour slowly to avoid lumps. Continue whisking for a couple minutes, then add it to the soup. Let this simmer for about 5 minutes while the whole thing thickens up.

Once the soup is coating your spoon, add the cream and the rest of the beer and give it a stir.

You can turn the heat off at this point, but leave the pot where it is. Add the bacon back in and start stirring in the cheese. It might take a couple minutes for the cheese to completely melt, but just keep stirring until the chunks are gone.

Serve it with bread. Serve it in a bowl. Serve it in a bread bowl. But most importantly, enjoy every bite!

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

The Pig and Fig

We are big breakfast for dinner fans in the Kiwi and Peach house. It’s simple, straightforward, and usually pretty quick.

When I was in Croatia this spring, I picked up a teeny tiny jar of delicious homemade fig jam. I was kind of saving it to use on something special when I saw this delicious looking sandwich floating around on Pinterest. This was it. What more could you want? There’s fig, there’s creamy brie, and most importantly, there’s pig.

Mmm. Bacon.

Kiwi+Peach: Bacon, Brie, and Fig Breakfast Sandwich

Pig and Fig Breakfast Sandwich

{adapted for two from Sweet Sugarbean}

4 slices of bacon
2-3 ounces brie
4 slices of sourdough bread
2 Tbsp fig jam
1 Tbsp butter

Start heating a pan on medium high heat and lay the bacon in the pan.

While the bacon is cooking, cut the rind off of the brie and build your sandwich. Spread the jam on each piece of bread. Layer the brie and, when it’s finished, the bacon on two slices and then top with the other two.

Drop the butter into the hot pan. When it’s melted drop your sandwiches in the pan and cook until the bread is golden brown. Flip and do the same on the other side and the cheese is melted.

Enjoy by itself or with some scrambled eggs or with fresh fruit. The possibilities are endless!


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Fried Egg BLT

Today was mad crazy for me. Most days I really look forward to cooking dinner. My evenings in the kitchen are my me time, and I love that I get to create something everyday. But we all have off days. Today was one of those days. I needed something quick and easy that required minimal brainpower because it’s Friday and I’m running on severe sleep deprivation. Today’s recipe is the perfect dinner for a busy day, and, bonus, you probably already have all of the ingredients in your fridge.

Fried Egg BLT

The Goods
4 slices of bacon
2 eggs
1 tomato, sliced
2 lettuce leaves
2 buns

The Dijonniase
2 Tbsp mayo
1 tsp whole grain sweet mustard
1 tsp whole grain spicy mustard
pinch of salt and pepper

Fry the bacon on medium heat. If you can get maple or peppercorn bacon, do it! It’s super tasty. Since the only bacon we can get here in Munich seems to be the basic stuff {or in large chunk form}, I always add a couple of grinds of pepper and a bit of maple syrup to the pan when I’m cooking the bacon, but I’ll leave that to your discretion.

While the bacon is cooking, prep for the rest of the sandwich. Slice your tomato, grab your leaves of lettuce, slice the bread, and make your dijonnaise.

We don’t use dijonnaise very often, so there really is no point in taking up valuable space in our tiny fridge with a jar of it—especially since it is just a combo of mayo and mustard, which we are going to have in the fridge anyway. You can whip this up in a fraction of a minute. Promise. Just mix it all together.

When the bacon is done, set it to the side and get to frying your eggs. The bacon grease should be enough for your eggs not to stick, but if you want to add a bit of olive oil to be on the safe side go for it. Crack your eggs into the pan and let them cook until the bottom is pretty solid. Carefully flip them over. The goal is to not break the yolk. Depending on how you like your yolk {runny, completely done, etc.} cook them for a bit more. I like mine runny so I usually only do about 30-45 seconds on that side.

When your eggs are done, its time to build your sandwich. Spread the dijonaise on both sides of the bun and layer up your goodies. On days like this I serve it with salt and vinegar potato chips {my weakness} and tell myself we have enough veggies on the sandwich. If you’re feeling ambitious, whip up some sweet potato fries or green beans.