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

Sage, Lamb, and Ricotta Ravioli with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

The Kiwi and I are currently somewhere in the Sahara desert riding camels. {Clearly, I scheduled this to post.} If you want to keep up with our adventures be sure you’re following us on Instagram and Twitter.

Remember last week when I talked about making my own pasta? I mentioned that it all started because I was dreaming about ravioli. This, my friends, was the ravioli I was dreaming of.

It all started simple enough, flavors started building, and soon here was this idea. And it wouldn’t leave my mind, obsessive. I had to make it. So I did…

It’s earthy, it’s flavorful, and most importantly incredibly satisfying.

Sage, Lamb, and Ricotta Ravioli with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto from Kiwi+Peach

The Pasta
whole wheat pasta dough {I substituted 2 tbsp of the water for fresh pumpkin puree.}

The Stuffing
1/4 of a medium onion
4 ounces {125 grams} ground lamb
1 Tbsp sage
pinch of salt and pepper
1/3 cup walnuts, shelled
1/2 cup ricotta cheese

The Pesto
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/3 cup walnuts, shelled
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Before you get started on the stuffing and the pesto, roll out your pasta dough and go ahead and punch out your ravioli bases and tops. This will make your life a lot easier later. You can just set them to the side for later.

Start heating a pan on medium heat. Go ahead and dice up your onion {the smaller the pieces the better} and when the pan is hot toss them in there. Let them cook for about 5 minutes or until they’re soft and translucent. Add the lamb, using a spoon to break it up into small bits, and then sprinkle it with sage, salt and pepper. Cook for about 7-8 more minutes or until the lamb looks completely cooked. When it’s finished, transfer the mixture to a small mixing bowl.

While the onions and lamb are cooking, shell the walnuts. All in all I used about 12 walnuts. Break out the food processor and grind half of the shelled nuts {1/3 cup} into a meal and add them to the small mixing bowl. Add the ricotta cheese to the mixing bowl as well and then give the whole thing a good stir.

Boil your jug and start heating a large pot on medium high heat. Add the water to the pot and salt the water well.

Grab your ravioli dough and spoon a generous tablespoon of the stuffing onto each of the bases. Cover each base with a top and press the sides together with either your fingers or a fork. Once the water has returned to a boil, drop your raviolis in and let them cook for a quick minute. You’l know they’re finished when they start to float to the top. Drain the water and set the finished ravioli to the side because we need to make the pesto.

Combine all of the ingredients for the pesto in the food processor and grind it until you like the consistency {about 45 seconds on high for me}.

You’re finished. Plate it up and enjoy!

Turkey Joes

When I was cooking just for myself, Sunday nights I would make a big batch of something and then just eat on it for lunches and dinners that whole week. I had about four things that I would rotate between which is good because when you’ve been eating something pretty much every meal for a week you don’t really want to see it again for a month. I will eventually get around to sharing all of these recipes {in their new and improved versions} because they really are still some of my favorites, but today we’re just going to talk about one.

Sloppy joes.

Or rather, turkey joes since I make them with ground turkey breast as opposed to ground beef which, after one of my foods classes, really freaked me out in college.

Ground turkey breast is pretty hard to find here in Deutschland, so these days, more often than not, I end up using beef. I will say that the grass-fed cows that led happy lives in the Alps before they ended up on my plate freak me out a bit less that the stuff we talked about in that class.

However, if I ever see ground turkey in the shop here, there is usually a squeal of delight {which gets many disapproving looks from nearby Germans} and I snatch that sucker up like they’re going to take it away from me {which they probably are because they think I’m insane}. What can I say? Turkey joes are a comfort food for me, and there is nothing like having your comfort food made just right.

I’m curious, what is your ultimate comfort food? When I was sick as a kid my grandmother would make me a fried bologna sandwich. You probably won’t be seeing it on the blog anytime soon, but man! Nothing says you’re safe and loved like mixed meat fried in bacon grease slapped between two pieces of Sunbeam, the whitest white bread imaginable, with globs of mayo. Am I right?

Probably not.

Kiwi+Peach: Turkey Joes

Turkey Joes

The Slop
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 of an sweet onion, diced
1/2 of a red pepper, diced {capsicum for the Kiwis}
200 grams ground turkey breast
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup BBQ sauce

The Assembly
1/4 cup BBQ Sauce
2 buns

Heat a deep sauté pan on medium high heat and add the olive oil. When it’s hot, throw in the diced onion and red pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook until the peppers are soft and the onions are translucent. This usually takes about 5-7 minutes for me. When you’re happy with the veg, push them to the side of your pan then add the ground turkey, chili powder, paprika, and cinnamon. Use your stirring device to break the meat up and slowly incorporate it into the veggies. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and appears to be cooked through.

{If you’re using ground beef instead of ground turkey breast, I advise doing the meat in a separate pan and draining off all the grease before adding it to the onion+red pepper mixture.}

Reduce the heat to medium low and stir in the BBQ sauce. Let the whole thing simmer away for about 5 minutes or until the BBQ sauce has reduced by about half.

While the slop is reducing and caramelizing and becoming awesome, you can be prepping the buns. Slice them in half and spread about a tablespoon of BBQ sauce on the top and bottom slices. When the slop is ready, spoon a big ol’, sensible size portion of it on the bottom bun. Add the top bun, smush a bit, and dig in.

Prepare to get messy.

Kiwi+Peach: Turkey Joes

Pineapple Glazed Chicken Kebabs

This past weekend was a rainy one. We cleaned, we organized, we did a step-by-step photo shoot. I sewed until I broke my last needle. But really, we wanted to be at the lake. We wanted to be grilling. We wanted to soak up every last bit of summer in Bavaria.

So could we grill when it was bucketing? No, but we could still make kebabs.

Pineapple Glazed Chicken Kebabs

The Marinade {inspired by Tupelo Honey Cafe}
1/3 cup pineapple juice {orange or grapefruit juice would work as well}
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1-2 chicken breasts

The Veg
1 bell pepper {I generally use some combination of red, green or yellow.}
1 medium sweet onion
4-5 button mushrooms
1/2 of a zucchini

Soak 6-8 bamboo skewers in water. {This will prevent the wood from splintering and if you’re grilling, it will keep the wood from burning.}

Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a tupperware container. reserve a couple tablespoons and set aside. Cut the chicken into bite sized cubes and pop it in the marinade. Best case scenario, marinate the chicken overnight, but if that’s not possible at least marinate it while you’re prepping the veggies. {If you can do overnight, I swear the chicken will actually melt in your mouth.}

Wash and dry your veggies then cut them all into bite-sized bits.

Thread the skewer through the veggies and chicken. Get creative with the order. It doesn’t really matter/have to be exact. {Unless you’re OCD, in which case, carry on with your patterns.}

If you can grill these babies, do it! We couldn’t due to rain/lack of grill device, so I just popped them in a pan on medium high heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remember that bit of the marinade you reserved before you put the chicken in? Brush it over the kebabs each time you flip it.

Perfection.

Serve with some green beans or maybe some potatoes or baked beans and dig in!

{This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. That means that if you head over to Amazon from the link and choose to buy the book, a tiny bit of the money you spent on the book will come back to me for the referral.} 

BBQ Chicken and Caramelized Onion Sandwich

I have really terrible luck when it comes to restaurants I like staying in business. My hometown gets a great brunch place next to a farmers market. Closed. One of my favorite beach restaurants opens a branch in Athens, and I can get sweet potato fries with blue cheese dipping sauce whenever I want. Nope, closed. Find a brunch place with the best chicken salad ever. Closed. When I moved to Munich there was this delicious, farm-to-table place that I absolutely loved. Closed. A unique, quirky coffee shop where my friends would have our coffee dates with the friendliest barista in town. Closed. We finally locate a place that does spicy {and reasonably priced} takeaway mexican food. Closed.

I think I’m jinxed.

So it’s with a lot of fear that I mention this next place to you. There would be real tears if this place closed. I just don’t think I could handle it. This place called Transmetropolitan. Now, this isn’t new news to anyone who has ever been to Athens {Georgia, not Greece}, but Transmet is the place to go for a delicious, substantial, and cheap slice of pizza. Seriously, you can get a slice of sicilian bigger than my face for like 2 bucks. College kids can’t beat it. My staple, during the college years, was the Johnny Hector’s BBQ Pizza. It had these amazing caramelized onions and a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce that really set it apart from other BBQ pizzas I’ve had in my day. So. Good. Y’all.

If you’re ever in Athens, please promise me you’ll check them out. Pretty please. You don’t want to see the tears.

So what’s a girl to do when she’s half way around the world and craving a Johnny Hector? Obviously we are going to make our own.

Kiwi+Peach: BBQ Chicken and Caramelized Onion Sandwich

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

The Onions
½ red onion
2 tsp butter
1 tsp brown sugar

The Chicken
1 chicken breast
pinch of salt and pepper
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp bbq sauce

The Assembly
2 buns
2 Tbsp bbq sauce
1/4 cup cheese {gouda is good} or 1/2 ball of buffalo mozzarella

Start heating a pan on medium high heat. Slice your onion and when the pan is hot, drop the butter in the pan, add the onions, and then sprinkle with brown sugar. Give it a stir and cook for 10 minutes or until they are caramelized to your liking. When they are finished, put them in a small bowl and set them to the side.

While the onions are a caramelizing, slice your chicken breast into strips and sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the strips. Once the pan is free, add the olive oil and chicken to the pan. Seal the chicken on one side and then let it cook on the other side, undisturbed for about 3 or 4 minutes and then flip. After a few more minutes, pour the bbq sauce over the chicken and give it a stir until the pieces are completely covered. Let it cook until all the bbq sauce has been reduced then remove from the heat.

While the chicken is cooking, grate your cheese {or slice your mozzarella} and your buns. Spread bbq sauce on each side of the bun. When the chicken is finished, load the bottom halves of the sandwiches with the chicken, onions, and grated cheese. Pop them in the oven on broil {or grill for y’all Kiwis} until the cheese melts {3-5 minutes depending on your oven}.

Put the top on and get messy!

Spanish Chicken

We leave for our two week Tour of Italy tomorrow!

Weirdly, this week has flown by {usually the week before vacation drags, yea?}, but it’s probably just because I’ve had so many last minute things to get done. My to do list is two pages single-spaced! I can’t wait to get on the road and just relax!

Even though we will be away, we don’t want you to worry. We would never just abandon you for two whole weeks! The Kiwi and I have made sure that you will still have some great content in our absence. We’ll have new songs for your kitchen playlist, some great links from around the web, and loads of great recipes like this one which according to the Kiwi is the “best thing in the history of the world, ever.”

Kiwi+Peach: Spanish Chicken

Spanish Chicken

{adapted for two from Life is Great}

The Chicken
2 bone in chicken thighs and legs
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper
zest from 1 orange

The Sides
1 sweet potato
1 red onion
1/2 of a large chorizo sausage {about 4 ounces/125 grams}

Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Then wash the chicken and pat dry. Make sure it is really dry because we want the skin to crisp up! Put the chicken in the pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with the herbs, salt and pepper, and the orange zest then rub everything into the chicken really well. Pop it in the oven for a total of 60 minutes.

After you’ve put the chicken in to cook, peel and chop your sweet potato into 1 inch sized bits. At the 45 minute mark, take the chicken out and add the sweet potatoes to the pan then return to the oven.

Next, peel and chop your chorizo into 1 inch sized chunks. Go ahead and slice your onion into thick slices as well. At the 30 minute mark, take the chicken and potatoes out of the oven and add the chorizo and the onions then return it to the oven.

At the 15 minute mark, remove the pan again and using a basting brush, spread some of that yummy chorizo juice on the chicken and then return to the oven for the last 15.

When it’s finished plate it up and enjoy!