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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Peach and Rosemary Polenta Cake with Honey Buttercream

One of the wonderful things about the expat community is how incredibly welcoming it is to newcomers. It’s easy to make friends in that kind of environment, especially for us wallflowers, but the community is also tends to be fluid. Most folks, at least here in Munich, tend to be on fixed term contracts and will be leaving after a year or two. So as wonderful as it is making friends from all over the world, you know that eventually they will be moving on to new places or going back to old familiar ones. It’s lovely having friends all over the world, but it’s also a bit lonely when all of your friends have left while you’ve stayed behind.

But then… they come back!

It seems like our house has been {and will continue to be for a few more months at least} a revolving door. Friends and family have made our sofa bed their home and lots of great visiting has been happening over a couple beers and a table full of food. These awesome people have also unwittingly been guinea pigs for lots of new recipes so for that, thank you.

Today one of my friends from my au pair year is arriving and, since food is my love language, naturally I made cake. So here’s to catching up, trips down memory lane, great conversations, trips to the Wies’n, and tons of great food.

Peach and Rosemary Polenta Cake with Honey Brown Butter{cream} from Kiwi+Peach

Peach and Rosemary Polenta Cake

{inspired by Adventures in Cooking}
The whole recipe is reduced to make a two layer cake instead of three only because I don’t have three pans. Aside from adding the peaches, I replaced the sugar in the cake with honey so some amounts of other ingredients also had to change to compensate for the differences. 

The Dry
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour {I used spelt.}
1/3 cup uncooked polenta {or cornmeal. It’s the same thing. I can’t get cornmeal here, so I went with polenta}
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda

The Wet
3 eggs
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp apple juice {I used unfiltered.}
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 cloves, crushed and ground

To Fold
2 Tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
2 small peaches, cubed

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.

Sift the dry ingredients together into a medium sized mixing bowl and then set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and honey. Then add the olive oil, apple juice, vanilla, and spices and stir until it’s combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients in batches and mix until it’s just combined. Don’t want to over mix it! Gently fold in the peaches and the chopped rosemary.

Pour the batter up into two 6 inch cake pans and bake for 30 minutes.

When they’re finished transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and let them cool completely before icing.

Peach and Rosemary Polenta Cake with Honey Buttercream from Kiwi+Peach

Honey Buttercream

{from Adventures in Cooking}

1 stick {140g} butter
1 cup powdered sugar {icing sugar for the Kiwis}
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp cream {or in my case, soy cream}, optional but recommended

First step is to brown the butter. The short version is melt the butter over medium heat then let it keep cooking until it goes from light yellow to a rich tan color, little black bits start to form, and it starts to smell like nutty toffee. {Eva over at Adventures in Cooking explains this process beautifully, so if you’re unsure head over there and read up.} When you get to that point, set it off the heat to cool for a bit then pour it into a bowl lined with plastic wrap. Pop the bowl in the fridge until the butter is cooled and firmed enough to use for the buttercream.

When you poke it the butter should feel soft but your finger shouldn’t sink in. Let’s make some buttercream!

Sift your powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and add them to the bowl along with the honey. Beat them all together until you like the consistency. If it’s a bit thick, add some cream to smooth it out.

Peach and Rosemary Polenta Cake with Honey Brown Butter{cream} from Kiwi+Peach