Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Spoke Too Soon?

I need to remember that if I write something about Celeste on here, she is going to try to contradict me as quickly as she can ... even if she's really too young for me to resent the fact that I'm invading her privacy by blogging about her.

Yesterday, I said she was doing better, well, last night she woke a little before 10:00 p.m. and refused to go back to sleep until after midnight. We tried all the usual tricks and nothing worked. In the end, she fell asleep on me for an hour or so, and immediately woke when I tried to shift her off my chest and on the mattress. At that point, Evelin picked her up, becoming the bed for the rest of the evening.

In the morning, I was sneaking out to work when Celeste woke up. We took her temperature and it seemed way too low (94.7°F, if I recall correctly) and she seemed to have a crazy rash all over her head. Not trusting the rectal thermometer we got from the hospital after the stay for jaundice or the stick-on strips, I headed out to the 24-hour CVS to buy a digital ear thermometer. (It turns out as quick as those are, they aren't really comfortable for a baby and don't make it too much easier to take her temperature.)

I also googled around about rashes and reassured both Evelin and myself that Celeste had a heat rash, most likely from sleeping all night on top of one or the other of us.

Still, we planned to call the doctor, and I called in to work to say that I wouldn't be coming in again (instead I ended up getting a fair number of articles edited from home). The other thing that factored into that decision is that Evelin had promised J--- that she'd take her to the airport that afternoon; considering how Celeste was feeling, we figured it'd be better to have me stay with Celeste while Evelin was gone rather than to have her crying all the way to Dulles and back.

As it was, Celeste was napping when Evelin had to leave, and I ended up waking her just shy of the three-hour mark. (I didn't want her to have too good of a nap for fear that it would mean she'd be up all night again — not that it seems to have worked. It's a little before 8:00 p.m. and Evelin just brought a very awake Celeste back downstairs, about 90 minutes after she went to bed for the night.) We had a little bit of playtime (including making pizza dough) until Evelin got home and I was able to return to my editing.

Asparagus–Mushroom Pizza

Since I was home, I got a chance to put together a real dinner — something that is harder and harder to do, it seems. (Sometimes, when things are going well, I manage to put together something on Tuesday or Thursday evening, but usually by the time I get home on other nights and Celeste has her bath and is in bed it's either 8:30 p.m. and we're too exhausted for anything other than a sandwich or bowl of cereal or it's 7:00 p.m. and we're too exhausted for much beyond a sandwich or bowl of cereal.)

Last week, Evelin picked up some asparagus and we ended up just having them for dinner on Sunday night, but they got me thinking ... asparagus pizza with mushrooms and parmesan.

So, after I woke Celeste from her nap, fired up the bread machine to make the dough. (It's a shortcut, but the machine does a decent job of kneading the dough.) I knew I wanted to do something with the dough to complement the toppings and instead of trying to mix in some herbs or something, I went with the following ...

Two-Thirds Whole Wheat Crust
  • 118 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup bread flour

  • 112 teaspoons sugar

  • 3 tablespoons dough relaxer

  • 112 teaspoons yeast
Which is all dumped in order into the bread machine and then run on a whole-wheat dough cycle.

Next I turned to the topping — asparagus and mushrooms.

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 2 toes garlic, pressed

  • 1 shallot, chopped

  • 13 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 pound asparagus, steamed tender and cut into 1 centimeter lengths

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • olive oil

  • white wine

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella

  • shaved parmesan
With a bit of olive oil in a sauté pan, add the onion, garlic, and shallot and sauté until golden. Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until they lose their water. Splash in some white wine to deglaze the pan before adding the asparagus and vinegar, lower heat and cook, stirring occasionally until the asparagus are tender and warmed through. Season to taste and set aside.

In the mean time, the crust has been rolled out and put into a 350°F oven to start cooking. After about 10 minutes, pull it out and arrange about a pound of fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly, across the top of the crust. Return to the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, until the cheese is nicely melted. With the mozzarella melted (it may make sense to pour or blot excess liquid from the crust, depending upon how much water the cheese releases), add the asparagus–mushroom mixture and cover with shaved parmesan. Bake a further 15 minutes, until the crust is done, and the parm melts away entirely.

I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but it was quite tasty. The crust was on the thick side; I think next time I'll divide the dough and make a much thinner pizza, but otherwise it was quite tasty.


enjanerd said...

Sounds tasty! Thanks for posting the recipe.

I just discovered Trader Joe's Pizza Dough ($0.79 for plain or whole wheat), which I have been using for calzones. The lazy man's shortcut. ;)

Hope Celeste starts feeling better soon!

T. Carter said...

Thanks, Enjanerd! I think I remember seeing (either in the Post or in the store that Trader Joe's Pizza Dough was voted best refrigerated dough in a taste test or something ... maybe I'll give it a try ...