Monday, September 8, 2008

Pizza, Playing, and Perforation

So, in the past five days I have been playing a lot of board games with my free time, in particular Arkham Horror, Heroscape, and of course the old stand by, Magic. These were the main activities of my Thursday and Friday, and on Saturday I continued the theme by going to pester Pechous at his game store, Chaos Games. They have a pretty cool selection (though their Magic stuffs are a bit overpriced), and they have some really cool promotions. On Wednesdays they have an open board game night with a ten dollar buy in. The store people then take a game off the shelf, open it, and the participants play a game of it. Whoever wins gets to take the game home. Pretty awesome, eh? I might go to Friday Night Magic in the future, though I will probably wait until Shards of Alara comes out... yay exalted critters! Also, later that night Jason, Caroline, Brandon, Rachel and I all went out to the Chatterbox Pub in St. Paul, which not only has a wide selection of classic video and board games but also has homebrewed ginger ale, rootbeer, and several microbrew beers. Plus, awesome sweet potato fries and reasonable prices.

Continuing the theme on Sunday I participated in the first session of our Vampire game. I, Massimo, a glassblower on the lam from Venice in Granada arrived in town with my twin mortal brother Niccolo and managed to glean all sorts of information about the city from my many contacts, learn about my competitors in the lead business, meet a man who calls himself the Prophet of Sin, and successfully woo the associate Prince of the city, a lovely lady who styles herself as the "Lady of Shadows" because I am a)damn good looking and b) awesomely rich and c) know how to make gifts for the ladies, such as a black glass dagger doped lightly with silver and gold with the arabic word for shadow written in silver inside the blade. Damn straight.

But I've been doing some non-geeky stuff as well. On Friday night I went with Rachel to hang out with her Admission Possible people at a party. It was pretty fun, they had good beer, and amazing munchies (best spinach dip ever!). We went from there to Brandon, Carl, Peter and Hillary's apartment to watch 21 (baaad movie is baaad) and chat for a while. Apparently Brandon, peter and Hillary are moving to a place that is 3 blocks from ours, so that's pretty cool.

On Sunday I went to see Tropic Thunder. That was a fairly ridiculous movie that had the right amount of ridiculousness but needed two things: more Robert Downey Jr. and less Jack Black... especially less almost-naked Jack Black.

Today I went to my first day of CTEP work, which was just orientation. I signed a lot of forms, learned about the organization, and ate a lot of good food. At the end of the session therewas still a lot of food left, and since we had gyros for lunch I got to take home two huge serving trays full of onions, lettuce, tomatoes and lamb. Of course the only thing I could do with these heaping helpings of food was to make pizza, which thanks to Mr. Food's Pizza 1-2-3 I know how to do!
I decided to do a variation on the traditional cheese pizza by whipping up some wheat dough with crushed red peppers and placing spaghetti sauce, lamb, mozzarella, onions, and tomatoes on top of the pizza. After cooking I put lettuce on top of the pizza for ambience and to give the false impression of nutritional value. This pizza, like the stuffed eggplant one, received rave reviews from the house, and was compared to "heaven in pie form" by at least two different house mates.

Yeah, I've got a bit of an ego- so sue me.

The recipe for the dough is as follows:
Take 2 1/4 cups of flour (all-purpose) and mix it with 1 package (1/4 ounce) of yeast and 1 teaspoon of salt in a non-stick bowl. Then, in a seperate glass, mix 1 cup of very warm water, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pour the mix into the flour mix and mix it all together (yay mixing!) Knead the dough until it is fairly uniform in texture and appearance and leave it in the bowl to rise for 35 to 40 minutes.
After this time punch the dough down and let it sit for another 10 minutes. Now you should be ready to spread the dough onto your baking sheet (coated with some non-stick substance hopefully!) and make your pizza.

To make wheat dough, replace 1 cup of all-purpose flour with wheat, and to add crushed red peppers just add 1 1/2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper to the flour mix.

For cheese pizzas, I recommend baking for 15-17 minutes at 450. For stuffed pizzas, like my eggplant pizza (which has two crusts draped around the filling), bake for 35-45 minutes at 400. And speaking about that recipe, why don't I give it to you?

Take some olive oil and heat in a large skillet on medium. Add 4 minced garlic cloves and saute for about 1 minute, then add a large chopped onion and the peeled and cubed contents of two eggplants. Saute this for 15-17 minutes, then pour in 1 1/4 cups of pizza or spaghetti sauce, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and stir well. Pour this mix on top of one pizza crust, then place the other crust on top of the mixture and pinch the edges together. Now bake as above and enjoy!

That's about it for now; tune in later this week for more Americorps postings and delicious recipes for lamb! Until next time...

"When I'm playful I use the meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude for a seine, and drag the Atlantic Ocean for whales. I scratch my head with the lightning and purr myself to sleep with the thunder."
- Life on the Mississippi

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