Tag Archives: college students

Pizza Time – how to make the best pizza dough

Of course you can always buy our MagicKitchen.com flatbreads, *Pesto and Cheese Flatbread or Verdura Gourmet Artisan Flatbread with Kalamata Olives.

But if you have some time, making your own pizza dough is so satisfying, easy and tasty!

I’m going to give you two methods; leavened and non-leavened. Traditionally a pizza dough is leavened, using yeast. But a simple dough can also be used. If you have the time, use the leavened version, you’ll be happier.

If you practice, you can get as good as this guy:

Version one- Leavened

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups – Warm Water (110-115 F)
2 Tbsp. – Sugar
1 Envelope – Active Dry Yeast
1 1/2 Tsp. – Salt
2 Tbsp. – Oil
4 Cups – White all-purpose flour

Pour the warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and package of yeast. Stir the mixture until dissolved. Let sit to for about ten minutes.

Add the salt and oil and stir again to combine the ingredients. Add 1 cup of flour and whisk in until dissolved. Add the second cup of flour and whisk it in. Add the 3rd cup of flour and combine. By now the dough mixture should be fairly thick. Add the last cup and flour and, with your hands, begin to combine and knead the dough.

You may need to add a dusting of flour from time to time to reduce the stickiness of the dough. Be patient, folding the dough ball in half and then quarters, over and over again for perhaps 5 to 8 minutes. You may wish to remove the dough ball to a tabletop to knead it. You’ll know you’ve done well when the ball no longer sticks to your hands. It will become a smoothly-textured ball slightly larger than a large grapefruit.

Coat the dough ball with a thin layer of olive oil, and place it in the bottom of a large mixing bowl which has also been coated on the inside with olive oil. Stretch a piece of kitchen film over the top of the bowl and set it in a warm place such an as a microwave. Allow the dough to rise, undisturbed, for 60 to 75 minutes. The dough will have grown to at least twice its original size.

Take the dough out of the bowl and cut in half with a knife. You now have two pizza dough balls, enough to make two (2) 12″ deluxe pizzas. Take each raw dough portion and hand-mold them into balls. Smoothing the outer surface, tuck each ball into itself from underneath.

No need for a second rising, just roll it out, throw on your toppings and cook in a hot (425 degree) oven until the bottom is cooked and the toppings are hot and bubbly.

Version two- Unleavened

Ingredients:

1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups water
6 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour

Instructions:

1. In a large mixing bowl*, combine the oil, honey, salt, eggs, and water. Stir until well-mixed. Stir in about 4 cups of the flour, then add more flour as needed and knead into a fairly stiff dough. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Divide dough into 8 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a circle about 8′.  Make it as thin as possible, about like a pie dough. Place on lightly-greased baking sheets and bake for about 6 minutes, until lighttly browned and not doughy.

3. Take them out and add sauce, cheese and your favorite ingredients. Don’t get too heavy-handed, this dough wants a light sprinkling of cheese, a little sauce and about 2 other ingredients. Some fresh chopped basil after cooking is a great touch. Pop them back in the oven for about 10 more minutes until cheese is bubbly.

Serves 8

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Meals for Singles

Some life situations point out how handy it is for people to have access to good, healthy meals for singles.

So many situations call for them:

  • One person of a couple is called away on an emergency, and the other isn’t handy in the kitchen
  • you live alone and get tired of cooking for one
  • you’re on a business trip by yourself and get tired of restaurants
  • you’re a senior living alone
  • you lead a hectic life and don’t want to eat fast food anymore
  • you’re a student!

Since we don’t have dabawallahs (see video) you’ll have to do the next best thing and order singles meals from MagicKitchen.com!

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Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate

You know, there should really be a chocolate monster to rival the cookie monster. It’s that important. History itself shows us how vitally important chocolate is.  The Mayans and Aztecs in Mexico are known to have used it first, making a spicy frothy drink out of the ground cacao pods. From there it was taken to Spain. At some point the French got hold of it, and that’s where it began it’s real journey of transcendence. Because they invented chocolate mousse and ganache.

Here’s a video on how chocolate is made by El Rey chocolate factory:

Of course, chocolate desserts are found worldwide now, and pastry chefs make the most of chocolate to create delightful concoctions. Our chefs have prepared a chocolate bundle that I mentioned in an earlier blog, 8 Guilty Pleasures.

Allow me to rhapsodize.

First you get our Chocolate Ganache cake. Moist chocolate cake with layers of Ganache.  Ganache, in case you don’t know, is a French term for a smooth, creamy and rich mixture of chocolate and fresh cream.

Next Madeleines dipped in chocolate. Madeleines are elegant little French cakes with distinctive shell shapes. Rich and buttery, soft with lightly crisped edges. These little delights are dipped into rich dark chocolate.

Our family size chocolate cake is so good that Greg said he would eat the whole thing in a single sitting, given the chance. Incredibly moist chocolate fudge cake, filled and iced with a delicate sour cream chocolate frosting.

Gourmet Cookie Selection: Three chewy cookies. Dark Chocolate Cranberry Cookies, Snickerdoodles and Dr. Midnight Cookies make a sweet trilogy. Indulge in chocolate-y goodness!

Double-fudge Brownies-Don’t the words double fudge make your hair stand up?  Made with Guittard Chocolate, this dense and decadent no-nut double fudge brownie is laced with chocolate chip.

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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9 Gift Ideas for your College Student

Homesick young adult college students look forward to receiving a care package or gift from home. Here are some ideas to help the student get through the year.

1. Homemade cookies or cakes. Be careful to pack them right, using shredded newpaper or bubble wrap to keep them from crumbling into dust. Using First-class mail will get the goodies to them in 2-3 days, at a reasonable price.

2.  Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! Pack up hot chocolate mixes, chocolate chip cookies,  their favorite chocolate bars, chocolate dipped pretzels, and chocolate covered nuts and fruit.

See how happy a package from home can make them?

3. MagicKitchen.com’s “Fight the Freshman 15” low fat meal bundle is a great idea for students who are apt to eat more fast food  in their first year away from home. With meals like Portabella/Shittake Mushroom Ravioli, they never need to know it’s lowfat and healthy.

4.  Care package basket – It can be the simple things that break a budget. Fill a basket with shampoo, nice soaps, batteries, phone cards, gift cards along with pictures of siblings or a favorite pet.

5. Healthy snack foods – send granola bars, low-fat microwave popcorn,  lowfat pretzels, trail mix, beef jerky, dried fruit, and those 100 calories packs of snack foods.

6.  MagicKitchen.com’s Home away from Home Bundle features 8 meals that can be heated in the microwave, including Rib Eye Steak with Scalloped Potatoes and Seasoned Baby Back Ribs alongside Rice with Mixed Vegetables.

Beef Rib Eye Steak
Beef Rib Eye Steak

7.  Tea or Coffee package – if your college student likes their tea or coffee, sending a selection of gourmet drinks will really lift their spirits, ad help them get through those late-night study sessions. Bocajava offers all this and more, with accessories and gifts.

8.  Condiments and powdered drinks – Two oft-requested food items, these are inexpensive to ship and you can be quite creative with them. Crystal light individual packs are very popular, and why not send some gourmet mustard and Charred Pineapple Relish to  dress up that hot dog?

9. Send some computer gadgets you know they’ll use, like a 16GB USB drive, or an Altec Lansing inMotion iM7 Portable Audio System for iPod.

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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