Guys, guess what! Jessica’s having a baby, and we’re throwing a How Sweet It Is baby shower! I love babies and I love How Sweet It Is and I’m so excited.
Do you read Jessica’s blog? (Your answer: Duh.) The first post I can really remember sticking on is this one, and I think it fairly sums up all the things that are so special about this lady. Luscious, crackly-topped chocolate (dipped in more chocolate with chocolate sprinkles on top) plus a story on living out of your suitcase for a week after coming home — hers is the kind of writing that you can’t read without smiling, and without saying me too me too! It’s that sort of voice that makes her feel instantly known to you, a forever friend in 200 words (or 2300 words), even if she might not ever know you’re reading. It’s the happiest sort of blogging — sharing a part of yourself to bring sunshine into someone’s day and delicious food onto their table. And I mean, sentimentality aside — she puts bacon in her cinnamon rolls. Enough said.
So it’s not hard to see why Jessica is as exceedingly loved as she is, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that about a million of us have teamed up today to throw her a virtual baby shower. The theme is trashed up (if you’re not on board already, just Google it and you’ll see why).
A few weeks back I wrote about a little trip Bowl #2 and I took to BAR, and when we went, I instantly knew what I’d want to make for Jessica’s celebration. BAR’s bacon & mashed potato white pizza is unapologetic — it’s carbs-on-carbs-(on-fat)-on-carbs decadence. Once baked, mashed potatoes turn magical — they become the airiest, lightest puffy clouds of carb, perfect with melty patches of mozzarella and crisp, salty bacon. But what I love about this pizza is that it’s not just that simple. Underneath all that cheesy starchy indulgence, there’s still the nuance of grassy olive oil, roasted garlic, sweet and mellow, pungent Parmesan and fragrant oregano, all simple but lovely things that add just a little bit of liveliness to it all. I can’t say I’ve mastered the fabled New Haven thin crust, but the added treat of a slow-fermented Jim Lahey no-knead dough rounds it all off pretty well, in my opinion. All in all, it has a touch of the best kinda trash, but it’s got class, too — and I think that’s the perfect tribute to one super classy, inspiring woman. So, so excited for you and wishing you all the best, Jess!
And here are the rest of the baby shower celebrations!!
trashed up salads
- Gimme Some Oven – Asian Broccoli Salad with Peanut Sauce
- The Lemon Bowl – Brussels Slaw with Tahini Dressing and Za’atar Crostini
- With Style & Grace – Kale Salad with Apple, Hazelnuts & Bacon
trashed up cocktails
- Dine & Dish – Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail
- Food For My Family – Cranberry Orange Dark and Stormy Cocktail
- Minimalist Baker – Bourbon Pumpkin Milkshakes
- Stylish, Stealthy & (sometimes) Healthy – Apple Cider Shandy
- A Spicy Perspective – Preggy Punch Mocktail
- Girl vs. Dough – Boozy Maple Peanut Butter Cup Milkshake
- Honestly Yum – Maple Bacon Pisco Sour
- Cookin Canuck – Pink Grapefruit Margaritas
- A Thought For Food – Mezcal Citrico Cocktail
- A House in the Hills – Pomegranate Rosemary Spritzer
- The Novice Chef – Ginger Bourbon Apple Cider
- Bran Appetit – Citrus Cider Punch Floats
trashed up burgers
- Edible Perspective – Meatloaf Veggie Burgers with Mashed Potatoes + Gravy
- The Little Kitchen – Salmon BLT Sliders with an Avocado Aioli & Brie
- Daisy At Home – Balsamic Beef Burger with Mac and Cheese
- Cookies & Cups – Candied Bacon Maple Cheddar Burger
- Climbing Grier Mountain – Trashed-Up Steak Burger with Chicken Fried Bacon & Dijon Gravy
- Dessert For Two – Bleu Cheese Burgers + Sweet Potato Fries
- Country Cleaver – Fig Rosemary Roast Chicken Brie Brussels Sprout Panini
- Foodie Crush – The Best Cheeseburger Soup
- Lady and Pups – Spicy Sambal Chicken Meatball Sub with Eggs
- Two Peas & Their Pod – Sweet Potato and Kale Grilled Cheese
- Bake Your Day – Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich
trashed up tacos
- Spoon Fork Bacon – Crunchy Ground Beef and Cheesy Tacos
- The Fauxmartha – Boozy Beef and Butternut Tacos
- With Food + Love – Harvest Hash Breakfast Tacos
- Mountain Mama Cooks – Crispy Kale and Brussels Sprout Tacos with Bacon
- Heather Christo – Banh Mi Tacos with Spicy Sriracha Honey Sauce
- A Couple Cooks – Loaded Huevos Rancheros Tacos
- Fitnessista – San Diego Lobster Street Tacos
trashed up desserts
- Table for Two – Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate, and Brown Butter Shortbread Bars with Sprinkles
- My Name is Yeh – Mini Vanilla Loaf Cakes, All Trashed Up
- Picky Palate – Pumpkin Spice Butterscotch Sprinkle Cupcakes
- Sprinkle Bakes – Cake Batter Confetti Cupcakes
- Averie Cooks – Easy Homemade Funfetti Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
- Sweet Phi – Trashed Up Shortbread Cookie Bars
- Love & Olive Oil – Loaded Junk Food Brownies
- Lauren’s Latest – Bakery Sugar Cookies
- Cookie + Kate – Peanut Butter, Banana, Honey and Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Flourishing Foodie – Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting
- The Sugar Hit – Salted Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream Cake
- Hummingbird High – Breakfast Cereal Cake Donuts
- Top With Cinnamon – Triple Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Crumb Cake
- Bake at 350 – Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sundaes
- Simple Bites – Lemon Layer Cake
- Bakerella – Baby Block Cake Pops
- She Wears Many Hats – Chocolate Covered Grapefruit
trashed up pizza
- Bev Cooks – Beer Battered Fried Calamari Pizza
- Rachel Cooks – Apple and Chicken Sausage Pizza with Macaroni and Cheese Stuffed Crust
- Foodie With Family – Trashed Up Barbecue Turkey Pizza
- Shutterbean – Pesto Potato Bacon Pizza
- i am a food blog – Grilled Cheese Pizza
- My Life as a Mrs – Chili Cheese Dog Pizza
- Simply Scratch – Steak + Blue Cheese Pizza with Crispy Fried Shallots and Honey Balsamic Drizzle
- The Beeroness – Beer Cheese Tater Tot Pizza
- Yes I Want Cake – Roasted Pumpkin Pizza
- Two Red Bowls – Bacon Mashed Potato Pizza
- Dula Notes – Pork Banh Mi Pizza
- Weelicious – Trashed Up Mexican Pizza Pockets
- Take a Megabite – Roasted Beet Pizza
- Hungry Girl Por Vida – Hard Cider Braised Pork with Sour Cherries and Cheesy Polenta
- Bakers Royale – Trash’d Street Tacos
- for Jim Lahey's no-knead pizza dough:
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp active dry yeast* (see Notes)
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp honey (optional)
- for the toppings:
- 6 rashers bacon
- 2 heads garlic
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 lb Yukon gold potatoes (1 large or 2-3 small to medium potatoes)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp heavy cream, creme fraiche, or sour cream
- 1 tbsp melted butter, or reserved bacon fat
- 1-2 tbsp reserved cooking water from potatoes (optional)
- for baking:
- about 1 tbsp cornmeal or flour (however much is needed to prepare baking surface)
- 1-2 tsp olive oil for brushing the dough before topping
- 2-4 tbsp grated parmesan
- 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano or 2 tsp fresh
- For the dough, combine water and honey (if using) in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast into the water and stir again. In a large bowl, sift together flour and salt, then add the yeast mixture and stir until it forms a sticky dough. (Lahey’s recipe and most incarnations of it simply call for sifting the yeast into the flour, but I just like to make sure it’s ready to go.)
- Cover bowl with plastic and keep at room temperature for approximately 18 hours, or until the dough has more than doubled and surface is covered in tiny bubbles. (See notes below on shortening rise times -- especially if you’re like me and have a tendency to forget to do this the night before.)
- When ready, scrape the dough onto a well-floured surface. It should be quite sticky and soft, with long strands of wet dough. Generously flour the dough and pat it into a loose rectangle, then divide in half and form each piece into two balls by tucking the four corners into the center of the dough. Turn them seam-side down and let them rise for a final hour, covered with a damp cloth.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you like to cook your bacon in the oven, like I do, place the bacon in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and place it in the cold oven now, as it preheats. In about 10-15 minutes, or by the time the oven is preheated, the bacon should be cooked. If you prefer cooking on the stovetop, prepare the bacon in a skillet in your preferred method while the oven is preheating. Either way, when the bacon is at your preferred crispness, remove from heat, drain and reserve the bacon fat, and set both aside.
- Once the oven is hot, slice off the top of your garlic bulbs so that each clove is exposed. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over top, rubbing each clove to make sure the oil is well-distributed. Wrap the bulbs in foil and bake for 30 minutes. When it’s done, the garlic should be soft when pressed. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Next, or while the garlic is roasting, prepare the mashed potatoes. Skin the potatoes and slice into quarters. Place in a medium pot with enough cold water to fully cover the potatoes and a generous helping of salt (at least 1 tbsp), then bring to a boil and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender enough that a fork slides through without resistance. Drain the water, reserving just a bit to thin the potatoes if needed. For lighter, fluffier mashed potatoes, press the potatoes through a potato ricer or food mill into a medium bowl. If you don’t have a potato ricer, put the pot back on low heat, then use a potato masher or a fork to gently mash the potato in the pot, letting steam escape as you mash. Take care not to work the potatoes too much, or they will turn gummy.
- Add the melted butter or reserved bacon fat, and stir lightly to incorporate. Add the cream and stir again until blended; thin with an additional tablespoon or two of potato water if needed. For topping the pizza, I prefer the mashed potatoes a little drier than I normally prepare them, so that they don’t make the pizza soggy. Taste the mashed potatoes and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- When the dough has risen for another hour and your toppings are ready, prepare your baking surface by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal. I used a cast-iron skillet and found it to work wonderfully, though you can also use a baking sheet or, of course, a pizza stone. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. If you prefer, place the skillet or pizza stone in the oven to preheat it. (I generally don’t and find my pizza to be just fine.)
- Press, shape, or stretch the dough into a flat circle or rectangle however you like (I’m no pizza shaping expert!) I find that placing my fists underneath the dough and letting it fall gently over them stretches the dough out nicely. For this amount of dough, a 10” circle will yield a thicker, fluffier crust. If you can get it to 13” or 14”, the pizza will be a nice thin crust, which I preferred for these toppings.
- Take the roasted garlic and press out the cooked cloves. Brush a small amount of olive oil over the dough, then spread the garlic evenly across the dough in small pieces. Sprinkle desired amount of Parmesan and dried or fresh oregano across, then the mozzarella and bacon. Finally, drop tablespoon-sized dollops of the mashed potatoes across the pizza.
- Bake at 500 for 12-15 minutes, or until the pizza reaches your desired brownness. Slice and stuff face.
If you're like me and you have a tendency to forget to set out the dough the night before, simply double the yeast to 1/4 tsp and it should rise just fine in 8 or 9 hours instead of 18.