The deed is done and here I am with secrets to share. If you’ve been a reader of my website that was located at VinoLuciStyle.com and have come here from there; you know I’ve made a change; a huge leap of faith. This is my new home and I hope you come and join me often. If you’re new here and interested in the why’s of the change, I’ve told the story after the recipe; I’m excited and a bit nervous…but mostly excited! I’m sorry if you are feeling some disappointment expecting that I would confess to my finally going off to live out a James Bond fantasy.
My other secret has to do with…tada…FOOD! I participated this month with an online blogging group called the ‘Secret Recipe Club.’ Once a month each group member is assigned a blog to post a recipe from by the groups moderator and mine this month was Feast on the Cheap. Don’t you just love the name of that blog? I mean really…don’t we all want to do EXACTLY that? It’s run by the mother/daughter team of Mary Anne and Mariel; do visit their blog not ‘just’ for fabulous recipes but they also do a cost analysis of ingredients. I know you will love discovering this blog; I know I did!
As part of the recipe club, we get to pick the recipe we want to prepare and for me, this pizza was so perfect. I can not remember the last time I had a pizza with red sauce and meat. For me I think it all started with a pizza very similar to this one that I had at a local California Pizza Kitchen and I’ve not looked back. Our pizza of choice now most often includes an olive oil base and wonderful fresh ingredients. One of my favorites includes spinach, sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese and another was this totally unique but Oh My Yum! Lemon Ricotta Pizza with Herbs and Honey.
I’ve made my own version of Feast on the Cheap’s White Pizza with Sweet Pears and Balsamic-Glazed Figs; changed ever so slightly and not quite as cheap! I’ve switched out the cilantro for some walnuts and used more pears and cheese I admit. I served this for dinner but it would also made a terrific appetizer if cut into smaller portions.
I would typically make my own pizza dough but I didn’t have any whole wheat flour; was at a market to get some pork belly for bacon (yes, that post will show up soon!) and saw little bundles of whole wheat pizza dough made by Il Fornaio Restaurant and Bakery. They don’t sell the dough to the public in their restaurant but it’s available locally at Tony’s Market. I had never tried whole wheat pizza dough before but it seemed perfect for a pizza with fruits, nuts and cheese and it was exactly that.
It was easy and perfect for a light lunch with some colleagues as we discussed how to get my car to fire up the jet engine packs without burning up the garage as they are also now dedicated towards my living out the James Bond thing.
- Whole wheat pizza dough - your own recipe or purchased dough
- 1 ½ cup blend of freshly grated parmesan and a mild white cheese like shredded mozzarella or grated fontina (I used grated white cheddar)
- 2 ripe pears, cored and sliced thinly
- cup dried figs, sliced
- cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1½ teaspoon of Balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Pre-warm an empty baking sheet about 5 minutes before you’re ready to bake your pizza (this will result in a crispier crust if you don’t have a proper pizza stone).
- In a small saucepan, combine the figs, 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and minced garlic clove over med-low heat for 1 minute – until the figs just start to soften and the vinegar begins to sizzle. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Roll out your pizza dough on a well-floured surface – be sure to flour your hands and the rolling pin too. Once rolled out, brush the top of your dough with the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil. Assemble your toppings starting with half of the cheese mixture, followed by the pears, the figs, the walnuts and finishing with the remaining cheese.
- Use two spatulas to place your assembled pizza on the hot baking sheet. (I cheated here...I just put the dough on the hot baking sheet and assembled it quickly to avoid the transfer business).
- Turn the oven temperature down to 450 degrees and bake for 8-12 minutes – timing will depend on the thickness of your crust and your oven, so be sure to check after 8 minutes. Once your crust has risen and has turned a nice golden brown, remove from the oven. Serve hot.
So glad you’re here!
May 16, 2011
No longer posting from Vino Luci Style (a little bit of a sob but really, it’s all good); I’m changing my identity to something old and something new. So today is the day. It feels a bit like I’m leaving an old friend but really…most about that old friend will be transferred and I’m so excited about a new, fresh, bright look. I hope you will be too!
I know I’ve mentioned it to some folks, but I have been putting recipes online since 1995. After a year long stint at a cable company in their Internet Division, I made a decision to get into the web development world and as a course requirement, we had to craft our own website. It wasn’t surprising then and even less so now that my very first website was for recipes! It was quite simply a home for my favorite things. No photos or stories, simply hundreds of html pages with a recipe and instructions and it has served me, my family and my friends well for all these many years. When I started this blog it was a something of a fluke…a companion to my web store at VinoLuci.com and an opportunity (I thought!) to market the store and more importantly, an exercise for me to learn firsthand all about WordPress for Kinetic Webs, my web development business. Fast forward two and a half years and this blog has become so much more than that.
For me there was an identity crisis. The domain name was not food related but was an offshoot of a store with wine accessories. So reverting back to the name of the ‘old’ girl’ seemed a good idea. Creative Culinary was more clearly a website with culinary interests but even more? I felt a burning desire for the legitimacy of all of those years of sharing recipes. On the 1st anniversary of this blog I asked the question, ‘Is it the 1st or 15th and while many agreed that I deserved ownership of 15 years of blogging about food; some thought not and I won’t deny…that bothered me! I was a pioneer, not a newbie and the seed was planted that I needed to find a way back to that history of sharing food experiences.
That thought lay dormant for most of the past year; work and personal responsibilities took precedence with my time but one day I heard, again, for the THOUSANDTH time, ‘I thought you were a wine blog’ and I knew it was time for a change. Though I can not deny, I do love wine and have great fun putting together wine tastings and coordinating events for a local wine group; this blog is not about wine at all save for a casual mention. It is about the passion I have for the food I prepare and how I love sharing it with others, both around my table and on this blog through recipes and photographs.
So…moving forward Creative-Culinary.com it is and I have to tell you…just saying that, just thinking it AND just knowing the effort to make it so is almost over? Well, that makes me happy and I’m glad it’s a secret no more!
I still have more of those years of recipes to add, but everything from VLS is already here…and I’m so glad you joined me!
If you are currently a subscriber to Vino Luci Style, that should transfer to my new feed but if you would rather be safe than sorry, please visit and sign up for my Creative Culinary RSS feed (where I’m sure I have some work to do!). I’m now on Twitter as @creativculinary and over the next week or so will be working feverishly to connect everything else and I am sure you will see me peddling as fast as I can!
Thanks for being a part of this experience and I’m hoping you will stick with me on the journey!