Monday, April 21, 2014

il Lazzarone: What to expect

 

Now that the restaurant announcement has been made, here’s some things you can expect from an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria and more specifically, what to expect from il Lazzarone!

Oven
At il Lazzarone, our wood fired oven is an Acunto Mario, made on the main street of Naples, Italy by a fifth generation oven builder. Why this oven? For true Neapolitan pizza you must have a wood fired oven capable of achieving over 800 degrees constant temperatures. The mouth of the oven and the oven dome height must all be constructed within specific ratios to achieve a true pizza Napoletana. Our oven is constructed of all hand laid brick made from the soils of the Campania region of Italy. In our opinion, there is absolutely no oven in the world capable of producing a better product. We are very lucky to have received the first one imported into America.

a pizza oven

Size
Neapolitan pies are traditionally 11 inches round. For an average appetite, you'll likely want one pie per person.

Cook Time
Due to the extreme temperatures and the craftsmanship of the oven, the pizza will cook between 50-90 seconds.

a pizza time

Ingredients
Less is more. A good Neapolitan pie is minimally topped with the freshest natural ingredients to strike the perfect ratio of flavor.

  • Dough: the dough is made simply of water, flour, yeast and salt with no added preservatives or additives
  • Sauce: San Marzano tomatoes are a very rare tomato native to Italy. At il Lazzarone, we use only DOP certified San Marzano tomatoes which insures the tomatoes have been grown in a specific historical region outside of Naples. The magic of the San Marzano comes from the soil which they are grown in. These specific tomatoes are considered the richest and sweetest in the world and are grown around the base of Mt. Vesuvius in a soil extremely rich in minerals. This very soil is where the material for the oven is harvested and made into bricks for our oven’s hearth and dome, creating a symbiotic relationship between ingredient and oven.
  • Flour: Our flour is a 00 flour which holds an 11.2% protein ratio. This 00 flour refers to the size of the mill. 00 is the finest mill on earth and creates a soft silky crust. 00 grade flour is also a requirement for true Neapolitan pizza.
  • Cheese: For our cheese, we hold true to Neapolitan standards as well using only fior de late (fresh mozzarella) or mozzarella de bufala. All of or cheese hold true to the artisan roots of old and are completely hormone free.

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Charring
Also due to the high temperature cook time, the crust has a slight charring on bottom and edges characteristic to Neapolitan pizza giving it another depth of flavor and texture.

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Wet or Soupy
Unlike typical American pizza, a delicious pool of flavor forms in the middle of a Neapolitan pie during its short time in the oven making it  what one might call wet or "soupy".

Knife and Fork
As to not disrupt the "soupy" middle (thereby making the crust soggy on the way to the table) these pies are meant to be served whole, uncut, and eaten with a knife and fork.

Organic/All Natural
At il Lazzarone, we're passionate about authentic real food therefore our ingredients are organic and all natural incorporating both local ingredients with special authentic Italian imported items. Our cheese is always rBgh free and our meats are antibiotic and hormone free.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Moist carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Til the Easter season!

I haven’t found my way to The Purple Carrot in far too long and after making this carrot cake a few days ago, I knew it was the perfect thing to share. We found it to be extremely moist and delicious! I’ve been doing a lot of juicing lately as well and I never know what to do with all that pulp. 

Enter: a great way to use up pulp from juicing carrots!

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Moist carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (makes one 9x13 inch pan or two 9 inch cake pans)
*adapted from All Recipes

Ingredients:

  • Carrot cake
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspooons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots (I used the pulp from juicing carrots, works great!)
  • Cream Cheese frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounce cream cheese softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla – I ended up using almond because I was out of vanilla and ended up loving the flavor with this cake)

Instructions:

Cake

  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees and grease two 9 inch cake pans or one 9x13 inch pan
  2. In large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, coconut oil, sugar, vanilla and milk
  3. Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon
  4. Stir in carrots
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean

Frosting

  1. Combine all ingredients and beat until mixture is smooth and creamy.

a carrot cake2

Nom, nom, nom!

Happy Easter, all Smile

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

il Lazzarone


If you keep up with The Purple Carrot on Facebook or Instagram, the following is not new to you but if not, guess what?

pizzapizza

Yep, this is happening! For years now Erik has been toying with opening a pizza place and even almost bought a building in Kansas City a little over a year ago when we lived there but it just never quite worked out. Fast forward through our move back to St Joe, our house remodel (which is still in the works even though we live there now), a new precious baby aaaand here we are!

What?
This niche restaurant will be an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria called il Lazzarone. (I know, I'm sure the concept is shocking after how little we talk about pizza around here ;) It's not like we road tripped around the US just to eat pizza or anything).

Il Lazzarone: What is the meaning of il Lazzarone, you ask?

There is a lot in our name. The name represents not only a class of people but a way of life. Pizza started out as a peasant food. The il lazzarone or lazzaroni was seen to be this peasant class of people in Naples originating around 1770. Though the lazzarone were poor, they were known for living completely free, content, satisfied. The lazzarone avoided the rat race. They worked but they laughed. They worked but they rested. They worked but they stopped and ate… frequently. The only thing a lazzarone would eat was pizza and melon (accompanied of course by wine). They loved life, they lived freely, and most of all, they seized the moment.

That is what we wish to offer and convey. Come seize the moment, put your day on hold if just for 30 minutes, and come. Come to the table were you can experience both art and authenticity through food, wine and atmosphere.

Where?
il Lazzarone will be opening at 1628 Frederick Avenue in Saint Joseph, Missouri.

When?
We’re currently making progress on the work that needs to be completed on the inside and our Acunto oven is on its way here from Naples. Tentatively, we’ll be opening Spring 2014.

Follow along
Follow along with our building progress and updates via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Coming up
Coming up soon is a post on what you can expect to find at il Lazzarone!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Apple cinnamon muffins

I seem to be on a pretty good baking spree lately, much to the delight of my husband (okay, and myself, ha). We had a lot of apples in the fridge and I was looking to make a “breakfast” item so these babies were the natural progression. And we loved them. Perfect for a quick breakfast treat, snack during the day or dessert after dinner!

apple cinnamon muffins3

Apple cinnamon muffins with simple sugar glaze
Adapted from Add a Pinch
*makes about a dozen (I was able to get a few more than a dozen)

Ingredients:

  • For muffins
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (+ 2 teaspoons for coating apples)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups apples, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • For glaze
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-6 tablespoons milk or other liquid (depending on how quick you’d like it)

Instructions

  • For muffins
  • Preheat oven to 375º F. Coat muffin or cupcake pans to prevent sticking or line with cupcake liners.
  • Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Toss together diced apples and 2 teaspoons of flour to coat apples in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  • Cream together butter and sugar until lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Add an egg, one at a time and then the vanilla.
  • Gently fold in flour mixture, alternating with milk. Stir until just combined. Fold in diced apples.
  • Scoop mixture into prepared pans, filling them about 3/4 cup full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  • For glaze
  • Stir together powdered sugar and liquid until glaze is formed. Add more powdered sugar or liquid to desired consistency.

*Note: batter will be pretty thick

apple cinnamon muffins

apple cinnamon muffins2

Enjoy!

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Strawberry layer cake & mini red velvet whoopie pies

A bit overdue for a new blog post!

Winter is in full bloom here in the Midwest with cold weather and snow blanketed yards. Emersyn turned five months old on the 1st and we're getting more and more settled into our new place. Ive had many goodies that I've meant to share and have even taken photos but the actual sharing part is what I've had some troubles with ha.

So in light of Valentine's Day and the month of February, here's a few "red" goodies I've tried lately that we've gobbled right up. First, a strawberry layer cake via The Little Epicurean. Recipe can be found here. We really liked this cake.  It was light, fresh and delicious! A perfect Valentine’s Day treat.

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And next up, red velvet whoopie pies! These are colored all naturally with beets and adapted from Baking a Moment. Erik’s work was having a cookie contest at work with the criteria being red cookies that were under 100 calories so I went with mini pies!  Each of these whoopie pies are approximately 50 calories each and about an inch round.  They’re also very addictive … yum!

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Mini Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
**makes approximately 50 pies about an inch round

Ingredients:

  • Cakes:
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 3/4 cup beet puree (I roasted two beets in the oven at 400 degrees for 60 minutes then peeled and pureed)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Cakes:
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, and then mix in the egg yolk.
  3. Add in the beet puree, milk, lemon juice, vinegar, vanilla, and combine.
  4. Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and combine.
  5. In a separate bowl, whip the egg white until fluffy and stiff. Fold the egg white into the cake batter.
  6. Drop approx 100 scoops of batter (about the size of a quarter) onto lined baking sheets, and bake at 375 degrees, for 7 minutes. Cool completely, and fill with fluffy cream cheese filling.
  7. Filling:
  8. Whip all the filling ingredients together until fluffy.

IMG_2452

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Door to Door Organics

One thing about living in St Joe versus Kansas City that is the hardest for us is ... food! Not only do we miss our favorite spots (Quay Coffee, Westside Local, Little Freshie, etc) but there's not an over abundance of fresh local and organic foods for groceries. We are thankful for the options Hyvee has but so often, I've found their organic produce to be lacking in quality and variety. Along with that, I love being able to purchase local products, especially meat and eggs, which our Hyvee doesn't offer.

DoorToDoorLogo_LARGE
We've gotten Door to Door over the years sporadically but for whatever reason, had stopped getting it for a few years while living in KC. Once we came back to St Joe, however, I almost immediately signed up again because we could no longer just swing by Badseed on a friday night, etc. After tagging them in an Instagram post of Emersyn hanging out with these awesomely huge rainbow carrots I got in my box one week …
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… I got an email asking me if I'd be interested in reviewing them. I don't really do many reviews on The Purple Carrot these days but this is one company I really do appreciate and love to share!

What Is It?

Door to Door Kansas City delivers fresh organic/natural local produce and food products right to your door in the KC and surrounding areas.
Door to Door Organics 2
How It Works

Each order starts with a produce box that you chose and customize.
You can make 5 substitutions to your weekly (or biweekly) box and shop their whole selection of vegetables and fruit. Their produce is always USDA Certified Organic and sourced locally whenever possible.
After that, you can shop through their ever growing selection of pantry staples. They have a variety of farm-fresh milk, free-range eggs, gourmet cheese, humanely raised meats, sustainably fished seafood, and artisan breads - to name a few.
One of my favorite features is that you can put your order on hold anytime you want for as long as needed so there's no weekly or monthly commitment if, for some reason, you need to take a break from receiving it.
Door to Door Organics
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Examples

I snapped some photos of some of the past couple weeks boxes for some examples.

We get the majority of our groceries through them and they always seem to be growing and improving their selections. They also do a great job of keeping everything cold via their packaging even if it be frozen meat or milk.
Door to Door Organics 6Door to Door Organics 5Door to Door Organics 3 Door to Door Organics 4
Their prices are overall very reasonable and in line with most healthfood stores and I've always been impressed with the quality. Less than a handful of times have I had to contact them with any problems with an order and each time they were quick to happily fix it. I highly suggest giving them a try! I mean, who doesn't want to skip the store and come home to their groceries sitting at your doorstep? Yeah. Visit their website for more details and to check out what all they have to offer! And give them a try!

***Enter the word "purple" at checkout on your first order and receive a $10 discount!***

PS: Dear D2D, please add Oddly Correct coffee, Little Freshie pops, meat from Local Pig, aaaand Kalona SuperNatural milk to your selections. Thank you ;)
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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Tartine fruit galettes

Hello, 2014!

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year! Emersyn is now 4 months old and she had a great first Christmas.

I haven't posted as much as I'd like to here but I have been trying to bake at least once a week and have gotten into a nice groove getting dinner made efficiently these days. We recently got this Tartine cookbook filled with awesome baked goods, pastries, etc.

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Tartine is a widely popular neighborhood bakery and cafe in San Francisco. While we haven't been there, one only has to see pictures to realize how awesome their breads and pastries are. I'm on a mission to bake as many of these recipes as I can and first up ....
Fruit galettes

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The cookbook is filled with beautiful photos and very detailed and easy to read instructions even for the more complicated items.

We filled our galettes with sautéed apples and pears and paired them with homemade vanilla ice cream. 

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Uh, YUM! It's taken us about all our willpower not to eat every one of these mini galettes in less than 24 hours.

They literally may just be my favorite tasting dessert I've ever made. The dough came out absolutely delicious with just the right amount of crisp and flakiness. I used two different kinds of Caputo 00 flour as we have a few giant bags lying around for Erik’s pizza making and it really seemed to work out perfectly.

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I can't wait to make them in the summer at the peak of berry season! Tartine comes highly recommended by The Purple Carrot household and I'm already excited to make the next thing ...

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Easy roasted vegetables

I think my all time favorite way to eat vegetables is to simply roast them. Without fail, they always taste good and you can mix and match about any veggies together to create a delicious roasted combination!


It's a colorful, filling go-to side dish that really only requires chopping, a little seasoning and placing them in the oven. 


Easy Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients:
  • Chopped vegetables of choice 
  • I used:
  • Rainbow carrots
  • Fingerling potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Zucchini squash
  • Mushrooms
  • Large red onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil (or try coconut oil for a fun different flavor profile)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
  2. Chop vegetables.
  3. Mix chopped veggies together with salt, pepper, and enough olive oil to lightly coat all veggies.
  4. Place flat on baking sheets, place in oven for 45 minutes to an hour.
  5. Stir/flip veggies at least once halfway through.






Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pumpkin coconut pie

Now that Thanksgiving has come and went, I'm having a hard time believing it's December and Christmas is so very close!

Despite the increasingly cold weather and darker evenings, I can't help but love winter in the Midwest around Christmastime. The snow, hot beverages, cuddling up in warm blankets, a cozy fire, yummy food, etc. One such ingredient of the season being pumpkin!


I made this pumpkin coconut pie for Thanksgiving and we both liked it so much I'm definitely going to be making it more throughout the holiday season!

I don't typically enjoy pumpkin pie all that much but the addition of coconut milk really gave it an extra punch that made me love this version.


Pumpkin Coconut Pie

Ingredients:
  • pie crust of choice
  • 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk, stirred (the full fat kind in a can)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Place all ingredients into a large mixer or bowl and mix well
  3. Pour mixture into prepared pie crust
  4. Bake for about 45 minutes or until pie is set up and slightly jiggly in the middle 
  5. Let pie completely cool before serving


Enjoy!




Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving

Happy belated turkey day!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of family and good food! 

It was just us for our Thanksgiving meal this year but we still went all out with turkey, roasted veggies, mashed potatoes, corn bread muffins, pumpkin coconut pie, homemade vanilla ice cream and cashew ice cream. Needless to say, we'll be eating lots of turkey in the next few days. Logically, the pie was first to disappear.

I haven't had a chance to post "after" pictures of our house yet because we're barely moved in and have little furnishings. However, here's a Thanksgiving sneak peak of our kitchen.


We're not used to have a giant dining room but recently got this large funky table off of Craigslist. So naturally we had to have fun with the fact it was just Erik, Emersyn and I sitting at it.

So grateful for our first Thanksgiving as a threesome! 




A few recipes from our Thanksgiving meal soon to follow! :)




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