Sunday, April 24, 2016

#foodpost - Artichoke and Spinach Pizza - Basille's NYC inspired

So, back in December when we visited NYC we ate a lotta, lotta food but one of our favourites was the humungous slice of artichoke pizza from the popular Basille's Pizza in Chelsea. It cost $5, was the size of my head and was simply delicious!

Naturally, we've been craving a slice ever since and after looking at a few different recipes online we chose bits and pieces of them to make the easiest artichoke pizza that we could and it worked a treat.

Pizza base
White flour with yeast - simply add water, oil and salt
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of chopped garlic
Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese
Frozen (or fresh) artichoke hearts
Fresh spinach

I made my own base with shop bought pizza flour. I added half the amount of water to flour, plus 3 teaspoons of olive oil and a few pinches of salt. I wanted a deep pan style so I kneaded the dough twice over an hour and also left it to rise once i'd added the toppings. In future, I'm going to try a thinner crust and not leave it to rise at all.

So first...

Before adding your toppings, add your garlic to the olive oil and mix. You also need to chop the artichoke hearts into quarters and drain to keep from getting a soggy pizza.

Once you've prepped the oil and artichokes, lay out your pizza base and spread the garlicky oil all over it. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the base and cover that with grated mozzarella. Cheese galore!

Add the artichoke pieces and spinach leaves and then, yes, cover with another handful of mozzarella cheese and if you really want to, another sprinkle of parmesan. 

Season with salt and pepper and put your pizza in the oven... medium/high for 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and brown.

It's certainly no Basille's... I think I'd need about 3x the cheese but it definitely curbed our cravings!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

#artpost - Richard Estes

I don't know much about art but I know what I like and what I don't and sometimes that's all I need to worry about as I'm strolling, hand in hand, down one of the many aisles in one of the many museums that we visit from time to time.

Last weekend we stumbled across the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza‎ during a walk around Madrid and being a sucker for gift shops I remembered that I'd read in AD mag just how good this one was. In fact... As soon as I'd got in line with my handful of goodies I knew I was being a fool for not making us pay the small price and having a quick look around. So... We strategically placed our pile of things in a 'save for later' spot and headed for the ticket desk.

The museum is one of three in the golden triangle of art in Madrid, along with the Prado and Reina Sofia, and houses a full timeline of pieces that the latter don't. It's the second largest personal collection in the world and we saw everything from a royal portrait of Henry VIII to Picasso to Monet to Edward Hopper. 

Of everything in there, one set caught my eye and I was already desperate to see what prints they had in the shop on the way out... They were three pieces by a guy called Richard Estes, well known for his hyperrealism style and his paintings based around 1960's New York. The first picture and my favourite of the three, we managed to find a small copy in the gift shop which is currently hanging in our lounge with our NYC memorabilia sitting closely nearby...  Along with everything being so colourful and clean cut.. the paintings make you feel like you've caught New York on a Sunday morning just before the rest of the city wakes.

If you ever have the chance to visit Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza‎, do it... whether you're an art buff or not... The building itself and it's front patio are worth the wander over alone. Oh, and the gift shop of course!