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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

It's hot.  Not warm.  Not toasty.  It's- sweat running down the back of your neck, makeup sliding down your cheeks, put on the extra deodorant 'cause you're gonna need it- hot. Today reached 96 F (or 35.5 C for my international friends).  So, not to let that deter my need for food or fashion, I conjured up the intense sensuality of a classic:

Lounging in a silky chemise on crisp white sheets? Oh, yeah, I'm like a cat on a hot tin roof...Just with red hair instead of black and two different colored eyes instead of violet. There are a few other differences too minor to mention, but I digress.

Wondering where you can get such lovely lacies in which to lounge? My wonderful friends at Jane's Vanity have launched their online store, and there is something for everyone.  Sweet and simple?  Check.  Dark and delicate? Check.  Corsetry? Oh, you betcha!

And, in honor of June being Jane's birthday month you can receive free shipping by entering HAPPYBIRTHDAYJANE as your promotional code!  Like a sign from above, my lovelies, go splurge on something for yourself.  That way, when it's crazy hot outside, you can lie about looking hot in a completely different way!

Image courtesy of Jane's Vanity

Have I mentioned that my wonderful husband makes the best breads ever? Well, he does.  In his extensive repertoire is a fabulous pizza dough.  (See? There are definite perks to wearing all that lingerie!)  We have adapted Ina Garten's recipe for White Pizzas with Arugula to accommodate our love for garlic and to lighten up the cheeses.

Without arugula...

And, my personal favorite, with arugula...

White Pizzas with Arugula:

For the Pizza:

1 1/4 c. warm water (100-110 F)

2 packages dry yeast

1 T. honey

Olive oil

2 c. bread flour

2 c. "00" pizza flour

Kosher salt

4 garlic cloves, sliced

5 sprigs thyme

2 sprigs rosemary

1/4 t. red pepper flakes

Freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 c. grated fontina cheese (freeze before grating to make it easier)

1 c. sliced fresh mozzarella 

6 oz. crumbled chevre

For the dough, combine the water, yeast, honey, and 3 T. olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer with the dough hook.  In a separate bowl mix the two flours. When the yeast is  dissolved, add 3 c. of the flour mixture, then 2 t. salt, and mix on medium speed.  While mixing, add up to 1 cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough.  Knead dough for about 10 minutes until smooth.  When done, turn out on to a floured board and knead by hand about a dozen times. (Or stand about while your husband does this part with a glass of wine in hand, complimenting his skill and strength.) Place the dough in a well oiled bowl and turn to cover it lightly with oil.  Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the garlic oil.  Pour 1/2 c. olive oil, garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.  Cook for 10 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn't burn.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Place the dough onto a board and divide into 6 equal pieces.  Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and cover them with a damp towel.  Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Press and stretch each ball into an 8 inch circle and place onto parchment lined pans.  Brush with garlic oil, and sprinkle each one liberally with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with cheeses.  Drizzle each pizza with a tablespoon more garlic oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until crusts are crisp and the cheeses brown.

For the Salad:

1/2 c. olive oil

1/4 c. fresh lemon juice

8 oz. baby arugula

meanwhile, for the vinaigrette, whisk together oil and lemon juice, 1 t. salt, and 1/2 t. pepper.  Toss arugula with vinaigrette and serve on top of pizza.  Serve immediately after giving your hubby (if he helped with this) a big smooch.

Now, no Southern summer would be complete without Banana Pudding, and I'm not talking about that refrigerated topped with cool whip kind.  I'm talking about the kind grandmother's used to make with homemade cooked pudding, loads of vanilla wafers, and fresh meringue to top.

Southern Baked Banana Pudding:

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1/2 cup white sugar

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon butter

1 box vanilla wafers

3 bananas, sliced thinly

3 egg whites

1/4 c. sugar

In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat milk until bubbles form at edges. In a bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Pour into hot milk, a little at a time, stirring to dissolve. Continue to cook and stir until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Do not boil. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter.

Once the pudding is made, layer the pudding, vanilla wafers, and bananas in a casserole dish.  Repeat until all the wafers, pudding and bananas are gone.  But, always end with the pudding-nobody likes dry wafers.

In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until soft peaks form.  Add sugar, and continue mixing on high until glossy and stiff peaks form.  Do not over mix or meringue will be dry.

Top pudding with meringue and using your fingers, touch lightly to pull up peaks.  Bake at 375 until peaks are browned and luscious.

Embrace the heat, my lovelies! Summer is here, now where did I put my Mint Julep?



  1. Thanks so much for the mention, lovely, and I can't WAIT to try your pizza recipe - it sounds divine!!
    Jane's Vanity

  2. My pleasure! Hope you enjoy the pizza recipe, we certainly do. I can't wait to receive my order of the Fifi Chachnil set...ah! sheer loveliness!

  3. Love this pizza recipe - right up my alley! Just found you through Jane's Vanity and am adding you to my favorite sites food list. A lovely blog! :)

  4. Hiya there! Oh, I adore your blog name!! Did you say your husband makes you bread?? Oh, lucky lady! Bread is like the food of the Gods...right up there with Chocolate! heehee...that pizza looks absolutely drool worthy! LOVE the gorgeous picture of Elizabeth!:)

  5. Thanks, guys! I am just beginning my foray into the blogosphere. I hope you enjoy the recipes. Seems like Jane's Vanity is always bringing good things together!

    Shannon, I am in awe of your blog! It is such a clean and chic layout. So glad I can add you to my lists of favorite sites!

    And, Margarita, who doesn't love pictures of pin up beauties (I have a whole Elvgren wall in my study) and fab soaps and oils with which to pamper our gorgeous selves? After discovering your online shop (thanks, Jane!) I am excited to receive my first order.

    Cheers to you both!