Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

How do you like to eat your pizza? I go through pizza phases, like a pregnant woman goes through cravings. So I’ve heard, I wouldn’t know. At times I don’t want sauce. A pizza topped simply with sliced tomatoes and hunks of fresh mozzarella cheese. Baked until golden brown and crispy and sprinkled with ribbons of fresh basil right out of the oven. Then there are times when sauce and I are best friends again and I slather it on like no tomorrow. Oh hay sauce, come join the party. I’ll dump a heaping amount of cheese—it’s the only way to go—and call it a day. Sometimes I feel like being a classically boring guy where I put a thick layer of pepperoni on my pie. Those days I can’t be bothered, pepperoni is everything. Of course there are also the days when I lose all reason or logic and top my pizza with anything and everything I can find or get my hands on. Remind me to tell you about the time my pizza was loaded with so much that I couldn’t even pick it up. I could tell you now but it’s such a long story and I’m not even sure you want to read about it. But since you insist, it goes something like this (stop me if you’ve heard it before): One day I put so many different toppings on my pizza that after I baked it and sliced it and was ready to eat it, I couldn’t even pick it up. It crumbled under the weight of all the delicious toppings. The end. Oh well what do you know, it wasn’t that long of a story after all. I was forced to eat my pizza with a knife and fork. Yes, I became that guy. I give you permission to judge. You have all right to.

Let me be the one to say that some things are just never meant to be on, in, or around the vicinity of pizza, I’m referring to you hot dog pizza. Sorry but no. Just no. There are a million different topping combinations you can choose from which is why I think pizza is so delicious. You can literally eat pizza every day and have it be something completely different each time. With those possibilities it’s practically impossible to get bored of it. With that being said I volunteer to eat pizza every single day for the rest of my life, just to figure out how many topping possibilities there actually are. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it. I’m willing to “suffer.” And don’t even get me started on the different crust options. That’s a whole other topic, that I can get into right now, but I won’t because I’m sure you all just want Chicago-style deep dish pizza. I don’t blame you, it’s a good pizza.

This here is one of those moments when I lost all control and put everything but the kitchen sink up on this pie. Not only is the crust to topping ratio unbelievable with the crust winning the battle, but it’s also super easy to make. Sure it would be easier to order a pizza from a local spot and picking it up, but you don’t want to do that. You want to make your own pizza. You want to make it from scratch. That should have hypnotized you. Now back to our regularly scheduled program. Don’t even start complaining about how hard and time consuming homemade pizza dough is, because it isn’t. I’m bringing you a no-knead dough. It’s literally just throwing all the ingredients together and mixing. Then covering and resting. Easy. I couldn’t make this any easier for you unless I made it for you. As much as I’d like to make pizza dough for all of you, it’s just not going to happen. Let’s be real, I’d eat it all. And that’s the honest truth. Pizza for life.

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Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwiches

Before we can dive, mouth first, into this post we need to discuss one important topic. It’s more so answering a critical question, really. It happens to be the biggest question ever asked in the food world. The answer to which is the most vital piece of information that can ever be granted. You might be wondering what the question is. I’ll tell you that it’s a question I’m most often asked. Perhaps you’ve been asked it too. You’d be surprised how may people inquire about such a topic. Pancakes, waffles or french toast? My answer is always waffles. Waffles to the very end of my existence. Waffles for life. Waffles, always and forever. Waffles for the win. And not just because this happens to be a waffle post, no, but because crispy on the outside, moist on the inside waffles are to die for. Although not on pancake days. Tall stacks of warm flapjacks with butter and maple syrup, perhaps with a few chocolate chips thrown into the batter? Definitely pancakes. Pancakes to the very end of my existence. Pancakes for life. Pancakes, always and forever. Pancakes for the win. Yet french toast, however, is kind of the best thing on the planet, isn’t it? Challah or brioche french toast with a dusting of powdered sugar, perhaps even stuffed with cream cheese and berries? Most definitely french toast, hands down one hundred percent. French toast to the very end of my existence. French toast for life. French toast, always and forever. French toast for the win. Do you see my dilemma? I can never get anywhere with this.

Over the weekend I was housesitting/cat sitting for a friend. It was a nice get-away for me, as said friend lives by the beach. Now I know what you must be thinking, “But Jonathan, you hate the beach!” If you weren’t thinking it before, you’re thinking it now. And you’re right, I’m not a beach person—I’m not much of a sun person really—but I am a cooler weather person. So I’m all for houses by the beach and gloomy overcast days. I decided to get some work done—in between constantly taking pictures of her cat and getting on his nerves with hugs and kisses of course—while I was over there. I always think it’s fun to cook in someone else’s kitchen. You get thrown out of your comfort zone, out of your element. It’s sort of weird preparing for a post in a space I’m not familiar with, especially since my friend also bakes and cooks and shoots and writes. It’s like walking around in someone else’s shoes for a day, ones that take you a while to get used to. However, I did manage and I actually had a lot of fun shooting somewhere different. Somewhere that wasn’t my own house for a change. I’m sure Miller, my college studio lighting teacher would be oh so proud of me for that, so this post is for him for forcing me out of my comfort zone (it only took me a year to do it). In the end I love how the pictures turned out, but lets be honest, shooting with the cutest cat in the world, certainly helped. He’s a hoot, constantly sneaking up trying to get food, thinking he can’t be seen. Oh I can see you Jules Stevens, I can see you and you’re adorable. I guess when it comes to fried chicken and waffles none of us can keep away.

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