Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happy Birthday (to me)!

Though I tried to delay as long as possible, my birthday came along anyway. There's something about turning 26 that seems unsettling, like now I'm really in the thick of adulthood. But its here, so I may as well embrace it!

For my "Happy Birthday Eve" celebration I had dinner with my mom, brother, and brother's girlfriend. We got some great Japanese take-out including shrimp and vegetable tempura, seaweed salad (Jim and Kristi had never tried this before and now they love it too) and lots of sushi!

My mom made me carrot cake cupcakes with orange cream cheese frosting (orange zest in the frosting):

These were quite delicious! My favorite desserts are orange: pumpkin pie and carrot cake!

Among my birthday presents were some kitchen items that I'm very excited about:
  • Garlic press (no more mincing for me!!)
  • Grapefruit knife
  • Cupcake/Brioche pans (which came with a recipe for pumpkin muffins!)

Unfortunately my body wasn't feeling very happy on my birthday. I left work early after feeling dizzy and nauseous for a couple hours. I went home and napped for a while, then woke up very hungry, and decided to make myself a pizza.

Squash-Spinach-Ricotta-Onion Pizza!

  • Pizza dough (pre-made or homemade)
  • Winter squash
  • Spinach
  • Onions
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

I used 1 acorn and 1 buttercup squash for this. I think it would also be really good with butternut squash. Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place in an oven pan. I tossed some cinnamon and green chili powder on top, then put in the oven for 35-40 minutes (until meat is tender).

(Cutting the squash in half is sometimes easier said than done!)

While the squash cooks, prepare the rest of the pizza.

Slice onions (I used small white onions that my brother's lovely girlfriend gave me!):

Saute in a little bit of butter in pan on medium heat until onions are translucent.

Once finished, take off heat and set aside.

Prepare the dough. I used half of a pre-made dough ball for this pizza. I covered a large cutting board with a thin layer of flour, and stretched and pulled my dough into a squarish shape. I weighed down the corners with glasses and a salt grinder, and let sit for about 10 minutes so the dough would retain the shape.

Then put the dough on the pizza pan, and brush a little bit of olive oil on the crust, to prevent the pizza toppings from making the crust soggy.

When the squash is done, remove from oven. Put the oiled dough in the oven for 5 minutes to cook a bit.

I took the insides of two halves of the squash (1/2 acorn and 1/2 buttercup) and mashed together. This will be my sauce instead of tomato sauce.

Then cover liberally with spinach (I used organic baby spinach):

Then add Ricotta cheese (I used part-skim):

Add sauteed onions:

At the last minute I decided to slice a piece of honey ham and add to half of the pizza:

Put in the oven (still at 400 degrees) and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the crust begins to crisp and the cheese is melty.

And Voila!! This was delicious, exactly what the doctor ordered! And now, back to bed...

I also happen to share my birthday with several people I know...so HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Preston, Taylor, Heather, Adam and Beth!


  1. That looks sooooo good. I never would have thought to use squash as pizza sauce. how was it? Where do you buy your pizza dough?

  2. It was so delicious! This is the only kind of pizza I want now! I bought the dough at Trader Joe's but you can get pre-made dough at just about any grocery store.