friyay happy hour: spicy figarita

the season of the fig is finally upon us. and i CAN'T GET ENOUGH of the mildly sweet fruit. 

every time i hit the produce store (you know, pretty much every day at this point) i pick up another pack. which means, i'm putting them in and on EVERYTHING these days. and cocktails are no exception. 

not going to lie. when i came up with this combo, i wasn't sure if all the ingredients would sing together as i hoped. but wow. i mean WOW. wes and i both agreed this is in the top five cocktails i've made. and i have made A LOT of cocktails. if you are looking for something that's a smokey, sweet, kick in the pants, this is your new jam. fig season is fleeting, so whip this up ASAP!

spicy figarita 
serves: 1 cocktail 
prep time: 2 minutes 
active time: 3 
total time: 5 minutes 
ingredients: 2 oz mescal. 1 oz fresh lime juice. 1 oz triple sec. 1 tsp sugar. 8 thin slices serrano pepper. 2 black figs, diced + 1 fig slic for garnish. 1 cup ice. shaker. strainer. muddler. 
IMG_0555.JPG
combine the mescal, diced figs, 5 of the serrano slices and the sugar in the base of a shaker. 
IMG_0559.JPG
muddle everything together till the figs and serranos are pretty smashed, about 30 seconds. 
IMG_0560.JPG
pour in the triple sec and lime juice. fill the shaker with ice. 

shake till well combine, about 30 seconds. 
IMG_0562.JPG
put a very small slice in your fig garnish and place it on the edge of your glass. place the remaining 3 peppers in the base of the cocktail glass. 
IMG_0556.JPG
strain into the glass and served chilled.
IMG_0554.JPG
enjoy!
IMG_0553.JPG
xo, a

spicy figarita
serves: 1 cocktail
prep time: 2 minutes
active time: 3
total time: 5 minutes
ingredients: 2 oz mescal. 1 oz fresh lime juice. 1 oz triple sec. 1 tsp sugar. 8 thin slices serrano pepper. 2 black figs, diced + 1 fig slic for garnish. 1 cup ice. shaker. strainer. muddler. combine the mescal, diced figs, 5 of the serrano slices and the sugar in the base of a shaker. muddle everything together till the figs and serranos are pretty smashed, about 30 seconds. pour in the triple sec and lime juice. fill the shaker with ice. shake till well combine, about 30 seconds. put a very small slice in your fig garnish and place it on the edge of your glass. place the remaining 3 peppers in the base of the cocktail glass. strain into the glass and served chilled. 

tips & tricks: homemade pizza dough

this weekend, wes and i are catering for a small back yard wedding. and the very clever hostess of the party selected a menu of mostly pizzas. in the past, i've always used a dough purchased at the local italian specialty store. but it has always been my experience that things made fresh and with excited, passionate hands, make the best tasting foods. so i decided it was time to take the dough into my own hands and develop my own recipe and technique. 

homemade pizza dough is surprisingly easy to make. it requires few ingredients and little effort. the one main ingredient you need to make it right? time. 

don't try to rush your dough. make it the night before. giving your yeast time to activate and make your dough rise is not enough. it needs time for the starches to transform to delicious sugars that will give your crust extra doses of flavor. sure, you cane make the dough a few ours a head if you are in a pinch, but for full results, be patient! 

homemade pizza dough 
serves: 4 small pizza crusts (each pizza serves 2 people)
prep time: 5 minutes 
active time: 30 minutes 
inactive time: 12 hours 
total time: 12 hours 35 minutes 
ingredients: 4.5 cups bread flour + a bit extra for dusting the surface and rolling pins. 1.5 cups warm water (about 105-110 degrees f). 4 tbs olive oil, divided. 2.25 tsp dry active yeast. 2 tsp salt. 1 tsp sugar. stand mixer with dough hook attachment. large bowl. plastic wrap. rolling pin. 
IMG_0539.JPG
start by combining 3.75 cups of flour, the yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. turn your mixer on slow to gently combine the ingredients. 
IMG_0538.JPG
with the mixer on, pour in the warm water and let it mix to combine. 
IMG_0537.JPG
as it is mixing, pour in 2 tbs of your olive oil. 
IMG_0536.JPG
when all of your liquid is combined, and the dough is starting to become more of a wet mixture, turn the speed on your mixer up to medium. mix your dough until it starts to form a rough, but still sticky ball. here is where you will need to use your judgement. many factors like the temperature and humidity in the air can effect how wet or dry your dough is. if it seems too sticky and unworkable, add a bit more flour to the dough, 1 tbs at a time until right. if it seems really dry and not sticky at all, add in some warm water 1 tbs at a time. getting your dough together should take about 4-6 minutes in the mixer. while your dough is mixing, use 1 tbs of olive oil to lightly oil the inside of your bowl. 
IMG_0534.JPG
on a clean and dry work surface, sprinkle half of the remaining flour. turn the sticky dough out onto the surface and light work it till it starts to come together in a ball. by the time you are done with it, it should not be be sticky, but should not be covered in flour and difficult to work. 
IMG_0533.JPG
whenn your dough is in a ball, place it in your bowl and cover with plastic wrap. place the dough in a warm, dry spot and allow it to rise for 12 hours.
IMG_0532.JPG
when the dough has risen, sprinkle a dry, clean work surface with the remaining flour. turn out your dough onto the surface. cut the dough into equal quarters and work each into its own dough ball. now you have a choice. you can use the dough right away or you can store balls of dough individually in an airtight container lightly brushed with oil for up to 5 days. 

to use your dough, start by preheating your oven to 450-500 degrees f. whatever you are baking your pizza on, put it in the oven while it preheats. gently flatten out your ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface. lightly dust your rolling pin with flour and roll the dough until your dough is about an eighth of an inch thick. add any desired toppings and brush the crust with the remaining 1 tbs of olive oil. use a pizza peel or large, lightly floured spatula to move the pizza to its hot baking vehicle. bake the pizza for 7-10 minutes, till the crust is golden brown and the pizza is crispy. allow the pizza to cool till the cheese has stopped bubbling and has solidified a bit. slice and serve.
IMG_0531.JPG
xo, a

homemade pizza dough 
serves: 4 small pizza crusts (each pizza serves 2 people) 
prep time: 5 minutes 
active time: 30 minutes 
inactive time: 12 hours 
total time: 12 hours 35 minutes 
ingredients: 4.5 cups bread flour + a bit extra for dusting the surface and rolling pins. 1.5 cups warm water (about 105-110 degrees f). 4 tbs olive oil, divided. 2.25 tsp dry active yeast. 2 tsp salt. 1 tsp sugar. stand mixer with dough hook attachment. large bowl. plastic wrap. rolling pin. start by combining 3.75 cups of flour, the yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. turn your mixer on slow to gently combine the ingredients. with the mixer on, pour in the warm water and let it mix to combine. as it is mixing, pour in 2 tbs of your olive oil. when all of your liquid is combined, and the dough is starting to become more of a wet mixture, turn the speed on your mixer up to medium. mix your dough until it starts to form a rough, but still sticky ball. here is where you will need to use your judgement. many factors like the temperature and humidity in the air can effect how wet or dry your dough is. if it seems too sticky and unworkable, add a bit more flour to the dough, 1 tbs at a time until right. if it seems really dry and not sticky at all, add in some warm water 1 tbs at a time. getting your dough together should take about 4-6 minutes in the mixer. while your dough is mixing, use 1 tbs of olive oil to lightly oil the inside of your bowl. on a clean and dry work surface, sprinkle half of the remaining flour. turn the sticky dough out onto the surface and light work it till it starts to come together in a ball. by the time you are done with it, it should not be be sticky, but should not be covered in flour and difficult to work. when your dough is in a ball, place it in your bowl and cover with plastic wrap. place the dough in a warm, dry spot and allow it to rise for 12 hours. when the dough has risen, sprinkle a dry, clean work surface with the remaining flour. turn out your dough onto the surface. cut the dough into equal quarters and work each into its own dough ball. now you have a choice. you can use the dough right away or you can store balls of dough individually in an airtight container lightly brushed with oil for up to 5 days. to use your dough, start by preheating your oven to 450-500 degrees f. whatever you are baking your pizza on, put it in the oven while it preheats. gently flatten out your ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface. lightly dust your rolling pin with flour and roll the dough until your dough is about an eighth of an inch thick. add any desired toppings and brush the crust with the remaining 1 tbs of olive oil. use a pizza peel or large, lightly floured spatula to move the pizza to its hot baking vehicle. bake the pizza for 7-10 minutes, till the crust is golden brown and the pizza is crispy. allow the pizza to cool till the cheese has stopped bubbling and has solidified a bit. slice and serve.