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Pizza Makes Perfect...or Not

Scott and I discovered the frozen pizza dough at Publix not too long ago (they hide it in a deli case) and since then we've used our pizza stone (a wedding gift oft left gathering dust til now) nearly every week to make some tasty sometimes veggie/sometimes meaty pizzas. {Sidenote: I'm delighted to know that not only does our new Trader Joe's have pizza dough, but it comes in crazy things like whole wheat and garlic and basil.}

However last night I ran into a situation that has me puzzled. Toppings were pepperoni, fresh spinach leaves, canned artichoke hearts, sliced mushrooms, Dei Fratelli (great canned) pizza sauce and mozzarella. I like to sprinkle a little cornmeal on the pizza stone before I spread out the dough.

Baked at 425 degrees, the pizza smelled lovely about 15 minutes into the baking time. I couldn't resist a peek, but when I did, I noticed it was leaking all around. The dough was all soggy and the oven was sizzling and popping from the liquid pouring over the burners.

I'm confused, as I thought that I could put raw spinach and mushrooms on a pizza. Is this not correct? Anyone with super pizza making knowledge, please let me know the best practices for a perfect pie. I'd rather not have to saute the spinach and the mushrooms beforehand, as the beauty of a pizza is its simplicity. That, and I am too damn lazy at 6:30 on a workday to handle more than minimal effort.

I'm off to Asheville this evening for a visit with friends. While I am there I hope to have at least one of the following: Lucky Otter (Lesson of the Sage or the Satay it to me Softly burrito), Asheville Pizza and Brewing Co.'s spinach and artichoke quesedilla, anything from Stony Knob Cafe's brunch menu, Doc Chey's Noodle Shop (dear Lord WHY is there not one here in Nashville?) or a little southern goodness at Tupelo Honey. Asheville does have it going on when it comes to great places that are reasonable and you don't have to dress to impress. I guess I just lived in a crunchy place too long, but if it's too fancy for Chacos and a sundress, I'm gonna feel just a tinge out of place.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


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