Come dine with Sophie and Dan: Today’s treat is… Extra Hot Rocking Pizza!
Sophie’s Run Blogtour 2013
I love Nicky Wells. No, seriously—adore her. She’s a wonderful mum, fiercely loyal friend, makes me laugh when I need it most, and she’s convinced Sophie, from her smashing Rock Star Romance series, to make you my all-time favorite dish today. No matter the language you speak, the word “pizza” is globally understood. Grab your hot pepper flakes, and join us for the party!
|You can purchase Sophie's Run here.|
Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour…
Who says that the road towards true love is straight and even? Sophie is certainly discovering that it is anything but.
So she has finally found the man of her dreams! Well… she knows who he is, even though she hasn’t actually quite met him yet. But she misses her opportunity, and then her life goes crazy. Rock star and ex-fiancé, Dan, keeps getting in the way of her new romance—even if he is just trying to be helpful. A fire, an impromptu mini-trip with Dan, and a dreaded wedding later, Sophie is still struggling to meet the love of her life. Then, just as she is getting it together with her perfect man, best friend Rachel commits an act of unspeakable betrayal.
Sophie has had enough. Confused and distraught, she decides that it is time for radical change. Surprising herself and shocking her friends, she embarks on a secret journey and eventually gets her life back on track.
Hey, you! Yes, you, Jen Tucker! And friends! *waves*
It’s me, Sophie! Remember me? *blushes* You do? Aw, thank you! Yeah, well, I’m back again. My romance with Dan is continuing, in a roundabout way, and he very definitely remains my rock even while life takes me a on a little detour. It’s all in the second book, Sophie’s Run, and that’s why Jen’s invited me here today.
*blushes some more* Well, actually, I kinda invited myself. After Dan had such a great time on Princess with a Pen, I wanted to come by too. Plus I know Jen and I have a lot in common, not least a love of rock stars (albeit different ones, TG!) and of hot pepperoni pizza.
See, this latest book tour of my author, the lovely Nicky Wells, is all about taking YOU on tour with us to share some of the lovely food that we enjoy throughout the books. Pizza is very high on both mine and Nicky’s lists… Did you know there are twenty-two mentions of pizza in Sophie’s Run alone? I think it’s fair to say it’s my staple food, LOL. And I celebrate with pizza, too. Always. Even really big things!
We were greeted by the amazing smell of pizza, loud voices, and cheerful music. Balloons and banners had been strung criss-crossing the room, and there was a great centerpiece made up of pink and white heart-shaped balloons.
“Überraschung,” Greetje shouted when she spotted us and hastened across the room to say hello. “Surprise! We thought for a moment you weren’t coming.” She hugged me briefly and whispered in my ear, “I am so pleased for you, congratulations.”
She turned to Dan and Rachel. “Hi, good to see you again. Did you forget about all this?” She gestured loosely at the balloons and the party. Rachel had the grace to blush.
(Excerpt from Sophie’s Run)
Now this post wouldn’t be terribly interesting if I simply said, ‘go and buy a pizza from your local takeaway.’ (Although I’ll never say no to a Domino’s, Papa John’s or Pizza Hut delivery!). Instead, I have gone to the trouble of making pizza from scratch, just for you. It’s actually surprisingly easy, and I can pull this off, so can you. The biggest challenge is simply getting organized because both the dough and the sauce need some time to cook/stand/rise/simmer. Here goes!
To make your own extra-hot rocking pepperoni pizza, you need…
For the base:
~300 grams of good strong flour (this is really important; ordinary flour won’t do, it has to be flour for breadmaking!)
~½ teaspoon of dried yeast
~1 tablespoon of olive oil
~1 teaspoon of salt
~170 ml of water
For the sauce:
~two tins or cartons of chopped tomatoes
~two tablespoonfuls of tomato puree/concentrate
~one or two cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped
~herbs and seasoning to taste: parsley, thyme, chives, oregano, basil, a bay leaf, salt, pepper
~a dash of olive oil
Anything you fancy really! I’m using today:
~sliced raw mushrooms
~heaps of mozzarella cheese
And here’s what you do…
First of all, get your tomato sauce going. Place all the ingredients in a medium size pot. For the herbs, use a good sprinkling of each, there are no hard and fast rules and you can always add more later if you think it needs more oomph. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down, cover the pot with a lid but take care to let some steam escape, otherwise the sauce won’t boil down; and leave to simmer for one to two hours. When it tastes good, turn off the heat and leave to cool. You can even make this the day before, and any leftovers you can freeze for next time!
Next, you need to make the base. If you have a breadmaker, throw the ingredients in and follow your manufacturer’s instructions for making pizza dough. If you don’t have a breakmaker, pour the flour in a heap onto a smooth and cool work surface. Make a dent in the middle and add the yeast, olive oil and water. Combine by kneading inwards until you have a soft, smooth, springy dough. Place in a bowl, cover and leave to rise for at least an hour; the dough should double in size. (If you have a boiler cupboard or somewhere where it’s nice and warm, put the dough-in-bowl there). After an hour, knead again and then leave to prove again for another half hour or so.
Turn the oven on NOW! Turn it up as hot as it will go. Domestic ovens are nowhere near as hot as a pizza oven (my friend the pizza baker told me that your average pizza oven bakes at 260 centigrade/500 Fahrenheit plus, whereas your domestic oven stops at 220 centigrade/430 Fahrenheit), so crank it up and make it’s properly preheated when you put your pizza in!
To make the pizza base, divide your lump of dough into four equal balls. Roll out onto a tray using the heels of your hand. The dough will be quite bouncy and obstinate, but you’re in charge so keep going until you have a nice pizza shaped base. Be sure to make it quite thin ~ it will rise in the oven. But then again, don’t make it too thin. If you can see the tray through it, you’ve probably stretched it a bit too far!
Leave your pizza base to rest for about 20 mins. (I know, it takes time! But it’s worth it. You can prep your toppings while the bases rest).
The pizza ‘before’ it goes in the oven…
Ladle on the sauce, add your toppings, cover with cheese and shove your pizza in the oven. It’ll probably take about five minutes, depending on the heat in your appliance, so keep an eye on it — you don’t want it to burn!
….and ‘after’ it comes out! YUM!
Happy eating! I hope my post today inspired you to try making your own pizza sometime and while you eat… well, why not perhaps join me, Dan and twenty-two mentions of pizza in Sophie’s Run? Rock on!
Thanks again to Jen for hosting me and… hang on, wait, there’s more!
Nicky Wells is giving away one delicious chocolate gift to a lucky winner in the UK or North America!
The small print: This Gift prize is a product of Unique Chocolate. The Gift prize is subject to availability in your country. If the Gift prize is not available in your country, Nicky Wells reserves the right to offer a substitute gift prize of a similar nature at her discretion. Nicky Wells will require the winner’s postal address for shipping purposes.
Click HERE for the Rafflecopter Link
2. Bonus Giveaway
Nicky Wells offers a giveaway of one Amazon gift voucher worth $20/£15 for one lucky winner. To enter, simply share your thoughts on Sophie’s Run with Nicky. Email your comment to firstname.lastname@example.org and your name will be entered into the draw. Competition closes 1 May 2013.
Isn’t Nicky the best? Good luck to you all! If you win the chocolate, I think that’s up there with winning the lottery. And you know what happens when a sudden windfall comes your way, right? The people come out of the woodwork to share in your good fortune. I will be one of them.
Thank you, as always, for stopping by. Nicky and I appreciate you very much!
About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!
Rock On! Nicky Wells writes fun and glamorous contemporary romance featuring a rock star and the girl next door. A signed author with U.S. publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, Nicky is in the throes of publishing her Rock Star Romance Trilogy. Nicky loves rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, Nicky is a wife, mother, and occasional teaching assistant.
Originally born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993, and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C.
Visit Nicky on her blog where you can find articles, interviews, radio interviews and, of course, an ongoing update on her work in progress. You can also follow Nicky on Twitter and find her on Facebook. Nicky is a featured author on the innovative reader/author project, loveahappyending.com and has joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Nicky also has author pages at Sapphire Star Publishing, Amazon and, of course, Goodreads.