Lovely Pizza Dough, Pretty Flowers Too

I am back to my blog after a busy week. It was a culinary highlight having the opportunity to work with a remarkable, talented chef from Florence, Benedetta Vitali. Benedetta’s visit, two under-the-weather kids, Valentine’s Day and assisting with a very special birthday party on Saturday, made for a full week. Today, I want to share a few highlights and disclose a special pizza dough tip with you.

This year, my husband and I decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day with our “little valentines” and make it a family date. He sent flowers to all of us from my favorite floral arranger, Kerstin Horneman of Blue Magnolia (stay tuned for future floral tips from her). He sent me a huge arrangement filled with gorgeous dark ruby roses called “Love” that open up into heart shaped blooms, magnolia leaves, blossoming branches, spilling with orchids and dark burgundy calla lilies. The girls received sweet gold and cream mini hatboxes filled with multicolored pink peppermint roses and magnolia leaves.

For dinner, we made heart-shaped pizzas in our wood burning oven and chocolate fondue for dessert. Benedetta was here (her one day off on a month long tour) and she gave me a great tip: do not use olive oil in the dough because it weighs down its consistency. We tried it without oil and it was simply beautiful!

I am sorry this recipe did not make it out in time for Valentine’s Day, but it’s definitely worth the wait. It’s great for any day of the week and the kids love having a piece of the action.