Some of my friends are strong proponents of the “yes man” idea. You know, by saying yes to everything — ways to make your life more exciting, adventurous, and fulfilling.
I’ve been saying “yes” for far too long.
While I know my design career has a long way to go, I’ve found myself in the same arm wrestling matches that I struggled with in high school and college: the tug-of-war between having free time and taking on too much work.
When it came to my career, I said yes to everything. Redesign my old job’s entire website without a raise? Sure, it’s good for my portfolio. Go on 23 job interviews in one year? Yes. Get me the eff out of said job. New job? Yes. Design infographics? Yes. Design infographics for Google? Yes. Design logos for Google? Yes. Design 5 infographics and 5 logos for Google in two weeks? … Yes.
Kill me? Yes. Been there. Done that.
(I’m dying, here.)
With spring well on its way, I’ve also struggled with the mess of a garden that has wriggled its way out from under my green thumb. Last summer came and ended quickly, and with a slurry of travels, the new job, and influx of freelance work, it’s really no wonder I didn’t get around to properly breaking it down and prepping for the winter.
For a while, anyway, I thought winter would never come. But as the saying goes, March comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb.
Oh, how true that adage has proven itself this year.
With all the change that has taken over my life in the past twelve months, I can hardly even think about the possibilities for the next twelve. I toy with the idea of dropping everything and moving to the city of all cities, as you, as a reader, are well-aware of. But part of me is just as in-love with DC as I was three years ago.
And, like many other nights, reader, I have little substance, if any, to write.
Instead, I have much to design. And, like many other nights, I long for a weekend. A real one, that doesn’t have any freelance. And hopefully, I can blow off some freelance this weekend to get back to what I really enjoy: feeding the people I love, and finding content to strike some sort of emotional response. One that I can write to you, here.
In the meantime, enjoy the Sweetsonian version of food for those who procrastinate, cram, and deprive themselves of sleep: pizza.
250 g all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoons dried yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
150 mL hand-hot water
Cornmeal, for dusting the crust
1 cup Greek yogurt, plain
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup mayonaise
1 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
2 large onions, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup artichoke hearts (canned are fine)
4 or 5 eggs
Arugula, parmesan, and feta — for topping
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, and hot water. Mix with the dough hook for about five minutes, until the dough is evenly combined. Then, transfer the dough to a clean surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. At first, the dough will be sticky, but as you knead, the gluten forms, and the dough will become smoother and more elastic.
Knead the dough into a ball, and set aside in a warm place to rise for one hour.
In a jar or bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, tomato sauce, mayonaise, and chili flakes, stirring with a fork. This will be your pizza sauce. Set aside.
Using a cast iron skillet or other medium- to large-sized frying pan, caramelize your onions. Drizzle with olive oil, and cook onions over medium to high head until the onions brown, and start to smell sweet — about 20 minutes. Transfer the onions to a bowl, and then, saute your mushrooms until browned.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Strain the artichoke hearts.
When the dough has risen (up to twice in size), punch it down, and knead it a few more times. Have a large baking sheet or pizza stone ready. Carefully stretch or roll the dough as much as you can, in the shape you’d like for your pizza. Dust the bottom of the crust with cornmeal. Lightly grease your baking sheet with olive oil, and lay your crust flat on the sheet.
Generously spread the yogurt sauce on top of the crust, and then top the pizza with the onions, mushrooms, and artichokes. Then, go ahead and crack each egg onto the pizza. Try to do so in areas where the toppings will keep the eggs from spreading too far!
Bake the pizza for 10 minutes at 400, and then, broil the pizza for a few minutes to get a crunchy crust.
Top your pizza with lots of arugula, feta, and parmesan.