Sunday, May 23, 2010

Serkan's last dance (a photo essay)

This school year I worked with some awesome people, one of them is named Serkan Suel. He's originally from Turkey, moved to New York State, got married, came to Flagstaff for a while, got his teaching degree, then got a job teaching science here in Phoenix, while his wife stayed in New York and worked on her own career. Serkan is such a great guy, and, during the school year Brian and I got to know him helps that he lives within walking distance of our house too! And once I left on maternity leave, Serkan started coming over with a bunch of food and making us dinner. We have enjoyed our dinner parties with Serkan, but now that school's out, he's moving back to be with his wife (which is where he should be!), so this is our last "hurrah" with him. And this time, WE made HIM dinner. Enjoy seeing how our night unfolded...

On the menu: Homemade Pesto Chicken & Margherita Pizza from scratch
Fresh-picked Zucchini
Red Wine (for them, not me)
Fresh Strawberries with Neopolitan ice cream

First I had to make the pizza dough. We've done some experimenting with this bread machine recipe (which requires beer) and found that the cheapest, lightest beer works the best. I chose "Icehouse" for our pizza tonight

In the bread machine ready to go...

One hour and 45 minutes later, and we get...

a beautiful ball of dough. I love this bread machine!! Then I repeated to make another for the other pizza!

Finally! Both doughs done, time to make them pizza shaped. I'm not a pro at this like the guy on the Visa commercial (come on, you've all seen it...hey mambo!), but I'm not bad either!
Two pizzas ready to be dressed! Don't they look yummy?
Time to make the pesto!! Yes, we make our own pesto, no store bought stuff for us!!

First we pick the basil from the back's so fragrant out there! (making the pesto is Brian's job!)

Then toast and cut up the garlic to accompany the basil.

Put the basil, garlic, pine nuts and oil all in the food processor and grind it up (we like to use the little one when making small quantities!)

Spread the pesto on the pizza...

Sprinkle the chicken on the pizza...

And of course add the cheese!

Soon we were ready to stick them in the oven! Don't they look yummy?

Steam some zucchini freshly picked from the garden...

And Voila!! A meal fit for a king! ...well, at least fit for Turk!

I think Serkan enjoyed it!

Everybody sure cleaned their plates!

We hung out for a while when we were done, the boys drank more wine, I fed Sadie (which is why I don't have any pictures of dessert), we said our goodbyes, and went off to bed. We're sure gonna miss Serkan and his dinner parties. Too bad McKenzie couldn't move here instead so she could join us!


  1. That is awesome. We grow basil and make our own pesto also...I have never used my bread maker for the dough though. I just do it by hand and it only takes like 15 min. But we put chicken cooked in italian dressing, articoke hearts, and banana peppers on it, and whole roasted garlic cloves. It is great. Yours looked like it turned out fantastic! I love pizza any way. Remember Dominos on the floor of Bruce and Jennifer's house and then rocking out to music in your car. So long ago...:)

  2. It only takes 15 minutes to make pizza dough?! You must have a recipe that doesn't use yeast! I like the idea of cooking the chicken with all those flavors. We are so used to our food so plain, we forget to do things like that sometimes!

  3. Grateful to know you guys.
    Thanks again for the awesome pie.