Welcome to Part Two of my Favorite Food Bloggers Series!
Kirsten Madaus is the force behind Farm Fresh Feasts. She started commenting on my blog awhile back, thus alerting me to the presence of her blog, and I’ve since become an avid reader. Kirsten is a military wife and a mom to two teenagers (plus one adorable dog!). As you can imagine she has moved around quite a bit and has had a pretty exciting life!
Several years ago, she and her husband decided to start using CSA’s (community supported agriculture) and this has led them on a path to lots of healthy eating and becoming more environmentally friendly. Kirsten started blogging to share what she was doing with her abundant shares of different types of produce, some of which was initially quite foreign to her. For anyone unfamiliar, joining a CSA is basically buying shares in a farm, and those shares entitle you to a portion of their harvest. So it’s very common for CSA members to receive an astoundingly large quantity of one or two types of produce at one time. So you have to figure out ways to use it before it spoils, and you have to figure out creative ways to use the same vegetable in different ways so you don’t get sick of it. Kirsten’s blog chronicles her CSA journey.
Her creativity and passion shine through on every post she writes. She is a wonderful writer and just an all-around terrific person. She really puts her money where her mouth is, but never comes across judgmental or self-righteous in the least. (And let’s face it, we’ve all met or read passionate, environmentally-conscious people who do). In addition to all her cooking and baking, she also writes about composting, something I’m personally very interested to learn more about. She even has two adorable guinea pig composters that live with her! Such a cool idea. Living in New York makes composting a bit difficult, so when I read about her two compost pigs, I thought, what a neat solution, and briefly considered looking into that for myself. But then I wondered if my cats would compost the guinea pigs… if you catch my drift…
Anyways, Kirsten is definitely a go-to for innovative ways to use your fruits and veggies. Two of her favorite things to make are muffins and pizzas, and honestly I have never seen such awesome and creative pizza flavor combinations. Like ham and banana. And corn, feta and swiss chard. Kirsten, you so need to move to New York and open up a pizza shop, probably in the West Village or in one of the foodier parts of Brooklyn. You would be an overnight sensation! Oh, and beyond just the creative toppings, she makes her own dough, and often puts vegetables in the dough. My personal faves are her spinach dough, which is a really cool green color, and her beet pizza dough, which is shockingly hot pink and like nothing I’ve ever seen.
I knew I really wanted to make one of her pizzas for this feature, so I chose one with caramelized onions, pears and goat cheese. It was unbelievably delicious. Matt and I raved for days afterward. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly in the cooking method because I do not have a pizza stone. So several years ago, I figured out how to get that pizza oven taste without using an actual stone. But definitely try this pizza, it’s so sophisticated and amazing!! And for sure you should check out Farm Fresh Feasts!
Source: lightly adapted from Farm Fresh Feasts
1 pound pizza dough, at room temperature
1/2 cup caramelized onions
1/2 large pear, thinly sliced
4 oz. goat cheese
2/3 cup shredded fontina or provolone cheese
Dried Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Grease a round pizza pan. Press the dough into a circle and prick all over with a fork. Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Evenly distribute the onions over top the dough. Top with pear slices. Top with the shredded cheese, then crumble the goat cheese all over. Sprinkle Italian seasoning over entire pizza.
Bake for 9-14 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned, and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven, let rest on a cutting board for about 5-10 minutes, then slice and serve, and enjoy!