Imitation Creation, Recipes

Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

There are only two times in my life where I’ve felt so gluttonously full that I thought my digestive system was near shutting down. The first involved consuming two Chipotle burritos in under an hour. If anyone ever asks, it is 100% possible to get drunk off burritos.

The second involved the first trip to San Francisco that Tina and I ever took. I need to point out that this second occurrence was not a result of being full from one meal. Nope. Rather it was a slow build throughout the day starting with breakfast and ending with a regret-filled dinner. My fingers ache just thinking about having to type it all out…

  • Bacon, egg and cheese croissant
  • Mango smoothie
  • Porchetta sandwich
  • Pizza w/ yukon gold potatoes, parmesan cheese, and bacon,
  • Spicy Korean chicken tacos w/ pineapple
  • Fried chicken
  • Cheeseburger w/ white cheddar, bacon, and a fried egg
  • Herb fries
  • Bacon-wrapped dates
  • Curry deviled eggs
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Chocolate cream pie
  • Grapefruit sorbet
  • Raspberry cream soda

That day involved a lot of snacking, a couple of lunches, and a dinner with unnecessary appetizers. We struggled to walk out of the restaurant after dinner and collapsed once we got back to our hotel. We were able to try a lot of food in a short period of time, at the expense of what could have been our final day on this earth. We, of course, survived our first-world problem of consuming too much food and lived to tell about it.

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

One might think that gorging to that extent would link those foods to the pain and thus create negative connotations to the individual foods that we ate. One might think that consuming easily thrice our recommended daily caloric intake would kill any future cravings of those infamous foods. One might. But one might be wrong.

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

It’s hard to have a bad meal in San Francisco (or any part of California), so we had like seven great meals that day. And each part brings back fond memories, but there was one item in particular that we could not stop thinking about:  Yukon Gold Potato Pizza.

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

The pizza came from a small stand at a farmer’s market right outside of the Ferry Building. I honestly don’t remember the name of the company, I just remember there being orange somewhere in the logo. But they had a portable pizza oven, which created an alluring smell of fresh crust and melty cheese. The menu had a few standard options, but one clearly stood out:  Yukon gold potatoes, Parmesan, rosemary, and bacon.

Putting potatoes on pizza isn’t some grand creation, but it was new to us. When we returned home we tried to find an equivalent, but failed and gave up the search pretty quickly (partially not wanting to tarnish the memory with a mediocre east coast version).

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

After a couple years, we finally realized that we could just make the pizza ourselves. So, after years of our tastebuds lamenting the loss of this potato-topped pizza, we took destiny into our own hands.

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

“Pizza ready, yet?”

You could certainly make this in the oven on a pizza stone–it’s definitely easier–but there’s something awesomely primitive about cooking a pizza over an open fire.

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza


Pizza Dough – Makes 2 14″ inch crusts

  • 3 1/2 – 4 Cups Bread Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water 110 degrees
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Packet Active Yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, plus 2 teaspoons
  1. Combine the water, honey, salt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and active yeast in a bowl, preferably one with a spout for easy pouring later. Leave this to proof for approximately 2 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place 3 1/2 cups of bread flour in a mixer fitted with the hook attachment.
  3. Once the yeast has fully dissolved into the liquid solution (it should float to the top, creating a spongy top layer), turn the mixer on low and pour the mixture in.
  4. Allow the dough to mix on medium-low speed until it pulls aways from the sides and rolls into a ball. If the dough doesn’t pull away from the sides, add more bread flour by the tablespoon until you have the proper consistency.
  5. Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly into a ball. Place in a large oiled bowl (remaining 2 teaspoons), cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until double in size. Approximately one hour.
  6. Once the dough has risen, split into two equal portions, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for ten more minutes.

Pizza Toppings

  • 3 – 4 oz Shredded Fontina Cheese
  • 1 Cup Thinly Sliced Yellow Potatoes
  • Rosemary Garlic Oil (ingredients below, recipe to follow)
    • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Rosemary
    • 1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
    • 4 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
  • Sea Salt & Dried Rosemary, to taste
  • Optional:  Bacon (we made ours vegetarian-friendly, but you don’t have to)


  1.  Make the pizza dough per the instructions above, or buy a pre-made dough from your favorite grocery store.
  2. While the dough is rising, make the Rosemary Garlic Oil:  Cook the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, red pepper flakes and sliced garlic on medium-low heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until the garlic just starts to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Get your charcoal grill ready. We have a 22-inch Weber kettle grill we use with this chimney starterfire starter cubes, and Kingsford charcoal.
  4. Here’s where a pizza peel might come in handy. If you don’t have one, a cutting board or flat baking sheet should work well, covered with enough cornmeal that the pizza dough slides of easily. Spread out your dough (toss it if you dare) into the shape of your pizza. Brush with the olive oil, cover lightly with cheese, and add the sliced potatoes making sure none of them overlap. Finish by brushing the potatoes with more oil and topping with rosemary and sea salt.
  5.  Slide the pizza directly onto the hot grill and cover for about five minutes. Since all grills are different, you might need to baby sit your pizza. If the heat is uneven, rotate once throughout to even out the charring.
  6. Once the bottom crust has some nice dark color, remove from the grill, and broil on high in the oven for about three minutes.
  7. Slice and eat immediately!

Get in my Mouf | Grilled Rosemary Potato Pizza

Events, Travel

Events DC Presents: Embassy Chef Challenge

Events DC - Embassy Chef Challenge

Photo Credit:  Don Tanguilig

What:  Embassy Chef Challenge
:  May 25, 2016 | 6:30 PM
Where: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004
Cost:  $65
More Info:

Want to take a culinary tour around the world, but don’t quite have the million frequent flyer miles that it would take to get you there? Luckily, Events DC has partnered with Cultural Tourism DC (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization) to satisfy your mouth’s craving for world domination.

In its eighth year, Embassy Chef Challenge features 19 global culinary representatives from South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, along with a solid showing from the Caribbean nations. Chefs compete for not only the Judge’s Prize (awarded by local chefs and food writers), but also the coveted People’s Choice Award based on attendee votes.

Events DC - Embassy Chef Challenge | | Photo Credit: Don Tanguilig

Photo Credit: Don Tanguilig

Here’s an amusebouche (in list form) of what you might taste at the event:

  • Filipino Bringhe  (savory seafood paella made with sticky rice and coconut milk)
  • Rum-Infused “Painkiller” Cocktail from the British Virgin Islands
  • Guatemalan Gazpacho del Enchilada
  • Bacon-Wrapped Duck Pâté from the Czech Republic
  • Uzbek Plov (hearty lamb and rice pilaf)
  • Ghanaian Black-Eyed Pea and Shrimp Fritters.
  • Arabic Coffee from Qatar

As you taste the world, you’ll also be surrounded by a vibrant atmosphere with live music and plenty of dancing. It’s sure to be a fun–and delicious–celebration of diversity and global cultures!

And seriously, it’s not like you have anything better to do on a Wednesday night, right?

Events DC - Embassy Chef Challenge | | Photo Credit: Don Tanguilig

Photo Credit: Don Tanguilig

Reviews, Travel

Eat + Hike + Sleep: Monterey County, California

Big Sur |

Since the strong majority of our vacations primarily involve eating, hiking, and sleeping, it only makes sense to start an ongoing series aptly named Eat + Hike + Sleep. Yeah, you wish you could come up with a title as original as that. Didn’t even need a thesaurus.

The first location up for this series:  Monterey County, California. With all the times we’ve landed at SFO, we always ended up traveling north. There is tons of awesomeness up north like, duh…San Francisco, but also other cool places like Mill Valley, Sonoma, and Napa. I’ve never been, but I’ve also heard that Berkeley is a cool town to check out too. And if we’re talking further north, I enjoyed my time in Sacramento and its surrounding wine country.

Wanting to mix things up on our recent trip out west, we figured it was time to head south and check out what Monterey County had to offer. Specifically, we stayed in Carmel Valley and spent some time in Big Sur cruising along the Pacific Coast Highway.


Good to Go (Carmel-By-The-Sea)

Good to Go - Carmel-By-The-Sea |

Located in the Crossroads Carmel shopping center, this juice and smoothie joint was a convenient stop in between Carmel Valley and Big Sur. Also, with most of our other meals clocking in with a a maxed out indulgence level, grabbing some smoothies from Good to Go was a perfect way to start a day of hiking.

Café Rustica  (Carmel Valley Village)   Cafe Rustica Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cafe Rustica - Carmel Valley Village | | #foodstories

Cafe Rustica - Carmel Valley Village | | #foodstories

Herb-Roasted Half Chicken | crispy artichokes, au gratin potatoes, ratatouille, and kalamata olives

Café Rustica is such a cozy place. I felt like a foreign exchange student having dinner in a European family’s house. That kind of cozy. The portions were generous and my Herb-Roasted Half Chicken dish had like fifteen different sides (er, well four).  I was afraid they might be fattening us up for tomorrow’s special. And also, two words: Crispy artichokes.

Corkscrew Cafe (Carmel Valley Village)   Corkscrew Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Corkscrew Cafe - Carmel Valley Village | | #foodstories

Wild Mushroom Gnocchi | parsnips, arugula, pistachio, Brussels sprouts, chive lemon brown butter, & frisee

Corkscrew Cafe - Carmel Valley Village | | #foodstories

Roasted Tomato Pizza | mozzarella, basil, olive oil, goat cheese, roasted garlic, olives, tomato sauce

A sign of a good restaurant is one that you visit twice during a vacation. We did just that with Corkscrew Cafe. First of all, they have a bread basket on the menu. At first I was appalled that bread wasn’t free and was ready to fight someone. But the more we thought about it, we realized that if a restaurant is going to put bread on the menu, then it better be the best bread in town. After talking with the server, we found out that “Jason’s Bread” (as it is listed on the menu) is indeed made by Jason, whose sole responsibility at the restaurant is to make bread. He also confirmed that it was magical. So we got the bread and not only was the bread as brilliant as advertised, but the whole freaking meal was just perfect. The Wild Mushroom Gnocchi might have been the most memorable dish of the trip and the chili & honey braised Short Ribs just melted on the plate. I sent the knife back, because there was no need for it. It was so good and we returned the next night. Too bad they were out of bread, but I don’t want to talk about it…  Luckily the Roasted Tomato Pizza and Kale Salad did not disappoint.

Valley Kitchen (Carmel Valley)   Valley Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Valley Kitchen - Carmel Valley |

Located in the Carmel Valley Ranch, Valley Kitchen ended up being a perfect way to end the trip with a final dinner in Carmel Valley. The Honey and Goat Cheese Salad as well as the Asparagus and Wild Arugla Salad were fresh and filling. It was also fun playing a game of russian roulette with the cast iron pan fried shishito peppers. Somehow I ended up with all the hot ones. The real star was not the food, but our server (who’s name we forgot to write down)–He was knowledgable about the local wines in an unpretentious way and even allowed us to sample some of the ranch’s own Swing Pinot Noir. His friendliness also allowed us to find out a little bit more about the area and the ranch. The meal and service made it even harder to leave the next day, but I have a feeling we’ll be back soon.


Point Lobos State Reserve (Carmel-By-The-Sea)

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve - Carmel-By-The-Sea, California |

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve – Carmel-By-The-Sea, California

With a lot hikes, you have to really earn the good views through steep climbs, spider-webs, and losing at least one boot to a mud puddle. But, at Point Lobos, within about five minutes of walking, we were met with landscapes that I wish we could bring back with us to the east coast. The trails are all fairly easy and your reward for what seems like no work at all, is an abundance of blue coves, towering trees, and magnificent cliffs. And as an added bonus, we’re pretty sure we saw a seal give birth. Check off “birthing seal” from the bucket list. A word of warning, parking is limited, so unless you want to park on the street and hike to your hike, arrive as early as you can.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (Big Sur)

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park - Big Sur, California |

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park - Big Sur, California |

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park – Big Sur, California

As easy and GORGEOUS (yelled with a British accent) as Point Lobos was, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park’s .64-mile McWay Waterfall Trail leads to a blue cove and a flowing waterfall that lands directly onto the beach itself. For a longer, more challenging hike, you can head inland on the 4.5-mile Ewoldsen Trail where you follow a stream along somewhat visible paths. You can park for free fairly easily along Route 1 near the park entrance, but why wouldn’t you want to support the park system? It’s only ten bucks…

17-mile Drive (Pebble Beach)

The Lone Cypress - 17-MIle Drive - Pebble Beach, California

The Lone Cypress – 17-Mile Drive – Pebble Beach, California |

2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD |

Checking out a beach along 17-Mile Drive with our fun buddy, the 2016 Mazda CX-3.

This is less of a hike and more of a “drive and stop to walk around,” destination, but 17-Mile Drive is still a fun way to kill an afternoon. It’s a surreal contrast between nature, tourists, and a golf course community where the average home price is in the double-digit millions.


Carmel Valley Ranch (Carmel Valley)

Carmel Valley Ranch | Vinyard Oak Studio |

The view from our Vineyard Oak Studio balcony at Carmel Valley Ranch

Carmel Valley Ranch | Carmel Valley, CA

Making good use of the double-sided fireplace

We had originally planned on spending our last night in San Francisco before we flew back, but we just didn’t want to leave Carmel Valley Ranch. From the indoor/outdoor fireplaces and outdoor soaking tub on our deck, to sweeping views and live turkeys, pregnant deer, and ranch-made honey, this place was almost as magical as Disney World–except Carmel Valley Ranch has heated bathroom floors. And that doesn’t even touch on the massive list of activities that the resort has to offer which include hiking trails, tennis courts, golf, food demos, horseback riding, and even a chance to collect honey from their onsite bee hives. You could literally stay here for a week and never leave. Yeah, it was totally worth it to wake up at 5 AM to drive two hours to SFO to catch our flight, just so we’d have one more evening here.

Obviously these are only a few of the hikes, eats, and sleeps that can be found in the area. Drop us a comment for your favorite places or suggestions for where we should head next time. There WILL be a next time.


Thanks to DriveShop and Mazda, we had a 2016 Mazda CX-3 to play with for a about 500 miles (check out our car review here). Its nimble handling made it a blast to drive along the Pacific Coast Highway.

2013 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD |


Disclaimer:  We were not provided any free food, lodging, or park entrances for this post. We liked all these goods and services and would gladly pay for more of ’em again.

Car Reviews

2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD Review

2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD |

This post is made possible through a partnership with the awesome folks at DriveShop and Mazda, who provided us with a vehicle to test drive for a week. You can follow the conversation on social media with the hashtag #DriveMazda.

You know all those car commercials, where the car speeds up and down winding roads on the edges of cliffs? I got to do that in Northern California with this car and it was awesome…

2013 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD |

Bixby Bridge – Big Sur


MSRP (as tested):  $32,340
MPG Estimate: 27 city – 32 highway
Engine:  2.0L Skyactiv-G, 4 cylinder
Power:  146 hp | 146 lb-ft torque
Transmission:   6-Speed Automatic
Color:  Soul Red Metallic
Options:  Navigation, Sirius Satellite Radio, Grand Touring I-Activesense Package (Radar Cruise Control, Smart City Brake Support, Smart Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning, Auto-On/Off Headlights, High Beam Control, Variable Rain-Sensing Wipers)

For more info, click here to view the 2016 CX-3 Brochure.


Like my last post on the CX-5, the amenities in this mini “SUV” are essentially the same. We exclusively used the navigation system to get us around Northern California, from  SFO down as far as Big Sur, and we didn’t get lost. The voice command function works fine, although I wish I could navigate to an address all in one sentence, rather than having to say “Navigate to Address” and then wait for the prompt to ask me for the address. A small complaint that maybe only saves 30 seconds, but worth noting ’cause that’s 30 less seconds I have to wait to start driving (which is REALLY fun).

2013 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD |

Your ears are taken care of by a Bose sound system. You can never go wrong with Bose, so in my opinion, jumping up to the Grand Touring trim is absolutely worth it.


Given the size of the CX-3 and our experience with its older brother, we expected the ride to be a little rough. Fortunately, cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway was smoother than fresh churned butter from a grass fed cow. I could have easily taken a nap if I didn’t have so much adrenaline pumping through my veins from tearing up the twists and turns of Highway 1 (but, we’ll get to performance in a second). We also found the seats comfortable, hugging us better than my old Mazda 3, with the suede sections helpful for keeping us from sliding around–an issue that is all too common with leather seating.

2013 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD |

2013 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD |

Since we were on vacation, we got to test the hauling capacity and it was a perfect fit for what we had: 1 large suitcase and 1 carry-on fit snugly in the hatchback. The back seat was definitely tight and not something a full-size adult or large dog would enjoy for extended periods of time. But, seriously, if you’re getting one of these, it ain’t for the size.


Honestly, all that other stuff (amenities, comfort, sound) matters about zero percent once you get behind the wheel. Three words: Handling. Handling. Handling. If I could get a job driving up and down the Pacific Coast Highway along Big Sur, I would gladly take it if it included this Mazda CX-3. If you don’t know or quite understand the term “road feel” then go test drive one of these immediately.

For Mazda, driving really does matter. What’s remarkable about the CX-3 (er, most Mazdas, really) is that they achieve a fun driving experience without cheating with a turbocharger or a gas-guzzling V6. I mean, sure, I wouldn’t complain about a turbocharged Mazda CX-3 with a stick shift…(seriously, just MazdaSpeed the whole line up). When you drive almost every other competing car in the segment, none of them entice you to drive as much as this little guy.

2013 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD |

17-Mile Drive – Pebble Beach

Gas mileage was also great and near the top of its class–we averaged 30.1 MPG during our nearly 500-mile trip up and down the coast. It was mostly highway, but there were some smaller trips around Carmel Valley and Carmel-By-The-Sea.

2013 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD |

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Who Should Buy This Car

This car might be a good match for you if your top priorities include i) being fun to drive, ii) getting decent gas milage, and iii) being comfortable. You probably don’t care too much about space, but covet a hatchback. The addition of AWD and slightly taller stance also benefits those who might need to deal with snow and/or some light dirt road duty.

2013 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD |

Disclaimer: As noted above we were provided this vehicle courtesy of DriveShop and Mazda. Other than being allowed to test drive this vehicle, we were not provided any monetary compensation for this post. All opinions remain our own.