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The Pizza Making Date: That’s Amore!

We had a really fun date night. I decided to get us a cooking lesson together and I wanted to make our favorite food: pizza. I looked into cooking lessons a bit online and everything I found was at least $100 a person for just one cooking lesson. I‘m sure this is worth it but we are on a budget. So I actually called a pizza place and asked if they could teach us how to make a pizza pie, if I paid them a bit to participate. They were sweet and said that I could watch them make a pie for free but they were not licensed to let us into their kitchen for lessons. Then I found a recommendation for a Chef Robo on yelp and chowhound. He comes to your house and only charges $50 an hour (per couple) to give you a cooking lesson. He was very responsible and fair with us, although I had no recommendations of him and it was the first time that we met him. He does not charge for his travel time and he will even go to your local grocery store to shop with you and he will not charge you for that time either, which seemed great. He said that making pizza would just take an hour and that he’d get the groceries and would bring them with him (my preference due to our baby) and all the groceries were just $12. So I originally picked him based upon price point but his resume said that he attended the NY Restaurant School and he had worked in some top restaurants and done these cooking classes before.

Chef Robo makes all kinds of food so I wonder if he felt uninspired when I told him that I wanted to learn to make pizza. To the contrary, he borrowed a pizza stone to bring with him (so I did not need to buy one yet) and he came with all the ingredients. He left us a whole bunch of leftover dough to freeze, cheese etc so we can make at least 4 more pizza pies later.

To prepare I finally donned the ‘Domestic Diva’ apron that I was given at my bridal shower (and had never yet worn) and my husband put on a gag apron that I had given him as a gift (with a muscle torso on it). We were quite the sight and were ready to cook.

Chef Robo arrived with his girlfriend. We invited her to stay and she took pictures of us while we all cooked. They had actually met each other in a restaurant but she says that now he is so tired from cooking at work that he rarely cooks for her when he comes home. Aww.  I felt bad about that so we had a double date and all four of us shared the pizza afterwards. We had a really great time!

Here is the recipe in case you want to try it at home:

CHEF ROBO’S PIZZA RECIPE:

Ingredients:
8 cups lukewarm water

1 teaspoon dry yeast (buy this in a pizza place from them, it’s different than powdered yeast)

8 cups all purpose flour

Pinch of salt

Fresh mozzarella

Vine ripe tomatoes

Fresh parsley
Also good to have: A pizza stone- which absorbs moisture out of the stone so the crust is crispier. You can buy this online for $20.

Directions:

Preheat your oven to the highest it goes, than drop it down to 350 degrees.

Dissolve the yeast into a bowl of the lukewarm water. Make sure there are no bumps.

Put in 2 cups of flour and a pinch of salt and mix with your hand.

Slowly add the yeast and water mixture so it’s not too sticky. Add flour slowly until it doesn’t really stick to your fingers. Keep your hands covered in flour. Pour some flour on the counter and then flatten dough out into a circle, the size of your pizza stone. Put sauce onto the dough. You can use any store bought sauce or make your own.

Then slice up the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese to place onto the dough. Put a drizzle of olive oil on the pizza stone and place your pizza on it, into the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
We made the first pizza thin without crust. If you want crust, you can take egg yolk and water and brush the crust with this mixture to make it shiny.
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It is delish! I took the initiative to make my pizza pie heart-shaped (a good idea in case you make this for Valentine’s day). We had two pizza pies for dinner and we still have the ingredients for at least 4 more left. Not bad for $65, a great original date night and the ability to make gourmet pizza whenever we want, going forward! So who is coming to dinner at our house?
Chef Robo is available to teach individuals, couples or classes. He teaches a wide variety of cuisine and says that he especially loves doing stir fry’s. He once taught a single guy (who was spending $300 on dates at fancy restaurants  for dinner) to cook fancy gourmet meals for his dates instead. I’m sure the ladies were swooning.
I also think it’s a fun thing for a newly dating couple to do together because it gets you out of your heads and participating in an act of co-creation.
It’s a great date for married folk like us because we could stay home and we did not need a babysitter.
Plus, I’ve been noticing the prixed fixe restaurant charges for valentine’s day.  They are steep.  Maybe you can take a cooking class before then and surprise your date with a home cooked meal.  You will save money in the end, you have learned something and will earn lots of romance points.
* If you want to hire a chef but are wary about a stranger coming into your house then you can ask for references with education, past customers etc, and check them well or just attend a class at a cooking school or an established location.

Happy Cooking!
My Best in Love,
Paulette

Related Links:

http://chefrobo.com/
http://chefrobo.com/?page_id=3
http://www.yelp.com/topic/new-york-private-chef-or-cooking-classes-in-nyc
www.thebrooklynkitchen.com
www.iceculinary.com
www.thesocialtable.com
www.scrumptiousstreet.com
www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/boweryculinary/


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* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here