Grilled peach pizza & catching up

It has been over a year since I’ve written anything on this blog. 7ish years ago (whoa) when I started this writing project I was at a job that, while fulfilling in many ways, was oftentimes mind numbingly boring. The weekend shifts meant hours upon hours where I had to sit at a computer with nothing to do. And, because writing has always been a form of therapy, I spent my time telling the internet the ways I was getting over my broken heart and surviving my mid-20s.

In my early 30s, I’m happy to say that I’m in a place that feels right. Leaving Uber 6 months ago was a weird, hard, scary thing to do. I’ve never been good at being new at things, so leaving the comfort of a job that had become my second home was terrifying. But when a company that you’ve put on a pedestal your entire life reaches out to you with an opportunity, you’d be a fool to pass it up. I spent the last couple of months at Uber wrapping up loose ends, drinking too much alcohol, and brainstorming what my life would look like once work no longer defined me.

That’s the thing about working for a startup tech company, it becomes your identity in so many ways. Healthy? Probably not. Fun? Abso-fucking-lutely. The people I met at Uber will be lifelong friends because we went through a kind of battle together. 70 hour work weeks and wearing so many hats you’re not quite sure how to define your job isn’t for the faint of heart. But it was a job with a sense of community that I’ll most likely never find again.

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Can you tell I miss them?

All of that being said, I made the right choice. When I got the call about the job at REI, I was on a beach in Hawaii. My family went to celebrate my grandpa’s life and spread his ashes in the ocean. We stayed at a little house 30 minutes outside of Honolulu, eating too much fried shrimp and shaved ice. I accepted the job while my sister and I drank pina coladas the size of our heads and bought blue friendship bracelets in the gift shop. I remember how after I said yes to the offer, I turned to give my family a thumbs up and they all let out loud “YAYS” that could be heard across the restaurant. We drank a few more pina coladas to celebrate. Because, vacation.

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And now it’s been 6+ months at REI. It’s a job I knew I’d love. It’s not easy to find a company where you believe in their mission, trust their leaders, and feel valued and heard. But the first couple of months were rough. I doubted everything. Being new means: not knowing who to talk to, who to sit with, or how anyone defines success. It took me awhile, but I figured it out. I found my people. I have a group of ladies who I lunch with every day. I’m doing a good job of bringing my brain and sass to the table. Change has always been hard (shocker!), but my ambition and bullheadedness usually push me into shaking shit up. And, once I found my groove, I am loving everything about it. Most days I leave meetings reveling in the fact that my job is to create content about why being outside is the most important. Honestly… what is this life?

And while my blog game hasn’t been strong, I’ve kept up with a handful of pen pals across the world and have made my journal and banjo a constant companion. It’s been a year where I’ve kept my words (grace and mindfulness) on the tip of my tongue, picking up and keeping habits that make me a better person. Most of my free time is spent with my family, attempting to tire out my two dogs (oh yeah, I got a puppy), and binge listening to podcasts while making food. Which, if you know me, proves that no drastic changes have been made. I still find that I’m better alone, not quite knowing how to solve my deep distrust and inability to compromise. I continue to put off therapy because self care looks more like long walks and an early bedtime. I’ll get there. Eventually.

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Will this post inspire me to write regularly on here? Unsure. All I know is that it’s been fun reminiscing about the big life changing things that have happened in the past year. Also, I really wanted to share the recipe for the pizza I made a couple of nights ago because it was mother fucking delicious. I had two of my best friends over. We’ve known each other since college. Since the days of hiding tequila in our dorm room hampers and dancing our faces off at Rumors every week for 80s night. While our lives have tamed a bit, we’re still each other’s people. We ate dinner and drank wine and talked about all of the things that people talk about after knowing each other for 10+ years.

I highly recommend making this pizza for people you love, eating it outside, and chatting about things that matter.

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Caramelized onion, goat cheese and grilled peach pizza with a balsamic reduction

It’s getting to be peach season in Washington which means it’s time to spend all of my money at fruit stands. It also means incorporating fresh fruit into every meal, no matter what. This time around, it was on pizza. And it was a smashing success. Note: it’s hard for me to not love a recipe with caramelized onions on it, but I think this one is a crowd pleaser.

Crust:

Not going to lie, I didn’t have time to make a homemade crust so I got a frozen GF one at the store and it did the job. Make a crust however you want to make a crust. You do you. Cookie & Kate has a super good recipe if you’re looking to make your own.

Toppings:

  • 3 Tbsp of olive oil, 2 for the onions, 1 for the base of the pizza
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 white or yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 3 handfuls of arugula
  • ½ cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 2 Tbsp honey

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and then start with the onions. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the stove over medium heat until warm. Drop in your chopped onions and let those bad boys cook. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking and turn down the heat slightly if things start to blacken. Let the onions cook down for 10-15 minutes and then add in your salt and sugar. I also added in a dash of balsamic vinaigrette to add some moisture. Cook for another 15-20 minutes after adding in the salt and sugar until all of the onions are caramelized and so delicious smelling you want to lick the pan. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Prep the base of your pizza dough by drizzling a tablespoon of olive oil and spreading out the minced garlic across the dough. Next, throw on the mozzarella. Then it’s time for the peaches. Luckily, I have a handy cast iron grill pan which means I get those beautiful grill lines without having to fire up the BBQ. If that’s not the world you live in, you can throw them on your grill or broil them a tiny bit before arranging them on your pizza. After they’re grilled/warmed/baked to the point where they aren’t totally smooshy but not completely firm (about 3 minutes each side on a medium/high grill pan), place them on top of the mozzarella. Finish off with the crumbled goat cheese and then put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes — whatever it takes to make your crust is golden brown.

While the pizza is cooking, make your balsamic reduction. All you have to do is pour the balsamic vinegar into a pot with the honey, bring to a boil and let simmer until it’s reduces to about half of the liquid that you started with. Set it aside and let it cool slightly before pouring it on your pizza.

Once the pizza is out of the oven, top it with handfuls of arugula, drizzle on the reduction, and serve. This recipe will probably become a summer staple because who doesn’t like pizza and wine on the back patio?

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