Neapolitan-Style Pizza with Mozzarella and Arugula

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Homemade pizza is so cheap, easy and infinitely customizable that you will wonder why you ever spent $15 on mediocre pizza delivery. Not to mention that the owners of both Papa John’s and Domino’s really need to keep their mouths shut about politics. (Why do business owners opine about hot-button subjects? I see no advantage to this.)

What’s even better than saving money? Maybe nothing, but watching pizza dough rise is pretty darn cool, and watching the dough come together all of a sudden in your food processer, it’s like magic. I am definitely a meat-eater, but when it comes to pizza I prefer high-quality cheese and veggies. I’m also running high on a new-found obsession with arugula, so I’ve started putting it anywhere I can. This pizza also makes me feel like I’m being kind of healthy since it’s piled high with the color green.

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The Simplest, Most Delicious Homemade Brownies. And All About Fats.

Olive oil from Imperia in Liguria, Italy.

Olive oil from Imperia in Liguria, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is really no reason to make brownies from a box, full of ingredients that are not only hard to pronounce but also not really food, and cups of processed oils. Processed oils, while cheap, are often hydrogenated,  highly refined and full of trans fat. Let’s talk about fats and hydrogenated oils for a minute, because it can get confusing. (I’ll admit, this is as much of a refresher for me as it is for you.) Diets high in trans (and saturated – but this is controversial) fats are linked to chronic diseases, such as heart disease, and saturated fats usually contain lots of cholesterols and often contribute to raising the level of your bad cholesterol. Most saturated fats come from animal and plant sources. So, they’re naturally occurring. All of this is what the American Heart Association and the FDA guidelines will tell you. And it’s true, to an extent. “Everything in moderation, right?”

However, this is not to say that we should be replacing our butter with margarine and eliminate eggs and red meat from our diet. Fats from animal and plant sources provide lots of concentrated energy for our diet and are naturally occurring (as opposed to, say, highly refined vegetable shortening like Crisco). They also provide the building blocks for cell membranes and hormones. Eating rich foods high in fats slows down our nutrient absorption and keeps us feeling fuller, longer. Fats are essential for many bodily processes.  So, the theory that there is a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and the incidence of coronary heart disease isn’t necessarily a myth, but it is flawed. Low-fat diets are effective in weight loss but are hard to stick to (causing low energy, difficulty in concentration, and even weight gain!) I’m going to get kind of political on you here (yes, this is supposed to be a post about brownies) so skip right along to the recipe if you like, or keep reading if I’ve piqued your interest…

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