Bahston pizza

Once upon a time in a place called America, there was a city on the east coast where free-blooded Americans and awful British people or, as they were known in that day, Tommy Redcoats, lived together. The Tommy Redcoats lived terribly happy lives, but only because they spent all the times oppressing the free-blooded Americans.

One day, the free-blooded Americans decided to do something to get rid of the Tommy Redcoats. They knew that the Tommy Redcoats really liked tea: they drank it for breakfast, lunch,dinner, and teatime. The free-blooded Americans thought that if they hid all of the Tommy Redcoats' tea, they would leave for good.

So, on Christmas Eve when all the Tommy Redcoats were sleeping, the free-blooded Americans snuck into the Tommy Redcoats' kitchens and took their tea. Then they ran to the local harbor and tossed the tea into the ocean so that the Tommy Redcoats could never find it.

When the Tommy Redcoats awoke in the morning, they went to have their morning spot-o-tea, but couldn't find any. They looked in all their cupboards, but there was no tea to be found. So, they walked up to the American President and asked where they could find some more tea. He said, "Not here. Maybe in British England."

So the Tommy Redcoats packed up all their things and moved back to England, leaving the free-blooded Americans to be freer and bolder than ever before.

This event came to be known as the Great Boston Tea Party and is still written about in American history books today.

Thankfully, the free-blooded Americans and the British (as they are known today) became best friends by means of a young ambassador named Harry Potter and fabulous garden parties between Thomas Roosevelt and Margerie Thatcher.

And that is how the city of Boston came to be world-famous.

Our very own Provo has a restaurant that honors this famous city's cuisine: the Nicolitalia Pizzeria (or, as the younger generation calls it, the NCMO-italia Pizzeria ... boom chicka chicka). I went to visit this landmark of Provo patriotism with an authentic person who once lived in Boston. It was a special special special special special special dinner time. And the person was a girl.

Here, everything is in Bostonian which, as my girl-person told me, means you put a really pronounced "A" sound in random words. So instead of "appetizers," here's it's "appetizAHs," instead of "paremesian," it's "pAHmesiAHn," and the like.

Anyway, I asked the girl-person what we should eat and she, being the Bostonian she is, suggested we got the Nicolitalia Special. We got a large (14'') pizza and a side of breadsticks. The total was about $20 and there was definitely enough to fill both of us up.

The Nicolitalia Special is basically a combo pizza. Sausage, onions, peppAHroni, mushrooms, and peppAHs deck this pizza out. According the the girl I was with, these toppings make the signature Boston pizza. I'll take her word for it. As far as I'm concerned, it was just a dAHn good pizza.


The sausage was just a tinge spicy, the onions were juicy and flavorful, the peppahs were fresh, and the peppahroni and mushrooms blended into the background, enhancing the flavor and texture of the overall pizza. Also, the crust was perfect: just a bit crisp on the outside, yet chewy and fluffy on the inside. Derng.

Proof that we ate it.

The sauce and cheese were also good. The sauce was flavorful, but there wasn't too much of it (a good thing). It seems that the cheese's primary purpose was to keep the toppings attached to the top of the pizza. There was just enough of it to cover the whole surface of the pizza, yet not so much that it wasn't dripping from the pizza. Get out of town, Tommy Redcoats! America's got this pizza under control!

The breadsticks were also good. They were all different, definitely made by hand at the restaurant, not some made-in-China box. Some were skinny, some were lumpy, some were skinny and lumpy. They were all very soft and chewy, definitely not as crisp as the pizza crust. We ordered the house sauce (a mix of marinara and ranch dip) to dip them into. It was a pleasurable experience.

In order to appreciate America's rich heritage of not drinking tea and getting rid of people we don't like, all free-blooded Americans must go here. The pizza's real good and so are the NCMO's boom chicka chicka.

Get rid of the stressmester

Doesn't going to BYU suck sometimes? If you're like me, you flew by in high school (and community college), but doing real college is a lot harder. What make it so hard?!! What's the secret?

Well the secret might be:

1) Before the end of this month, you'll probably have taken at least one  midterm, written two papers about stuff you didn't even want to read about, and read two books you'd never heard of before.

2) Don't forget you're a Mormon, which means you probably need to write a talk, visit your home (or visiting) teachees, and plan a ward activity before the end of the month too.

3) Add to this the twenty hours of work you squeeze in on a weekly basis and:

Your life is a jungle gym of stress, complete with monkey bar midterms, relationship slides, and that spinny-wheel thing that gives you a headache and makes you want to throw up.

 Although you may feel stressed enough, there's one more thing you have to do which is all-too-often ignored: Family History work. Joseph Smith said, “We without [our ancestors] cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect” (Doctrine and Covenants 128:18). Recent Church leaders have particularly encouraged youth and young adults (i.e. the computer-literate generation) to be actively involved in Family History research. So basically, do your Family History or go to hell. No pressure.

But when you hear a talk about Family History, you're kind of like:


Understandably, Family History work gets pushed to the sidelines in your life. You might go to a Family History class or attend the temple periodically, but aside from that, the hard-core, nitty gritty of researching your ancestors gets pushed back to “someday when.” “Someday, when I don’t have homework anymore,” or, “Someday, when I’m retired.”

Oy vey! With all the fraking things already attacking your attention, what are the effects of doing Family History research on your stress level?

As a student entering my fifth year of college (anticipating my effing sixth), I’ve tried a lot of methods of de-stressing myself. Some, like regular exercise and temple attendance, have been effective. Others, like spending four hours a day on Facebook or watching movies all weekend, have not been effective. I think the reason has something to do with this: if I’m taking a break by doing something I know I should do anyway (like exercise), then I feel less stress. If I take a break by doing something I know I should do sparingly (like check Facebook), I’m just going to stress myself out more. I’m no genius or anything, but it turns out I’m on the right track.

According to the Internet, having a productive hobby can simplify your life by reducing the pressures you feel from other obligations. The Internet says, “Serious hobbyists feel less anxiety, depression and hostility, and enjoy more positive moods than people who spend their time in other ways." A stress-relieving hobby should be challenging, but not so hard that it makes you want to give/throw up. However, passive hobbies, such as watching TV or having a one-man pizza-eating contest, are bad hobbies.

How many nights have you postponed homework by watching a movie, playing a video game, eating a bowl of cookie dough, or staring at your roommates doing their homework, just because you needed some time to de-stress?

A truly effective method of de-stressing is by participating in a guilt-free hobby. Why not do Family History as a guilt-free, stress-reducing hobby?

Family History is hard, but the hard part of Family History work can largely be eliminated if you're a BYU student. Major resources at BYU are available for freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

  • First, the BYU Family History library is open seven days a week (except for the first and third Sundays of the month) and offers Family History classes.
  • Second, Ancestry.com, the world’s LARGEST database of genealogical documents, can be accessed for freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee when you’re hooked up to BYU Internet. Whoa.
As with many hobbies, getting started on your Family History can be hard, but it becomes easier the longer that you do it, and, when you do it at BYU, starting isn’t as awful as it could be.

Also, you could start with an easy part of Family History, then move on to the hard parts as you gain more experience and confidence. Different aspects of Family History include:

  • keeping a personal history (easy)
  • interviewing family members on the verge of death and recording their stories (easy)
  • indexing (never been a fan)
  • digitizing old photos and sharing them online (you'd get legit kudos if you did this)
  • doing the research for your own ancestors and taking their names to the temple (my favorite)
As you get tired of doing one certain part of Family History work, you can move on to a different part, gaining new skills and knowledge the whole way. #winning

When you do start working on the nitty gritty research for your own ancestors, have a specific goal for a specific ancestor instead of trying to do the work for multiple ancestors at once. Otherwise, you're gonna have a bad time. Also, don't research your ancestors ONLY to do their temple work. The real benefits come from learning who your ancestors actually were.

Family History is totes a worthwhile distraction from school. By spending an hour or so doing Family History research each week, I’m able to find information about ancestors that no one in my family has known before. I’m able to reunite families that have been separated for centuries. Heckfire, doing Family History research and taking my ancestors’ names to the temple is a lot more satisfying than going to the Testing Center has ever been.

If you’ve served a mission, how great would it be to take a break from the constant nagging of homework by feeling the way you did on your mission? Even if you haven’t served a mission, you’ll find that a servicful hobby is much more rewarding than scrolling through Facebook or eating a carton of ice cream.

But perhaps you feel that all of your Family History work has been done already and, therefore, taking up Family History as a hobby would be pointless. My BEST FRIEND Kaden Taylor is the great-great-great-grandson of John Taylor. You'd think he wouldn't have any Family History work to do, but of course he does, just a bit less than the average Mormon.

Kaden tells me that having less ancestors that need temple work allows him to focus his research. He also likes the idea of finding information that no one in his family has known before. Dang, he's great.

Doing Family History was something specially designed for our generation. We’re pros at Facebook-stalking our crushes and googling random crap that we NEED TO KNOW. Why not do the same thing for our ancestors?

“It is no coincidence that FamilySearch and other tools have come forth at a time when young people are so familiar with a wide range of information and communication technologies,” Elder Bednar said in the October 2011 general conference. “The skills and aptitude evident among many young people today are a preparation to contribute to the work of salvation.”

As a Latter-day Saint, you’re also a pro at deciding what’s important and devoting your energy to that. For example, even though money is a very necessary part of life, you set aside ten percent of your income to give as tithing, still having enough to pay the bills and go on dates. You’re also capable of fulfilling a calling, a commitment that’s sometimes a full-time job at other churches, while still fulfilling work and school obligations. Heck, you may even be so good at time management that you set aside work and school obligations for eighteen months to two whole years in order to serve a full-time mission. Being a Latter-day Saint is to your advantage when it comes to setting aside time to do Family History research. Time management and making priorities are something you’ve been doing your whole LDS life.

Adding Family History to your list of priorities is not something that will drag you down and drown you like a sack of unwanted puppies. Family History is a sure-fire way to take your mind off your hectic day-to-day life and allow you to think about what matters most.

Your life is busy and you’re doing your best to meet all your school, work, and Church obligations. Thankfully, you have Family History to take your mind off things every now and again. Take advantage of the resources available at BYU to make Family History research a guilt-free break from your stress-prone life.


Saucy pants

Okay people, so I thought I'd try the thing where I try to teach y'all how to make food again, but this time, I decided to do something that I legitly know how to cook.

Tomato sauce is something that I eat sometimes. It can go on pasta, lasagna, or homemade pizza (but I'd use less warter in the sauce if I made a pizza).

I learned how to make my own sauce when I was in the Russia. We always bought tomato paste, so I learned by ear how to mix the right amount of water and spices to make the perfect sauce. And this sauce is perfect. You start with a tiny can of tomato paste and end up with a whole ton of suited-to-you tomato sauce. Look at you, fancy pants.
Turn this ...

... into food.


6 oz. can of tomato paste
1 C water
1/4 onion
1 1/2 t garlic powder
1 T basil
1 1/2 t oregano
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Step 1: The onion

Onions are the basis of taste in so much food. They're a staple to basically any stove-top recipe. A lot of the flavor in soup, sauce, and stir fry recipes is dependent on the onion. If you're cooking something and it's lacking that flavorful boom chicka chicka, chances are you're missing your onion (or garlic, but that comes later).

Start by peeling your onion. Onions are like ogres: they have layers. The top layer (or two) is papery -- you don't want that. Peel it off and throw it away. The layer beneath that is rubbery. You don't want that either; throw it away. The layers beneath that should be crisp and easy to cut through: that's what you want. (This may be "duh" to some of you, but having lived exclusively with guys for the past four years, I know that things like this aren't always intuitive.) Cut a quarter out of your onion and chop it into baby pieces (like, a quarter the size of a french fry or smaller). Throw it into a pan greased with cooking spray, oil, or butter. Heat it to a quarter or half heat. Cook until the onion pieces start to become transparent. You don't want them to turn brown or crispy-looking.
I used red onions, butt it doesn't matter.

Step 2: The sauce

While that's cooking (you can do this step while the onions are cooking if you keep your eyes on them), y'all need to mizz your water with your tomato paste. Dump the insides of your can of tomato paste into a big-ish bowl (like, a big cereal bowl, nothin' huge, though). Once you did this, dump that 1 cup of warter on top. Mix with a fork (or hand) and you'll get a saucy mizzture.
It looks like tomato poop lol.
Tomato diarrhea!

Step 3: Get the Spice Girls

Next, you're gonna want to flavor your sauce. You can just pour the seasonings into the bowl with your tomato-paste-now-tomato-sauce.

1 1/2 teaspoons of Garlic Powder: Like onions, garlic powder is a necessary part of ANYTHING tasting good. Life would be so bland without it. I hear tell it's more flavorful than actual garlic but doesn't make your breath smell abhorrent. Wow. If you cook something, but it's lacking something, throw some extra garlic powder in to fix it.

1 tablespoon of Basil: A delicate herb, it'll make the sauce taste fresh.

1 1/2 teaspoons of Oregano: Given my extensive knowledge of Italian cooking, I can say that oregano is THE Italian spice. Your tomato sauce won't taste like tomato sauce without it. Likewise, if you ever has a pizza that needs a pick-me-up, sprinkle some oregano on it.

1 teaspoon of Salt: Not too much, but just the right amount with make all the other flavors come out (#everysundayschoollessonever).

1/2 teaspoon of Pepper: Packs a punch that your sauce will be boring without.

Mizz all the seasonings with your tomato sauce and stick your finger in it to see if it tastes how you want. #magic

Step 4: Mizz

Pour your bowl of seasoned sauce into the pan of now-cooked onions and heat until the sauce is warm. Then put it on pasta and eat it.

You turned a tiny can of tomato paste into a panful of tomato sauce. That's a big deal, saucy pants.

So this is a super easy recipe that'll save you all the monies in the world and allow you to make a sauce that really speaks to you. Obviously, you can add anything to it that you want (like cooked ground beef or veggies). Is this great or what?