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Feb 17, 2013
I posted a picture on instagram this past week of the homemade pizza I made for the husband and I on Valentine’s night, and several of you said you would love to have the recipe. Well, I highly recommend it!!
First I want to say that this crust is super deep dish. We wanted a deep dish crust, so we were super happy with it. But I just have to warn you it was the deepest dished pizza I’ve ever seen. You could always take out some of the dough to make it less thick, I suppose. But I would advice against it if you’re a big crust person! It was soft and sort of flaky, just like real deep dish pizza.
The recipe is by Bobby Flay, and I found it here. I only used the crust part of the recipe and did my own thing with the toppings. We made two pizzas. One was a 10 inch pie pan and the other was 9 inch. On one pizza I added olive oil, then mozzerella, feta, sundried tomatoes, and spinach. The only thing I would do differently next time is I would wait until it is almost done cooking before adding the sundried tomatoes. They were a bit charred this time:)
For the other pizza, I spread store bought pizza sauce before adding mozzarella, feta, and grated Parmesan cheese. I wouldn’t change a thing about this one!
Two other things I did differently from the recipe in the baking process – I didn’t use a pizza stone (because I don’t have one) and I only baked these for a total of 25 minutes rather than the recommend 40. If I had left it in the full time, the whole thing would have been charred!
So, there ya go! If you make it let me know what you think! The process of making the dough was a bit lengthy, but most of the time was spent just letting it rise. The hands on time was actually fairly minimal. And it was so worth it! We ate the leftovers today (3 days later), and they were just as good as the first time!
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Jan 9, 2013
Not too long ago, sometime before the chaos of the holidays set in, I packed the twins up one day and headed east. My grandpa and grandma live just far enough away that we don’t get to see them as much as we’d like, but not too far for a day trip visit. To some it may sound silly, but before I got pregnant one of the things I was extremely excited about at the thought of having a baby was giving my grandpa and grandma their first great-grandchild. And the day we told them there was a baby on the way was up there on my list of best moments.
So not only did I want to take the twins for a fun visit, I had something else in mind as well. To me, my grandpa has been known for many things. Among them are working on planes at Tinker Air Force Base for most of his life, loving snickers bars, being able to fix any problem on a car, and making the best peanut brittle you’ve ever tasted.
As far back as I can remember, every year as the weather starts to turn cold and festive decorations begin to appear, everyone who knows my grandpa begins to anticipate the day they’ll receive their package of peanut brittle. And believe me, it’s not just any peanut brittle. It’s a recipe that was passed down from my great-grandma Loise. Super thick, light, and fluffy – it really is in a league of its own. But it’s not just the taste that makes it so special. With my grandma overseeing and hopping in to help when needed, my grandpa spends hours in the kitchen watching the sweet, peanutty mixture begin to brown, dumping in the special ingredient, and then “stirring the fire out of it” before dumping it onto a baking sheet. He makes nearly 20 batches a season, with each batch taking about 45 minutes…it truly is a work of love.
While the peanut brittle tradition is something I’ll always think of when I think of my grandpa George, I had never actually seen him make it. This year when the time drew near I realized what an injustice it is that I’ve never had the chance to see how it’s done. Helping him was every bit as interesting and fun as I knew it would be; seeing him work and having him teach me each step of the process was far better than just reading it on the recipe card.
While I told my grandpa he should hide away his recipe so that no one can ever make peanut brittle just like his, he insists that the recipe should be shared with anyone who wants it. But I have a hunch that it’s not just about following the recipe, rather it’s about the perfect peanuts, the special pot that he uses, the certain way he stirs it and how he knows just the perfect moment to take it off the fire before it burns.
Our visit was a highlight of the holiday season for me, and as the twins get older I can’t wait to take them out to help their great-grandpa. And it’s always a bonus to get cuddled by great-grandma in between batches.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup white karo syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups raw peanuts
- 1 stick margarine
- 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
Boil together sugar, karo syrup and water. Stir constantly until it spins a thread (about 12-15 minutes) (see spoon photo above). Be sure it spins a good thread. Add 2 cups raw peanuts and 1 cube margarine. Continue to cook and sitr until it turns the color of peanut brittle and peanuts begin to pop (about 10-15 minutes). Add one heaping teaspoon baking soda and stir rapidly. Let it foam up, then pour into a greased 9X15 inch pan while it is still foaming. Don’t press it down. Just let it roll into the pan and settle on its own.
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Aug 15, 2012
If you’ve been around my blog for very long, then you know that not too long ago I was eating a mostly vegan diet. Once I became pregnant, though, it didn’t take me long to start including dairy and eggs again. For one thing, I was so sick for the first 16 weeks or so that it was really hard to eat much of anything. Since my options were already limited by sickness, I didn’t feel like I could limit them even more by not including such a wide food group. You may be wondering why I didn’t also start including meat based on that philosophy, and the simple answer is that I just couldn’t. My feelings about actually eating animal flesh just run too deep, and after 4 years of being a vegetarian I just can’t stomach the thought of biting into a piece of meat.
Another reason dairy and eggs showed back up is because I was really feeling a need for more protein options. It took me a little while to concede, primarily out of stubbornness. I really wanted to prove that a healthy vegan diet is possible during pregnancy. And I still do believe it can be done, but for me personally, it just wasn’t worth the stress of making it work.
So, since I started eating eggs again, I’ve really been enjoying them! I do make sure to buy both organic and free range, although I know some of that labeling can be a gimmick. But until I find a local farm to buy from, I’ll do all I can do.
Some of my current favorite egg concoctions:
cooked in the microwave in a small bowl for 2 minutes, then sandwiched on a whole wheat english muffin with a bit of cheese and hot sauce
spinach, mushroom and onion fritatta made by the husband. this was hands down my favorite. absolutely delicious! you must make this super easy recipe.
egg salad sandwich - I didn’t really measure amounts, but just threw together a couple of mashed, hard boiled eggs, chopped spinach, chopped onion, chopped pickles, salt and pepper, and a tiny bit of Earth Balance olive oil mayo. Don’t forget to toast your bread and add some avocado slices to really take it up a notch:)
While scrambled used to be my favorite, I’m also really enjoying fried lately.
I just spray a pan with olive oil cooking spray and drop two eggs onto it. While they cook I usually spread some hummus and hot sauce on a pita or tortilla, and then lay the eggs on top, fold it over, and done! In less than 5 minutes I have a delicious and protein filled breakfast. The combo of hummus, egg and hot sauce really can’t be beat.
And of course they’re awesome plain too.
All I can say is I really hope these babies like eggs because they’re getting a lot of them!
Are you a fan of eggs? What’s your favorite way to eat them? I’m always looking for more ideas:)
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Mar 23, 2011
Last Friday I got an email from my sweet friend, Amber saying that there would be live music at one of the quaintest little coffee shops in town located in Full Circle Bookstore. I didn’t know what our evening plans were yet, but the husband and I are always down for live music! We arrived about an hour late and finally found a seat in the far back corner. And when I say a seat I really mean a seat. We shared it. I never mind having an excuse to get a little closer to the husband anyway
I was so excited to meet Amber for the first time! She was exactly like I had pictured her, which I think is such a great thing. I love it when people are so real on their blogs that when you meet them IRL they are exactly as you imagined them. Amber also had her two cute kiddos and her husband with her, and I loved getting to meet the whole family. Sadly, the picture of us must have been eaten by my camera because it is no where to be found.
The music was great too – a group of violinists called The Stringents who covered all kinds of old and new songs. We love groups like that! Anyway, I got so caught up in talking about our time with Olive over the weekend, and I totally forgot to mention our epic Friday night!
This morning the husband and I got our mojo back by heading out for our four miler before the sun had even shown its face. We both had a great run despite the hills, crazy strong wind and a short bout of stomach troubles for me. It sure felt good to have a great workout already done by 7am. Love it when we drag ourselves out of bed that early!
After sending the husband off to work and taking a quick shower, I decided to make some breakfast. After browsing a few recipes online, I finally settled on Angela’s spelt pancake recipe.
It was super easy – just a matter of mixing the dry ingredients and then adding milk! I actually had to add in more milk after mixing it up because it was a little too thick; other than that I followed the recipe exactly.
These were pretty tasty. They were maybe a little too dense for my “loving”, but overall not bad.
Also making its debut in my kitchen this morning: coconut butter. For the last couple of weeks I have not been able to get the smooth, tropical white goodness out of my head. Last spring I bought my first and only jar because it was on sale at our local health food store. It was Artisana Cacao Bliss Raw Chocolate Coconut Butter, and it was divine. Considering I really didn’t want to go spend $10+ on a jar today, I decided to try my hand at making my own.
Unfortunately it turned out to be a little bit harder than I thought, and I ended up looking like this:
Coconut in my hair. coconut in my eyelashes. coconut everywhere really. I didn’t even know it was there until about an hour later, too. Glad I work from home currently.
Anyway. I started out by adding 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut to the Vitamix and setting it on variable speed at about 5 or 6.
It seemed to work at first, but then I couldn’t get it to stop sticking to the sides, and I began to feel like I wasn’t making any progress at all. So I added another 1/2 cup, thinking that it might help to have more, but also hoping I wasn’t just wasting even more of my precious shredded coconut. This helped for another minute or so, but then the same thing kept happening.
At this point I was getting really frustrated (read: hungry) , so I just slathered some of the coconut chunks (and apple butter!) on my piping hot pancakes and called it breakfast.
But a little while later, I was back at it. At this point, I was just so mad that it wasn’t working that I probably would have done just about anything to salvage it…so I added more coconut. One whole cup more. Desperate times people….
Hallelujah, it worked! In fact, it worked amazingly well. Within minutes the mess in my Vitamix had turned into a creamy pool of white just ready to be poured out in one smooth stream. Beauty.
Lesson learned. When in doubt, add more coconut. I think that might become my life motto actually…kind of has a nice ring to it.
Now I’m ready to start practicing with add-ins, namely cocoa. Perfect in a green monster, on an Ezekiel english muffin, as an oatmeal topper and much more!
I definitely think this would also work in a regular food processor as well.
I’m off to work on more job applications. I’m quickly learning that applying for jobs could be it’s own full-time job, and honestly I wouldn’t really mind it. Does that exist?
What’s your dream job? If you could restart at age 18 and do anything you wanted to, what would it be?
I would either go to school for a combination of nutrition and writing or just a degree in writing – like journalism maybe. With an English Education degree I was somewhat close to that, but it seems maybe not quite close enough.
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Feb 22, 2011
This morning I started the day off with a trip to the gym for a run. I ended up knocking out 3.6 miles before doing some stretching and push-ups, and then heading home. For the last couple of months my workouts have been pretty irregular, so I’ve been trying to get back into some sort of routine. Which is comical because the word routine really doesn’t have a place in my life right now.
Something else I’ve come back to after a 5 day hiatus is green smoothies!
I had to start taking some medication last week, and it completely robbed me of my appetite! There were certain things I could tolerate to eat, but one food group in particular was OUT. And that would be vegetables. A tragedy.
But now they’re back in full swing praise the Lord.
As predicted, this past weekend was so sweet despite the busyness. On Friday night we met with our house superintendent and our builder to finalize the house plans. We went through every single area of the house – inside and out – deciding on everything from doorway arches to outlets. It was a really fun meeting, and we’re hoping to be able to get our foundation poured in the next week. Fingers crossed!
We had been warned that our superintendent was….a little rough around the edges. One of those “shoot it to you straight” kind of guys. And he was. But I really liked him. His best line of the night said when the husband asked him what is normal as far as matching exterior colors: “Don’t even ask me about normal. Nothing about this house is normal, so let’s not even go there.”
The husband and I tend to like sort of a unique style…and I don’t think Doug is used to working with our type. It’ll be good for him though. hah.
After out meeting we celebrated by eating out some mexican food and then went shopping for some birthday shoes for the husband. His big 2-8 is coming up this weekend, on moving day nonetheless. Poor husband.
Saturday morning we enjoyed the beautiful weather by going for a drive…taking the long way to our favorite bagel shop.
And after filling up with an everything bagel + Tofutti cream cheese, we set out on a walk to campus. I really needed the fresh air, sunshine and endorphins, and it felt so good to just get out of the house after all the cold weather as of late. Olive had a banner day, obviously.
less than thrilled to have his picture taken
Later in the morning my mother-in-law came into town to help us pack, and thank the heavens she did. She cracked down on us and our procrastination, and we all three packed for about 10 hours total between Saturday and Sunday. We were so productive and got so much done, but it really made me realize how much we have left to do! I’m so glad she came because otherwise I’d be in a bad place at this point.
update: I decided for the time being I am growing my hair out, but the resulting poofiness is about to send me running to the salon
Sunday we stayed home from church in lieu of maximizing time packing with MIL, but the husband and I did rise early and go for a 4 mile run. Aside from the 30 mile an hour gusts of wind, the run wasn’t half bad. You know how you just have on days and off days? Well, this was an on day for me. No amount of wind could have kept me from rocking that run. I love days like that! By about hour four of packing, my legs were really feeling it, though.
This week will be a bit sparse as far as good food because I currently am finishing packing up my entire kitchen. Last night I made vegan enchiladas for dinner, and I made enough to have leftovers one night this week. Other than that we’ll probably be eating veggie wraps, Amy’s, or cereal for the rest of our meals. It’s only for a week though! I just keep reminding myself of that.
In other news, I still need to share a couple of tasty raw (ish) meals I made last week before the aversion to veggies took over. I initially found both of these in Crazy Sexy Diet, and they’re so good they’re even husband approved! Typically I don’t have a hard time keeping it raw until lunch, but when dinner comes this girl needs some cooked (read: hot!) food. This is an example of a meal I had for dinner a couple of times.
I filled a plate up with a massaged kale avocado salad.
With it I had a smaller portion of quinoa with slightly stir-fried veggies.
For the salad, I tore up a whole bunch of kale into bite sized pieces. Then I added about 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 small avocado, and I got my hands in there and massaged away. The dressing turned into a creamy coating over all the leaves that softened the kale, both texture and flavor wise. The husband commented that it tasted quite similar to a ceasar salad, and I would have to agree!
Next, I very lightly sauteed various veggies (zucchini, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, onions etc) in a wok and then sprayed them with Braggs several times. Just before it was done, I added the chick peas and stir friend until they were heated through. Meanwhile, I had a pot of quinoa cooking on the stove, and when it was all done I poured the veggies over the quinoa, plated it, and that was it!
This meal was so easy and delicious! I had the salad again the next day for lunch, and still had leftovers after that. So if you’re eating alone, you may want to half the recipe.
I’m getting in some extra tutoring hours with my students this week as they all have some really important events coming up. Works out for me too because I’ve got some important events coming up that need some money! Otherwise, the husband and I are just trying to keep our heads above water with work and packing. It’s a crazy time for sure!
Hope you all had a lovely weekend!
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