Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pizza Crust

As promised, here is an easy and delicious pizza crust recipe from my cousin, Beth.

Be creative with your pizza! How 'bout this Thai Chicken Pizza? Or just go for something simple with the freshest ingredients possible. Really, it's tough to loose!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Caved...

I ate out today. After an afternoon of running back and forth across town, and a little episode with my truck. By little episode I mean an annoying incident that left me on the outside of the vehicle while my keys hung out inside, on the seat in plain view. Just taunting me...

Last night I cooked a killer rib-eye with garlic mashed potatoes and a bourbon/thyme pan sauce. After all of the cooking and cleaning yesterday, plus the long afternoon running around, it was very easy to cave in and head to one of our local Mexican joints.

I suppose I am learning about my own weaknesses. Step 2 would involve learning how to combat them...

Tomorrow is another day!

Friday, August 7, 2009

That Was Easy

So far so good! I only ate out once this week.

Let me just say how lucky I am though! My mother lives about 2 miles away, and is retired, AND loves to cook. That means that goodies are constantly getting sent my way. Just yesterday, and I must admit this was a particularly generous day, I received gifts of shrimp and pesto pasta, lasagna, and home made North Carolina style pulled pork BBQ. Now who needs eating on the run when you have treasures like these partying it up in your fridge.

Now that my husband is brewing beer at our house, you may never see us out again! But visit.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ate Out Yesterday...

Yesterday I went to Panara Bread for lunch with friends. See, that's where I get to cheat....It's the "with friends" part that keeps that specific outing in line with my goals. The main purpose of this "month off" is to teach myself that with a little bit of disipline, I can save myself money and calories if I just plan ahead a bit. I however do not plain on curbing my social lifestyle.

Monday's pizza turned out fabulous, and I even made enough to send John off with some for lunch. I really think leftovers will be the key to success here because there is just no excuse for not finding the energy to heat something up for 60 seconds in the microwave, ya know?

Take today for example:

Breakfast: Leftover pancakes.
Lunch: Leftover egg salad sandwich on whole grain bread and some cherries

For dinner I am planning a beef and bean stirfry with a hefty serving of thai basil from my garden. See this recipe for the basics. Sub out any veggies or meats you want!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'll be Eating In, Thank You

I'm back! At least for now.... Ever since our move into a new house, things have been just so busy that my blogging has fallen to the wayside.

Hopefully I will still continue to post recipes and pictures, but for now, I am going to ease back into the blogosphere by posting about my latest scheme to eat more healthy/ save money/ save the world, etc. Ok, maybe the world will not be saved, but I HAVE set a pretty lofty goal for myself.

The goal is to not eat out for an entire month! Save for planned outings with friends, I will be cooking all meals at home and enjoying them! No more random stops at Wendy's while rushing around, or lazy nights when a hectic day has made cooking seem impossible. The perks here will be that I will splurge a bit on ingredients when I really want something. Yesterday for instance I had a bowl full of fresh veggies marinated in a delicious ginger dressing and an entire 1/2 pound fillet of pecan crusted catfish from Whole Foods for only 5 bucks...the cost of a crappy hamburger at McDonalds!

So here goes nothin'

Day 1 Breakfast: Coffee and a homemade granola bar leftover from this weekends bake sale. Yummy!

For lunch, I'll have to see what I can throw together...

Dinner: I've got some homemade pizza crust in the fridge, all set and ready for grilled BBQ chicken pizza this evening.

How often do you eat out? I think I was about 4 times a week...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Spicy Turkey Chili

Here's a delicious lowerfat chili recipe that I'd like to pass on. I use lean turkey meat instead of beef, and bulk up the flavors using ancho chili powder, a dash of cinnamon and roasted corn. If you aren't interested in using ground turkey, ground beef would be just as delicious.


1 large can diced tomatoes
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken or beef broth/stock
4 1/2 Tbs ancho chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 Tbs Mexican oregano
1 tsp cinnamon
3 bay leaves
1 large vidalia onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 green pepper
1.25 pounds of 93% lean ground turkey
2 ears of corn
1 can of black beans
3 Tbs pickled jalapeno peppers (diced)

Tasty Garnishes

sour cream
cheddar cheese
raw onions

Serves 6

Start by dicing up onions, garlic and green peppers. Saute ingredients in a large stew pot alongside all of the spices and herbs for about 5 minutes, or until the veggies begin to soften. Add in the turkey, and break up the meat until it is cooked through and in small morsels. Season with salt and pepper. Add in both cans of tomatoes and the black beans (drained of course) and the broth. While mixture is simmering, roast corn in the oven using your broiler until the kernels are golden brown in color. This should take 5-10 minutes. Once cool, slice the kernels from the cob and add into the chili along with the diced jalapeno peppers. Let cook for at least 30 minutes (or all day if you have time) check seasonings and serve with your favorite garnish. We love corn bread with this too!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Broccoli and Tomato Casserole

I hate the word casserole. It implies some sort of mushy baked concoction usually containing one or more cans of condensed soup, some sort of bland meat, and absolutely no personality. But every once in a while you try something that surprises you. May I present to you my Mom's broccoli and tomato casserole. A summertime delight that you'll have to work a little bit for, but trust won't mind one bit once you taste it.


3 cups of broccoli florets
3 large tomatoes ( sliced)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1.5 cups whole milk
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 teaspoon oregano
a light sprinkle of garlic salt

Start by melting butter in a saucepan and adding in the flour. Stir for about 30 seconds until all of the flour is incorporated. In a microwaveable bowl, heat the milk until warm. Add half the milk slowly to a second bowl containing 2 beaten eggs. You're actually tempering the eggs. Add the other half into the saucepan with the butter and the flour, and whisk thoroughly. Now slowly add in the egg mixture and whisk until thickened. Next add in half of your cheese and 3/4 of the oregano. Stir until combined, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over an oven safe pan containing a mixed layer of broccoli florets and thick slices of tomato. Top with the remaining cheese, and sprinkle with garlic salt and a small pinch of dried oregano. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until slightly brown on top.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chocolate Covered Easter Eggs

Well, it's a little late, but these were so cute I decided to blog them anyway! Put this one in your recipe box for next year, or mold them into another shape for your next themed party. WARNING: THIS WILL SATISFY A SERIOUS SWEET TOOTH!


16 ounces of confectioners sugar (one bag)
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon milk
10oz chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Decorative coating (optional)

red food coloring
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Grass (optional)

1 bag coconut
green food coloring
yellow food coloring
zip-lock bag

In a mixing bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter and milk until blended. Mixture will be crumbly, but you should be able to kneed it a bit into something that almost resembles a stiff cookie dough. Shape mixture into small egg shapes and freeze for about 1 hour. You can freeze these for longer, but you may need to let them thaw a bit before working with them. When you are ready to work with the eggs, put chocolate chips into a saucepan with vegetable oil and melt over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Insert a toothpick into each egg, and dip into the chocolate mixture. When the eggs are cooled and set, remove the toothpick.

To decorate, heat white chocolate chips, vegetable oil, and food coloring as done previously with the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Drizzle this "icing" over your finished eggs.

For extra flair, try this easy coconut grass for serving with the eggs!

Empty desired amount of coconut into a zip-lock baggie. Add in a combination of yellow and green food coloring, close the bag, and kneed with your hands until you have reached a color that is pleasing to you! You may need to use quite a bit of coloring to get a nice rich looking bed for the eggs. I hope your family enjoys!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Smoked Salmon Pizza

Haha! She's back! I mean, I am back...not sure why I switched over into the third person. Over the past year, my husband and I subcontracted our own home, sold the one we were in, and moved into what is the nicest place I have ever had the pleasure of owning. It was one hell of a struggle making ends meet for awhile through the building process, but we're here. We're settled. And dammit, I am ready to cook!

First up, a shoot from the hip (use what's in the fridge) inspired, Smoked Salmon and Caramelized Onion Pizza. Shazaaam...and so delicious!


Enough pizza dough to make a 12'' thin-crust pie
1 tablespoon of cornmeal
1/2 cup cream cheese - room temperature
1/2-3/4 cup flaked smoked salmon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onions
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tablespoon of diced chives
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt (optional)

Serves 2- 3

Start by rolling out your pizza dough as thin as you can get it, and placing it on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. This keeps the dough from sticking and adds a nice texture to the crust. Then let it rest for about 30 minutes as you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Oh yeah, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Next, place your onions into a small frying pan on medium heat along with the butter and olive oil. Saute for about 3 minutes, and then reduce heat to medium low and add in the sugar. Cook for about another 10 minutes until the onions are very tender and beginning to caramelize. If they look like they might burn during this process, sometimes I add in a splash of water just to help cool the pan down and create a little bit of a sauce for the onions to tenderize in as they cook. Set aside.

After 30 minutes, and before adding any toppings, pop your dough into the oven for 7 minutes. This will give the dough a headstart on the rest of the ingredients and give you a nice crunchy crust. Pull the crust from the oven, up the temperature to 450, and prep the rest of the pizza as the oven heats up. Top with cream cheese, salmon, caramelized onions and parmesan cheese. Season the pizza with a bit of cracked pepper and a tiny bit of salt. Go light here, or skip this step all-together if your smoked salmon is really heavily seasoned. Drizzle with some good olive oil and bake for about 5-10 minutes more depending on how crunchy you like your crust. You're finished! Let the pizza cool for a moment before cutting, and dig in!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

OMG I miss being in the kitchen!

Right now my kitchen is in shambles as we prepare to move to a new home. I must admit, I have eaten McDonald's twice in the past 2 weeks, as well as my share of frozen pizza, and Mexican. Look for a slew of healthy recipes coming your way soon. I intend to take full advantage of this Spring's bounty. Can't wait for colorful food, and dishes that make you feel good about yourself.

Until then....I bid you good-day!