Category Archives: Taste

Little People Food

Lately I have been cooking up a storm for the (almost 10 month old) little guy.  Sometimes he eats better than my husband & I.  Seriously.  I really enjoy seeing him try new foods for the first time.  It’s especially fun since he likes pretty much everything.  A little mini foodie, if you will ;)

My good friend has a babe a few months older than Luke and she turned me on to a pumpkin seed & spinach pesto that we love on elbow noodles.  Yes, “we” love.  There are nights I end up just eating his food along with him.  Not only is it tasty but I have no energy left for making my own meal.  She also told me about a salmon cake recipe that Luke really enjoys.

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Salmon Rice Cakes

I also recently did a spin on these meatballs.  I used ground turkey instead of chicken, accidentally forgot to add the applesauce, and threw in some parmesan.  And I found them to be delicious!  The recipe makes a ton so I freeze them and just pop one in the microwave to heat up for a meal (I do this for pretty much all the things I make except the pasta dishes).  I can’t wait to experiment with all kinds of different ingredients in my future meatballs!

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I made pumpkin apple pancakes as a sweet treat for the mornings.  I used just a dash of sugar instead of a tablespoon and I sautéed chopped apples in just a tiny bit of butter with cinnamon to get them real soft before adding to the pancake mixture.

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And lastly in my freezer rotation are these broccoli & cheese frittata fingers.  I happened to have some broccoli & zucchini I needed to use up when I came across this recipe and it was also super easy to make.  I even threw in some green onion that was going to go to waste if I didn’t use it soon.

We have tried some fun pasta dishes that are loosely based on recipes I have come across online.  Some of his favorites included elbow noodles with meyer lemon, ricotta cheese, peas & a dash of garlic powder as well as pastina with cream cheese & grated zucchini.

And some of Luke’s favorite snacks or “side dishes” include peas & carrots, crackers, avocado, brown rice, shredded cheese, o’s, banana, apple & pouches (especially great for on-the-go!).

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This little man not only enjoys eating but he’s a fan of the grocery store and dining out.  Hope he stays this way!!

I am always adding more fun little people food to my pinterest board :)

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Grilled Pizza

Long time, no post!  I got a new camera recently and wanted to test it out on a blog post.  Unfortunately I am a total newbie so my photos aren’t too great.  I should have been using my extra flash but on the actual camera the photos were looking too bright.  Anyway, I am taking some classes this coming November so more to come on that.

My husband and I have been grilling pizza for awhile now.  It gives the pizza a totally different taste – almost more of an authentic taste with the slight char on the crust.  Whatever it is, we haven’t cooked a pizza in the oven since we discovered this new method of cooking our pies.  It’s rather easy too but does take a few times before you really get the hang of it.

I typically take care of prepping the dough (which is super easy considering we buy pre-made dough) & coming up with the toppings.  And my husband is the grillmaster.

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Like I said, I buy the pre-made dough in the bakery section of our grocery store.  It needs to sit out at room temp for about an hour before rolling it out.  Once it’s ready to roll, I make sure I have a clean counter top and sprinkle flour down to prevent sticking.  I then just roll it out with a pin adding more flour as necessary.

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Shape doesn’t matter so don’t strive for perfection.  Just do your best to get most of the bubbles out.

While I’m doing all the prep work, my husband is getting the grill ready.  We have a Louisiana Grill which runs on pellets.  The grill needs to be super hot for pizza grilling so we shoot for 500 degrees.

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For this particular pizza, I decided to do a white pizza.  We’ve done allll kinds of toppings in the past though.  You can really get creative with homemade pizzas which keeps it a popular dish to make on a regular basis.

I sliced up some garlic and sauteed it in some olive oil.  Once the garlic started bubbling, I added a bag of spinach to the pan.  Once the spinach wilted, I removed the pan from the heat and set aside.

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I wanted to have some of my toppings ready before we put the dough on the grill.  The dough is on the grill for a very short period of time and once the toppings go on, it goes back on for another quick minute.  Because we don’t want the grill to lose heat, we need to plan accordingly.

Before putting the dough on the grill, we brush the grill gates with olive oil.  We do this by balling up a paper towel which is dipped in olive oil and rubbing it on the grates by holding the paper towel wad with tongs.

Then we brush the dough with olive oil too.  The dough then gets placed on the grates olive oil side down.

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Let the dough grill about 1-2 minutes with lid down.  Use tongs to check the dough after 1 minute.  You want grill marks but you don’t want it completely crispy.  When ready, remove the dough with tongs.

You lay the uncooked side down and place toppings on top of the cooked side.  For this particular pizza I used  white pizza sauce that I found at the grocery story made by Classico brand.

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I then made a mixture of ricotta, shredded mozzarella & grated parmesan.  Oh and more garlic of course!  Minced this time.  So then I spread the cheese mixture on top of the sauce, then the spinach mixture, and then I topped it off with some fresh basil and italian seasoning.

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Once your toppings are on, it’s time to get the pizza back on the grill to finish cooking the other side.  The pizza should only be on the grill for about another minute on the same high temp as before with the lid down.

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And there you have it!  A delicious grilled white pizza!

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Grilled Pizza

  • Heat the grill: You should heat it quite hot; Aim for at least 500°F. If you have a choice on your grill between direct and indirect heat, set it up so the pizza is over direct heat.
  • Have your tools close to hand: You will want a pair of long metal tongs. A spatula may be helpful, although not absolutely necessary. You may want a hot pad or oven mitt if your grill lid gets hot.
  • Prep your dough: It should be stretched or rolled out into a thin circle.
  • Brush the dough with olive oil: Brush one side of the dough with oil; this is the side you’ll lay down on the grill.
  • Grill one side of the pizza: Take the lid off the grill. Lay the dough round on the grill, olive-oil-brushed-side down. Brush the top of the dough with a thin layer of olive oil too. Let the dough cook for about 3 minutes, with the lid off, or 1 to 2 minutes with the lid on. Use the tongs to lift up the dough from time to time, checking on how it is doing. You want grill marks on it, but you don’t want the dough to get crispy; it should be just set.
  • Top the pizza: Flip the dough over with the tongs or spatula. The dough should come up easily and flip without tearing. Now is where your organization comes in! You need to top the pizza quickly. Spread on a thin layer of sauce, some cheese, and toppings. It shouldn’t be too heavily loaded, or the pizza won’t cook well.  (I never just flip it on the grill and put the toppings on while it’s on the grill.  I would be too panicked to get it all done quick enough.  I like to bring the pizza back in the house and quickly arrange the toppings before putting it back on the grill)

I hope to make a pizza with homemade dough in the near future.  I’ve attempted before but it never turned out well :-/

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My Inspiration

Excited to introduce my first guest blogger!  She is someone I have always admired for many reasons and recently she just gave me another one – reaching her weight loss goals and continuing to live a healthy life!  Meet my aunt/godmother/friend/inspiration…

My Weight Loss Journey

I have been dieting ever since I can remember.  At the age of 10 my mother put me on what I now refer to as, “The Root Beer Barrel Diet.” She thought I was overweight because I was always asking for something to eat.  So, in her infinite wisdom, she decided that anytime I asked for food she’d give me a root beer barrel candy and it would satisfy my hunger.  Needless to say, it didn’t work, and to this day it stings a little when I see that candy. There were so many better ways to respond to me and it would have been a great opportunity to teach me about eating a healthy, balanced diet. Alas, that did not happen.  Parents of past generations just didn’t seem to focus on diet and exercise.  If she had even the slightest comprehension of the WeightWatchers (WW) philosophy regarding healthy attitudes and behaviors, I would not have spent the next 40 years of my life struggling through fad diets and failing each time.

In preparation for my niece’s (who just happens to be your blog writer) bachelorette party in Las Vegas, I tried once again to loss the weight. I failed to lose even a pound. A week before the trip, a co-worker came to my desk and told me about WW online.  He left my desk and never pursued it further. I, on the other hand, went online immediately and started reading about WW. My bestie had been on WW about a year earlier and lost 15 pounds so I called her up.  Her advice was:  “Just do it. Don’t do it online. Go to the meetings. Don’t tell anyone you’re doing it, and you can do this!”

That was July 2011.  I lost 3 pounds the week of the bachelorette party in Vegas.  By Megan’s wedding that September I was still overweight but I was really feeling positive about the program and my steady weight loss.

The July it will be three years that I stepped into that WW meeting room and since then I can honestly say I have never been prouder of myself and the lifestyle I created thanks to WW.  I was successful because of the WW PointsPlus Program and my commitment to it.  The famous Irish poet Oscar Wilde said, “Do you really think it is a weakness that yields temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which require strength and courage to yield.”  WW gave me the tools, the strength and the courage to lose 43 pounds in 9 months.  Today, I’m down 55 pounds and I’ve been a lifetime member for 2 years.

The meetings grounded me and inspired me to keep going and to stop what my leader, Rick, refers to as, “stinkin’ thinkin’.”  I now view healthy eating as a permanent lifestyle versus a temporary fix to meet an unrealistic goal.  When someone asks me how I lost the weight, I start by saying, “WeightWatchers.”  When they ask for more details, I gently but passionately tell them that they should only join if they want to develop healthier eating habits and experience a personal transformation that will change their life forever.

I celebrate my success by staying on plan.  I attend meetings every Saturday morning and I actually have women there that have become an important part of my week. The journey I started the day I walked into my first meeting will continue for the rest of my healthy eating life.  Inspiration can be found in the rarest of places.  What will it take to inspire you to change your bad habits, create good ones, reach your destination and learn how to successfully continue your healthy journey?

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